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What would it take for you to join US SAILING?


Hobie Anarchy

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I'm a USSA member (as well as local YRA and club membership as well as several class memberships) and I am working to increase my activity (as well as having taken a USSA race committee course) to become a Club Race Officer and later a Regional Race Officer. I still want to do it which will require that I remain a member in good standing, which I will do. But if some mandatory membership rule starts and I see the clouds forming over the horizon for a fight between USSA and the owners who USSA should be working for, I will pull out. I think that USSA is losing focus on who they work for (us, the sailors) and what they should be doing.

 

To those that believe that USSA does nothing for you, remember that every race officer that is well trained and ensures that your regatta is a well oiled machine, was likely assisted in their training by USSA. You are getting something (and some of you do not even pay for it, you are free-loading on the backs of the rest of us) for the membership. But I do not believe that it is enough. The local YRA's need better support from USSA, Olymipic hopefuls need better support from USSA and USSA needs to become more responsive to all U.S. sailors needs.

 

Thanks for going to the effort of improving you skills as a race officer. But remember that there are many race officers that do an outstanding job without US Sailing's blessing. In fact, I could introduce you to some recognized race officers that have no business on an R/C boat. They may play the political game better than others is all.

 

As for the "freeloaders", in the PNW all entrants at most events are required to belong to a club that belongs to the RSA, which belongs to US Sailing as well as CYA. So they pay dues that filter to their national bodies. In the case of US Sailing, both the clubs and the RSAs have been removed from the board of directors when the NOC and the CSA lost their seats. Come to think of it, you're right, the YRAs could use some help from USSA. Don't hold your breath.

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imho USSA should focus on those few activities that require national scope and ignre everything else to keep costs low.

 

What USSA should do:

 

1) Represent the USA at the international level. The primary purpose of this representation should be to policially constrain the power of IYRU.

2) Assure that a common set of rules are used across the country(this was why NAYRU was founded, originally each area had its own set of rules)

3) Provide trained appeals judges.

That's it. I think USSA should be able to accomplish this with a staff of 2 and a budget of <$1M.

 

What USSA should NOT do:

1) Run any regattas (including championships). Regattas are run by clubs and sanctioned by classes. By sponsoring regattas USSA is in direct conflict with its own constituents. The USSA ladder events are pale imitations of the real championships most competitors care about such as the <insert classs here> National Championships.

2) Teach sailing. Clubs and classes have great training programs. Once again USSA is competing with its own constituents, and doing a comparatively poor job of it.

3) Create a unified schedule. This is (and should be) a class and/or YRA issue.

4) Fund any sailors or sailing events out of membership dues. This includes ladder events, olympic events, olympic sailors, handicapped sailors, etc. If USSA wants to establish a seperately funded subsidiary that's fine, just don't use the dues or any facilities/equipment that is derived from dues. I find it offensive a mandatory tax I pay to race sailboats is used to pay other people to race sailboats.

5) Train judges and/or race committees (this should be the job of the YRA).

6) Fund the development of a handicaping system. The VPP/IMS/Americap debacle was disgraceful. USSA using hundreds of thousands of extorted dollars to purposely undercut establshed classes.

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As a long-time member, I think the problem has been clearly stated in a number of posts, people won't join because they can't see "what US Sailing does for me," or perhaps something more like "I use some USSA services like the rules, but that's not what they're spending the money on." I'm a member because it is required to maintain USSA certification, but its pretty hard for USSA to pass a cost-benefit scrutiny, and given the breadth of the organization's responsibilities, most sailors are ticked off by at least one part of the organization's programs.

 

And then there's the issue of institutional arrogance, and a perception that the powers-that-be use their authority to maintain their hammerlock on the organization and positions of authority for themselves and their friends. Recent changes in the By-laws that increased the power of the central authority, and decreased the power of the regional sailing authorities and other constituent groups, have increased that perception, and the "top-down" govenance has led to the present situation where ANY change is seen as deferring to some internal constituancy. Some of that could be incorrect or misplaced, but poor communication does nothing to dispell the unrest.

 

There seems to be a perception among race officers and judges that upgrades in status are granted grudgingly, that favoritism plays a major role in this, especially at the highest levels, and that the farther you live from the center of power (Chesapeake, NY, NE), the less likely you are to receive an upgrade. The advent of paid or expense-compensated services for PRO's, judges and umpires at the top end of the sport has heightened the perception that the thrust of this is intended to reserve access for opportunities to members of a limited preferred group. Whether accurate or not, that's a problem.

 

On the issue of "what has USSA done for me," it is unrealistic for competitors to expect USSA to pay for their boats, sails or sandwiches, or to expect that companies like North Sails or Harken will ever discriminate against their non-member customers by giving members much in the way of a discount.

 

But this does ignore some significant contributions of USSA in providing training for Race Officers, Judges, and Sailing Instructors that has significantly raised the quality of services in each of these areas. And USSA administers the Racing Rules in the US, but they are written by ISAF, and how much can that cost, anyway? The wide-spead perception is that most of these activities are inexpensive or self-financing, and so most sailors do not see any benefit that is commensurate with the cost of membership.

 

The rating wars have also created considerable unrest. I think everyone favors "fairer ratings," but this turns into a huge problem when rating rules that treat (or are perceived to treat) large numbers of existing boats unfairly are imposed "from on high" by local organizing authorities acting in conjunction with USSA rating authorities.

 

On the issue of judge or race officer certification, the present structure is aimed at making certain that certified officers are competent to run major events, which means that an individual is required to be operating at a pretty high level of knowledge and experience before they can be certified. The problem (at least in judging) is that there is no "club level" certification that puts people in the pipeline for the higher levels. That was made even worse when one version of the certification test was so arcane and difficult that even the presentors could not agree on the correct answers on a number of questions. That led to a certain level of unrest, but Hey, all of those guys are members, anyway. Hard to think that establishing club levels of race officers wouldn't help to foster broader support for USSA in the sailing community. Consistent and transparent processes should work to reduce alot of the unrest from upgrade and certification.

 

On the question of Olympic funding, the model is Great Britain, where the national authority receives Olympic funding from the British Lottery, and uses the money to produce record numbers of Olympic medals. Unfortunately, USSA does not have any funding sources capable of matching those resources.

 

What to do? Well, one thing would be to establish "Crew" level memberships at lower cost, with emphasis on the benefits of membership, whatever they may be. The medical benefit is a new one for me, perhaps this could be coupled with a similar life insurance benefit. Not many people are injured or die while competing in a sailing event, so the cost of these benefits should be pretty low, and benefits like this are a lot more concrete than things like "better rules" or "better judging." That could be coupled with educational opportunities like local rules seminars or other events that could be used to promote the benefits of membership.

 

I agree that trying to impose mandatory membership would be a disaster.

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equivocator sez:

 

There seems to be a perception among race officers and judges that upgrades in status are granted grudgingly, that favoritism plays a major role in this, especially at the highest levels, and that the farther you live from the center of power (Chesapeake, NY, NE), the less likely you are to receive an upgrade. The advent of paid or expense-compensated services for PRO's, judges and umpires at the top end of the sport has heightened the perception that the thrust of this is intended to reserve access for opportunities to members of a limited preferred group. Whether accurate or not, that's a problem.

