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Totally misses the point. Yes, the athletes can make their own decisions. However, by any definition, the Olympics has all the characteristics of a "super spreader" event and it is the worst type

Just to reinforce Phil S's comments, that extends way beyond the major cities and towns. Like someone has said about the UK, nearly every river and bay along the East Coast of Australia will have

What is missing from your figures is that for 2000, the lottery money had made only a small impression. It started to flow in 1997, and the total for that cycle was GBP5m, which at the time didn't mak

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3 minutes ago, sfigone said:

I'm not saying they did. I'm just looking for what the actual rule is and this what the French have to prove. No joy finding it so far.

Sorry, I hadn't realised had protested on that at the time. There used to allegations that the soviet athletes did it, that was one factor behind there now being at most one entrant per country. But I think as far as rules are concerned you'd have to protest under the fundamental rule of fair sailing.

But I think that was a very much a longshot of a protest

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Yes, they will regret that for a very long time.

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I guess it's between Tokyo and Beijing as the best ever GBR sailing performance. Beijing we had an extra gold, but then we also had womens keelboat, star and tornado which for tokyo were replaced by just the FX. 

I think this Olympic has been more impressive as, although the lead up has been hampered for everyone, it really did seem like we didn't have any nailed on medal favourites. 

Dylan and Stu, although very good bet for medal were outsiders against NZL. Giles hadn't really had any form since returning post America's cup. I would have argued Gimson and Burnett were a better gold prospect than these two ahead of the games. Probably only Hannah and Eilidh were favourites, but only slight favourites. 

Silver for the Nacra is a pretty fair result for where they've been during the Olympiad.  Then the Bronze for Emma Wilson was a bit of a surprise as she's been thereabout, but never on the podium before. 

I think the kiwi team will be disappointed. They had five pretty solid medal contenders, probably the strongest NZL Olympic sailing team ever, but only came away with one silver. Burling and Tuke have seemed invincible and covid kind of neutralised some of their AC disadvantage in that their competitors weren't really racing in 2020. Then you would have hoped for maybe 2/4 to medal from Josh Junior, Sam Meech, Molly and Alex and even the 470 men. But maybe this is where covid had more impact? 

 

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2 hours ago, dg_sailingfan said:

Quite an Olympic Regatta for British Sailing

 

They will leave Tokyo with 3 Golds, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze Medal!

Though whilst team GB did (just) beat their Min target, they didn't reach their max target of 7 medals. They do set the bar pretty high

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On 7/28/2021 at 7:24 AM, EYESAILOR said:

Finn GBR

49er FX  GBR

Nacra  AUS

Mens Windsurfer NED

Womens Windsurfer CHN

49er  NZL

Women 470  GBR

Men 470 AUS

Laser AUS 

Laser Radial .....not sure , NED has been so dominant historically but the Danish girl has been looking so good.

 

Final Tally.......   8 out of 10 medalled, 6 with golds.  Mostly,  form going into the Olympics resulted in medals. The Nacra class was notable for new talent truly emerged that I would not have foreseen ahead of the regatta.

Finn GBR   - GOLD

49er FX  GBR - 6th

Nacra  AUS - 5th

Mens Windsurfer NED - GOLD

Womens Windsurfer CHN  - GOLD

49er  NZL  - SILVER

Women 470  GBR  GOLD

Men 470 AUS  _ GOLD

Laser AUS  - GOLD

Laser Radial ..... NED  - BRONZE

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5 hours ago, Mozzy Sails said:

I guess it's between Tokyo and Beijing as the best ever GBR sailing performance. Beijing we had an extra gold, but then we also had womens keelboat, star and tornado which for tokyo were replaced by just the FX. 

I think this Olympic has been more impressive as, although the lead up has been hampered for everyone, it really did seem like we didn't have any nailed on medal favourites. 

Dylan and Stu, although very good bet for medal were outsiders against NZL. Giles hadn't really had any form since returning post America's cup. I would have argued Gimson and Burnett were a better gold prospect than these two ahead of the games. Probably only Hannah and Eilidh were favourites, but only slight favourites. 

Silver for the Nacra is a pretty fair result for where they've been during the Olympiad.  Then the Bronze for Emma Wilson was a bit of a surprise as she's been thereabout, but never on the podium before. 

I think the kiwi team will be disappointed. They had five pretty solid medal contenders, probably the strongest NZL Olympic sailing team ever, but only came away with one silver. Burling and Tuke have seemed invincible and covid kind of neutralised some of their AC disadvantage in that their competitors weren't really racing in 2020. Then you would have hoped for maybe 2/4 to medal from Josh Junior, Sam Meech, Molly and Alex and even the 470 men. But maybe this is where covid had more impact? 

 

I quite agree, but on COVID side I think we can now really say that overall it was a big harm for aussies and Kiwis, cause most of them lost the opportunity to consistently train and race for 1.5years with the rest of the world. this is where al the Kiwis you mentioned, but also some aussies (Waterhouse?) lost precious ground I think. Laser and 470 aussie team is another story, cause they're the ones to beat since 2012, so did not need any real fight.

I spoke 1 month ago with people of the Italian Nacra team and they told me that they were happy to have this scenario, cause when nobody's really "race ready" they seemed to be the fastest, and also they had a very good competitive group in Italy (with Lange and others), while 4 for example teams down under they were segregated.

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4 minutes ago, 17mika said:

Mozzy I think we can say that overall COVID was a big harm for aussies and Kiwis, cause most of them lost the opportunity to consistently train and race for 1.5years with the rest of the world. this is where al the Kiwis you mentioned, but also some aussies (Waterhouse?) lost precious ground I think. Laser aussie team is another story, cause they're the ones to beat since 2012.

I spoke 1 month ago with people of the Italian Nacra team and they told me that they were happy to have this scenario, cause when nobody's really "race ready" they seemed to be the fastest, and also they had a very good competitive group in Italy (with Lange and others), while 4 for example teams down under they were segregated.

