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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  
freewheelin

Why don't more people race?

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I am genuinely curious. It seems like every other day, some young couple is on youtube "selling everything and buying a sailboat!" How many aren't popping up on our youtube feeds? Ignoring the patreon crap, it seems that cruising has had a resurgence in popularity. Why not racing? There is definitely an interest in sailing, but the face of the sport seems to be the need to quit your job and buy some "bluewater" tank that you have no idea how to sail.

We seems to be in a time when getting into the sport at its most basic level is cheaper than ever, with old fiberglass racer/cruisers sitting in yards all over. For a few grand into a 20-something ft. boat and new sails, young people could be getting out on the water every weekend and mixing it up and having a blast. A few grand more each year for maintenance, mooring, storage, etc. and they can stay out on the water. Honestly, until i joined a club program a few years ago I had no idea that was the case, and thought that sail boat racing was only for the rich. With phrf fleets dying across the country, those racing in those fleets seem happy to perpetuate the rich man's sport image. Why?

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This is like:

A Porsche driver wondering why all the people traveling the country in Winnebagos are not racing 911s instead.

Tour De France officials noticing all the bikes for sale at Walmart and complaining none of the buyers seem headed to France to race.

The Jersey Speed Skiff people are getting puzzled why all the people doing the Great Loop in a Grand Banks 42 are not racing Speed Skiffs.

MG_8803-X2.jpg

Grandbanks42mid.png

These are really the same, right?

BTW - scammers on Youtube trying to get paid to sail are not a real gauge of activity anyway.

 

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7 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

This is like:

A Porsche driver wondering why all the people traveling the country in Winnebagos are not racing 911s instead.

Tour De France officials noticing all the bikes for sale at Walmart and complaining none of the buyers seem headed to France to race.

Not really. More like:

Someone sitting on their couch watching the tour de france. Then watching youtube videos (and donating to the patreon account) of someone tanking a mountain biking backpacking trip. Never realizing that they could use that money to buy a bike on ebay, get out riding on the weekends, and do a bike rally with some friends a   

Or someone watching Olympic track and field, then watching backpackers on youtube. But never thinking to go out jogging or hiking and sign up for the local 5k.

(maybe i should have clarified, I am talking about local beer can racing and cruising on the weekends, not sportboat racing)

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I quit racing on other people's boats after a long weekend of verbal abuse from one of the local North Sails pros...we took second and would have won had the St. Frantic not fucked up the Sunday race. I decided that at my age, life is too short to put up with that bullshit. I now limit my racing to a friend's K6 in too much breeze and too much bay chop.

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IMHO racing is best done with a small number of friends, or solo.  Two-up is good, too.

I can't imagine being a cog in a huge "syndicate".  I also quit going out on random boats after catching a couple of flying elbows while tailing the primaries from a punk whom I really should have clocked.

 

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I got tired of being doubled over a lifeline with a tactician sitting in the cockpit hollering "Hike Bitches!" That gets old real fast. If that's what it takes to win these days, I'd rather lose while sitting comfortably on the high side with a beer in my hand. Fast is no longer that much fun.

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The last 3 posts pretty much sum up my feelings on the matter.  Most enjoyable racing I've done in the past 10 years was 3 up on an Archambault 31.  Least enjoyable was with a cast of thousands on an ILC 40.

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8 minutes ago, 12 metre said:

The last 3 posts pretty much sum up my feelings on the matter.  Most enjoyable racing I've done in the past 10 years was 3 up on an Archambault 31.  Least enjoyable was with a cast of thousands on an ILC 40.

Hey!  That hurt, man.

 

 

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Ok, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I am new at all this. I did my first racing as a teenager on some 40 some ft Farr design that took way too many people to run - and had little regular crew. The only thing I liked about it was that I was on the water, but never had interest in racing.

Fast forward to a few years ago, joined a boat club and was day-sailing on J/24s - again happy to be on the water - but had no interest in racing them. After some prodding and some "its a j/24 after all" conversations, I eventually did start racing and love it. Mostly just 2-up with my wife, sometimes with friends. We aren't good, but we stay in the mix and always win on most fun and beer drinking. Had me wondering why we were the youngest ones out there, and why young people aren't getting into small, cheaper boats.

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If I were not five decades into it, my last race could easily have been my last race. Yelling, needless aggression, fuckery, collision.

This is a small local fleet, 6~7 boats. There has been one boat that dominated the last two years but their advantage (whatever it was) has slipped and now 4 or 5 of the boat could win any race.

I had agreed to skipper a friend's boat while he was away. I know all the crew, have sailed with most of them at one point or another on different boats. The breeze was nice, a little on the strong side for these boats (15 ~18 gusting a little higher) but exhilerating. I focused primarily on getting the crew work into sync, especially the spinnaker hoists. We got in 3 races, the first race I got a good pin end start and stayed in second place the whole way around. In the 2nd race all the boats were a little tighter on the line and we were in the mid-line scrum, another boat decided it was more important to fuck us over than to get a good start themselves, setting off a domino effect of collisions and bad karma. Managed to salvage a 3rd in that race, picking up a few places on a good spinnaker set & take-down. Third race, just after the start, we got creamed by a port tacker who then wanted to yell at me that we should not even be in this race etc etc. That, coupled with a genoa car that kept sliding forward under load, put us next to last.

The collisions (especially in a friend's boat), and getting yelled at by people who think the rules just mean I should keep the fuck out of their way, ruined what would have been really nice sail. If I didn't have other fish to fry I would give up racing. If I were a relative newbie just learning how to sail, I would stop right there.

Most racing sailors have no idea how big an asshole they turn into, just because it's a race.

FB- Doug

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37 minutes ago, freewheelin said:

Ok, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I am new at all this. I did my first racing as a teenager on some 40 some ft Farr design that took way too many people to run - and had little regular crew. The only thing I liked about it was that I was on the water, but never had interest in racing.

Fast forward to a few years ago, joined a boat club and was day-sailing on J/24s - again happy to be on the water - but had no interest in racing them. After some prodding and some "its a j/24 after all" conversations, I eventually did start racing and love it. Mostly just 2-up with my wife, sometimes with friends. We aren't good, but we stay in the mix and always win on most fun and beer drinking. Had me wondering why we were the youngest ones out there, and why young people aren't getting into small, cheaper boats.

