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#1 Tom

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 03:53 AM

I have been on the ICSA, or whatever they call it now, list since email started being used in the mid 90's. I find this email kind of perplexing. Many of the top coaches have done more for young college sailors than we can imagine. However, they have also done more to to hold back the sailors. The format of college sailing has not done anyone any favors. As much as I disagree with signing a long term deal to sail the POS 420, what have these guys been pushing for years.


I feel absolutely sick about this. All of our college nationals and semi-finals except sloops have been sold out to a sponsor. What am I supposed to tell recruits? "We don't have official college dinghies but they're kind of like college dinghies."

What happens with our past and future hosts such as MIT, NY Maritime, Tufts and Fordham? Are they supposed to dump their fleet of unofficial college dinghies on unsuspecting buyers if they ever hope to host? If only one builder is "official," what will prevent the price from skyrocketing?

I used to have tremendous respect and appreciation for Vanguard. Laser Performance not so much. But now that college sailing has decided that our Rondar boats are all of a sudden no longer legal boats for college nationals....with the investment we have made.....are we supposed to sell them now, buy "official" boats so we can someday be as good as the other teams? Next summer when I see LP boats while coaching 420 clinics or running 420 regattas, I'm not sure if I should be rooting for our exclusive builder or rooting with all my heart for them to fail.

For all the teams that do not own Laser Performance Boats, you have my full support in fighting against this horrible and divisive arrangement.

Ken Legler
U. Rhode Island '77
Former Navy and Kings Point Coach
Tufts Coach since 1980
________________________________________
From: icsa-bounces@collegesailing.org [icsa-bounces@collegesailing.org] on behalf of Fran Charles [fcharles@mit.edu]
Sent: Friday, September 21, 2012 4:31 PM
To: Mitch Brindley
Cc: icsa@collegesailing.org
Subject: [ICSA] Open Letter Response

Dear Mitch-

It is with chagrin I have learned the news that you, as the President
of ICSA, have signed an eight year contract with Laser Performance
exclusively naming them as the only official boat builder at all
national and semi-final college championship regattas excluding
sloops. According to Article VII of the ICSA bylaws, The Board of
Directors is the only authority which can make changes to the
conditions of the National Championships and this agreement is
categorically a change to the conditions. It is also a change to the
Class Rules of the Collegiate Dinghy Class, which also requires
approval of the Board. Therefore, as President you have entered into a
contract purportedly on behalf of ICSA which you are not authorized to
sign. It is wrong to assume, with no public debate or even public
notice beforehand that this contract is in the best interests of
college sailing. ICSA should immediately renegotiate the contract
before LP ‘performs’ any of their services.

Furthermore, and more importantly, this contract is definitely not in
the best interests of college sailing. Laser Performance’s inattention
to the long term and immediate needs of some customers has created
healthy competition for the collegiate boat building market over the
past several years. This sponsorship agreement is a strategic move by
Laser Performance to keep their competitors out of the college sailing
market. If left in place, it will cripple the ongoing efforts to
develop faster, more tunable, more durable, and more fun-to-sail boats
for the future of college sailing as well as severely effect member
institutions that have already chosen to buy from other boat builders
who are responsible and responsive to the customer.

I am sure that your intentions were good but the process, legality,
and substantive consequences of this agreement are all wrong for the
ICSA and its member institutions. Because some of our members’ boats
are not manufactured by LP, they are now required to purchase fleets
of boats from a sole vendor if they wish to be considered a host for
the nationals or semi finals. The LP agreement only requires the
builder to provide boats for singles and the host schools must
purchase their boats at whatever price LP decides to charge for
dinghies, women’s, semis, and team racing.

There are many other schools who will make fleet purchases over the
life of this eight year contract who will be forced to buy from Laser
Performance, whether or not that equipment is the best value for their
program’s needs. That is not fair, nor healthy for our organization.
Fordham University, New York Maritime Academy, Columbia University,
University of New Hampshire, MIT, Tufts University and all the schools
using Performance Catamaran-built west coast FJs have invested
hundreds of thousands of dollars in collegiate boats which are now
excluded from hosting a championship. The Administration and Alumni of
these institutions will understandably be very concerned about the
exclusion of their school. Retroactively banning an institution from
hosting an event based on their choice of equipment supplier is a
blatant disregard for these schools. I am quite sure that you would
not have inked this deal if your fleet at Old Dominion University
would be subject to this ban.

As a Commonwealth of Massachusetts corporation, the ICSA is subject to
some of the broadest consumer protection laws in the country. Laser
Performance’s strategy to exclude competitors’ boats might constitute
illegal anti-competitive conduct, and through your actions ICSA is now
a party to Laser Performance’s plan. The 'confidentiality agreement'
that you agreed to as a part of this contract precludes the member
institutions from knowing even an estimated value of this contract
that delivers the entire college sailing market to Laser Performance
until 2020. What exactly is it costing Laser Performance to get
exclusive rights to our market? There is no representation in any
ICSA meeting minutes that are available about the negotiation or
considerations of this agreement. Never was notice given to the
membership that this was an item to be considered by the Board of
Directors. This is egregious behavior which smacks of favoritism,
Mitch. The lack of transparency by you and the ICSA BoD makes the
membership feel suspicious of your motivations.

The need to have singlehanded boats for our championships is certainly
a concern for ICSA. Though the singlehanded discipline is a tiny part
of the collegiate schedule, it is a national championship that the
members support. However, with US Sailing having now chosen to work
with Zim Sailboats for their youth championship sponsorship with 420s
and Bytes for singles champs, Laser Performance is in an extremely
precarious position. They obviously view it as essential to have
college AND high school sailing singles hosted in their Laser design.
This agreement with ICSA does them a big favor. Granting LP the level
of concessions that you did in this agreement does far more for LP
than they are doing for college sailing. It is a very strange balance
of our priorities. There are other options for ICSA’s singlehanded
championship if LP is unwilling to work with us. Video production at
our championships is an ICSA need but this is a tiny cost to a company
which guarantees itself millions of dollars in boat sales over the
life of this agreement.

By granting an exclusive right to host all of our national
championships in LP-made boats, ICSA is making a long range commitment
to stifle competition in the institutional market. Recently, the
college sailing market has developed healthy competition from builders
who could offer alternative manufacturing processes, improved spare
parts inventories and service, and exciting changes in modern
equipment like cored hulls with resin infusion, gnav vangs, reef
points, and cassette style rudder stocks. In addition, improvements
like 420 bow bulkheads, angled thwarts, integrated bow bumpers, and
lighter rigs make our boats much safer, as well as more fun to sail.
These changes have ONLY come from schools that have been willing to
break away from the Laser Performance stranglehold. Now, ICSA is
poised to make a long range commitment to the company who has
repeatedly been unwilling to change anything until their market share
is threatened by other builders who innovate.

There needs to be public debate, full transparency, and the ICSA
should take very seriously its responsibility to hear every member
school’s concerns with respect. As a college sailing director I am
very concerned about this contract, the secrecy behind it, and the
detrimental consequences it has on many of the ICSA members. It is
wrong, unfair, and probably illegal.

--
Franny Charles
MIT Sailing Master

Jack Wood Sailing Pavilion
3 Ames St.
Cambridge, MA 02142

Pavilion 617-253-4884
Office 617-253-2875
Mobile 857-221-0828

http://sailing.mit.edu/


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#2 Bill's Sock Puppet

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 10:14 AM

What is MB's rational for signing an 8 year contract with LP?

Does that mean college sailors will use LP Club 420's with spinnakers and traps?

#3 Peenstone

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 11:35 AM

Is there a published article on this issue? Where does US Sailing stand on this decision? I'd be very interested in reading of ODU's defense of a conflict of interest inquiry. I can't believe any good can come of this regulation, and will definitely support my alma mater to object to it.

#4 bsainsbury

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 12:22 PM

Does that mean college sailors will use LP Club 420's with spinnakers and traps?


Unlikely

#5 mustang__1

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 02:15 PM

What is MB's rational for signing an 8 year contract with LP?

Does that mean college sailors will use LP Club 420's with spinnakers and traps?


Uh....many colleges already sail lp420s. There will never be traps or kites on college dingies....however unfortunate that is.

As for the issue at hand, this is genuinely disgraceful...

#6 NaptownChick

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 06:29 PM

Wow. Just wow. Can't say I'm surprised though.

#7 leadminer

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 01:22 AM


What is MB's rational for signing an 8 year contract with LP?

Does that mean college sailors will use LP Club 420's with spinnakers and traps?


Uh....many colleges already sail lp420s. There will never be traps or kites on college dingies....however unfortunate that is.

As for the issue at hand, this is genuinely disgraceful...


What no traps and kites in US college sailing??
Maybe time need to think about better boat designs?
Like
this
http://uk.rs500.org/index.asp?selection=Gallery&Fleet=RS500&subsect=Photos

#8 Left Hook

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 01:55 AM

Any boat which requires any technical skill beyond roll tacking, ooching and winging the jib is too complex for college sailing.

