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"Soccer" parents in sailing....


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As a long time sailor who started as a Junior sailor, but never had the "privilege" of coming up through any kind of Yacht Club Opti, (or other) program it's taken quite some time for me to become exposed to the "soccer parent".

You see- my jr sailing experiences were more along the lines of being the young kid on a big PHRF boat. My "coaching" would (at times) come from our pre-race, in cabin crew discussions during the motor to the starting line.  On occasion, one of the crew might/or might not be rolling joints on a cutting board prepping for post race relaxation.   Whenever I had the privilege of in boat coaching it would be on a breezy day when one of the old guys had enough beer and on a dare would grab a laser and take it out while I was trying to survive in mine, (no radial rigs back in the day).  I'll never forget my lesson on feathering...

I'm MUCH older now and enjoying watching, (and being involved with) the great participation success of our growing ILCA NA district.  This success is largely driven by awesome Jr sailors, their YC program coaches and their parents who are writing a lot of checks to help their kids enjoy great sailing experiences.  With growth comes growing pains.  For the first time I'm having first hand experiences with "programs" and their driving factors.

I get the coaches and program directors.  They build their careers on success and growth and their work grows sailing.  They are just doing their jobs and as such I give these folks a LOT of leeway as they have families to feed and career based numbers to hit.  99% of the time they are hearding cats and I just have a lot of respect there.  Just don't run me over with your coach boat.

However, I'm also getting to experience the "soccer" parent.  Having never been a soccer parent myself this fabled phenomena is quite interesting to experience.  

To those who are either "soccer" parents or feeling the "urge" to succumb please remember that many people supporting your kids are VOLUNTEERS.  This means they take simple enjoyment out of what they are doing and often use their own cash in the process.  It's a passion and without the many volunteers in organized sailing there would be a lot less of it.  So, If you're disappointed with something it's fine to express your feelings but remember who your audience is when delivering your message.  Volunteers are not on your payroll and they can tell you to "shove it" without fear of being fired.  

 

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The problem I have with "soccer" parents, hopefully I wasn't one of the bad ones, is that they forget that the elite stars of any sport are very rare and truly special. 99.9% of children that start a sports program will never make it to the top of a sport. Coaches to as much as they can. In the end, it is up to the participant to perform at their best. If they have given it their best, there isn't much you can say other than they at least stepped up instead of sitting in front of the TV turning their brain to mush. Parents need to stop living their dreams through their children. I love the signs that are beginning to show up on playing fields around the country, 'Your child will never be a professional. Let the coaches coach, the referees referee, and the children play.' 

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When I was a USYRU coach, the party line which I also agreedcwith, was parents were to stay out of sight---except at specific events where they were encoiraged to attend.

The thinking was parents areva distraction. The kids have a lot of learning to do and developong infependence is a core value of sailing

In fact thiscwas also true for me in my own jr fleet days. But I aleays loved the event whencwe raced against our mums

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Opti’s are the crack of sailing, and the coaches are the dealers.

i fucking hate everything about Opti’s. It’s a piece of shit boat that probably turns off the majority who sail it. 
 

about 10 years ago there was a parent at NHYC paying his kids private coach $700 a day. 

I’m sure that kid is going to need an equally expensive therapist. 

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Soccer parents are the bane of anyone trying to build a club where you can just get a decent fleet of boats together and let the kids have fun while racing; trying to win, but never forgetting you're not racing for sheep stations.

Everything gets taken so seriously and clubs are torn apart as, they through whatever programs or because the parents chase the club with the best coach, kids are divided into those with higher prospects and aims and mere club sailors.

No regard to friendships or community.

As is said above, few of the chosen will make it anyway. Most will be treated as cannon fodder, burnt out, discourage and lost to sailing.

Personally I try and direct kids into classes without the soccer parent mentality.

I've expressed my view of Opis elsewhere. Unsuited to purpose (except in certain conditions rare in Australia) and a toxic environment.

