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Colleges dropping sailing as a varsity sport..

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This from the Wall Street Journal—colleges are dropping “too expensive (and too white) sports—like sailing:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/with-budgets-under-pressure-colleges-cut-country-club-staples-like-golf-and-tennis-11595170801
Let’s face it, gang.  We have done diddly to integrate sailing.  I hope some of the community sailing centers — like the one starting up in New Orleans, can help make a dent in that.  Just my opinion—and apparently of concern to college sports budgeteers.

flame away...   or discuss.
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There’s cheaper ways to let legacy admissions happen without wasting varsity sport spots. 

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FYI linked article is behind paywall.

31 minutes ago, nolatom said:

Let’s face it, gang.  We have done diddly to integrate sailing. 

Like what? Did you buy a Superbowl ad saying "Hey come sailing, we aren't like the judge from Caddyshack sitting around in blazers"?

Sailing is buried in a crowded market with other adventure sports, so potential sailors are also potential surfers, kiteboarders, scuba divers, kayakers, rock climbers, mountain bikers, go-karters, etc. That combined with limited geographical access (need a club or a DNR/Municipal Marina to store boats and launch from) and the need to be comfortable in the water, somewhat independent and somewhat mechanically inclined naturally dissuades the bulk of the population.

There are quite a few organizations dedicated to water access for underrepresented groups, off the top of my head there is a camp in downtown Detroit with that aim:  https://www.challengethewind.org/

as well as the USSAILING initiative that will provide boats and coaching FOR FREE for organizations serving underrepresented groups.  https://www.ussailing.org/education/youth/siebel-sailors-program/

to say nothing about women-centric programs, Wounded Warrior programs, adaptive sailing, et al. There doesn't need to be a litany of different programs, the programs that already exist need to be focused and take the time and grow to the point they become fixtures in the community.

As far as collegiate sailing goes, outside of a few well known programs most College teams are pretty low-rent, so the six FJ's sitting on the edge of the pond are almost a rounding error in the booster budget for $10M football stadiums and basketball practice facilities. Many teams receive ZERO support from their parent university, and run on low-4 figure budgets with sailor dues and small-scale fundraisers making up the majority of capital.

There is no racial or gender component to being a successful sailor, as Lijia Xu or Greg and Sarah Douglas can confirm. However many Olympic/AC/VOR sailors were brought up in the sport or at least supported in it from an early age. Contrast this with ICSA sailing, where roughly half (depending on region) of club members are non-sailors or have very limited experience. There is NO barrier preventing anyone of any color or creed from signing up for their school club team and learning to sail, besides the maybe $100-200 club dues.

 

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Well from the tepid interest in this thread I'd dare to guess not too many regular folks give a rats arse if Stanford beats UCLA in 420s.  Sad statement but when you can't get sailors riled up imagine getting Joe Sixpack all perturbed.

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13 minutes ago, JimBowie said:

Well from the tepid interest in this thread I'd dare to guess not too many regular folks give a rats arse if Stanford beats UCLA in 420s.  Sad statement but when you can't get sailors riled up imagine getting Joe Sixpack all perturbed.

Exactly, I personally don't know many people who actually watched the college scores unless someone they knew were attached to them. Most of the other kids at my college didn't even know we had a sailing team.

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FJs and 420s were lame, even back in the 90s when I sailed them.

Replace them with Waszps if you want to get kids into sailing. Lasers for Freshmen, and then foils after.

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White sports, lets face it sailing is right up there with billiards

 

 

 

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College sailing is now run by and for the benefit of college coaches. It’s a good thing that sailing is being dropped as a varsity sport. It’s fine as a club sport. 

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5 hours ago, toad said:

White sports, lets face it sailing is right up there with billiards

 

 

 

That's a bit unfair..... to billiards - pretty strong international scene with representation from ROK, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines 

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6 hours ago, apophenia said:

FJs and 420s were lame, even back in the 90s when I sailed them.

Replace them with Waszps if you want to get kids into sailing. Lasers for Freshmen, and then foils after.

When one of the complaints is that it's too expensive, replacing less-expensive simple durable boats with fancy ones is not likely to get off the ground.

There have been a LOT of threads about how to get kids more interested in sailing, IMHO the biggest problem is the motivation of those who want it is all wrong and they drive kids out of sailing. But that's a whole different topic.

Back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and I sailed in college (and it was a club sport at this particular state uni) it was a club sport (and it was FJs and 420s), and organized under ICSA rather than NCAA much to the chagrin of the Athletics Dept who saw sailing as an egghead sport and wanted to give sailing scholarships to raise their average GPA for the football and basketball teams.

Has that changed, is sailing under NCAA now? If true, it's no bad thing to drop it as a varsity sport since the absence of media income make 'sailing'  an unwelcome red-head stepchild in the Athletics Depts. The presence of scholarships is also a severe distortion of reality.

I've sort of dabbled with college sailing but don't really care that much about it, it was probably the most fun and most competitive sailing of my life but it's not important in the bigger world, obviously.