#9 jkdubs808

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 05:45 AM

On the west coast we were all using FJs. Dies this mean, like the open letter said, that none of the west coast schools can host a major national event cuz we use FJs? I guess no more big time college events in SF Bay or So Cal. Besides, FJs are better college saIling boats than 420s anyway.


Dubz
sailing team member
Cal Maritime Academy c/o '05

#10 mustang__1

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 12:24 PM

Lp makes fj's dubs...

Wes, if its so simple why couldn't you do it?

#11 Matt DI

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 01:52 PM

As a former Kingspoint dinghy sailor I am partial to the 420 but part of the learning process is sailing different boats. I'm dating myself but sailing larks up at MIT was always one of the best trips of the year. As long as a school has enough of the same boats to acommodate the number of sailors at a regional or national regatta it shouldn't matter what boats they are sailed in.

Matt Seif KP '90

#12 eliboat

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 02:32 PM

It will be interesting to hear a response to Franny's letter. I can't imagine that anyone will feel placated by whatever comes from MB. College sailing certainly does a disservice to sailors by limiting them to untunable boats, so that, combined with prior dinghy experience probably gained in c420's and Optis, sailors leaving college have scant experience with a bendy rig or different hull forms. This contract ensures that this will be the case for 8 more years at least, and that schools like MIT that have made an effort to move away from this situation are penalized. Good going ICSA....

#13 Mr. Fixit's brother,, Mr. Fixit

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 02:47 PM

Ridiculous, MIT just added 20 new Firefly's, 35 Tech Dinghies and how many 420's??? Six. College of Charleston just purchased 18 brand new FJ's. Why? Obviously to strengthen their familiarity with the boats to raise their West Coast competitiveness. Every where I turn I see LP pissin in the whiskey.. About to yank my son out of the Laser class and find him a class that actually has sailing on it's agenda.

#14 jkdubs808

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 03:16 PM

Lp makes fj's dubs...


Didn't know that. I think Vanguard made ours. I could be wrong tho.

Thanks for the update stang

#15 Wavedancer II

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 06:30 PM

Awful decision!

Presumably, MB had a majority of the Board support his decision???

Or is this another outbreak of the U Virginia rectoral disease?

#16 Mr. Squirrel

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 06:31 PM

Wait, isnt this the same company that has done so much for the Laser class globally? /sarcasm

MS

#17 jewing

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 11:14 PM

Awful decision!

Presumably, MB had a majority of the Board support his decision???

Or is this another outbreak of the U Virginia rectoral disease?


Fran's letter makes it appear that MB acted alone and under the table, i.e. without discussing it with the Board.

#18 Left Hook

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 11:14 PM


Lp makes fj's dubs...


Didn't know that. I think Vanguard made ours. I could be wrong tho.

Thanks for the update stang

lp bought vanguard a few years back.

#19 Left Hook

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 11:18 PM

Lp makes fj's dubs...

Wes, if its so simple why couldn't you do it?

hadn't sailed a config in 3 years and was overweight for the boat?

#20 mustang__1

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 11:57 PM


Lp makes fj's dubs...

Wes, if its so simple why couldn't you do it?

hadn't sailed a config in 3 years and was overweight for the boat?


so since you couldnt do it you have the right to talk-down on college sailing. there's a lot i would change, but there is more that you dont understand.

#21 celphtaught

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:00 AM

As a former Kingspoint dinghy sailor I am partial to the 420 but part of the learning process is sailing different boats. I'm dating myself but sailing larks up at MIT was always one of the best trips of the year. As long as a school has enough of the same boats to acommodate the number of sailors at a regional or national regatta it shouldn't matter what boats they are sailed in.

Matt Seif KP '90


i would agree, i think that as long as the boats are all identical why should it matter? i think something like 90%+ of the college teams in the country sails 420s or FJs, i would be interested in knowing what percentage of those are vanguard/LP. we sailed PS2000s in hs, and there was a slight difference in stiffness and build quality, but as long as everyone was sailing the same vintage boat, you could theoretically hold a very competitive regatta in techs or larks.

#22 Left Hook

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:09 AM



Lp makes fj's dubs...

Wes, if its so simple why couldn't you do it?

hadn't sailed a config in 3 years and was overweight for the boat?


so since you couldnt do it you have the right to talk-down on college sailing. there's a lot i would change, but there is more that you dont understand.


When college sailing teaches you how to shift gears, navigate and perform an inline headsail peel while bashing through pitch black 20 foot seas in 30 knots then perhaps college sailing will produce someone I would trust my life to offshore. Until then they all fall short.

#23 celphtaught

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:25 AM

you're an ignorant human being if you dont think that refining your inshore technical dinghy skills enhances your whole sailing repetoir, thats just a ridiculous statement. dinghies make the sailor, period.

#24 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:36 AM

dinghies make the sailor, period.


No, dinghies make the inshore racer. Something else makes the guy or gal you want on your watch at 2 AM in an offshore gale.

#25 Gouvernail

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:38 AM




Lp makes fj's dubs...

Wes, if its so simple why couldn't you do it?

hadn't sailed a config in 3 years and was overweight for the boat?


so since you couldnt do it you have the right to talk-down on college sailing. there's a lot i would change, but there is more that you dont understand.


When college sailing teaches you how to shift gears, navigate and perform an inline headsail peel while bashing through pitch black 20 foot seas in 30 knots then perhaps college sailing will produce someone I would trust my life to offshore. Until then they all fall short.


Who the fuck cares about supplying you with offshore crew?? The game played by college teams is just fine and in large part it is just fine because the boats are so simple. I know where tons of the kids on the U of Texas team ( and all of SEISA) have come from over the last thirty years and it is not from daddy's offshore sled. The kids often take their very first sailboat ride within weeks of going to crew in a regatta. College sailing gets all sorts of kids interested in the game and simultaneously teaches them they can jump right in and have a great time.

IF they decide to go on they can learn lots of other forms of sailing and competition and the sailing experience they have gained in College, and good friends they have met, will make the leap to all sorts of other sailing much more easy to successfully make.

The only problem with collegiate sailing is there is too damn little support given to it..in the form of MONEY!!!

really...Is there ANY excuse for football and basketball getting more money than sailing?? Colleges are places to LEARN something you can use for tehe rest of your life. Few can play basketball or footbal. Girls can't play either game at all. Football STOPS for all but a tiny percentage of teh tiny percentage who ever play college ball on the day of the last college game.

sailing skills can be used for a lifetime.

About that contract?? I sure would love to see how the competitive bidding process went down for selection of the winning manufacturer.

#26 celphtaught

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:45 AM

dinghies make the sailor, period.


No, dinghies make the inshore racer. Something else makes the guy or gal you want on your watch at 2 AM in an offshore gale.


how did that guy or gal get their start? bet the majority of them sailing some sort of dinghy/small inshore boat. you can't handle yourself in a small boat in a blow i dont want you on my shift at 2am possibly having to take the wheel.

#27 Reht

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 02:24 AM

Dinghy sailing is a different animal from offshore, sure, but there's plenty to transfer from one to the other.

This agreement, especially if it was made in the conditions suggested, without even any consultation or warning, is a bad move. As a college sailor, I know our program is always searching for an extra penny to get new boats, my school may never host a major event that falls under this contract but I know how the teams affected must be feeling. Half the fun for me when I travel to the US for a regatta is ending up in a different boat (design or generation) each and every time.

Looking at the schools listed (and I'm sure they aren't the only ones), I could imagine a separate league being set up, at least temporarily, in protest. Make a new league, same rules, same schools, just a different name and this agreement has no value.

This reeks of LP, just like a lot that seems to be happening around them recently...

#28 fastyacht

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 02:33 AM

Just treat this "contract" as illegal, get the board behind kicking this guy out, and move on. That's the only reasonable solution.

#29 Left Hook

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 02:35 AM

you're an ignorant human being if you dont think that refining your inshore technical dinghy skills enhances your whole sailing repetoir, thats just a ridiculous statement. dinghies make the sailor, period.


First of all, quoting Wind isn't helping your argument.

Secondly, the most well rounded racers I know started in dinghies and got out as soon as they nailed down boat handling and overall sailboat technique - two things that small boats are useful for. If you need to do 1000 practice/real races over the course of 4 years to figure out tactics then, bad news buddy, you weren't smart enough to begin with in order to use them properly. Confining yourself to boats with limited required skillsets for too long only limits your future usefulness on most boats (including complex dinghies) or even in the olympics. Want to know a big part of why we didn't medal in London? College sailing doesn't teach you tuning, gear shifting, minute sail trim, how to deal with weather/course dynamics on a large racecourse or even how to sail on a track which is longer than 200-300 yards. It teaches you how to start well, perform maneuvers well and how to maximize your kinetic motion in the boat. While most college sailors aren't going to make it to the olmypics those missing skills are useful in everything they will do besides their local laser frostbite fleet.

