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Anarchist Chris laments the lack of participation in non-yachting sailing. Fifty years ago when I sailed a Moth that I had built, our club was taken to try the new Laser. Even then it was heavy, slow and very uncomfortable compared to a Moth. It turned out the things don't even have a long racing life, yet they are the Olympic class still. After becoming effectively pro sailors in an Optimist and cutting off their life options, kids can graduate to punishing themselves on a Laser, and most probably not become a champion. This doesn't rate as fun with most people. The fact that you may perhaps be able to win a championship in a two year old Opti doesn't help.

Chris has the idea: he sails an A class cat and an F18, I bet he has a ball. Most of us aren't up to a 49er, and even Frank Bethwaite's 59er for older people, although brilliant, died because it was too hard to keep upright, (I had one). Old scow Moths were a blast, modern foilers not an option for the average weekend warrior, although the Waszp (I have no connections) is promising.

Could less emphasis on professionalism and winning and more on getting out and enjoying the real pleasure of sailing, in fun boats (and kites and windsurfers) bring back the numbers?

Maybe the average punter is really stuffed, trying too hard to survive, to have fun any more.  

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At my club the Snipe  fleet is always healthy....wide age range...people having fun.

After  kids sailing Optimists  , the fleet really thins out ...the snipe seem to go on and on.

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2 hours ago, rinse cycler said:

Anarchist Chris laments the lack of participation in non-yachting sailing. Fifty years ago when I sailed a Moth that I had built, our club was taken to try the new Laser. Even then it was heavy, slow and very uncomfortable compared to a Moth. It turned out the things don't even have a long racing life, yet they are the Olympic class still. After becoming effectively pro sailors in an Optimist and cutting off their life options, kids can graduate to punishing themselves on a Laser, and most probably not become a champion. This doesn't rate as fun with most people. The fact that you may perhaps be able to win a championship in a two year old Opti doesn't help.

Chris has the idea: he sails an A class cat and an F18, I bet he has a ball. Most of us aren't up to a 49er, and even Frank Bethwaite's 59er for older people, although brilliant, died because it was too hard to keep upright, (I had one). Old scow Moths were a blast, modern foilers not an option for the average weekend warrior, although the Waszp (I have no connections) is promising.

Could less emphasis on professionalism and winning and more on getting out and enjoying the real pleasure of sailing, in fun boats (and kites and windsurfers) bring back the numbers?

Maybe the average punter is really stuffed, trying too hard to survive, to have fun any more.  

I only yacht. Sailing is when you're being paid to make a sailboat be someplace else.

Fuck off.

Show us your granddaughter's tits.

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I would take issue with Chris's assumptions below.

"It’s not just that there are no athletic sailing facilities or fleets.  It’s how we train our “sailors.”  We keep our children locked in the least athletic dinghy ever designed – the Opti.  For heavens sake, it was designed to stay upright no matter where you sit.  A great trainer for year 1, but after 4 years – c’mon.  No wonder American kids prefer the next step to be a 40 year old design 420 over a modern 29er or Nacra 15.  After 6 years in a Opti – you want a stable barge."

Coming from Scotland where the average 4 weekends of training over winter for the National Optimist and 420 squad would see at least 50% of the time with wind speeds in the 20knot plus range there is a good reason for stable boats. Upside down boats teach people nothing and all the coaches do is spend their time making sure kids are not dying. We have seen a upsurge in the use of Tera's instead of optimists. The reality is it is not a significantly better boat. Sure the 29er is a good boat however it requires a higher skill level to sail it in 20-25knots of breeze and a seaway that a 420. Instead of kids competing against their peers we have class fragmentation in the UK that will likely lead to less quality racing.

It is not the boat that is most important it is the racing, social and fun sides of the sport that bring people back time and time again, particularly for children. Yes I went Optimist, 420, 49er, Musto Skiff and much as these later boats are good fun and provide an adrenaline rush there is a place for good racing in relatively slow boats. My Solo is a good example of this. If you don't have facilities then sort this issue out but don't drag the poor Optimist and 420 into the argument as they are not the reason your local sailing clubs are shit.

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Attitude and status issues are the problem.

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33 minutes ago, bdu98252 said:

I would take issue with Chris's assumptions below.

"It’s not just that there are no athletic sailing facilities or fleets.  It’s how we train our “sailors.”  We keep our children locked in the least athletic dinghy ever designed – the Opti.  For heavens sake, it was designed to stay upright no matter where you sit.  A great trainer for year 1, but after 4 years – c’mon.  No wonder American kids prefer the next step to be a 40 year old design 420 over a modern 29er or Nacra 15.  After 6 years in a Opti – you want a stable barge."

Coming from Scotland where the average 4 weekends of training over winter for the National Optimist and 420 squad would see at least 50% of the time with wind speeds in the 20knot plus range there is a good reason for stable boats. Upside down boats teach people nothing and all the coaches do is spend their time making sure kids are not dying. We have seen a upsurge in the use of Tera's instead of optimists. The reality is it is not a significantly better boat. Sure the 29er is a good boat however it requires a higher skill level to sail it in 20-25knots of breeze and a seaway that a 420. Instead of kids competing against their peers we have class fragmentation in the UK that will likely lead to less quality racing.

It is not the boat that is most important it is the racing, social and fun sides of the sport that bring people back time and time again, particularly for children. Yes I went Optimist, 420, 49er, Musto Skiff and much as these later boats are good fun and provide an adrenaline rush there is a place for good racing in relatively slow boats. My Solo is a good example of this. If you don't have facilities then sort this issue out but don't drag the poor Optimist and 420 into the argument as they are not the reason your local sailing clubs are shit.

Yup...i notice that at my local club the sporty boats..49er...get popular, then die out fast.

even though the club has some very talented sailors 

those boats need infrastructure and commitment

the opti , laser and snipe fleet needs very little  ...only sailors 

also , some clubs have poor sailing conditions or location.  Motor boat wave slop, long sail to the race course, prevaling wind with a predictable shift , deep water and hard to lay marks..

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The 6th paragraph is the one that hit home for me. Sit on the rail until 4 and drink for another couple of hours sums up just about every regatta I've ever attended.

 

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Kids are overweight for an opti at around 110lbs and not heavy enough for a laser radial until they're 130lbs... what do they do with the year(s) in between? They mostly quit sailing from what i can tell.  40 kids in our opti fleet, 3 kids sailing lasers.  

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If you are 25 years old and want to sail a 49er or Nacra 17 – there are zero facilities for you.  

There's so many threads and random points made with Chris's post, that's it's almost difficult to debate. 

I do agree with one point he's made.  Accessibility more from the perspective of water access.  I would say that the increased cost of waterfront property is a huge factor into sailings demise.  You need cheap accessible infrastructure for the masses.

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"Sailing" is not confined to racing hot-rod boats, nor "yachting" (whatever that is exactly) to high booms and pilothouses.

I get OP's content, but the title is kind of narrow-minded.  It's not either-or.

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Sailing is what you do with friends and adult beverages....

Yachting is when you're trying to impress someone.