It's hard to quantify. There really weren't many European regattas last year. In the first lockdown the GB team weren't sailing as it took a while for government to work out exemptions and I think that was similar in Europe too. Of course NZL and AUS had their lockdowns, but generally were back on the water sooner and really didn't miss out on much of a European season in 2020 as there wasn't one.

However, European fleets did seem to get to Portugal and Lanzarote over Dec-April and hat would have made a big difference. However, some brits were a bit hampered with being outside EU so limited in how long they could stay there. 

What is at odds is comparing the Australian to NZL who on the face of it must have faced similar hurdles but faired quite differently. 

 

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39 minutes ago, 17mika said:

I quite agree, but on COVID side I think we can now really say that overall it was a big harm for aussies and Kiwis, cause most of them lost the opportunity to consistently train and race for 1.5years with the rest of the world. this is where al the Kiwis you mentioned, but also some aussies (Waterhouse?) lost precious ground I think. Laser and 470 aussie team is another story, cause they're the ones to beat since 2012, so did not need any real fight.

I spoke 1 month ago with people of the Italian Nacra team and they told me that they were happy to have this scenario, cause when nobody's really "race ready" they seemed to be the fastest, and also they had a very good competitive group in Italy (with Lange and others), while 4 for example teams down under they were segregated.

The Aussie Laser team had plenty of opportunity to hone their game. First of all they have an incredibly strong Laser team to train against. Remember that the Aussie selectors chose Matt Wearn over Tom Burton, their existing Gold medalist and the reigning World Champion at the time. Even more telling Tom had won the 2019 worlds at Japan.  In addition the Aussies had at least one other Laser sailor in the top 10 in the world.....so the training between Matt, Tom, Swifto etc......was probably all the training that Matt needed.

The kiwis did great in the 49er.  three medals silver and gold in three successive olympics is still an extraordinary record.  The difference between 1st and 2nd at that level was a wind shift that was hard to predict etc. B/T certainly had boat speed , but so did two of the other teams.

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In many respects IT is B&T and Giles who lost least from the lockdown because they were in any case busy with the AC and SailGP. So probably wouldn't have got much more practice in their target boats without it.

Possibly coincidental that they both started slowly - especially B&T. Or possibly not. Who knows

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On 7/25/2021 at 12:20 PM, Bored Stiff said:

Radial, DEN 1st

Laser, Cyprus 4th

49er, Croatia 8th

Finn, GBR 1st

Men’s 470, Spain 3rd

Womens 470, France 3rd

FX, DEN 8th 

Nacra, GBR 1st

 Not too bad, but room for improvement!

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Fantastic performance from the Brits, and particularly pleasing as this was the first cycle "under new management" as Sparky moved on and Mark Robinson took over. It shows that the system works and is more than just a few key people. Succession planning in a team is so important, which is why the Brits have been so dominant since 2000.

Covid hurt some more than others and being close to the Australian set up, it was clear that it worked both for and against the Australian teams. In the 470 and Laser, Australia are out ahead of the rest of the world for a number of reasons that don't include the quality of the sailors and Covid didn't allow the rest to test themselves against that benchmark. It worked the other way around in the Nacra 17, because Jason and Lisa were unable to train and test themselves against the rest of the fleet in a class that, because it is so new, things are being learnt about all the time. You can only do so much in isolation from the fleet, while many in the fleet had good training groups that kept going. There might not have been as much racing in Europe as usual, but there was a lot more than in Australia! Contrast the Australians who didn't know how competitive they were going to be when the got to Japan with the Italians, who believed that they were going to be the fastest in Japan.

As for the difference between Australia and NZ despite similar hurdles, that comes down to a mix of past performance and the depth of the fleet to train with. In some classes, Australia had the best sailors (or pretty close), have proven "medal maker" coaches and world class sailors to train with, plus one of the best teams behind the scenes (second best to the Brits?). NZ doesn't have that. I am not surprised at their performance overall.

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3 hours ago, Bored Stiff said:

 Not too bad, but room for improvement!

ERm.......the Brits did very well in the Nacra....but they did not come first.

They got silver.

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1 hour ago, ojfd said:

Hey noob, 2 posts, both pushing the same site. WTF?

He must be promoting his shit.  Looking for hits.

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Those guys are OK, but they mostly talk about Kiwi stuff, so it's not for everyone.

 

Hang on .. NZ .. pushing websites .. the silly name. Sounds like a sock puppet of our lawnmower :D

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19 hours ago, enigmatically2 said:

In many respects IT is B&T and Giles who lost least from the lockdown because they were in any case busy with the AC and SailGP. So probably wouldn't have got much more practice in their target boats without it.

Possibly coincidental that they both started slowly - especially B&T. Or possibly not. Who knows

Matt Wearn started very slowly as well.  It is hard to say.

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On 8/4/2021 at 2:05 PM, enigmatically2 said:

Though whilst team GB did (just) beat their Min target, they didn't reach their max target of 7 medals. They do set the bar pretty high

I know but you can't win everything! I think it was a very good effort by British Sailing, don't you think so?

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I don't really like the official medal table, it is very 1896. Coming 4th in an olympic event is HUGE, but it is basically thrown onto the record scrapheap. If the olympics really wants to embrace participation then they need to broaden the scoring table. There are other ways to do it already, here and here and here

Looking at the sailing regatta on it's own, I scrubbed the positions for the top10 in each class - making the medal race is a decent return and won't be influenced by "participation" entrants. Still weighting it further, gold=20ponts, silver 15, bronze 12, 4th 9, 5th 7, and then 5 down to 1 for the rest.