Additionally, if you're going to make the argument that "dinghies make the sailor" then at least don't argue in favor of the FJ. The only redeeming feature about those boats is that they're realatively cheap, durable and stupid easy to sail. The only dinghies I consider to be superior as a learning platform are the lightning, star, finn and 505 classes because they teach you how to sail complex boats which require broad skillsets and minute trimming & adjustments. In that regard, yes, small boats make the sailor.

Thirdly, college sailing doesn't teach you how to be part of a real racing team, nor does it teach you humility. There are some really good dinghy sailors who I wouldn't suggest for a grand prix racing program, varying skillsets aside, needing crew because the attitude that they bring with them is one that you develop when you only sail with one other person and you treat yourself and your tiny niche of the sport as the pinnicle of sailing. They implode when they have to deal with 7-20 other people because large scale teamwork isn't something you don't learn when you sail with only one other person. In terms of attitudes towards others they can't handle the fact that it's no longer the "I" and rather the "we".

And Clean, dinghies don't even make the inshore racer. The technical skills required to be a good inshore sailor on anything more than an FJ takes years to learn and isn't taught at all in those dinky tubs. Sail trim? Sail changes? Rig tune? Draft? Sail Shape? Different helm techniques for all of those different settings? None of these things mean anything to someone pulling 2-3 strings in a dinky tub. Let alone technique which takes years to nail down. Ask your average college sailor to perform a clean windward strip while coming into a mark in breeze at 12-15 knots with the rail fully buried and boats everywhere around you and you'll get shrimp for dinner and an expensive sail repair bill.

Come to think of it it's no wonder that sailors desert the sport after college. If they think the rest of the sport is anywhere near as boring as their part is then quitting is probably justified.

#30 celphtaught

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 02:40 AM

i learned more about racing keelboats from dinghy sailing than dinghy sailing from keelboats

#31 mustang__1

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 02:57 AM

wowza. i havent seen that kind of pompous attitude mixed with unmitigated abject stupidity in a lonnng time. So first we have what might as well be a comparison of motorcross and motoGP racing followed by in no particular order: college sailors dont know tactics or starts and it takes them four years to figure out; college sailboats are stupid easy to sail (yet the poster could barely get one around the race course as both a crew and a skipper), there is only one gear in college sailing, colleges should buy fleets of boats that cost triple what a college boat costs (for dinghies, nevermind keelboats) - nevermind the fact that most colleges can barely keep their teams alive, and that left hook doesnt like some college sailors.

I have literally sailed in nearly every sailing discipline that one can reasonably hope to experience in either a very small or very large way. I have thousands of offshore miles on a variety of race boats, have done a multitude of inshore keelboat regattas, and have sailed and raced dinghies (including collegiate for the past 4years) of a moderately large variety for the past eight years. I am able to speak with authority when i say that your belittling of college sailing is without merit. you failed out within a couple days and yet you moan how simple the boats are, its quite the pathetic contradiction. The only way to change the system is to throw it out and not have a college sailing circuit and use a BYOB circuit in its place - but the college sailing circuit as it stands is the only way that it can stand.

some day you may learn that the game of sailing is not determined by getting rides on bigger and faster boats, but actually in having fun sailing. you are not a lesser racer for not being able to do a peel. you are not a lesser sailor for not being able to use a trapeze. i can do both, but that does not make a greater racer. Some people do not care about the of keelboat sailing, particularly because of the egos like yours, and prefer to race dinghies and as such may not know how to do a peel. Some people even take pride in the teamwork required to sail a two person boat and the number of difficulties that come with that. You are a lesser person for not being able to understand this after multiple threads and conversations.

Some of the best teams that i have ever raced on were made up in part or predominately - or even totally, by college or just out of college sailors.

Edited by mustang__1, 24 September 2012 - 03:08 AM.


#32 mustang__1

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 03:00 AM

As far as the LP bullshit is concerned, it does not matter to me that a nationals or semi's can not be hosted in a fleet of Firefly's - that does not bother me in the slightest... what does bother me is that it fucks up fleet planning for teams that are looking to replace their fleet. If they ever hope/plan to host a nationals or semi's, they would need to buy some of the most mediocre built boats possible. It effectively kills any competition by Zim and Rondar to build collegiate boats. I tremble at the thought of the cost and quality that would result from a near-total monopoly by LP on collegiate sailing.

#33 fastyacht

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 03:28 AM

wowza. i havent seen that kind of pompous attitude mixed with unmitigated abject stupidity in a lonnng time. So first we have what might as well be a comparison of motorcross and motoGP racing followed by in no particular order: college sailors dont know tactics or starts and it takes them four years to figure out; college sailboats are stupid easy to sail (yet the poster could barely get one around the race course as both a crew and a skipper), there is only one gear in college sailing, colleges should buy fleets of boats that cost triple what a college boat costs (for dinghies, nevermind keelboats) - nevermind the fact that most colleges can barely keep their teams alive, and that left hook doesnt like some college sailors.

I have literally sailed in nearly every sailing discipline that one can reasonably hope to experience in either a very small or very large way. I have thousands of offshore miles on a variety of race boats, have done a multitude of inshore keelboat regattas, and have sailed and raced dinghies (including collegiate for the past 4years) of a moderately large variety for the past eight years. I am able to speak with authority when i say that your belittling of college sailing is without merit. you failed out within a couple days and yet you moan how simple the boats are, its quite the pathetic contradiction. The only way to change the system is to throw it out and not have a college sailing circuit and use a BYOB circuit in its place - but the college sailing circuit as it stands is the only way that it can stand.

some day you may learn that the game of sailing is not determined by getting rides on bigger and faster boats, but actually in having fun sailing. you are not a lesser racer for not being able to do a peel. you are not a lesser sailor for not being able to use a trapeze. i can do both, but that does not make a greater racer. Some people do not care about the of keelboat sailing, particularly because of the egos like yours, and prefer to race dinghies and as such may not know how to do a peel. Some people even take pride in the teamwork required to sail a two person boat and the number of difficulties that come with that. You are a lesser person for not being able to understand this after multiple threads and conversations.

Some of the best teams that i have ever raced on were made up in part or predominately - or even totally, by college or just out of college sailors.


+1

College sailing was a wonderful opportunity for sailors who had never been able to own or sail on a competitive boat before. Finally, it was your skill alone. Incredibly liberating feeling--and a huge opportunity to grow as a sailor (and as a person) when all the excuses are peeled away (even without doing an outside peel in 35 kts). So what if college sailing doesn't "teach" *everything*? I don't really understand why Left Hook implicitly believes that it should.

And as you (Mustang) point out in another post, the idea of creating a monopoly supplier for boats--that is just incredibly stupid. Is someone on the take?

#34 Boo-Yah

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 04:06 AM

So what is in the deal? What did PL offer up to keep the other hard working builders out of their business/

Who has the details?

#35 mustang__1

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 05:09 PM

So what is in the deal? What did PL offer up to keep the other hard working builders out of their business/

Who has the details?


ive heard that in return LP is going to continue supplying brand new lasers for singlehanded championships.

#36 Boo-Yah

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 05:36 PM


So what is in the deal? What did PL offer up to keep the other hard working builders out of their business/

Who has the details?


ive heard that in return LP is going to continue supplying brand new lasers for singlehanded championships.


What is the cost and value in that? I would argue along the lines if you want us to use your brand boat in the championship you will provide solid new boats for each one of the classes/divisions. Make the boat builders publicly fight for the slots.

#37 Lake Shark

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 05:37 PM

well i guess everyone can kiss college sailing goodbye. we bought two LP 420s at the beginning of the season and right away had problems with them. one had what appeared to be a quarter sized air bubble between the glass and the gelcoat that cracked the first time we used it and the other one is developing spider cracks on the bouancy tanks where the skipper sits. these were brand new fresh from the factory boats that were only used for a few regattas.

oh and i forgot to mention apparently st marys teamed up with laser performance to make a new collegiate 420 http://www.sail1desi...-collegiate-420 i assume that will be the boat everyone is required to buy

on the OT about what college sailing is teaching.

yes the probably should have more advanced boats during the summer you have kids sailing 420s with traps and kites and then they get to college and you essentially go backwards. if the idea is for kids to go from the ISSA to the ICSA you might as well have them move up to a 470. in most sports when you transition from the high school to the college level things tend to get more advanced.

#38 jfdlaw

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 05:48 PM

Can anyone point me to the specific rule or regulation referenced in the first post (requiring LP boats for championships)? We have a purchasing decision coming up in the next month or so. It will make a difference if we truly need to have LP boats to host events.

I'd like to read the actual rule. I tried to find it at the collegesailing.org site, but was not successful.

#39 mustang__1

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 05:56 PM



So what is in the deal? What did PL offer up to keep the other hard working builders out of their business/

Who has the details?


ive heard that in return LP is going to continue supplying brand new lasers for singlehanded championships.


