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US sailing - oh, nevermind


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#1 yairsuari

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 09:24 AM

As an outsider i have long seen that US sailing have long forgoten what it takes to make Olympic champions. no youth structures, no development structure, no coaches, essentially none of what it takes.

Nowadays its all about shortcuts. We have a world champion in kiteracing and a lot of political power so lets make kiteracing Olympic and see how that turns out.

Let me tell you one thing, before they even notice federations that does what it take (who said GBR) will be on top of that.

#2 NorCalLaser

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 02:09 PM

not so much...

how's israel doing in sailing?

#3 Somebody Else

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 02:26 PM

close!

"federations that do what it takes"

English: screwing up language since the Angels came over from Germany and started breeding with the Saxons.

#4 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 02:27 PM

not so much...

how's israel doing in sailing?


Better than the USA

#5 SemiSalt

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 02:28 PM

Laser Radial: I saw lots of contact at a mark, but didn't see any circles. Of course the video cut away because.. well... we only want to watch the leader.

I saw a column yesterday where a guy discounted sailing as elitist. If that's so, how come we getting our ass kicked by sailors from lessor countries. Fact is, there are great sailors from all over.

#6 Steam Flyer

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 02:52 PM

Laser Radial: I saw lots of contact at a mark, but didn't see any circles. Of course the video cut away because.. well... we only want to watch the leader.

I saw a column yesterday where a guy discounted sailing as elitist. If that's so, how come we getting our ass kicked by sailors from lessor countries. Fact is, there are great sailors from all over.


Yabutt that's because we're not the elite.

If you point that out to the pseudo-patriotic snot who says "sailing is elitist" he'll probably start foaming at the mouth.

FB- Doug

#7 DRIFTW00D

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 04:05 PM

"federations that do what it takes"


Hows the French boats doing this time out?



#8 jimmy kneewrecker

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 04:11 PM

If that's so, how come we getting our ass kicked by sailors from lessor countries.


maybe because they're not 'lessor countries' in the first place? ;)

#9 us7070

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 04:15 PM

I guess I don't really care how many medals we win...

#10 SemiSalt

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 04:21 PM

If that's so, how come we getting our ass kicked by sailors from lessor countries.


maybe because they're not 'lessor countries' in the first place? ;)


Of course.

I was thinking in terms of per capita spending on recreation in which the US must rank rather high, and I was being sarcastic. Or may be ironic. Or wry. Or something.

International regattas are not as easy to arrange in CONUS as in Europe. It is at least a slight structural disadvantage.

#11 jimmy kneewrecker

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 04:26 PM

no worries- I got that, hence my little winky icon.

I know naff all about the scandanavian sailing models - feeder programmes, boats sailed by kids etc But those guys seem to be doing it right, every race seems to have a Scavy in the top rankings and they all seem pretty chilled out about it all... so a lesson there for all of us I reckon.

#12 mrpelicano

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 04:36 PM

There are lots of great U.S. sailors out there, but they're not sailing Olympic classes. Bora Gulari comes to mind, just off the top of my head. And if you look at classes like the Finn and Star, the top guys have been at it for years and are generally tightly connected to the professional sailing scene - e.g., Ainslie, Piercy, Scheidt, Loof, et al.

Ultimately, it sort of comes down to personal commitment and national commitment of resources. The reason the British have been so dominating of late is that they made a national commitment to funding and promoting their Olympic sailing teams. I believe this is what other countries do in other sports, like China with diving. Presumably the U.S. does this in some sports (though I can't think of any off-hand, but mostly because I don't follow other sports that closely, except professional cycling).

#13 dogwatch

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 05:05 PM

The reason the British have been so dominating of late is that they made a national commitment to funding and promoting their Olympic sailing teams.


Team, singular (it makes a difference). Yeah we do. It's only a few $M a year though over the cycle. Enough to fund a decent AC45 programme.

#14 Sticky Icky

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 06:58 PM

I don't really get all the Bora masturbation that goes on here. He's not on the same level as the real pros(ones getting paid to sail) like Splat(who has been crushing it at Star events, just stuggling at this one so far), T Hutch, Cayard, Baird, Hall, Larson, etc... I mean sure he dominated a developmental class that went through a big change for a year or two cause he had lots of free time on his hands, and has been able to do well in the US in the 24 fleet, but it's not exactly like many pros are doing 24s in the US anymore. He did ok a while ago in the 49er. I'll eat my crow if he pulls off the win at the Worlds this year, but even this site has been trashing the teams there and he's just in the top 10.


You want more medals, put more money into it and get people doing olympic/international classes from their time as juniors all the way through adulthood.... Why do Americans focus more on melges's and big boats, cause they're compensated...

Real issue is the rest of the world has the money to compete now, and there's no advantage to being an american on a race course...

#15 gonzo

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 07:38 PM

I don't really get all the Bora masturbation that goes on here. He's not on the same level as the real pros(ones getting paid to sail) like Splat(who has been crushing it at Star events, just stuggling at this one so far), T Hutch, Cayard, Baird, Hall, Larson, etc... I mean sure he dominated a developmental class that went through a big change for a year or two cause he had lots of free time on his hands, and has been able to do well in the US in the 24 fleet, but it's not exactly like many pros are doing 24s in the US anymore. He did ok a while ago in the 49er. I'll eat my crow if he pulls off the win at the Worlds this year, but even this site has been trashing the teams there and he's just in the top 10.


You want more medals, put more money into it and get people doing olympic/international classes from their time as juniors all the way through adulthood.... Why do Americans focus more on melges's and big boats, cause they're compensated...

Real issue is the rest of the world has the money to compete now, and there's no advantage to being an american on a race course...


+1

#16 Winever

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 08:12 PM

I guess I don't really care how many medals we win...



+1

#17 No.6

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Posted 31 July 2012 - 08:41 PM

English: screwing up language since the Angels came over from Germany and started breeding with the Saxons.


I think you have that a bit sideways. Saxons are a Germanic tribe as are the Angles. However the Angles went to Britain as a whole and were later invaded by The Saxons.

Oh wait, you said angels. Never mind.






Why is it I hear Belushi declaring how the US didn't give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

#18 bruno

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:02 AM

Actually, I think that this site gives a fair depiction of what is wrong with sailboat racing in the USA versus much of the rest of the developed world, and it aint just about money. To be good much less great one has to passionately want it and be willing to make the requisite sacrifices to get there. And, as I am re-discovering now, it is much harder to get motivated to do it well in a vacuum. If there isn't a community supporting and sustaining active involvment in self-betterment towards a meaningful goal it gets easy to say whatever, I'd rather hang out at home, play with meself, and talk shit about others. Unfortunately, sitting in a bar, talking shit about those willing to try soething hard whilst extolling the virtues of junior sailing doesn't cut it either. Being 50, 60, or even 70 years old, putting yourself in difficult, potentially humiliating positions (talking about on the race course and not with hookers or hookups) and taking your lumps, driving a car worth less than your boat, spending your vacation racing, getting cold and wet regularly, training to extend your fitness, taking shit from acquaintances for doing things that look funny to them, that is actually what it takes. Not havinga facebook page, or fundraiser, or letting your equipment deteriorate, those things won't make you more competitive. And spending more time on SA than on the water or training or bimbling is just another symptom. seeya, I'm going sailing because the non-Americans are kicking ass in Weymouth, deservedly, and most of the readers here seem to care more about that than how they're accomplishing it. I have yet to see a comment about the techniques on display or the changes in our sport. Why is that Irish chick so far ahead offwind when she is big for her class? Am I the only one to mention how much she is steering and turning her boat catch every wave she can? More participation and less spectation.

#19 Oxygen Mask

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:33 AM

I was being sarcastic. Or may be ironic. Or wry. Or something.


Perhaps you would have been understood if you had written #ironic ...

#20 bowchow

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 01:54 AM

Actually, I think that this site gives a fair depiction of what is wrong with sailboat racing in the USA versus much of the rest of the developed world, and it aint just about money. To be good much less great one has to passionately want it and be willing to make the requisite sacrifices to get there. And, as I am re-discovering now, it is much harder to get motivated to do it well in a vacuum. If there isn't a community supporting and sustaining active involvment in self-betterment towards a meaningful goal it gets easy to say whatever, I'd rather hang out at home, play with meself, and talk shit about others. Unfortunately, sitting in a bar, talking shit about those willing to try soething hard whilst extolling the virtues of junior sailing doesn't cut it either. Being 50, 60, or even 70 years old, putting yourself in difficult, potentially humiliating positions (talking about on the race course and not with hookers or hookups) and taking your lumps, driving a car worth less than your boat, spending your vacation racing, getting cold and wet regularly, training to extend your fitness, taking shit from acquaintances for doing things that look funny to them, that is actually what it takes. Not havinga facebook page, or fundraiser, or letting your equipment deteriorate, those things won't make you more competitive. And spending more time on SA than on the water or training or bimbling is just another symptom. seeya, I'm going sailing because the non-Americans are kicking ass in Weymouth, deservedly, and most of the readers here seem to care more about that than how they're accomplishing it. I have yet to see a comment about the techniques on display or the changes in our sport. Why is that Irish chick so far ahead offwind when she is big for her class? Am I the only one to mention how much she is steering and turning her boat catch every wave she can? More participation and less spectation.



Shit, I'm 19 and have a hard time finding other people who are willing to practice. Not being an heir to a hedge fund, I can't afford coaches at regattas, new sails every year, and so on. Including driving a car worth less than my boat! The US does need to look at their sailing program as a whole, Especially the Olympic qualifier. How can you base the team off of one regatta? Much like the ISAF grand prix, the qualification system needs to be based on multiple regattas. Our Laser guy is in 36th right now. Are you fucking serious?

#21 PeterHuston

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 01:57 AM


Actually, I think that this site gives a fair depiction of what is wrong with sailboat racing in the USA versus much of the rest of the developed world, and it aint just about money. To be good much less great one has to passionately want it and be willing to make the requisite sacrifices to get there. And, as I am re-discovering now, it is much harder to get motivated to do it well in a vacuum. If there isn't a community supporting and sustaining active involvment in self-betterment towards a meaningful goal it gets easy to say whatever, I'd rather hang out at home, play with meself, and talk shit about others. Unfortunately, sitting in a bar, talking shit about those willing to try soething hard whilst extolling the virtues of junior sailing doesn't cut it either. Being 50, 60, or even 70 years old, putting yourself in difficult, potentially humiliating positions (talking about on the race course and not with hookers or hookups) and taking your lumps, driving a car worth less than your boat, spending your vacation racing, getting cold and wet regularly, training to extend your fitness, taking shit from acquaintances for doing things that look funny to them, that is actually what it takes. Not havinga facebook page, or fundraiser, or letting your equipment deteriorate, those things won't make you more competitive. And spending more time on SA than on the water or training or bimbling is just another symptom. seeya, I'm going sailing because the non-Americans are kicking ass in Weymouth, deservedly, and most of the readers here seem to care more about that than how they're accomplishing it. I have yet to see a comment about the techniques on display or the changes in our sport. Why is that Irish chick so far ahead offwind when she is big for her class? Am I the only one to mention how much she is steering and turning her boat catch every wave she can? More participation and less spectation.



Shit, I'm 19 and have a hard time finding other people who are willing to practice. Not being an heir to a hedge fund, I can't afford coaches at regattas, new sails every year, and so on. Including driving a car worth less than my boat! The US does need to look at their sailing program as a whole, Especially the Olympic qualifier. How can you base the team off of one regatta? Much like the ISAF grand prix, the qualification system needs to be based on multiple regattas. Our Laser guy is in 36th right now. Are you fucking serious?


When sailing started being a (money losing) business and stopped being fun, people found other ways to spend their time.