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4 hours ago, sunseeker said:

Opti’s are the crack of sailing, and the coaches are the dealers.

i fucking hate everything about Opti’s. It’s a piece of shit boat that probably turns off the majority who sail it. 
 

about 10 years ago there was a parent at NHYC paying his kids private coach $700 a day. 

I’m sure that kid is going to need an equally expensive therapist. 


Optis have their place. They're pretty bulletproof and pretty forgiving, so you can put a 25 kg kid on one and they stand half a chance of keeping it in control.

Now, the overly competitive racing of Optis by 14-year-olds is another issue. They probably should cap the age limit at 12 or something. With that, they should get rid of the bloody sail ties and go to something normal like a sleeve sail. Like, come on... do they not realize that the coaches are the ones helping put the boat together for the really little kids? How many square knots in 2mm line does anyone really need to tie and/or untie in a day?!?!?

The big issue though is when you have parents forcing their kids to sail whether they like it or not. Optis are a big part of this problem because they're really no fun once kids get beyond a certain size. 

 

The other big issue is that some parents take junior sailing so seriously that it isn't about having fun with friends anymore.

 

 

 

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I recently had the absolute joy of a soccer parent of several kids being placed on my rescue RIB as an assistant rescuer...

Absolutely no idea about sailing, seamanship or humility, which was needed given the conditions, constantly abusing and mocking his kids as they rounded whatever mark we were made to sit at. Eventually I just started volunteering to tow kids back to shore so I didn't have to listen to him be an absolute dick to his children. 

 

Also having grown up in Opti's myself, theyre great to learn on in a school holiday program or something, but should never ever ever be raced. That's what 4.7 rig lasers are for. Or Open Bics, or literally anything else.

 

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I think Optis are great boats to learn and learn racing in, I think worlds is very pointless but nationals has a point because you get to sail with other people and learn new skills.

I never really raced optis only learned to sail in them.

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Actually I think the Oppie's a good little boat, for some a great little boat.

My daughter loved it. She loved the fact she could train with some really good people and travel to some regattas with a quality of sailing most of us will never experience.

For her younger brother it wasn't quite his thing. He did it for a bit, enjoyed it but didn't want more, so we got him something else.

Each to their own.

At Oppie events I was very careful what I helped with and who I went on the water with. I didn't really want to punch anyone in the face. Whenever I got the chance I got on my bike and fucked off a very long way for a long time.

You need to take a deep breath and remember what everyone else wants to do doesn't really effect you. Mostly.

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Sounds like you're in an enviable position to have a youth program to even complain about overinvolved parents. Our local "scene" is unathletic overweight dads hanging off the side of a keel boat. Youths and their mom's have absolutely no interest in getting involved. They will stick with lacrosse, soccer, and hockey. Now show them a scene with a couple stud 20 something trapezing off a skiff like in Australia....that looks like something worth working towards. People like Hobart Alter figured out how to market it at one time....so I guess it can be done?

 

I think this article still holds up even if its from 2018:

how yachting killed sailing in the us – Sailing Anarchy

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10 minutes ago, Irrational 14 said:

I've seen on more than a few occasions, the parents rig and launch the boat. Tow the kid out, then retrieve, down rig, and pack up the boat and RIB.

The kid does nothing but sail. Is that okay? :blink:

 

The rules at most significant UK events won't allow that. I do get your point.

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I've stayed away from optis with my kids so far, and I concur with the sentiment.

And yet, OTOH, the opti stream keeps a lot of clubs and coaches going. I recall a club where we had a UFO/Moth/Wazsp event, where I asked the barman who's the best crowd? Opti moms, they are bored and on shore. Our regatta, one beer each and that's it, gotta be sharp tomorrow!

:-)

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2 hours ago, breaqnaway said:

Sounds like you're in an enviable position to have a youth program to even complain about overinvolved parents. Our local "scene" is unathletic overweight dads hanging off the side of a keel boat. Youths and their mom's have absolutely no interest in getting involved. They will stick with lacrosse, soccer, and hockey. Now show them a scene with a couple stud 20 something trapezing off a skiff like in Australia....that looks like something worth working towards. People like Hobart Alter figured out how to market it at one time....so I guess it can be done?