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I agree sailing dinkys is the way to go. And we need dinky clubs. So I did my bit, helped establish the local dinky club COSA. Was the Laser and Hobie dealer, and sailed both. Had the first Hobie 18 on the water, number 193. But, 40 years later you get tired of getting wet and cold. There is no warm water in these parts. If I was way South, I would love to sail my Hobie 18. But now we like to have a heater, even in the summer. However he was talking about the kids, but not all kids like getting went and cold. So I bought the Tanzer 22, and rented a couple of kids. They got the boat on the weekends, and we got it for the Wednesday night races.

When I say not all kids like to get wet and cold, consider not all kids want to play rugby either, and I do not blame them. Kids come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are even smart. I prefer to work at my local level. The author wants to change the world. BTW, I have an 8 foot sailing dinky. Has a name ?? and a lee board. US made.

Unkle Krusty

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Mostly agree with Chris. Our local little club on a very accessible little lake suitable for dinghies has made several attempts to keep "sailing" going (we have lots of folks with lead boats, some of who actually race as well). Foremost is a determined effort to support a Flying Scott fleet. Not the most athletic boat, but better than lead. And they have succeeded, with up to 15 boats in local regattas with some traveling to regional and even national regattas. Efforts to nurture a Thistle fleet are underway. A bi-annual Laser/Sunfish regatta is well-attended. But other efforts are floundering. Our Hobie fleet died out years ago (my Hobie 16 sits in the woods in ruin). We have essentially no youth program despite repeated efforts (could not even interest my own stepson and daughter). Our little annual windsurfing regatta is dying because most of us moved on to kitesurfing. And we discovered last year that racing kites on our lake is not easy (only one of four entrants actually made it around the course once, and it was not me, and we are all pretty good kitesurfers who ride all over the world in strong conditions). But we don't have any of the more athletic dinghies and the only foilers are some of us kitesurfers, and a race on them would risk bodily harm.

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I agree with Chris' main thesis.  HOWEVER I strongly disagree with several of the points.

1). Optis are the best trainer for youth sailing BECAUSE: 

  • Largest one design fleet in the world
  • Largest one design fleet in the world
  • Largest one design fleet in the world
  • Provides a simple vehicle for youth sailors to learn the basics of sailing without any distraction from other things going on.  It is easy to balance, you can put two tykes in one no problem and they are able to learn about sail trim and wind basics easily.
  • They are cheap, easy to fix and widely available

2). 29er and Nacra 15 are NOT the correct boat to be sending inexperienced Opti kids into

  • Both are inherently difficult boats to sail
  • As a youth sailing professional, I have witnessed a multitude of kids get into high performance classes TOO EARLY and miss out on VITAL development in a doublehanded boat
  • They are expensive and fragile
  • Fleets are few and far between.  You need to be able to ship your boat around the country to participate in a regatta with more than 20 boats.

3). Chris clearly hasn't been paying attention to what US Sailing is attempting to do at the youth level.  The US Sailing ODP program has been influenced by the creation of programs such as the GCYRA which you now see coming to fruition in product like Charlotte Rose.  USS is stepping up to provide more youth training programs in high performance boats for those sailors WHO ARE READY to make that jump.

 

I posit that Chris has the correct idea, however is looking at it in the wrong way.  The way that we need to be expanding the sport, especially at the top, is to be creating more accessible ways for kids to fall in love with the sport.  We lose 66% of kids between ages 11-14.  What we need is more opportunities, not in high performance boats necessarily, to get kids on the water and figure out what they want to do.  

The MAIN issue with modern youth sailing is the COST.  It is EXPENSIVE as all hell for someone to compete on a national or international scale, which realistically is how you are going to get better as a youth racer.  It is boats like the 29er, Nacra and i420 that help drive up this price point.  If we could figure out a way for your average club junior sailor to get to national level competition I think you would see a larger group wanting to go towards these high performance boats, at which point we then need to find a way to lower the cost of entry for the boat.

As with any problem, often times the solution lies in the foundation, not the end goals.  Getting a larger base of kids to stick with the sport for longer will push the demand for more affordable high performance sailing.  I believe that programs like Oakcliff are the answer.  We just need more Oakcliffs.  And more old money to start supporting like programs.

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2 hours ago, Mark Set (BIMBO Local 713) said:

Kids are overweight for an opti at around 110lbs and not heavy enough for a laser radial until they're 130lbs... what do they do with the year(s) in between?
They mostly quit sailing from what i can tell. 

This, plus... I'll add a random tidbit from other sports I'm involved in:  We see a lot of kids when their parents bring them out.  Then, at some point, the kids become rebellious teens who don't want to hang with the parents, and/or they discover the other gender, and/or they buy a car, and/or they go to college, start a family, etc, etc.  We don't see the vast majority of them during that span.  But then we start seeing them come back in early 30s, when *their* kids are out of diapers, and disposable income and free time make it viable for them to get *their* kids involved in the game.

This may just be the way the world works for kids.  But it still begs the question, how do we make the game more fun, so they *want* to stay involved and/or come back?

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If you really want to get kids 11-14 years old on sailboats, you’d better install some I Pads to use when they’re out there...

When we were kids we were tossed into the streets (Sailing program ) at 9 and came home at sundown unless we needed bandages. Today’s kids (like mine) have a Mom helicoptering over them. As soon as the boat is almost put away, most kids are on instagram while the Mom and instructors put the gear and boats away. Great life lessons. 

God knows how old kids are before they learn to work the toilet paper roll for the mess out back...

And I loved Sailing the laser as a kid. My neighbor won the Laser North Americans when we were 16. She was very good then. Now she’s a helicopter Mom and her kid is the worst in the Opti fleet because he has no self confidence. She rigs the boat and puts it away after he swamps it and sits in the coach boat all day... he’s fucked

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Heh.  Sailing is when you make your own sammiches.

Racing is when the boat-manager arranges for them.

Yachting is when the chef makes them to order, on demand.

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32 minutes ago, Somebody Else said:

Sailing is when your sammiches are slathered with French's yellow mustard.

Yachting is when your sandwiches have been spread with Grey Poupon.

 

Will references to that fuckin' stupid commercial never die?   

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A number of clubs move kids from Optis on to windsurfers as the next stage in sailing. Teaches them balance and apparent wind sailing

Still cheap and one design sailing, with the benefit of being fast and fun.

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From post 16. I would love to own a Thistle. Quite a few in WA, but have never seen one in BC.

Unkle Krusty

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6 hours ago, Mark Set (BIMBO Local 713) said:

Kids are overweight for an opti at around 110lbs and not heavy enough for a laser radial until they're 130lbs... what do they do with the year(s) in between? They mostly quit sailing from what i can tell.  40 kids in our opti fleet, 3 kids sailing lasers.  

I'm pretty sure that's why we have the 4.7.  Optimal weight for this rig is 110–145 lb. 

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14 hours ago, random said:

Attitude and status issues are the problem.

And climate change.

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7 hours ago, Mark Set (BIMBO Local 713) said:

Kids are overweight for an opti at around 110lbs and not heavy enough for a laser radial until they're 130lbs... what do they do with the year(s) in between? They mostly quit sailing from what i can tell.  40 kids in our opti fleet, 3 kids sailing lasers.  