FB- Doug

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Okay, I think maybe I was too harsh on "us".  The point of the article (sorry didn't know it was pay-to-read) was that being overwhelmingly "white" is one more reason to kill the sailing program at University X, especially when funds are tight, and (I guess) in part they want to look, or be, "woke".   And I will guess the Rick Singer rich-people-fraud thing didn't help much either.

Yes, there is increasingly more access to affordable sailing.  I grew up (long long ago) not far from Community Boating in Boston, which has been around since the '30s, and was and is open to all at low cost.  It trained a lot of kids, but black faces were rare, the kids without much money who caught on, were from Southie rather than Roxbury.  NEISA was the same. 

It's an image problem.  The access is increasingly there, and I hope it changes things. 

How diverse are we on SA?  No, wait, never mind...

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Here is what the cool white kids are competing at in college these days. And they get award prize money! 

 

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I didn't send my kids to college so they could go sailing. Not sure this is a thing.   

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Same reason the Olympics keeps dialing back the number of boats every 4 years and NO ONE wants to televise sailing.  If you don't know what you're looking at it's impossible to watch and generates little to no income for ANY kind of program outside of yacht club regattas.

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There was a college match racing series on youtube that I enjoyed watching. I enjoy watching the boat handling and bad commentators explaining right of way on port/starboard 100 times doesn't matter when it's exciting the whole time.

For regular dinghy sailing to be entertaining to the uninitiated you need great commentary, graphics, expert opinion, etc. Otherwise you might as well watch horse racing.

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Football really screws up college athletics.  85 scholarships have to be matched to keep the profits coming in.  Sailing is expensive and doesn't help that.

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8 minutes ago, eastern motors said:

Football really screws up college athletics.  85 scholarships have to be matched to keep the profits coming in.  Sailing is expensive and doesn't help that.

Used to be cheap way to make some legacy admissions happen. Except for maritime/coast guard schools, notice how most of the other varsity programs out there are not exactly working class programs. 
 

also not a surprise US, despite huge resources and athletic talent, produces very little sailing talent at the Olympic level. 

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not sure how many varsity sailing programs that existed anyway?   most are club level...  SMU  sailing team just faded away as seniors who graduated never spent the time making sure there was someone to take over after they left... 

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4 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

When one of the complaints is that it's too expensive, replacing less-expensive simple durable boats with fancy ones is not likely to get off the ground.

There have been a LOT of threads about how to get kids more interested in sailing, IMHO the biggest problem is the motivation of those who want it is all wrong and they drive kids out of sailing. But that's a whole different topic.

Back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and I sailed in college (and it was a club sport at this particular state uni) it was a club sport (and it was FJs and 420s), and organized under ICSA rather than NCAA much to the chagrin of the Athletics Dept who saw sailing as an egghead sport and wanted to give sailing scholarships to raise their average GPA for the football and basketball teams.

Has that changed, is sailing under NCAA now? If true, it's no bad thing to drop it as a varsity sport since the absence of media income make 'sailing'  an unwelcome red-head stepchild in the Athletics Depts. The presence of scholarships is also a severe distortion of reality.

I've sort of dabbled with college sailing but don't really care that much about it, it was probably the most fun and most competitive sailing of my life but it's not important in the bigger world, obviously.

FB- Doug

Sailing was a club sport for me too. The school's approach was essentially benign indifference. An alumni paid for our insurance, we "found" the 40' shipping container full of old FJs from the '80s incarnation of the club and we students did the rest (badly). It was a ton of fun, but we were more focused on sailing than fundraising, that was likely a big mistake.

If you focus on the bottom line, sailing never makes sense. Absent a major pandemic, flying or driving is almost always a more practical way to get from point A to point B. If you must go by the sea, powerboats are probably safer and more practical. A Playstation is a far more affordable way to entertain yourself, and it doesn't require a large body of water nearby or much expensive clothing.

Instead, you have to focus on the top line. Bring a healthy mix of kids into the sport and you enrich the student body by exposing them to a highly technical team sport with a built in social network. You can focus on the old money legacy students if you want, or you can open things up to attract a more diverse crowd.

Incidentally, it looks like CFJs go for about $10k new. I'm sure they are more robust and need less maintenance than a Waszp ($14k is the last price I recall, but with all the bells and whistles included), but the gap is smaller than I expected. UFOs go for $7930, so I'm sure it would be possible to construct a foiling college package that doesn't break the bank and does bring students into a sport that has broad academic relevance (at least within STEM) compared to the various sportsballs.

 

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The purchase price difference between CFJs and Waszp's probably isn't the issue. It's the arms race that inevitably occurs if the class rules don't have simple affordability rules like dacron sails.

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How is it done in a country that likes sailing?  France perhaps?

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1 minute ago, Windward said:

How is it done in a country that likes sailing?  France perhaps?

French clubs aren’t stratified like American clubs - where there’s another totally unspoken but complex layer of exclusion of “wrong kind of members” while simultaneously lamenting the clubs are getting old and grey and dying a slow death. 

Look at French, Kiwi and Aussie youth sailing and it is far more layers of kids being kids and exceptional kids getting more exceptional training. Parents also have actual vacation days. 