What is the cost and value in that? I would argue along the lines if you want us to use your brand boat in the championship you will provide solid new boats for each one of the classes/divisions. Make the boat builders publicly fight for the slots.


well for LP they get promotional value, and then they sell the boats for a few dollars off of list price. the sailors get to sail brand new lasers before they break.

#40 jewing

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 06:00 PM

Can anyone point me to the specific rule or regulation referenced in the first post (requiring LP boats for championships)? We have a purchasing decision coming up in the next month or so. It will make a difference if we truly need to have LP boats to host events.

I'd like to read the actual rule. I tried to find it at the collegesailing.org site, but was not successful.


It sounds like it was, and still to some extent is, behind closed doors. Why not give Franny a ring? He's a pretty accessible guy. His number is in the first post, and Mondays are usually a good day to track coaches down.

#41 Sailing_Rugger

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 07:07 PM

It's a good thing colleges all sail in the same classes, to promote competitiveness in the sport as opposed to simply learning their own boats... since they're, you know, used in Int'l competition and everything at the next level.

#42 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 08:01 PM

fran tech

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sailing Master Fran Charles made news last week with his open letter denouncing what he says is an illegal agreement between college sailing’s governing body and LaserPerformance (see “College Angst” below). We admired the balls he showed in sending it, but even more, we admire the work that he continues to do for both his school and the wider sailing community. Along with Ken Legler and a growing number of coaches and sailing directors, Fran is leading the push to shake things up and modernize collegiate sailing. His agenda at M.I.T. similarly shakes things up; the racing team is just a small part of a program that sees some 2,000 members sailing over 100 boats every year.

So we’re going to put him to the Clean test and give you 30 minutes with the college sailing Hall of Famer on another Skype Innerview. We plan to learn more about the Laser imbroglio, to get Fran’s take on the record-setting lack of performance by mostly ex-college sailors in Weymouth, and to get far deeper into the world of college sailing than we’ve ever gotten before. Got questions about these or any other relevant subjects? Post them here before Thursday afternoon.

The letter is in the first post on this thread if you missed it.

#43 jhc

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 08:05 PM

fran tech

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sailing Master Fran Charles made news last week with his open letter denouncing what he says is an illegal agreement between college sailing’s governing body and LaserPerformance (see “College Angst” below). We admired the balls he showed in sending it, but even more, we admire the work that he continues to do for both his school and the wider sailing community. Along with Ken Legler and a growing number of coaches and sailing directors, Fran is leading the push to shake things up and modernize collegiate sailing. His agenda at M.I.T. similarly shakes things up; the racing team is just a small part of a program that sees some 2,000 members sailing over 100 boats every year.

So we’re going to put him to the Clean test and give you 30 minutes with the college sailing Hall of Famer on another Skype Innerview. We plan to learn more about the Laser imbroglio, to get Fran’s take on the record-setting lack of performance by mostly ex-college sailors in Weymouth, and to get far deeper into the world of college sailing than we’ve ever gotten before. Got questions about these or any other relevant subjects? Post them here before Thursday afternoon.

The letter is in the first post on this thread if you missed it.


...all that and you deny you are a journalist?

Or, has the worm turned?

#44 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 08:09 PM

I'm an interviewer
and a reporter



but never, ever, ever a journalist.

#45 Rum Runner

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 09:42 PM

fran tech

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sailing Master Fran Charles made news last week with his open letter denouncing what he says is an illegal agreement between college sailing’s governing body and LaserPerformance (see “College Angst” below). We admired the balls he showed in sending it, but even more, we admire the work that he continues to do for both his school and the wider sailing community. Along with Ken Legler and a growing number of coaches and sailing directors, Fran is leading the push to shake things up and modernize collegiate sailing. His agenda at M.I.T. similarly shakes things up; the racing team is just a small part of a program that sees some 2,000 members sailing over 100 boats every year.

So we’re going to put him to the Clean test and give you 30 minutes with the college sailing Hall of Famer on another Skype Innerview. We plan to learn more about the Laser imbroglio, to get Fran’s take on the record-setting lack of performance by mostly ex-college sailors in Weymouth, and to get far deeper into the world of college sailing than we’ve ever gotten before. Got questions about these or any other relevant subjects? Post them here before Thursday afternoon.

The letter is in the first post on this thread if you missed it.


fran tech

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sailing Master Fran Charles made news last week with his open letter denouncing what he says is an illegal agreement between college sailing’s governing body and LaserPerformance (see “College Angst” below). We admired the balls he showed in sending it, but even more, we admire the work that he continues to do for both his school and the wider sailing community. Along with Ken Legler and a growing number of coaches and sailing directors, Fran is leading the push to shake things up and modernize collegiate sailing. His agenda at M.I.T. similarly shakes things up; the racing team is just a small part of a program that sees some 2,000 members sailing over 100 boats every year.

So we’re going to put him to the Clean test and give you 30 minutes with the college sailing Hall of Famer on another Skype Innerview. We plan to learn more about the Laser imbroglio, to get Fran’s take on the record-setting lack of performance by mostly ex-college sailors in Weymouth, and to get far deeper into the world of college sailing than we’ve ever gotten before. Got questions about these or any other relevant subjects? Post them here before Thursday afternoon.

The letter is in the first post on this thread if you missed it.


...all that and you deny you are a journalist?

Or, has the worm turned?


Good for you Clean. As someone who has had dealings with LP in the past, much of what they do stinks of self interest. They seem to be trying to monopolize the market for Lasers, Sunfish, 420's and other boats at the expense of the people who actually sail those boats. Look at how hard it is now to find replacement parts for LP boats as well as things like dollies and the like.

For a college association to sign an exclusive agreement with one equipment manufacturer would seem like the NCAA requiring every football team to use Nike shoes and clothing without seeking other sponsors.

This whole deal reeks to me. Good for you in helping to expose the truth.

#46 Boo-Yah

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 01:25 AM

fran tech

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sailing Master Fran Charles made news last week with his open letter denouncing what he says is an illegal agreement between college sailing’s governing body and LaserPerformance (see “College Angst” below). We admired the balls he showed in sending it, but even more, we admire the work that he continues to do for both his school and the wider sailing community. Along with Ken Legler and a growing number of coaches and sailing directors, Fran is leading the push to shake things up and modernize collegiate sailing. His agenda at M.I.T. similarly shakes things up; the racing team is just a small part of a program that sees some 2,000 members sailing over 100 boats every year.

So we’re going to put him to the Clean test and give you 30 minutes with the college sailing Hall of Famer on another Skype Innerview. We plan to learn more about the Laser imbroglio, to get Fran’s take on the record-setting lack of performance by mostly ex-college sailors in Weymouth, and to get far deeper into the world of college sailing than we’ve ever gotten before. Got questions about these or any other relevant subjects? Post them here before Thursday afternoon.

The letter is in the first post on this thread if you missed it.


What about Intercollegiate Sailing Association President Mitch Brindley doesn't he get a chance to attempt to defend himself or maybe further incriminate himself.... what about the brain trust over at LP? What about the other builders out there? What options could they offer?

#47 Gouvernail

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 02:13 AM

well for LP they get promotional value, and then they sell the boats for a few dollars off of an incredibly overinflated list price. the sailors get to sail brand new lasers whose designer fees have not been paid while they break.


fixed

#48 mustang__1

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 02:30 AM

semantics...

#49 NorCalLaser

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 03:18 AM

theres gotta be more to this story... has mitch b replied on the icsa list serve at all?

#50 JimC

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 07:17 AM

There's more info on Scuttlebutt.

#51 Mark D

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:30 AM

Have you considered using 110s for college sailing?

#52 celphtaught

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:35 AM

....you really dont get the point of this thread do you

#53 Jesse Falsone

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 12:02 PM

Clean - please ask Franny if a true high performance dinghy would/should ever be considered as a collegiate dinghy. By "high performance", I mean something that has at least one trapeze, a spinnaker, and planes upwind. I understand the issues inherent with HP dinghies, especially concerning maintenance in the collegiate environment. But, what if a semi or a championship were sailed in an HP class of boats just as a test? If a hiking dinghy is the requirement, why not a boat that is considerably lighter with more horsepower, a "tunable" tapered rig, A-sym, and that would require larger/stronger crews? Covering old ground here, but I'm interested in Fran's opinion.

#54 Raked aft \\

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 12:33 PM

Clean - please ask Franny if a true high performance dinghy would/should ever be considered as a collegiate dinghy. By "high performance", I mean something that has at least one trapeze, a spinnaker, and planes upwind. I understand the issues inherent with HP dinghies, especially concerning maintenance in the collegiate environment. But, what if a semi or a championship were sailed in an HP class of boats just as a test? If a hiking dinghy is the requirement, why not a boat that is considerably lighter with more horsepower, a "tunable" tapered rig, A-sym, and that would require larger/stronger crews? Covering old ground here, but I'm interested in Fran's opinion.