I raced a laser in the 1970's and back then I weighed 123 lbs.    When it blew over 20, I sucked.  When is was around 15, I was able to win.    The trick is you need to hike with your ankles at the edge of the cockpit and keep your stomach flat and be out there.

I had built a training bench to get stomach muscles tuned and used to sit at home watching TV hiking out on my laser 'bench'.     Oh, and I wore clothing that would soak up water to give me another 20   lbs when needed.  Kills your legs!!

If you want to win there is a way.

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3 hours ago, Left Shift said:

Will references to that fuckin' stupid commercial never die?   

OK, how about....

When sailing you drink Beer.

When Yaaachting you drink Martinis.

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8 hours ago, Mark Set (BIMBO Local 713) said:

Kids are overweight for an opti at around 110lbs and not heavy enough for a laser radial until they're 130lbs... what do they do with the year(s) in between? They mostly quit sailing from what i can tell.  40 kids in our opti fleet, 3 kids sailing lasers.  

Ever heard of an Open Bic? Opti is a training boat age 6-10. Bics are for 9-15yr olds. Fast fun like a little Laser that's stable and looks like it was built this century.

The Opti has killed Junior and Youth sailing. No one except skilled small or anorexic kids sail past 12. No one starts sailing them after 12. The leap from 12 skilled or unskilled to a Laser 4.7 is steep(improbable for most).

Opti's effectively open the door at age 8 and shut the door at ages 9,10,11,or 12.  

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6 minutes ago, CaptainAhab said:

Ever heard of an Open Bic? Opti is a training boat age 6-10. Bics are for 9-15yr olds. Fast fun like a little Laser that's stable and looks like it was built this century.

The Opti has killed Junior and Youth sailing. No one except skilled small or anorexic kids sail past 12. No one starts sailing them after 12. The leap from 12 skilled or unskilled to a Laser 4.7 is steep(improbable for most).

Opti's effectively open the door at age 8 and shut the door at ages 9,10,11,or 12.  

I think the Opti sucks, but the boat isn’t the problem.

the problem are the parents who put the kids in them, and the coaches mafia that wants to keep everyone there, and in high school and college tubs too.

follow the money.

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OK, so I happen to be an actual anarchist (a social anarchist, if you please) - not like you phonies on this site. 

But I have to admit that it stirs my ol' heart just a little bit when I am referred to as a "yachtie." 

Do we all have an inner lord of the manor? 

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4 minutes ago, sunseeker said:
12 minutes ago, CaptainAhab said:

Ever heard of an Open Bic? Opti is a training boat age 6-10. Bics are for 9-15yr olds. Fast fun like a little Laser that's stable and looks like it was built this century.

The Opti has killed Junior and Youth sailing. No one except skilled small or anorexic kids sail past 12. No one starts sailing them after 12. The leap from 12 skilled or unskilled to a Laser 4.7 is steep(improbable for most).

Opti's effectively open the door at age 8 and shut the door at ages 9,10,11,or 12.  

I think the Opti sucks, but the boat isn’t the problem.

the problem are the parents who put the kids in them, and the coaches mafia that wants to keep everyone there, and in high school and college tubs too.

follow the money.

Ah yes, kids would LOVE sailing if only we would buy them slick plastic toys that look modern............... bzzzt thanks for playing.

IMHO it's much more of a size thing about Optis, once a kid hits that growth and has to wedge themselves into the boat, it cannot be made fun no matter what you do. The fact that so many kids are bored and frustrated with Optis is the fault of the instructors/coaches than it is the boat. I started out as a sailing instructor for kids as a volunteer with friends' kids and grandkids. I did not like the Opti but guess what, it is inexpensive and it really sails. And all kids love the SNOTTER (sprit halyard to you yachtie types). We all had fun and the kids became real sailors.

Another youth program I am involved with (high school kids) uses Oday Javelins. Yes they are tubs. Yes they are old-fashioned. But they have a big-ass mainsail and were designed by Uffa Fox, they really do sail. I would not say the kids love them but they certainly learn to sail and they not only keep coming back, they keep recruiting their friends to come along.

Sun has it right when he says "the BOAT isn't the problem." OTOH for all replacement boats suggested, I have yet to see one that fills as wide a range of usage at a lower cost, than what programs are already using.

We've had this conversation before I think

FB- Doug

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42 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Ah yes, kids would LOVE sailing if only we would buy them slick plastic toys that look modern............... bzzzt thanks for playing.

IMHO it's much more of a size thing about Optis, once a kid hits that growth and has to wedge themselves into the boat, it cannot be made fun no matter what you do. The fact that so many kids are bored and frustrated with Optis is the fault of the instructors/coaches than it is the boat. I started out as a sailing instructor for kids as a volunteer with friends' kids and grandkids. I did not like the Opti but guess what, it is inexpensive and it really sails. And all kids love the SNOTTER (sprit halyard to you yachtie types). We all had fun and the kids became real sailors.

Another youth program I am involved with (high school kids) uses Oday Javelins. Yes they are tubs. Yes they are old-fashioned. But they have a big-ass mainsail and were designed by Uffa Fox, they really do sail. I would not say the kids love them but they certainly learn to sail and they not only keep coming back, they keep recruiting their friends to come along.

Sun has it right when he says "the BOAT isn't the problem." OTOH for all replacement boats suggested, I have yet to see one that fills as wide a range of usage at a lower cost, than what programs are already using.

We've had this conversation before I think

FB- Doug

The solution is to have kids sail with adults, not exclusively, but mix it up a bit. Sail whatever you sail in sailing class, then jump in Lightning’s, flying squats, vipers, J22 and big boats now and then. Look at classes like the Lightning that have been multi generational for years, have a junior NA’s and Worlds, boat grant program. I see other classes doing the same, a j22 and J24 just saw their boat grant on FB. Viper would be really smart to have a junior NA’s. It’s a very cool boat.

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7 hours ago, celphtaught said:

I agree with Chris' main thesis.  HOWEVER I strongly disagree with several of the points.

1). Optis are the best trainer for youth sailing BECAUSE: 

  • Largest one design fleet in the world
  • Largest one design fleet in the world
  • Largest one design fleet in the world
  • Provides a simple vehicle for youth sailors to learn the basics of sailing without any distraction from other things going on.  It is easy to balance, you can put two tykes in one no problem and they are able to learn about sail trim and wind basics easily.
  • They are cheap, easy to fix and widely available

2). 29er and Nacra 15 are NOT the correct boat to be sending inexperienced Opti kids into

  • Both are inherently difficult boats to sail
  • As a youth sailing professional, I have witnessed a multitude of kids get into high performance classes TOO EARLY and miss out on VITAL development in a doublehanded boat
  • They are expensive and fragile
  • Fleets are few and far between.  You need to be able to ship your boat around the country to participate in a regatta with more than 20 boats.