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No one seems to have mentioned this but sailing remains one of the least diverse sports out there. Colleges are very conscious about offering options that a diverse student body will find interesting. When there is some actual diversity in the sport we may begin to see schools again take an interest in the sport.

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College Sailing is actually quite inexpensive aside from travel budgets, however, aside from pulling up the varsity athlete graduation rates there is no ROI for the schools.  Also no RAH! and minimal tailgating with limited spectating.  Clearly needs more collisions and sex appeal and easily accessed public spectating venues plus video coverage with cutting commentary.  Also, need to drastically reset the market image of what is and who is sailing.  

That said, college club level program for me.  Loved FJ's, Larks, and Tech Dinghies, Loathed 420's and the nose heavy Interclubs.  Had fun, learned quite a bit.  

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11 hours ago, sunseeker said:

College sailing is now run by and for the benefit of college coaches. It’s a good thing that sailing is being dropped as a varsity sport. It’s fine as a club sport. 

It was FANTASTIC as a club sport. 35 years ago anyway. Cost nothing. OK 350 for membership in Maisa or Neisa etc. We relied on USNA, Princeton, Rutgers, Kings Point, Christopher Newport, Tufts, MIT etc to host regattas, and then we got to sail their boats. NA was epic. They even had Div II windsurfers! One regatta, my team stayed at USNA coach's house! We ran out and got them a present. They were so incredibly nice to us losers.

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Perhaps not high on diversity, but isn't sailing still co-ed?  Our club team sailed in hand-me-down 420's that we got from Yale for $200 each.  The ice wasn't out on our lake so we traveled to regattas at Tufts & Maine Maritime to get some practice in warmer venues. Much further than that took too much gas.  The playing field is not the only place to learn about  teamwork.

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1 hour ago, PaulK said:

Perhaps not high on diversity, but isn't sailing still co-ed?  Our club team sailed in hand-me-down 420's that we got from Yale for $200 each.  The ice wasn't out on our lake so we traveled to regattas at Tufts & Maine Maritime to get some practice in warmer venues. Much further than that took too much gas.  The playing field is not the only place to learn about  teamwork.

As a teen, it was the only truly coed sport. Holly could beat even the most studly self-confident boys and did it reguarly.

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4 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

As a teen, it was the only truly coed sport. Holly could beat even the most studly self-confident boys and did it reguarly.

Historically sailing varsity was an easier way to achieve title ix compliance. But the programs are terrible are funding themselves.

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35 minutes ago, Miffy said:

Historically sailing varsity was an easier way to achieve title ix compliance. But the programs are terrible are funding themselves.

Interesting. Rowing became the cost effective method. No more land required. Interestingly the women went NCAA but men are not.

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15 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

Interesting. Rowing became the cost effective method. No more land required. Interestingly the women went NCAA but men are not.

Far better sport IMO - I'm not a rower but there's a very active community rowing club that's heavily represented by young professional women and men. It touches all the right tones re togetherness, working hard, solidarity and has none of the baggage of dirty old men in sailing. 

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On 7/22/2020 at 9:32 AM, RobbieB said:

Same reason the Olympics keeps dialing back the number of boats every 4 years and NO ONE wants to televise sailing.  If you don't know what you're looking at it's impossible to watch and generates little to no income for ANY kind of program outside of yacht club regattas.

 

 

 

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18 billion dollar endowment with no other real money generating athletic programs in Div I. 

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The programs getting cut are using assets only for the team. Programs like MIT and Hoofers are alive, well, and will continue to promote our sport. I could give a rats ass about kids get fully funded airline tickets. I want sailing accessible. Might finally kill the Varsity vs. Club team issue in college sailing, which would be FINE with me.

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23 hours ago, climenuts said:

The purchase price difference between CFJs and Waszp's probably isn't the issue. It's the arms race that inevitably occurs if the class rules don't have simple affordability rules like dacron sails.

if i remember when i raced at school,  we used the host's boats, never towed anything to a regatta..

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Is collegiate bass fishing safe ? I do like to catch that on espn now and then.

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7 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:
On 7/22/2020 at 2:55 PM, climenuts said:

The purchase price difference between CFJs and Waszp's probably isn't the issue. It's the arms race that inevitably occurs if the class rules don't have simple affordability rules like dacron sails.

if i remember when i raced at school,  we used the host's boats, never towed anything to a regatta..

Depends on where you are. Some schools have fleets, on the West Coast it's common for schools to only have a couple of boats and teams bring one to a regatta.... they still rotate though.

FB- Doug

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Title IX requires equal funding of men’s and women’s sports.  Rowing and sailing have both benefited because they are co-Ed or women’s only.   Rowing and sailing are pretty cheap ways to spend enough money to pay for the football team.

Stanford ‘s Sailing Coach was implicated in the Varsity Blues sting.  Of course the sport was canned.

Who knows what College and Universities will look like after Covid 19.  The entire model seems up for grabs.

SHC

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9 hours ago, Roller Skates said:

The programs getting cut are using assets only for the team. Programs like MIT and Hoofers are alive, well, and will continue to promote our sport. I could give a rats ass about kids get fully funded airline tickets. I want sailing accessible. Might finally kill the Varsity vs. Club team issue in college sailing, which would be FINE with me.