If more of us followed your lead (see bolded text in quote), more would be sailing. There's a reason the hot rums in SD get >100 boats while the "more serious" events get way less. Not to say that we don't enjoy racing full-on with a finely tuned and intensely focused team, but when that's the only game, year in and year out, it gets old. Since the '60s, I've had long periods when most of my sailing was intense racing and long periods when it wasn't. It's the pure joy of sailing and being on the water with family and friends that  keeps me coming back again and again.

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Takes too much time.

Takes too much money.  

Takes putting up with other people who think they are either in the america's cup or are lawyers for the america's cup.  

 

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In IOR we used to rate a winning boat by their cuisine and beverage.    Filet mignon always won over pb&j .      As you age racing morphs into a personal subjective thing.    When you want to race you pick out a boat  and try to overtake and pass whilst  having a fine beverage of choice and a fine cigar and a relaxed atmosphere.    All the above posts are accurate but a little forgiving as well.     Racing in the hands of youth is mainly testosterone shiite and rudeness .    A proper Corinthian race should consider  apres vous Alphonse as the watchword if in close quarters.    It is not the Olympics out there.     Collisions should be terminal offences.

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long time liveaboard

fun run a few Columbus day races [tag along not entered]

and a few very informal anchorage based races among friends

even have had a bunch of racing dinks but only used as a dink or daysailors,  raven windmill blue jay 420 laser2 hobie 18 + others

not a yacht club type

money my boats were older cheaper as were the sails and maybe not class legal never cared

crew most single or with wife and or kids

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The best racing I ever did was dinghy racing.  Same boats, it's strictly a skill game.  You could make money tacking off a five degree header.  One crew.  You know what place you're in by just counting boats. 

The bigger stuff never compared, for me, nor who owed who how many seconds per mile.  I mean it's okay, but just doesn't have the body English.

Unfortunately OD racing in small boats has declined for reasons we've all discussed ad nauseum.  And handicap racing (and racing huge ODs) has become too much of a money game.

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Just my perspective... Way back when i started in the late 70's, the amateur rule was pretty widely recognized and adhered to. This made a pretty level playing field. Sure there were some rule stretchers, and always some guy with a boatload of money to spend on sails and electronics. Also, with the IOR, there were a lot of boats with interiors (OK, Admiral's Cup etc., didn't but stay with me here).

Now that pros and weekend warriors can be on the same course, and the glam regattas (Transpac, BBS, etc.) have a lot of high tech stuff on the line, it's like NASCAR allowing anyone who wants to run in the Daytona 500. Sure I have my Camry XLS on the line, but I'm also up against the striped out high tech cars with a pro team. Guess who's going to lose.

 

A bit the same with sailing. If I show up for Transpac in my Valiant 40, and someone else has a TP 52, same story. After a while you figure out that the pros have an advantage, because sailing is their job. Me? I'm a teacher so I am out on the water a whole lot less, nursing 10 year old sails, because a new main is like a 2 year boat budget. I just get tired of it and go cruising.

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it seems like in the 80s and early 90s people were getting out in whatever they had and could afford and were mixing it up. is it sail technology that is creating the divide between weekend warriors and the more hardcore?

Where I am sailing, it is all weekend warriors, so that keeps things a little more competitive. It seems so far for us that our decisions end up mattering much more than the boat we are sailing. Perhaps because the shitty club boat is often outdone by our shitty tactics (but that is another story).

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2 hours ago, Expat Canuck said:

Hey!  That hurt, man.

 

 

Sorry Expat - that had more to do with the number of bodies on the boat rather than anything to do with the boat itself.  Could have listed off numerous other instances but that one stood out partly because of the miserable weather that day - but mainly because of the wall to wall bodies.  Same thing happened on a Laser 28 where we had 8 bodies IIRC - but at least the weather was great that day.

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Speaking of bodies on the rail, more and more I'm beginning to believe (at least in PHRF) that crew limits being as high as they are is part of the problem.  8 crew on a 30 footer is nuts.  There's jobs for 5, maybe 6 of them.  But in anything other than light air, you're at a disadvantage if you don't have railmeat...

I know the counter argument is that lets newer folk get out sailing, but what I think really happens is it makes it less fun, esp if you don't have a job but be rail meat.

The other factor is the desire to win vs. go have fun with your friends.  The more important winning is, the more $$ must be spent, the harder it becomes to get into the sport, or to stay with it if you're in it....

 

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if you race to win, good luck with that. 

We race to have fun.

Winning is usually more fun than losing, but less fun than getting all wee-wee'd up and having to contend with idiots. 

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, LionessRacing said:

if you race to win, good luck with that. 

We race to have fun.

Winning is usually more fun than losing, but less fun than getting all wee-wee'd up and having to contend with idiots. 

 

 

 

+1 for racing to have fun. Beer tastes better on the water.

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I think you see all the videos about cruisers because most of the people in that scene spend time preparing and sitting on the dock and day dreaming. They have the time to fantasize and watch.

Most of the people who race actually race as racing tends to be accessible and easily achievable without serious time off. Racers are more interested in a 5 minute video on sail trim or technical videos on how to longboard a hull. Plus no one wants to watch a vid on a 5ksb doing PHRF unless they own the same boat.

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Sailboat racing is hard.  People suck.  It costs money and time.  For those who enjoy it enough, they get over those things and try to get others to do the same.  Sailing and racing is growing in my neck of the woods but it's taking a lot of work from many people.  It also requires some folks to get over themselves and learn how to shut the fuck up.  

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21 minutes ago, Cape_taco12 said:

I think you see all the videos about cruisers because most of the people in that scene spend time preparing and sitting on the dock and day dreaming. They have the time to fantasize and watch.

Most of the people who race actually race as racing tends to be accessible and easily achievable without serious time off. Racers are more interested in a 5 minute video on sail trim or technical videos on how to longboard a hull. Plus no one wants to watch a vid on a 5ksb doing PHRF unless they own the same boat.

yeah good point. my feed has definitely changed since i started racing. just wish there was the someone showing young people that you can still have a blast on the water without quitting your job, sinking a fortune into a boat, or using your almost naked girlfriend as clickbait thumbnails

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15 minutes ago, freewheelin said:

yeah good point. my feed has definitely changed since i started racing. just wish there was the someone showing young people that you can still have a blast on the water without quitting your job, sinking a fortune into a boat, or using your almost naked girlfriend as clickbait thumbnails

That’s true, it would be refreshing to see a racing video with some entertainment value added. Most seem to be grainy go-pros and music. 

