Regarding The Day's recent coverage of the schooner festival in New London, some corrections are in order.
On Saturday, Sept. 14 your reporting indicated that crowds were gathered at Ocean Beach Park to watch the schooner race. In fact, there were no crowds and the schooner race was so far out into Long Island Sound as to be invisible to the eye with or without binoculars. The schooners were gone from view for nearly five hours. The event website shows 13 schooners in attendance, but the Niamh, Lelanta, Sophia Christina, Adventurer, Irena, and Equinox were not there. It strikes me as odd that so many vessels could have suddenly had "mechanical difficulties" on the same day.
The website also refers to an earlier announcement that the Tree of Life, Quinnipiack and Perception would be participating, which they did not. There is barely a mention of a map of the race, which one could only find by scrolling down to the bottom of an unlabeled page. It's a very odd map.
The promotional materials indicated that the vessels would be available for boarding from 3 to 6 p.m. While there might have been some people waiting on the pier expecting to board and tour the vessels, I saw nobody allowed to come on board. There were only five boats and I looked at all of them from the pier. The "no boarding" signs were up before 5:15 p.m. The Virginia didn't even return from the race until 5 p.m.
There was general confusion regarding when the boats would be returning seeing as at 3 p.m. they appeared to be heading back out to sea to Plum Island or somewhere in that direction. The race course was heavily criticized by bystanders as being way too far out for anyone to watch, and very oddly layed out. With two nearby yacht clubs, surely there would have been someone experienced and able to plot a realistic course.
There was also no detailed schedule either in print or on the website to indicate which boat was which, details of the events, or where exactly the race would be. A suggested viewing site on the website was Avery Point, from which one could see nothing.
Your coverage mentioned that people were listening to music. What music? Their car radios?
Surely by now New London has tried to stage enough events that the promoters would know how to avoid these pitfalls. The city has sorely disappointed thousands of people with its paltry tall ships events. The event planners should do what they say they are going to do, and solicit feedback from the public.
Please don't glorify what was a mediocre and misrepresented event.
Dianne McCormick lives in West Hartford