Accessibly is the key.
Sailing has become a sport of the 1%.

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College sailing is a little paradoxical in that it actually can exclude decent sailors from mainstream competition if they’re the wrong body type. Stockier or taller sailors (usually men but sometimes women too) are banished to lasers or keelboats, since the ideal combined crew weight of the FJ/420 is around 270-290, and the more balanced the better. 

At the same time, college sailing accommodates plenty of walk-ons, even at the higher levels. Without a kite to fly, crew work is very fundamental and easy to learn for anyone who is athletic and competitive. Unfortunately, few of these walk-on sailors ever stick with it after school, probably because they’re never introduced to the sailing community at large.

I’ve been filling out my keelboat crew with sailors from the local college who are around for summer classes. It’s a pretty casual club team, and most don’t have much racing experience. They’re excellent learners and really get hooked on the teamwork of flying the kite.

All of this is to say that there’s nothing stopping college sailing from becoming more diverse, especially when a good chunk of it is made up of people who have never set foot in a yacht club. And in fact, every passing year I read my alma mater’s sailing newsletter (it’s a nationally-ranked varsity program), the team seems to be resembling the overall population (at least on campus) more and more. If we can do more to keep these people sailing after college,  it will greatly benefit the sport.

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On 7/21/2020 at 11:46 PM, JimBowie said:

Well from the tepid interest in this thread I'd dare to guess not too many regular folks give a rats arse if Stanford beats UCLA in 420s.  Sad statement but when you can't get sailors riled up imagine getting Joe Sixpack all perturbed.

I really don't give any part of a rat which college beats which one. Why would I? How many college sailors are sailing after they graduate?

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8 hours ago, Sisu3360 said:

College sailing is a little paradoxical in that it actually can exclude decent sailors from mainstream competition if they’re the wrong body type. Stockier or taller sailors (usually men but sometimes women too) are banished to lasers or keelboats, since the ideal combined crew weight of the FJ/420 is around 270-290, and the more balanced the better. 

At the same time, college sailing accommodates plenty of walk-ons, even at the higher levels. Without a kite to fly, crew work is very fundamental and easy to learn for anyone who is athletic and competitive. Unfortunately, few of these walk-on sailors ever stick with it after school, probably because they’re never introduced to the sailing community at large.

I’ve been filling out my keelboat crew with sailors from the local college who are around for summer classes. It’s a pretty casual club team, and most don’t have much racing experience. They’re excellent learners and really get hooked on the teamwork of flying the kite.

All of this is to say that there’s nothing stopping college sailing from becoming more diverse, especially when a good chunk of it is made up of people who have never set foot in a yacht club. And in fact, every passing year I read my alma mater’s sailing newsletter (it’s a nationally-ranked varsity program), the team seems to be resembling the overall population (at least on campus) more and more. If we can do more to keep these people sailing after college,  it will greatly benefit the sport.

In an era when almost every keelboat owner I know is constantly complaining about not being able to get crew, it really defies reason that so few are keeping this door open.

There used to be a near-constant debate about the lameness of 420s and FJs and how college sailing was dying because of a lack of EXCITING! new hot boats, but the fact is that it isn't really dying. It waxes and wanes with the personalities involved, and the basic fact that sailing is lots of fun tends to keep kids coming in. But we need to keep the door open

FB- Doug

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On 7/23/2020 at 12:41 PM, Meat Wad said:

 

 

 

Now that's comedy!  Do you know who made that video?

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To me, the point wasn't how exciting or lame" the boats were, it was the level of competition.  The Tech Dinghys and Interclubs were by no means "exciting", but the one-design competition was, whether in college sailing around New England, or Frostbiting in Mhead in the winter.  No one could outspend anyone else (unlike in the summer), and among 45  'lame" Interclubs on the line in the cold weather, were most of the really good sailmakers, class champions, Cup Defender crews, you name it.

How to broaden that appeal to would-be sailors nowadays?  Maybe we can't, but we can make the effort, and the community sailing programs are probably the best way to do so.  College sailing also, though the college part excludes the majority of human beings.  Sailing can be exciting, or serene, or educational, depending on the approach.  And hopefully attractive to those who would never have considered trying it. 

There's some irony in discussing all this on SA.  We have, uh, how many black or brown faces in our midst?

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On 7/23/2020 at 3:03 AM, Windward said:

How is it done in a country that likes sailing?  France perhaps?

French also have some deal with local councils involved to help local schools

I think the councils own lots of fleets?
 

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On 7/24/2020 at 11:51 PM, Sisu3360 said:

College sailing is a little paradoxical in that it actually can exclude decent sailors from mainstream competition if they’re the wrong body type. Stockier or taller sailors (usually men but sometimes women too) are banished to lasers or keelboats, since the ideal combined crew weight of the FJ/420 is around 270-290, and the more balanced the better. 

 At the same time, college sailing accommodates plenty of walk-ons, even at the higher levels. Without a kite to fly, crew work is very fundamental and easy to learn for anyone who is athletic and competitive. Unfortunately, few of these walk-on sailors ever stick with it after school, probably because they’re never introduced to the sailing community at large.