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Racing requires learning. Learning in different conditions. Learning the boat. Learning the crew. There are so many variables. "We" of us with no hair, gray hair or colored hair have eons of experience.  Newbies to racing suffer as they don't have the knowledge.  And it will take them eons to learn to catch up to the rest of us.  Why would they want to start and lose all races for eons, before they get a chance to win a plastic pickle dish?

 

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Race ? are you crazy? I am waaaaay to competitive to race my house.

I would have to unload 2 x 50 lb anchors, 500 ft of 3/8th chain 300 lbs of engine spares etc etc. Then the solar panels bimini and dodger have to go. The boom comes down 21 inches and I need to get the crispy brown sails out of storage.

then the haulout to sand the bottom smooth and swap the fixed three blader for the dinky little folder

Nope just not  happening. 

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I've answered this before.

Yacht clubs (who put on the races) have cut themselves off from everyone but rich white boys. They've accomplished this by their recruiting policies, the vestiges of which remain today.

That's fine, but while there may be folks of color who would race, there ain't that many rich white boys who race. Of the rich white boys who own boats, some of them are just cruisers, leaving you an even smaller pool of folks to recruit.

Here in Seattle, I've joined the only yacht club that is free of such practices, Sloop Tavern.

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Money. It's really that simple. 

Go cruising and your sails last years and you don't have a bunch of kids throwing winch handles over the side etc, etc. 

I've done my share of paying bills - the next boat will be something I can live on and cruise. Happy racing on a friend's 'old banger' 20 year old sports boat for kicks......and we win!!! 

 

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I think it's been well stated above and I'm likely just adding to the noise.

The trouble with racing is getting crew together.  The solution is to race 1 or 2 up, but that's a whole different discussion.  Walk down any gangway and look at how many boats that have the capability of kicking ass in a division never leave the dock.  This past weekend was the kick off race for the local club/season and there were a lot of "hot boats" tied to the dock that I've not seen at a start line in years.  Any one of those boats would have done very well with a marginally competent crew.

It's tough getting crew out -- Owners need a pool of 2-3x crew complement to fill the boat and are constantly getting the call an hour before dock time saying "Sorry, dude....".  That gets old, so it's easier to not enter the series...hence boats at the dock.

Crewing and finding the right boat is a challenge -- so much of a part of the success of a crew is the personality match on the boat.  In my experience, the success of a race or series isn't based on the trophies won, but is more about the experience, but it took me a long time to learn this.  If your first day out is with with Captain Bligh and you are a number whose sole purpose in life is to shut up, to stay out of the way and to sit on the rail at the shrouds and hike like a SOB, you're not going to come back (particularly here in the PNW where we race when wind happens -- the winter).  I think it takes a lot of trials before you find a group of people you connect with, and usually it takes a lot of incidents before you really know if the crew "clicks".  This whole iterative cycle can be frustrating -- it's years of work getting a crew to meld before consistent results start to come together. 

I'm not sure that our society embraces the concept of "committed effort for an extended period of time before measuring success".

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It's just like government.  The monkeys are in charge of the bananas.  Sailmakers run the system and they make money selling sails.  The rules and rating systems are set up to sell sails.  Read that stupid Doyle triple fucked luff rule cheater system thread for just one example.  

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so, what I'm hearing  is 

1.   "getting crew is too hard".....I call bullshit.....I started with me, oftentimes simnglehanded or if I was lucky double handed. then I asked a friend and taught him how to sail.  Then I invited another couple, and fed them and bought the beer and made sure that I taught them as we raced (and 2 years ago lost more than we won)  then  I recruited 3 more  and taught them  and then I recruited three more......now I have a stable of 6 or 7 that I call each week and always get 4 plus myself for a wednesday night.....then we started winning  and having them come out for weekend races was easier....then I got them to drive out to the boat on Long Island Sound for a distance race.....   it starts with building a team.....that's almost as much fun as winning.....and keeping the team happy, fed, laughing  and WINNING.....

 

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If handicap in a lot of the US, phrf sucks balls.  There's always a blatant agenda on the phrf rating board willing to fuck over at least part of the fleet so they or their buddies keep winning trophies- at least that's been my experience for the last 20 years.  Sucks to lose against inferior sailors with shitty crew work and poor tactics. 

I'm still racing though. . Most people give up but guess I'm still addicted regardless of the BS.  Woe is me...  A real sailor always needs somethin to bitch at.

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Back when I was racing, I reckoned I sailed 100 days/year minimum. For every hour's sailing (whether training or racing) there were several hours of travelling, bimbling etc. It was great fun, but it was pretty much my life.

Now I'm racing bicycles, probably at a comparable level. Still have to drive to most races, but I can ride to some. Not only does training start the moment I get out of the door, but I can do it on the way to work; yes - I get two hours of training for free, every day, just by riding my bike to work. Total cost is about 10% of what I was spending sailing; I could probably replace all my race bikes for the money we used to spend on sails in one year.

Fundamentally, for me, racing boats was fantastic when it was the only thing I cared about. Now I have other responsibilities, I need something I can fit in around the more important stuff. That either means sailing a sheddy old Laser at my local club every Sunday morning, or switching to a sport that's less demanding of my time/money, and still being good at it.

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Rules, regulations, meetings, more club rules, old guys who squabble over who gets to be the little  next dictator or (Commodore). Think I will just go sailing.  

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I second the $$$ responses. Racing is hell on the gear. Improvements are constant, shelf lives short. Everyone wants to win, but that new carbon fiber (insert part here) is going to coast you $5k and might get you another .1 kt. That, and tacticians are in short supply.

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46 minutes ago, CALHOON said:

Rules, regulations, meetings, more club rules, old guys who squabble over who gets to be the little  next dictator or (Commodore). Think I will just go sailing.  

Well, to a large extent, that's exactly what it's all about. Ignore the bullshit and take what benefit is there in the system.

For many years, I worked pretty hard at competitive sailing, and some of the mos fun I've ever had was within the circle of fairly high level one-design competition. But it does take work to get there, and there are a lot of distraction within the sport itself. Also, I have a larger view of sailing as more than just a sport or a "lifestyle." Sailing is all about being a sailor...... and to be a sailor is to be a certain type of person, a good thing.

Why stay involved in racing at all, you can just go sailing any time you want. Well, the reality is that you can't. But if you have a race scheduled, you can put it on your calendar and say, "This day, for this interval of time, I am sailing." It opens a gap in all the intrusions and the million interruptions/distractions, and by God, you go sailing. The other reason is, it keeps you involved/engaged with other sailors.