For a start, team GB got into 9 medal races, that's probably a record. Ned made 7, Spa/Fra 6, Den/Bra/Ger/Ita all made 5 of them.

image.png.f11e1565b9fb23b8199c674153be1bc7.png

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23 hours ago, dg_sailingfan said:

I know but you can't win everything! I think it was a very good effort by British Sailing, don't you think so?

looking at the data. the only fleet they didn't make the medal race was the laser mens. where, they got 12th.

Would think with ainslie and goodison winning fairly recent medals there they could improve - throw more $$$$ at the problem..

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Good try Shebeen, but that can't be right. Over on the AC forum 4U is absolutely confident that NZ are the "dominant sailing nation" so there must be a scoring system that puts them ahead of GB (and everyone else). Though even with a degree in maths I struggle to work out what it is

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12 minutes ago, enigmatically2 said:

Good try Shebeen, but that can't be right. Over on the AC forum 4U is absolutely confident that NZ are the "dominant sailing nation" so there must be a scoring system that puts them ahead of GB (and everyone else). Though even with a degree in maths I struggle to work out what it is

are you admitting that you don't have him on ignore?

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15.5 million viewers for the Olympics. That is an all time low since NBC started covering the Olympics in 1988.

IOC needs a major rethink.

WS needs to brace itself for a major budget cut.

 

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On 8/6/2021 at 7:33 AM, shebeen said:

I don't really like the official medal table, it is very 1896. Coming 4th in an olympic event is HUGE, but it is basically thrown onto the record scrapheap. If the olympics really wants to embrace participation then they need to broaden the scoring table. There are other ways to do it already, here and here and here

Looking at the sailing regatta on it's own, I scrubbed the positions for the top10 in each class - making the medal race is a decent return and won't be influenced by "participation" entrants. Still weighting it further, gold=20ponts, silver 15, bronze 12, 4th 9, 5th 7, and then 5 down to 1 for the rest.

For a start, team GB got into 9 medal races, that's probably a record. Ned made 7, Spa/Fra 6, Den/Bra/Ger/Ita all made 5 of them.

image.png.f11e1565b9fb23b8199c674153be1bc7.png

Whooooo Hoooo. Go Team USA. We whupped Canada, Turkey and Portugal!

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21 hours ago, IPLore said:

15.5 million viewers for the Olympics. That is an all time low since NBC started covering the Olympics in 1988.

IOC needs a major rethink.

WS needs to brace itself for a major budget cut.

 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond.. :P

BBC Sport breaks Olympic viewing record at Tokyo 2020

https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1111480/bbc-sport-olympic-tokyo-2020

Discovery's Tokyo 2020 Olympics coverage attracts more than 100 million viewers in Europe

https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1111169/discovery-tokyo-2020-olympics-europe

 

I subscribed to Eurosport's player (part of Discovery) to watch sailing there. The most brilliant part was (and still is) the full lenght 5-6 hour long replays, which are still available and which I've already watched several times. It was the best sailing coverage on TV that I have ever seen. 6 Euros well spent.

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Why I think olympic sport (and sailing shows this trend particularly strongly) is broken.

Even though the cold war is over, it remains to all intents and purposes an arms race.

If you don't have a govenment or private sponsors, your talent and dedication is not enough.

 

here is the funding figure for the Team GB tokyo olympic sailing from the source

https://www.uksport.gov.uk/our-work/investing-in-sport/current-funding-figures

image.png.d2c1199163aec28bb95642caa555fe62.png

 

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11 minutes ago, shebeen said:

Why I think olympic sport (and sailing shows this trend particularly strongly) is broken.

Even though the cold war is over, it remains to all intents and purposes an arms race.

If you don't have a govenment or private sponsors, your talent and dedication is not enough.

 

here is the funding figure for the Team GB tokyo olympic sailing from the source

https://www.uksport.gov.uk/our-work/investing-in-sport/current-funding-figures

image.png.d2c1199163aec28bb95642caa555fe62.png

 

You know that the bulk of that money comes from neither government nor private sponsors, right?

 In the UK, we have a national lottery that rakes in a lot of money. Ethics of that could be discussed elsewhere but it's not tax rake, nor personal or corporate largesse. The cash goes to "good causes"- education, health, heritage, sport, arts. A chunk of the sports funding goes into sport for the governing bodies to distribute and one of the criteria for receiving it is delivering the inspiration and national pride that is perceived to come from Olympic success. Different bodies no doubt distribute it in different ways and do their own research on how best to cultivate the talent that will create or perpetuate the success that continues their sport's victories and the associated funding.

  In sailing, specifically, there is an approach that seeks to create a pool of passionate, enthusiastic sailors, starting them young and engendering a love of the sport, so that a few of them will decide that the Olympic path is for them and seek out the route to glory... many of them will fall by the wayside and there's a bit of effort made to accommodate that (eg the selection trials for international youth events are running at the moment and the starts of yesterdays racing were delayed to enable sailors to read and respond to their exam results; some redress was offered if they needed to focus on securing university places instead of racing).

 As a result of this, my tiny little dinghy sailing club has attracted enough cash from the pool above through hosting coaching events, regattas and other such activity, which some of our members benefited directly from, to replace an ageing outboard on one of our safety boats, to secure funding to take ownership of the land the club sits on and so on.

 i.e. This is a specific example of grassroots sailing benefiting from Olympic success and the cash that you refer to above.

 What exactly is it about this that is so fundamentally broken?

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26 minutes ago, AnIdiot said:

You know that the bulk of that money comes from neither government nor private sponsors, right?

 In the UK, we have a national lottery that rakes in a lot of money. Ethics of that could be discussed elsewhere but it's not tax rake, nor personal or corporate largesse. The cash goes to "good causes"- education, health, heritage, sport, arts. A chunk of the sports funding goes into sport for the governing bodies to distribute and one of the criteria for receiving it is delivering the inspiration and national pride that is perceived to come from Olympic success. Different bodies no doubt distribute it in different ways and do their own research on how best to cultivate the talent that will create or perpetuate the success that continues their sport's victories and the associated funding.