I’ve been filling out my keelboat crew with sailors from the local college who are around for summer classes. It’s a pretty casual club team, and most don’t have much racing experience. They’re excellent learners and really get hooked on the teamwork of flying the kite.

 All of this is to say that there’s nothing stopping college sailing from becoming more diverse, especially when a good chunk of it is made up of people who have never set foot in a yacht club. And in fact, every passing year I read my alma mater’s sailing newsletter (it’s a nationally-ranked varsity program), the team seems to be resembling the overall population (at least on campus) more and more. If we can do more to keep these people sailing after college,  it will greatly benefit the sport.

+1

I know a double digit number of All-Americans who haven't stuck with the sport after college because they had no pathways into other areas of Sailing

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1 hour ago, jackolantern said:

+1

I know a double digit number of All-Americans who haven't stuck with the sport after college because they had no pathways into other areas of Sailing

-1

we have lots and lots of ex-college sailors in the SF Bay Area. There is an annual Stanford/Cal alumni regatta held the week of Big Game that draws hundreds of people including spectators.

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3 minutes ago, SF Woody Sailor said:

-1

we have lots and lots of ex-college sailors in the SF Bay Area. There is an annual Stanford/Cal alumni regatta held the week of Big Game that draws hundreds of people including spectators.

May I ask, what do they do for a living in the SF area and if perhaps there’s a class of people who happen to sail?

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Most Athletic Directors come out of the Football/Basketball system and have little or no interest in what they call non-revenue sports. Keeping in mind that the so called revenue sports don't make enough money to cover their expenses but only generate cash flow. These same Directors have the mind set that any alumni donation is derived through the Football/Basketball program even if they are told it was from another sport. The NCAA is the only reason (plus Title 9) that the Olympic sports still exist on campuses. College Football and Basketball make up the Farm/Club system for those sports and the professional leagues should be supporting the College programs.

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The $$$$ costs and the risk to student safety and school image will doom many school sports and off campus activities of all types.  I few profitable FB programs  will continue many school boards will simply walk away from anything that adds risks and costs monies.  

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59 minutes ago, Proneshooter said:

Most Athletic Directors come out of the Football/Basketball system and have little or no interest in what they call non-revenue sports. Keeping in mind that the so called revenue sports don't make enough money to cover their expenses but only generate cash flow. These same Directors have the mind set that any alumni donation is derived through the Football/Basketball program even if they are told it was from another sport. The NCAA is the only reason (plus Title 9) that the Olympic sports still exist on campuses. College Football and Basketball make up the Farm/Club system for those sports and the professional leagues should be supporting the College programs.

Football is the only sport that is actually profitable.  Everything else costs dollars to be competitive. 

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4 hours ago, Miffy said:

May I ask, what do they do for a living in the SF area and if perhaps there’s a class of people who happen to sail?

Lots of different ways to make a living here as elsewhere, but I don't keep track of them all. As for a class of people who sail? Well, plenty from my class (1992) as well as guys and girls I knew who were on the team around the same time (classes of 90, 91, 93 and 94). Lots older and lots younger. Some take a break when they have young kids. I doubt it is different from the classes that sail elsewhere.

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16 minutes ago, SF Woody Sailor said:

And you see everything through the prism of class? Gotcha. 

When I go to a yacht club and notice it isn't representative of the SES of ppl around us? Yes. I do. See I'm not some hero who thinks he's making the world a better place by himself - but I don't pretend NCAA varsity athletic programs and legacy admission processes are somehow immune from societal problems.

You're the one who jumped in there to opine that sailing is in good shape with Stanford and Cal alumni then get coy about social economic status as if you're in deep denial of it all.

Even if we were put away the societal health part of it - just look at US population as a whole, the amount of athletic talent and private money we have - and how utterly poor the Olympians are in contrast to much smaller poorer funded programs. Maybe... and here's a big suggestion - just maybe college sailing aren't producing good athletes.

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On 7/23/2020 at 2:54 PM, Essex said:

Is collegiate bass fishing safe ? I do like to catch that on espn now and then.

Believe it or not, I think that actually exists.

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12 hours ago, Miffy said:

When I go to a yacht club and notice it isn't representative of the SES of ppl around us? Yes. I do. See I'm not some hero who thinks he's making the world a better place by himself - but I don't pretend NCAA varsity athletic programs and legacy admission processes are somehow immune from societal problems.

You're the one who jumped in there to opine that sailing is in good shape with Stanford and Cal alumni then get coy about social economic status as if you're in deep denial of it all.

Even if we were put away the societal health part of it - just look at US population as a whole, the amount of athletic talent and private money we have - and how utterly poor the Olympians are in contrast to much smaller poorer funded programs. Maybe... and here's a big suggestion - just maybe college sailing aren't producing good athletes.

That is a more insightful response than your original one. So let's take your points one at a time.