#22 bowchow

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 02:03 AM

As I found out reading saving sailing (great read). Is there anything we can do individually?

#23 Dawg Gonit

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 02:12 AM

As an outsider i have long seen that US sailing have long forgoten what it takes to make Olympic champions.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Balbao YC, Newport Beach Calif, knew this and that is why they funded Nick Scandone to the tune of 1/4 mil over 4 years to get to the Paralympics (not the Olympics). US Sailing would have ignored Nick if it were not for Balboa YC. Thank God for Cliques.

I have no doubt that the sailors we have at the Olympics are those who could afford to be there and all the events to get on the Olympic Team. US Sailing only cares about you funding level.

I speak from experience. Any reporters want to hear my story please submit your affiliation and questions.

#24 gimmee

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 03:30 AM


If that's so, how come we getting our ass kicked by sailors from lessor countries.


maybe because they're not 'lessor countries' in the first place? ;)


Of course.

I was thinking in terms of per capita spending on recreation in which the US must rank rather high, and I was being sarcastic. Or may be ironic. Or wry. Or something.

International regattas are not as easy to arrange in CONUS as in Europe. It is at least a slight structural disadvantage.


The U.S. didn't do that bad in this year's Opti Worlds with a 7,9,13,22 & 23 from 250 kids but it pales before Singapore's 1,2,3 & 5 but I suspect money spent per capita would go to Singapore and good for them !

#25 Beachcomber

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 03:36 AM

The US is one of the few countries that doesn't have a government funded Olympic program. What we do have is men's college football and basketball that fund quite a few other college sports. Every US college you can shake a stick at has track and field, and swimming teams. Varsity (meaning NCAA and funded by the college athletic assoc, ultimately by football and basketball) Sailing programs are rare. As a result, America does really well in track and field and swimming, and so so in the sailing.

A lot of other countries also do well out of America's college athletics. In the Atlanta games, I think half of the athletes competing from all countries were products of American college athletics.

#26 NorCalLaser

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 04:10 AM

Much like the ISAF grand prix, the qualification system needs to be based on multiple regattas. Our Laser guy is in 36th right now. Are you fucking serious?

hey dumbass, the qualification system changed for this current cycle, it IS based on multiple regattas. when was the last time an american won any major ISAF laser regatta? or was top 5?

#27 Dawg Gonit

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 04:16 AM

The US is one of the few countries that doesn't have a government funded Olympic program. What we do have is men's college football and basketball that fund quite a few other college sports. Every US college you can shake a stick at has track and field, and swimming teams. Varsity (meaning NCAA and funded by the college athletic assoc, ultimately by football and basketball) Sailing programs are rare. As a result, America does really well in track and field and swimming, and so so in the sailing.

A lot of other countries also do well out of America's college athletics. In the Atlanta games, I think half of the athletes competing from all countries were products of American college athletics.



UM....it is not funded by football or basketball......it is funded by television that loves to pay for drivel that mindless American love to watch and Advertisers pay untold amounts of money to brainwash the mindless American who watch the drivel.

Thank god I do not watch any college sports.

Basically without TV, there would be no college sports. Kinda sad when you think about it.

#28 rgscpat

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 05:03 AM

Colleges had sports before telly -- but the original versions of today's "revenue sports" weren't then part of a feeder system for the big-money professional sports.

#29 teamzorro

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 06:17 AM

Our sailors have a very uphill struggle at the Olympic Level, they compete against countries that are funded by their goverments, Track and Field by comparision, although our athletes receive no govt support, all would be on full scholarship at Univ level and once out of college, would have a contract with Nike etc. Our NCAA champion at our University got a six figure contract from NIke, and left for LA after finishing her college career. I remember speaking to some OLympic Star sailors in the 1992 build up to Barcelona and , just being amazed at the amount of money it took to just get to the Games, the Olympic Champion in the Pole Vault would probably get that much in appearance fees and shoe contracts, my ex wife , who jumped for Scotland, received a nice amount from the Scottish Lottery to train and prepare for the Commonwealth Games. Great Britain has a great system from the lottery for supporting their athletes, The US has a great system of developing ( and developing foreign athletes) at the college level, unfortunately, sailing at the college level, is mostly a club sport and not funded by the Athletic Departments

#30 saltyokie

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 07:14 AM

Colleges had sports before telly -- but the original versions of today's "revenue sports" weren't then part of a feeder system for the big-money professional sports.


This is in the finest SAiling Anarchy tradition - blasting something one knows fuck-all about. Men's football and basketball programs at the major schools provide funding for the rest of the sports including track and field. Because of Title IX, it also provides funding for women's sports and there are many women who got into athletics like golf and tennis because of it. The top football & basketball players turn pro as do the top baseball players. What in the world is wrong with that? If TV is showing drivel and paying the colleges to produce it - the money is funding a lot of minor sports. I suspect sailing could be in there as well except for politics. Could it be that US Sailing does not want to share power with the NCAA?

#31 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 08:40 AM


Colleges had sports before telly -- but the original versions of today's "revenue sports" weren't then part of a feeder system for the big-money professional sports.


This is in the finest SAiling Anarchy tradition - blasting something one knows fuck-all about. Men's football and basketball programs at the major schools provide funding for the rest of the sports including track and field. Because of Title IX, it also provides funding for women's sports and there are many women who got into athletics like golf and tennis because of it. The top football & basketball players turn pro as do the top baseball players. What in the world is wrong with that? If TV is showing drivel and paying the colleges to produce it - the money is funding a lot of minor sports. I suspect sailing could be in there as well except for politics. Could it be that US Sailing does not want to share power with the NCAA?


No, it's that sailing gets lumped in the same pool as badminton and ping pong when it comes to passing out the checks

#32 Steam Flyer

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 06:45 PM


... ...
Men's football and basketball programs at the major schools provide funding for the rest of the sports including track and field.
... ...
... - the money is funding a lot of minor sports. I suspect sailing could be in there as well except for politics. Could it be that US Sailing does not want to share power with the NCAA?


No, it's that sailing gets lumped in the same pool as badminton and ping pong when it comes to passing out the checks


I can speak on this issue. First a little story- I was a student (on the GI Bill) at NC State. Given the honor of being Commodore of the Sailing Club, I was asked to attend a meeting with Jim Valvano and a lot of the other club sports officers. The topic was organizing and funding a bunch of club sports as varsity sports with scholarships, equipment & travel budgets, etc etc.

Sailing was on the list because (and these were Mr. Valvano's exact words) sailing is "one of those egghead sports" with high GPAs and high graduation rates. In other words, putting sailing (and fencing, rowing, air rifle marksmanship, etc etc) on the table would allow the basketball & football teams to put more thugs & drop-outs into the line-up.

All I had to say was, "I'm sorry sir, but sailing isn't an NCAA sport." Mr. Valvano thought this was funny but his assistants seemed to be offended by the concept. Nor is collegiate sailing governed by US Sailing although I'm sure they'd love to be able to slop at the NCAA trough.

FB- Doug

#33 DoRag

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 06:45 PM


Colleges had sports before telly -- but the original versions of today's "revenue sports" weren't then part of a feeder system for the big-money professional sports.


This is in the finest SAiling Anarchy tradition - blasting something one knows fuck-all about. Men's football and basketball programs at the major schools provide funding for the rest of the sports including track and field. Because of Title IX, it also provides funding for women's sports and there are many women who got into athletics like golf and tennis because of it. The top football & basketball players turn pro as do the top baseball players. What in the world is wrong with that? If TV is showing drivel and paying the colleges to produce it - the money is funding a lot of minor sports. I suspect sailing could be in there as well except for politics. Could it be that US Sailing does not want to share power with the NCAA?


Blah, blah, blah.

Tell me, just how much money funds US skiing? And how well do they do? And dozens of other sports are dominated by the US and are not associated with college football.

Further, let's all reflect on the US heritage in sailing. Certainly in years past we were competetive, unlike today. Conner, Melges, North, Davis, the Senator, Turner, Jobson all come immediately to mind.

So what's different? US Sailing, in general, and Dean Brenner, in particular, are what's different. Our program for training, support and organization of the US Olympic sailing team is the issue. It sucks and has been for some time. Let's change that.

#34 HobieAnarchy

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 09:04 PM

And the next president of US Sailing will be . . . US Sailing announces new president and BOD candidates

#35 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 10:01 PM



Colleges had sports before telly -- but the original versions of today's "revenue sports" weren't then part of a feeder system for the big-money professional sports.


This is in the finest SAiling Anarchy tradition - blasting something one knows fuck-all about. Men's football and basketball programs at the major schools provide funding for the rest of the sports including track and field. Because of Title IX, it also provides funding for women's sports and there are many women who got into athletics like golf and tennis because of it. The top football & basketball players turn pro as do the top baseball players. What in the world is wrong with that? If TV is showing drivel and paying the colleges to produce it - the money is funding a lot of minor sports. I suspect sailing could be in there as well except for politics. Could it be that US Sailing does not want to share power with the NCAA?


Blah, blah, blah.

Tell me, just how much money funds US skiing? And how well do they do? And dozens of other sports are dominated by the US and are not associated with college football.

Further, let's all reflect on the US heritage in sailing. Certainly in years past we were competetive, unlike today. Conner, Melges, North, Davis, the Senator, Turner, Jobson all come immediately to mind.

So what's different? US Sailing, in general, and Dean Brenner, in particular, are what's different. Our program for training, support and organization of the US Olympic sailing team is the issue. It sucks and has been for some time. Let's change that.


If the medal count is zero or one, I imagine a big change will come. Something is certainly broken.

#36 DoRag

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 10:45 PM




Colleges had sports before telly -- but the original versions of today's "revenue sports" weren't then part of a feeder system for the big-money professional sports.


This is in the finest SAiling Anarchy tradition - blasting something one knows fuck-all about. Men's football and basketball programs at the major schools provide funding for the rest of the sports including track and field. Because of Title IX, it also provides funding for women's sports and there are many women who got into athletics like golf and tennis because of it. The top football & basketball players turn pro as do the top baseball players. What in the world is wrong with that? If TV is showing drivel and paying the colleges to produce it - the money is funding a lot of minor sports. I suspect sailing could be in there as well except for politics. Could it be that US Sailing does not want to share power with the NCAA?


Blah, blah, blah.

Tell me, just how much money funds US skiing? And how well do they do? And dozens of other sports are dominated by the US and are not associated with college football.

Further, let's all reflect on the US heritage in sailing. Certainly in years past we were competetive, unlike today. Conner, Melges, North, Davis, the Senator, Turner, Jobson all come immediately to mind.

So what's different? US Sailing, in general, and Dean Brenner, in particular, are what's different. Our program for training, support and organization of the US Olympic sailing team is the issue. It sucks and has been for some time. Let's change that.


If the medal count is zero or one, I imagine a big change will come. Something is certainly broken.


Alan,

US Sailing just announced the slate for the new "election." Tom Hubbell is running - UNOPPOSED - for Prez, and similar insider, Walsh is running - UNOPPOSED.

So, yet again, we have the slate rigged to maintain the status quo. Even more significant is the role that Hubbell played in rewriting the ByLaws to ensure perpetuity of the good 'ol boyz club.

For shame, US Sailing and Gary, where ya been on all this? What have you accomplished? Tell us what happened when you were unable to change anything.

The good news is that Brenner will no longer direct the failed US Olympic effort. The bad news is that a Brenner clone will be appointed in his place.

#37 rknoles

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 10:47 PM

There is a story for you here I think, Clean. Maybe Brad Funk or Andrew Campbell could shed some light.

The US Ailing Developmental Team has more slots for Boys than Girls. They were opening up training opportunities to Non-Team members to help fund the Developmental Team. College Programs lack funding from TitleIX or any other sources. I have a relatively good idea what it costs, at the College level and Developmental Team. I've written the checks. Lack of scholarships at college doesn't help. Aside from rumors of academic scholarships for sailors. Frankly I'm not so sure the current program sends the very best. I think that there are some great prospects for Rio.