 

There are a number of members in the NW who served as national level race officers who felt the main reason that the certification process was made so convoluted was to protect those in power who would then be able to reap the benefits of the paid or expense compensated positions. Couple this feeling with the requirements that US Sailing has implemented for ladder events and championship events and you have a case for thse who don't think much of US Sailing.

 

I also think that the focus on "What has US Sailing done for me lately?" could be replaced with the question of "What has US Sailing done for sailing?" with equal effect.

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It is not "us" and "them".

 

You can't lob stones from the sidelines. You want change? Then get involved. Complaining is way too easy.

 

We are all US SAILING.

 

Become part of the solution.

You want volunteers? Then don't ask for millions of dollars in membership fees.

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Let's put this in perspective. US SAILING's 2007 un-audited gross income (excluding the Olympics) was $6,314,000.

 

That's a small company. I have apartment properties that generate more gross income than that. Those properties don't have websites with thousands of pages like US SAILING does.

 

The core functions of the website are handled by professionals. However, the vast majority of the information that goes on the website is generated by volunteers. US SAILING recognizes the problem and is trying to institute some order on the chaos. The members cannot afford to have the entire site professionally managed.

Find me a member-supported organization with a website that's as bad as US Sailing's. The whole purpose of the organization is to represent a large number of people, and foster communication among its members. I'd imagine that a website - the primary tool of that communication - would be important enough to stay on top of.

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I'm sure this has already been addressed, but I don't feel like reading all the replies. Sorry.

 

The vast majority of junior programs and sailing schools in this country are US Sailing based programs. This means that the instructors and coaches are certified through US Sailing. Why is this important? US Sailing insures its instructors and US Sailing junior programs. Without that insurance you probably will see many programs fail. ASA has already lost their insurance coverage for instructional programs.

 

Join US Sailing for no other reason but to support youth programs. As a coach during the summers myself I realize how important it is to have adequate insurance coverage. Accidents will happen in youth sailing programs. It is inevitable, and virtually never the result of any negligence or carelessness. I wouldn't bother coaching if I knew my ass wasn't protected.

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[rant]

Why do so many companies make this decision? Would you purchase telephones from volunteers? How about mail delivery? A volunteer run bank? Web sites today are the core of much if not most communication between organizations and their members. Why do they not rate professional funding and operation?

[/rant]

 

Cuz this interweb thingy is just a passing fad... Why spend money on something that most of the staff of USSA don't have a clue about. A Web admin bails unexpectedly in the middle of a database conversion? Sounds like bad management once again at the core of this debacle...

 

They don't want to spend the $$ to build a proper web environment to support the sport. They would prefer to get "sponsorships" to fund it or get someone to step up to do it on the cheap with volunteer labor.

 

Sorry, but the days of doing web on the cheap are pretty much over. If you want to have web tools that actually gives something to the membership get ready to spend some real money...

 

But again, USSA does not get how to best use the internet, and until they get staff who do, they will continue to stumble along like some Noob web designer using Notepad and Paint as the only development tools. Worked well about 10+ years ago, but not today....

 

/rant

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I feel like my US Sailing membership is a racing tax, if you dont race your not a member, it seems like almost all of our racing applications are $45 dollars to race and include an additional $? if not a US Sailing member and we'll sign you up. I agree with bcam what has us sailing done for me or sailing. The whole thing is a load of crap now your going to make all my crew join if they want to helm? For what?? What do they get?? They dont make me join US cycling to ride my bicycle, I dont have to join the AMA to ride my dirtbike and if I do ride in an AMA event it is because through their regional programs and sponsorship it is usually a great event and I want to join. I have never seen US sailing at any event I've taken part in and I think we race alot..................

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US Sailing Membership is a great deal if you own a boat: you get discounts on insurance, regattas and so forth. I think sometimes clubs need to be more responsible in making sure people actually are members when they say so. This is not just about the $15 discount you get, but this is an insurance issue for a club. So, have someone at registration check online whether all people actually are members when they say so.

I have been at regatta's where they actually did this and asked $60 extra if you were not a member (the same amount to become a ussailing member). This might sound to some of you as bullshit, but the money is used for insurance purposes.

 

In short, I would say, make sure this is enforced at the club level. People will not sign up if there is not an obvious advantage.

 

 

enforced membership, WTF?

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As a long time mandatory member (too many entry forms require it) I have read this thread with great interest. Many of the suggestions are terrific and should be implemented. My one focus would be to have USSailing focused on promoting and attracting new sailors and racers. Not by creating new programs and hoping that a menu of programs will attract new people but a focused attempt at actual broadening participation to new or different groups.

 

 

Robin

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Find me a member-supported organization with a website that's as bad as US Sailing's. The whole purpose of the organization is to represent a large number of people, and foster communication among its members. I'd imagine that a website - the primary tool of that communication - would be important enough to stay on top of.

 

 

Join the committee that creates and runs the website.

 

Millions of dollars in membership fees? Surely you jest.

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Join the committee that creates and runs the website.

 

See previous rant -

 

Website by committee created the mess USSA has in the first place. PAY some professionals to do it right.

 

/rant

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See previous rant -

 

Website by committee created the mess USSA has in the first place. PAY some professionals to do it right.

 

/rant

 

 

OK, job for you then is to help raise the money to hire the website professionals.

 

We are dealing with a non-profit here, Folks.

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OK, job for you then is to help raise the money to hire the website professionals.

 

We are dealing with a non-profit here, Folks.

 

Every 501c(3) has money issues. For now, show us a better job of managing the money you have.

 

Address WHY the leadership has so badly screwed up the web tools for so long. My last interaction 6-7 years ago with USSA regarding this fancy interweb thingy was right around the last redesign, and they promised much and delivered nothing more than rehashed html and asp code.

 

/rant

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Join the committee that creates and runs the website.

 

[semi-hijack]

Easier said than done. Part of the disconnect between "management" and us out here. There is no "volunteer to help out US Sailing" link on the web site. As I pointed out in another thread, I don't even know if US Sailing is a non-profit or a thinly disguised for profit institution. You either have some wonderful volunteers (my experience is with the Offshore Office) or paid staff. I presume you have paid staff who might not like me suggesting I will do their jobs for free. Not to mention that more and more frequently non-for-profit organizations seem to be personal annunities for their founders. Raise money for the cure/change/global warming/purple sheets. I get to be executive director for life and don't have to get a real job! How does one know, if one's entire experience with US Sailing is what is published on the web site just what the story is? And for the $60 membership tax and the $200 ORR rating tax so I can race I am not really motivated to find out.

Not to mention, I personally would be very uncomfortable getting on an airplane and renting a hotel and car at my personal expense to go to the a spring meeting without a clue if anyone would care I was there, greet me, make me feel welcome etc.