I am very, very far from being ignorant of the deep class and race divisions in this country and how they are sometimes related and sometimes confused. I am not coy about it. This thread is probably not the place for a nuanced discussion of that, and you would have a great deal of difficulty making the point that sailing is a cause of it all rather than a result. Is sailing a particularly diverse sport that is representative of the US population at large? No. But neither is professional basketball. The sail boat owners and yacht club members in my area are pretty representative of the racial makeup of the surrounding zip codes (crews are more diverse socio-economically but not racially). THAT is a problem. Arguably residential segregation is the most central problem of all. There was a very insightful article in the Economist a couple of weeks ago on that topic if you are interested. That is not a problem that college sailing will solve. 

On a different topic entirely, I vehemently disagree that our poor performance at the Olympic level is an indictment of college sailing. One of my sailing teammates (Ted Huang) was a two time Olympian in windsurfing (96 and 2000), and we were very proud of him. However, with the possible exception of Division I football and basketball the purpose of college sports is not to prepare student athletes for a professional career in sports. That would be dopey. There is no real prospect of a professional career in badminton or volleyball or swimming or field hockey or fencing or diving or wrestling or cross country or lacrosse or rowing or synchronized swimming or squash or (for Cal girls) beach volleyball. Does that mean all those college sports should be eliminated? Of course not. The purpose of college athletics is not to produce professional or Olympic athletes. It is to produce well rounded graduates who are not one one dimensional. Most members of the college band will not go on to professional music careers. 

In the case of sailing, in this area there are many alumni of Cal and Stanford and UC Santa Barbara and Irvine and UC Davis etc who, ten or twenty or thirty or forty years later are still very active competitive and recreational sailors. I consider that to be a great success of college sailing not a failure.

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You are college students, people of 18 to 23 years old, sail in a 420 without trapese and spi? A boat with trapese and spi used all over the world to teach kids 10 to 16 in sailing. 

Ok. 

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4 hours ago, gewoon ik said:

You are college students, people of 18 to 23 years old, sail in a 420 without trapese and spi? A boat with trapese and spi used all over the world to teach kids 10 to 16 in sailing. 

Ok. 

Well, learning basic sailing is enough of a challenge to the put-down-your-goddam-phone generation

FB- Doug

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7 hours ago, gewoon ik said:

You are college students, people of 18 to 23 years old, sail in a 420 without trapese and spi? A boat with trapese and spi used all over the world to teach kids 10 to 16 in sailing. 

Ok. 

Trapeze and spinnakers make boats weight sensitive and reward idiosyncratic boat speed and boat handling. Those are pretty much the exact opposite of the desired characteristics for a sport where you generally travel to regattas and use borrowed equipment. 

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Just now, SF Woody Sailor said:

Trapeze and spinnakers make boats weight sensitive and reward idiosyncratic boat speed and boat handling. Those are pretty much the exact opposite of the desired characteristics for a sport where you generally travel to regattas and use borrowed equipment. 

Why do you think world class championships in match racing and team racing use the simplest possible boats like J22s instead of tweaky J70s?

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So many comments about sailing being expensive. Really?

I would have though a dozen or so 420s along with the boat park fees was almost insignificant compared to the cost of maintaining an American Football pitch or basketball court and building or do the colleges charge people to watch the college games?

I don't know, just asking. I am not American and therefore have no knowledge of the US system other than that they exist.

I would have thought that far more leaders and 'titans of industry' sail in an orgainised manner than play football in the same way and the kudos for the educational establishment would be all the greater for that. But i am a sailor so naturally biased.

 

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1 hour ago, shanghaisailor said:

So many comments about sailing being expensive. Really?

I would have though a dozen or so 420s along with the boat park fees was almost insignificant compared to the cost of maintaining an American Football pitch or basketball court and building or do the colleges charge people to watch the college games?

I don't know, just asking. I am not American and therefore have no knowledge of the US system other than that they exist.

I would have thought that far more leaders and 'titans of industry' sail in an orgainised manner than play football in the same way and the kudos for the educational establishment would be all the greater for that. But i am a sailor so naturally biased.

 

It's expensive compared to what is usually thought of, sports that require only a ball and a big flat lawn.

Of course, those sports are popular entertainment, and sailing is not. So huge amounts of money are spent in ways other than providing a ball and a lawn... although in places where land itself is very expensive, that might not seem like such a light burden. But the entertainment brings in money, whereas sailing teams have to go begging for funds.

FB- Doug

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14 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Well, learning basic sailing is enough of a challenge to the put-down-your-goddam-phone generation

FB- Doug

Yeah. I am one of those generation. And I am not putting my phone down for a small boat with clipped wings. 

11 hours ago, SF Woody Sailor said:

Trapeze and spinnakers make boats weight sensitive and reward idiosyncratic boat speed and boat handling. Those are pretty much the exact opposite of the desired characteristics for a sport where you generally travel to regattas and use borrowed equipment. 

Why not put them in a caravelle? It is cheaper and you have also no spi and trapese. 

But at least you don't have to be a kid to have fun in them. 

14 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Well, learning basic sailing is enough of a challenge to the put-down-your-goddam-phone generation

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With the long and ever expanding list of shit the States of America has to deal with right now....this issue is ......where exactly? 