#38 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 11:11 PM

rknoles, I'll chat with Funky when he is back from Italy. Certainly if the current program is sending the very best, American's are just not good enough at sailing, and I find that hard to believe. So we're either picking less than the best, or the USST isn't training them properly. Right?


And DoRag...I had a look at that slate as well, and I will say that, while I don't know him, the incoming Prez's little 'statement' says something we have been advocating quite loudly for years: It's time to throw support behind community sailing centers and sailing clubs and stop dicking around so much with Yacht Clubs. That's a very good thing, and compared to Jobson's laser beam focus on Yacht Clubs, finally a move that bodes well for the future. The only question is will Hubbell follow through with it?

Can someone who knows Tom Hubbell share any pertinent info about him?

#39 J-aculate

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 11:21 PM



Colleges had sports before telly -- but the original versions of today's "revenue sports" weren't then part of a feeder system for the big-money professional sports.


This is in the finest SAiling Anarchy tradition - blasting something one knows fuck-all about. Men's football and basketball programs at the major schools provide funding for the rest of the sports including track and field. Because of Title IX, it also provides funding for women's sports and there are many women who got into athletics like golf and tennis because of it. The top football & basketball players turn pro as do the top baseball players. What in the world is wrong with that? If TV is showing drivel and paying the colleges to produce it - the money is funding a lot of minor sports. I suspect sailing could be in there as well except for politics. Could it be that US Sailing does not want to share power with the NCAA?


No, it's that sailing gets lumped in the same pool as badminton and ping pong when it comes to passing out the checks


and trampoline... Around here on sports talk radio, some nationally syndicated, the guys say shit like "Im cool with rowing... uhhh .. maybe a little horse... uh ...sailing?!?... thats for rich people like Romney... nobody can afford to sssaaaaaaiiiiiiilllliiiinnnngg"

#40 PeterHuston

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 12:34 AM




Colleges had sports before telly -- but the original versions of today's "revenue sports" weren't then part of a feeder system for the big-money professional sports.


This is in the finest SAiling Anarchy tradition - blasting something one knows fuck-all about. Men's football and basketball programs at the major schools provide funding for the rest of the sports including track and field. Because of Title IX, it also provides funding for women's sports and there are many women who got into athletics like golf and tennis because of it. The top football & basketball players turn pro as do the top baseball players. What in the world is wrong with that? If TV is showing drivel and paying the colleges to produce it - the money is funding a lot of minor sports. I suspect sailing could be in there as well except for politics. Could it be that US Sailing does not want to share power with the NCAA?


Blah, blah, blah.

Tell me, just how much money funds US skiing? And how well do they do? And dozens of other sports are dominated by the US and are not associated with college football.

Further, let's all reflect on the US heritage in sailing. Certainly in years past we were competetive, unlike today. Conner, Melges, North, Davis, the Senator, Turner, Jobson all come immediately to mind.

So what's different? US Sailing, in general, and Dean Brenner, in particular, are what's different. Our program for training, support and organization of the US Olympic sailing team is the issue. It sucks and has been for some time. Let's change that.


If the medal count is zero or one, I imagine a big change will come. Something is certainly broken.


The medal count for the US at the ISAF World Youths a couple of weeks ago was ZERO.

#41 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 12:38 AM

saw that, but that's never gonna be enough to bring about a big change. Tearing through millions with nothing to show for it will, and with USSTSTS's dismal effort at promotion, media, and communication, if there's no medal the sponsors are not going to be happy either.






#42 DoRag

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 01:05 AM

rknoles, I'll chat with Funky when he is back from Italy. Certainly if the current program is sending the very best, American's are just not good enough at sailing, and I find that hard to believe. So we're either picking less than the best, or the USST isn't training them properly. Right?


And DoRag...I had a look at that slate as well, and I will say that, while I don't know him, the incoming Prez's little 'statement' says something we have been advocating quite loudly for years: It's time to throw support behind community sailing centers and sailing clubs and stop dicking around so much with Yacht Clubs. That's a very good thing, and compared to Jobson's laser beam focus on Yacht Clubs, finally a move that bodes well for the future. The only question is will Hubbell follow through with it?

Can someone who knows Tom Hubbell share any pertinent info about him?



As I understand it, Hubbell was a driver behind the ByLaw changes that enabled Capron and the insiders to keep control of the organization. If true, he has done more damage to our sport than anyone I can think of.

US Sailing is a joke. As are the continued results of our national sailing team. A total embarrassment to the sport and our country. Yet the board at USSA thinks Brenner has done a great job. Now, just why is that?

#43 Bcam

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 04:24 AM

rknoles, I'll chat with Funky when he is back from Italy. Certainly if the current program is sending the very best, American's are just not good enough at sailing, and I find that hard to believe. So we're either picking less than the best, or the USST isn't training them properly. Right?


And DoRag...I had a look at that slate as well, and I will say that, while I don't know him, the incoming Prez's little 'statement' says something we have been advocating quite loudly for years: It's time to throw support behind community sailing centers and sailing clubs and stop dicking around so much with Yacht Clubs. That's a very good thing, and compared to Jobson's laser beam focus on Yacht Clubs, finally a move that bodes well for the future. The only question is will Hubbell follow through with it?

Can someone who knows Tom Hubbell share any pertinent info about him?


My only experience with Tom Hubbell was during the By-Law debates and votes. I had a minor position at the BOD (old style) and was apalled at his condescending attitude and general arrogance as he interacted with anyone who didn't appreciate that he was a Doctor and obviously more intelligent and better suited to deciding what was best for US Sailing. His comments to
John Bonds after his presentation about the history and genesis of US Sailing to the AGM in Newport were beyond the pale.

Since the By-Law change disenfranchised RSAs and YCs, like many others, I stopped attending US Sailing meetings, so I can't speak to his performance since the coup. But I'm willing to bet it hasn't been real effective in acheiving the great results that people were promised.

BTW, I'm not sure what's gained by focusing on community sailing. If YCs are necessary to provide the infrastructure that US Sailing relies on for running championships, shouldn't they be kept involved? If I am wrong about their part, please enlighten me

#44 sham69

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 11:50 AM

High School and college sailing grows and improves. Olympic sailing erodes and fails. There is a real and identifiable connection. It is not rocket science.

#45 HobieAnarchy

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 12:38 PM

It's interesting (ironic?) that Tom Hubbell will, as US Sailing President, preside over the dismantling of the re-organization he promoted.

US Sailing is re-organizing again . . . the House of Delegates will be gone (not that it was very effective anyway) and power will be even more concentrated at the top.

US Sailing BOD Minutes from April 20


Go to the attachment where the draft outline of the new org is presented.

#46 oregami

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 02:30 PM

Sticking my head into the US sailing system, of which I know very little ......

Australia struggled for years in the 470's ( a single bronze in 1976)
in the 1996 games we finished 8th (women) and 21st ( Men) in the 470's

But, Oh what a difference a good coach makes.....
Australia employed Victor Kovalenko
After coaching the 1996 470 Men’s and Women’s Ukraine crews to Olympic gold and bronze respectively, Victor, in October 1997, accepted the then Australian Yachting Federation’s offer to coach the Australian 470 crews.

With Victor coaching, Australia has won innumerable wold titles and 3 gold medals in the 470's.

He is now the head coach of the Australian team. Australians are favourites in the men's 470's going into the London olympics and they are doing pretty well in lasers and 49ers too...

I don't know how many "Victors" there are but it has certainly been money well spent.

#47 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 05:47 PM

BTW, I'm not sure what's gained by focusing on community sailing. If YCs are necessary to provide the infrastructure that US Sailing relies on for running championships, shouldn't they be kept involved? If I am wrong about their part, please enlighten me


Community sailing centers and Sailing Clubs provide sailors low-cost access to the water without requiring anyone to deal with initiations, member sponsorship, or any of the other trappings of the typical YC. In my experience, those YC idiosyncrasies are a bigger barrier to entry into the sport than anything else.






#48 Beachcomber

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 03:20 AM

I've got to say, I'm a lot more concerned about the overall health of the sport in America than I am about how many medals we win at the Olympics.

#49 FOOKINWAVE

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 04:09 AM

you can learn something from anyone. U.S Sailing should start a program with AFS American Foreign student exchange.

#50 PeterHuston

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 04:27 AM


BTW, I'm not sure what's gained by focusing on community sailing. If YCs are necessary to provide the infrastructure that US Sailing relies on for running championships, shouldn't they be kept involved? If I am wrong about their part, please enlighten me


Community sailing centers and Sailing Clubs provide sailors low-cost access to the water without requiring anyone to deal with initiations, member sponsorship, or any of the other trappings of the typical YC. In my experience, those YC idiosyncrasies are a bigger barrier to entry into the sport than anything else.






Actually, it is just a barrier for you. But like Groucho, you probably wouldn't want to belong to a club that would have you as a member.

#51 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 08:55 AM

Actually it is just the opposite. YC
Membership and the perception of what it involves is frequently cited by YC Membership committees who've done the market research as the second biggest reason potential members don't join. As for me, I'm waiting til we get something like the 18 footers league in America.

#52 Steam Flyer

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 12:42 PM

I've got to say, I'm a lot more concerned about the overall health of the sport in America than I am about how many medals we win at the Olympics.


This

+1g

FB- Doug

#53 doesitfloat

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 12:58 PM

The local yacht club has a mandatory amout to spend at the bar; but no covered storage for dingys.
It is obvious where the priorities of US sailors are.

#54 Bcam

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 01:25 PM

The local yacht club has a mandatory amout to spend at the bar; but no covered storage for dingys.
It is obvious where the priorities of US sailors are.


The priorities in that case seem to not include being involved with the runningof the club and making sure that the money is spent on things that matter to sailors. There are plenty of clubs that have the right focus, they all seem to have members that involve themselves in the club that they belong to.


The barrier that entry fees and initiations pose can be overcome by joining clubs with the right focus. Sloop Tavern in Seattle, South Sound Sailing Society in Olympia, WA come to mind. And that'sjustwithin driving distance of my house. I'm willing to bet there are many others. Do they provide club boats for your use? No, but they also don't depend on funding from outside sources.

#55 misconseption2348

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 03:47 PM



... ...
Men's football and basketball programs at the major schools provide funding for the rest of the sports including track and field.
... ...
... - the money is funding a lot of minor sports. I suspect sailing could be in there as well except for politics. Could it be that US Sailing does not want to share power with the NCAA?


No, it's that sailing gets lumped in the same pool as badminton and ping pong when it comes to passing out the checks


I can speak on this issue. First a little story- I was a student (on the GI Bill) at NC State. Given the honor of being Commodore of the Sailing Club, I was asked to attend a meeting with Jim Valvano and a lot of the other club sports officers. The topic was organizing and funding a bunch of club sports as varsity sports with scholarships, equipment & travel budgets, etc etc.

Sailing was on the list because (and these were Mr. Valvano's exact words) sailing is "one of those egghead sports" with high GPAs and high graduation rates. In other words, putting sailing (and fencing, rowing, air rifle marksmanship, etc etc) on the table would allow the basketball & football teams to put more thugs & drop-outs into the line-up.

All I had to say was, "I'm sorry sir, but sailing isn't an NCAA sport." Mr. Valvano thought this was funny but his assistants seemed to be offended by the concept. Nor is collegiate sailing governed by US Sailing although I'm sure they'd love to be able to slop at the NCAA trough.

FB- Doug

First of all, you are correct, college sailing is not governed by NCAA. It is governed by ICSA, with the majority of the schools being club teams rather than Varsity. What this means is that in terms of funding you get much less, but are not held to the same restrictions that varsity athletes are.