 

2 hours ago, bgytr said:

If handicap in a lot of the US, phrf sucks balls.  There's always a blatant agenda on the phrf rating board willing to fuck over at least part of the fleet so they or their buddies keep winning trophies- at least that's been my experience for the last 20 years.  Sucks to lose against inferior sailors with shitty crew work and poor tactics. 

I'm still racing though. . Most people give up but guess I'm still addicted regardless of the BS.  Woe is me...  A real sailor always needs somethin to bitch at.

PHRF sucks in many ways, but it also has many strengths. If you are serious about a contest of sailing skill, then go one-design. Pick a class that suits your physique and your wallet, and hone those skillz. One of the best times in my life was college sailing, when rigorous practice in starts.... and starts.... and more starts.... then mark roundings.... has given me the continued ability (a bit degraded these days by lack of practice) to avoid the usual fusterclucks (most of the time). And it was fun to do this in the company of other sailors.

The great thing about PHRF is that you can buy almost any boat, and bring it out, and sail in company your friends/neighbors. It's a social event. Some get to sweat the details over tuning, some obsess with "fair" ratings (ha ha), others find status in club offices. And we need people to run it or it won't happen, so don't be too much of an ingrate. At some point perhaps you will volunteer to be on the ratings committee..................

FB- Doug

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Is there a future in racing from community sailing centers rather than mostly out of yacht clubs??  There are more and more of them coming on line, I think.  I recently rented a Sonar from such a place in Burlington Vermont, my first sail on Lake Champlain.   Racing and practice was going on all afternoon, high school and UVM teams.

New Orleans is working towards starting a sailing center in the outer marina here.  Will take money and time, but it'll happen. 

Poor kids should get to learn to sail and race, if they want to, and they won't want to 'til they get to try it.  Someone has to pay for all this, often a mix of public (waterfront space) and private (stuff you build on the space, and buying boats).  Otherwise we'll still be all rich kids (later adults), as the middle class keep getting priced out, and the poor were never "in" to start with.  I came up in that middle class in the '60s, but nearby was Community Boating in Boston, where kids without two nickels to rub together became accomplished racers in those clunky, but adequate, Mercurys. 

A possible education analogy--sailing has become too private-school, could use more good public or charter schools.  The classrooms and equipment may be scruffy and well-used, but you learn almost as much as the Richie-Riches.

(full disclosure--I'm on the marina board that will lease space to them, and would like to teach there once the Center gets going.  So maybe I'm biased)

 

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I owned my last boat for a little over a dozen years, took her to 5 starting lines. 1- Stonington, Ct. to Boothbay Maine (Lobster Run); 4-Marion-Bermuda.

She wasn't really suitable for buoy racing - 24,000# on a 31.5' waterline, she couldn't accelerate with the lighter boats in short races. I did the distance races to improve my own seamanship and offshore skills, and because, being from Texas and not knowing many sailors at the time, it was unlikely I would get an invite to crew for others.

I initially raised my crews at Cruising Anarchy, and along the way gave a fair number of nice people their first offshore rides, whether it was on the race or the return. Others were hugely experienced and taught me a lot. Bermuda crew I had over the years included Boomberries, WunHungLow, MoeAlfa, TimFordi550, Bmiller, D'ranger, Innocent Bystander, Slick470. These are all super nice people, and I would sail again with any of them, any time. Having them aboard was an interesting way to meet them face to face for the first time.

Along the way I met a lot of nice people and got invited to join a couple of clubs, and I joined what I think is one of the best sailing clubs in New England. This club is, literally, overflowing with great people and great sailors, it's likely most of my future crew will come from there, but it's not likely that I will do much more than 2-5 races a year, simply because they interfere with cruising with my wife, which is the primary use of the boat. Since the new boat is a Spirit of Tradition woody, I'll be doing Eggemoggin Reach every year, maybe the Newport Classic around Labor Day. Other than that, I still think 350 miles is a good short race and Bermuda is nice every other year.

Non-owners have no idea of the amount of hassle and logistics involved in a Bermuda race. Compliance, rating certificates, inspections, safety training. Boat prep is expensive and time consuming, most of the work falls on the shoulders of the owner, and since I live 2000 miles from the boat, it's a major hassle.

 

 

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4 hours ago, dacapo said:

so, what I'm hearing  is 

1.   "getting crew is too hard".....I call bullshit.....I started with me, oftentimes simnglehanded or if I was lucky double handed. then I asked a friend and taught him how to sail.  Then I invited another couple, and fed them and bought the beer and made sure that I taught them as we raced (and 2 years ago lost more than we won)  then  I recruited 3 more  and taught them  and then I recruited three more......now I have a stable of 6 or 7 that I call each week and always get 4 plus myself for a wednesday night.....then we started winning  and having them come out for weekend races was easier....then I got them to drive out to the boat on Long Island Sound for a distance race.....   it starts with building a team.....that's almost as much fun as winning.....and keeping the team happy, fed, laughing  and WINNING.....

 

+1 on building a team. The crew I sail with has been a work in progress for several years and in that time the owner has had 3 different boats. Originally (and long before I moved here) the crew was a bunch of friends who learned how to sail together. Many of them are still on the boat. From that core on the original J/29, things progressed. The owner upgraded to a J/92. Our current main trimmer joined the crew several years ago, after a lifetime of beach cat racing and results started getting better. in 2014 several crew members had kid/job/family issues that kept them from racing and results got worse. The boat sat on the hard for a little while at that point - future uncertain. I moved to the area at the end of the 2014 season and started hunting for a ride for 2015. I heard from a friend that there was a J/92 that needed some crew and contacted the owner. We had a couple big regatta wins that summer and started being competitive in our Wednesday series, which is very competitive and includes a singlehand Transpac  winner and winners of multiple Trans-Superiors and Macs. By 2016 we were winning regularly, and also winning the post-race. Beer consumption per capita, good snacks on board, reggae music, and swimming/diving from the spreaders were all at heroic levels. At that time, the owner (under consultation from a few of the afterguard) decided that with good, consistent core crew, it was a good time to get a really fast boat and go have some fun - so he bought a Melges 32.