  In sailing, specifically, there is an approach that seeks to create a pool of passionate, enthusiastic sailors, starting them young and engendering a love of the sport, so that a few of them will decide that the Olympic path is for them and seek out the route to glory... many of them will fall by the wayside and there's a bit of effort made to accommodate that (eg the selection trials for international youth events are running at the moment and the starts of yesterdays racing were delayed to enable sailors to read and respond to their exam results; some redress was offered if they needed to focus on securing university places instead of racing).

 As a result of this, my tiny little dinghy sailing club has attracted enough cash from the pool above through hosting coaching events, regattas and other such activity, which some of our members benefited directly from, to replace an ageing outboard on one of our safety boats, to secure funding to take ownership of the land the club sits on and so on.

 i.e. This is a specific example of grassroots sailing benefiting from Olympic success and the cash that you refer to above.

 What exactly is it about this that is so fundamentally broken?

what's broken, how are we doing on this one?

TOP 25 QUOTES BY PIERRE DE COUBERTIN | A-Z Quotes

Instead it is just an intense focus on three people in a sport, the 4th person essentially gets didly squat. Now I'm not saying sit around singing kumba ya and everyone gets participation medals, but the budgets we see are at the diminishing returns scale. My feeling is that this has created perverse incentives that aren't really sporting - eg. China starting a canoeing program from a zero base because their research showed these medals (along with shooting and archery) were "cheap". They had no competitive canoeing, no clubs, athletes, grassroots and just started from the top down throwing money at the problem with facilities, foreign coaches and identified athletes. They went from no athletes to a gold medal in one cycle (sydney=>athens).

I know GB is different to most nations, and it essentially all stems from a poor performance at Atlanta - https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/jul/26/brutal-but-effective-lottery-funding-scores-100-golds-team-gb

We could debate whether lotto funding is from state coffers, it's a tax on people who can't do statistics and like to bet against the house. The money could be spent anywhere, putting it into sport at these levels changes the game for the rest who want to compete. More of a thing in athletics but the amount of talented african athletes swapping allegiance to richer nations is getting quite astounding. Can't blame the individual athletes for securing their own futures but it makes a mockery of the whole nations concept to see a crowd of east african distance runners wearing gulf state uniforms at the pointy end of races.

On a sailing level, Team GB have now been top of the table for 5 of the past 6 games, some of this is due to exceptional individuals. but it's just basic chequebook racing really. We have that in the rest of the sport and it shouldn't be the olympic way.

https://www.bbc.com/sport/olympics/58112331

image.png.fb1809ce96f01bbb8372bfbc95f96a3d.png

 

 

 

finally, it's awesome that your YC is getting funding through these channels. but i'm skeptical that is a significant proportion of the budget.

 

 

 

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55 minutes ago, shebeen said:

finally, it's awesome that your YC is getting funding through these channels. but i'm skeptical that is a significant proportion of the budget.

Well I doubt his YC gets a significant proportion but grass roots sport does. The UK lottery has roughly £2bn a year to fund projects of all kinds. It puts around 20pc, i.e. £400m into sport of all kinds. But the Olympic budget (including Paralympics) is £345m for a whole cycle. So the vast majority goes into grassroots. My tiny village cricket club just got £1k for coaching kids.

 

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16 minutes ago, shebeen said:

what's broken, how are we doing on this one?

Look, I get where you are coming from here: by all means rail against the professionalisation of sport, commercialism of the Olympics and so on if you want to...

 ...but choosing Team GBR sailing as a target is a spectacularly poor choice of example, in an impressively target-rich environment.

It's not helping your case.

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Its also worth noting that the absence of state or lottery funding doesn't make it fair either. It just means that largely it is only the elite of any country who really have the chance to compete. They are the only ones who can afford the time to tour, to attend. That used to be the case, especially in the UK (cf Chariots of Fire). 

But then as other countries (US, Germany Australia etc) increasingly adopted professionalism the UK fell behind in most sports (though we always did well in sailing, partly because that elite). The UK just caught up and overtake many others by adopting a new and more successful model

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15 hours ago, shebeen said:

Instead it is just an intense focus on three people in a sport, the 4th person essentially gets didly squat.

I very much disagree. In almost every other sporting event, you either win or you do not. Sure, you might get a prize of some sort for minor places, but nobody remembers or cares about that. It's one of the great things about the Olympics that the podium gets ongoing recognition rather than just the winner. And somebody is an Olympian for life and gets that recognition in a way that somebody who competes "just" at world level in any sport doesn't get. 

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5 minutes ago, SimonN said:

I very much disagree. In almost every other sporting event, you either win or you do not. Sure, you might get a prize of some sort for minor places, but nobody remembers or cares about that. It's one of the great things about the Olympics that the podium gets ongoing recognition rather than just the winner. And somebody is an Olympian for life and gets that recognition in a way that somebody who competes "just" at world level in any sport doesn't get. 

I agree with this.  Nobody remembers who came 2nd in most world championships (except Howie Hamlin because he turned it into an art form) but a bronze medal on the mantel piece is major kudos.  Going to the Olympics is still important.

I think the Olympics has temporarily jumped the shark, but strong management could bring it back

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16 hours ago, shebeen said:

On a sailing level, Team GB have now been top of the table for 5 of the past 6 games, some of this is due to exceptional individuals. but it's just basic chequebook racing really. We have that in the rest of the sport and it shouldn't be the olympic way.

The idea that the British success is "just basic checkbook racing" shows a real ignorance of what is going on. The money hides a truth that most choose to ignore. So much is hidden by the introduction of UK Lottery money in 1997. What people miss is that the Brits already had in place a pipeline of sailors who were proven winners. Ainslie, Percy, Walker, Robertson and Barker had the pedigree before the money came along. Yes, the money helped, but the system that produced them was already there. You can have as much money as you like, but if you aren't producing the right calibre of people before they hit the Olympic trail, you will not get success. If the USA were to get the same money as the UK, I would bet the bank against them having Olympic sailing success because they are not producing the pipeline of sailors capable of winning. There is a very high correlation between youth success at world level and Olympic success. You cannot make gold out of iron ore!

