Recommended Posts

Story via Down Under Sail

So the question that gets asked at sailing clubs right around Australia has now been firmly put on the agenda – we find ourselves questioning the relevance of the Olympics and also bashing on the decisions by our international governing body.

And here we sit in our own corner of the world, and ask ourselves, in a day and age where the commercial world is swallowing everything in its path, where does sailing fit in the Olympics?

A number of key sailors on the Olympic circuit recently penned an open letter to the sailing community, asking World Sailing to reconsider its thinking for the Paris 2024 Games, which has placed classes such as the 470 (men and women), Laser Standard (men), Laser Radial (women), the Finn (heavyweight men), and the men and women’s windsurfer under review. These sailors raise important issues about the importance and relevance of the classes they have trained in for years, but let us take a step back for a short time and look at this issue with a wider lens.

Olympian Ash Stoddart competing at the Australian Laser Nationals in Adelaide in the 2016/17 summer. Photo: Dave Birss, Epsom Rd Studios
Olympian Ash Stoddart competing at the Australian Laser Nationals in Adelaide in the 2016/17 summer. Photo: Dave Birss, Epsom Rd Studios

For years, sailors have talked about how hard it is to make sailing a television sport, how it is not attractive to sponsors and advertisers, and how the demographic is one of older well-off individuals who don’t need the corporate support. It’s also clear our qualifying process for the Olympics is a shambles, outlined by the last cycle’s decision to not send a 49erFX crew to the Rio Games as they were not seen as a realistic medal chance, despite qualifying to compete. We covered this issue in an editorial piece titled ‘Sold a dream with no reality’.

There are now several professional circuits around the world enabling sailors to make a living in their dream job. The America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, Extreme Sailing Series, World Match Racing Tour and SuperFoiler Grand Prix are examples of this. They are examples of how corporate funding and an industry-driven product can make it in the mainstream, so why is it necessary to slog away on a four-year cycle, fork out the big bucks and put yourself significantly behind in life.

The SuperFoiler Grand Prix has taken sailing by storm in the last year. Photo: Michael Chittenden
The SuperFoiler Grand Prix has taken sailing by storm in the last year. Photo: Michael Chittenden

Not everyone has an opportunity to invest that much time, effort and money and to bounce back on their feet once it is all said and done – and we can all agree that no matter who you are you need strong support networks to undertake this challenge. It’s sad that we don’t have to travel far in our sailing communities to find the stories of those that were unsuccessful and drained their savings reaching for the proverbial brass ring only to fall short and feel like years have been taken off their life. As a parent looking out for your child’s future, especially considering the hours of coaching and travel at youth level that is an investment in itself, wouldn’t you rather choose to steer them towards professional avenues that give them some form of financial security and a return on their investment, away from the Olympic pathway? Sure, it can be argued that many of the professional sailors in our sport today came from Olympic backgrounds, however the only reason they are at this point is because of access to high performance programs through the Australian Sailing Team and Australian Sailing Development Squads. What if this sort of training was available without the Olympics?

When we look deeper into other water sports as examples, there is a lot we can learn about the industry as a whole. Take a look at Surfing Australia as an example. While the jury is still out on whether adding the sport to the 2020 Olympics will enhance the product, surfing has historically survived and thrived through a number of strong industry partnerships, as well as the occasional grant. Its funding ratio is a lot different to sailing, which relies heavily on grants and AOC funding and is therefore built in reverse. Surfing built the Hurley High Performance centre, a facility that has become the centrepiece of Australian Surfing and has yielded numerous World Titles on the WSL.

This example proves sports do not need the Olympics to provide a high level of coaching and support. Why can’t our best Moth sailors head to a World Championship with this sort of backing? Why can’t someone at the top of their game heading to the America’s Cup have access to a training facility like this? Why can’t a local Sabre group or sailing club pay to spend a weekend at the facility and get better at what they do? And why can’t a school group spend a week learning how to sail, discovering a genuine pathway with a job at the end of it if they are good enough? Surely the Olympics is not the reason why everyone sails? It is great to rub shoulders with Olympians, but Mick Fanning has never been to the Olympics yet he is idolised by millions, and Steph Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons have been role models for young women all around the world and have never been to an Olympics.