Second of all college sports do not generate revenue for the school. Schools make money on Alumni donations, grants and tuition fees. There was a study done a couple years ago that showed that only about 5 schools in the US actually make money with NCAA sports. Between massive coaching salaries, stadium rentals, scholarships, recruiting costs and employment costs of support crew, it takes a massive amount of money to support a team. The highest paid state employee in RI is the basketball coach. Duke basketball has to get past the sweet 16 in order to get themselves out of the red, that's before any of that gets shared around to other teams. Lets put it this way if your football team isn't playing in a real bowl game, it isn't making money. A program like that needs to employ upwards of 20 people, plus the 100 person squad are all on scholarships (maybe not all full ride but at least partials). You need one hell of a TV contract to even break even. It is the students who pay for these programs to exist. You spend $22 in club and recreation fees that go to 5-13 club teams at your school, and 300-400 in athletic fees that go to support your losing football team. That's why they give students discounted tickets to get in, you've already paid for them... NCAA needs a full rework, but athletics is part of the College culture and I don't think it should go away. But if you think that the teams are directly bringing in money from their performance on the field than you have fallen for illusion hook line and sinker.

#56 Amati

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 04:25 PM



Actually, I think that this site gives a fair depiction of what is wrong with sailboat racing in the USA versus much of the rest of the developed world, and it aint just about money. To be good much less great one has to passionately want it and be willing to make the requisite sacrifices to get there. And, as I am re-discovering now, it is much harder to get motivated to do it well in a vacuum. If there isn't a community supporting and sustaining active involvment in self-betterment towards a meaningful goal it gets easy to say whatever, I'd rather hang out at home, play with meself, and talk shit about others. Unfortunately, sitting in a bar, talking shit about those willing to try soething hard whilst extolling the virtues of junior sailing doesn't cut it either. Being 50, 60, or even 70 years old, putting yourself in difficult, potentially humiliating positions (talking about on the race course and not with hookers or hookups) and taking your lumps, driving a car worth less than your boat, spending your vacation racing, getting cold and wet regularly, training to extend your fitness, taking shit from acquaintances for doing things that look funny to them, that is actually what it takes. Not havinga facebook page, or fundraiser, or letting your equipment deteriorate, those things won't make you more competitive. And spending more time on SA than on the water or training or bimbling is just another symptom. seeya, I'm going sailing because the non-Americans are kicking ass in Weymouth, deservedly, and most of the readers here seem to care more about that than how they're accomplishing it. I have yet to see a comment about the techniques on display or the changes in our sport. Why is that Irish chick so far ahead offwind when she is big for her class? Am I the only one to mention how much she is steering and turning her boat catch every wave she can? More participation and less spectation.



Shit, I'm 19 and have a hard time finding other people who are willing to practice. Not being an heir to a hedge fund, I can't afford coaches at regattas, new sails every year, and so on. Including driving a car worth less than my boat! The US does need to look at their sailing program as a whole, Especially the Olympic qualifier. How can you base the team off of one regatta? Much like the ISAF grand prix, the qualification system needs to be based on multiple regattas. Our Laser guy is in 36th right now. Are you fucking serious?


When sailing started being a (money losing) business and stopped being fun, people found other ways to spend their time.


F
+1

It's not the case anymore, but wasn't there something about coming together for the joy of sport to help make the world a more peaceful place being one of the basic tenants of the Olympics?

Let each US class hash out a ranking system to secure an Olympic berth (without Olympic trials), figure a way to get folks to the Olympics, and let them enjoy the party.

If US sailing wants to be involved, let them give some $$ to the Olympic qualifiers, to use as they see fit. We are Americans, after all. I think we can handle the responsibility.

( !Warning! Irony alert!) Although angry professionals willing to do anything to win really floats my boat. I mean, when I go sailing, if I'm really honest with myself, I go to get really really outraged. If I get back, and my stomach isn't in knots, and I don't want to deck someone, gosh, why spend the time? ;) (End of irony alert. Please proceed with your normal activities.)

:)

#57 DoRag

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 06:12 PM


BTW, I'm not sure what's gained by focusing on community sailing. If YCs are necessary to provide the infrastructure that US Sailing relies on for running championships, shouldn't they be kept involved? If I am wrong about their part, please enlighten me


Community sailing centers and Sailing Clubs provide sailors low-cost access to the water without requiring anyone to deal with initiations, member sponsorship, or any of the other trappings of the typical YC. In my experience, those YC idiosyncrasies are a bigger barrier to entry into the sport than anything else.


OK. Let's go back 20 years to the heyday of our sport. Big numbers, fun, lots of races and participants. Primarily driven by the YCs. It worked then, why not now? Expense is not the issues as there are numerous paper YCs - some very large.

#58 DoRag

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 06:18 PM

I've got to say, I'm a lot more concerned about the overall health of the sport in America than I am about how many medals we win at the Olympics.


Of course, but the AC and, lesser so, the Olympics, drew attention to our sport, put it on the cover of SI. I remember when the nation was captivated by DC's success with the AC.

Today our Olympic effort is a continuing failure due to USSA's failures and the AC has become a playground for egotistical billionaires.

No one cares about the AC anymore. no one cares about our sailing Olympic effort. These changes have damaged the sport, big time. Our marquee events have been turned into a negative rather than a positive.

#59 bruno

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 06:44 PM

I think the biggest problem is when participants see gaps in the value chain leading to the top for them. Internal coherence provides meaning for not just climbing the links of the chain but also staying in once one has plateaued. Every race has only 1 winner, there has to be value, a reason for participation for thevrest of us. Skill building and pleasure are the 2 strongest links historically, why it is called pleasure boating.

#60 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:29 PM

OK. Let's go back 20 years to the heyday of our sport. Big numbers, fun, lots of races and participants. Primarily driven by the YCs. It worked then, why not now?

Access.


And it wasn't 20 years. 1979 was the peak according to the reams of data from Saving Sailing; that's 33 years.

#61 DoRag

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:44 PM


OK. Let's go back 20 years to the heyday of our sport. Big numbers, fun, lots of races and participants. Primarily driven by the YCs. It worked then, why not now?

Access.


And it wasn't 20 years. 1979 was the peak according to the reams of data from Saving Sailing; that's 33 years.


Without quibbling about the apogee of sailing, YCs were more exclusionary, by far, back then than they are today. Yet the sport thrived.

Today, most YCs, including mine, have dissolved into cruising or power boat dining halls. Opening Day has become the high point of the season. Racing has become but an empty echo of those wonderful days we all had on the course.

#62 green03

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:48 PM


BTW, I'm not sure what's gained by focusing on community sailing. If YCs are necessary to provide the infrastructure that US Sailing relies on for running championships, shouldn't they be kept involved? If I am wrong about their part, please enlighten me


Community sailing centers and Sailing Clubs provide sailors low-cost access to the water without requiring anyone to deal with initiations, member sponsorship, or any of the other trappings of the typical YC. In my experience, those YC idiosyncrasies are a bigger barrier to entry into the sport than anything else.


+1

#63 DoRag

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 11:54 PM



BTW, I'm not sure what's gained by focusing on community sailing. If YCs are necessary to provide the infrastructure that US Sailing relies on for running championships, shouldn't they be kept involved? If I am wrong about their part, please enlighten me


Community sailing centers and Sailing Clubs provide sailors low-cost access to the water without requiring anyone to deal with initiations, member sponsorship, or any of the other trappings of the typical YC. In my experience, those YC idiosyncrasies are a bigger barrier to entry into the sport than anything else.


+1


How 'bout the "paper" YC's - are they what you are referring to? On the West coast they have become rather popular....

#64 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 12:47 AM




BTW, I'm not sure what's gained by focusing on community sailing. If YCs are necessary to provide the infrastructure that US Sailing relies on for running championships, shouldn't they be kept involved? If I am wrong about their part, please enlighten me


Community sailing centers and Sailing Clubs provide sailors low-cost access to the water without requiring anyone to deal with initiations, member sponsorship, or any of the other trappings of the typical YC. In my experience, those YC idiosyncrasies are a bigger barrier to entry into the sport than anything else.


+1


How 'bout the "paper" YC's - are they what you are referring to? On the West coast they have become rather popular....

Paper YCs are fine, but they don't address the pertinent point: Access to water is more expensive and more difficult than ever before, in part because so many YCs have either gone away or been taken over by powerboaters and dinner theatre, and in part because so much access has been destroyed by silly development policies.

Remember too that many of the 12-odd million sailors in 1979 (I think there are around 1.8 million now but my brain is somewhat soaked by vodka brewed just down the road here in Bastad, Sweden) were part of the off-the-beach movement pioneered by Hobie Alter and friends.

#65 Tcatman

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 06:43 PM

I think the biggest problem is when participants see gaps in the value chain leading to the top for them. Internal coherence provides meaning for not just climbing the links of the chain but also staying in once one has plateaued. Every race has only 1 winner, there has to be value, a reason for participation for thevrest of us. Skill building and pleasure are the 2 strongest links historically, why it is called pleasure boating.



This is the most insightful post in the thread!!!!


In 1979... you had A, B and C fleet racers.... all competing in a slew of races in the same start... Sheer numbers meant that the "pleasure factor in competing" was high... Success within your band of the pecking order could be perceived... (maybe not actual skill development... but perception mattered) Skill building was not coached (by pros on the boat) or fed by college hot shot sailors ... rather it was learned by word of mouth and experience from club members. Those links of the chain were huge jumps!!!
The third leg of the stool (pleasure and skill development) was ownership.... IE... you were part of a yacht club that hosted and ran events, and built junior programs in reciprocal arrangements with other clubs.. Paper yacht clubs and community sailing centers were rare... Water access was reasonable.

The pleasure factor in just sailing has never changed... You love it or you don't... but... there is no need to organize into a YC or a Race club to just go sailing.... As the numbers drop off and the demographic ages... the pleasure factor involved in an organized event... regatta or YC became minimal.

Why did this structure fall apart....
Skill development was NEVER identified as critical to long term health.... (See Tennis, Golf and even skiing (although few compete)
The pleasure factor was a function of numbers.... not the nature of the sport as a competitive game suitable for a life time.
The organization within Yacht clubs and US Sailing required professional management because people had little or no time to run the YC or US Sailing.

What was the critical first thread that started the decline.... IMO..
The skill factor became more important... ie time spent racing sailboats means that you want to see your skills grow... But... you hit the plateau... Sailors had NO obvious way to grow their skills.... The Achilles heel of sailing was that we had NO culture of using pros to grow our skills.... We had no Tennis pros... or Ski pros... or Golf pros.... We had the school of hard knocks!.... (Usually... Huh... what just happened to me out there???)

What filled the gap.... The business of sailing proposed... AH... what you need is not skill development (coaching)... rather.. you need a new headsail.... (Ka ching)... Don't you see that it is blown out... (no not really... what the hell am I supposed to see!)... You need to move up... and get a bigger or better boat.... (ka ching) Spend enough money with me... and I will come out on your boat and show you how it's done..... (ka ching).

So.... where did the sport end up?

The pleasure factor in purchasing new sails/boats .... Versus not growing your personal skills.... (or not growing your team's skills) ... diminished!
The skill factor grew in importance..... Better race management.... and a shift to Olympic level courses and racing... made the skill set very important or you are flushed out the back.... and (then gone from the sport).

The numbers decline.... meant fewer boats on the line and fewer social interactions across the board.

The aging demographic... meant that your YC ... ran a junior program for other kids (not yours).... (summer day care in many instances) and a drop in club racing... with the major issue being parking and the private restaurant

My solution... We should re focus on SKILL DEVELOPMENT....Any sailor can revitalize their interest when they are learning and using new techniques or new equipment... We should model the culture like Golf, Tennis and Skiing... Coaching should NOT BE and extraordinary event.