 

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1 hour ago, IPLore said:

I agree with this.  Nobody remembers who came 2nd in most world championships (except Howie Hamlin because he turned it into an art form) but a bronze medal on the mantel piece is major kudos.  Going to the Olympics is still important.

I think the Olympics has temporarily jumped the shark, but strong management could bring it back

Read a piece that noted that Silver medalists die much sooner then Gold or Bronze competitors.  They speculated that Silver caused them to self identify as a failure and  regret and recrimination are the legacy of finishing second impacting their happiness level and their lifespan.  Human psychology is perverse!

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19 hours ago, enigmatically2 said:

Well I doubt his YC gets a significant proportion but grass roots sport does. The UK lottery has roughly £2bn a year to fund projects of all kinds. It puts around 20pc, i.e. £400m into sport of all kinds. But the Olympic budget (including Paralympics) is £345m for a whole cycle. So the vast majority goes into grassroots. My tiny village cricket club just got £1k for coaching kids.

 

Presumably, “coaching” in cricket means explaining how it works? 1k wouldn’t last long if so…

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8 hours ago, SimonN said:

The idea that the British success is "just basic checkbook racing" shows a real ignorance of what is going on. 

Worth noting, for instance, that the brit rowers, with much the same funding environment, had a dreadful event, 14th in the medal table. 

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40 minutes ago, JimC said:

Worth noting, for instance, that the brit rowers, with much the same funding environment, had a dreadful event, 14th in the medal table. 

Indeed. It is a truism that it is harder to stay at top than to get there. Which makes UK sailings achievement all the greater

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15 hours ago, Tcatman said:

Read a piece that noted that Silver medalists die much sooner then Gold or Bronze competitors.  They speculated that Silver caused them to self identify as a failure and  regret and recrimination are the legacy of finishing second impacting their happiness level and their lifespan.  Human psychology is perverse!

Ask 4th place finishers...

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On 8/11/2021 at 2:05 PM, AnIdiot said:

Look, I get where you are coming from here: by all means rail against the professionalisation of sport, commercialism of the Olympics and so on if you want to...

 ...but choosing Team GBR sailing as a target is a spectacularly poor choice of example, in an impressively target-rich environment.

It's not helping your case.

I'll stand by looking at GBR sailing in this context. They're the team at the top and the figures are public so it's a natural choice. The rise in medals since lotto funding came in makes a perfect test sample for the theory that there is a strong correlation between funding and medals. I'm not sure who the next highest funded olympic sailing program is, but I'm sure it is miles behind in $$$ terms. 

 

On 8/12/2021 at 1:54 PM, JimC said:

Worth noting, for instance, that the brit rowers, with much the same funding environment, had a dreadful event, 14th in the medal table. 

So what happens to them, less funding at the next review? Quite a fickle game to play.

 

My main point seems to have been lost. The IOC is on one hand trying to increase participation (gender parity, continental slots) but the end result is that it is only becoming more elitist. In a sailing focus granting an african entry for every sailing event does very little for the sport if it's not got any background program. You can guess where they all ended up on the results. 

 

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9 hours ago, shebeen said:

The rise in medals since lotto funding came in makes a perfect test sample for the theory that there is a strong correlation between funding and medals.

I don’t think anyone would doubt that money helps.  Money is necessary but not sufficient for success. You can spend a lot of money and still lose - just ask Manchester Utd :)
 

The question is: who would give money to US sailors? 

a. A rich benefactor for philanthropic reasons?
b. The government because they see it as a good use of tax payer money? 

c. A sponsor who hopes to get a return on investment through exposure and association with success?

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10 hours ago, shebeen said:

The rise in medals since lotto funding came in makes a perfect test sample for the theory that there is a strong correlation between funding and medals.

No it does not. As others say, the money helps but I am 100% certain that, as things currently stand, if the USA had the same amount of money, they would not improve their medal haul. Why? Because the primary thing that made the UK team so successful wasn't the money. Money is easy and lazy conclusion. The problem is that money cannot take "average" sailors and turn them into winners. If every team had the same budget for this cycle, do you really think that Team GBR wouldn't have ended up as top team? What you and others forget is the sailors. Without the constant supply of world class sailors, the GBR medal machine would grind to a halt. 2000, the first cycle of Lottery funding, was the Olympics when the fruits of the youth system really started to pay off.  The reason why money will not solve the problem in the USA is because you do not have the pipeline of proven youth sailors coming through. Where are the sailors gaining podium places (or winning) at International level at youth level. In the UK, that pipeline was developed with very little budget. Sure, money is now flowing into the GBR youth program, but again, that is a smoke screen. Besides the UK, look at how many medal winners performed at youth level.

I keep saying it, but money doesn't buy Olympic medals. It helps those already capable of winning a medal to maximise their performance but the fact is, before each Olympic cycle even begins, before any money is thrown at them, the vast majority of the fleet aren't good enough to win a medal.

Until the USA finds a way of developing young sailors, they will not return to being a significant force in Olympic sailing, however much money and time is thrown into the Olympic team.

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On 8/12/2021 at 8:37 AM, enigmatically2 said:

It is a truism that it is harder to stay at top than to get there. Which makes UK sailings achievement all the greater

hmmm . . . I would have said for creating world champions (and olympic champions) that there was a very significant momentum effect - That is past success begets future success. 

You have 'hero's' and mentors which help attract new talent to your activity.  This is a HUGE effect.

You have world class competitors who can train the next generation.  This is really essential - if you dont have world class competitors at home you have train away from home which is significantly harder.

And the way most funding works - more success means more money in the future.