The WASZP foiler is proving that sailing can be fun, accessible and cost-effective. Photo: Hartas Productions
The WASZP foiler is proving that sailing can be fun, accessible and cost-effective. Photo: Hartas Productions

We have a sailing industry that is bleeding money and struggling to survive as evidenced by depleting membership numbers at grass roots clubs right around Australia and the ongoing struggle for those clubs to find viable revenue streams, but why is this the case when we are a sport that is represented at an event that is supposedly the pinnacle of world sport? This goes to show the Olympics is not a commercial venture, it was originally designed to be a competition for amateurs and not a cheque book war. Hell, the Olympic creed even states that the overriding purpose of the Games is not to win, but to take part. Sailing is awkwardly stuck in the middle, with sponsors struggling to find bang for their buck on an Olympic athlete due to limited brand awareness, airtime or the fact that they are blocked from third-party deals that conflict with the governing body’s partnership and sponsorship deals. They may get 15 minutes of airplay if their athlete wins a medal, but is that really worth it? Considering the dollars that are being spent to get these athletes around the world, it seems like a massive cost.

We’re not knocking the Olympics by any means, but more simply asking the question of ‘if we did not have sailing in the Olympics, would it open up more commercial opportunities for the industry as a whole and drive the direction of the sport?’ … we believe that it absolutely would. The outcome? We end up with a thriving industry that starts to give back to sailing and make more money available to spend growing participation at club level right across the country and not just at the major clubs on the eastern seaboard. Rather than everyone fighting for their slice of the pie, we actually have the opportunity to make the pie bigger. Most businesses in our industry are fantastic supporters of local sailing, however there is no money in it for them and they find themselves doing it purely for love. We need our sport to be industry-driven and to gain rewards as a result, but unfortunately with the Olympics as the centrepiece and a governing body that needs to win medals to keep their 100 staff in jobs, we find ourselves running around in circles and slowly going nowhere as a sport.

Have a think about why people sail in the first place. The Laser isn’t popular because it’s an Olympic class, it’s popular because it’s accessible. The WASZP has exploded onto the Australian Sailing scene in massive numbers and has proven it can harness the troublesome age bracket of 18 to 35. This is because the class itself is accessible, cost-effective and a bucket load of fun. 16ft Skiffs are going through another growth spurt in New South Wales and are again dragging 18 to 35 year olds back to a sport they had since been burnt out of. We ask ourselves the same question of why, and keep coming back to the fact it’s because the clubs are driving the participation and they’re in total control of the outcome, which creates financial incentive to them and the industry itself.

The 505 is one of the strongest international amateur classes in the world.
The 505 is one of the strongest international amateur classes in the world.

At the end of the day our respect level for Olympians is there in spades, they are fantastic athletes who have worked incredibly hard, spent thousands of dollars, and achieved their ultimate goal. To spend four, eight or even 12 years doing that has to be a brutal existence, so absolutely hats off. But out of the 10 disciplines we race at the Olympics, we see about 16 athletes from our country every four years that get to sail at the highest level – millions upon millions of dollars paid by tax-payers and sailors around the country to service 16 sailors.

Where does a club like Port Kembla Sailing Club in Wollongong fit into this? Or Parkdale Yacht Club in Victoria? Or even the Port Lincoln Yacht Club in South Australia? All these clubs have produced champions at various levels, as well as exported sailors to the professional circuit. Yet on the same note, there is absolutely no high-performance funding available at these clubs for development, they do it themselves and they are surviving… just.

Our opinion is that clubs and sailors should not be looking for handouts from Australian Sailing. The brief for them as a governing body is to win medals and provide education and training opportunities while also having a focus on youth sailing through a small selection of classes that find themselves on the same trajectory to classes raced in the Olympics. This hole that the grass roots of our sport is in, that is growing deeper and deeper from year to year, is not their fault, as they are judged on the outcomes set by their board and that their funding is dictated by. The sooner we all begin to look away from Olympic sailing and align our club structures with what is happening in the real world, the sooner the industry will be able to move forward.

Take a look at the statistics from recent cycles of Australian class championships. The findings are damning.

  • 49erFX: 9 boats (18 sailors)
  • 49er: 12 boats (24 sailors)
  • Finn: 29 boats (29 sailors)
  • Laser Radial: 75 boats (75 sailors)
  • Laser Standard: 30 boats (30 sailors)
  • Nacra 17: 2 boats (4 sailors)
  • 470 Men (2017): 5 boats (10 sailors)
  • 470 Women (2017): 5 boats (10 sailors).

The RSX even had an integrated event with the race board and formula windsurfing event and was outnumbered greatly by amateur formula and race board sailors.