3). Chris clearly hasn't been paying attention to what US Sailing is attempting to do at the youth level.  The US Sailing ODP program has been influenced by the creation of programs such as the GCYRA which you now see coming to fruition in product like Charlotte Rose.  USS is stepping up to provide more youth training programs in high performance boats for those sailors WHO ARE READY to make that jump.

 

I posit that Chris has the correct idea, however is looking at it in the wrong way.  The way that we need to be expanding the sport, especially at the top, is to be creating more accessible ways for kids to fall in love with the sport.  We lose 66% of kids between ages 11-14.  What we need is more opportunities, not in high performance boats necessarily, to get kids on the water and figure out what they want to do.  

The MAIN issue with modern youth sailing is the COST.  It is EXPENSIVE as all hell for someone to compete on a national or international scale, which realistically is how you are going to get better as a youth racer.  It is boats like the 29er, Nacra and i420 that help drive up this price point.  If we could figure out a way for your average club junior sailor to get to national level competition I think you would see a larger group wanting to go towards these high performance boats, at which point we then need to find a way to lower the cost of entry for the boat.

As with any problem, often times the solution lies in the foundation, not the end goals.  Getting a larger base of kids to stick with the sport for longer will push the demand for more affordable high performance sailing.  I believe that programs like Oakcliff are the answer.  We just need more Oakcliffs.  And more old money to start supporting like programs.

I'm not to picking on the kids or Opti's. The boats are great trainers. But a kid sailing an Opti on Sydney harbor is watching adults zoom by in 18 foot skiffs going 25 knots - that's who they want to be when they grow-up. There are zero adult athletic fleets on Narragansett Bay - so the athletic kids leave the sport and the rest sit not eh rail of a "sport" boat. This is an adult sailing problem. Adult athletic sailing has been headed for extinction for 20 years - the money, the clubs and US Sailing have all done great things for keel  boat sailing, but after 20 years of data - you can risk the conclusion that something has to change.   We need more organizations whose #1 priority is this segment of sailing.

 C Bulger

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11 hours ago, Gone Drinking said:

All he has to do is open his eyes and head to Sail Newport.  

I keep an F18 and an A Cat at Sail Newport and think it is one of the finest facilities of it s kind with a world class staff - and I support the organization financially. But Brad Read's mission is to provide public access and education to sailors fo all types - they can never make athletic sailing their #1 priority - nor should they. Sail Newport is a great organization - you should dontate!

While Sail Newport does more than most to promote Athletic adult sailing - but they must've equal time and access to all.  We need more than facilities that allow this type of sailing - we need places like the Manly Skiff Club in Sydney.   

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2 hours ago, sunseeker said:

The solution is to have kids sail with adults, not exclusively, but mix it up a bit. Sail whatever you sail in sailing class, then jump in Lightning’s, flying squats, vipers, J22 and big boats now and then. Look at classes like the Lightning that have been multi generational for years, have a junior NA’s and Worlds, boat grant program. I see other classes doing the same, a j22 and J24 just saw their boat grant on FB. Viper would be really smart to have a junior NA’s. It’s a very cool boat.

I think that once kids have learned enough skills to really be able to handle a variety of boats, and to appreciate why different boats behave the way they do (and I spend a fair amount of time on the advanced kids, working in this area); the more boats they can get experience, in the better.

The physical demands need to be kept in mind. I've seen teenagers turned loose in a J-24 and although I did not want to watch (winches and kids fingers and all that), they came back with everything intact. Personally I would drill them on stopping and getting sails down and/or reefed before really turning them loose, but I'm ex-military and a stickler for drilling anyway. But I'd get adults off the boat as soon as you could stand it. Kids have spent their whole life getting bossed around by grown-ups and if sailing is more of the same, why should they do it? Furthermore, what will they gain?

One of the reasons why I invested the effort in teaching kids to sail is that I strongly believe that they are better for it, whether they race or continue in the sport, or not. An 11 year old that can take a non-sailing friend out on a 12' sloop and have a great afternoon adventure, with confidence in their skills, is an kid who will grow up willing to face other challenges and who will be able to work or lead in a peer environment. A 15 year old that can skipper a J24 with no grown-up looking over his shoulder is a kid who has developed the self-knowledge to work on his skills and have confidence in himself.

FB- Doug

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5 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

I think that once kids have learned enough skills to really be able to handle a variety of boats, and to appreciate why different boats behave the way they do (and I spend a fair amount of time on the advanced kids, working in this area); the more boats they can get experience, in the better.

The physical demands need to be kept in mind. I've seen teenagers turned loose in a J-24 and although I did not want to watch (winches and kids fingers and all that), they came back with everything intact. Personally I would drill them on stopping and getting sails down and/or reefed before really turning them loose, but I'm ex-military and a stickler for drilling anyway. But I'd get adults off the boat as soon as you could stand it. Kids have spent their whole life getting bossed around by grown-ups and if sailing is more of the same, why should they do it? Furthermore, what will they gain?

One of the reasons why I invested the effort in teaching kids to sail is that I strongly believe that they are better for it, whether they race or continue in the sport, or not. An 11 year old that can take a non-sailing friend out on a 12' sloop and have a great afternoon adventure, with confidence in their skills, is an kid who will grow up willing to face other challenges and who will be able to work or lead in a peer environment. A 15 year old that can skipper a J24 with no grown-up looking over his shoulder is a kid who has developed the self-knowledge to work on his skills and have confidence in himself.

FB- Doug

Generally agree with you. My point about kids sailing with adults is that there’s some mentoring that takes place, as opposed to coaching, and being stuck in the same boat with too much racing too often. Basically, everyone needs to dial back the single minded focus and let kids experiment and find out what works for them. There’s no one right answer, and lots of good ideas in this thread.

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That big bad ogre of some sailors ,Russel Coutts ,has it right with his interview on Sail World, about his Foundation. Won't go into it here but he's correct in that sailing has to be fun . Won't suit everyone BUT they will get the opportunity. For older generations who yachted one day (racing) and sailed the next we had the best of both worlds. Not too many rules, parents, crash boats like today and no one came to grief. Most of us went on to a lifetime addiction, still having fun by ignoring stupid rules, restrictions , and looking with wonder why the powers that be anguish over diminishing participation

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My youth consisted of sunfishes, and windsurfers until I went to college.  Then I was too busy to sail. Never went the opti->laser->high perf dingy route. When I graduated from college, I moved to Cape Cod, windsurfed and crewed on larger boats for many years.  Then  moved to Maui and only windsurfed and did a little bit of crewing.  I didn't buy my own boat until I was 40.  Took me 10 years to save up.

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2 hours ago, cbulger said:

I keep an F18 and an A Cat at Sail Newport and think it is one of the finest facilities of it s kind with a world class staff - and I support the organization financially. But Brad Read's mission is to provide public access and education to sailors fo all types - they can never make athletic sailing their #1 priority - nor should they. Sail Newport is a great organization - you should dontate!

While Sail Newport does more than most to promote Athletic adult sailing - but they must've equal time and access to all.  We need more than facilities that allow this type of sailing - we need places like the Manly Skiff Club in Sydney.   

He was saying there were no facilities.....  

And I do donate. Have been for over 20 years. Yes it is a great organization. 

