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About Robin

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    Chicago, Illinois USA

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  1. For years I was old school and did not like the concept of full information being available (I have fallen victim of rheostats in the past or no running lights before it was a racing rule) . Today I feel differently. Now that the technology and reliability are up to it I vote for full time, real time, availability. I believe that the requiring AIS both receiving and sending is in the long term best interest of offshore sailing. Like all information its value lies in the good or bad decisions you make as a result of this single input. Robin
  2. Robin


    Saw it over the weekend. Highly recommended on many levels, the sailing, the ambition, the struggle, the organization and for those of my age the memories it brings back. Robin
  3. So many. Early 90's, cold Sunday night racing the Bayview to Mackinac on my 1-ton. Tucked under the Canadian Shore just flying upwind. The northern lights started and gave us a constant dancing curtain for more than 6 hours. Could not get anyone to go off watch. Robin
  4. Robin

    Sydney 38 in Annapolis

    I am sure that I will regret getting back into this but there are so many misstatements about the S38 that I need to correct a few: First S38 was delivered in 2000 so there were (are) no 1990s boats. Clearly built as a racer/cruiser (emphasis on racer) deck is similar to the Farr 40. (agreed that they were much cheaper particularly when the AUS dollar was way down) It is not a Sidney 40 with two feet of the transom--it did borrow a lot from the 40 but I understand the redesign took most of the length out of the middle of the boat Built like a fortress with ordinary glass and epoxy--no exotics--does make her heavier but stiffness and longevity that lasts. The 38 may be "sticky" but even in a known light wind area like Chicago the 38s have been very successful on handicap under IRC, ORR and PHRF. And when it blows hard the 38s are a delight. The subject of this thread was delivered in late July 2000 and made its first regatta in August of 2000. Robin
  5. Robin

    Sydney 38 in Annapolis

    This 38 was indeed Serenissima and it was well maintained by me and my team. I know for a fact that there were both sail upgrades, good maintenance by Jones and team, electronics etc (in addition to the paint job and name change). The 38 is a great boat, competitive and very well built. I regret not owning her today. Robin
  6. Robin

    Chicago Area III

    RIP Jim Webb. I have been informed that Jim Webb, owner of Witchcraft among other things, was painting the clubhouse at Jackson Park on the 25th when he lost his balance and fell to his death. "hale fellow, jolly well met" an all around good guy. Robin
  7. Robin

    Older well known IOR Boats

    Around 1980 owned a Cal3-30 inventory was all Dacron or nylon. Mylar laminate sails were appearing on other boats. One race day during pre start maneuvering my foredeck at the mast during a tack pulls out a big sheet of Saran wrap and shakes and snaps it yelling "Mylar" to the fleet. He got me laughing so hard we were late for the start. Robin
  8. Robin

    Chicago Area III

    That should be the business of the individual fleets, not CASRA. CASRA stated that as one of its goals. For most people, including me, who care about the sport the greater the participation the better the racing and the better long term outlook for the sport. Every sailing organization (CASRA or otherwise) has an interest in that outcome. Robin
  9. Robin

    Chicago Area III

    I beg to differ. Each of the 5 Clubs went into and pulled the email addresses of the boat owners who entered THEIR clubs races. This did not include crew, dinghy sailors, participants, etc., UNLESS the survey link was sent to them by a friend. I suspect most of the answers were provided by boat owners, and probably less than 10% were "others." The important point is to listen to the customer. CASRA has done this and invited those customers to a town hall meeting to assure the customers were listened to and in fact added additional changes to the 2017 program from the feedback from the town hall meeting. Glenn, There is value in the CASRA survey just not as much as either you or they suggest. For example, at the meeting I had a conversation with two skippers (owners), both of whom were yacht club members (of the big two) who never received the survey. So, while the survey may provide some guidance for the Clubs for 2017 I believe that it is very flawed and insufficient for the future STATED GOAL of increasing participation of currently non racing boat owners. Second point, is that the very fact that you have to speculated as to the percentage of "others" demonstrates the survey was flawed. In this instance the demographics of those surveyed is critical. The CASRA survey is only an imperfect beginning. Robin
  10. Robin

    Chicago Area III

    Do you own a boat ? Didn't you sell yours? It seems like every comment you make is about the way it 'used to be'. With all respect, things have changed- alot. Yes I sold my boat. How do you get that I value "how it used to be" out of "Clearly there is something wrong with what we are doing today but the answer is not organizing around yacht clubs or even around current racers but rather in [sic] our target market which is owners of sailboats that do not race." I am still an active racer on other peoples boats and I truly believe that while well intended that CASRA is much more of the same. It is a yacht club oriented effort. I hope that CASRA is successful in turning out more YC members to the races and improves attendance among racers that are not YC members. My point is and was that we should do something radically different. I am not wedded to the past but I have learned from it. Regards, Robin
  11. Robin