This was a quantum leap in our racing history. We knew we needed more people on board to keep us flat in anything but light air PHRF rules limit crew to 10 on our boat, so we needed to increase our crew pool to hedge on the side of having 10 for heavy air nights and have peopel not get pissed at being turned away.  So we brought friends and family who were mildly interested out for booze cruise pleasure sails on the 32. It was a little like dealing drugs. Bring someone who has only ever sailed on a 4ksb out on a beautiful day and get them doing 15kt with a beer in hand, then tell them they can have that anytime they want, as long as it is on a Wednesday night, and they might not get the call all the time. We almost instantly had 16-20 available anytime we needed, and not a certifiable asshole in the bunch. We also scored a major coup when the friend who recommended this crew to me decided to leave the Farr 30 he had been racing with to come and be our tactician, citing the fact that not only were all of his friends crewing on our boat, but we also had craft beer and hot, wood-fired pizzas instead of Bud light and Subway. WE also knew that this was going to be a major learning curve, and all of the key crew set to doing our homework - trim, crew position, rapid transitioning between planing and soak mode. We have an inordinate number of engineers and scientists on board, and configured electronics to help speed the learning curve of a new boat - helping us know when we were fast enough. WE automated spreadsheets to build us custom polars as the season progressed. We did all of these things of our own volition because as a team, we wanted to win. The owner was on board for whatever we wanted to do, but it was ALWAYS a team project. We showed up early on race days and got out on the lake early to see where the shifts were and tune the boat. 

And we won.... a lot. A couple regatta wins, almost every Wednesday race, almost every weekend nearshore, Boat-of-the-year. A couple of bitter old bastards at the awards dinner had the gall to tell us they thought we bought the trophies by showing up with a hot boat after winning BOTY, but a few more knowledgeable owners gave us props for the effort we had put in to learning a new boat, developing the program, and building a good team. One actually said "Anytime you have extra crew looking for a ride, send them my way. Your 6th best guy is better than my best guy."

But we still did all of the other fun things that we do as a group of friends. It's probably the only Melges 32 that has been anchored stern-towards for waterfront concerts. It is probably the only one that is subjected to semi regular family sails with kids and dogs. We show up at  regattas with a ping pong table and cornhole boards in our the enclosed sail trailer. We win the party. 

Winning is fun. Building a team and working towards a goal with a group of good friends is fun. Winning when that hard work pays off is awesome.

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33 minutes ago, nolatom said:

Poor kids should get to learn to sail and race, if they want to, and they won't want to 'til they get to try it. 

Agree 100%. This goes for everyone. Not just poor people. So many people we have brought out with us sare like "Sailing... meh..." Then we get the boat rolling and they're hooked.

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4 hours ago, dacapo said:

so, what I'm hearing  is 

1.   "getting crew is too hard".....I call bullshit.....I started with me, oftentimes simnglehanded or if I was lucky double handed. then I asked a friend and taught him how to sail.  Then I invited another couple, and fed them and bought the beer and made sure that I taught them as we raced (and 2 years ago lost more than we won)  then  I recruited 3 more  and taught them  and then I recruited three more......now I have a stable of 6 or 7 that I call each week and always get 4 plus myself for a wednesday night.....then we started winning  and having them come out for weekend races was easier....then I got them to drive out to the boat on Long Island Sound for a distance race.....   it starts with building a team.....that's almost as much fun as winning.....and keeping the team happy, fed, laughing  and WINNING.....

 

You can call "bullshit" all you like. You're new here and if you had bothered to search, you'd see that this topic has been debated to death and there are common themes in each old thread. Admittedly, the evidence is anecdotal, but every time this topic comes up, it generates 30 pages of the same statements and complaints so there may just be something to these complaints.

The usual suspects are:

-  Less disposable time than in previous decades.

- Less disposable income than in previous decades.

- Difficulty finding crew, difficulty finding *competent, reliable crew*, fed up with chasing/managing crew, increased logistical expenses of caring/feeding/housing crew.

- The "Arms Race"-  Essentially, people buying their way to the Wednesday night beer can podium either through racing sport boats against old lead mines or equipping lead mines with top-flight gear each season and outspending their competitors.

- Inaccurate/outdated/unfair handicapping systems.

- Corrupt ratings boards/good 'ol boy networks.

- Racing is no longer "family friendly."  Aggro, Type A personalities firing their family crews and recruiting other Type A personalities.

- Racing boats are no longer family friendly. Instead of dual-purpose racer-cruisers or cruiser-racers, race boats are stripped-out egg shells that require everyone to gut-hike over the lifelines, shit in buckets and eat shitty, freeze-dried food on the rail while getting bitch-slapped by boarding waves.

 

All of these factors affect different people to different degrees. Many of these factors may not apply directly to you, but that doesn't mean that they don't affect other skippers and to summarily dismiss them indicates that you don't really care about finding solutions.

My personal situation is that the Arms Race coupled with difficulty retaining/managing competent crew, let me to create CHESSS- The Chesapeake Bay Shorthanded Sailing Society.  (www.chbaysss.org) We are 100+ sailors (and growing) who race single or doublehanded. No limit on size or type of boat.  We have husband/wife teams who race with infants tucked in belowdecks, crusty old solo guys and "best buddy" doublehanded teams. Our participation rate this year was a little better than 40% of members engaging in at least one event.

Another solution that has sprung up in our area is the CRCA- The Chesapeake Racer-Cruiser Association.  This ticks many of the boxes I listed above- racing dual purpose boats, racing with family, circumventing the Arms Race.  The sub-classes are specifically constructed to prevent the asshole with the J/30 who can't win his one design races from masquerading as a "cruiser" and shitting all over the cruiser class for easy trophies.

These two classes are shoring up the numbers while PHRF and some OD classes are dwindling.

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4 minutes ago, Ajax said:

 

My personal situation is that the Arms Race coupled with difficulty retaining/managing competent crew, let me to create CHESSS- The Chesapeake Bay Shorthanded Sailing Society.  (www.chbaysss.org) We are 100+ sailors (and growing) who race single or doublehanded. No limit on size or type of boat.  We have husband/wife teams who race with infants tucked in belowdecks, crusty old solo guys and "best buddy" doublehanded teams. Our participation rate this year was a little better than 40% of members engaging in at least one event.

Another solution that has sprung up in our area is the CRCA- The Chesapeake Racer-Cruiser Association.  This ticks many of the boxes I listed above- racing dual purpose boats, racing with family, circumventing the Arms Race.  The sub-classes are specifically constructed to prevent the asshole with the J/30 who can't win his one design races from masquerading as a "cruiser" and shitting all over the cruiser class for easy trophies.

These two classes are shoring up the numbers while PHRF and some OD classes are dwindling.

I applaud you for finding a solution that is applicable beynd your own boat. Many others just complain about low numbers on the start line.

