Islander 36 Association

Islander Fleet Saluted in Scuttlebutt for Fleet Building

March 7, 2005

Scuttlebutt is a daily world-wide sailing email with all of the best in the global sailing world. On March 7th, 2005 they picked up Kimball Livingston's article in Sail Magazine about Fleet Builiding featuring your very own Islander Association. This tribute, for a 35 year old class, is a compliment to each of you as members who have contributed your interest and participation to share your knowledge and reach out to each Islander you meet along your course. It is also a special tribute to Commodore Mike Dickson for his four years of dedication to getting more boats racing, Peter Szasz and Harry Farrell for getting Kimball Livingston involved first with our 2004 Race Clinic, and then the follow through from everyone to meet Kimball's challenge to, "show me the bacon."

Below is the section from Scuttlebutt, and the link to the article in Sail Magazine. It was the second article for the day, the first being the launch of Oracle's two new America's Cup boats in Spain!!!!!:


On San Francisco Bay, the Islander 36 fleet "de-turboed" in order to get more boats out racing. Islander 36s have been a fixture since Alan Gurney designed them in the 1970's-Northern California alone has more than 150 of them-but the racing fleet dwindled as people with the skill sets to handle spinnakers in a big breeze moved on to newer, hotter boats. Eliminating spinnakers and big jibs was a shot in the arm for the fleet last year. Twenty boats turned out for the 2004 season opener, the Vallejo Race, making Islander 36s the biggest one design fleet in the event. Melges 24s don't have to think this way. But in 1974, neither did people who sailed Islander 36s.

In 2004 the Islander 36 fleet held race seminars, a day of starting practice, and an adopt-a-skipper day that did wonders to transfer skills vertically through the fleet. SAIL's West Coast Editor read off starting-line countdowns over the radio (an efficient way to get these things done), and there was a huge difference in the way the fleet formed between start number one and start number five. People don't get this kind of experience unless you make it happen. Better yet, none of it was a one-shot, one-day deal. One of the fleet mentors was a crack sailor named Chris Boome, and one of the features of racing in the fleet for the rest of the year was hearing Boome's voice over the water (in the middle of a race) telling someone on another boat to "Pull in your mainsheet" or "Move the jib leads forward"! (The subtext being that he did not perceive that boat to be an immediate threat.)

People may choose a boat for the boat, but they stay in a fleet for the people. If you want a viable class or club, it has to be a community. The Islander 36 fleet on San Francisco Bay has overlap between members who race and members who show up for fleet cruises, but for the overall health of this group, it's vital to have events that are devoted to families and non-racers. Togetherness goes a long way. - Excerpt from a story by Kimball Livingston on the Sail magazine website. Full story:

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