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Any country starting from a standing start, (and it would be easier to name those that are not starting from a standing start) is highly unlikely to medal in Paris.      If a country, (starting from a standing start) wants to do well in LA, then what Simon N and the one I really liked was had to do with the focus on yachting rather than sailing, what they are saying is just plan simple and logical.     

And it's a bit like going green, you start with little steps, what happening here (in Australia) across the whole country, getting kids involved from a early age and have them focused not on being Gunwhale weight for some wealthy yacht owner in 10 years time, but enjoying sailing for the sheer pleasure of it, is where the future of the sport (Olympics then just becomes a bit part of the whole game) lies.     Here, solely because I know it, the Hunters Hill and the Pitwater programs, with hold us in very good stead.    That is mirrored in Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth even in Hobart! Their program, (Tassie) run by an American, and a girl, is extrodinary.    Maybe USSailing should re-import Lizzy!?   She's a StFrancis girl, same club as Cayard!

Yah just have to start somewhere.

My other bone to pick, and RSYS is just as bad as say NYYC, I think StFrancis is only a little better, imagine a kid, middle socio-economic back-ground walking up to the gates of RSYS and saying I would like to learn to sail.  

OMG, what a disarster!

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More on the same theme as Julian and Simon.

Australia, NZ and UK in particular all have huge long standing cultures of dinghy sailng clubs. 

The three of us are in Sydney. In the 200 miles coastline con-urbation of Newcastle/Sydney/ Woolongong there are about 50 sailing and yacht clubs and only about 10 of them do not have dinghy racing every weekend all through the summer months. Thats a lot of people in small boats with most clubs include junior classes and some sort of sailing school or training. The non dinghy clubs might be bigger businesses, with wealthy members and bigger boats on marinas but they are the minority. The other Aust big coastal cities are all similar.

And almost all the dinghies are owned by the families who sail them. Club owned fleets are rare. Spending your own money means more comitment.

Australian Sailing has a relatively easy task. Encourage club sailing without a lot of financial input, promote youth regattas, look out for rising stars, encourage them into classes in their olympic pathway programs, and then as numbers thin out develop their skills with a small number of skilled coaches. Up to this stage the families pay most of the tab, those on the payroll are only the very elete few selected into sqads. Yes there are many tallented sailors who drop out of the sausage machine, some families find other ways to spend their money and weekends, some kids see better future careers in other professions, but enough really dedicated and skilled sailors survive and with hard work, good training and good support are proving to excel on the world biggest stages.

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8 hours ago, estarzinger said:

hmmm . . . I would have said for creating world champions (and olympic champions) that there was a very significant momentum effect - That is past success begets future success. 

You have 'hero's' and mentors which help attract new talent to your activity.  This is a HUGE effect.

You have world class competitors who can train the next generation.  This is really essential - if you dont have world class competitors at home you have train away from home which is significantly harder.

And the way most funding works - more success means more money in the future.

All of that is true. Nevertheless I have heard it said many times by top sports people, most recently by Kenny from the British cycling team.

And I think the record backs it up. Look at Olympic sailing and how many manage individuals get repeat gold's. Scott, Mills and Ainslie have obviously managed it of late for GB. How many others? Even NZs supposedly nailed on hope of Burling & Tuke didn't manage it. 

Rijesselburghe managed it for the Dutch, Belcher for the Australians. Apart from that you have to go back 20 years and Scheldt I think. I think that highlights the success of GB sailing

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Phil S wrote......   dinghy racing every weekend all through the summer months.

And THIS is the Sailing Culture Difference that matters.  Very very few clubs of the US have weekend dinghy racing for your class on a routine basis.   Club racing is usually on club owned boats.  or scheduled three weeks apart or so.    .... Active clubs  have a schedule of one or  two day regattas  for your boat that  occur once or twice a season. (Travel if you want more competition)  The weekly events are Wed night beer cans (big boats) or something informal (Tesod at SSA) followed up with beer.  The biggest difference is that kids are not that involved in the weekend sailing activities unless they are shanghai'd by their parents on their racer cruiser whatever boat.  The kids events are mid week and out of sight / out of mind. 

Nothing good comes from splitting the kids away from their parents OR other accomplished ADULT SAILORS as a matter of normal sailing and those "kid's programs"  (no matter how good they are) don't serve the goal of creating life long sailors.....which is essential if  you want elite racers to bubble up  .... (not to mention creating  fans of elite racing).  When a young person is a unicorn at your regatta....you are not gonna get a critical mass of interest in continuing to play with sailboats.

Julian framed it this way

Quote

the focus on yachting rather than sailing, what they are saying is just plan simple and logical.

Its notable that in the states.... we would  say we should focus on sailing (messing about in boats).... rather then yachting (racing).     Maybe the translation got lost in the english and that  is why the US has lost the thread! (grin)

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14 minutes ago, Tcatman said:

...

Its notable that in the states.... we would  say we should focus on sailing (messing about in boats).... rather then yachting (racing).     Maybe the translation got lost in the english and that  is why the US has lost the thread! (grin)

Sydney 2000. The only Olympic sport ever to change it's name. 

 We have stretches of water here where there is a "Yacht club" within a stone's throw of a "Sailing club" or "Boat club". Often, they are evolving towards a very similar organisation, though mergers are rarer than they should be...

 Within the ones I'm familiar,  the dinghy sections tend to be doing better than the yacht sections... but that may say more about me than the national picture!

 I've never seen a J/70; on paper they look to me like a niche boat with limited appeal.. like an Etchells, 707, RS21, Sonata, Sigma-33, Flying 15, Sonar... etc. 