The Australian Sharpie Class always shows strong numbers at national events from year to year. Photo: Danielle Godden
The Australian Sharpie Class always shows strong numbers at national events from year to year. Photo: Danielle Godden

Now take a look at other senior class options that are not on the Olympic trajectory and the participation rates they create with no support from Australian Sailing.

  • 16ft Skiffs: 57 boats (171 sailors)
  • Sharpie (2017): 44 boats (132 sailors)
  • 505: 39 boats (78 sailors)
  • Sabre: 55 boats and sailors in 2018, 65 in 2017, and 130 in 2013
  • Impulse: 39 boats and sailors in 2018, 49 in 2017
  • A-Class Cats: 51 boats (51 sailors)
  • Moth: 38 boats (38 sailors)
  • WASZP: 36 boats (36 sailors)
  • Etchells: 32 boats (100-120 sailors)
  • One-design windsurfer: 49 in 2018, 80 in 2017.

While a number of these classes are down on numbers from previous years and some have shown growth, what it tells us is that Olympic sailing does not keep people in the sport. Unfortunately we find newcomers are not being told of the different pathways they can take in the sport and find themselves with nowhere to go when the youth scene wraps up at 18 years of age. Some go surfing, some play team sports, and for others life just gets in the way, but who can blame them? The absolute last thing most of them want to do once they finish their junior and youth sailing is slog away for four years on a campaign trail that costs a bomb and has an extremely low success rate.

We think clubs are the key to driving the sport forward. Photo: Down Under Sail
We think clubs are the key to driving the sport forward. Photo: Down Under Sail

This should be the most exciting time for a sailor, when you’ve finished school and have the opportunity to grab your boat and travel across the country with your mates having the time of your life, all the while enjoying everything a life around the water has to offer. It can be done economically, in your own time, and is a world away from the so called “pathway” we’re all told we need to be on.

Down Under Sail is trying to drive the industry forward and needs your support. If you have retention issues or your class is looking for the exposure it deserves, let us know and we can help. Together with our industry partners we want to drive the direction of the sport and give it back to the everyday sailor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Down Under Sail is trying to drive the industry forward and needs your support. If you have retention issues or your class is looking for the exposure it deserves, let us know and we can help. Together with our industry partners we want to drive the direction of the sport and give it back to the everyday sailor.

Buy an ad?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why buy an ad when the same self-serving puff piece appears in at least 3 threads?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved this part:

It’s sad that we don’t have to travel far in our sailing communities to find the stories of those that were unsuccessful and drained their savings reaching for the proverbial brass ring only to fall short and feel like years have been taken off their life. As a parent looking out for your child’s future, especially considering the hours of coaching and travel at youth level that is an investment in itself, wouldn’t you rather choose to steer them towards professional avenues that give them some form of financial security and a return on their investment, away from the Olympic pathway?

This guy has somehow confused sailing small boats - a hobby - with a career.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I replied to this thread earlier today and my post has been eliminated so im pretty sure its not worth participating .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Mambo Kings said:

I replied to this thread earlier today and my post has been eliminated so im pretty sure its not worth participating .

I don't think you were censored. I've had posts get lost in the bit bucket. Post it again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Mambo Kings said:

I replied to this thread earlier today and my post has been eliminated so im pretty sure its not worth participating .

The OP was spamming SA. Are you in one of the other threads?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Olympic Sailing has NEVER been our sport's pinnacle in my view, just a stepping stone - a gold medal is very compelling to sponsors.

If it were the true pinnacle - and to use the Finn Class as an example then GBR would have had 2, perhaps even 3 competitors at the last Games as GBR had 3 sailors in or around the world top ten. Ben Ainslie, Giles Scott and Ed Wright. So you could be the second best sailor IN THE WORLD in a particular class and NEVER have a chance of an Olympic medal while the world's 20th best sailor (for example) could sail in the medal race.

And that is the flaw with the way sailors are selected for the Olympics - one per MNA.

I seem to remember Rodney Pattision considered it more difficult to secure the Olympic berth than win the Gold in Acapulco (he did score something like 5 bullets, a 2nd and an OCS (by 6 inches)) in the actual games. It was one of his 2 golds along with a silver.

He was largely (mainly) self funded by the way.

The true pinnacles are the likes of the VOR and the AC or even those sailors who go on to secure top jobs as tacticians to wealthy owners.