His answer would be NO.

If you haven't sailed intercollegiate then you wouldn't understand. College boats get the Shit beat out of them! They sail more miles in a season than most boats will sail in a lifetime!

Why do you think franny's primary and oldest fleet are Tech's? they're indestructible.

To keep 8 or whatever light trapping spin dinghies in one piece throughout a year would be amazing, let alone insanely expensive.

There's your answer...

#55 Tejano

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 12:40 PM

Posted Image

Fran: Portait of a true Anarchist

#56 SailRacer

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 01:03 PM

Jessie, you really think that you would be able to have boats like your 505 in college sailing?

I think you got to much of the WC water in your head from last weekend.

Sail safe!

#57 Roller Skates

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 01:19 PM

Looks like some responses showed up on the List serve, nothing from brindley yet. I think we have to wait and see what the intention was here. As McDonalds email says "From all my years in working with Mitch, I've always seen him do the right thing for college sailing." That's a pretty fair statement for the most part. I personally think this was a damn stupid decsion, but don't throw him under the bus yet. Just because some idiot fouls you doesn't mean they don't get their five minutes in the room to explain themselves.

And it better be soon. Mitch, time to step up.

#58 Roller Skates

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 01:29 PM

Really don't understand why this issue of boats keeps coming up. Thought this thread was about this LP agreement, are we really going to get into this other crap again? That's a descion for college sailing and its members to take on their own.

Let's focus on this Brindley/LP agreement. Please.

#59 Tcatman

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 01:37 PM

The agreement is about politics.. The agreement will lock college sailing into the existing model for a long period of time. Programs could be at a pivot point.... The Olympic Fail has focused the mind..... the vaunted US College sailing program is a FAIL for sailors having the training to win at international competition. Should things change???? The backroom deal is an important but secondary issue.


I would ask questions about the big picture of college sailing.

How many College sailors are continuing racing post college and what percentage of your sailors stay with the sport.

Why are there no post college racing activities that draw on the college model? The evidence would say that the college sailing model is a peculiar backwater leading no where.

Most college sports are identical games to those played in the real world ... Why is College Sailing spending all of their time and money playing a game that no one else in the world plays?

Should college sailing reinvent itself and integrate with the kinds of racing world wide with goals like Olympics or success in the major international one design classes. OR should college sailing lock in the existing model by requiring the purchase of non trap 4 twinkies.

#60 NaptownChick

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 02:31 PM

College sails cheap heavy slow boats because they last forever, while being beat to shit and jury rigged by broke ass college students. College sailing cannot sail faster or greater drafted boats because most teams, in the east at least, sail in extremely confined and usually shallow waterways. Some schools a 100 yard treck over river mud just to get to 5-6 ft deep racecourse is common. Masts get jammed in the mud, how long does a tunable rig last? How much would it cost to replace? How insane would a typical college race course of a quarter mile legs be if the boats were faster? Many venues don't have the option to set a longer course due to water restriction.

As for the LP monopoly, I am not at all surprised. It is disgraceful and sad. The governing body should be working to help teams procure boats, not restricting their options. What is Mitch's relationship with LP? Some other high profile coaches have very very friendly relationships with the company. Makes you wonder who's interests they have at heart...

#61 Mark D

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 03:19 PM

....you really dont get the point of this thread do you


You really don't know Fran, do you? Next time I'll make sure to add a smiley face to make things crystal clear.

#62 Bill's Sock Puppet

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 05:35 PM


Clean - please ask Franny if a true high performance dinghy would/should ever be considered as a collegiate dinghy. By "high performance", I mean something that has at least one trapeze, a spinnaker, and planes upwind. I understand the issues inherent with HP dinghies, especially concerning maintenance in the collegiate environment. But, what if a semi or a championship were sailed in an HP class of boats just as a test? If a hiking dinghy is the requirement, why not a boat that is considerably lighter with more horsepower, a "tunable" tapered rig, A-sym, and that would require larger/stronger crews? Covering old ground here, but I'm interested in Fran's opinion.


His answer would be NO.

If you haven't sailed intercollegiate then you wouldn't understand. College boats get the Shit beat out of them! They sail more miles in a season than most boats will sail in a lifetime!

Why do you think franny's primary and oldest fleet are Tech's? they're indestructible.

To keep 8 or whatever light trapping spin dinghies in one piece throughout a year would be amazing, let alone insanely expensive.

There's your answer...

With $100k you could get eleven LP 420 JRV's ($8,500 USD) or thirteen LP FJ's ($7,335 USD).

Or a few years ago with $100k you could have got eight 5o5 KISS Rondars ($11,590 USD) and have $7,280 left over for parts.

The KISS price included sails, traps and spinnakers, and shipping. People raced them as-is in the Worlds. The boats and price were very competitive.

Lasers cost $6,545 and are far from indestructible. Per person more expensive, and no one is saying they are too expensive for college sailors.

With a 5o5 the big kids like Left Hook wouldn't age out of the college dingy program, and it's a boat you'll probably be able to find a fleet and race after you graduate.


now you can go back to politics . . .

#63 DryArmour

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 06:16 PM

Best thread in a long time guys. Keep the information coming...



#64 Sail_Fast

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 07:22 PM

College Sailing has long been dominated by the East Coast coaches cabal. ICSA would rather bankrupt a team/school hosting a major event by requiring all new boats.. Now they have stepped up a level even higher.

Why rotate boats every race if you insist on new boats.. The whole point is that you teach sailors to sail any boat, on any lake, in any condition faster and smarter than the competition.

The homogenization of college sailing accelerated in the late 1980's when proposals to host Nationals in One-Design 14's and 470's and Techs were all voted down.

Good luck finding hosts that want to put up with the Coaches and ICSA's demands.

#65 NorCalLaser

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 08:56 PM

The homogenization of college sailing accelerated in the late 1980's when proposals to host Nationals in One-Design 14's and 470's and Techs were all voted down.

why in the world would you host nationals in a different boat than people have been sailing in all season?

#66 laserandy

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 09:28 PM

This is really off the topic at hand, and to me seems obvious (but apparently it is not). Having owned and sailed a 505 in a previous life (and hoping to in a future life), and run a college team using Larks in a previous life, I can say with some authority that the prospect of trying to maintain a fleet of 505s for use in college sailing would be daunting.

Putting aside the issues of suitability for the current racing format, the fact of the matter is that these institutional boats get beat pretty badly up at non-planing non-trap speeds, even with fairly light use. High performance dinghies are too complex and fragile for general purpose institutional use.

The Larks I maintained, which had tapered masts, no bumpers, and were very light compared with collegiate FJs and 420s, were a blast to sail, and I would much rather sail them than the other collegiate dinghies (which were all slugs by comparison). That said, they fell apart compared to the 'institutional' boats at other schools and it was a full time job just trying to keep most of them on the water.

#67 ChiGuy

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 09:47 PM

Have the nationals or semis been sailed in anything other than a Vanguard or Laser Performance FJ/420 in the last 10 years? I know LP provides new boats to US Sailing youth championships. Have they done that for ICSA events (other than single handed)?

#68 NorCalLaser

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 09:47 PM

The idea of holding college sailing regattas in 505s, I-14s, 470s, etc is asinine for many many reasons... regardless, that topic should be taken up in another thread

#69 Experimental

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:17 PM

College Sailing has long been dominated by the East Coast coaches cabal. ICSA would rather bankrupt a team/school hosting a major event by requiring all new boats.. Now they have stepped up a level even higher.

Why rotate boats every race if you insist on new boats.. The whole point is that you teach sailors to sail any boat, on any lake, in any condition faster and smarter than the competition.

The homogenization of college sailing accelerated in the late 1980's when proposals to host Nationals in One-Design 14's and 470's and Techs were all voted down.

Good luck finding hosts that want to put up with the Coaches and ICSA's demands.


The agreement is not that nationals always be hosted in new boats, just L-P boats (aside from singles, which for as far as I can remeber are always in new Lasers). That said, this is an awful idea. If a boat meets the collegiate class rules, it's legal for ALL collegiate regattas. Period.

As for the equipment choice itself - this argument will never end, but the truth is that the simple, easy to sail but hard to sail well boats of college boost participation immensely. There are a lot of teams that form around two or three decent skippers, who train crews literally off the street. These teams can actually be quite competitive if the skippers have decent talent (could have gone to a top sailing program but chose a college for, oh I don't know, academic reasons) and train good crews. All of those teams go away if you add complexity to the boats. College sailing grows the sport, while still support high-caliber racing at the top end. Maybe some don't continue after college and maybe some do, but even the "dropouts" might consider enrolling their kids at the yacht club when the time comes.

In the meantime there were 20 two division doublehanded and 4 singlehanded events held last weekend with a total of 276 teams. That's at least 969 sailors on the water across the country last weekend, a significant portion of whom are sailing one of their first competitive events. How the hell is that a bad thing??