We should insist that junior programs are interdisciplinary.... Juniors go racing on boats other then lasers and 420s in their programs (no matter what the level of expertise beginner to advanced racer).... (Sailboat racing is a life time sport... usually... you sail with others insist that it start on day one!)

We should ban Collegiate sailing..... replace with programs for that age group and recent grads within the local Yacht Clubs.. Sailors will then have connections with Yacht Clubs beyond College.

The social scene will rebalance with racing sailors mixing with the cruisers (ex racers) and the grand old ladies and gents from the past.

QED!

#66 6924

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 09:02 PM

Olympics ?

Just another business - why get worked up about it , especially the childish medal counts.

I'd rather see1,000 juniors having water balloon battles in their Sabots, than a Gold medal.

I'd rather see 100 dreck laden cruisers out every thirsty Thursday than a Silver medal

I'd rather see 10 young lassies single hand to Key West and blog about it than a bronze medal

#67 Steam Flyer

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:52 AM

... ...
First of all, you are correct, college sailing is not governed by NCAA. It is governed by ICSA, with the majority of the schools being club teams rather than Varsity. What this means is that in terms of funding you get much less, but are not held to the same restrictions that varsity athletes are.


Well, sailing doesn't come under Title IX or any of that other fol-de-rol, not sure where 'varsity' sailing teams get their money but I know as a club sport we submitted a budget to the Student Gov't which allocated activity fees and our share was quite generous; and also had several fundraisers shaking down alums for cash... I think this is where the "definitely not sailing" scholarships come from at many schools (we didn't have any).



Second of all college sports do not generate revenue for the school. Schools make money on Alumni donations, grants and tuition fees. There was a study done a couple years ago that showed that only about 5 schools in the US actually make money with NCAA sports. Between massive coaching salaries, stadium rentals, scholarships, recruiting costs and employment costs of support crew, it takes a massive amount of money to support a team....
... ... if you think that the teams are directly bringing in money from their performance on the field than you have fallen for illusion hook line and sinker.


Sure. I saw this first hand with literally millions from the Athletic Department budget going to build facilities for the football & basketball teams that the other student-athletes were literally barred from entering. We had one of the basketball ass't coaches threaten to sue the sailing team for using the school's sports logo on the boats.

The whole mercenary culture of professional sports (which ironically enough started out being broadcast on TV because they were cheap filler... anybody remember roller derby?) has infected student-athleticism to the point where it's a toxic environment. And the money chase is a big part of the reason Gen Y is in hock to pay for their degrees.

Nice, huh?

FB- Doug

#68 Foreverslow

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 03:29 PM

Olympics ?

Just another business - why get worked up about it , especially the childish medal counts.

I'd rather see1,000 juniors having water balloon battles in their Sabots, than a Gold medal.

I'd rather see 100 dreck laden cruisers out every thirsty Thursday than a Silver medal

I'd rather see 10 young lassies single hand to Key West and blog about it than a bronze medal


+1000

many salient points have been made so far' and this is icing on the cake

to compete is a young persons sport.
it is the loss of easy access because of commercial development, fear of lawsuits, and pressures from other sports.

one cannot blame the yacht clubs, as they serve their old constitutes.
they are a resource that COULD be mobilized to support the grass roots organization.

the issue is the USOC, as they believe the bs us sail dishes out to them.
these idiots in RI say they know what to do.
instead they screwed -the pooch and we can see the results.

not only did their big money sponsorship plan blow up in their face, they have angered half the installed base.
Guess they figured throwing money at the problem was the way to go and they had all the answers.
WRONG

instead a group of know it alls took over and then disassembled the organization who are experts in each boat type.
who are in it for the love of their fleet and not some ego trip.

We can only hope these guys understand their total failure and resign.
until then, well I quit us sail after 22 years last year.
if enough of us quit, maybe they will get the hint.

#69 DoRag

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 11:50 PM

Well, we now see the results of the US Sailing and Dean Brenner Olympic development program.

It appears that the US sailing results are, by far, the lowest level of accomplishment of any other US Olympic sport!

My guess is that US Sailing will honor Dean Breener, give him the James Capron award for achievement, the Hubbell award for ByLaw management, and thank him for his superb efforts at fielding an Olympic sailing team.

Seriously folks, why would anyone support US Sailing? What do they do? What have they accomplished?

#70 PeterHuston

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 12:14 AM

Well, we now see the results of the US Sailing and Dean Brenner Olympic development program.

It appears that the US sailing results are, by far, the lowest level of accomplishment of any other US Olympic sport!

My guess is that US Sailing will honor Dean Breener, give him the James Capron award for achievement, the Hubbell award for ByLaw management, and thank him for his superb efforts at fielding an Olympic sailing team.

Seriously folks, why would anyone support US Sailing? What do they do? What have they accomplished?


Oh US Sailing, in the guise of Capron, already thanked Brenner well enough when he was re-appointed by Capron to another term as Chair of the Olympic Sailing Committee before the '08 Games had even started.

Then, Brenner figured out a way as Chairman of the Committee to be paid $125k per year. In all the years I was involved with USYRU/US Sailing, I never heard of a Chairman of a Committee being paid. Yes, there is a mystery donor who paid Brenner, but really, he got paid for these results?

There's a bit of racing left. We still do in theory have a shot at medal in the Women's 470 class, and a probable medal from Anna in Match Racing (at least everyone thinks she is probable).

But we didn't even make the Medal race in the Finn, both Boards, the Laser. In the Star and Laser Radial we made the medal race, but had no chance at a medal. Pretty far out of it in the 49'er, 15th at the moment, and in the men's 470 we are 18th, so a stretch to even make the medal race, and almost zero chance of a medal.

Worse, Brenner went long on a couple of people, shorted the development market. He'll tell you that we have a great D team, and there are probably a couple of sailors with some talent, but we need far more talent to be pushing the field harder at home.

Probably the dumbest thing Brenner did was sell the naming rights to the sailing team. He brags that we are the only NGB to do this - well duh, no one else was dumb or desperate enough to do that. By selling the naming rights, and requiring every other sponsor of the team or the sailors to promote Alphagraphics, he reduced the pool for potentially interested sponsors dramatically. Then Alphagraphics bails before the Olympics, now replaced with Sperry. It's the same problem, with a different sponsor. Beyond support for US Sailing as members, why would a corporation sponsor the US Sailing Team? If glory mattered, where would it be? And how exactly is the US Sailing Team Sperry Topsider going to help any company sell more of their product?

I know there is a new "Olympic Director", not sure if it is public knowledge yet. He has a big hill to climb. And his biggest burden will be having Tom Hubbell as President.

Thankfully, we have a strong US Ski Team to support, and enjoy watching.

#71 Flatbag

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 02:40 AM

The skills exhibited at this regatta by the US Sailing Team reinforce just why the US has such a strong swimming team :lol:

#72 DoRag

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 03:03 AM


Well, we now see the results of the US Sailing and Dean Brenner Olympic development program.

It appears that the US sailing results are, by far, the lowest level of accomplishment of any other US Olympic sport!

My guess is that US Sailing will honor Dean Breener, give him the James Capron award for achievement, the Hubbell award for ByLaw management, and thank him for his superb efforts at fielding an Olympic sailing team.

Seriously folks, why would anyone support US Sailing? What do they do? What have they accomplished?


Oh US Sailing, in the guise of Capron, already thanked Brenner well enough when he was re-appointed by Capron to another term as Chair of the Olympic Sailing Committee before the '08 Games had even started.

Then, Brenner figured out a way as Chairman of the Committee to be paid $125k per year. In all the years I was involved with USYRU/US Sailing, I never heard of a Chairman of a Committee being paid. Yes, there is a mystery donor who paid Brenner, but really, he got paid for these results?

There's a bit of racing left. We still do in theory have a shot at medal in the Women's 470 class, and a probable medal from Anna in Match Racing (at least everyone thinks she is probable).

But we didn't even make the Medal race in the Finn, both Boards, the Laser. In the Star and Laser Radial we made the medal race, but had no chance at a medal. Pretty far out of it in the 49'er, 15th at the moment, and in the men's 470 we are 18th, so a stretch to even make the medal race, and almost zero chance of a medal.

Worse, Brenner went long on a couple of people, shorted the development market. He'll tell you that we have a great D team, and there are probably a couple of sailors with some talent, but we need far more talent to be pushing the field harder at home.

Probably the dumbest thing Brenner did was sell the naming rights to the sailing team. He brags that we are the only NGB to do this - well duh, no one else was dumb or desperate enough to do that. By selling the naming rights, and requiring every other sponsor of the team or the sailors to promote Alphagraphics, he reduced the pool for potentially interested sponsors dramatically. Then Alphagraphics bails before the Olympics, now replaced with Sperry. It's the same problem, with a different sponsor. Beyond support for US Sailing as members, why would a corporation sponsor the US Sailing Team? If glory mattered, where would it be? And how exactly is the US Sailing Team Sperry Topsider going to help any company sell more of their product?

I know there is a new "Olympic Director", not sure if it is public knowledge yet. He has a big hill to climb. And his biggest burden will be having Tom Hubbell as President.

Thankfully, we have a strong US Ski Team to support, and enjoy watching.



Is it true that US Sailing pays Brenner $125K or so and is the only committee head that is paid?

#73 PeterHuston

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 03:13 AM

Is it true that US Sailing pays Brenner $125K or so and is the only committee head that is paid?


Brenner does get paid $125k per year. I've seen that figure in the BoD Minutes. It is technically not paid by US Sailing, rather there is some mystery donor who pays the money. It wouldn't be too hard to figure out what donor is giving Brenner the money, I just can't be bothered to spend the time to go through all the records.

In all my years of involvement with the organization, I have never heard of a committee chair being paid.

Brenner is also on the US Sailing Board.

It used to be that there was a Chairman (Sam Merrick, Mike Schottle, ect) and an Olympic Director, who was Jonathan Harley for years. Brenner sort of morphed the two, for his benefit.

Brenner made a comment in one of his reports from Weymouth that his term lasts another two months. Why we need him for 2 minutes after the last US boat crosses the finish line is beyond my comprehension.

All 9 coaches ought to get the flick next Monday too (Dave Perry has sort of been rules advisor and match race coach, and I don't put him in the category of being part of the failure of our team). But our High Performance coach Kenneth Andressen...hope he's got a new gig lined up.

#74 DoRag

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 02:07 PM

Shocking.

So Brenner was actually paid for all those years and all those failures!

Why would US Sailing tolerate such a disaster for so long?

Good 'ol boy club?

#75 atefooterz

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 02:10 PM

USA Olympic Laser sailing is going .... sorta :P ;)

#76 Wavedancer II

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 03:08 PM

Picking up on some of Peter Huston's criticism, I do agree that, as it stands today (Aug 6), the US Sailing team has underperformed and that the coaching staff needs to be reevaluated.

#77 PeterHuston

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 03:47 PM

Picking up on some of Peter Huston's criticism, I do agree that, as it stands today (Aug 6), the US Sailing team has underperformed and that the coaching staff needs to be reevaluated.


It isn't just the coaching staff - they do not need reevaluation, they need to be flicked immediately.

The problem is alot deeper than just the coaching staff. It is the fundamental way we nurture, or don't, young talent in this country.

If the Laser is one of the youth glamour classes in the US, how come a country like Guatemala is in the medal race while we finish 29th?

The sooner everyone in the US realizes that the "track" we have of youth sailing - ie Opti/4Twinkie-CFJ/Laser/Radial/High School/College simply does not work for the purpose of developing world class talent in Olympic classes, the better off we will be be.

I'm going to say it again - we also got ZERO medals in the ISAF World Youth's this year.