I think many of the 'greats' who climbed to the real pinnacles of our sport never competed in the Olympics.

Picking some key team members from some of the Volvo Ocean Race Teams - Rob Greenhalgh, Bowwe Becking, Charles Caudrelier, Brian Thompson, Simon Fisher,

Or other sections of our sport De Kerssuson, Tabarly, Colas, Knox Johnson, Joyon, McArthur, Alex Thomson, Sam Davies.

None of them Olympians

Even Ian Williams, 5 times World match Race Champion, if he went to the Olympics it was only as a spectator.

And what about the Peyron Brothers?

The list could run and run.

Not taking away anything from those who do well in the Olympics but I do tend to believe that World Sailing pays too much attention to the Olympics but then again the IOC does pay many of World Sailing's bills indirectly.

Just sayin

'SS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, shanghaisailor said:

The true pinnacles are the likes of the VOR and the AC or even those sailors who go on to secure top jobs as tacticians to wealthy owners.

 

Well, another way to look at those are as gigs for ageing Olympic sailors to recoup their career investment and make a bit of $£€. Nothing wrong with that but not the "pinnacle". The idea that big boats and working for wealthy owners is the dogs bollocks is exactly what is wrong with the sport of sailing.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Etchell was designed as a competitor to the Soling as an Olympic class, but it lost out to Jans' Soling..........................................

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being an Olympic class has often meant that 3/4 of the time, the fleet evaporates: the year before the game its all on, but the rest of the time its lacking (usually).

Follow the money: most problems seem to be related to money. World Sailing is predominately funded by the IOC (between 30% and 90%). Yet a handful of sailors are olympic sailors, the vast majority are not. A tiny portion of the sport (the Olympic Games) has tremendously outsized influence. Therefore, we end up with a fundamental distortion. Similar to how politics are distorted by money, so most people are not represented.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Down Under Sail is trying to drive the industry forward and needs your support. If you have retention issues or your class is looking for the exposure it deserves, let us know and we can help. Together with our industry partners we want to drive the direction of the sport and give it back to the everyday sailor.

Good on ya, self serving or not (outside the UK) many people are saying the same

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would give aspiring Olympic sailors the same advise my father gave me at that age.

Get a haircut and get a real job.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To give one example. Why sail a 49er when you have a job and maybe a family when you are going to get whipped by a small group of sailors paid to sail. Your 200-500 hours a year sailing versus there 2000 hours sailing or in the gym just won't cut it. 

You can buy a musto and get similar performance, lose £3000 over 2-3 years and sail against good sailors who all also have jobs. Our elite funding structure in the UK as replicated in many other countries kills Olympic classes. Hell not even the waszp could survive the five ring circus with healthy local fleets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, seamouse said:

The Etchell was designed as a competitor to the Soling as an Olympic class, but it lost out to Jans' Soling..........................................

 

That was the best thing that could have happened to the class.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, LB 15 said:

I would give aspiring Olympic sailors the same advise my father gave me at that age.

Get a haircut and get a real job.

But did you listen!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

Olympic Sailing has NEVER been our sport's pinnacle in my view, just a stepping stone - a gold medal is very compelling to sponsors.

An Olympic Gold does look good on your CV when you apply to crew in VOR, AC or on a Maxi. 100% agree...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is one of the major issues the expectation that is driven by the Olympic pathway garbage that all participants can go on to gain employment in the "sailing industry"?

God forbid these same children look towards doing an apprenticeship to get a trade or study with the goal to be a success in the real world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, LB 15 said:

I would give aspiring Olympic sailors the same advise my father gave me at that age.

Get a haircut and get a real job.

With huge kudos to George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers.  Aka Lonesome George.

He got a hair cut, and he got a REAL job!  Or, at least his brother Bob did.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There truly is a place in the Olympic for sailing. It has been a part of the modern games for a long time and it will continue to evolve. In some quads it might be positive for the sport and in other quads it might not be. But I hope it does remains an Olympic sport.

I am glad I had my limited involvement with it was during a phase when I enjoyed the classes involved.

Interesting conversation over funding. Here in the USA there has always been very limited funds for the actual sailors as the overhead of the MNA would suck up all available resources. In the years I sailed on the US team the most we got was team gear that was useless except to attempt to impress girls in the bar or get a ride on some keelboat on a Wednesday night?