Anyway, that's off topic. Let college teams buy any boat they want that fits the class rules. My question for Franny is when is he going to host team racing champs in the catboats? :ph34r:

#70 porkpie

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:40 PM

As various people keep pointing out, there are several key issues at hand here. Firstly the fact that ICSA have chosen to take this deal whilst obviously disadvantaging a number of programs, and declaring the terms to be confidential, lays them open to suspicion that there may be vested interests. To defend their position, an explanantion of the terms of the deal and and some kind of justification as to how it benefits college sailing for the majority would be good .

Secondly, the timing of this is undoubtedly due to the pressure that is starting to happen, at a grass roots level where prestigious programs such as MIT are looking to other companies for boats and equipment. It is an attempt by LP to move the sand box so other kids can't come and play in it. Will it work?, I doubt it. Coaches are not stupid, they will still want the better boats and service that is on offer, and it seems far more likely that the ICSA gets devalued by this process than LP gains.

Thirdly, the obvious losers out of this deal will be the kids themselves, consigned to sailing the same old stuff for ever. They have all the technology in their pocket to see how much better the boats could be, but will be stuck in about 1980 in equipment terms.

Lastly, the real loser here is American sailing, at so many levels. We only have to look around to see that sailing in the US is not in a good place, there is no real small boat industry to promote it, there is limited access to the water, too many Yacht clubs that could be mistaken for nice retirement homes for the elderly, and a selection of classes that are dull, heavy, expensive, and uninspiring. It is the motoring equivalent of everyone driving Model T Fords, or watching black and white TV's. It is directly attributable to one thing really which is FEAR of CHANGE. The sailing heirarchy are so scared of getting it wrong that they stick their heads in the sand and things stay as they are. For sure, everything new is not necessarily better than everything older, BUT evolutionary change, with gradual constant improvements in boats and equipment is the way to stay relevant. We all enjoy having better sailing clothing today than the "old" stuff of 5 years ago, let alone what would have been worn 50 years ago, like most of our boats. Nobody would have an old brick like mobile phone attached to a 25 pound car battery anymore, but that is the equivalent of our thinking on sailing.

This decision is another example that reasoning, if things don't change the sailing world will be safer for a bit longer. Well I am sure that the dinosaurs thought that shortly before they became extinct.

#71 dinghyman

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:56 PM

Have the nationals or semis been sailed in anything other than a Vanguard or Laser Performance FJ/420 in the last 10 years? I know LP provides new boats to US Sailing youth championships. Have they done that for ICSA events (other than single handed)?


You are most likely correct that for the last many years all ICSA events have been held in Vanguard /LP boats. So why would LP work so hard to work out such a deal when these events are taking place in their boats anyways? Competition! And believe me this is not about Rondar. This is about Zim Sailing. After looking at their Facebook page it is pretty easy to tell that Zim now has boats at several Colleges and High Schools across the country. It was only a matter of time that championships would be held in Zim 420's or FJ's. I believe there was a proposal to hold the Semi's at Fordham, Columbia, SUNY Maritime and KP. Only KP has Vanguard boats. The other schools have Zim 420's. Now where will ICSA hold their Semi's?

Zim is now the official sponsor of US Sailing and supplied 420's and Byte CII's at this summers US Sailing Championships. Their boats look great and from what i hear they have proven themselves to be more durable than LP's.

#72 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:05 PM

To me, the biggest issue is that LP finally has some competition - a very, very good thing - from other dinghy builders. So they immediately go about trying to create a monopoly in college sailing boats by prohibiting non Laser-buying schools from holding various championship regattas. This is certainly nothing new for Laser, who has spent a lot of money and time supporting college sailing over the years, but who has also done their damnedest to make sure no other builder could ever get a foothold. The real problem is that, in however many decades of LP being the dominant dinghy builder in the US, dinghy sailing has dropped and dropped and dropped. Whatever they are doing, LP's model simply doesn't help dinghy sailing grow; not that they are the cause of dinghy sailing's decline, but they're obviously not helping.

I don't really think the ICSA should be complicit in the attempted creation of a monopoly. I am frankly not even sure if they are allowed to help create a monopoly even with board approval. This is a fairly complicated issue that we will do our best to unravel, though we are delayed slightly due to Fran asking me to hold off until Mitch has had a chance to respond. I did speak to Mitch, who claims that Fran's note was in many ways inaccurate, and decried the way Fran went about it; I'm not sure Mitch is a fan of public debate and transparency, but reserve judgement until I've had a longer talk with him. Certainly I am anxiously looking forward to his response. It seems the thrust of his argument is that this is no different than Rawlings making a sponsorship deal with college baseball requiring that their championships all use a Rawlings ball. A bit of a stretch, I think.

#73 JimC

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 11:25 PM

The presence of Sherri Cambell on both the NA Laser Exec and the ICSA Exec might be an interesting thing to explore too.

#74 laserandy

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 12:08 AM

The presence of Sherri Cambell on both the NA Laser Exec and the ICSA Exec might be an interesting thing to explore too.


This suggestion is way off base. If you look, you'll notice Sherri is also involved in about ten other one design classes as well as high school sailing. As far as I know, she is not affiliated with LP in any way.

#75 BLB

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 01:12 AM

Clean, something you should ask Fran & Mitch about is how this new contract helps the ICSA provide media support (video, live blogging, etc) at championships.

You and SA have been pushing for better sailing coverage for a while and that is something that the ICSA has tried to address with this (and previous) sponsorship agreements. This is now a significant expense for hosting championships and not a cost the the hosts and the ICSA thought about 5 years ago.

I'm not going to get into the rest, it will be addressed by Mitch (whose wife is ill), but the media angle has been missing from the discussion here and it is at least a piece of what the ICSA was trying to do.

All: if you are going to imply impropriety, have the spine and put your name to it.

Sincerely,
Blake Billman
SEISA Graduate Director (ICSA board member)
Host, 2005 & 2012 ICSA National Championships


#76 mustang__1

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 02:08 AM

Clean, LP has only been a player for a few years. Vanguard ran the show for decades. However, what LP has managed to do with what was a relatively well built boat and market is depressing.

#77 vtsail

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 02:26 AM

There are many "facts" shared in this thread and opinions offered that are in fact way off base from the relative cost of the boats from each manufacturer or comparing LP's boats to dinosaurs. While I in no means condone what it seems has been done by Mitch, I am also witholding my judgement until all the facts come out. I respectfully request that everyone else does the same.

#78 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 02:29 AM

That's what we are doing VT, but it would help if you would provide a correct view of the relative cost of the boats from each MFR.

#79 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 02:32 AM

Clean, something you should ask Fran & Mitch about is how this new contract helps the ICSA provide media support (video, live blogging, etc) at championships.

You and SA have been pushing for better sailing coverage for a while and that is something that the ICSA has tried to address with this (and previous) sponsorship agreements. This is now a significant expense for hosting championships and not a cost the the hosts and the ICSA thought about 5 years ago.

I'm not going to get into the rest, it will be addressed by Mitch (whose wife is ill), but the media angle has been missing from the discussion here and it is at least a piece of what the ICSA was trying to do.

All: if you are going to imply impropriety, have the spine and put your name to it.

Sincerely,
Blake Billman
SEISA Graduate Director (ICSA board member)
Host, 2005 & 2012 ICSA National Championships



Blake (and I appreciate your putting your name to the post), you are very correct in pointing out that we think college sailing would benefit greatly by increased media coverage. But not if the road to such coverage is paved in poor decisions, opaque agreements, and monopoly. Our thoughts are with Mitch and his family as they deal with a tough situation, and out of respect for that, we are holding our reporting. I note that it was Fran that asked us to hold off from more digging until Mitch's wife is feeling better.

#80 GybeSet®

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 07:52 AM

Fran, collegiate sailing and the lo-perf boats involved are responsible for the sailors not continuing greatly in sailing after college, and also responsible for the US result in the Weymouth Olympics

are you in denial about these facts

do you know in other parts of the english speaking world Fran is a girls name

#81 Dale dug a hole

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 08:42 AM

Fran, collegiate sailing and the lo-perf boats involved are responsible for the sailors not continuing greatly in sailing after college, and also responsible for the US result in the Weymouth Olympics

are you in denial about these facts

do you know in other parts of the english speaking world Fran is a girls name

Poofter

#82 GybeSet®

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 11:21 AM

dinghies make the sailor, period.


No, dinghies make the inshore racer. Something else makes the guy or gal you want on your watch at 2 AM in an offshore gale.


like Chris Nicholson or Rob Greenhaigh in the Sthn Ocean say

#83 Dale dug a hole

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 11:26 AM


dinghies make the sailor, period.


