Tcatman

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About Tcatman

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  1. Doesn't the class association have some language about growing the sport? Adding rigs as classes seems a natural outcome and you make that point about growth. Not sure how the notion of good governance applies either. Governing documents never include a list of things that you can't do..... I guess you can argue that member's expectation is that the class association maintains a narrow focus.... but even then.... you get disputes about focus on the elite top end olympic level crowd versus the support the grass roots crowd. Was their a contested leadership election around the introduction of the radial rig? That would seem to indicate the rank and file point of view and set a precedent?
  2. What is the practical distance between an owners group and a class association? A builder needs an owners group for their customers and looks at the subset of owners who want to play sailboat racing as a highly vocal minority who call themselves a class association organized to promote fair racing. Hobie cat made lots of money introducing new racing boats as well as introducing new recreational boats that eventually became race boats (Waves) and the class association keeps from getting crushed and promoting racing while also being an owners group for the non racing boats.. IME, the balance between an owners group responsibilities and class association responsibilities always becomes a function of dollars. The old saw of XXX doesn't support the grass roots is really just a complaint about the owners group not doing a good job for non racers/casual racers. I will say it again.... the guys who seemed to get the right balance are the Viper 640 guys. Back back back in the day.... did Laser organize beach parties for their non racing owners? .... it was a huge part of Hobie cats marketing..... they branded it the Hobie lifestyle and I am sure you remember great photos of hot chicks, fabulous beaches with killer sunsets or sunrises (with a Hobie 16 nearby). Hobie Alter understood this and often made the point that Hobie would never have been as successful had it followed the standard YC model with standard class associations and he followed advice to avoid traditional sailing business models and ultimate became a case study for business schools.. I even remember the introduction of the other laser rigs as .... Wow.... they finally figured it out and are copy catting Hobie in growing their market. So.... could ILCA and the 18skiffs put something together under ABC builder... sure! votes are just details.
  3. Exactly! and the language Tillerman provided is essential to keep the integrity in the game. The grey area events Tillerman speaks of would normally be handled by peer pressure... If a serious competitor continues to show up with non legal gear.... the fleet will deliver a message and things will sort out. The issue always comes up because someone on high will issue some mandate that district events MUST BE strictly class legal.... (and it will come down from on high) YMMV on whether you nip the whole thing in the bud this year before precedent is set or reprise the Hobie World experience where the Intl class eventually told the US class to fall in line after 5 or 6 years of allowing non hobies to race in their points events. IME..... you are better off setting expectations right away rather then kicking the can down the road..... Half assed solutions usually bite you in the ass.
  4. Hmm.... 4 interest groups. ILCA sailors who value fair competition... their costs in the One design premium are sunk.... (they probably hate politics) ILCA leadership.... who value ??? the big picture of fair competition i guess. their costs are sunk in their boat (One design premium) and any costs they have in organizing the show (they do politics to manage the big picture that they value) The budget sailor who is showing up at a convenient local regatta with the fake/look a like boat who values a fun weekend..... Their cost is the weekend regatta fee. (They don't give a fig about class politics) The Host Yacht Club who values max attendance and their costs are sunk in the facility and the immediate costs in food and resources hosting the event. If the event is a multiclass annual traditional regatta.... The club wants no part of the politics... So they will write an NOR as the class wants but won't enforce anything including class membership or class legal boats. I Don't think I am missing anybody.... and the the interesting question is... What happens now?
  5. Better to address this question to Dave Clark.... He is building a single hander for the 21st century and has access to somebody who built a lot of boats in the 20th century for wisdom. My guess.... too hard... because of a small market spread over a huge area making community based initiatives ....eg fleet building really hard.
  6. Wess, Why do you think the Olympic selection committee gives a fig about what the class wants. It is their party and they invite exactly what they want to it. Ask the Tornado Class..... Huge class vote NO on spinnakers.... IOC.... nah... we will make a new class using the T and it will be.... End result Class has Spinakers AND next round, a new mast.... then and a new championship competition rule.. (No wind minimum for China competition). The role of the class president is to not got steamrolled and preserve as much of the class independence as he/she can get while surviving the spears of outrage from the class membership.... ask John Forbes (Aus) and then Mike Greenfield (USA). The IOC would have ignored the Laser class association and just gone to builders had class leadership done anything other then go along. The Olympic competitors don't give a fig about the class/history/future.... they care about the quad they are competing in and perhaps the following quad. Rank and file sailors had to choose as well and they fell in line. Same basic story for Laser. The Olympics played their hand... the class adjusted.... the Olympic sailors are just in it for the quad... and the rank and file fall in line. LPE will do their thing....but they are inconsequential now. I don't think a class has a choice in the matter unless they actually own the intellectual property and even then they are f'd.. The power the olympics deploys will always get a builder to make a self interested decision and when fate changes the circumstances on the ground... (no multihull) the fall out is widespread. Marstrom does not build Tornado's any longer.
  7. You raise an interesting question......A single handed boat in a sport where you react to the environment as much as the competition fits an individualist personality type.... But everything else requires collective group action and consensus... I called Wess a libertarian in the past. The libertarian Wess is me me me and the always right/never wrong/waiver or even compromise are hallmarks of a 13 year old ayn randian. All of the values he professes to desire forced him to give up sovereignty to class rules and the need for community action to get a fleet to race. As soon as the organizations and community structure demand something from wess, his libertarian bs comes out and he magically believes that all of that community and one design regulation happens magically and he should not have buckle under some authority. All of the personal aspersions that follow from Wess are a justification for his noble ignorance. IME, Discussing anything with Trumpers or Libertarians rarely develops any novel insights or light.