 

My primary experience with volunteer organizations was the Boy Scouts. Part of the mission of every "professional scouter" (i.e. paid) was the development, care and feeding of the volunteer organization. Every council had clearly identified volunteer positions. Every parent was asked when their child joined and frequently thereafter if they would like to volunteer. That system seems to work. I suggest whatever volunteer program US Sailing has in place now isn't doing much in the way of outreach to get additional volunteers.

 

[/semi-hijack]

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The vast majority of junior programs and sailing schools in this country are US Sailing based programs.

 

The primary justification for USSA is as an insurance broker?

 

Why are membership dues necessary to support an insurance program? Shouldn't insurance premiums paid by the sailing programs pay for the insurance?

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Every 501c(3) has money issues. For now, show us a better job of managing the money you have.

 

Address WHY the leadership has so badly screwed up the web tools for so long. My last interaction 6-7 years ago with USSA regarding this fancy interweb thingy was right around the last redesign, and they promised much and delivered nothing more than rehashed html and asp code.

 

/rant

 

Maybe you should stay on the outside if you are so bunched up because of how a website is programmed. Sack up and dig in. So much whining.

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Maybe you should stay on the outside if you are so bunched up because of how a website is programmed. Sack up and dig in. So much whining.

 

Perhaps you should read up on the concept of Sarcasm

 

Noobs, what ya going to do with them.....

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Maybe you should stay on the outside if you are so bunched up because of how a website is programmed. Sack up and dig in. So much whining.

This would be the attitude that keeps thousands from joining...

 

Nicely illustrated, sham69, whether you intended to or not.

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You NEED to join US cycling to RACE your bicycle. I agree with you though that this exercising of helmanship membership is rediculous. It is pretty ballzie. See if they can inforce it....

 

I feel like my US Sailing membership is a racing tax, if you dont race your not a member, it seems like almost all of our racing applications are $45 dollars to race and include an additional $? if not a US Sailing member and we'll sign you up. I agree with bcam what has us sailing done for me or sailing. The whole thing is a load of crap now your going to make all my crew join if they want to helm? For what?? What do they get?? They dont make me join US cycling to ride my bicycle, I dont have to join the AMA to ride my dirtbike and if I do ride in an AMA event it is because through their regional programs and sponsorship it is usually a great event and I want to join. I have never seen US sailing at any event I've taken part in and I think we race alot..................
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For profit! And they are reading this thread.

 

 

 

[semi-hijack]

Easier said than done. Part of the disconnect between "management" and us out here. There is no "volunteer to help out US Sailing" link on the web site. As I pointed out in another thread, I don't even know if US Sailing is a non-profit or a thinly disguised for profit institution. You either have some wonderful volunteers (my experience is with the Offshore Office) or paid staff. I presume you have paid staff who might not like me suggesting I will do their jobs for free. Not to mention that more and more frequently non-for-profit organizations seem to be personal annunities for their founders. Raise money for the cure/change/global warming/purple sheets. I get to be executive director for life and don't have to get a real job! How does one know, if one's entire experience with US Sailing is what is published on the web site just what the story is? And for the $60 membership tax and the $200 ORR rating tax so I can race I am not really motivated to find out.

Not to mention, I personally would be very uncomfortable getting on an airplane and renting a hotel and car at my personal expense to go to the a spring meeting without a clue if anyone would care I was there, greet me, make me feel welcome etc.

 

My primary experience with volunteer organizations was the Boy Scouts. Part of the mission of every "professional scouter" (i.e. paid) was the development, care and feeding of the volunteer organization. Every council had clearly identified volunteer positions. Every parent was asked when their child joined and frequently thereafter if they would like to volunteer. That system seems to work. I suggest whatever volunteer program US Sailing has in place now isn't doing much in the way of outreach to get additional volunteers.

 

[/semi-hijack]

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OK - Your membership gives you $25,000 of excess medical insurance if you're hurt while sailing. (This is a benefit already in place.)

 

There are others, but this is one that I found out about just now.

 

 

Live north of the 49th IMO.

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This would be the attitude that keeps thousands from joining...

 

Nicely illustrated, sham69, whether you intended to or not.

That's what it means to sack up or shut up, no?

 

I've always felt that if something needed done or improved, I should saddle up and make or help make it happen. It may be an unfortunate fact that the management of USSA needs serious reworking. Only way to get that done is for people to join up and make it happen.

 

I'll retract my statement that I would stop pursuing RO status with USSA, perhaps if things do go wrong, people that care sitting on the inside would be the best solution. One thing for sure, piss and vinegar will get nothing done.

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There is no "volunteer to help out US Sailing" link on the web site.

Not exactly true. There are links on every committee / council section, but they're not easy to find. Here's the link to volunteer for a particular section: Web Laison Volunteer Form?

 

As I pointed out in another thread, I don't even know if US Sailing is a non-profit or a thinly disguised for profit institution.

US SAILING is a bona-fide 501(c.)3 organization that files an IRS Form 990 every year.

 

I presume you have paid staff who might not like me suggesting I will do their jobs for free.

You got that right. They have a severe "bunker mentality" when their job performance is questioned.

 

I personally would be very uncomfortable getting on an airplane and renting a hotel and car at my personal expense to go to the a spring meeting without a clue if anyone would care I was there, greet me, make me feel welcome etc.

Like joining any "club", it helps if you've got a "wingman" - a friend who's already going that can introduce you to people. Realistically, though, if you stick up your hand and say, "I want to help!" there are very few committees / councils that will turn you down. Of course, you are not going to get on the important, policy-making bodies as a first-time attendee, but as long as you make constructive contributions to your committee / council, then you'll move up to more key positions.

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Right - that's the efficient way to get a website done...join a committee.

 

 

Clean - not only is this website thing a red herring - I'm told by people who have darned good reason to know that there was a professional website company being paid a ton of money to set up the infrastructure.

 

Here's another question - how freakin' hard would it be for the President of US Sailing to just set up a Blogger account and blog away? It's easy, and free, Capron is just letting Chuck Leighton be the point person on everything.

 

Here's another question - given that US Sailing is running the black these days, why is it that they need more money? More money to do what exactly? Administer the new required membership compliance department.

 

Clean - I think it is time for you to take a road trip - get up to Naptown with video cam, and just go knock on Capron's door and ask him for a sitdown.

 

That thing with his picture was just a press release - it was not an interview. Do these clowns think we are that stupid?

 

And they think we are going to roll over and let them "require" membership? Not likely.

 

Peter Huston

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It is not "us" and "them".

 

You can't lob stones from the sidelines. You want change? Then get involved. Complaining is way too easy.

 

We are all US SAILING.

 

Become part of the solution.

 

 

Sham - so exactly who are you, and what is your historical perspective in all of this?

 

Identify yourself, or your comments are as meaningless as US Ailing.

 

Peter Huston

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OK, job for you then is to help raise the money to hire the website professionals.

 

We are dealing with a non-profit here, Folks.

 

The job for us as members and/or prospective members is to raise the money for USSailing to spend as it wishes? I think not.