#78 HobieAnarchy

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 05:37 PM

If the Laser is one of the youth glamour classes in the US, how come a country like Guatemala is in the medal race while we finish 29th?

Because Juani cut his teeth sailing Hobie 16s, that's why.

#79 rgscpat

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 05:43 PM

C'mon, it's not that bad. Team USA Sailing so far is ahead of Bulgaria and Montenegro!


Some randomness and bad luck will occur on the race course. But, overall, it seems that Team USA has not performed well. Often, the team USA competitors were beaten by teams from countries that, arguably, ought to have a much smaller talent pool.

Finn: 12 of 24; USA beaten by Estonia, Croatia, and Slovenia, among others.
Star: 7 of 16, best finish so far
Laser: 29 of 49, beaten by Cyprus (silver medal), Croatia, Uruguay, Guatamala, Singapore, Estonia, Hungary, Korea, US Virgin Islands, and Czech Republic. But we just barely, by one place, edged out Montenegro! It must be very strange for a world superpower country's competitor to be beaten by a competitor from that country's very small territory.
Laser Radial: 8 of 41 boats, beaten by Lithuania, Czech Republic, and Mexico -- and this was USA's second-best finish so far

events still in progress
Men RS-X board: in 22nd of 38, behind Switzerland, Lithuania, Hong Kong, Korea, Cyprus, Israel, but a little ahead of Bulgaria (26)
Women RS-X board: in 20th of 26 boats, behind Hong Kong, Estonia, but just ahead of Bulgaria (22)
Men 49er: 15 of 20 boats, just behind Bermuda
Men 470: 17 of 27 boats, behind Croatia, Israel, and Switzerland
Women 470: 8th place, 20 pts. behind current 3rd place boatElliott 6m women's keelboat: 4th place, same pts. as 3rd place boat, going into quarter-finals


Medal trends -- Great Britain, Sweden, Australia, and the Netherlands will come away with multiple medals.
China, Denmark, Cyrpus, Brazil, and Belgium have won medals.
Spain, New Zealand, Germany, Israel, Finland, Italy, Argentina, and the USA could medal.

#80 bruno

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 07:00 PM

Starting back at least in '84 USYRU started anointing favorites, thereby biasing the process. This is normal in any political system and it worked through the 90s, producing numerous medals. Then either the pickings got slimmer (some of that) or the pickers declined in quality or the system proved subject to arbitrage or the furriners go better, perhaps a combination of all, but the system no longer functions well in promoting excellence.

As I mentioned before, the former NAmerican Olympic classes network barely exists and the selection process is based on international results. In Europe you can sail a national champs every week, guys show up and the quality is high. What we used to have was an equally competive circuit sponsored by N American YCs and loosely supervised by NAYRU. You bought a van and followed the circuit. Competing internationally was great but it was the icing on the cake, furriners used to come to NA to see what we were doing and learn from us. It took work, money, and commitment to make that happen, even then, and it was a conscious choice but was barely celebrated in the wider media regardless of AC cover shots. The only exception tomthis was CORK, hosted by the Can Sailing.

Without the circuit and the feeder class participation you end up hiring mercenaries like Ellison does if you want to excel. What can and should USYRU do to reverse this? Well, it was a decentralized system previously that reflected local preferences that was changed for a nationally controlled top down system. One option would be to reverse that, community sailing could be a part of that in cooperation with local yacht clubs, but having a recognized circuit of regional championships might be a step, culminating in a N American championshiip that could be hosted in Hawaii, Florida, the Gulf, California, the Virgins, or Mexico in the late fall on a rotating basis with televised coverage using small Gopro type cameras and a small number of on water cameras, jet skis maybe. Prizes could be paid shipping to the multiclass championship. Selection could be based on criteria including these results.

Problem is the IYRU world results determine Games selection, which encourages early formation of Natl. team, this would need to resolved as equitably as possible whilst still maintaining competitive pressure. Unfortunately, I can foresee this impacting non-olympic classes, there needs to be an adjusting mechanism, e.g. 14 national champ gets chartered 49er, Laser national champ gets to sail Finns, Star national champ gets to sail Finns, etc.,.

#81 PeterHuston

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 02:57 AM

The Ed just put this up on the mythical front page.....



olympics

breaking bad

Even though we have brought up the possibility that the US Olympic Sailing team might do very poorly in the medal count, we didn't really think they would get shut out completely. But now, with just a couple races left in a couple of classes, getting skunked is now looking like a real possibility. Here's how it is breaking down:



Star 7th. No medal

Finn 12th. No medal

Men's 49'er 15th. No medal

Laser Men 29th. No medal

Laser Women 8th. No medal

RS-X Men 22nd. No medal

RS-X Women 20th. No medal

470 Men 17th. No chance.

470 Women 8th. Almost no chance

Elliott Women 6M 4th. Still breathing.

So the likelihood of coming home with NO MEDALS is a very real outcome. Eking out one is almost as bad. And just what the hell does this say about where we are in Olympic sailing? Because it's not like we were really close in a bunch of classes, quite the opposite. We got our asses kicked in almost all of them. This is major fail, Our worst Olympic performance ever and a breakdown across the board. Who will ultimately be to blame? Will heads roll, programs be dismantled and rebuilt? Or maybe you can just chalk it up to a bad year, pretend it'll all be okay, and dutifully send in your dues to the organization who is responsible for this pathetic Olympic result?

08/07/12


#82 kmcfast

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 03:14 AM

The failure is due to:
Short course, multi start, racing in inter collegiate and club racing.
US sailors do not develop the boat speed smarts to compete at this level.
Yah know it is true....

#83 Last Post By

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 03:25 AM


Picking up on some of Peter Huston's criticism, I do agree that, as it stands today (Aug 6), the US Sailing team has underperformed and that the coaching staff needs to be reevaluated.


It isn't just the coaching staff - they do not need reevaluation, they need to be flicked immediately.

The problem is alot deeper than just the coaching staff. It is the fundamental way we nurture, or don't, young talent in this country.

If the Laser is one of the youth glamour classes in the US, how come a country like Guatemala is in the medal race while we finish 29th?

The sooner everyone in the US realizes that the "track" we have of youth sailing - ie Opti/4Twinkie-CFJ/Laser/Radial/High School/College simply does not work for the purpose of developing world class talent in Olympic classes, the better off we will be be.

I'm going to say it again - we also got ZERO medals in the ISAF World Youth's this year.


Start by getting rid of the Optimist out of your training programs and teach kids to sail in real boats with relevant rigs. Those things are an abomination and a blight on sailing with their win at all costs cheat whenever you can attitude prevalent through much of the fleet. That class burns out more kids than anything else on the water. You can be sure Tommy Slingsby and Nathan Outteridge never sailed those shitters. Ben Ainslie did, but only for long enough to realise they were a waste of time and effort.

#84 PeterHuston

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 03:31 AM



Picking up on some of Peter Huston's criticism, I do agree that, as it stands today (Aug 6), the US Sailing team has underperformed and that the coaching staff needs to be reevaluated.


It isn't just the coaching staff - they do not need reevaluation, they need to be flicked immediately.

The problem is alot deeper than just the coaching staff. It is the fundamental way we nurture, or don't, young talent in this country.

If the Laser is one of the youth glamour classes in the US, how come a country like Guatemala is in the medal race while we finish 29th?

The sooner everyone in the US realizes that the "track" we have of youth sailing - ie Opti/4Twinkie-CFJ/Laser/Radial/High School/College simply does not work for the purpose of developing world class talent in Olympic classes, the better off we will be be.

I'm going to say it again - we also got ZERO medals in the ISAF World Youth's this year.


Start by getting rid of the Optimist out of your training programs and teach kids to sail in real boats with relevant rigs. Those things are an abomination and a blight on sailing with their win at all costs cheat whenever you can attitude prevalent through much of the fleet. That class burns out more kids than anything else on the water. You can be sure Tommy Slingsby and Nathan Outteridge never sailed those shitters. Ben Ainslie did, but only for long enough to realise they were a waste of time and effort.


I wrote this back in '06 on the evils of Opti's.....it was titled "Opticrack"....
ti-Crack

Our friend Peter Huston has a nice little blog and he agreed to share this editorial with us. Nice!

So there was a big regatta for Opti's in Abino Bay this weekend. 120+ kids out sailing. Wonderful. Really?

There are some good points to Opti's - they are perhaps a decent boat for kids to learn the basics of tacking and jibing. But any kid that stays in this boat for more than two years is not learning what they should about sailing. Old Opti's also make good wood for beach bonfires.

Sure, a handful of kids come out of the Opti class and go on to Olympic glory. Like maybe two kids every 4 years. But alot more kids quit the sport at age 11, largely because they have Opti's shoved down their throat, usually by parents who simply don't know anything about sailing. Nothing probably much wrong with a kid sailing an Opti occasionally in a regatta, but as a steady diet, it's like feeding them McDonald's burgers and fries only.

Fundamentally, people are social creatures - of course, some will argue that regattas provide a social setting…blah blah blah. You want to know how to make an 11 year old girl hate sailing? Stick her in an Opti for more than a couple of hours. If you want more kids sailing, focus on the girls - the boys will follow. Young girls are hugely social - they want to be with their friends. If there is to be any chance of keeping more young girls in sailing, they need to be in double, or triplehanded boats.

What is it about putting a 10 year old (male or female) in a small, wet, uncomfortable, slow, ugly boat, isolated for hours on end from their friends, that is going to inspire the majority of those kids to want to stay in the sport? What is it about sailing a boat with an ancient rig design, that goes sideways as fast as it goes forward, that does not have a jib or spinnaker, that is singlehanded, which prepares kids to sail on bigger boats?

The evidence from the US Sailing National Junior Sailing Symposium about the attrition rate of 11 year olds OUT of the sport is overwhelming. What are the contributing factors to this attrition? One of them has to be overwhelming reliance on Opti's as THE training boat (see also Sabots on the West coast). Another factor is the far too structured CYA and US Sailing Training programs. I recently sailed with one of the CYA Training guru's - who pre-race bragged and boasted about various sailing adventures. During the race, that same guru had to be told over and over how and when to use the main traveller. That certain guru sure knew all the stuff one needs to know for a book test, but when it comes to actually sailing, well, he's got a ways to go to pass that test.

There is also overwhelming evidence of the lack of weekend club racing - especially high end club racing. See also diminished regatta participation in virtually every family class. One of the contributing factors for this decline is that more parents are driving kids to Opti regattas, and then doing nothing but standing on shore, or worse being helicopter parents on the water. A better alternative for everyone is to go sailing as a family in something like a Lightning or J22.

The future health of yacht clubs is directly tied to junior programs. And a junior program that relies on a really stupid boat as it's primary learn to sail boat is not helping the sport grow. Comments?

07/06/06




#85 Steam Flyer

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 12:24 PM

... ...

Start by getting rid of the Optimist out of your training programs and teach kids to sail in real boats with relevant rigs. Those things are an abomination and a blight on sailing with their win at all costs cheat whenever you can attitude prevalent through much of the fleet.
... ...


That's not the boat's fault. The Opti is actually a pretty good little sailboat, and an excellent teaching boat for kids.

It is stable. It steers well & consistently, with fairly good 'stall characteristics.' It sails well in light air. It is very responsive to correct techniques on sheet & helm. It will surf and/or plane readily enough, it's fun to sail. It does not take much muscle or weight.

For programs, the short spars & squarish sails are easier to store & easier to care for, less expensive in the long run.

Unfortunately the class is being milked and it's not a very good cash cow without the neurotic complicity of parents.

I agree that getting kids sailing in other boats is a good idea, BUT for getting them sailing in the first place, for giving them a sense of what it means to be a skipper and to give them a taste of independence, the Opti is a great little boat.

