A More Perfect World Sailing Harbor 20s, Part 1
Dear Members of Fleet 1 of the Harbor 20 Class Association,
The Harbor 20 Class Association continues to be recognized as an organization whose members take pride in its heritage and longevity. It’s truly this pride of membership and a stellar level of competition, which has attracted more and more sailors to the Harbor 20. Newport Beach’s Fleet 1 has seen phenomenal growth and it is our members who have made this happen. The camaraderie amongst our Fleet is unmatched, on and off the water.
Our increased membership is particularly noticeable at our races. Congestion at the start line and our sheer numbers sailing a course in our small channels at times lessens the quality of the experience, for us as well as those we share the harbor with. We have all seen power boaters who find themselves with Harbor 20s approaching with nowhere to go. We wouldn’t exactly call these growing pains “problems” (most racing Fleets around the world would love to have our “problems”!), but they are pains, nonetheless. So together we should celebrate our success and, at the same time, move forward to make adjustments to preserve good competition and safety, as well as be a good neighbor on the water.
In May, the Fleet 1 Board of Directors began looking at ways to meet the needs of our growing Fleet. With some new, experienced sailors moving directly to the A Division and many of the original C sailors moving into the B Division, our starts have swelled in numbers and are becoming unmanageable. Frequently there isn’t even a C start. Effectively, we have had two Divisions, A and B. The logical change was to make a third Division that would spread the boats amongst three starts. Sailors in this new Division will race on the same courses, be ranked, and receive trophies like the A and B’s, and have the same rules for moving up and down within the Divisions.
At the November Board of Directors meeting, the Board approved the formal creation of a new C Division, which will no longer be a non-ranking training ground for 2-3 of our newest sailors. A lot of thought has been given to processes and protocol and we are certain that the changes will be positive! Watch for notifications posted on this web site in the coming weeks. We thank you in advance as we begin to finalize and implement these changes. Our Fleet 1 members come from all walks of life, from new sailors to Olympian contenders, and all age ranges, but our love of sailing the Harbor 20 brings us together and moves our organization forward. We look forward to sharing more in the coming days and weeks.
Warren Duncan, Chairman of The Board Sub-Committee for Fleet Improvement
Emile Pilafidis, Fleet 1 Captain