Sailboat racing is often considered a niche sport, a weekend luxury of the 1%. In some cases this is true, but in many cases it is not. The dedication, time, and commitment it takes to become a professional sailor is perhaps above that of most other "non-mainstream" sports, with probably a smaller payoff and no recognition once you've made it to the top.
During Charleston Race Week in April, 2013 my camera and I were swooped off the dock by Bora Gulari and his crew aboard their boat "New England Ropes/West Marine Rigging," an ultra-competitive Melges 24 sailboat. These guys are at the top of their game, with an impressive list of races and wins over the years.
Knowing only that the Melges 24 is one of the most competitive sailboat racing groups in the country, I set out to find out who these guys were, what they were doing, and what "made them tick". It's a short piece, and I hope it gives you a nice perspective into the precision and teamwork involved in running a race winning machine.
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