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6 hours ago, enigmatically2 said:

Look at Olympic sailing and how many  individuals get repeat gold's.

big difference between organizational momentum and individual repeating. I was commenting on the first, I guess you are commenting on the second.  We could both be right :)

 

Woman's gymnastics is an interesting sport related to the college aspect and the 'broad base' - Olympic ( and world elite) gymnastics is essentially its own separate thing (in the USA). College is a different much less athletic event. And the 'practice' of the elite gymnastics style is very narrow (essentially only the olympic pipeline).  What makes it work in the US is that they have 'hero's' attracting new talent, a continuously rebuilding cadre of world class competitors in the pipeline, with great coaches (hmmm - technically at least - obviously some significant weaknesses on some other aspects), and a culture of the 'old hands' helping to build their replacement.

 

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7 minutes ago, estarzinger said:

big difference between organizational momentum and individual repeating. I was commenting on the first, I guess you are commenting on the second.  We could both be right :)

 

True, but there is an overlap. For Gb to get that many repeat golds, it suggests more than just brilliant individuals (and I am not taking away from their brilliance at all) it does suggest that team GB ae good at sustaining athletes at the top as well

 

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1 minute ago, enigmatically2 said:

 it does suggest that team GB ae good at sustaining athletes at the top as well

yes, agreed. Managing to achieve longer/more peak years is a definitive leverage point for overall success and requires specific skill/culture which GB has. 

I see some comments that imply or suggest 'the answer' (for USA) is obvious/easy - imho it is neither.  There is a lot of deep knowledge and skill in building and maintaining a cadre of world champion potential, and even more so when you are starting in a deep hole is as the USA.  How you build that knowledge and skill to world level;s, when it is a moving target (eg UK is not sitting still) is neither obvious nor easy.  You don't do this by just getting more kids in dinghies - that was perhaps the answer 20 years ago but the top is now way beyond that being 'the answer'.  There is a path for the USA but it is going to be an immense management and leadership challenge to build the skills and knowledge and culture, at a pace fast enough to catch UK in 6 years.  It is possible but really really hard.

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1 hour ago, Tcatman said:

And THIS is the Sailing Culture Difference that matters.  Very very few clubs of the US have weekend dinghy racing for your class on a routine basis.   Club racing is usually on club owned boats.  or scheduled three weeks apart or so.    .... Active clubs  have a schedule of one or  two day regattas  for your boat that  occur once or twice a season. (Travel if you want more competition)  The weekly events are Wed night beer cans (big boats) or something informal (Tesod at SSA) followed up with beer.  The biggest difference is that kids are not that involved in the weekend sailing activities unless they are shanghai'd by their parents on their racer cruiser whatever boat.  The kids events are mid week and out of sight / out of mind. 

Wow. If that's the situation (and I'm not doubting you), it is impressive if a US sailor ever gets to a Medal Race.

Some time ago, IIRC, Mr and Mrs Clean visited HISC which is, I believe, the largest dinghy-orientated club in the UK, with national and international regattas running much of the season in parallel to club racing. Their comment - how disappointing and inexplicable it was that there was no swimming pool at the club for the kids to use. That shows the chasm that exists between UK and USA sailing culture. It's not a country club, it's a sailing club, kids (and adults) should be sailing. HISC isn't short of members with money, if members wanted a pool, they'd have a pool. It isn't what the club is for.

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1 hour ago, dogwatch said:

Sorry but where is "here"?

UK.

  I was thinking specifically of the Royal Tay YC and Dundee Sailing club,  who pretty much share a beach and the Royal Northern and Clyde YC, which is currently a few miles from Helensburgh Sailing Club and moving even closer as they exit their grand old clubhouse.

  Giving it a bit more thought,  Royal Gourock is a few miles down the Clyde and within a few miles of Cardwell Bay SC.

 I'm assuming there are more examples but haven't researched it, this is from memory. 

 Most (all?) of these have active dinghy sections, junior programmes etc.

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1 hour ago, dogwatch said:

Wow. If that's the situation (and I'm not doubting you), it is impressive if a US sailor ever gets to a Medal Race.

Some time ago, IIRC, Mr and Mrs Clean visited HISC which is, I believe, the largest dinghy-orientated club in the UK, with national and international regattas running much of the season in parallel to club racing. Their comment - how disappointing and inexplicable it was that there was no swimming pool at the club for the kids to use. That shows the chasm that exists between UK and USA sailing culture. It's not a country club, it's a sailing club, kids (and adults) should be sailing. HISC isn't short of members with money, if members wanted a pool, they'd have a pool. It isn't what the club is for.

That's bizarre... why would a sailing club have a swimming pool?

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I can't think of any sailing or yacht club in the UK with a pool. And I have been to a lot.

As a kid I loved racing against adults-and especially beating them. At the small club where I started we would have junior racing on Saturday and open on Sunday. So I raced both. Sadly I think it's declined somewhat since then, but still better than USA it seems

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That's bizarre... why would a sailing club have a swimming pool?

Ah because in the states.... club is synonymous with pool.   Annapolis Yacht club just did a big renovation after the club house burned down.  Rebuilt the club house/restaurant...  added a pool and fitness club.... sailing facilities remained the same.     I am curious... other then the cost of keeping a pool going.... what downsides to the pool show up?

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7 minutes ago, enigmatically2 said:

I can't think of any sailing or yacht club in the UK with a pool. And I have been to a lot.

As a kid I loved racing against adults-and especially beating them. At the small club where I started we would have junior racing on Saturday and open on Sunday. So I raced both. Sadly I think it's declined somewhat since then, but still better than USA it seems

Think there's an idiosyncratic place on the south coast somewhere that has a (Victorian?) lido or similar for historical reasons...

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27 minutes ago, AnIdiot said:

Think there's an idiosyncratic place on the south coast somewhere that has a (Victorian?) lido or similar for historical reasons...

Lymington Town SC is next to the saltwater swimming pool (that currently(?) contains an inflatable assault course). LTSC was the original bath house. 
image.jpeg.943055b4bc4fd327311c543b7e716475.jpeg

 

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32 minutes ago, AnIdiot said:

Think there's an idiosyncratic place on the south coast somewhere that has a (Victorian?) lido or similar for historical reasons...