Fortunately some of the US multiple Olympiads such as Stu in the 470 does not need to worry about ever having a job as the family fortune appears to covers his ambitions. And god bless him for having that opportunity. Not bad when your family name is on a few buildings at Yale! But basically if you do not have this level of personal backing you are not thinking of successfully doing an Olympic program unless you have secured some personal sponsorship. At least not at a level of attaining a medal.

So there is a big disconnect in the US and highly talented sailors do not see a pathway to rise to the medal level. Still amazing to see no competitive women’s 470 sailor step up in the US in this era of pushing for woman’s success in all facets of our sport. While  Nikki Barnes is being touted  by US Sailing as the US’s best hope to attend the Olympics she has a huge mountain to climb and only has one international event in the class on her resume that I see with a very introductory score. I wish her huge success, but wow, what a  big uphill battle ahead of her. And she is not spending the regatta season in Europe gaining critical knowledge of the class and how to be successful. It seems they are more following the mantra of competing is more important than the medal. But she still needs to make the final selections and I will bet some other teams will step up to the challenge.

I do think in the US that there is an attempt to balance how US Sailing supports sailing across the many segments of our community. It is a very fractured organization with many interest groups fighting for a piece of the sponsorship/membership dollar. The Olympics while consuming a lot of overhead dollars really only support a few sailors with coaching and the MNA requirements. It will be interesting to see how they spin the pipeline program and what success has come out of that expense. Although that has been highly funded by the Devos family. I am hoping there is some measurable results going forward.

Overall from a US standpoint we have fallen off the podium in my opinion because we have not followed the route many other countries have moved to. Back when the eastern block country athletes where all members of the military they just trained all the time but avoided the professionalism limitations. Now they do not need to be in the military as the MNA’s can pay them directly. The US has not subscribed to this process. There is no structure in our country to change this.

while I hate to see some of the last remaining old school aspect of the Olympics change I think it is an ever changing aspect that will continue and we just need to adapt and overcome. Anyway you look at it today the Olympic sailing in the US is basically a very small spec on the map in terms of sailing in this country that becomes an emotionally charged conversation for a short time period every four years running or when the topic of classes comes up. With the 2028 Olympics in Los Angles I just hope we get it figured out so we can regain some of our past glory from 1984.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, bdu98252 said:

To give one example. Why sail a 49er when you have a job and maybe a family when you are going to get whipped by a small group of sailors paid to sail. Your 200-500 hours a year sailing versus there 2000 hours sailing or in the gym just won't cut it. 

 

To give one example of what?

If your objective is to win in a class with minimum input, there are always going to be classes that are easier to win than others and it isn't so hard to figure out which they are. Olympic classes will be hard to win but there are others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, bait said:

Overall from a US standpoint we have fallen off the podium in my opinion because we have not followed the route many other countries have moved to. Back when the eastern block country athletes where all members of the military they just trained all the time but avoided the professionalism limitations. Now they do not need to be in the military as the MNA’s can pay them directly. The US has not subscribed to this process. There is no structure in our country to change this.

 

That and the belief that domestic trials are an effective way to select potential medallists, when  the actual competition are out sailing the international circuit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

umm...USA does not do domestic trials anymore....  Points system based on 3 scheduled gold cup regattas (or whatever they call them now)  Guliari represented the USA  in N17s based on a very strong result in Miami OCR that nudged him into the lead by  a point or so... despite middle of the pack results afterwards in the scheduled events....

Also, they won't just fund  a sailing team unless they pass a threshold on the world cup circuit.   Tis why the team is not full.... (not that they can't find a body to fill the slot)  Of course the USA still supports self funded teams to compete using the  US allocation of slots. At the end of the quad cycle...  I don't think US Selection is as tight as the aussi standard... which seems to be chance at medal to actually secure your slot.  

The Olympics are about individual athletic performance....  So. that becomes the drive to change the events to tilt towards singlehanders. 

What I was surprised with is the enthusiasm for mixed classes.  I dont' think any other discipline is force into doing the country club social scene of mixed doubles events.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

I loved this part:

It’s sad that we don’t have to travel far in our sailing communities to find the stories of those that were unsuccessful and drained their savings reaching for the proverbial brass ring only to fall short and feel like years have been taken off their life. As a parent looking out for your child’s future, especially considering the hours of coaching and travel at youth level that is an investment in itself, wouldn’t you rather choose to steer them towards professional avenues that give them some form of financial security and a return on their investment, away from the Olympic pathway?

This guy has somehow confused sailing small boats - a hobby - with a career.

