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Yacht Racing - Amateur And Professionals

( Originally Published 1911 )

THE difference between an amateur and professional is that the amateur has not been paid for sailing or handling a boat, whereas the professional has.

Professionalism is the great ban to all sports, and in most instances it kills it, yacht racing as much as any other. I speak of the smaller classes. A boy under twenty years of age, with say three or four years' experience, does not want to race against a professional of say thirty-five, who has sailed for twenty years, and knows all about it. He may keep at it for awhile, but in the end, unless the amateur is a very good sailor, it will kill the sport.

A good amateur, however, is apt to be better than a good professional; for many reasons he will do better, he has a better nerve, enjoys the sport keenly, and it also is a great feather in his cap if he wins against some good professional.

I think it is a step in the right direction when a club bars professionals from steering races in the small classes. Half the pleasure in racing is to race against a crowd of men you know and like, so you can talk it over with them afterwards.

The racing clubs should never allow an owner to turn his boat over to a man who is really a professional, but sails as an amateur with a paid crew, to race her for him, he staying ashore and his boat winning the championship. This sort of business is done, and should be stopped by the club giving the races.

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