 

On the subject of what I get for my theoretical investment in membership dues as a PHRF racer, the only transparent benefit in my situation is the "reduced" (or should I say "not increased") entry fees to races. Since an event gets $5 or $10 less if I'm a member, I suspect that event doesn't get a check from USSailing to make up that difference. Thus I would rather see the local organizers of that event get the additional income to put on their race, than have it disappear down some unaccountable rathole in the form of membership dues.

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I'm sure this has already been addressed, but I don't feel like reading all the replies. Sorry.

 

The vast majority of junior programs and sailing schools in this country are US Sailing based programs. This means that the instructors and coaches are certified through US Sailing. Why is this important? US Sailing insures its instructors and US Sailing junior programs. Without that insurance you probably will see many programs fail. ASA has already lost their insurance coverage for instructional programs.

 

Join US Sailing for no other reason but to support youth programs. As a coach during the summers myself I realize how important it is to have adequate insurance coverage. Accidents will happen in youth sailing programs. It is inevitable, and virtually never the result of any negligence or carelessness. I wouldn't bother coaching if I knew my ass wasn't protected.

 

Sorry buckwheat, virtually ALL the junior sailing programs are club based programs. Do you think US Sailing contracts with clubs to provide the service?

 

US Sailing plays a role in helping to come up with a standardized teaching method - nothing wrong that - but it isn't the be all end all either.

 

I was around USYRU when all of this was developing - I have more than a fair understanding of all this.

 

And US Sailing is not the only entity that provides insurance for clubs.

 

Peter Huston

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Clean - not only is this website thing a red herring - I'm told by people who have darned good reason to know that there was a professional website company being paid a ton of money to set up the infrastructure.

 

Here's another question - how freakin' hard would it be for the President of US Sailing to just set up a Blogger account and blog away? It's easy, and free, Capron is just letting Chuck Leighton be the point person on everything.

 

Here's another question - given that US Sailing is running the black these days, why is it that they need more money? More money to do what exactly? Administer the new required membership compliance department.

 

Clean - I think it is time for you to take a road trip - get up to Naptown with video cam, and just go knock on Capron's door and ask him for a sitdown.

 

That thing with his picture was just a press release - it was not an interview. Do these clowns think we are that stupid?

 

And they think we are going to roll over and let them "require" membership? Not likely.

 

Peter Huston

 

I have to be there soon anyway. I've said on many occasions that transparency and communication are the key to pretty much everything. In this case, we have Hobie promising us that Capron is reading this thread. In that case, I expect Capron to chime in himself on it. There are already over 2500 views of it, which translates into maybe 750 sailors. Jim, would you like the opportunity to address some of the issues raised by those sailors? Sign up and post. It takes 30 seconds, and SA doesn't spam your e-mail address.

 

If you would prefer to reach a hundred thousand people instead of a few thousand, I will be in Annapolis with my video camera for the NOOD. I think the SA community would love to hear your responses to their concerns and questions on camera.

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OK, job for you then is to help raise the money to hire the website professionals.

 

We are dealing with a non-profit here, Folks.

 

Sham the US SailingSpam....

 

Have you seen the US Ailing P&L lately?

 

There's alot of profit there.

 

They are not financially Ailing at all - not by a long shot.

 

So, Shamster, exactly who are you anyway?

 

Peter Huston

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Clean - not only is this website thing a red herring - I'm told by people who have darned good reason to know that there was a professional website company being paid a ton of money to set up the infrastructure.

 

If this is the best that a professional website company can do, God help USSA! I would be looking closely at the termination clause in the web contract to see what you can do to drop the clowns USSA has now and get a firm that has a clue....

 

But to do that would require someone within the leadership of USSA to actually "Get" what a blog is, know why WEB 2.0 is important, how to develop web sites as a service. Until then, I hold very little hope for them

 

/rant

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That's what it means to sack up or shut up, no?

 

I've always felt that if something needed done or improved, I should saddle up and make or help make it happen. It may be an unfortunate fact that the management of USSA needs serious reworking. Only way to get that done is for people to join up and make it happen.

 

I'll retract my statement that I would stop pursuing RO status with USSA, perhaps if things do go wrong, people that care sitting on the inside would be the best solution. One thing for sure, piss and vinegar will get nothing done.

 

 

I was inside the organization for plenty long enough to be able to opine on this subject.

 

With the new Bylaws, the ExDir can run the show exactly like he wants.

 

For any of this to work, the Bylaws need to be brought into compliance with USOC requirements.

 

The other alternative here is to just start a new organization that supports the sport of yacht racing - let US Sailing run the Olympics and license sailing instructors.

 

Peter Huston

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Sham the US SailingSpam....

 

Have you seen the US Ailing P&L lately?

 

There's alot of profit there.

 

They are not financially Ailing at all - not by a long shot.

 

So, Shamster, exactly who are you anyway?

 

Peter Huston

 

Ha Ha!

Does it really matter? I am who you want me to be.......

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Ha Ha!

Does it really matter? I am who you want me to be.......

 

 

Really, is that you Chuck Leighton, the Executive Director, who previously has never had a computer on his desk? Have you started to read or answer your own email? What internet service do you connect with - Prodigy? What sort of hardware you have on your desk - a big old Amiga?

 

Or Jim Capron, who has to submit a press release and call it an interview?

 

You are right, it doesn't matter - because you are just another jerk with a screen name.

 

And if you are the best that US Flailing has for a forum troll - no wonder the sport suffers in the US.

 

Peter Huston

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It is not "us" and "them".

 

You can't lob stones from the sidelines. You want change? Then get involved. Complaining is way too easy.

 

We are all US SAILING.

 

Become part of the solution.

 

You're kidding right? There are plenty of people who volunteer in this sport and receive little or nothing from USS. USS does not govern the sport in this country, plain and simple. They run instruction courses and prop up the US Sailing team. What else?

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If this is the best that a professional website company can do, God help USSA! I would be looking closely at the termination clause in the web contract to see what you can do to drop the clowns USSA has now and get a firm that has a clue....

 

But to do that would require someone within the leadership of USSA to actually "Get" what a blog is, know why WEB 2.0 is important, how to develop web sites as a service. Until then, I hold very little hope for them

 

/rant

 

I know the whole story from a volunteer who ran the website for his committee - it's an ugly story....maybe one of them with specific experience will post it here.

 

Peter Huston

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Really, is that you Chuck Leighton, the Executive Director, who previously has never had a computer on his desk? Have you started to read or answer your own email? What internet service do you connect with - Prodigy? What sort of hardware you have on your desk - a big old Amiga?

 

Or Jim Capron, who has to submit a press release and call it an interview?

 

You are right, it doesn't matter - because you are just another jerk with a screen name.

 

And if you are the best that US Flailing has for a forum troll - no wonder the sport suffers in the US.

 

Peter Huston

 

As I said, I am what Lord Peter, Master of All Organized Sailing, wants me to be.

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You're kidding right? There are plenty of people who volunteer in this sport and receive little or nothing from USS. USS does not govern the sport in this country, plain and simple. They run instruction courses and prop up the US Sailing team. What else?