 

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On 2018-01-29 at 12:29 AM, rinse cycler said:

Could less emphasis on professionalism and winning and more on getting out and enjoying the real pleasure of sailing, in fun boats ... bring back the numbers?

Yes, it can. Witness Toronto's highly-successful community clubs, which routinely get ~50 boats on the line for club racing [radio clip]. 

03.jpg

The trick is to offer fun, accessible one-design sailing. That requires a readily-available dinghy that sails well without being too expensive, too complicated, or too athletic. The Albacore is an excellent example; so is the Snipe, as slug zitski mentioned. Others are the Wayfarer and Flying Scot.

yandy51171.jpg

photoboatFlyingScotMidWintersMarch2508+3

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16 hours ago, celphtaught said:

I posit that Chris has the correct idea, however is looking at it in the wrong way.  The way that we need to be expanding the sport, especially at the top, is to be creating more accessible ways for kids to fall in love with the sport.  We lose 66% of kids between ages 11-14.  What we need is more opportunities, not in high performance boats necessarily, to get kids on the water and figure out what they want to do.  

The MAIN issue with modern youth sailing is the COST.  It is EXPENSIVE as all hell for someone to compete on a national or international scale, which realistically is how you are going to get better as a youth racer.

Does anyone else here even vaguely remember being 13?

That's about when I quit sailing for many years. But I didn't quit because of a lack of a route to international glory. My concerns were more immediate and local. There were more chicks in the water skiing harbor than around the old fogeys at the yacht clubs. I took up water skiing. I wasn't ever intending to be a national or international water skiing star. I intended to be good enough to impress nearby chicks.

If sailing doesn't lead to chicks on some rather obvious way, 13 is about the age guys are going to lose interest.

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43 minutes ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Does anyone else here even vaguely remember being 13?

That's about when I quit sailing for many years. But I didn't quit because of a lack of a route to international glory. My concerns were more immediate and local. There were more chicks in the water skiing harbor than around the old fogeys at the yacht clubs. I took up water skiing. I wasn't ever intending to be a national or international water skiing star. I intended to be good enough to impress nearby chicks.

If sailing doesn't lead to chicks on some rather obvious way, 13 is about the age guys are going to lose interest.

This.

A tiny, almost immeasurable fraction of kids really want to get on the international racing scene, or even national.

for some reason too many drink the Opti kool aid, and think racing a dumb little boat is the answer for everyone.

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7 hours ago, Gone Drinking said:

He was saying there were no facilities.....  

And I do donate. Have been for over 20 years. Yes it is a great organization. 

 

He was.... and is ... saying there are no facilities on Narragansett Bay dedicated to Athletic sailing.  There are a bunch who tolerate it and Sail Newport does as much as it can, and should,  within its charter.  Try to campaign a 49er, Nacra 17, F18 or the like in New England.   The boat will live in your driveway and you will travel.   Not so in Australia or all over Europe - where dingy and skiff clubs flourish under different charters and leadership.  I'd encourage you to read the Manly Skiff Club charter - you will get a sense of the kind of focus takes to keep adult athletic sailing thriving.

 The issue isn't that we don't win Olympic medals - the issue is that this part of the adult sport has been dying in the US for 20 years.  Medals are just a symptom.

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7 hours ago, Gone Drinking said:

He was saying there were no facilities.....  

And I do donate. Have been for over 20 years. Yes it is a great organization. 

 

might your screen name provide a hint about your bias on this issue?

 

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On 1/29/2018 at 9:28 AM, bdu98252 said:

"It’s not just that there are no athletic sailing facilities or fleets.  It’s how we train our “sailors.”  We keep our children locked in the least athletic dinghy ever designed – the Opti.  For heavens sake, it was designed to stay upright no matter where you sit.  A great trainer for year 1, but after 4 years – c’mon.  No wonder American kids prefer the next step to be a 40 year old design 420 over a modern 29er or Nacra 15.  After 6 years in a Opti – you want a stable barge."

Thats such bs. American kids sail 420's because its what clubs have. Same goes for Optis. If kids or club could afford to overhaul all our fleets and everybody's elses then we would have newer boats. Its all status quo. 

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3 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

Does anyone else here even vaguely remember being 13?

That's about when I quit sailing for many years. But I didn't quit because of a lack of a route to international glory. My concerns were more immediate and local. There were more chicks in the water skiing harbor than around the old fogeys at the yacht clubs. I took up water skiing. I wasn't ever intending to be a national or international water skiing star. I intended to be good enough to impress nearby chicks.

If sailing doesn't lead to chicks on some rather obvious way, 13 is about the age guys are going to lose interest.

Get the girls in the sail boats and the boys will follow.

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14 hours ago, CaptainAhab said:

Ever heard of an Open Bic? Opti is a training boat age 6-10. Bics are for 9-15yr olds. Fast fun like a little Laser that's stable and looks like it was built this century.

Bics are bloody atrocious. They suck for kids and they suck for instructors. When you're sailing one you're always wet, which sucks on all but the nicer days. They're uncomfortable to sit on(always sitting on your ankles or something), or in heavier winds you can't hike proper because the rail is under your knees or calves. The most fun one has in a bic is when its turtles and turns into a floating beach, dryer that way to. From an instructors perspective they're worse than an opti because they break constantly, sails rip after two seasons, rudder clips break constantly(we bent our own out of sheet metal), the hulls leak, and they're heavier than an opti.

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15 hours ago, sunseeker said:

I think the Opti sucks, but the boat isn’t the problem.

the problem are the parents who put the kids in them,...

I resemble that remark. I'd love to get my kid into something other than an opti next year, but he'd have nobody to sail with.  As for the cost, you can pick up a good used fully equipped opti for $1,000, because of course everyone buys their kids new stuff!

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Hi,

IMHO:

  1.    It's not about the boat.
  2.    If it was about the boat, the RS Feva is less crap than most of the suggestions so far.
  3.    Keeping girls in the programme will help.
    • Scoring girls separately is not sexist, it's realistic.
    • Don't even publish combined/overall results: you have three classes per type of boat: Male, Female, Mixed. Start them together if necessary (it usually will be but many of the girls, and more of the boys than you might think, would probably prefer not to have to get into a shouting match with their potential boy- or girl-friends on the line). Mixed is normally a pretty small class when racing singlehanders...
  4. Sexist attitudes (let alone behavior) discourage boys as well as girls.
  5. Sexist attitudes discourage parents as well as kids.
  6. Family-Friendly clubs seem to be declining less rapidly than others. Some have seen negative decline.

What comes after the Feva is going to depend on your location and the aspirations of the club, the sailors, their parents etc Arguably, the club should now be encouraging them to get their own boats, if they haven't already. Racing a club boat against a pimped-up privately owned boat is no fun for anyone, except on those rare, special occasions when hard-won skill gets to put one over on someone who thought they had bought their way to the front of the fleet... This is rare enough that we tell stories about it for years afterwards; hence tricky to build into a rewarding youth programme.

Thanks for your time.

Cheers,

                 W.