So only big boat sailors get a career?  Don't we all start with small boats?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, dogwatch said:

To give one example of what?

If your objective is to win in a class with minimum input, there are always going to be classes that are easier to win than others and it isn't so hard to figure out which they are. Olympic classes will be hard to win but there are others.

The point is that a class being in the Olympics results in no one who does not want to go to the Olympics sailing it. There is testing yourself against your peers and then there is entering a contest that you have no chance of winning before we even factor in talent. The disparity in equipment that goes beyond training hours is immense. What would your sail budget be as an individual to compete in a 470 on an equal footing. It would not be 1 set of sails a year on a rolling replacement scheme that is for sure. This is before you buy a boat to train in and a boat for major events assuming you want your A boat to last more than a year.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our American Friends tell us that if they got off their ass they could do what ever they want.

The Olympics is corrupt and so last century, few care anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

Olympic Sailing has NEVER been our sport's pinnacle in my view, just a stepping stone - a gold medal is very compelling to sponsors.

Fuck here we go ... SS has arrived and puts a real $$ slant to it.

Fuck sailing, it'$ all about $$.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, bdu98252 said:

The point is that a class being in the Olympics results in no one who does not want to go to the Olympics sailing it. There is testing yourself against your peers and then there is entering a contest that you have no chance of winning before we even factor in talent. The disparity in equipment that goes beyond training hours is immense. What would your sail budget be as an individual to compete in a 470 on an equal footing. It would not be 1 set of sails a year on a rolling replacement scheme that is for sure. This is before you buy a boat to train in and a boat for major events assuming you want your A boat to last more than a year.  

Very few unsupported or unsponsored sailors could buy as many Finn sailors as Ben Ainslie was given in a season.

Having said that he did earn the right by his brilliance to receive that sort of support.

My only beef with the Olympic classes is the level of support that World Sailing gives them while virtually every other class has to look after themselves.

Is that equitable?

SS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, bdu98252 said:

The point is that a class being in the Olympics results in no one who does not want to go to the Olympics sailing it. 

Not really true. There is, for example, a thriving Finn class in the club nearest mine.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, dogwatch said:

Not really true. There is, for example, a thriving Finn class in the club nearest mine.

 We have a few Lasers at our club, too, and a 470. No 49ers but we're inland and conditions are not conducive. We have a few 29ers, though, and a couple of 420s...

 We don't have any Nacras...but then we didn't have any Tornados, either, nor Hobies, back in the day.

I think I'm missing the point- which classes was it that have been killed by inclusion in the Olympics?

Cheers,

             W.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh dear, just when you think you have the measure of the stupidity of some people they prove to you just how wrong you are.

$$s - as he puts it are most certainly required in our sport but not so many if you just RC sail.

But at least he does have a point - it IS all about dollars unless he has a means of getting boats, sails and other gear for free. If it wasn't we'd have 20 entries in the VOR and 10 going to Auckland in 2021 and does he think Sir Ben's Aston Martin runs on fresh air? Of course it doesn't.

Go on sir - you tell us how it isn't all about money? or do you live in a commune?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, dogwatch said:

Not really true. There is, for example, a thriving Finn class in the club nearest mine.

Every little puddle here seems to have a Finn fleet. We have over 20 in my club with about 12 really active. I'm heading to Barcelona for the Masters on Thursday. 353 boats registered.
There is also a fair bit of 470 activity around too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, WGWarburton said:

 We have a few Lasers at our club, too, and a 470. No 49ers but we're inland and conditions are not conducive. We have a few 29ers, though, and a couple of 420s...

 We don't have any Nacras...but then we didn't have any Tornados, either, nor Hobies, back in the day.

I think I'm missing the point- which classes was it that have been killed by inclusion in the Olympics?

Cheers,

             W.

 

 

Soling

470

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, savoir said:

 

Soling

470

The Soling would never have even existed without the Olympics.
The 470 seems to be sailed here, not huge but they get 15 -25 boats for their local Regattas, much more for the bigger ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, savoir said:

 

Soling

470

Soling was designed for the Olympics, it's inclusion did not kill an existing class.