 

I think this article still holds up even if its from 2018:

how yachting killed sailing in the us – Sailing Anarchy

Excellent article, and I'll also link in another one that I think bears some relevance here:

https://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2015/09/22/give-kids-the-opportunity-to-love-sailing/

 

The kids that sail nothing but Optis for six years are rarely the ones who are really excited about the sport as teenagers. Now the ones who crew on an E-scow / F18 / M24... they're more likely to be excited about continuing. Ideally, this should be somewhat part of the sailing school structure. That is to say, there should be strong ties between the sailing school and the local adult racing scene.

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2 hours ago, Irrational 14 said:

I've seen on more than a few occasions, the parents rig and launch the boat. Tow the kid out, then retrieve, down rig, and pack up the boat and RIB.

The kid does nothing but sail. Is that okay? :blink:

 

What boggles my mind is that there are parents who are willing to do all those sailties for their kids. WTF, let the youngsters do that part! As we say at work "that looks like a good job for an undergrad."

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2 hours ago, Irrational 14 said:

I've seen on more than a few occasions, the parents rig and launch the boat. Tow the kid out, then retrieve, down rig, and pack up the boat and RIB.

The kid does nothing but sail. Is that okay? :blink:

So, so not OK and also so very sad!!! That is not parenting, that is enabling and 'friending' or good cop, good cop!

Here's your 'thanks for showing up' trophy....

 

My dad barely slowed down to push us out the car door at the Jr sailing program every summer morning!

We had a Blue Jay and dad didn't have a tow hitch!

My parent's participation in my sailing was getting me to the club and mostly getting me home, then coming to the prize/end of summer party...

 

I got my first paid gig on a Baltic 38' at the ripe age of 17!

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3 hours ago, breaqnaway said:

Sounds like you're in an enviable position to have a youth program to even complain about overinvolved parents. Our local "scene" is unathletic overweight dads hanging off the side of a keel boat. Youths and their mom's have absolutely no interest in getting involved. They will stick with lacrosse, soccer, and hockey. Now show them a scene with a couple stud 20 something trapezing off a skiff like in Australia....that looks like something worth working towards. People like Hobart Alter figured out how to market it at one time....so I guess it can be done?

 

I think this article still holds up even if its from 2018:

how yachting killed sailing in the us – Sailing Anarchy

I know I've referenced this program on here many times. This is the Facebook page for a program at our club where we teach non sailors to crew on high performance twin wire skiffs.

https://www.facebook.com/Mr-Bond-The-Ballina-Skiff-Sail-Training-Group-110226546310465

[You don't need to log on to Facebook or be a member to view it]

You want mums? This program isn't targeted to women, but is completely dominated by them; women between 20 and 40 years old - a number of them mums.

Every graduate so far - by which I mean those who have moved from the program to be a racing crew or skipper of a twin wire skiff - has been a woman. And they presently constitute 90% of participants.

In the process this club, in a small country river based club, has built a sizable skiff fleet.

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On 11/2/2021 at 12:33 PM, breaqnaway said:

Sounds like you're in an enviable position to have a youth program to even complain about overinvolved parents.

That's a valid point.  The Jr sailing, (particularly in ILCA's) has blown up in the last 18 months.  Just a few sailors and bitchy parents is one thing, but a ton of Jr's and just a couple bitchy parents really isn't so bad.  

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On 11/1/2021 at 5:25 PM, martin 'hoff said:

Yup yup

Physiological or psychological?

Stage parents chase a lot of talent out of a lot of stuff.  But that’s part of the plan, no?  The help adapts.

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16 hours ago, Amati said:

Physiological or psychological?

Stage parents chase a lot of talent out of a lot of stuff.  But that’s part of the plan, no?  The help adapts.

Good observation. That's probably a classist social maladaptation. Coaches (and teachers) who care will (IME) help that talent that is being pushed to the margins.

Win some, lose some but battle on. And on trudges humanity.

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On 11/2/2021 at 2:05 PM, BWR said:

Missed that post, it's funny, not funny.