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41 minutes ago, Flotsamman said:

Bics are bloody atrocious. They suck for kids and they suck for instructors. When you're sailing one you're always wet, which sucks on all but the nicer days. They're uncomfortable to sit on(always sitting on your ankles or something), or in heavier winds you can't hike proper because the rail is under your knees or calves. The most fun one has in a bic is when its turtles and turns into a floating beach, dryer that way to. From an instructors perspective they're worse than an opti because they break constantly, sails rip after two seasons, rudder clips break constantly(we bent our own out of sheet metal), the hulls leak, and they're heavier than an opti.

What's worse, they do not teach kids anything good about sailing.

They don't point worth crap, and if you foot off, you don't gain enough speed to notice any difference. The main issue with sail trim is to figure out how to not have the mainsheet constantly falling out of the back of the boat. The sail shape does not adjust well, and it doesn't make any difference to the way the boat performs.

In short, the Bic does not reward sailing skill. So, expecting kids to develop skill is pointless.

FB- Doug

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2 hours ago, IStream said:

Get the girls in the sail boats and the boys will follow.

That's when my sailing went into high gear!  There were pretty girls sailing in my little fleet. And my girlfriends dug it too--even the non-kissy ones. By the time I was 17 my girlfriend was crewing for me. I learned all the things not to yell at your crew with her. We still won some pewter though in Avalon of all places, as a visiting out of town boat, we had to push it the last mile to get there as the car had quit!

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3 hours ago, WGWarburton said:

Hi,

IMHO:

  1.    It's not about the boat.
  2.    If it was about the boat, the RS Feva is less crap than most of the suggestions so far.
  3.    Keeping girls in the programme will help.
    • Scoring girls separately is not sexist, it's realistic.
    • Don't even publish combined/overall results: you have three classes per type of boat: Male, Female, Mixed. Start them together if necessary (it usually will be but many of the girls, and more of the boys than you might think, would probably prefer not to have to get into a shouting match with their potential boy- or girl-friends on the line). Mixed is normally a pretty small class when racing singlehanders...
  4. Sexist attitudes (let alone behavior) discourage boys as well as girls.
  5. Sexist attitudes discourage parents as well as kids.
  6. Family-Friendly clubs seem to be declining less rapidly than others. Some have seen negative decline.

What comes after the Feva is going to depend on your location and the aspirations of the club, the sailors, their parents etc Arguably, the club should now be encouraging them to get their own boats, if they haven't already. Racing a club boat against a pimped-up privately owned boat is no fun for anyone, except on those rare, special occasions when hard-won skill gets to put one over on someone who thought they had bought their way to the front of the fleet... This is rare enough that we tell stories about it for years afterwards; hence tricky to build into a rewarding youth programme.

Thanks for your time.

Cheers,

                 W.

"Negative Decline" is certainly a very nice glass-half-empty view of the world.  I'm going to steal it.

For what its worth, CYC Seattle has doubled its membership to over 700 people in the last few years by doing serious outreach to cruisers and families, running youth summer sailing classes open non-members in club-owned Optis and Vanguard 15s, increasing evening and weekend social programs, supporting other clubs activities and catering to one-design and handicap racing fleets by starting (perhaps) more races than any other club in North America (about 950 races last year) with paid PROs in both salt and fresh water venues. 

The club name may include "Yacht Club", but CYC was founded as an affordable sailing club and is the very opposite of blue blazer yachting.  

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17 hours ago, cbulger said:

I'm not to picking on the kids or Opti's. The boats are great trainers. But a kid sailing an Opti on Sydney harbor is watching adults zoom by in 18 foot skiffs going 25 knots - that's who they want to be when they grow-up. There are zero adult athletic fleets on Narragansett Bay - so the athletic kids leave the sport and the rest sit not eh rail of a "sport" boat. This is an adult sailing problem. Adult athletic sailing has been headed for extinction for 20 years - the money, the clubs and US Sailing have all done great things for keel  boat sailing, but after 20 years of data - you can risk the conclusion that something has to change.   We need more organizations whose #1 priority is this segment of sailing.

 C Bulger

I don't disagree, but I think you do have to give US Sailing credit for looking into why the transition from Opti to Adult has had such terrible returns, and the fact of the matter is that price point is a huge part of it.  I've done plenty of sailing in 18' skiffs and other high performance boats and the main reason why I don't own one myself is the price point.  I think that the cost of entry for your average Opti kid to get into a 29er and then into an i14 or 18footer as an adult is prohibitive.  Find a way to lower the cost of entry, OR create a generation of sailors who don't care about the cost of entry and are willing to find ways to fund themselves.  The latter is made by helping those Opti kids fall in love with the sport and want to do whatever it takes to keep doing it.

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On 1/29/2018 at 9:16 AM, Gone Drinking said:

All he has to do is open his eyes and head to Sail Newport.  

because one good sailing center doing it right means you can ignore the fact that there are so few of them?

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32 minutes ago, MR.CLEAN said:

because one good sailing center doing it right means you can ignore the fact that there are so few of them?

He said and I quote :

" If you are 25 years old and want to sail a 49er or Nacra 17 – there are zero facilities for you.  You must keep the boat in your driveway and be a vagabond or tuck it in an unfriendly facility and sail alone." 

I was just saying there is one - Sail Newport.  

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I'm not sure why so many of the posts in this thread are concentrating on the boats available for youth sailors. I think the main issue identified in the original article is the there is nothing out there for adult, athletic sailors.

The sentence that says "... if you're athletically inclined, you go mountain biking or surfing..." hits the nail on the head. If you're over 25 and you want athletic sailing, US Sailing does nothing for you.

The person we should be talking to is Anna Tunnicliffe. 

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1 minute ago, RATM said:

I'm not sure why so many of the posts in this thread are concentrating on the boats available for youth sailors. I think the main issue identified in the original article is the there is nothing out there for adult, athletic sailors.

The sentence that says "... if you're athletically inclined, you go mountain biking or surfing..." hits the nail on the head. If you're over 25 and you want athletic sailing, US Sailing does nothing for you.

The person we should be talking to is Anna Tunnicliffe. 

The reason why so many posts are concentrating on boats available for youth sailors is that exposing more youth sailors to these boats is potentially a way to get more adults interested in them, sailing them, and financing  them

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7 minutes ago, Gone Drinking said:

He said and I quote :

" If you are 25 years old and want to sail a 49er or Nacra 17 – there are zero facilities for you.  You must keep the boat in your driveway and be a vagabond or tuck it in an unfriendly facility and sail alone." 

I was just saying there is one - Sail Newport.  

 

I'd also like to point out, the cost to own and run a 49er or Nacra 17 is insane, no public access boating club is ever going to take on that kind of risk or expense without an independently wealthy backer.

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3 hours ago, celphtaught said:

 

I'd also like to point out, the cost to own and run a 49er or Nacra 17 is insane, no public access boating club is ever going to take on that kind of risk or expense without an independently wealthy backer.

conceded there are ramps and Sail Newport exists.... great points  ....   if irrelevant to the argument.  Ramps or space in the corner of the pubic facility is not evidence of strong support - it is the opposite.  