470?  It's a stretch... There are a fair number of single-trap double-handers around, is the 470 faring worse than others as a result of its inclusion in the Olympics? I'm open to persuasion but I don't think its self-evident. It's not like there are big fleets of Hornets, Ospreys, Javelins and Laser-2s around, nor that the Fireball or 5-0 would be down the pan if they were selected. Sure there are people who might choose a non-Olympic class over an Olympic one so that they don't go to the Nationals knowing they'll get schooled but there are also people who would choose to join a class where they know they can share the start line with the absolute best in the world... Mostly, though, I don't think it's a major factor in the way people choose which boat to sail... Class enthusiasts, local fleets, cost, atmosphere, suitability all play a bigger part in the success, and hence failure, of a class...

Cheers,

             W.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, bdu98252 said:

The point is that a class being in the Olympics results in no one who does not want to go to the Olympics sailing it. There is testing yourself against your peers and then there is entering a contest that you have no chance of winning before we even factor in talent. The disparity in equipment that goes beyond training hours is immense. What would your sail budget be as an individual to compete in a 470 on an equal footing. It would not be 1 set of sails a year on a rolling replacement scheme that is for sure. This is before you buy a boat to train in and a boat for major events assuming you want your A boat to last more than a year.  

This comment is naïve at best.  The last time I was involved in a 470 campaign we (my sail loft supporting the team) had three 470's, five masts, maybe a dozen suits of sails, a double dinghy trailer with tow vehicle and a RIB support boat with 40hp outboard.  A typical event would have the sailors, a support crew of at least two and sometimes someone to photograph our sails and our competition to do analysis of mast bend, sail twist and such after the fact.  Black and white images were fed into software that measured and recorded this data and was correlated with results and weather conditions.  My partner and I probably spent $150,000 on this Olympic campaign in 1977-1980, which would be maybe $400,000 in todays money.  And we are not counting man hours.  There were even occasions when we were unhappy with the sails and did an 'all nighter' to make new sails for the next day.

To run your own campaign for the Olympics today IMO would be a minimum of $800,000.    

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, WGWarburton said:

Soling was designed for the Olympics, it's inclusion did not kill an existing class.

470?  It's a stretch... There are a fair number of single-trap double-handers around, is the 470 faring worse than others as a result of its inclusion in the Olympics? I'm open to persuasion but I don't think its self-evident. It's not like there are big fleets of Hornets, Ospreys, Javelins and Laser-2s around, nor that the Fireball or 5-0 would be down the pan if they were selected. Sure there are people who might choose a non-Olympic class over an Olympic one so that they don't go to the Nationals knowing they'll get schooled but there are also people who would choose to join a class where they know they can share the start line with the absolute best in the world... Mostly, though, I don't think it's a major factor in the way people choose which boat to sail... Class enthusiasts, local fleets, cost, atmosphere, suitability all play a bigger part in the success, and hence failure, of a class...

Cheers,

             W.

 

The Soling has always been a numbers disaster. The last US Nationals attracted a whopping 11 starters. Killing off another class has nothing to do with it and wasn't the question. I couldn't tell you the last time I saw a 470. None of the clubs around Narragansett Bay race them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a stupid thread. There are at least four other threads running on the Olympic classes. All of them better than this one. Cant we consolidate the discussion on one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's also the wrong question.

The question is whether competitive sport is relevant any more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, 2savage said:

This comment is naïve at best.  The last time I was involved in a 470 campaign we (my sail loft supporting the team) had three 470's, five masts, maybe a dozen suits of sails, a double dinghy trailer with tow vehicle and a RIB support boat with 40hp outboard.  A typical event would have the sailors, a support crew of at least two and sometimes someone to photograph our sails and our competition to do analysis of mast bend, sail twist and such after the fact.  Black and white images were fed into software that measured and recorded this data and was correlated with results and weather conditions.  My partner and I probably spent $150,000 on this Olympic campaign in 1977-1980, which would be maybe $400,000 in todays money.  And we are not counting man hours.  There were even occasions when we were unhappy with the sails and did an 'all nighter' to make new sails for the next day.

To run your own campaign for the Olympics today IMO would be a minimum of $800,000.    

So you agreed with my comment and provided more evidence to back up my view then call the comment "naïve at best". I don't get it. Maybe it is my naivety.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Olympic Sailing, the Country Qualifies to participate, usually a year or 2 before the games,  but not the actual sailor who qualified the country.........Yep, some sailor qualified the country and then has to go through a system or payoff someone to be the actual rep for that country.Pretty weird.

When Sailing has a qualification system more like track and field so the worlds best are all sailing at the Games instead of one from each country, then it might be the pinnacle.

The Olympics are great for individual athletes, that play the game (and it is a game), but overall bad for sailing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now