Thanks for this. I have met the individual you are speaking of, and his enthusiasm and commitment to sailing had/has nothing to do with ILCA. I am confident he has been like that his entire life in every type of boat in which he was involved. ILCA (well, the NA region) was better off when he was involved, but that is the individual - not the organization. Meantime, there are, and have always been, ILCA representatives at the regional and local level who may not be quite as energetic as the aforementioned, but have nevertheless pushed support at all levels - from grass roots to world championship campaigns. But again - these folks do that everywhere and the world is a better place for them. But I will not thank ILCA, or any other organization, for there presence. I won't credit ILCA for the good ones, and I won't criticize them for the not so good ones. ILCA provide a framework and plenty of resources, and it is up to the members and volunteers to maximize what ILCA make available. And I do not struggle paying them the price of a couple tanks of gas a year to support them. Robbie is doing a great job, and our regional guy is as well - seminars, training, fitness, introductions, events - you name it. Do I thank ILCA for his hard work? No - I thank him. ILCA are not a hindrance of any type to the success of a fleet or region. Nobody here complains. And I have no expectations of ILCA whatsoever to make my grass roots experience any more or less enjoyable. The day I believe I need to rely on any organization for my enjoyment of an activity in which I participate is the day I pick another activity.
ILCA did what they had to do, to the best of their abilities, to keep the boat in the Olympics. There is disagreement over the boat even being in the Olympics, but we need not revisit this. With hindsight, they may have chosen other courses of action, but time was precious. Access to new boats was hindered here long before the whole Olympic fiasco took place. That was not the doing of ILCA.
Yup, the price has gone up. And for those that said they would go down, looks like they were wrong - at least thus far. Gasp. Imagine someone being wrong. But I wonder how many people have said "I was about to buy a new ILCA, but the price has gone up so I am buying something else, and I blame those bastards at ILCA".
Robustness? Are you serious? The boat is so much better than it was in the old days it is not even a discussion point. You are so wrong on this. The new vang has resulted in more mast breakage for the aggressive sailor, but that is less impactful for the grass roots sailor. I haven't busted a top section because of the new vang. Have you? And my experience shows the new sails have a longer lifespan than the old ones. You? And I understand the new spars are stronger. More expensive? Uh, yes... Is it not logical that better and more durable comes at a cost?
The developments of the boat by ILCA have made the boat much more accessible. What has the impact on sailing participation been with the introduction of the Radial? How many sailors lives were altered by that? Has the new rigging not made it possible for more people to actually control the rig? We speak of the charm of rounding the bottom mark, sheeting fast hand over hand while standing up, pressing hard on the boom, tightening the vang and somehow steering a proper course. But too bad if you were smaller or less agile. Were the "old days" of Laser sailing more or less inclusive than today? And the new rigs? Long down the road. You will be on your third trimaran.
Honestly, Martin, the only place I see/hear a lot of discussion is on this forum. The vast majority in this region that actually sail and race Lasers/ILCAs are not interested. No toxicity at our club, and no political camps. I think I am the only fool... But we are all first and foremost just sailors and members of a fun sailing club. And there is uninhibited activity involving ILCA-oriented sailors and those that buy Intensity gear. And everyone understands that if you go to a sanctioned event, you need ILCA gear.