NY30 Solstice Challenge Regatta – Interview
A new sailing event has just been announced, called the New York 30 Solstice Challenge. This charity event, in support of Sail For Life, is scheduled to be held on the weekend of June 23/24, 2012. You can read the announcement on Metaverse Sailing here. SL Sailing News managed to catch up with busy event organizer Jane Fossett for a quick interview. Here’s how it went:
SLSN: Hi Jane. Thank you for taking time out of your schedule for this interview with SL Sailing News. I’ll get straight to business: Is this a special, one-off event, or is it expected to be recurring?
JF: It won’t recur. Next year we’ll do something else!
SLSN: The announcement says it’s a team event. Does this mean that the boats will be crewed, and that the crew will be actively involved with the sailing? (I’m not familiar with the NY30.)
JF: Yes the boats are crewed. One person can race it solo, but the boat really flies with extra crew, so I expect most will bring along their friends to race. Trudeau boats let the crew hike across six positions, adjust sails, and switch with the skipper. Regarding this regatta, there are still nuances to work out depending on sign-up and hosts. For example, instead of 1-5 crew, it could be 1-4 to add a 5th boat to fleet races.
SLSN: Are the crew jobs optional with regard to the regatta?
JF: Yes, its up to the team.
SLSN: How many venues will host the event, and have they been finalized?
JF: Hosts are nearly finalized, one for the final, at least four for the qualifiers on Saturday, but we may need to adjust to accommodate the entrants.
SLSN: Yes, to do with timeslots, or time zones.
JF: Yes. In One World we added a Friday timeslot, for example. We need to be somewhat flexible to accommodate racers. For timelots, I’m asking 6-9-12-3-6 to get consensus of entrants. Then we decide.
SLSN: What scoring system will be used to determine heat and overall placings?
JF: Scoring will be standard low point system, we’re discussing details. There will be four races in each qualifying timeslot, with one throw-out, and the same is true for the finals.
SLSN: Will it be full ISAF rules or a more relaxed ruleset?
JF: Full rules, with some ‘clarification’ about crew issues, griefing, SL crashes, appeals process, etc.
SLSN: The announcement mentions several people, presumably in the context of event organizers. Can you clarify the roles that each person is undertaking?
JF: Those are the great people who are involved in the planning for the event, and there are many more. I hope we can work with the clubs to get RD and judging assistance too. The “New York 30 Solstice Challenge” regatta we’re planning is a great example of the common commitment of many people here. For some time Dale Irata’s planned a SAILstice event that weekend, coordinating it with similar activities in real life yacht clubs. Kentrock Messmer also wanted to stage a High Roller’s race regatta that day, repeating a very popular event from last year. While we all tried to come up with the best fit for the limited time available, divine providence interceded.
Well, actually it was Jacqueline Trudeau. Just as we were putting the event together, Trudeau Yachts launched a great new boat, the New York 30. Trudeau offered to give each of the S4L race teams a boat in return for their donation as a way to encourage participation and increase the number of contributions for the event. Her offer was remarkably generous, but it was quickly paralleled by commitments from several others to match the entry donations of the contestants. There’s been great deal of enthusiasm in just a short number of days, and my head’s still spinning.
Understandably, a number of details about the competition are still being worked out, as we see how large the competition fleet will be, and try to accommodate people”s interests and needs. As of today we still have several open racing slots for the regatta, so people should stop reading this, go grab their boat shoes, and sign up!
SLSN: So, more of a meeting of minds and pooling of resources than defined roles per person. Would it be correct to say that you’re the organizer (something that I assumed in my opening comments)?
JF: I’m the typist, yes.
SLSN: Jane, thank you very much for your time, and good luck with the regatta.
And there you have it, folks. A weekend team event on crewed boats in supoprt of S4L, four or more qualifiers and a final, multiple venues, conventional yacht race scoring, with flexibility on timeslots to suit the needs of the participants. It sounds like a busy weekend for the organizers, but with the experienced Fossett at the helm, we reckon it will go well.