My name is Luca Devoti. I am 53 years old and I have spent all my life sailing. I have been an athlete and a sailor. I took part in countless regattas, dozens of championships and a couple of Olympic Games. I have also run a team in the America’s Cup. More recently, I have been working as a coach and a builder of dinghies. Now I am starting this blog because I feel the lack of, and the need for, a place where competent and passionate people can discuss the future of our passion: sailing.
We are going through a change in society. The Internet is changing the way people behave and think. All sports are going through soul searching and change. I believe this is a time to reflect, in the face of change, the nature and the future of sailing as a sport, as a lifestyle, as a spirit of shared values. Because, while this is a time of change, it must be also a time of reflection and discussion.
As a sport, sailing is fighting for audience, for visibility. We need to open it up to the world. In a world that is measured by media exposure, our numbers are too small. Our most visible events are on the verge of disappearing. The America’s Cup has fewer and fewer athletes and teams. The Volvo Ocean Race, after the move to one-design, has just changed CEO and proposes a much more aggressive course going back to the Southern Ocean. Are the advantages of going one-design outweighing the magic of the design competition? Olympic events receive less than 1% of attention. All this, despite the fact that speed and performance are increasing from one edition to another. Actually, I suspect that under the pressure for exposure and business, the nature of the sport is changing into something that we don’t really know. All this is happening just a few years after a time when sailing has had a surprisingly broad appeal.
I am sure that sailing could be a tremendously successful both as a practice and a spectator sport. Millions of sailboats and dinghies are waiting in ports, clubs and marinas, feeding us with fun and dreams. Because sailing is more than a sport: it is a way of life, a style that feeds upon our values, our desire for challenge, the sea, the idea of freedom and the love of nature. It is a different desire for each of us, but still a shared passion.
This is the time to re-think, a time for innovation. Change without losing our values and our style. That is why I want to create a place where sail loving people with passion and ideas – any ideas – can express them. Everyone is welcome! Of course I have my ideas too, which I will expose for those who like to read about it.