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6 minutes ago, ajbram said:
41 minutes ago, nolatom said:

Poor kids should get to learn to sail and race, if they want to, and they won't want to 'til they get to try it. 

Agree 100%. This goes for everyone. Not just poor people. So many people we have brought out with us sare like "Sailing... meh..." Then we get the boat rolling and they're hooked.

Zackly

I'm not kidding when I say that becoming a sailor makes you a different person. I think that to be a sailor is the coolest thing anybody can be, except perhaps an astronaut. But it's not just cool; it's being a capable person. It's having skills, being observant, willing teamwork, ability to pursue a goal even when the wind is against you.

Here http://nbnjrotc-sail.blogspot.com/ is the high school program I volunteer on/in. Most of these kids have never seen a real boat before they come out to try sailing. Very few of them will continue in the sport of sailing. All of them walk away with an increased appreciation for the maritime environment, at the very very least. The ones who qualify as sailors (basic skipper) gain in communication skills, self-reliance, self confidence, and leadership.

I frankly don't give a fuck if these kids continue sailing as a sport or a hobby. This is my ninth year, so it's too soon to have former sailing students bring their kids into the program but I have former students from this group who are now serving in the military, one doctor, several nurses, a highway patrolman and some other LEOs, and several business managers. I am hoping that one day I will be invited to the ceremony where one of "my" cadets takes command of a US Navy ship. But in the meantime, I (and all the coaches) truly believe that we are making the world a better place, one kid at a time.

Community sailing programs can admirably perform this.... it takes work but it is absolutely worth doing. Plus, it's fun!

FB- Doug

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Interesting topic, I raced hard for years and have been one of those dicks on the water in the past (now I'm a recovering dick). While I still race I'm no longer obsessed with winning and it has made it so much more fun. PHRF is a good excuse to get out and use your boat and practice with your crew. Chasing PHRF championship is out for me. Since getting the Schock 35 and joining the SoCal OD fleet I've been fortunate enough to race with some really good people who while competitive (read want to sail well) are anything but dicks. The racing is close and fun and the fleet is welcomed where ever we go because every knows we are not going to cause a fuss. So in the end it really comes down to the type of boat you buy will put you in a fleet full of great people or dickheads. If you buy an ILC 40 or some other rocket ship you know who you are racing with.  

As for why are no new racers coming out? We as yacht clubs don't promote racing for beginners. It's Lidos, big bucks in or nothing. Most boats in our harbor don't fit into any of the categories. Today's Catalina 27 owner is tomorrows Schock 35 owner if they have a place to feel like they belong.   

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This topic comes up several times a year here. The summary is generally a mix of:

  • No spare time
  • No spare $$
  • Hard to get/keep dedicated crew
  • Yelling and general unpleasantness
  • PHRF/rating games
  • A bazillion other things to do
  • Handicapping is based on the boat, not the skipper/crew experience, so nice boat + new sailors = bottom feeding finishes
  • Etc.

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Rather like grading in high school or university, only about 30% of students are motivated by the idea of beating out someone else. 

Similarly, there are a lot of kids (and adults) who are left cold by the idea of beating another boat across the line. 

If you orient your learn to sail programs toward racing only, you'll lose a lot of potential sailors. 

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1 hour ago, NaptimeAgain said:

This topic comes up several times a year here. The summary is generally a mix of:

  • No spare time
  • No spare $$
  • Hard to get/keep dedicated crew
  • Yelling and general unpleasantness
  • PHRF/rating games
  • A bazillion other things to do
  • Handicapping is based on the boat, not the skipper/crew experience, so nice boat + new sailors = bottom feeding finishes
  • Etc.

+ 1000 ^^^^^ here. One final item, a lot of competitor boats were owned by boomers who are getting tired and fed up with all this and moving to power boats. 

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1 hour ago, NaptimeAgain said:

This topic comes up several times a year here. The summary is generally a mix of:

  • No spare time
  • No spare $$
  • Hard to get/keep dedicated crew
  • Yelling and general unpleasantness
  • PHRF/rating games
  • A bazillion other things to do
  • Handicapping is based on the boat, not the skipper/crew experience, so nice boat + new sailors = bottom feeding finishes
  • Etc.

Here in Plymouth (UK) one of the clubs uses a 'progressive' handicap system. Keep winning and your handicap becomes stiffer. It's allowed newcomers to racing to get a sniff of the podium. Numbers are holding steady but way down on 20 years ago. 

The club also scores under ORC and IRC. Guess what? It's the same boats always at the top! 

 

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26 minutes ago, TimD said:

Here in Plymouth (UK) one of the clubs uses a 'progressive' handicap system. Keep winning and your handicap becomes stiffer. It's allowed newcomers to racing to get a sniff of the podium. Numbers are holding steady but way down on 20 years ago. 

One of the clubs in Seattle played with Golf Handicaps for one of the casual racing series ("Take Your Time Fridays").  It was fun to see a well sailed J/105 move from a handicap of 84 to a handicap of -50 or something in a 8 week series.  It would be interesting to see how golf handicaps work in an event that sailors take more seriously.

 

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2 hours ago, Ajax said:

You can call "bullshit" all you like. You're new here and if you had bothered to search, you'd see that this topic has been debated to death and there are common themes in each old thread. Admittedly, the evidence is anecdotal, but every time this topic comes up, it generates 30 pages of the same statements and complaints so there may just be something to these complaints.

The usual suspects are:

-  Less disposable time than in previous decades.

- Less disposable income than in previous decades.

- Difficulty finding crew, difficulty finding *competent, reliable crew*, fed up with chasing/managing crew, increased logistical expenses of caring/feeding/housing crew.

- The "Arms Race"-  Essentially, people buying their way to the Wednesday night beer can podium either through racing sport boats against old lead mines or equipping lead mines with top-flight gear each season and outspending their competitors.

- Inaccurate/outdated/unfair handicapping systems.

- Corrupt ratings boards/good 'ol boy networks.

- Racing is no longer "family friendly."  Aggro, Type A personalities firing their family crews and recruiting other Type A personalities.

- Racing boats are no longer family friendly. Instead of dual-purpose racer-cruisers or cruiser-racers, race boats are stripped-out egg shells that require everyone to gut-hike over the lifelines, shit in buckets and eat shitty, freeze-dried food on the rail while getting bitch-slapped by boarding waves.