I was a long time member of Severn Sailing Association, raced lots of different boats, owned several.  Also raced out of Annapolis Yacht Club for decades.  At some point I decided I wanted to be a member of AYC so I joined and later left SSA.  The interview committee was a friendly conversation, I had sailed with most of them and knew all by one.  They asked about SSA and I explained that as long as I could move my Laser to AYC I would figure the rest out.  I intended to move through a series of sportboats, though since AYC has a very strict OD only and only approved OD's in the dry yard, I hadn't quite decided how that would work out, though parking at Jabin's with their forklift service seemed like a good idea.

Years go by, AYC burns down, work across the river starts and many boats are moved out of the yard, Laser's are asked to go and come back in a year.  Finally, everything is built or rebuilt and it is spiffy, but the area for dinghies is smaller than ever.  For two years I kept asking when I would be able to move back in, finally the answer was never and the adult Laser was removed from the list of approved OD's.  I would have preferred they move to the Aero, M14, VX/Evo, but keeping the Laser makes sense since Annapolis rarely sees a new OD unless it is prepended with a "J/".

I inquired further as I had moved out of town two years prior so using one of the four bars, or two restaurants, or the pool, or the gym, or...   ...were no longer something practical and I only belong to clubs I can sail/race out of.  It was a bit of a surprise, AYC charged far more than SSA to store a boat so it could not have been a financial decision, hell the launch and retrieval dock is shite compared to SSA and you are stuck far up the creek next to a smelly set of dumpsters serving Carroll Creek; it wasn't a shiny thing when you think of what AYC is.  So I resigned.  Now SSA is a Laser travel event location and I suppose that soon I will be traveling a VX/One to Eastport Yacht Club events.  (Damn I miss Geoff!  Looking forward to seeing Mary again.)  I'm not sure what to think of AYC.  They still put on big events, if it is mostly a J/Boat event, but that change was a disappointment and it was the last direct tie to sailing I had in Annapolis.

Thought about rejoining SSA but I'll have a VX/One so SSA is not an option and I'm not a fan of EYC's unprotected launch dock for Laser's.  It was better to just accept sailing in the small location I am at with its limited schedule, and travel occasionally.

Oh, Opti moms/dads are a huge drag.  Experienced that more than a few times assisting with races for the juniors.  They shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the course, they are bad enough on land.

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4 hours ago, martin 'hoff said:

Good observation. That's probably a classist social maladaptation. Coaches (and teachers) who care will (IME) help that talent that is being pushed to the margins.

Win some, lose some but battle on. And on trudges humanity.

I thought this was the process by which we chase out budding sailors and sailing continues to die?

Most of sailing is not the racing.

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3 hours ago, Foredeck Shuffle said:

I was a long time member of Severn Sailing Association, raced lots of different boats, owned several.  Also raced out of Annapolis Yacht Club for decades.  At some point I decided I wanted to be a member of AYC so I joined and later left SSA.  The interview committee was a friendly conversation, I had sailed with most of them and knew all by one. 

........

 

Years go by, AYC burns down, work across the river starts and many boats are moved out of the yard, Laser's are asked to go and come back in a year.  Finally, everything is built or rebuilt and it is spiffy, but the area for dinghies is smaller than ever.  For two years I kept asking when I would be able to move back in, finally the answer was never and the adult Laser was removed from the list of approved OD's.  I would have preferred they move to the Aero, M14, VX/Evo, but keeping the Laser makes sense since Annapolis rarely sees a new OD unless it is prepended with a "J/".

.......

Oh, Opti moms/dads are a huge drag.  Experienced that more than a few times assisting with races for the juniors.  They shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the course, they are bad enough on land.

My goodness. Interviews? Approved OD's?

There's your problems right there.

There would be very few clubs is Australia have anything like an interview to join. In the old days a membership might have to be proposed and seconded by an existing member, but frankly few clubs would even enforce that arrangement in any meaningful way now. I'm tempted to say none would do interviews, but the Royal's can be a but uppity, so can't be sure.