 

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19 hours ago, gewoon ik said:

You are college students, people of 18 to 23 years old, sail in a 420 without trapese and spi? A boat with trapese and spi used all over the world to teach kids 10 to 16 in sailing. 

Ok. 

College & High school sailing is done in single handed Lasers or double handed club(no trap or chute) 420 or Flying Juniors. The racing is very tactical. Half the racing is fleet the other half is team sailing(definitely nothing more than a main & jib) Traps and chutes make racing technical. 
 

I was a US and am now an AU instructor/race coach. International 420’s are not used to teach 10-16 year old kids how to sail. You are wrong. 

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Sorry, i did not learn to sail 2 handed boats in a 420 with spi and trapeze. And non of my friends did as well. 

No club in europe has a 420 with trapese and spi to learn kids to sail doublehanded. 

And it was never designed for that purpose as well. 

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5 hours ago, gewoon ik said:

Yeah . I am one of those generation. And I am not putting my phone down for a small boat with clipped wings. 

Sorry, i did not learn to sail 2 handed boats in a 420 with spi and trapeze. And non of my friends did as well. 

No club in europe has a 420 with trapese and spi to learn kids to sail doublehanded. 

And it was never designed for that purpose as well. 

Oh poor baby.

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2 hours ago, fastyacht said:

Oh poor baby.

Not really. Have great memories sailing the 420 for the first time. With my best friend at the age of 10.  

So why you want to put 18 years old in that boat without the bits that make it fun. Amd why you all are woundering why the 18 years old not chosing for it. It baffles me. 

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1 hour ago, gewoon ik said:

Not really. Have great memories sailing the 420 for the first time. With my best friend at the age of 10.  

So why you want to put 18 years old in that boat without the bits that make it fun. Amd why you all are woundering why the 18 years old not chosing for it. It baffles me. 

U.S. collegiate sailing is Lost in Translation for you.

You seem focused on the idea of the International 420--and for some reason focus on it as a boat for 10 year olds.

First off, college sailing is not in international 420s. They use collegiate 420s. The only thing the same is the hull shape, general arrangement and rudder/cb profile. Different rig. Different much heavier laminate.

Secondly, not the only boat in the game. The following boats have seen service in the U.S. in recent years:

Tech Dingy

Flying Junior

Firefly

Lark

And a few others, I believe Interclubs have been used but that may be a faulty memory. Years ago maybe the Turnabouts.

This is close tactical racing on very short courses with three minute whistle starts, no navigation aids, lots of races both before and after lunch, and increasingly, team racing.

It is NOT a high speed tye of sailing. It is a team tyoe of sailing, and it is very physicial very tactical, many crews are recruited as freshmen--it is all part of the game YOU don't have to like it. Fine.

But many do like it. It was tremendous fun. Oh well, so I wasn't in a fast boat. I had all summer for that.

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2 hours ago, gewoon ik said:

Not really. Have great memories sailing the 420 for the first time. With my best friend at the age of 10.  

So why you want to put 18 years old in that boat without the bits that make it fun. Amd why you all are woundering why the 18 years old not chosing for it. It baffles me. 

?? You can't have fun in a boat that doesn't have trapezes and spinnakers? That's a matter of personal taste, I certainly can and so can lots and lots of others, apparently. The problem is not so much 18 year olds not choosing it, as the school not supporting it, not providing any infrastructure or even acknowledgement, etc etc.

There were a couple of eastern colleges that got JY15s, back in the 1990s, in the belief that they'd be much more durable. They're also somewhat suitable for bigger people, and much faster. MUCH faster! But that was not really a factor in making the race more exciting, if anything it limited the number of tactical interactions as the boats went around the course.

And other than the teething issues in production and materials, they -were- much more durable. Still died out.

FB- Doug

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41 minutes ago, gewoon ik said:

I can understand you both have fun in it.

And now? 20/30 years later?

If you are looking for the fastest way to get from point A to point B you have chosen the wrong sport. I can drive along relaxed, dry and comfortable listening to Chopin Nocturnes in my BMW twice as fast as any sailboat in history.

That is not the point of sailing, and it is most definitely not the point of college sailing. College sailing is about tactics and boat handling. Over the course of a college sailing career I estimate I did between 9,000 and 10,000 starts. Pin starts, boat starts, mid-line starts, dip starts, Vanderbilt starts, over early practice, etc. We could sail an FJ very rapidly around a windward leeward course without a rudder using body weight and sail trim. We could roll tack and roll gybe through the water much faster than a boat could sail in light air (in practice; kinetics rules were enforced when racing). These skills were completely transferable to a Vanguard 15 or a C420 so we were not at any disadvantage when we competed on the East Coast nor were they at any disadvantage when they came to the West Coast. These skills were mostly transferable to post-college sailing in anything from a 49er to a Farr 40. College sailing seeks to eliminate equipment variables and idiosyncrasy from the contest as much as possible so that the best, smartest, most well prepared team of sailors wins whenever and wherever the regatta is held.  

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So why are they dropping it?  

Money? Can easy or hard to fix. Don't know about the funding of the system. Don't want to know either. 