FB- Doug

#86 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 01:50 PM

The Ed just put this up on the mythical front page.....



olympics

breaking bad

Even though we have brought up the possibility that the US Olympic Sailing team might do very poorly in the medal count, we didn't really think they would get shut out completely. But now, with just a couple races left in a couple of classes, getting skunked is now looking like a real possibility. Here's how it is breaking down:



Star 7th. No medal

Finn 12th. No medal

Men's 49'er 15th. No medal

Laser Men 29th. No medal

Laser Women 8th. No medal

RS-X Men 22nd. No medal

RS-X Women 20th. No medal

470 Men 17th. No chance.

470 Women 8th. Almost no chance

Elliott Women 6M 4th. Still breathing.

So the likelihood of coming home with NO MEDALS is a very real outcome. Eking out one is almost as bad. And just what the hell does this say about where we are in Olympic sailing? Because it's not like we were really close in a bunch of classes, quite the opposite. We got our asses kicked in almost all of them. This is major fail, Our worst Olympic performance ever and a breakdown across the board. Who will ultimately be to blame? Will heads roll, programs be dismantled and rebuilt? Or maybe you can just chalk it up to a bad year, pretend it'll all be okay, and dutifully send in your dues to the organization who is responsible for this pathetic Olympic result?

08/07/12


"No Medal" kind of misses the bigger point, which is that in almost all those classes, we weren't even fucking close. PH - do you have the numbers on what was the total USST budget for the last four years?

#87 PeterHuston

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 02:08 PM

"No Medal" kind of misses the bigger point, which is that in almost all those classes, we weren't even fucking close. PH - do you have the numbers on what was the total USST budget for the last four years?


Yes, the real metric here is how many medal races we made, or didn't, as the case may be.

And no, I don't have all the numbers on the spend for the last quad - it is all public information, but US Sailing doesn't do the best job posting it in exactly a timely manner. If someone else wants to dig through it all, here's a place to start.
http://about.ussailing.org/US_SAILING_Financials.htm

Our problem is now cultural. We have moved away from a country where we had alot of people sailing high performance dinghy's, kids sailing with mentors, to one where we have kids being coached in the lowest performance boats that float, never really sailing with mentors, all for the sake of getting results on a resume that will help get them in college, where they can continue to sail low performance boats.

If the Olympics had a 4Twinkie/CFJ roll tacking championship, we'd win that going away.

#88 ECS

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 02:31 PM

Starting back at least in '84 USYRU started anointing favorites, thereby biasing the process. This is normal in any political system and it worked through the 90s, producing numerous medals. Then either the pickings got slimmer (some of that) or the pickers declined in quality or the system proved subject to arbitrage or the furriners go better, perhaps a combination of all, but the system no longer functions well in promoting excellence.

As I mentioned before, the former NAmerican Olympic classes network barely exists and the selection process is based on international results. In Europe you can sail a national champs every week, guys show up and the quality is high. What we used to have was an equally competive circuit sponsored by N American YCs and loosely supervised by NAYRU. You bought a van and followed the circuit. Competing internationally was great but it was the icing on the cake, furriners used to come to NA to see what we were doing and learn from us. It took work, money, and commitment to make that happen, even then, and it was a conscious choice but was barely celebrated in the wider media regardless of AC cover shots. The only exception tomthis was CORK, hosted by the Can Sailing.

Without the circuit and the feeder class participation you end up hiring mercenaries like Ellison does if you want to excel. What can and should USYRU do to reverse this? Well, it was a decentralized system previously that reflected local preferences that was changed for a nationally controlled top down system. One option would be to reverse that, community sailing could be a part of that in cooperation with local yacht clubs, but having a recognized circuit of regional championships might be a step, culminating in a N American championshiip that could be hosted in Hawaii, Florida, the Gulf, California, the Virgins, or Mexico in the late fall on a rotating basis with televised coverage using small Gopro type cameras and a small number of on water cameras, jet skis maybe. Prizes could be paid shipping to the multiclass championship. Selection could be based on criteria including these results.

Problem is the IYRU world results determine Games selection, which encourages early formation of Natl. team, this would need to resolved as equitably as possible whilst still maintaining competitive pressure. Unfortunately, I can foresee this impacting non-olympic classes, there needs to be an adjusting mechanism, e.g. 14 national champ gets chartered 49er, Laser national champ gets to sail Finns, Star national champ gets to sail Finns, etc.,.


I think the above nails it. I don't really know which came first, the decline of domestic regattas or US Sailing's support of them, but the reality has become that the US Sailing Team has been forced to outsource its training to Europe. What does this do to the domestic Olympic classes? Unless a sailor is one of the US Sailing Team anointed, they need to have a huge amount of money (raised or otherwise) to mount a campaign on their own, and so we see a very small number of sailors doing it. As a reaction to the loss of this feeder system US Sailing came up with the idea of "Junior Olympic Festivals" as their Olympic development effort which in my opinion fail fundamentally in that they become an end in and of themselves as they simply create a culminating goal of junior sailing rather than a direct tie to the next level. Olympic hopefuls do not sail at these events, they are simply junior regattas. It used to be that at regattas like RISSA in RI juniors and college sailors could rub elbows with the top US teams, as well as some international teams. There was a connection to the next level, which was hugely exciting for young sailors. I remember walking the boat park at Barrington looking at 470s, Tornadoes, etc and thinking it was the coolest thing in the world. This domestic circuit was very grass roots in its support of Olympic sailing. It was local members of local YCs running events (and local sailors sailing these events), and for whatever reason (perceived professionalism of the top level sailors, perhaps, or maybe the fact that Olympic classes have become such a rarefied thing seen as completely disconnected from the rest of the sailing world)it has gone away. The US Sailing Team will not be competitive again until there is a larger pool of US sailors. There will not be a larger pool of US sailors until there is a domestic circuit of events that a kid with a beat up van (as opposed to a shipping container, RIB and international logistics manager) can participate in. There is an opportunity for this already. At present it would be very difficult to draw top talent to a summer circuit, but all the top US teams and many top foreign teams already spend nearly the entire winter in Miami, training for the OCR. There is an opportunity for places like Charleston, New Orleans, Houston, Clearwater, St Pete, etc to host Olympic Classes events, and by doing so create a US circuit that would not only benefit the US Sailing team, but the local Clubs, their members and junior sailors, as well.

#89 Rum Runner

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 03:07 PM

The Ed just put this up on the mythical front page.....



olympics

breaking bad

Even though we have brought up the possibility that the US Olympic Sailing team might do very poorly in the medal count, we didn't really think they would get shut out completely. But now, with just a couple races left in a couple of classes, getting skunked is now looking like a real possibility. Here's how it is breaking down:



Star 7th. No medal

Finn 12th. No medal

Men's 49'er 15th. No medal

Laser Men 29th. No medal

Laser Women 8th. No medal

RS-X Men 22nd. No medal

RS-X Women 20th. No medal

470 Men 17th. No chance.

470 Women 8th. Almost no chance

Elliott Women 6M 4th. Still breathing.

So the likelihood of coming home with NO MEDALS is a very real outcome. Eking out one is almost as bad. And just what the hell does this say about where we are in Olympic sailing? Because it's not like we were really close in a bunch of classes, quite the opposite. We got our asses kicked in almost all of them. This is major fail, Our worst Olympic performance ever and a breakdown across the board. Who will ultimately be to blame? Will heads roll, programs be dismantled and rebuilt? Or maybe you can just chalk it up to a bad year, pretend it'll all be okay, and dutifully send in your dues to the organization who is responsible for this pathetic Olympic result?

08/07/12


The US is getting skunked because the national development program is so screwed up. US Sailing makes lots of opportunities for young kids in Optis and other similar boats but there is little support for taking kids and young sailors to the next levels. Ultimately it comes down to money. It seems as if the top heavy and expensive administrative network at US Sailing is really just supporting itself and doing very little to channel money to supporting actual sailors.

An interesting contrast is the US Skiing organization which seems to find money to support promising skiers moving up through the ranks on a regular basis. In the end, they get results in a sport also considered expensive, just like sailing.

Maybe if we found someone besides Mr. Jobson who seems to want to promote himself and his personal projects more than the sport in general, we would see better results from our sailors at international regattas.

#90 Tom

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 03:13 PM

It seems like a lot of our sailors are too specialized in their respective discipline. I don't really see the majority of them getting vast experience in different boats or racing. If you look at the great Olympic Champions, most were multiple class champions. When current crop races in other boats, they don't always do the best. I am not saying they should win in everything they sail in, but at least show you are an Olympic caliber sailor.

I also agree that our current junior sailing structure is flawed. Too many parents pushing their kids early and leading to burn out. 420's are killing our kids. I also think college sailing isn't doing anyone favors.

#91 Tcatman

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 03:29 PM


Starting back at least in '84 USYRU started anointing favorites, thereby biasing the process. This is normal in any political system and it worked through the 90s, producing numerous medals. Then either the pickings got slimmer (some of that) or the pickers declined in quality or the system proved subject to arbitrage or the furriners go better, perhaps a combination of all, but the system no longer functions well in promoting excellence.

As I mentioned before, the former NAmerican Olympic classes network barely exists and the selection process is based on international results. In Europe you can sail a national champs every week, guys show up and the quality is high. What we used to have was an equally competive circuit sponsored by N American YCs and loosely supervised by NAYRU. You bought a van and followed the circuit. Competing internationally was great but it was the icing on the cake, furriners used to come to NA to see what we were doing and learn from us. It took work, money, and commitment to make that happen, even then, and it was a conscious choice but was barely celebrated in the wider media regardless of AC cover shots. The only exception tomthis was CORK, hosted by the Can Sailing.

Without the circuit and the feeder class participation you end up hiring mercenaries like Ellison does if you want to excel. What can and should USYRU do to reverse this? Well, it was a decentralized system previously that reflected local preferences that was changed for a nationally controlled top down system. One option would be to reverse that, community sailing could be a part of that in cooperation with local yacht clubs, but having a recognized circuit of regional championships might be a step, culminating in a N American championshiip that could be hosted in Hawaii, Florida, the Gulf, California, the Virgins, or Mexico in the late fall on a rotating basis with televised coverage using small Gopro type cameras and a small number of on water cameras, jet skis maybe. Prizes could be paid shipping to the multiclass championship. Selection could be based on criteria including these results.

Problem is the IYRU world results determine Games selection, which encourages early formation of Natl. team, this would need to resolved as equitably as possible whilst still maintaining competitive pressure. Unfortunately, I can foresee this impacting non-olympic classes, there needs to be an adjusting mechanism, e.g. 14 national champ gets chartered 49er, Laser national champ gets to sail Finns, Star national champ gets to sail Finns, etc.,.


I think the above nails it. I don't really know which came first, the decline of domestic regattas or US Sailing's support of them, but the reality has become that the US Sailing Team has been forced to outsource its training to Europe. What does this do to the domestic Olympic classes? Unless a sailor is one of the US Sailing Team anointed, they need to have a huge amount of money (raised or otherwise) to mount a campaign on their own, and so we see a very small number of sailors doing it. As a reaction to the loss of this feeder system US Sailing came up with the idea of "Junior Olympic Festivals" as their Olympic development effort which in my opinion fail fundamentally in that they become an end in and of themselves as they simply create a culminating goal of junior sailing rather than a direct tie to the next level. Olympic hopefuls do not sail at these events, they are simply junior regattas. It used to be that at regattas like RISSA in RI juniors and college sailors could rub elbows with the top US teams, as well as some international teams. There was a connection to the next level, which was hugely exciting for young sailors. I remember walking the boat park at Barrington looking at 470s, Tornadoes, etc and thinking it was the coolest thing in the world. This domestic circuit was very grass roots in its support of Olympic sailing. It was local members of local YCs running events (and local sailors sailing these events), and for whatever reason (perceived professionalism of the top level sailors, perhaps, or maybe the fact that Olympic classes have become such a rarefied thing seen as completely disconnected from the rest of the sailing world)it has gone away. The US Sailing Team will not be competitive again until there is a larger pool of US sailors. There will not be a larger pool of US sailors until there is a domestic circuit of events that a kid with a beat up van (as opposed to a shipping container, RIB and international logistics manager) can participate in. There is an opportunity for this already. At present it would be very difficult to draw top talent to a summer circuit, but all the top US teams and many top foreign teams already spend nearly the entire winter in Miami, training for the OCR. There is an opportunity for places like Charleston, New Orleans, Houston, Clearwater, St Pete, etc to host Olympic Classes events, and by doing so create a US circuit that would not only benefit the US Sailing team, but the local Clubs, their members and junior sailors, as well.