Emsworth SC. Started as a sea bathing club then adopted sailing in Victorian days. Think the pool itself is much newer than that but havn't visited.

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1 hour ago, Tcatman said:

 what downsides to the pool show up?

Takes up space that could be used for boats, which is in short supply at every UK sailing club that I can think of.

But also, UK sailing clubs want members who want to sail, not people who want to treat the place like a country club. 

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1 hour ago, Tcatman said:

Ah because in the states.... club is synonymous with pool.   Annapolis Yacht club just did a big renovation after the club house burned down.  Rebuilt the club house/restaurant...  added a pool and fitness club.... sailing facilities remained the same.     I am curious... other then the cost of keeping a pool going.... what downsides to the pool show up?

That's about it. Cost, space, staff...

 I get that a big YC that acts as a beach resort for members could benefit but are there really so few small sailing clubs: bit of beach,  slipway, maybe a jetty. Clubhouse with changing rooms and kitchen plus somewhere secure for a couple of ribs and a dinghy park. Membership  100 - 200 per year; volunteer run training etc.

 There must be a dozen or so of these within a hour of home. 

Why not in the US?

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1 hour ago, Tcatman said:

Ah because in the states.... club is synonymous with pool.   Annapolis Yacht club just did a big renovation after the club house burned down.  Rebuilt the club house/restaurant...  added a pool and fitness club.... sailing facilities remained the same.     I am curious... other then the cost of keeping a pool going.... what downsides to the pool show up?

Any organisation, especially volunteer organisation, only has so much energy. If a large chunk goes into organising and running restaurant, pool, fitness club etc etc, how much is left? Its hardly surprising your clubs are mediocre at producing great sailors if most of their effort is spent on distractions. 

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^ True, but it is not the business of a club to produce Olympic level sailors. It is the business of a club to provide a service and facilities that the members want. Most people want to enjoy themselves and if that means having a pool and good food so be it. Just a different set of priorities and different place in the spectrum of sailing. But just as worthwhile. 

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7 minutes ago, Bored Stiff said:

^ True, but it is not the business of a club to produce Olympic level sailors. It is the business of a club to provide a service and facilities that the members want. Most people want to enjoy themselves and if that means having a pool and good food so be it. Just a different set of priorities and different place in the spectrum of sailing. But just as worthwhile. 

We're not talking about Olympics at this stage of the game,  though,  we're talking about the grassroots dinghy sailing base from which Olympians may emerge. 

  What about sailors who don't want to have to pay for all this extra stuff? Where do they go?

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To provide the counter balance, there are a few UK yacht and sailing clubs where being a member, the bar and the dinners are more important than the sailing, but they are few and far between. Pretty much every harbour, estuary, ria, large lake and many rivers have at least one active sailing club in Uk

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38 minutes ago, AnIdiot said:

We're not talking about Olympics at this stage of the game,  though,  we're talking about the grassroots dinghy sailing base from which Olympians may emerge. 

  What about sailors who don't want to have to pay for all this extra stuff? Where do they go?

Agreed, it's like saying a cycling club should have a crown green for bowling. We have different clubs and institutions for different sports. 

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6 hours ago, estarzinger said:

How you build that knowledge and skill to world level;s, when it is a moving target (eg UK is not sitting still) is neither obvious nor easy.  You don't do this by just getting more kids in dinghies - that was perhaps the answer 20 years ago but the top is now way beyond that being 'the answer'.  

It may not be 'the answer" but it is definitely part of the answer.

The deeper the pool of talent from which you can draw, the more likely it is that Olympic level talent will be discovered in there.

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2 hours ago, AnIdiot said:

That's about it. Cost, space, staff...

 I get that a big YC that acts as a beach resort for members could benefit but are there really so few small sailing clubs: bit of beach,  slipway, maybe a jetty. Clubhouse with changing rooms and kitchen plus somewhere secure for a couple of ribs and a dinghy park. Membership  100 - 200 per year; volunteer run training etc.

 There must be a dozen or so of these within a hour of home. 

Why not in the US?

Such clubs do exist in the US. I belong to one - Massapoag YC in Massachusetts.  We are on a lake. We have a boat ramp and a beach and a clubhouse. The club is entirely run by volunteers. We have about 70 families as members.

We don't have any paid staff. We don't have a bar or a restaurant or a tennis court or a pool.

We have racing on Sundays and a couple of weekday evenings.  Boats racing are RS Aeros, Lasers, Sunfish, Flying Scots, Day Sailers and 420s. We run learn to sail course for club members and others. We have a junior racing program. We run a couple of regattas every year - the next one on Sep 11/12
 
Clubs like this are not as common as they are in the UK but I know of others in MA and several in New Jersey where I used to live.

We don't pretend to be raising future Olympians but we are part of the grassroots of sailing in this country - for folk who actually want to go sailing, not sit by a pool or play tennis.

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24 minutes ago, Rambler said:

It may not be 'the answer" but it is definitely part of the answer.

It would ofc be helpful (there are a number of things which would be helpful) . . . . but imho is neither a sufficient nor necessary condition to win medals.

There is a bit of chicken and egg going on - win medals and you will have a much easier time getting kids excited about it.  Without medals - how do you propose changing the culture of the clubs (or parents or the college sport)? As mentioned above the clubs serve today at the pleasure of their members and for many dingy racing does not seem to be of much interest to them (but USA because of its size it is not like there are zero dinghy sailors - probably more than many of the small countries who do win medals).  I personally don't ever see much point in focusing on issues which are really not very actionable, when there are significant (and difficult) actionable issues which are actually necessary to accomplish, which should probably be the immediate focus of the limited management/leadership attention.

Longer-term, it would ofc be to the sports competitive advantage to build as large a base of small athletic boat sailors as possible. But that is a huge slow ship to turn around.

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