Though innovation that elevates the playing field is usually welcome in competitive sports, Brad Robinson's new book, The Price of Victory and the Fear of Innovation, tells the story of rejecting innovation in order to suppress competition in the sport of A Scow racing.
The Price of Victory tells Robinson's story: how he wanted to advance the world of competitive sailing by building a better A Scow sailboat – as a gift to the Inland Lake Yachting Association – only to be vilified by members of the fleet he was trying to help.
“Brad is a retired Twin Cities businessman who brings an engineer's mind to the sport of competitive sailing, long contributing his time, talents and funds to make sailing better for everyone,” says Tom Burton, Robinson's skipper and friend. “This book finally sets the record straight about Brad and his story.”
Sailors who race A Scows are a small, highly competitive group who sail on inland lakes primarily in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. With a length of thirty-eight feet, a flat bottom and top speeds of over twenty-five knots, A Scows require experience and precision from their six-member crews.
Robinson designed and built his A Scow sailboat, Victory, according to the rules of the Inland Lake Yachting Association. But when some members of the Inland A Fleet saw his Victory project as a threat to one boat builder's monopoly on the building of A Scows, they changed the rules and refused to sail with his boat. The battle carried on for years, ending in a lawsuit.
After having his A Scow design rejected, Robinson then launched a new, faster class of scows in 2007 – the carbon fiber V38. Robinson hopes that by sharing his story he may find a future market and a willing fleet for this highly advanced class of scows.
Robinson asked Linda Tedford of Lilja Press to write The Price of Victory to shed light on his experience of having his most significant innovations rejected and to share his story with those both in and outside of the sailing community.
“It's my hope that we'll be able to once again bring innovation into scow sailing for the next generation of sailors and competitors,” Robinson says.
To order The Price of Victory and the Fear of Innovation: Brad Robinson's Story, visit VictorybyDesign.org.
The Price of Victory and the Fear of Innovation: Brad Robinson's Story
Written by Linda Tedford
Lilja Press, 297 pages
Hardcover, List $50.00
Paperback, List $35.00
Pub. date: June 1, 2015
Alicia DeMatteo or Mary Lilja