News & Events for Chesapeake Bay

Is Short-handed Sailing Leading the Market?

Date Posted: 2018-12-03
Source: Scuttlebutt

As sailboat design progresses, speeds have increased, and many boats are easier to race or cruise with fewer crew. At the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Md., in October, three major builders showed new designs that are reshaping the market, each in a segment that rewards short-handed sailing.

None of the boats represents obvious, evolutionary steps, as each anticipates the development of the segment, but all three are significant. It’s no coincidence that all three have strong connections to the de facto home of short-handed racing: France.

“A few years ago, we noticed that short-handed distance day races like San Francisco’s Three Bridge Fiasco were blossoming,” says Jeff Johnstone, president of Rhode Island-based J/Boats. “At the same time, classic offshore races like the Chicago-Mac, Newport Bermuda and the Fastnet were keeping people in the sport.”

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