 

You are right - nothing else....

 

When I was involved with USYRU/US Sailing, there were a ton of volunteers who went to the meetings, all for the purpose of trying to help make the sport of yacht racing better. We had a blast at the parties afterwards - they were the social lubricant that helped to open up the lines of communication within the sport around the country. I can't remember what they called the band, but the likes of John Bonds, Walter Chamberlin, Tom Ehman, and several others all would play into all hours of the night - it wasn't U2, but it was a ton of fun.

 

Now, this weekend, what I'm hearing is that THE debate in ALL the meetings was about this mandatory membership thing.

 

The essence of the sport is that it all volunteer run.

 

US Sailing has just become this licensing entity, and wants to dictate everything else to racing sailors.

 

Peter Huston

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I know the whole story from a volunteer who ran the website for his committee - it's an ugly story....maybe one of them with specific experience will post it here.

 

Peter Huston

 

Hold that thought while I grab popcorn and a few beer's - Can I get ya a cold one while I am up?

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You are right - nothing else....

 

When I was involved with USYRU/US Sailing, there were a ton of volunteers who went to the meetings, all for the purpose of trying to help make the sport of yacht racing better. We had a blast at the parties afterwards - they were the social lubricant that helped to open up the lines of communication within the sport around the country. I can't remember what they called the band, but the likes of John Bonds, Walter Chamberlin, Tom Ehman, and several others all would play into all hours of the night - it wasn't U2, but it was a ton of fun.

 

Now, this weekend, what I'm hearing is that THE debate in ALL the meetings was about this mandatory membership thing.

 

The essence of the sport is that it all volunteer run.

 

US Sailing has just become this licensing entity, and wants to dictate everything else to racing sailors.

 

Peter Huston

 

 

 

 

A newbie with a screen name and without the balls to say who you are?

 

Peter Huston

 

I would suggest you don't have the balls to go to a US SAILING meeting and stand up and pontificate like you do behind your "Anarchist" badge of cyber courage.

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I would suggest you don't have the balls to go to a US SAILING meeting and stand up and pontificate like you do behind your "Anarchist" badge of cyber courage.

 

You are starting to sound vaguely Hovian in your comments

 

Edit: Opps my bad -

 

/sarcasm

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Probably a bit too late to get this to anyone who gives a shit .... but what the hell -

 

one of the earlier respondents made it perfectly clear ........ here's a typical US Sailing photo post:

 

ronwardacceptinghawkinsaward.jpg

 

My question .... "So where in the hell is the "younger, active crowd?" It's photos like these that send the youngster running from the room, My guess is that there isn't one of them in the photo that's done foredeck, or probably even trimmed a sail in the last few years - yet these photos of old folks are what the recognitions might be of the US Sailing establishment.

 

Also, US Sailing shot itself in the foot years ago. Someone wanted more multihull organization. When there was one called NAMSA (North American Multihull Sailing Association) US Sailing didn't embrace the organization - just the opposite. And yet it's the same group that want to collect my yearly dues before I could race with a local club.

 

While I acknowledge experience ( read "age") the organization needs a complete overhaul at the top, and have truly open elections with class nominated leadership - and before you get the wrong impression - I am a few years beyond 60 - so am viewing those at the top (in general) with knowledge that the youngsters need to be the ones setting direction - not the "blue-hairs, the blazer fraternity, or the offshore owners with mega-bucks. It's the guys and gals of 45 and under who need to step forward, run for election and move the organization in the right direction.

 

My $ .02 worth - which is less today than it was a year ago!

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I'm sure this has already been addressed, but I don't feel like reading all the replies. Sorry.

 

The vast majority of junior programs and sailing schools in this country are US Sailing based programs. This means that the instructors and coaches are certified through US Sailing. Why is this important? US Sailing insures its instructors and US Sailing junior programs. Without that insurance you probably will see many programs fail. ASA has already lost their insurance coverage for instructional programs.

 

Join US Sailing for no other reason but to support youth programs. As a coach during the summers myself I realize how important it is to have adequate insurance coverage. Accidents will happen in youth sailing programs. It is inevitable, and virtually never the result of any negligence or carelessness. I wouldn't bother coaching if I knew my ass wasn't protected.

 

Here's a more articulate reply on the subject of insurance and junior programs, from a friend of mine who has forgotten more this stuff than most of us would ever know.

 

Peter Huston

 

US Ailing only protects the US Ailing certified instructor if the certified instructor is sued and no one else. What does this really mean? Many schools have only 1 certified instructor and many other instructors who are not certified. So if the school itself is sued, no coverage. If the other instructors are sued, no coverage. AND, the certified instructor is covered on what is called the excess basis. What that means is, if the certified instructor is sued and the club has insurance that they bought of their own, the club's insurance will pay up to the club's limit, and only then does the US Ailing insurance begin paying, but only for the certified instructors defense. All club sailing programs have to go out and buy their own insurance at their own expense. US Ailing does not provide the clubs any insurance automatically.

 

And their new medical benefit included in membership is no different. First your health insurer will pay up to the limits in your health policy, and then the US Ailing insurance kicks in for $25,000. If you have some accident that you use up your health insurance, this $25,000 isn't really going to fix anything. Plus it has a $2,500 deductible. If you don't have any health insurance (probably not very likely in the sport of able bodied, more upscale participants), then it has mild value to you for an injury in sailboat races.

 

You've made this way too glossy. It isn't as easy as you described.

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I would suggest you don't have the balls to go to a US SAILING meeting and stand up and pontificate like you do behind your "Anarchist" badge of cyber courage.

 

 

Pardon me, but I've been to something like 20 USYRU/US Sailing meetings over the years, when the organization was actually primarily concerned with the sport of recreational yacht racing.

 

I've got zero interest in spending time/money to go to a meeting to support an organization that is now primarily interested in only selling coaching and teaching licenses, and then trying to regulate every aspect of the sport it can.

 

I'd suggest that you don't have the balls to come out from behind your screen name - maybe Clean has the ability to track your IP address and out you.

 

Peter Huston

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Hold that thought while I grab popcorn and a few beer's - Can I get ya a cold one while I am up?

(in best Evangelical Demon rant-voice); "Trolls, come OUT!!

 

(Ulysses, before you push off the Argo, poke that Polyphemus thingy in the eye for me?...Aye, stormy seas ahead! Call first dibs on any sirens or Penelope.)"

 

Bring us back a few cold ones. The show is just beginning!

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Here's a more articulate reply on the subject of insurance and junior programs, from a friend of mine who has forgotten more this stuff than most of us would ever know.

 

Peter Huston

 

US Ailing only protects the US Ailing certified instructor if the certified instructor is sued and no one else. What does this really mean? Many schools have only 1 certified instructor and many other instructors who are not certified. So if the school itself is sued, no coverage. If the other instructors are sued, no coverage. AND, the certified instructor is covered on what is called the excess basis. What that means is, if the certified instructor is sued and the club has insurance that they bought of their own, the club's insurance will pay up to the club's limit, and only then does the US Ailing insurance begin paying, but only for the certified instructors defense. All club sailing programs have to go out and buy their own insurance at their own expense. US Ailing does not provide the clubs any insurance automatically.

