So many participants are counting the days until Baldwin. Plane tickets have been purchased. Housing has been arranged. Days off work have been scheduled. Our visiting teams have a lot to look forward to—thanks to the hard work of our home base volunteers!
We had the chance to interview one of our cornerstone volunteers, John Whitney about the process of getting ready for the big weekend while our team is already out prepping the boats. With the Cup only two weeks away, the work of BCTR Pit Crew is in full swing and has been for some time.
According to John, it all comes down to the fun. Whether it’s hands-on excitement of tuning your boat for a special event, the numbers of members and non-members who flock to the club for this event, or just the joy of messing around with boats, our volunteers are true grit makes Baldwin Cup happen. The numbers and enthusiasm of our volunteers show what a team effort it takes inside the club to host such a great event.
You can listen to complete interview with John about the preparations and why YOU should come:
So what motivates our special volunteers to get some grease on their hands long before our competitors arrive? To start with, selling beers for a quarter doesn’t hurt. Then again, it’s definitely something to be proud of to have a club that can put on an event of this size and be known for providing quality boats that are completely standardized and equal. As competitors rotate boats, our competing teams want to return to this regatta because each boat receives special care to make sure it is as fast as any boat it may be up against in a tacking duel.
Why is the fleet of boats particularly important for team racing? In other racing formats, it is fair and square to have a faster boat than your competitors. In one-design racing however, we work hard to take the equipment out of the picture and put the fire on the racers. Team racing is a form of sailing where the goal isn’t to be the boat way out in front of the fleet. When you have three other boats on your team to consider, the goal is to be in the mix of things, blocking the opponent boats, and positioning yourself so your teammates can all achieve a combined winning score.
Even though there are 8 boats on the starting line, at any given moment you can be in one-on-one battle with an opponent boat and that’s why meticulous boat maintenance is crucial to this event. Each visiting team from across the country and Great Britain strive to make the “accepted list” for this regatta because having such a quality fleet ensures the real competition will come down to the talent of the sailors, and not from who sails the lucky boats.
And that’s why our members are already preparing for the event. On one hand, yes it’s a good time. For all of us who have a hands-on desire to make sailboats go fast, what could be a better excuse than doing some boat work at the club with buddies and to see it pay off in the success of a truly unique regatta? That’s the spark that has put Baldwin Cup on the map and will continue to make the fire grow. Without our own club’s growing passion for Team Racing this event couldn’t grow, and the caliber of the event is all because of our member’s support.