 

All of these factors affect different people to different degrees. Many of these factors may not apply directly to you, but that doesn't mean that they don't affect other skippers and to summarily dismiss them indicates that you don't really care about finding solutions.

My personal situation is that the Arms Race coupled with difficulty retaining/managing competent crew, let me to create CHESSS- The Chesapeake Bay Shorthanded Sailing Society.  (www.chbaysss.org) We are 100+ sailors (and growing) who race single or doublehanded. No limit on size or type of boat.  We have husband/wife teams who race with infants tucked in belowdecks, crusty old solo guys and "best buddy" doublehanded teams. Our participation rate this year was a little better than 40% of members engaging in at least one event.

Another solution that has sprung up in our area is the CRCA- The Chesapeake Racer-Cruiser Association.  This ticks many of the boxes I listed above- racing dual purpose boats, racing with family, circumventing the Arms Race.  The sub-classes are specifically constructed to prevent the asshole with the J/30 who can't win his one design races from masquerading as a "cruiser" and shitting all over the cruiser class for easy trophies.

These two classes are shoring up the numbers while PHRF and some OD classes are dwindling.

i wish i was new here.....................;)  

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1 hour ago, ajbram said:

Agree 100%. This goes for everyone. Not just poor people. So many people we have brought out with us sare like "Sailing... meh..." Then we get the boat rolling and they're hooked.

I couldn't agree more. Had I know in my early 20's how affordable it can be to get out on the water, I would have been all over it. Instead, I thought it was only for rich kids and that you need a 100K "investment" to race sailboats. Honestly, had I not stumbled onto a club boat program, I would still be waiting for retirement to be able to afford to get on the water.

Sailing has a big barrier of entry, not matter what level. But buying a first boat is one of the most confusing and misleading experiences. If I go over the checklist of what I thought I wanted in a boat, and what my wife thought we needed, I have to laugh a bit. Things like number of cabins, anchor rollers, whether one head was enough. Ridiculous. Now my wife is advocating for us to buy a j/24 with a porta-potty so we can do all the work ourselves and save money for sail inventory.

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W/L and back to the bar for the same stories got boring.

Single/double-handed distance racing and getting back too exhausted to walk is a blast, however...

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I started sailing in our local one design fleet (T-Birds) about 8 years ago. We had 5 boats. I bought my own 2 years later with a buddy, and have slowly been dragging the friends I raced big boats with into the fleet. We just brought our 16th and 17th boat to Boston. We should have 15 boats on the water every week next season. Owners range from 30 years old to 80. You can own a race ready boat for under $5K. It's probably the only fleet in our area that is actually growing. Handicap racing has dwindled to half what it was 5-6 years ago. Not sure why...

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Short course windward leeward racing is the ultimate to racers.  It is game on from start to finish. There is no time for chatter, just performance.  No time for training, no time for goof ups and recoveries, no time for anything other than 100% performance.  Teams are created using only experienced racers, who frankly are aging, but have the experiences.  They have honed together and work like a well oiled machine.

This style of racing bodes the end to all racing.  New boats cannot get up to this level any time soon.  Others get tired of having their hat handed to them because they don't put the amount of reading, learning and team building to get up to this level and quit racing.

There are no places for the amateurs to go get training to move up to this level of racing. We have no triple A ball clubs, no T-ball, no pick up games.  You either get the 100% full on racing, or nothing.  We have no feeder.

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I'd love to race our boat and someday I will. We bought it originally for my wife and I to shorthand race and/or slowly build a racing program with friends as crew. At the time, we were both racing on OPBs. A few years later, add in kids and the myriad of kids activities, more responsibilities at work for both of us, a train wreck of an ongoing home renovation....

At this point in life it's so much easier for me to race on other people's boats with people I enjoy racing with than get my act together and race ours. So, for now it's the family daysailer/weekender/work in progress. I'm OK with that. I pretty much sealed in that role when I put on the lifeline netting.   

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Time...

I would say money but honestly if you want to go out and race a boat you can find something wicked cheap, fix it up, and go sailing. I am talking right down to a laser or anything that floats with a sail.

The biggest problem I see right now is TIME. My, and my wife's, schedule is ridiculous. We are both putting in 60 hour weeks most of the time. During the summer months we literally rearrange our entire family schedules around the boat (and racing). It is a bit crazy but we are addicted to the sport/lifestyle...as a family (I know, weird). Example: my 7 and 9 year old stole my phone this morning before school and were tooling around on the VOR app pulling up the tracker. The day before I came down stairs to them watching some video from the boats. We are the exception as a family...not the rule. I honestly believe that we as a society have JAMMED so much into our lives that we just don't have the free opportunities that we used to as far as leisure activities. That leads to not having enough crew, crew development, etc... I will never complain. Any time I get on the water is gravy.

On a positive note -- I will say this, the 2017 season on Narragansett Bay showed a lot of life this year. More boats seemed to be coming out to events (across all spectrums). Mom and pop PHRF boats all the way to the grandprix programs. Our junior program was killing it this year. 

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I'll add that the Sailish blog (http://sailish.com) has a good pair of recent posts on this subject.  One of them has over 200 survey responses, along with comment text that you can read from at least half of those responses.  It reinforces a lot of the common themes.  The questions were pretty good.  Start here:

http://sailish.com/index.php/2017/11/03/and-the-survey-says/

This is obviously Pacific Northwest focused, but the results may translate to other regions too. 

 

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One possible reason why it’s hard to get crew is many of today’s 20 somethings self describe as “stay at home son”. 

Sorry, snowflakes. 

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9 hours ago, Dave S said:

Back when I was racing, I reckoned I sailed 100 days/year minimum. For every hour's sailing (whether training or racing) there were several hours of travelling, bimbling etc. It was great fun, but it was pretty much my life.

Bimbling.  Huh.

I race dinghys (one two-man dinghy when my intrepid crew [daughter] is in town, one single-handed dinghy),  but leave the 4KSB for fun.  I sail in a club that isn't all that competitive, and I've had a ton of fun this year racing my small dinghy alone, which I haven't done in a  couple of years.  Our club doesn't have a protest committee, but if there are rules questions we try to stand around after the race and get a better understanding of what happened and how the rules apply.  After 10 years in the club, I've seen somebody stomp off all pissed off once.  Once. 

Local racing (IMO) should have low-key options like ours for folks who just like to sail.

The 4ksb is for hanging with the LFW.

 

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Ajax, it sounds as though your CHESS sails some around the buoys courses. There's a Pacific Single Handed Association out of MDR but the majority of their events are longer distances. I wonder how you got your group started as I'd personally love to try some round the buoys DH with my wife here in SD. We used to do that all the time when we were young. 