 

And their new medical benefit included in membership is no different. First your health insurer will pay up to the limits in your health policy, and then the US Ailing insurance kicks in for $25,000. If you have some accident that you use up your health insurance, this $25,000 isn't really going to fix anything. Plus it has a $2,500 deductible. If you don't have any health insurance (probably not very likely in the sport of able bodied, more upscale participants), then it has mild value to you for an injury in sailboat races.

 

You've made this way too glossy. It isn't as easy as you described.

 

Do you like ANYTHING about US SAILING?

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maybe Clean has the ability to track your IP address and out you.

Even if I did have that ability, that would never happen. Nobody gets outed here - even though most folks are not brave enough to use their real names, as you do.

 

As of yet, it's pretty clear that sham69 has no credibility in a place where credibility is pretty much all we have, since we are but symbols on a screen.

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Do you like ANYTHING about US SAILING?

 

 

Yeah, I like alot of people who spend alot of time and money supporting the sport of recreational yacht racing. That would be the vast majority of the volunteers within the organization who serve as Judges, PRO's, Appeals, ect.

 

And remember - I'm just the messenger on that last post you commented on - I'm more than willing to stand up and talk to people who will identify themselves, instead of hiding behind a screen name. I'll take one for the team here if this information helps to enlighten the readers of this forum as to what US Ailing really does and does not do, what leverage they really have, and don't have.

 

You, on the other hand, have to keep hiding behind a screen name. Are you that insecure that you have to use a screen name to toss shit? If you are really connected with US Sailing, and you get outed, you are going to look mighty lame.

 

You sure you really want to keep this up with me?

 

Peter Huston

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So I didn't read all 150 posts, but I read a bunch of them. How about this as a concept: Spin off the instruction programs into another organization, and focus on the things that the sailboat racers really want. Maybe the scope of the organization could be reduced, along with the dues. I think if membership was $15-20, and it supported helping to organize the olympics, and offshore racing, and maybe some sort of rules support, it would be a deal. How about another concept - what about having fleets join, and then passing the costs along to their membership. And if the fleets wanted to opt out, then they could run regattas under the ISAF rules, and leave it at that. Again, as long as the incremental cost was only a small amount, it might be worthwhile. I'm not a US Sailing member, but I am an International 505 class member, and feel like I get a lot more bang for my $45 with them (nice website, mailing lists, class rules, etc.) than for the $60 that USSA wants.

 

The spun off organization could focus on training, and either have a reduced cost of membership (no longer supporting racing), or get money via schools that are certified by the organization, so that participants don't even realize that they're paying. This way everybody can pay for what they want, rather than having to support programs that are meaningless to them. I'd rather have 5 organizations with 5 goals each, rather than 1 organization with 25 goals - then I can pick the 1 or 2 that are the most important to me.

 

One other thing - Does USSailing kick down any money to help defray regatta expenses? Shoot, that would be worth some money right there. Get the logo on something, make us feel like you're involved with us weekend warriors.

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ronwardacceptinghawkinsaward.jpg

Etta May Crumby (2nd from right in photo) receives the USSA's Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee (Linky) trophy for excellence in web site design. Sharing the trophy with Etta May Crumby is the rest of the design team.

 

Etta sealed this years compitition with an amazing display of HTML skill when she succesfully completed the USSA membership signup page, using Notepad as her only design tool in less than 127 days.

 

Ya, I will be sending my check to support you some time real soon now. On the other hand, I was happy to pay my RORC membership. I actually get a benefit from it. Even as a overseas member who only travels to the UK occasionally these days.

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Sorry buckwheat, virtually ALL the junior sailing programs are club based programs. Do you think US Sailing contracts with clubs to provide the service?

 

US Sailing plays a role in helping to come up with a standardized teaching method - nothing wrong that - but it isn't the be all end all either.

 

I was around USYRU when all of this was developing - I have more than a fair understanding of all this.

 

And US Sailing is not the only entity that provides insurance for clubs.

 

Peter Huston

 

 

Buckwheat? Where did that come from?

 

One of the first things I've been asked when interviewing for a lot of clubs is whether I'm level 1 or 2 certified. I realize there are a lot of clubs that have programs unaffiliated with USSA. There are quite a few more that are. If you want a good job with a decent wage at a higher level club then they pretty much require that you have a USSA certification. You probably have more experience with this than I do, but that's just what I've noticed in the last eight or so years.

 

None of what I said was at all a personal attack, so please don't take any of it such.

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RE: Frontpage Post About Required US Sailing Membership to Race

 

(Yes, there is a front page)

 

What are they thinking? If their goal is to actually increase racing participation, this will kill off the casual (and potentially more serious later) racer segment. Its one thing to give some money to the local club that organizes the races, parties and gatherings. But having to give money to something most people hardly even knows exists????

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What would it take for me to voluntarily pay good money to blue-blood do-nothings holed up in Annapolis? Bullet to the brain?

 

There are probably some blue-blood do-nothings holed up in Annapolis. But it ain't US Sailing.

 

US SAILING

PO Box 1260

15 Maritime Drive

Portsmouth, RI 02871-0907

 

Just so your facts are straight before you put a bullet in your brain over $60/year in a sport that routinely finds us spending far more than that for more trivial items.

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Caqreful there Saylrbouy, all our bluebloods are volunteers. USSailing is actually called the committee to promote full employment in Newport. That's north of here and speaks Portugese. Maybe it's a plot by illegal immigrants to part unsuspecting Americans from dollars.

 

Be a little gentle here. US Sailing has done tons with the certification programs. The overall quality of the race management is way better than 20 years ago. The problem now has become a proliferation of race committes that feel they know what the competitors want based on a course. They don't seem to be very good listeners.

 

The new rules work better for one design racing than the old ones. The old rules were developed for handicap racing and should have been left alone for that venue. Judging is now erratic at best. The rules are changed every three years to reflect the parts that don't work so well. In the process, appeals that don't conform are dropped as well. Rule 18 doesn't work at all.

 

Instructors are now taught how to teach. That's a lot different than just being competent.

 

Newbies now have access to programs designed to teach them enough to feel comfortable actually sailing or overnighting.

 

Those are all good things for all of us.

 

Before you start flaming here, I'm not a huge booster of US Sailing as a governing body for the sport as a whole. I think the constituency is too diverse for any body to do a good job of administering all aspects without slighting some and downright squashing others.

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Caqreful there Saylrbouy, all our bluebloods are volunteers. USSailing is actually called the committee to promote full employment in Newport. That's north of here and speaks Portugese. Maybe it's a plot by illegal immigrants to part unsuspecting Americans from dollars.

 

Be a little gentle here. US Sailing has done tons with the certification programs. The overall quality of the race management is way better than 20 years ago. The problem now has become a proliferation of race committes that feel they know what the competitors want based on a course. They don't seem to be very good listeners.