  8. Gouv, I agree ... and this is the key issue. Do you see any evidence that north american consumers have any interest in a sport that requires organizing 10 others to manage space and time in their lives to enjoy? Certainly, once upon a time this was the case....but in 2020.... I don't see it and alternate models have to be evaluated. Now how you evaluate the future market is the whole ball game and only those who put up their money really matter here. The Laser powers that be DON"T HAVE THE MONEY.... so to keep the snow ball rolling onwards.. ... they must see the future as a 5o5 or F18 (a bit more modern then the thistle model). The unique advantage for the Laser has is in being the entry point for almost all elite sailors into the Olympic pathway and so long as sailing participates in the Olympics this is a huge advantage. How this works out at the club level and for casual racer is to be determined. You were probably the last generation trying to keep the kirby model working..... 20 plus years down the road... much has changed....So... the question becomes.... What kind of mix of Viper 640, F18 multihull, RS Areo, 5o5 and Lightning, and A class/Finn models will work for the unique circumstance that is laser 2020?
  9. Oh wow... lback in the day.... ... Tillerman is of the grass roots.... and his buddy is one of the experienced elites of the sunfish class...... worked out well... Tillerman is still going strong! QED!
  10. oh right... I forgot... typically half baked thinking on your part ..... what part of Stuart Walker "elite olympic level sailor " is defined as the bottom up... grass roots sailor? .... So... if you don't think Stuart kept that soling fleet going at SSA for ever... perhaps you should recommend somebody in that fleet for sailor of the year for their efforts? " You grow and sustain a fleet not from the elite and top down, but from the bottom up. " is nothing but banal pablum. For all of your antipathy to the ILCA.... you fail to see how essential the top sailors are to keeping the grass roots going...... try this analogy.... a tree needs the canopy for photosynthesis and the roots for nutrients... That is the entire point of using the grass roots as a metaphor for our human activity of racing toy boats. When things go to shit.... the grass roots metaphor is used to get the top of the class to pay attention to the entire class..... Stuart Walker ANSWERED the questions of the new Soling guys... and was the role model for the middle of the fleet sailors to ANSWER THE QUESTIONS of the new Soling racers. Sounds to me Ol Yeller understands the process.... Newbies... Plus Helpful racers starting from the top down.
  11. Well that is just completely wrong. You need elite sailors who set the bar at a high level, find enough competition to keep it interesting so they come out to play with the fleet and MOST IMPORTANTLY understand that the fleet sustains ONLY WHEN they worry about the bottom of the fleet and try to grow those sailors performance by sharing knowledge, mentor ship etc etc.. If you want to talk about a club ....sure... its about the bar and social scene and good friends.... tis why many yacht clubs.... stop racing and just do the supper club thing.. Stuart Walker was a member of your dinghy club... did you ever talk with him about what makes for successful fleet.... He kept a soling fleet alive for what 25 years post olympics?
  12. Yes, I took your question of Wess as fair. I think you are well positioned to spot some differences that would inform. I wonder what percentage of the fleet in each year were simply serious regional sailors who decided to go to NAs because you could drive there and a buddy or two were going. Basically, I suggest you participate for the competition and the comradeship and community. When I was comparing lasers to A class participation and organization... I looked for how the chessie region laser sailors were doing in the NA's in florida and was shocked at how few sailors participated. I did not get a sense that laser sailors felt compelled to race their NAs year after year for the social ties/fun factor. Is this a difference over the 40 years in the class (I could be completely off base and just looked at a small amount of data). I would not expect much difference in the nuts and bolts of the NA's....so I would look at the social side of the class. (now.... maybe a dick forest event is not about anything more then competition but the drinking should be epic)
  13. This one is easy.... when the class elevates its focus to the elite ... best in the world group of sailors.... it falls out of touch with the rank and file sailor..... when the class can't speak to the most enthusiastic and lousy sailor and the gold medal world class sailor, the sense of community is lost.... and the perception is that the class and you are going at cross purposes.... so then its a matter of principle to join or not join. IME, the Viper 640 class has actually thought about this kind of world and made good choices. It is dispiriting to have to walk away from the class when you feel your principles are not honored versus just wanting a change of scenery (and for Wess, you have to acknowledge his tenacity in banging this particular drum)
  14. JimC do you really think the class officials can pull off this kind of process. Previous suggestions of this kind were met with a high amount of skepticism. Second question.... do you think the top competitors will believe this system..... or will "common knowledge led by the fastest guy at the time control the story? IMO... if they can't pull both of these big things off.... the class follows the Tornado class history.
  15. hmmm..... this smells like the classic Tornado class life cycle. Multiple builders providing boats to solid fleets based in Yacht clubs. The sailors ranged from club to the Olympic hopefuls and the competition was distributed throughout North America. Meanwhile Hobie, Nacra and others were selling huge numbers of boats to the great unwashed of grass roots sailors who were locked out of most yacht clubs. and then Marstrom entered the market and built a far superior boat at a premium price . As boats were used up.... nobody wanted a new second best boat and the fun factor racing against the elite diminished. The club sailors moved out and just a handful moved onto beach cats. In the last 20 olympic years of the class, club sailing was gone and remained viable only in Europe and now just really Germany. Just like Lasers with their fealty to the construction manual = laser = ovington laser, the Tornado came to mean Marstrom Tornado. IME, Elite competition and the reality of superior boats at premium prices is not a recipe for successful club racing fleets. Its gonna take a lot of leadership to hold a class together when it has structurally split in two. the key will be those grass roots sailors who compete at regional championships and occasionally compete at the national level. Do their interest align with the international sailor or the club sailor back home. Unlike the multihull world, where the Tornado remained the best ride available, the Olympic trials committee found other boats were superior. can LPE build a following in 2020 with a cheaper laser? Cat sailors don't say this about the Hobie 16 (which has the most active racing class going in NA) either.