And most sailing clubs will be fairly flexible on classes sailed; especially outside of the main cities. Storage can be limited and active boats will get preference, and some of the skiff clubs will mostly stick to their knitting in terms of classes (and they can blow with the wind even on the classes they sail). But the overall majority will tolerate a mixed fleet based on the Australian equivalent of Portsmouth Ratings

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Every "respectable" club in the U.S. requires letters of recommendation and a proposer. You never walk up to the door and ask, "hey, how do I sign up?"

LOL we seem to have inherited some aristocratic airs...

P.s. some incredibly low key inexpensive volinteer clubs also require letters.

The reality is legal: someone who misbehaves can be formally and legally ejected much more smoothly if there are membership structures...the same tendency applies to all sorts of clubs in the U.S.

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36 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

Every "respectable" club in the U.S. requires letters of recommendation and a proposer. You never walk up to the door and ask, "hey, how do I sign up?"

LOL we seem to have inherited some aristocratic airs...

P.s. some incredibly low key inexpensive volinteer clubs also require letters.

The reality is legal: someone who misbehaves can be formally and legally ejected much more smoothly if there are membership structures...the same tendency applies to all sorts of clubs in the U.S.

I would not want to belong to a "respectable" club that would accept me as a member.

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34 minutes ago, tillerman said:

I would not want to belong to a "respectable" club that would accept me as a member.

Well the word "respectible" is tongue in cheek....but nevertheless you will miss out on basically a ton of very good and very decent clubs in the U.S. if you draw an arbitrary line at needing to be proposed by an existing member being a no-go.

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8 hours ago, Rambler said:

My goodness. Interviews? Approved OD's?

There's your problems right there.

There would be very few clubs is Australia have anything like an interview to join. In the old days a membership might have to be proposed and seconded by an existing member, but frankly few clubs would even enforce that arrangement in any meaningful way now. I'm tempted to say none would do interviews, but the Royal's can be a but uppity, so can't be sure.

And most sailing clubs will be fairly flexible on classes sailed; especially outside of the main cities. Storage can be limited and active boats will get preference, and some of the skiff clubs will mostly stick to their knitting in terms of classes (and they can blow with the wind even on the classes they sail). But the overall majority will tolerate a mixed fleet based on the Australian equivalent of Portsmouth Ratings

Having been the President of several college clubs, I completely get why clubs do that. If we could have, we would have. We had assholes who didn't join to have fun. In one instance we had a guy who caused 25% of our membership to resign within two weeks, and most of the rest to resign over the course of six months. We finally got rid of the dickhead after two semesters of hell for sexually harassing the vice president. When it was over, what was a club of about 20 people was down to the four board members. It took three years before they were back up to 16 people. That person had zero interest in what we did.

I wish it wasn't the case, but there are people who will join a club for the wrong reasons and cause a ridiculous amount of damage. 

 

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12 hours ago, Foredeck Shuffle said:

Missed that post, it's funny, not funny.

 

I was a long time member of Severn Sailing Association, raced lots of different boats, owned several.  Also raced out of Annapolis Yacht Club for decades.  At some point I decided I wanted to be a member of AYC so I joined and later left SSA.  The interview committee was a friendly conversation, I had sailed with most of them and knew all by one.  They asked about SSA and I explained that as long as I could move my Laser to AYC I would figure the rest out.  I intended to move through a series of sportboats, though since AYC has a very strict OD only and only approved OD's in the dry yard, I hadn't quite decided how that would work out, though parking at Jabin's with their forklift service seemed like a good idea.

 

Years go by, AYC burns down, work across the river starts and many boats are moved out of the yard, Laser's are asked to go and come back in a year.  Finally, everything is built or rebuilt and it is spiffy, but the area for dinghies is smaller than ever.  For two years I kept asking when I would be able to move back in, finally the answer was never and the adult Laser was removed from the list of approved OD's.  I would have preferred they move to the Aero, M14, VX/Evo, but keeping the Laser makes sense since Annapolis rarely sees a new OD unless it is prepended with a "J/".