 

The new rules work better for one design racing than the old ones. The old rules were developed for handicap racing and should have been left alone for that venue. Judging is now erratic at best. The rules are changed every three years to reflect the parts that don't work so well. In the process, appeals that don't conform are dropped as well. Rule 18 doesn't work at all.

 

Instructors are now taught how to teach. That's a lot different than just being competent.

 

Newbies now have access to programs designed to teach them enough to feel comfortable actually sailing or overnighting.

 

Those are all good things for all of us.

 

Before you start flaming here, I'm not a huge booster of US Sailing as a governing body for the sport as a whole. I think the constituency is too diverse for any body to do a good job of administering all aspects without slighting some and downright squashing others.

 

Agreed.

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ronwardacceptinghawkinsaward.jpg

My guess is that there isn't one of them in the photo that's done foredeck, or probably even trimmed a sail in the last few years ... snip...

While I concur that USS is as useful to me as a geographic atlas is to an American high school graduate, I must in fairness point out that Janet Baxter (2nd from left in photo) does actively participate in the Chicago racing scene, typically as part of a well sailed B36.7.

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Being a member of US Sailing for 20 years, I can understand and sympathize with many comments made, especially CWs

 

It is frustrating for me to get my renewal invoice in snail mail 4 months before my membership expiration date, and every 3 weeks thereafter.

 

It is even more frustrating to renew my membership and not get a rulebook, yearbook, or anything that communicates purpose and direction for US Sailing. All I get is SW, a magazine, that when it was Yacht Racing and Cruising, was awesome. Now its all ads.

 

CW was right, if US Sailing had more definitive, leading edge (not cutting edge, that would be too much to ask) programs, that would help, such as:

 

1. How does one get involved in sailing (can't tell you how many people I meet would like to learn to sail, but don't know where to start or how to go about it) and national coordination of learn to sail programs - help them market, come up with standards for educating public, fundraise, etc.

 

2. I second National coordination of class scheduling, etc. (for example, why were the Stars and Etchells on Biscayne Bay at the same time?)

 

3. BASIC safety education - just as SA pointed out, although deaths are rare in the sport, they still may have been avoided by simplification and notification of safety standards - not that tough.

 

4. Come up with a process by which all types of sailors can navigate around our sport (i.e., if someone wants to get into a certain class, how to go about it, or sail the Bermuda race, etc.)

 

Still waiting for my rulebook.........

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Caqreful there Saylrbouy, all our bluebloods are volunteers. USSailing is actually called the committee to promote full employment in Newport. That's north of here and speaks Portugese. Maybe it's a plot by illegal immigrants to part unsuspecting Americans from dollars.

 

Be a little gentle here. US Sailing has done tons with the certification programs. The overall quality of the race management is way better than 20 years ago. The problem now has become a proliferation of race committes that feel they know what the competitors want based on a course. They don't seem to be very good listeners.

 

The new rules work better for one design racing than the old ones. The old rules were developed for handicap racing and should have been left alone for that venue. Judging is now erratic at best. The rules are changed every three years to reflect the parts that don't work so well. In the process, appeals that don't conform are dropped as well. Rule 18 doesn't work at all.

 

Instructors are now taught how to teach. That's a lot different than just being competent.

 

Newbies now have access to programs designed to teach them enough to feel comfortable actually sailing or overnighting.

 

Those are all good things for all of us.

 

Before you start flaming here, I'm not a huge booster of US Sailing as a governing body for the sport as a whole. I think the constituency is too diverse for any body to do a good job of administering all aspects without slighting some and downright squashing others.

 

Personally I think the certification program is nothing more than imperial over-reach by USSA. A mechanism to gain control (and funding) that has little intrinsic value for the sailor. That being said I have nothing but thanks and gratitude for the numerous volunteers that support the training of judges, protest committee's and race officers. This includes Jim Capron and Ron Ward (the gentlemen pictured on the far left and center of the "blue blood" picture). Ron was training judges well before the USSA certification program and would have been training them whether or not USSA had a certification program. Jim had decades of service to the sailing community prior to his involvement with USSA. USSA is dependent upon Ron/Jim and people like them, not the other way around.

 

I can't speak personally about being "cut out" of USSA certification, but I can tell you from personal experience that the blue blazer crowd does not limit involvement of yournger people. When I asked to be "trained" as a race officer and protest committee before I turned 30 I was invited to attend race officer training (taught by Ron, sponsored by CBYRA) and protest committee training (taught by Jack Lynch). I then had the honor of serving as a member of Chip Thayer's race committee and served with Jim Capron, Jack Lynch and others on protest committee's (I think Jack wanted to teach me the rules so I would stay out of the room <grin>). I was able to use this training as PRO and chief judge, all prior to turning 30 (I was PRO of the inaugural Leukemia Cup). I was never discouraged from participating because I was "too young", on the contrary, the "old guard" was very supportive. However, USSA was never involved, provided no support and I was/am not USSA certified. While I fulfilled the requirements for PRO cert including filling out the forms under Phil Richmond I never turned in the forms to USSA because I didn't see the point.

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Just so we now who we are talking about:

 

US Sailing NGB for sailing United States

 

USSA United States Ski and Snowboard Association NGB for Skiing and Snowboarding United States

 

Funny why people may confuse the two. USSA requires you to be a member to participate in a sanctioned event, which is just about everything. Start looking at other sports and see what you have to do to compete and what it costs. Look at other MNA's and see that that require all racers, including crews to be members. Of course some of these countries completely support their sport authorities with tax dollars.

 

 

My only thought is, be careful what you wish for, you might get it. This is a done deal.

 

 

Oh and the man in that picture (Ron Ward , center) shown receiving the first Harmin Hawkins trophy, is responsible for mentoring many of the excellent judges and umpires that we have today, both international and local.

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Even if I did have that ability, that would never happen. Nobody gets outed here - even though most folks are not brave enough to use their real names, as you do.

 

As of yet, it's pretty clear that sham69 has no credibility in a place where credibility is pretty much all we have, since we are but symbols on a screen.

Very exostential ending there Clean perhaps better paraphrased in the words of Mongo: "Clean just pawn in game of life" ;)

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Just so we now who we are talking about:

 

US Sailing NGB for sailing United States

 

USSA United States Ski and Snowboard Association NGB for Skiing and Snowboarding United States

 

Funny why people may confuse the two. USSA requires you to be a member to participate in a sanctioned event, which is just about everything. Start looking at other sports and see what you have to do to compete and what it costs. Look at other MNA's and see that that require all racers, including crews to be members. Of course some of these countries completely support their sport authorities with tax dollars.

 

 

My only thought is, be careful what you wish for, you might get it. This is a done deal.

 

why did they go USSA? - ASA was already taken (American Softball Assoc.)

 

the thing about the NGB and other people having to join to play in other sports is somewhat of a red herring - I already belong to a couple of national class associations and a Yacht club - why do I need to now join a national assoc (MNA)?