49ers and Nacra 17's are chump change compared with etc cost of sailing a 16 or 18 foot skiff.   In Australia, they have plumbers and boat builders campaigning these double "Insanely" expensive  boats - because the skiff clubs provide financial support.   Older members, at places like the Manly Skiff Club, think it is more important to support young athletes than send $50K to North every year for new rags.  Bar profits also go to support the athletes.  Why all this generosity?   Because they are passionate about athletics sailing.  What American town would let their little league team go with bats and balls??  Australians care deeply about atheltic sailing. 

As your comments indicate - most americans don't care about this end of the sport.  That's OK.  But it's time to call out the truth and rally those who do care, for them we have a plan brewing.....

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4 hours ago, celphtaught said:

The reason why so many posts are concentrating on boats available for youth sailors is that exposing more youth sailors to these boats is potentially a way to get more adults interested in them, sailing them, and financing  them

The youth angle is important, but at least we see some progress with 29ers and the Nacra 15.  But the door still slams shut when folks grow out of these boats.

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Yada yada, Optis are child abuse yada yada, everyone should do what we do at our fabulous club yada yada children should put there phones down Yada yada...

For fucks sake, is there anything that hasn't been said 1000's of times already about this shit in the previous 25 000 threads on this topic?

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On 1/29/2018 at 6:39 PM, hobot said:

OK, how about....

When sailing you drink Beer.

When Yaaachting you drink Martinis.

That’s why I sail!

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Whats wrong with a sunfish for youth sailing?   I learned on one starting at age 8.

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Christ on a stick.  If  you think kids sailing C420s or Optis in wind aren't athletic then you haven't every seen kids sailing C420s or Optis in wind.

We don't need some awesome new design that is equally as slow as the awesomely crappy boats we already all own.  We need a USSailing that isn't pushing boats we can't afford.  Ain't none of us can afford i420s, or RS Fevas, or whatever the fuck is the latest flavor of Olympic sucker-money bait.

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Opti dad Chris's post today illustrates the problems beautifully. The tighter the rules in a one-design class, the more difficult and expensive it is to get the necessary winning edge by tweaking the tolerances. Why are these things not supplied at major regattas. It's not like the kids are doing the tweaking themselves.

Add to that fees for coaching three times a week after school (because "your kid has so much talent" according to the coach) meaning the kid comes home at 9 pm knackered and school work comes a distant second. Then three overseas regattas in a single year as one of my friends did (from Australia!). The competition was so fierce the kids didn't talk to each other either.

That family saw the likely future of academic failure and improbable sailing success, after enormous expense and effort, leaving sailing coaching as the only option, so they baled from the whole scene. No-one from that family will sail again. The cost of a 29er is insignificant compared to competing at high level in an Opti.

Can any anarchist think any of this is good?

While we are talking about "athletic" sailing, there is more to athleticism than a strong set of abs and the ability to endure more pain hiking than anyone else.

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7 hours ago, MauiPunter said:

Whats wrong with a sunfish for youth sailing?   I learned on one starting at age 8.

A "sailing vs yachting" thread seems like a strange place for this, but......... Sunfish are not good learning boats, unless you are specifically learning the idiosyncrasies of Sunfish, specifically. They don't have much in common with the rest of the sailboats in the world in their rig nor in the way they're handled beyond the very basic-most of basics, and they have a number of bad habits that are frustrating and potentially dangerous. Teaching a beginner in a Sunfish is like teaching horseback to a beginner on a horse that has an odd gait, doesn't turn right, and bolts at the color orange.

The worst one is what happens when you let go of the tiller. An Opti, or a good beginner boat, -might- gybe if you let go of the tiller at just the wrong moment, but will come up into the wind and stop, and stay stopped. Easy to recover from. A Sunfish, if you let go of the tiller, will loop in a series of increasingly violent gybes until it either hits something or capsizes; it -might- come up into irons (and if it doesn't you can't get out easily).

I could go on and on, but I don't want to give people the idea that I hate Sunfish. It's a great fun boat, simple, inexpensive (our sailing club has a dozen lying around you could have for free), and almost bullet-proof. I've sailed Sunfish a lot starting when I was a kid, too. But it would be a boat I would put a beginner in, only if there were no better choice available. And I'd strongly consider making a new better rudder blade  for them, first.

FB- Doug

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3 hours ago, rinse cycler said:

Opti dad Chris's post today illustrates the problems beautifully. The tighter the rules in a one-design class, the more difficult and expensive it is to get the necessary winning edge by tweaking the tolerances. Why are these things not supplied at major regattas. It's not like the kids are doing the tweaking themselves.

Add to that fees for coaching three times a week after school (because "your kid has so much talent" according to the coach) meaning the kid comes home at 9 pm knackered and school work comes a distant second. Then three overseas regattas in a single year as one of my friends did (from Australia!). The competition was so fierce the kids didn't talk to each other either.

That family saw the likely future of academic failure and improbable sailing success, after enormous expense and effort, leaving sailing coaching as the only option, so they baled from the whole scene. No-one from that family will sail again. The cost of a 29er is insignificant compared to competing at high level in an Opti.

Can any anarchist think any of this is good?

While we are talking about "athletic" sailing, there is more to athleticism than a strong set of abs and the ability to endure more pain hiking than anyone else.

A class is not bad because a small group of idiot parents lose sight of the important aspects of raising their child. The above story is a tale of ridiculous expectations, disposable cash and a lack of any sense of realism. Maybe you should have told your mate to get a grip and saved him some cash but deep down I am guessing that he was not such of a mate. If this family were not doing sailing then the kid would have been doing any number of other heavily coached activities.

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14 hours ago, cbulger said:

conceded there are ramps and Sail Newport exists.... great points  ....   if irrelevant to the argument.  Ramps or space in the corner of the pubic facility is not evidence of strong support - it is the opposite.  

49ers and Nacra 17's are chump change compared with etc cost of sailing a 16 or 18 foot skiff.   In Australia, they have plumbers and boat builders campaigning these double "Insanely" expensive  boats - because the skiff clubs provide financial support.   Older members, at places like the Manly Skiff Club, think it is more important to support young athletes than send $50K to North every year for new rags.  Bar profits also go to support the athletes.  Why all this generosity?   Because they are passionate about athletics sailing.  What American town would let their little league team go with bats and balls??  Australians care deeply about atheltic sailing. 

As your comments indicate - most americans don't care about this end of the sport.  That's OK.  But it's time to call out the truth and rally those who do care, for them we have a plan brewing.....

I think that Americans would care about that end of the sport if they had the ability to access it at a young age like Aussies do.  It again all comes down to finding a way to fund this.  Just saying "this is how they do it in Australia, why can't we do it this way in America" is like trying to apply Scandinavian socialism to American political structure.  They are very different countries and therefore we need to find different ways of doing it.

OAKCLIFF is doing the BEST job of anyone in America of helping to promote all of these ideals.  Their model has been working great so far.  How do they do it? Several very wealthy donors who wish to see this side of the sport furthered.  How can we replicate what Oakcliff is doing? One way would be to find other wealthy donors.