 

I inquired further as I had moved out of town two years prior so using one of the four bars, or two restaurants, or the pool, or the gym, or...   ...were no longer something practical and I only belong to clubs I can sail/race out of.  It was a bit of a surprise, AYC charged far more than SSA to store a boat so it could not have been a financial decision, hell the launch and retrieval dock is shite compared to SSA and you are stuck far up the creek next to a smelly set of dumpsters serving Carroll Creek; it wasn't a shiny thing when you think of what AYC is.  So I resigned.  Now SSA is a Laser travel event location and I suppose that soon I will be traveling a VX/One to Eastport Yacht Club events.  (Damn I miss Geoff!  Looking forward to seeing Mary again.)  I'm not sure what to think of AYC.  They still put on big events, if it is mostly a J/Boat event, but that change was a disappointment and it was the last direct tie to sailing I had in Annapolis.

Thought about rejoining SSA but I'll have a VX/One so SSA is not an option and I'm not a fan of EYC's unprotected launch dock for Laser's.  It was better to just accept sailing in the small location I am at with its limited schedule, and travel occasionally.

Oh, Opti moms/dads are a huge drag.  Experienced that more than a few times assisting with races for the juniors.  They shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the course, they are bad enough on land.

The fundamental problem is that you get clubs that are "run" by a particular fleet. In a lot of clubs, that's J/24s, also known as "lead mines" or "beer barges". In the midwest, that tends to be either C-scows or E-scows. 

Inevitably, that fleet doesn't care about the rest of the club, and you end up with the present situation. Clubs run by C-scows are semi-welcoming to other scow types, and the MCs probably won't balk too hard if you bring a Laser. They might even let you play in their sandbox. But bring a J/24 in and let the mocking begin. Or worse, bring a catamaran, beat a C-scow, and let the barfight begin.

Clubs run by J/24s are semi-tolerant of other leadmine class, and probably won't have too big an issue with J/70s. They might even put up with a Melges 24 since it still has a keel on it. But if you bring something that doesn't have a keel on it, it's the end of times. Or, they do accept it, but will put in zero effort towards making it possible to store something that doesn't get moored at a pin.

AKA, everything that politics touches turns to shit. Yes, that includes the entire United States.

 

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2 hours ago, JM1366 said:

The fundamental problem is that you get clubs that are "run" by a particular fleet. In a lot of clubs, that's J/24s, also known as "lead mines" or "beer barges". In the midwest, that tends to be either C-scows or E-scows. 

Inevitably, that fleet doesn't care about the rest of the club, and you end up with the present situation. Clubs run by C-scows are semi-welcoming to other scow types, and the MCs probably won't balk too hard if you bring a Laser. They might even let you play in their sandbox. But bring a J/24 in and let the mocking begin. Or worse, bring a catamaran, beat a C-scow, and let the barfight begin.

Clubs run by J/24s are semi-tolerant of other leadmine class, and probably won't have too big an issue with J/70s. They might even put up with a Melges 24 since it still has a keel on it. But if you bring something that doesn't have a keel on it, it's the end of times. Or, they do accept it, but will put in zero effort towards making it possible to store something that doesn't get moored at a pin.

AKA, everything that politics touches turns to shit. Yes, that includes the entire United States.

 

In a way, none of that is all that surprising.

I supposed I am used to clubs linking limited storage to active racers.

And yachts and dinghies or monos and cats don't really race well together. So unless you can come with a critical mass of competitors the club doesn't know what to do with you. None of that is too onerous or unreasonable really. And if you want storage but don't fit with the race, well that's a real problem.

Still, while one or two people might have been left unsatisfied, in the course of being intimately connected with five clubs over a 55 years sailing career, I've never seen any of that create a significant problem.

So you don't want to ruin what you've got to accommodate one non fitting boat. But sometimes the sailor will adjust his/her own approach to be part of the club. Sometimes you'll get a critical mass of this new sort of boat and you've got a new class; a second start and separate race so as not to upset the apple cart.

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In Our waters the minimum legal age to helm a boat is 8 years old, so that is the age the club sailing school takes them on. Though  if the child is from a sailing family, then they'll have been sat alongside dad or mum, hand on the tiller from when they could walk..