No, dinghies make the inshore racer. Something else makes the guy or gal you want on your watch at 2 AM in an offshore gale.


like Chris Nicholson or Rob Greenhaigh in the Sthn Ocean say

Poofter

#84 fastyacht

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 11:53 AM

Fran, collegiate sailing and the lo-perf boats involved are responsible for the sailors not continuing greatly in sailing after college, and also responsible for the US result in the Weymouth Olympics

are you in denial about these facts

do you know in other parts of the english speaking world Fran is a girls name


That's completely stupid. I sailed in college. I sail today. Some famous sailors sailed in college and sail today. Some people sailed in college and no longer sail. You have the ass before the cart methinks. College sailing is a fun thing to do while you are in college, period. Sailing isn't a uniform one way sport like soccer. It is a universe. Collegiate sailing is one solar system. And there are a gazillion other suns in the universe. If "everybody" who sails goes through exactly the same pattern then yes, perhaps you don't get a good olympic squad. But frankly that ain't college sailing's fault. Rather it is everyone else's fault--for the gradual disintegration of dinghy racing....

As for Fran, as in Francis, for instance Sir Francis Chichester...what's your point? I happen to think girls are awesome. You have something against girls, or merely against guys who have names which are shared?

#85 Dale dug a hole

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 11:57 AM


Fran, collegiate sailing and the lo-perf boats involved are responsible for the sailors not continuing greatly in sailing after college, and also responsible for the US result in the Weymouth Olympics

are you in denial about these facts

do you know in other parts of the english speaking world Fran is a girls name


That's completely stupid. I sailed in college. I sail today. Some famous sailors sailed in college and sail today. Some people sailed in college and no longer sail. You have the ass before the cart methinks. College sailing is a fun thing to do while you are in college, period. Sailing isn't a uniform one way sport like soccer. It is a universe. Collegiate sailing is one solar system. And there are a gazillion other suns in the universe. If "everybody" who sails goes through exactly the same pattern then yes, perhaps you don't get a good olympic squad. But frankly that ain't college sailing's fault. Rather it is everyone else's fault--for the gradual disintegration of dinghy racing....

As for Fran, as in Francis, for instance Sir Francis Chichester...what's your point? I happen to think girls are awesome. You have something against girls, or merely against guys who have names which are shared?

No shit, he's a Poofter

Op OP op OP op Oppa Gangman Style

#86 dinghyman

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 12:55 PM


Clean, something you should ask Fran & Mitch about is how this new contract helps the ICSA provide media support (video, live blogging, etc) at championships.

You and SA have been pushing for better sailing coverage for a while and that is something that the ICSA has tried to address with this (and previous) sponsorship agreements. This is now a significant expense for hosting championships and not a cost the the hosts and the ICSA thought about 5 years ago.

I'm not going to get into the rest, it will be addressed by Mitch (whose wife is ill), but the media angle has been missing from the discussion here and it is at least a piece of what the ICSA was trying to do.

All: if you are going to imply impropriety, have the spine and put your name to it.

Sincerely,
Blake Billman
SEISA Graduate Director (ICSA board member)
Host, 2005 & 2012 ICSA National Championships



Blake (and I appreciate your putting your name to the post), you are very correct in pointing out that we think college sailing would benefit greatly by increased media coverage. But not if the road to such coverage is paved in poor decisions, opaque agreements, and monopoly. Our thoughts are with Mitch and his family as they deal with a tough situation, and out of respect for that, we are holding our reporting. I note that it was Fran that asked us to hold off from more digging until Mitch's wife is feeling better.




Sorry to hear that Mitch's wife is not well. Why should that stop ICSA from answering questions. Isn't there a Veep or someone else on the BoD's that can come forward and answer the million questions? This raises more questions - specifically did MB act alone on this one and nobody else has the answers?

#87 vtsail

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 01:20 PM

That's what we are doing VT, but it would help if you would provide a correct view of the relative cost of the boats from each MFR.


Sure Clean. While I don't have anything that I would feel comfortable posting up here, I can tell you that I have recently priced FJ's from both Zim and LP (Rondar does not currently make FJs). Zim's boats were indeed cheaper than LP's, but not staggeringly so. I believe the difference was around $200 per boat. Zim has less market share at the moment and is trying very hard to make a name for themselves so I would expect their boats to be cheaper, simple economics. Both companies have fantastic people representing them and have outstanding customer service from my point of view. I would be happy to do business with either of them and as a coach looking towards making a purchase in the near future I haven't ruled out either company.

I ask the pundits on this board, if LP paid a large chunk of money for this agreement that will directly benefit college sailing would you be okay with the deal?

#88 BLB

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 01:28 PM

The ICSA VP is always an undergraduate, usually the district president, for whatever district is hosting nationals that year. The VP is not the one to answer your questions since its new every September.

The exec committee (which I am on) has had several communications over the last few days and Mitch has drafted a statement that he sent to the board late last night and will release to SA/Scuttlebutt/Sail1Design/etc. if he has not done so already.

Releasing a statement here (SA forums) or having a BoD member step up in Mitch's place to try and address these questions isn't the best option (bc Mitch is our executive and this anonymous forum would explode with comments and snark). Better to let Clean do what he wants and interview Fran & Mitch based on the questions posted.

Blake Billman
SEISA Graduate Director (ICSA board member)


#89 vtsail

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 01:45 PM

From: Mitch Brindley
Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 2:15 AM
To: 'GTN/Michael Callahan'; 'H/Michael O'Connor'; 'Dave Elsmo'; 'Kyle Eaton'; 'Blake Billman'; 'COC/Greg Fisher'; 'danielle.richards@ussailing.net'; 'Samuel Hodges'
Cc: 'John Vandemoer'; Sherri Campbell
Subject: ICSA and the LaserPerformance agreement

Dear ICSA Board of Directors (Please share with the conference undergraduate directors),

I want to thank you for your patience in awaiting my reply to the recent emails and web postings that have unfortunately served to incite controversy and further misunderstanding. For the past five days I have been focusing on a pressing family matter and cannot devote the needed attention to the ICSA issue. I thank all those that have taken the brunt of the attack and have responded on my behalf, particularly the ICSA Executive Committee. The authors were misinformed, and it seems largely based the emails, responses and postings on assumption and innuendo. For me the emotional responses highlight the enthusiasm and passion that so many people have for college sailing.

Below are some facts as it relates to the sponsorship agreement that were misrepresented in recent emails, and sailing websites.

I. Authority to negotiate sponsorship agreements and claim of improper action of the ICSA President:

ICSA By-laws empower the President and the Executive committee to administer and develop the operational policies of the association, and conduct the daily business of the association. Furthermore the ICSA Sponsorship Guidelines (adopted by the ICSA BOD in 1989) give the President the specific authority to negotiate the sponsorship contracts, quoted below. This is in addition to the authorities and duties expressed in the ICSA By-Laws:

ICSA Sponsorship Guidelines- Adopted June 1989; as amended through June 1997

1. Sponsorship arrangements for any of the six National Championships or for the ICSA All America Sailing Team shall be approved by the ICSA. Negotiations regarding the terms of sponsorship shall be conducted by the President or other designated ICSA officer. Contracts shall be signed by the President or other ICSA officer…”

The LaserPerformance sponsorship agreement is compliant with the current ICSA Conditions for National Championships. The conditions serve to broadly define the type of boat not the builder: “BOATS: SEMI FINALS & FINALS- The events shall be sailed in two-person dinghies of not less than 11 feet, or more than 15 feet, in length. The boats may be either sloop or cat-rigged. The use of two fleets of boats (one for each division) is permitted.”

Historically sponsorship agreements define the requirements of a championship host. These requirements are related to the championship host directly during the planning process. For example ICSA requires the use of the ICSA owned sails branded with sponsor logos for the Women’s, Dinghy, and Team Race Championships. This too is not specifically defined in the conditions. Such information is contained in documentation supplied to the hosts.
When examined, the Championship Conditions match the new agreement; meaning that nothing is in conflict with the agreement.

I. Transparency:

It has been charged that the agreement was confidential and lacked transparency. In actuality, the contract was shared and reviewed multiple times by ICSA Executive Committee, and only after extensive input and negotiation from all of the members of the ICSA Executive Committee and the LaserPerformance Board of Directors was the agreement accepted. The Executive Committee did not take lightly the rights and obligations committed in this sponsorship agreement. To be perfectly clear, there is no intended secrecy, but all of the parties must adhere to the confidentiality of the terms as required and expected with many business agreements. Most of the negotiations took place over the summer; with the final approval coming on September 13, 2012. A report on the status of all sponsorships will take place at the Mid-Year ICSA Board Meeting. And the implementation of the terms of the sponsorship will be public.

