Peter “Luigi” Reggio is one of the top race officers in the world and certainly the most entertaining. In fact, he confesses, “I’m probably a little too honest with what I say.”
Perfect! Just what we need for a lively AYC membership meeting and Luigi will be our guest speaker for the Tuesday (11/8) gathering, starting promptly at 7pm at the Caddy Shack @ Rolling Hills (previously known as the 19th Tee).
He comes to us as part of the US Sailing Speaker Series, accompanied by a tasting of Old Pulteney Single Malt Whiskey, for those so inclined.
Why “Luigi”? He told Sailing World magazine: “There were five guys on the floor named Peter when I worked at North Sails-Connecticut in the 1970s. I got Luigi because of my last name. The [nicknames] for the other four are unprintable.” His has stuck through nearly four decades of sailing experience, including serving as the Principal Race Officer for a host of national and world events, including the America’s Cup. But what about that AC job?
He told the members of the Golden Gate Yacht Club in April, “[In past AC races] they’d leave the starting line and speed test [to the windward mark] for seven minutes. That’s just boring, I’m sorry. I can’t tell you how boring an AC race is to run anyway. Well, 3½ mile beat! Snore.”
So Luigi is part of the brain trust coming up with a far more exciting plan. Here’s another quote from that same GGYC meeting: “What we did was set a windward mark and give them… two minutes upwind, round to starboard, set [spinnaker], and you have to jibe instantly to get back to the starting line. There’s a lot of stuff going on! They’ve got three or four minutes of the entry, that’s going on, they go upwind, they get there together—I guarantee you in two minutes they’re going to get to the top mark together—then they spin around and have a crash jibe which is usually really spectacular, especially in catamarans—when things go bad it’s kinda cool… The person watching TV is like, ‘Maybe something else bad will happen, maybe I’ll stick around.'”
If you saw the video from the AC45 World Series in Plymouth, you know it was anything but “just boring.” I think you can tell something from this little taste of Luigi. Anything but boring!