Chris I'm not fighting you.  I'm merely pointing out that the root of your frustration lies in a slightly different place than you have presented.  It is a cultural difference and simply applying what works one place to another is not the solution.  

Also, have you seen the price tag on a new Nacra 17 foiler recently? I would hardly call it chump change compared to an 18 footer.

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On 1/30/2018 at 9:53 AM, WGWarburton said:

Hi,

IMHO:

    • Scoring girls separately is not sexist, it's realistic.

Cheers,

                 W.

I'm confused by this. 

What inherent quality do men (or women) have, that makes it unfair to race the sexes together?  To me, sailing would seem to be one sport where gender really doesn't matter. It's 99% talent and 1% brute strength.

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On 1/31/2018 at 1:29 AM, Steam Flyer said:

What's worse, they do not teach kids anything good about sailing.

They don't point worth crap, and if you foot off, you don't gain enough speed to notice any difference. The main issue with sail trim is to figure out how to not have the mainsheet constantly falling out of the back of the boat. The sail shape does not adjust well, and it doesn't make any difference to the way the boat performs.

In short, the Bic does not reward sailing skill. So, expecting kids to develop skill is pointless.

FB- Doug

Many of the best Laser sailors in Australia are now coming out the Bic fleets. None of the good AU Laser sailors ever sailed an Opti. Perhaps that's why AU has dominated Laser sailing for a rather long time.

Krystal Weir is AU's Olympic Laser chick. She totally backs the Bics. Coutts(AC Jackass) has made it his new mission to promote junior sailing in NZ using the Bic class.

I coach both. Pro's and Cons to each. However, Bics get kids in boats and keep them in boats. The learning curve for my Bic kids to move into the Laser 4.7 is almost immediate. The Opti kids are hopeless. It doesn't really matter. The Opti dropout rate is so crazy high that none of them continue to sail. That's in a country like AU where we support the kids by parents, club and country. I wonder if its the boat...

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On 1/30/2018 at 9:17 PM, Uncooperative Tom said:

Does anyone else here even vaguely remember being 13?

That's about when I quit sailing for many years. But I didn't quit because of a lack of a route to international glory. My concerns were more immediate and local. There were more chicks in the water skiing harbor than around the old fogeys at the yacht clubs. I took up water skiing. I wasn't ever intending to be a national or international water skiing star. I intended to be good enough to impress nearby chicks.

If sailing doesn't lead to chicks on some rather obvious way, 13 is about the age guys are going to lose interest.

You just have to go monk until you are in college teaching the cutest, lightest girl to be your 420 crew. Nothing like having some ass in your face when tacking.

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4 hours ago, Ajax said:

I'm confused by this. 

What inherent quality do men (or women) have, that makes it unfair to race the sexes together?  To me, sailing would seem to be one sport where gender really doesn't matter. It's 99% talent and 1% brute strength.

I don't know. I do see that the girls are generally further down the overall results sheet  and that that makes it difficult for many of them to see themselves as contenders. 

There seems to be a bit of an exception in the Topper class- mostly sailed by British teenagers- which I suspect is correlated with girls maturing slightly faster in their early teens.

 I'd be very interested to see results sheets which have girls and boys equally distributed... it would be good to find out what creates that situation and repeat it elsewhere.  Can you point me at some examples of what you describe? 

Thanks, 

                W.

 

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4 hours ago, CaptainAhab said:

Many of the best Laser sailors in Australia are now coming out the Bic fleets. None of the good AU Laser sailors ever sailed an Opti. Perhaps that's why AU has dominated Laser sailing for a rather long time.

Krystal Weir is AU's Olympic Laser chick. She totally backs the Bics. Coutts(AC Jackass) has made it his new mission to promote junior sailing in NZ using the Bic class.

I coach both. Pro's and Cons to each. However, Bics get kids in boats and keep them in boats. The learning curve for my Bic kids to move into the Laser 4.7 is almost immediate. The Opti kids are hopeless. It doesn't really matter. The Opti dropout rate is so crazy high that none of them continue to sail. That's in a country like AU where we support the kids by parents, club and country. I wonder if its the boat...

I don't think Ashley ever sailed a bic...wait. You said the best laser sailors in Australia. My bad.

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How they taught kids back in the day: Arthur Knapp crewing for a four-year-old. (Remember Interclubs?)

Beat that, Opti-moms!

IMG_2943.jpg

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I sailed with a tough heavier chick on windy days, and a light weight model on lighter days. The light weight did not like going extreme tippy, and it was hard to right the boat with her. First on a Hobie 16, then an 18.

Unkle Krusty

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17 hours ago, WGWarburton said:

I don't know. I do see that the girls are generally further down the overall results sheet  and that that makes it difficult for many of them to see themselves as contenders. 

There seems to be a bit of an exception in the Topper class- mostly sailed by British teenagers- which I suspect is correlated with girls maturing slightly faster in their early teens.

 I'd be very interested to see results sheets which have girls and boys equally distributed... it would be good to find out what creates that situation and repeat it elsewhere.  Can you point me at some examples of what you describe? 

Thanks, 

                W.

 

Also consider that to move up in sailing level,  you must become aggressive, in your face 

Many girls dont like that.

I have a niece.  Champion swimmer...olympic quality.   Once she moved up to the big league,  she no longer enjoyed swimming...the other girls became very aggressive, the whole scene became aggressive .  No  more fun 

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12 minutes ago, slug zitski said:

Also consider that to move up in sailing level,  you must become aggressive, in your face 

 

huh?

How come the most difficult and competitive boats I've sailed have been the opposite?

505 is a pleasure to sail, and sail in a fleet of.

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Non sense...right on sailing anarchy is a thread about the J class and competitors pushing  the one desisgn edge.

if you are not aggressive in everything, rules, attitude, boat prep, training ..  you cant compete with  the big boys 

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Aggressive? In your face?

I don't agree with this either.  Sailing is not a contact sport where men are snarling in the faces of women (or vice versa), intimidating them.  There might be some calling out for room at mark roundings, or some calling out during starting sequences but after that, everyone is an island unto themselves. Sailors are often silent as they hike, trim, strategize and operate their boat.  There might be some smack talk before or after the race but sailors don't generally behave like wrestlers in the WWE or NASCAR drivers.

Aggressive in boat prep? Do you really think that intimidates women? "Oooh, I don't want to be so rough with the orbital sander or the long board!"  What stops a woman from sail training as intensely as men?  Rules? If a guy tries barging at the start or screaming for mark room when he's not entitled, there's nothing stopping a woman from telling him to fuck right off.

I hear a lot of excuses, but I'm not seeing any solid evidence supporting why there should be separation of sexes during sailboat racing. It's mostly brain work and where physical strength comes into play, there are tools that can be installed to equalize any discrepancy.  It's all just block and tackle configurations.

Last year, CHESSS had four female skipper owners compete in our races. One of those women raced her boat (with full crew) in a Bermuda race...twice, if I remember correctly. For the life of me, I can't think of a single reason why I would not want female skippers competing against me whether it be on leadmines or dinghies. I can't think of a single reason why it would be an unfair contest. 

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