II. Misinformation about LaserPerformance

Statements made earlier were false and misleading. In regard to LaserPerformance being dropped by US Sailing, I have been assured that LaserPerformance terminated the contract with US Sailing effective July 2012, but continued to support the US Olympic Sailing Team, and many of its members on an individual basis, regardless of the contract termination. We are also very aware of LaserPerformance faithfulness to Collegiate sailing as can be illustrated by their commitment of considerable resources in regard to this contract. In fact, we are aware that LaserPerformance has committed 2 full time employees to insure that it is able to properly serve colleges and universities with their equipment and service needs. I am also aware of LaserPerformance’s initiative to develop and produce a new higher performance dinghy based on the current 420 platform with significant guidance from both college coaches and sailors alike. Certainly the actions of LaserPerformance are consistent with the needs of the ICSA.

III. Exclusivity

Exclusivity is part of the reciprocal function of sports sponsorship agreements. All of our title sponsorship include category exclusivity rights and have as long as I have been involved in the management of the association. The charge that ICSA has acted in a way that embraces anti-competitiveness and compromises the investment of colleges who have bought boats from other sources is unfounded. The ICSA has never prevented any institution from buying boats or other equipment from any particular manufacturer. Similarly the NCAA doesn’t prevent a school from buying footballs from any manufacturer, utilizing them in practices and competitions; however the NCAA does require that the Official Football of the NCAA Championships, Wilson, is used for the NCAA Championships. It would be wrong for an institution to assume that by owning a fleet of boats that they are entitled to host a national championship in that fleet. The ICSA Championship & Competition Committee makes a point to have the competitive characteristics of its championships reflect the nature, and type of competition sailed every weekend throughout the year. With or without this agreement or the previous agreements that we have been operating under with LaserPerformance since 2000, the limiting factor in terms of fleet would be the ease, frequency, normalcy of access to that type of boat by all schools who compete in the event.

To be clear, the premise of the previous and the new agreements are the same as what we have been operating under since 2000. We have many sponsors that want to support our sailors, teams, and our sport. In return for the funds provided by the sponsors the ICSA must give something in return. Is it not expected to support our partners who have skin in the game?

The ICSA is fortunate to have supporters such as LaserPerformance who have worked with us for years. They provide boats, equipment, funds and services because they believe we are an effective means to communicate their brand attributes. We need these sponsors and I suggest thanking them for their support rather than publicly bashing them is a better means to growing and improving our sport.

I hope college sailing family continues to support our all of our sponsors. And I welcome further discussion on this issue in a mutually respectful forum.

I will offer a copy of this email to the editors of Scuttlebutt, Sailing Anarchy, and Sail1design.com.

Respectfully,

Mitch Brindley
President, Intercollegiate Sailing Association

#90 PeterHuston

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 02:56 PM

A long time ago I got a good bit of advice from a very savvy lawyer: It is better to be generally correct than precisely wrong.

The above from Mitch is a nice defense to this deal....but it shows the weakness from which he dealt. His analogy of commonly used footballs and boats is way wide of the mark. This whole thread misses the key point. The key point is that once again, a critical element of the sport is making things more exclusive (by excluding alot of colleges from the ability to host a nationals) instead of making things more inclusive.

The weakness that is shown here is that ICSA has shown they have limited, if any, understanding of the way to package a sponsorship deal. Instead of a fight over a tiny bit of money from a marine industry supplier, probably structured around cost to produce events or run ICSA, they should have structured a sponsorship deal around the value that can be given to a large consumer brand.

If college sailing is all that it is cracked up to be, then there should be a way to demonstrate value to a consumer brand. There are any number of college marketing/sponsorship companies that routinely sell a wide variety of sponsorship programs in and around the whole college lifestyle. I can tell you from my experience, I have worked with brands like Sony that spent 6 and 7 figure amounts on promotional efforts that didn't have the reach that college sailing has (or could be shown to have). As a result, LaserPerformance could go along for the ride and get more exposure to more people.

While probably technically correct in the acquisition and structure there of, this deal limits rather than enhances college sailing.

#91 Jesse Falsone

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 03:14 PM

I never said 505's should be used in college sailing. What I wanted to know from Fran's perspective (not the freakin peanut gallery here) is if he thought there was value in sailing an intercollegiate semi or championship in a "high performance" boat. I was specific in what I thought this boat would entail. I didn't say that all schools should go out and purchase HP dinghies. I understand the realities of maintaining these boats - believe me! It's germain to the topic at hand because the purchase or charter of such boats would open up competition to other manufacturers. It would also shake things up a bit, and perhaps inspire college sailors to sail something other than a 420 while giving heavier sailors an opportunity to compete. And if our young sailors keep sailing slow boats, then "graduate" to slow keel boats, the US will continue to be uncompetitive at the Olympics.

#92 JimC

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 03:54 PM

I never said 505's should be used in college sailing. What I wanted to know...

All very valid, but is it wise to create a distraction in a topic like this?

#93 Winever

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 04:55 PM

"It would be wrong for an institution to assume that by owning a fleet of boats that they are entitled to host a national championship in that fleet."

Yeah, who the hell do those Colleges think they are! They can host when the ICSA bestows the honor on them, AND after they go buy a fleet of LP boats to sail it in. And, and, they'll be able to do that just as soon as LP sells boats at the same price as.....wait for it.... .....NCAA Championship Footballs! Yeah, that's the ticket!

Win ever.

#94 NorCalLaser

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 04:57 PM

the ironic thing is that the laser gives heavier sailors the opportunity to compete! ok, not double-handed, but its FAR more realistic to contemplate scenarios where a singlehanded division could be added to more major college regattas (using lasers) rather than HP dinghies (and teams could be assisted in building their laser fleets).

Further, the boats cant be given all the blame-- a lot of the really top college sailors I know choose to go off and coach and sail low performance dinghies and leadmines every summer, even though they theoretically have the time and money to do otherwise. Its funny, the few ones that did choose otherwise and go to europe and 49er campaign or kite are now still in the game years later, many at the highest reaches of the sport (despite the fact that all school year they sailed FJ's/420s/Lasers).

If someone like larry ellison or tom perkins or phillipe gave a $1mil gift to ICSA to implement a high performance program, thatd be awesome, but until a scenario like that happens, it does a disservice to the game when people constantly harp on the boats...

#95 NorCalLaser

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 04:58 PM

I never said 505's should be used in college sailing. What I wanted to know...

All very valid, but is it wise to create a distraction in a topic like this?

why bother Jim? he stated very clearly he's not interested in what the "peanut gallery" thinks on the subject

#96 Experimental

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 05:03 PM

I don't buy the football analogy. More like NASCAR mandating all teams drive Fords. Yes, I know it's only for nationals and semis hosts. But it will still have a chilling effect on boat development, in my opinion.

And I also don't buy that this doesn't change the conditions of the event. It says "two person boats 11-15ft, sloop or cat rigged," not "two person boats 11-15ft, sloop or cat rigged, and built by Laser Performance."

#97 Mud sailor

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 05:15 PM

I'll bet that the NCAA foorball champinship has never had to pay for a ball, Wilson supplies it and then uses the NCAA logo on the ball it sells to the general public. This sponsorship should have focused around LP (or another supplier) providing boats for the championships.
As far as a higher performance dinghy...use the 420/FJ for team racing and training only, encourage teams to buy a higher performance dinghy for the 2 handed championships,

#98 NorCalLaser

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 05:18 PM

I don't buy the football analogy. More like NASCAR mandating all teams drive Fords. Yes, I know it's only for nationals and semis hosts. But it will still have a chilling effect on boat development, in my opinion.

both analogies are bad. College football is huge revenue producing sport at its highest levels, and revenue neutral in the middle, and governed by a massive beauracratic body- the NCAA.
college sailing is very very expensive compared to sports like soccer or track that need little equipment and where competition is largely regional bus trips. Nothing like rich, out of shape, white kids flying across the country to play in expensive toys! NASCAR is a professional competition funded by billionaires and MNC's, i dont see the connection.

A much better analogy would be something like college rowing- expensive, exclusive, and equipment intensive. Maybe jrpytlak will chime in re: what they do for equipment deals.

#99 Experimental

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 05:50 PM

Well, that was the closest sports analogy I could come up with, where the equipment is integral to the competition. Maybe it's more like the NCAA mandating that all bowl hosts have FieldTurf? I dunno. But the "official ball" argument is weak at best. A bunch of leather balls that you buy new every game ain't the same as a $125K+ fleet of 18 sailboats that many teams can't afford to replace more than about once a decade.

#100 Jesse Falsone

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 06:10 PM

I never said 505's should be used in college sailing. What I wanted to know...

All very valid, but is it wise to create a distraction in a topic like this?


I never said 505's should be used in college sailing. What I wanted to know...

All very valid, but is it wise to create a distraction in a topic like this?

why bother Jim? he stated very clearly he's not interested in what the "peanut gallery" thinks on the subject


Did you guys bother to actually read the letter where Fran talks about "ongoing efforts to develop faster, more tunable, more durable, and more fun-to-sail boats for the future of college sailing ..."?

So, I'm left wondering how this question is a distraction. I wouldn't have asked it if Fran hadn't stated the above.




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