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Conversations within the sport of sailing - Morgan Larson

It is often said how sailing is unique as a sport, where the opportunity is readiliy available to compete against the very best in the sport. Occassionally we get the chance to chat with them too.

Morgan Larson
(June 3, 2009) American Morgan Larson is versatile. When you have been a World Champion in the 505 and TP52 classes, you have demonstrated some range. Throw in a couple 49er Olympic campaigns and America’s Cup programs, and you get the idea that wherever Morgan is, so is the leading edge of the sport.

Last weekend he was enjoying his latest endeavor, competing in the Ronstan Moth Oregon State Championship at Cascade Locks. Scuttlebutt checked in with Morgan for a quick update:

  • What do you see as the keys for the International Moth class to grow in the U.S.?

  • The development of alternative sailing venues (not your typical YC dock set up). Places like Cascade Locks, Oregon and venues with a beach or grass to the water. As the boats gain popularity the price should fall (the new Assassin is bringing the price point down). Also, the perception of what is possible. American's are typically the last in sailing to take a risk and try something on the edge.

  • We hear how Cascade Locks is such a great venue. What is it about the place?

  • Consistent wind, fresh water, beautiful scenery, great launching and a tactically challenging race track. Plus Portland Airport is 30 minutes away and connects to most major cities.

  • Your sailing now is varied: Moth, Melges 24, and TP52. How schizophrenic are you feeling? What adjustments must you consciously make for each boat?

  • Good question! They are all such different disciplines but each lends lessons that help the other. The Moth is quite pure, sailing alone and above the water. The TP52 is a big machine and there are many aspects that go into making it successful. Sailing a Melges 24 or our Moore 24 at home in Santa Cruz, CA is the most enjoyable. A team of 4 or 5 people working well together on a lively little boat makes for a fun time.

  • Despite achieving international success in the 49er, your Olympic campaigns in 2000 and 2008 both fell short. Any thoughts of returning to the 49er for another attempt to qualify for the Olympics?

  • Yes, More than just a thought. To get back to the top in the Olympic arena is very intimidating. The commitment that is required to be in a position to medal at the Olympics is incredible. Not to mention I will be 40 by the time London rolls around. But I still have the passion and desire to sail at that level.

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    Morgan Larson at helm during 2008 Vineyard Vines Pro-Am Regatta at Bitter End YC

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