Once upon a time..... ah... the glory days! Take a look at the current dinghy participation..... those weekend regattas are dying for lack of support from all of the grass roots sailors.

Simple Question.... how many regattas do you think Paige Railey sailed last season.... Versus... How many days training... did she spend...

Take a look at the ISAF Grade I events schedule and see where you could fit in a few local regattas. You are not going to substitute a Grade I ISAF event for a local regatta.


Back in the day..... your model T system of training worked......then it was replaced by a full on training program. So... that means appropriate training partners.... how many training partners do you think Paige can find in the states... able to spend as much time on the water as she does.... much less challenge her for the one spot.

The issue is $$$ support, world class coaching, and good training partners. A big pyramid of sailors would be fantastic... but it is not realistic. So.... back to the drawing board for Rio.

#92 PeterHuston

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 03:30 PM

Anna is now lost two races to Finland. She has to win 3 in a row to advance to the semis.

#93 Delta Blues

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 03:54 PM

Let me see if I can bring some data to Peter's view:

2016 OLYMPIC EQUIPMENT
470 Women's
470 Men's
49er Men
49er FX Women
Nacra 17 Mixed - New boat, production just starting - there is no one, no fleets sailing worldwide
Finn Men
Laser Men
Laser Radial Women
Kiteboarding Men
Kiteboarding Women

COMMON JUNIOR SAIL RACING / SAILING SCHOOL BOATS IN THE U.S.
Optimist
Flying Juniors
420's
Sabots
Lasers

COMMON BOATS USED AT US SAILING JUNIOR OLYMPICS
Laser
Open Bic
420
Optimist
Vanguard 15
Laser Radial
29er

COMMON HIGH SCHOOL SAILING RACING BOATS
Flying Juniors
Vanguard 15s

COMMON COLLEGIATE RACING BOATS
420's

COMMONLY USED BOATS AT COMMUNITY SAILING PROGRAMS
420's
Lasers
And just about any other boat they can get donated to them

COMMONLY USED FLEET BOATS AT YACHT CLUBS
You can find just about any fleet at clubs, however it is easier to use the "what they don't have" rather than "what they do have" for the explanation. When it comes to 2016 Olympic class boats, many clubs have Laser fleets and that is about it.

SUMMATION
Go to the websites of 470, 49er, 49er FX, Nacra 17, Finn, and Kiteboarding and you'll see so little racing nationwide and immediately you'll understand what Peter is saying. We don't have a program of development in the U.S. except for the Laser Class where there is a fair and reasonable amount of racing going on. By moving from 6-Meters, Solings, Stars and other keelboats and to "beach boats" the U.S. "structure" of development has disappeared along with it.

US SAILING OLYMPIC COMMITTEE
For future Olympics, they should vote for:
420s
Lasers
Optimist
Flying Junior
Vanguard 15

IF they want to find any classes that actually have sailing happening in the U.S. and people honing their skills and techniques right here in the good ol' USA.

#94 DoRag

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 04:08 PM



"No Medal" kind of misses the bigger point, which is that in almost all those classes, we weren't even fucking close. PH - do you have the numbers on what was the total USST budget for the last four years?


Yes, the real metric here is how many medal races we made, or didn't, as the case may be.

And no, I don't have all the numbers on the spend for the last quad - it is all public information, but US Sailing doesn't do the best job posting it in exactly a timely manner. If someone else wants to dig through it all, here's a place to start.
http://about.ussailing.org/US_SAILING_Financials.htm

Our problem is now cultural. We have moved away from a country where we had alot of people sailing high performance dinghy's, kids sailing with mentors, to one where we have kids being coached in the lowest performance boats that float, never really sailing with mentors, all for the sake of getting results on a resume that will help get them in college, where they can continue to sail low performance boats.

If the Olympics had a 4Twinkie/CFJ roll tacking championship, we'd win that going away.


You badmouthing the Sabot......?

#95 J24_4208

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 04:18 PM

It would seem that the 420 should be a feeder into the 470, after all its the same family of boat. But the 420 sailed in the US is mostly the "Club" 420, not the "International" 420, which is heavier, and probably a pig to sail compared to the "International".

Reason being that the club 420 is intended to last longer, and targeted to colleges and other sailing programs.

#96 HookEm

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 04:37 PM


... ...

Start by getting rid of the Optimist out of your training programs and teach kids to sail in real boats with relevant rigs. Those things are an abomination and a blight on sailing with their win at all costs cheat whenever you can attitude prevalent through much of the fleet.
... ...


That's not the boat's fault. The Opti is actually a pretty good little sailboat, and an excellent teaching boat for kids.

It is stable. It steers well & consistently, with fairly good 'stall characteristics.' It sails well in light air. It is very responsive to correct techniques on sheet & helm. It will surf and/or plane readily enough, it's fun to sail. It does not take much muscle or weight.

For programs, the short spars & squarish sails are easier to store & easier to care for, less expensive in the long run.

Unfortunately the class is being milked and it's not a very good cash cow without the neurotic complicity of parents.

I agree that getting kids sailing in other boats is a good idea, BUT for getting them sailing in the first place, for giving them a sense of what it means to be a skipper and to give them a taste of independence, the Opti is a great little boat.

FB- Doug



I raced my first race at age 10, but was not passionate until maybe age 12. I raced Sunfish. Sunfish are much faster and more exciting than Optis. Just sailing one is fun. From that generation (those who learned racing in the 70s) there were a lot of good American sailors. I attribute that to the fact that they had a passion from the good times they had when they were young. Passion for sailing is what is lacking. It is not necessarily driving by dollars. I'm not sure you need to start kids at age 8 or whatever.

I recently bought an Opti for my 11 year old daughter. She can sail and race fine, but I'm not seeing the passion for the Opti. When not racing, she much perfers to take the Sunfish with her friend for the same reasons I enjoyed it. I'm fine with that. Whatever gets her excited.

The problem with the Opti is that the kids themsevles describe it as a bathtub. What American sailing needs is passion. Having a fun boat is part of that. Socialization is also part of it. Sailing on boats with two or more people of similar age fosters passion. Opti kids on an Opti partents' schedule which does not include socilization before or after the race does not.

My kids also compete in swimming. Swimming has maybe 100 times more kids involved. It is easy for the parents to get their kid involved and cost much less. Parents can sit around and socialize, and so can the kids because of critical mass. There are meets every week, the best can look forward to swimming in college. Making it easy and getting critical mass is key to developing the sport.

Here is my suggestion. Every club should consider an after school bus that takes kids one or more times a week to waterfront for some informal racing and socializing. The kids would have a great time competing with their friends and passion would develop. It would be kid driven, not driven by a bunch of Opti parents.

Second, one thing that helped a lot when I was a kid is that the dingy races were in the morning and keel boat races in the afternoon. This allowed kids to crew for experienced sailors and learn from them. The next morning they could practice what they learned in their own dingy. Kids also learned it was a lot of fun to be part of a crew. Nowdays, I see very few kids a part of the crew for keelboats. If you leave them out, they will find something else to do with their time.

When you see other countries getting medals, you will often hear how passionate the country is about the particular sport. This should be a no brainer.

#97 frostbit

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 04:55 PM


... ...

Start by getting rid of the Optimist out of your training programs and teach kids to sail in real boats with relevant rigs. Those things are an abomination and a blight on sailing with their win at all costs cheat whenever you can attitude prevalent through much of the fleet.
... ...


That's not the boat's fault. The Opti is actually a pretty good little sailboat, and an excellent teaching boat for kids.

It is stable. It steers well & consistently, with fairly good 'stall characteristics.' It sails well in light air. It is very responsive to correct techniques on sheet & helm. It will surf and/or plane readily enough, it's fun to sail. It does not take much muscle or weight.

For programs, the short spars & squarish sails are easier to store & easier to care for, less expensive in the long run.

Unfortunately the class is being milked and it's not a very good cash cow without the neurotic complicity of parents.

I agree that getting kids sailing in other boats is a good idea, BUT for getting them sailing in the first place, for giving them a sense of what it means to be a skipper and to give them a taste of independence, the Opti is a great little boat.

FB- Doug


I don't think the decline is primarily caused by decisions being made in the sailing community. The Opti, as well said above, has pros and cons. Yacht clubs have pros and cons. College sailing has pros and cons. To consider the source of the problem requires a consideration of the larger environment sailing in the US operates in.

The question to ask is what is making other olympic sports (women's soccer, basketball, track and field, swimming, etc.) successful for the US?

In the interest of full disclosure, what comes next is seat of the pants reasoning... At best.

So, what do these sports have that sailing in the US lacks? Identifiable and widely lauded heroes and role-models, media coverage in the US, wide acceptance as core sporting disciplines for the majority of the US population, lack of socio-economic class stigmas, and low cost to at least initial participation. This is exacerbated by the enormous consumer engine and inescapable media saturation.

So, how to bridge those gaps? Fight for media coverage for events like The Volvo Ocean Race and <choke> the Americas Cup </choke>. . Talk up heroes at grass roots levels. Ask them to inspire with the amazing challenges they have overcome. Ask them to come talk to kids. Show the best videos you can find. Make events feel like real events (was at one World championship with 50+ boats from 12 countries, 200+ sailors, multiple olympic champions, world champions, pros, etc. that was treated by hosting club as if it was a weekend championship.) Get the real deals to speak at schools and communities rather than yacht clubs. Etc.

#98 DoRag

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 06:46 PM

Will US Sailing, in general, and Dean Brenner, in particular, be held accountable for the embarassing performance of the US Olympic sailing program?

Was this the worse performance by any US team at the Olympics?

#99 Delta Blues

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 06:52 PM

It would seem that the 420 should be a feeder into the 470, after all its the same family of boat. But the 420 sailed in the US is mostly the "Club" 420, not the "International" 420, which is heavier, and probably a pig to sail compared to the "International".

Reason being that the club 420 is intended to last longer, and targeted to colleges and other sailing programs.



If you want to develop people for Etchells do you have them do years of training in a Soling?

IF Olympics are going to become important in the U.S. for sailing, we need people send who have spent years and years practicing, learning, rehearsing, honing, and not in some other type of equipment. If you can handle a 420, you can handle a 470. If you can handle a Soling, you can handle an Etchells.

#100 Tcatman

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 07:16 PM

Will US Sailing, in general, and Dean Brenner, in particular, be held accountable for the embarassing performance of the US Olympic sailing program?

Was this the worse performance by any US team at the Olympics?


EMBARRASSING ???? Why would anyone be embarrassed? Were any of the sailors top ranked and then failed to perform....Did they get drunk every night and fubar their race? Why do you think the US was supposed to win lots of medals? Perhaps your notion of Manifest Destiny?

So...I suggest boxing as another area where the world caught up... We use to lead the world in amateur boxing..... What happened??

How about ragging on the girls on the gymnastics team.... they tossed most of their individual apparatus events...... Of course... you would be a complete and total ignoramus!




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