The parents are encouraged to help at the all volunteer club, the majority however dump their children off at the sailing school and come back a couple of hours later.. Just as well really, or we'd be over run by parents.. The majority of children come from non sailing families..

 The Club is on a river, But most instruction is up on a broad, away from the untrained tourists in 20ft day motor boats on the way back from the pub.. The Club has a 45ft by 12ft motor boat / floating class room, from which the training is run, but only a couple of parents can go up to the broad on board at a time due to space limitations.

Parent Problems,  as far as I know, we have had few, certainly there isn't the room to have them following fleets round the course, and the rescue boats have no more than one untrained person on board as well as the trained volunteers while on duty..

Come regatta week we have enough Oppies to split them into 3 fleets,

Bronze.. not more than a couple of hundred yards from the club, with their own rescue boat with instructor on board.

Silver fleet.. can sail anywhere within sight of the club (about half a mile) reliant on both the above and normal rescue boats.

Gold fleet, on light wind days can sail around the corner of the river out of sight of the club, but still insight  of the rescue boat up there. Some of these are very good sailors but are too light to move onto a club Topper, or two person enterprise.

This is where I remember one Parent during regatta week blowing his top when his newly promoted to gold fleet child, sailed off round the corner, he charged up the the box demanding the child be brought back and racing stopped.. The OOD had to spend some time calming him down, by which time the child was back to start the next lap of the course..

Should any parent start showing soccer Football tendencies, in most cases one of the sailing school instructors would have a quiet word..

There was years ago, long before the sailing school started, a man who lived in one of the houses that lines the river bank, who used to shout encouragement, and often incorrect "help".

We have had parents volunteer to help, get trained up as rescue boat drivers and or help run the T bar. They are often the ones that decide to learn to sail themselves, for which we have a couple of 20ft open deck keelboats.

Membership in the 111 years of the club, as far as I know, no one has been refused membership and only one has been expelled.

If a total outsider turns up to join they would be directed to one of the flag officers.. The Flag officer would have a chat about the club , the applicant's experience and why they wish to join.. It is NOT a formal interview, at the next Club committee meeting the flag officer would act as proposer, and someone else will have been rounded up to sign the application form as seconder..

As for Storage space, We are running out of Dinghy spaces, but because we run Dinghy Handicap, not classes, no one will be denied a space for being the wrong class. Of the half dozen dinghy clubs I've belonged to, all have run handicap classes, as well as class races, so no dinghy class was banned.

Moorings on the island for keel boats have always been in limited supply, it's dead mans shoes.. if you are a regular racer you can go on the waiting list for an Island space, While waiting you moor across the river in our other moorings which are cheaper, some decide to moor there permanently because of the cost.. We don't ban Cats, but they are totally impractical on our waters so no races are scheduled for them..

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Fast yacht said:

Every "respectable" club in the U.S. requires letters of recommendation and a proposer. You never walk up to the door and ask, "hey, how do I sign up?"

and then:

The reality is legal: someone who misbehaves can be formally and legally ejected much more smoothly if there are membership structures...the same tendency applies to all sorts of clubs in the U.S.

This must mean that membership of a club has a different legal status to that of the UK.

In the UK every club will have byelaws that allow the removal of a member who breaks them.

Therefore we are free to sign up anybody who will come aboard with absolutely no paper work other than sign the membership form (electronic online).

I'm pleased this is so. I can remember at 16 trying to move from my little family club on the river upto the big club on the reservoir and having to find someone to sign the proposal form and give a reference for me. Not easy or welcoming.

However there is one club near me now who still do ask for proposers and refs.

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Do note I am not a lawyer. I only play one on SA.

Yes bylaws. U.s. too.

Devil is in the details somewhere.

Plenty of "piblic" clibs of all sorts rxist incUS. Golf, swimming etc. I just havent yet found an actual sailing club that was public.

Now you have me wondering. Marsh Creek Sailing Associatiin in the 70s. That may have been public. Not sure dues existed though.

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