    Chicago Area III

    I am not an apologist for LMSRF although I have been a member since its first organizational meeting at the Belmont station of CYC. However, there are a lot of things both administrative and substance that CASRA is not going to do that some organization needs to do. I am going to list a few off the top of my head but I am certain the list is much longer: Hear appeals from protest committees; Provide scholarships; organize ladder events for qualifying to race in other national events, select area K representatives to various US Sailing Committees; select area K representatives to sail in national events, there are a lot more. Does LMSRF have to do these things---No, but by definition CASRA as an association of five Chicago area YCs cannot do them. Robin
  12. Robin

    Chicago Area III

    I too was there and I have a slightly different take even though I believe the reporting above is a reasonable representation of the events. If CASRA is primarily intended to improve attendance at races and to grow the sport they are not focused on making that happen. The survey, while helpful, was taken of people like me, dedicated racing sailors. What we need is to understand why it is that the owners of the hundred of sailboats in Chicago that do not race and never have raced, do not try our sport. We have all kinds of opinion based ideas: cant get crew, too expensive, too complicated, do not know the rules, my boat is not equipped, my boat is not fast enough, racers make me unwelcome etc. We have not real data and without real data you cannot attack the problem. If CASRA is really going to succeed it needs to devote itself to developing that data and then assisting in creating a program that will break down those barriers. By the way as a member of the "old guys" club I resent the concept that wishing that we had the competition that we once did translates into not changing for the future. Clearly there is something wrong with what we are doing today but the answer is not organizing around yacht clubs or even around current racers but rather in our target market which is owners of sailboats that do not race. My .02 Robin
  13. Robin

    Chicago Area III

    Vast majority are PHRF. The Chicago to Mackinac and a few other races sponsored by Chicago Yacht Club are ORR or have ORR sections.Robin
  14. Robin

    Chicago Area III

    I disagree. Many, even on this very thread, have cited smaller fleets on race day as a reason to not show up. If the fleet is being split, that is bad racing which makes people not want to show up. The thrill of big fleets is a big draw. Apparently our psyche is so fragile that we need to think we are doing something cool, not just enjoy it for its own sake. But that's fine - we can eliminate that variable/argument easily. Like so many things on the internet just because it is said does not make it so. Look at the history and the actual facts. The fleet (MORF is special case with which I will have something to say minute) has been absolutely scheduled with absolutely no conflicts between the clubs major races until very recently when CYC took it on itself to expand its "one design" and club racing out of Belmont to include boats that have in the past been racing in what has come to be called Area III. Lets get some facts out there. When I started racing in Chicago in 1974-75 the local race dates were coordinated among JPYC, BPYC, CYC, ColYC and CCYC through a committee of the Chicago Yachting Association and the ultimate sailing "authority" for Lake Michigan, at that time was LMYA (Lake Michigan Yachting Association). In 1980 LMSRF was formed in rebellion by sailboat racers against the rule of LMYA (I was at the organizational meeting and signed up but was not an insider that took place at CYC's Belmont station) for the explicit purpose of focusing on SAILBOAT RACING on Lake Michigan. One of the decisions made later was the regional structure of LMSRF. Area III then created its own subcommittee with respect to a number of items--one of which was the coordination of race dates and starting areas for all of the YCs of AREA III. The membership of that Committee included all of the Chicago Area Clubs. So, and here is my point, there never has been (at least since 1975) any conflicting race dates among the clubs until the last two years. I previously gave a brief experience in a 4KSB and the fun it was. Let me take the other end of the fleet. In 1986 through, I think 1991, I owned and raced, in partnership with another, a Peterson 43, named Toscana. In various years we raced it in IOR, MHS and PHRF. I have a picture in my home of Toscana the 43 leading IOR Section 1 (we were only physically in the lead because Pied Piper the 70 was not out and we were getting crushed on handicap as Carrera to whom we gave a ton of time was only two lengths behind). The year was 1987, the race was the "8 Mile Bouy Race" and in the picture you can see, Toscana, 3 NM 41s, 2 additional Pet 43s, 2 NM 45s, 2 C&C 43s and two boats I can no longer identify. A 12 boat section 1. That was participation. I do not have the answer, yet, but it is not that there is a lack of coordination. The fact that no one has races on the Verve Cup weekend does not get a single "NEW" boat out or a single new crew. MORF has always been a bit different and it is both a feeder organization and a self sustaining organization. I was a member of MORF when my boat really fit in its sweet spot and when I was still learning to race. Much of its schedule does conflict with other Area III events but frankly does not draw from Area III participation largely because AREA III has made itself unfriendly to MORF Boats. One race in Area III costs one third of what an entire season costs in MORF, MORF starts more inshore (shorter trip) races usually one race per day (more social and club time) smaller boats (smaller crews, more family) etc. However, even MORF has not been able to grow. robin
  15. Robin

    Chicago Area III

    The "schedule" is not the problem and has not been since the "clubs" have coordinated the "schedule" as far back as the Chicago Yachting Association (CYA) days. It is participation. No amount of "scheduling" will get a single NEW boat or crew out to the race course. Robin