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Member Since 17 Feb 2004
Offline Last Active Oct 14 2016 04:04 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Chicago Area III

14 October 2016 - 04:07 PM


I was with you up to this point. Maybe most crew would prefer to sit and home and jerk off, why should I care?


The most common complaint boats have (word of mouth, not a survey of all) is they can't find crew.  I put up a theory of why turnover is high, and that is all.  We need to build a community.  Crew are a key part of the community.  While the owners go online to sign up for races, they read the barrage of information on NORs and SIs, and everything else, the few lines about a "party" at a club afterwards gets lost in the volume.  An email blast should go out to all participants (owners and crews) weekly informing them of the social aspect after racing.  Learning what crew want is an important part, regardless what the like to watch, other than SA, on their computers!  Why should we only talk to 1 (the owner) out of 4 to 10 people on the boats?



Glenn, I'd like to suggest (at least from a PHRF or handicapped racer's perspective) that the difficulty in keeping or getting crew may be partly due to the fact that all that is touted by the 'squeaky wheel' is that OD is the only racing that has merit.  Eventually, this mindset takes hold in a crew member's thoughts as they seek to improve and grow as a sailor.  

   From what I've seen in my 20 years of skippering racing (handicapped mostly) this eventually drives not only crew but skippers to gravitate to an OD class that they can afford.  So, we get fragmented handicapped racing and lots of fragmented OD racing.  Look at the J105 fleet for example.  A reasonably priced boat that's been fragmented by J's own doing.  J111, J80, J88, J70, etc...

In Topic: Chicago Area III

14 October 2016 - 03:46 PM



Being one of those next gen owners, I worry that any poll of existing boat owners is going to result in a majority "we are all too old to do any of the fun, competitive shit any more so if you want us to come out, change all of the races to boring booze cruises."


That's an interesting perspective.  I tend to think the opposite, but that certainly doesn't mean I'm right.  My theory is that there are all these sailboat owners (or potential owners) who are somewhat intimidated by the thought of a starting line and mark roundings with 20 other boats.  So the boring booze cruises introduce them to "sailing-lite" where they can get a taste of competition.  If they want to move up the chain into faster more competitive classes and events, they're free to do so.  If you're lucky, 1 out of 4 will do so. 


Glenn, correct me if I'm wrong, but your approach is to significantly participation in the boring booze cruises so that (if my completely unscientific stats are accurate), the number of 25%'ers who want to move into competitive racing will also increase.



I wouldn't be surprised if there were cross-overs in both directions - some Grand Touring moving to Gran Prix, Gran Prix moving to Grand Touring.  Growth is key, customer satisfaction is more key.



How can one move back and forth with sail material limitations, age of crew, and other mandates?  I guess I could just tell those 'older' crew members that may have been sailing with me for years to go buy their own boat but that would suck.  You've got to remember that these folks aren't just a number, their likely friends and really, wouldn't you rather be confined on a boat in pressure situations (racing) with friends.  Granted, I have made it a mission to take on at least two newbies each year.  Often they come out of our CCYC Crew school program but sometimes they are friends of friends or...

In Topic: Chicago Area III

14 October 2016 - 03:28 PM





Glen- glad you are shaking things up, but don't forgot the time aspect. We need to change the time commitment racing requires. As young people today are used to spending a little bit of time on lots of things, and therefore has a bunch of little commitments they have to meet each weekend. It's now a huge deal for anyone younger to carve out 8-10 hours in one chunk and fully commit it to sailing/racing. I don't know what the answer is to this, but keep it in mind.

I don't know how to make this much shorter and still get enough sailing in to make it worthwhile. Consider the following timetable, for someone who doesn't necessarily live downtown:
8:00 Leave home
9:00 Arrive dock/boat
9:45 Leave dock
10:30 Arrive SA
11:00 Start race #1
12:30 Finish race #1
13:00 Start race #2
14:30 Finish race #2
15:15 Return to dock
15:30 Secure sails, lines, etc., cocktails/beer, post mortem?
Leave boat
18:30 Arrive home
That's an 8 hour day if you want to get in two 90 minute races (8 miles, W/L, VMG ~ 5.5kts). It also assumes not much delay in starting race #2, and starting race #1 on time.
In all my time racing in A3, I don't think we ever had a shorter race day than 8+ hrs, if you wanted to get at least as much sailing time in as travel (land & water) and dock time.  I won't re-hash the various arguments made about earlier start times or starting closer to shore.


Actually, I screwed up my initial post:


Should be


15:15 Return to dock

16:00 Leave boat

17:00 Arrive home


For a nine hour day. I expect a fair bit of de-brief to happen on the 45min ride back to shore. Obviously the more time you spend on the boat drinking, chatting etc. after clean-up, the longer the day. 



We all know where we can eliminate some of the time, have enough critical mass to have one course located more to the South 1/2 of Chicago, and another course on the North 1/2 of Chicago and have so many boats out there everyone is happy with the participation in both halves!  This would cut down the transit time out and back to the course.



I'd rather motor for for 30-45 minutes to get to the SA and have 10-20 boats per start on one circle, then motor 15 minutes to a circle with 5 boats/start.  A North & South circle for an Chicago area buoy event seems like a watering down approach.  Besides the excessive use of club resources (your organizing authority that puts on the race) it fragments the potential social aspect as well.

In Topic: Chicago Area III

14 October 2016 - 03:24 PM

Come on up to Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club @ Montrose Harbor.  Free parking, great yacht club, great racing, great social activities.  

BTW, in terms of this being expensive for crew, I'm told that in Australia and in NZ, it's pretty common for crew to pay a small fee to race.