Or no interest of the youngsters? Than talk to the youngsters why they don't choose for it. Is it the boats, is it the kind of racing? Is it something else, nobody thinks about?

But now a bunch of older guys are telling that there is noting wrong with the type of boat or racing. Sorry, but that is hard to believe. There is something wrong. Otherwise the programs are full and this threat is non-existing

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7 hours ago, gewoon ik said:

So why are they dropping it?  

Money? Can easy or hard to fix. Don't know about the funding of the system. Don't want to know either. 

Or no interest of the youngsters? Than talk to the youngsters why they don't choose for it. Is it the boats, is it the kind of racing? Is it something else, nobody thinks about?

But now a bunch of older guys are telling that there is noting wrong with the type of boat or racing. Sorry, but that is hard to believe. There is something wrong. Otherwise the programs are full and this threat is non-existing

Dropping VARSITY.

NOT dropping sailing.

Most college programs are not varsity anyway.

Jas nothing to do eith boat type and everything to do eith ethnicity.Aparently.

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7 hours ago, gewoon ik said:

So why are they dropping it?  

Money? Can easy or hard to fix. Don't know about the funding of the system. Don't want to know either. 

Or no interest of the youngsters? Than talk to the youngsters why they don't choose for it. Is it the boats, is it the kind of racing? Is it something else, nobody thinks about?

But now a bunch of older guys are telling that there is noting wrong with the type of boat or racing. Sorry, but that is hard to believe. There is something wrong. Otherwise the programs are full and this threat is non-existing

I'm 10 years out and have coached high school since then, so take my views for what they're worth.

High school and college sailing still seem pretty healthy to me. Out here in the Midwest the high school game has been especially strong over the past decade in terms of participation. We gripe about the boats now and then, but I think we all recognize that the summer is for the high performance boats and massive regattas, and college sailing is for close racing, short courses, lots of starts, sweating inside drysuits, and the lasting friendships that come out of a shared experience like that. It's like frostbiting on steroids. Most elite American sailors also sail in college and have a blast doing it, but for the truly elite it's not the pinnacle moment of one's career. For the rest of us, we can brag about that one time we got the best of a future Olympian at the start in college.

As I said in a prior comment, a few good sailors with the wrong body type are excluded, but by the same token I know a few sailors who got their start racing in high school and college and kept at it. That includes me - I wasn't really into racing until I joined my high school team. For the ones who don't continue, I don't know how much hand-wringing is worth it. Plenty of college students take up extracurriculars that dead-end at graduation. Let's make sure the opportunities are there, but we can't force the kids to do anything.

As far as Stanford goes, setting aside their role in the admissions scandal, their problem was logistics. In the last 20 years, almost all of the elite college sailing has migrated to the East Coast. Whereas in prior years you had programs like USC, UCI, Stanford, and even Hawaii fielding nationally competitive teams, today it's really just Stanford. That means they need to fly east every time they want to compete in a top-level intersectional. Meanwhile there are half a dozen top-level teams in the Boston metro area alone. It's sad, but it's the end result of the consolidation of elite college sailing in the east. If top-ranked NEISA and MAISA teams start getting cut, that would be more surprising.

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44 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

Dropping VARSITY.

NOT dropping sailing.

Most college programs are not varsity anyway.

+1

I suppose it was Stanford's decision to drop sailing as a varsity sport that was the genesis of this thread so I will comment on that. I was on the Stanford team when we switched from a club sport to varsity around 1990. It really didn't make much difference. We still cleaned the football stadium after games in order to raise money to pay for gas for the van. The only real difference (as far as I can tell) is that it was kind of nifty to be able to say I was a varsity athlete.

College sailing seems to be very healthy. High school sailing is a vastly more developed sport than it was in 1989 when there was no organized, competitive high school sailing of any kind in my area. I tried to organize a team at my high school, but it was pointless as we had nobody to race against.

Stanford's decision didn't have anything to do with funding. They made it clear that if a donor appeared out of the blue with a big endowment for sailing the university wouldn't change its mind. Stanford simply concluded that it had too many varsity sports (more than just about any other university) and switched a bunch (including sailing) to club sports.

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The WSJ article was noteworthy (to me anyway) in positing that the colleges were ditching sailing in part because it was/is too white, not because they didn't want to spring for more expensive dinghies.  Here's the sub-headline:

Sports lose varsity status in wake of Covid-19 cash crunch; schools rethink optics of costly, overwhelmingly white teams

Nothing wrong with thread drift, but the perception that sailing is a "white thing" is one of their reasons.   The type of boats they/we race, not so much, except more costly boats is not a favored budget item right now.  

But part of it is Colleges wanting to be, or appear, "woke" in general, and in sports in particular.  Hence the headline, and the article.  We could ask those in SA who aren't white what they think about this......

or maybe not.

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3 minutes ago, nolatom said:

We could ask those in SA who aren't white what they think about this......

There was a very cool black dude who raced on a hot shit Schumacher 36 in this area around 20-25 years ago. We used to hang out at the same bars. We could ask him.

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There were regattas where 40% of my team was not white...

...ironic looking back. We werr more diverse than any team in thr college

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