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5 hours ago, Alex W said:

One of the clubs in Seattle played with Golf Handicaps for one of the casual racing series ("Take Your Time Fridays").  It was fun to see a well sailed J/105 move from a handicap of 84 to a handicap of -50 or something in a 8 week series.  It would be interesting to see how golf handicaps work in an event that sailors take more seriously.

 

The progressive handicap is fine if run alongside a proper rating system (so two lots of results to be compiled). The serious racers get results in a form they're used to whilst those less committed or beginners find themselves higher up the fleet. 

As I said, however, the same boats are always at the top regardless of handicap or rating rule! 

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1 hour ago, TimD said:

The progressive handicap is fine if run alongside a proper rating system (so two lots of results to be compiled). The serious racers get results in a form they're used to whilst those less committed or beginners find themselves higher up the fleet. 

As I said, however, the same boats are always at the top regardless of handicap or rating rule! 

Progressive handicap is an interesting idea. Especially when it comes to beercan/twilight fun races. I wonder how that could be implemented. It might also lead to some fun challenges. I've been wanting to be challenged to a point to point race with an agreed upon handicap.

Being a newb it also is a bit weird to me that W/L rating and point to point or distance ratings are all the same. It seems like two different beasts sailing two points of sail vs all points of sail.

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29 minutes ago, freewheelin said:

Progressive handicap is an interesting idea. Especially when it comes to beercan/twilight fun races. I wonder how that could be implemented. It might also lead to some fun challenges. I've been wanting to be challenged to a point to point race with an agreed upon handicap.

Being a newb it also is a bit weird to me that W/L rating and point to point or distance ratings are all the same. It seems like two different beasts sailing two points of sail vs all points of sail.

The progressive handicap isn't unique to the club.

See http://www.rya.org.uk/racing/Pages/nhc.aspx

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The days of "run what you brung" are long gone. Gotta have a purpose built race boat with fragile sails if you don't want people calling your boat a 5 knot shit box.

Add in the YC membership, US Sailing membership, ratings certificate and measurement, fleet membership, race entry fees, safety at sea class', maybe an insurance rider, meeting "racer only" safety regulations,  being told you should also study the appeals section of the racing rules.

It just adds up, and then you realize you'll never get your boat up on foils. 

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Back when I was asking the same question last year...

http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?/topic/179251-what-keeps-non-racing-sailboat-owners-from-racing/

In a nutshell:

  • Sailing is expensive, competitive racing is more expensive and organizing crew can be a pain. If you don’t care about being competitive, why bother?
  • Most people compete in their day jobs. They sail to slow down and enjoy life, not looking for more competition.
  • New competitors are often belittled and ridiculed instead of being supported and welcomed. I’ve seen many come and go after a few races.
  •  
  • Don’t know what’s involved in racing, and don’t know where to find out
  • Afraid of collisions, close quarters, especially mark rounding & starting mayhem
  • Don’t know the rules, don’t want to learn them all before even trying racing (Catch 22), afraid of being protested
  • Don’t know what the race course looks like, don’t have/not familiar with GPS
  • Don’t know how long a race takes, all day, an hour, other?
  • They’ve heard about racers yelling at novices, no thanks.
  • Don't want to look like, or be treated like a fool.
  • Boat not made or equipped for racing, floating condo. Don’t have or don’t want to fly a chute.
  • Not confident in their boat handling, content to know just enough to sail in ideal conditions.
  • No crew, friends are all non-racers too
  • Racers drink too much
  • Bought a boat for rest & relaxation, competing isn’t relaxing!

 

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Attitudes. 

  • those who already race and are dismissive/aggressive towards newcomers
  • those who would not want to be categorized with the dismissive/aggressive  racers that they have observed
  • those who have been around the buoys and are tired of the costs/hassles/frustrations.

You can resolve quite a bit by having "fun" races that get people out on the water, and are not scary, as in the "Three Bridge Fiasco" on SFBay, that get people using their boats, on a semi predetermined course with a pursuit start and only having to worry about the RRS. 

We run an annual "Octoberfest" race where we get a bunch of once a year entries: 

  • the ratings are adjusted at the whim of the RC, and are affected by costumes, skits, number of masts/sails flown etc 
  • placing is only loosely related to finishing time, minutes spent motoring etc
  • Everybody who enters more or less gets a mug, unless you piss off the RC
  • anybody who's too serious is roundly laughed at 

it's not W/L with gates, offsets and three RC boats, but it's getting more people out.  

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1 hour ago, LionessRacing said:

 

We run an annual "Octoberfest" race where we get a bunch of once a year entries: 

  • the ratings are adjusted at the whim of the RC, and are affected by costumes, skits, number of masts/sails flown etc 
  • placing is only loosely related to finishing time, minutes spent motoring etc
  • Everybody who enters more or less gets a mug, unless you piss off the RC
  • anybody who's too serious is roundly laughed at 

it's not W/L with gates, offsets and three RC boats, but it's getting more people out.  

sounds like a blast!

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On 11/7/2017 at 5:44 PM, Swimsailor said:

Sailboat racing is hard.  People suck.  It costs money and time.  For those who enjoy it enough, they get over those things and try to get others to do the same.  Sailing and racing is growing in my neck of the woods but it's taking a lot of work from many people.  It also requires some folks to get over themselves and learn how to shut the fuck up.  

This.

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Our club has a Friday evening series that is no spin, fun event if you are DFL you get 10sec mile added to your rating. If you win you take a 10sec hit. So it's really just a bunch of folks sailing together on a Friday evening. More fun than I can remember also my wife sail in a sanctioned "race" for the first time in 10 years. Win, win.

 

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When I was big into bike racing, night criteriums were a fun way to change things up that also introduced a fresh element of new challenge. 

May be totally a totally dumb idea in this context, but maybe a night race might be something different ....?

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Try reading some of the threads in here with fresh eyes (as in someone who doesn't/hasn't raced).  Really doesn't seem very pleasant.

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Years ago raced various seriously, now I would to race more but so far just the Seattle Downtown series (no handicap, no classes) evening sails. Not really a race more like a beer can excuse to sail on a week night.  My work schedule requires a lot of travel often on short notice and it wouldn't be fair to have crew anticipating a race and then have to cancel at the last minute. For now I'm concentrating on short handed or single handed races, just wish there were more of them in Seattle.

 

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