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Readers' comments on Steve Clark's state of the dinghy nation
At the end of last week we published two features following our interview with Little America's Cup holder and Vanguard Sailboats boss Steve Clark. See part one and part two of the interview here. Among the feedback from readers of The Daily Sail were the following... Should you wish to join the debate - send us an email here - or click here to use a text box. Jim Champ writes: I hesitate to cross swords with Steve Clark, because he's clearly a far more talented and experienced sailor than I, and makes a lot of sense. But you can see things in what he writes that help illuminate what I, as a believer in fast light boats believe are the problems with the US scene. It's quite clear to me, for instance, that he considers that the mass production boat builders job is to deliver a boat that the end user can't break. This is, of course, how one ends up with the unbelievably heavy collegiate boats, which make a Laser 5 tonner look light. On the other hand, from things Julian Bethwaite has said in the past, I gain the impression that he believes that ultimate durability is not the highest priority, and if a sailor does something stupid that breaks the boat then the sailor has broken the boat, not that the designer has failed. The tension between these two points of view is that an 'indestructible' boat is clearly going to be far too heavy for exciting peformance and handling, and may be compromised in other areas - an unbreakable mast as well as being heavy will surely be too stiff to have adequate gust response. Commercially I'm sure in the US, where they believe that to sail leadmines is the pinnacle of sailing rather than something you do when you're