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Bottom line for me is that requiring membership in US Sailing is a Strong arm tactic... They should generate value to all that seek membership and entice the rest of us with good reasons to join..... As a former cat sailor... I am disgusted at the loss of the Tornado as an Olympic Class.

 

For those that want to know.... The form 990 is available online... Lots of good info about where the money goes....

 

US Sailing has 7 million in income (2006)

 

Here is an interesting piece of info.... I have uploaded a Snag of the highest paid Non-Directors

 

post-17531-1205797387_thumb.jpg

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When NAYRU was founded (predecessor to USYRU and U.S. Sailing), the purpose was to bring organizers from across the country to create standards. What standards? Racing Rules. Handicap Rules. It was possible to go from event to event and have to use different racing rules and different handicap rules everywhere you went. Are these now gone? Not really. While there is a standard racing rules book, each event does modify them some lightly, some heavily in their Notice of Race. And there are still plenty of places where one travels that they need to get their boat a different handicap.

 

The point of that little lesson is that the members, the people who volunteered, the people who worked these things out were there representing organizations trying to improve the lot for sailors nationally (actually internationally because the Canadians were part of NAYRU).

 

I don't see the reason why individuals have to be members of U.S. Sailing. I would recommend the reverse course than what is being floated by U.S. Sailing. I say, let's go back to the old days and have clubs and RSA's get to the table to work on the rules, judging, race administration stuff that is ALL US SAILING does anyway today. There is NO committees set for bowmen, pit, mast, trapeze, grinders, skippers, etc. They are ONLY servicing the clubs and RSA's. Let's recommend that they abandon their ill-fated attempt to bring in skippers and crews to the process, because they themselves can't explain why a skipper or crew should be a member and none of us can explain what good $60 a year does for us. Because it does nothing for us. They know 1,000,000 people in the U.S. race at least one race per year. After all of their efforts to try to get members, the best they can do is get 40,000 people in the U.S. That is a failed attempt to reach a market that they have a monopoly on.

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I think Delta has it correct. There is no value in being a member, aka what's the point? PHRF has become a political fiefdom with blatent manipulations. Americap was and is a flawed rule with again, no value for the high price to use it. IMS? Driven into obscurity. IRC? Apparently doing well in Europe but miserable under USS administration over here. Where is the value in membership?

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QUOTE(sham69 @ Mar 17 2008, 02:48 PM) *

I would suggest you don't have the balls to go to a US SAILING meeting and stand up and pontificate like you do behind your "Anarchist" badge of cyber courage.

 

 

Excuse me! ehem...YOU GUYS ASKED FOR THE INPUT / ON THIS SITE -- please see first post! We can, and in most cases already have, start our own leagues and keep score for our own entertainment...thank you very little. And don't u dare use a Kennedy quote in your defense... I and many other sailors do anything and everything for the better of the sport and NOT FOR YOU!

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Bottom line for me is that requiring membership in US Sailing is a Strong arm tactic... They should generate value to all that seek membership and entice the rest of us with good reasons to join..... As a former cat sailor... I am disgusted at the loss of the Tornado as an Olympic Class.

 

For those that want to know.... The form 990 is available online... Lots of good info about where the money goes....

 

US Sailing has 7 million in income (2006)

 

Here is an interesting piece of info.... I have uploaded a Snag of the highest paid Non-Directors

 

post-17531-1205797387_thumb.jpg

 

 

Holy Crap they make that much money! ... I'm really pissed off now... these guys need to learn how to sacrifice and get a real job on the side like the rest of us!

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Even if I did have that ability, that would never happen. Nobody gets outed here - even though most folks are not brave enough to use their real names, as you do.

 

As of yet, it's pretty clear that sham69 has no credibility in a place where credibility is pretty much all we have, since we are but symbols on a screen.

 

Therefore, using your axiom, I am credible.

 

Incredible.

 

Guys, US SAILING is here and now. Perfect? No, but you can't kill it in these forums.

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Therefore, using your axiom, I am credible.

 

Incredible.

 

Guys, US SAILING is here and now. Perfect? No, but you can't kill it in these forums.

 

 

Dude wow, the whole point of this thread is to give US sailing input, good or bad they NEED to know...Don't take it personal...But PLEASE take it to the guys in charge. I have a right to be heard! and it is their responsibility to listen.

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Interview with US SAILING President

Jim Capron

 

Newport, RI (March 16) - US SAILING wrapped up its Spring Meeting in Newport, RI, this morning and the more than 120 committee members in attendance are returning home with new ideas and fresh energy.

 

 

I'd start there

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Dude wow, the whole point of this thread is to give US sailing input, good or bad they NEED to know...Don't take it personal...But PLEASE take it to the guys in charge. I have a right to be heard! and it is their responsibility to listen.

 

Nothing personal taken.

You do have a right to be heard. Take it to US SAILING directly. If you feel strongly about it, go find the right group and lay it on them. They will listen, as it is their responsibility.

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Membership and revenues are rising under the current leadership.

 

That is incorrect. In fact, the Governance and Nominating Committee took the Board of Directors to task at the AGM last October for not doing anything to stop the decline in membership. Increasing membership was one of the Board's stated goals for 2007. Revenue is increasing because they asked for donations. That added $150K to the bottom line - half of their stated net for 2007.

 

You could speculate that they took the easy road with the "universal membership" proposal.

 

It's certainly a lot harder to make people want to be a member.

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Sham, are you paying attention at all? Almost ALL of these posts have nothing good to say about US Sailing. The fact that revenues are rising does not tell the full story about the frustration that the members have felt over the past decade. If you can't see it for yourself then you are truly ignorant to the basic problems that exist with USS. Your dismissive attitude is EXACTLY why there are so many pissed off members (and non-members).

 

Screw it. This is exactly why US Sailing sucks. Take your elitist attiudes and legislate a membership requirement. See how many people tell you to jump off a cliff.

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You do have a right to be heard. Take it to US SAILING directly. If you feel strongly about it, go find the right group and lay it on them. They will listen, as it is their responsibility.

 

I call shenanigans. The whole purpose of this thread was to generate discussion on a public forum where anyone could read it. It wouldn't be buried in the minutes of some committee that get forgotten as soon as they are written.

 

This thread was started to provide a forum for non-members as well as members - after all, non-members are the ones affected by the universal membership propoal.

 

There is no "Non-Members Council" at US SAILING. This is it.

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I would suggest you don't have the balls to go to a US SAILING meeting and stand up and pontificate like you do behind your "Anarchist" badge of cyber courage.

 

sham_69 is the one who seems to be hiding behind an '"Anarchist" badge of courage'. PeterHuston appears to be using his real name. sham_69 appears to not. At least, let us hope that is not his real name. In this day & age, who knows? Nothing like pointing your finger at everyone else & ignoring the three pointing back at yourself. At least I like his choice of "sham" as a cyber name. It fits very well.

 

This thread was started because US SAILING wanted to know why sailors weren't joining. Sailors gave their answers, & much of what is written here is relevant, intelligent & thoughtful. sham_69, instead of addressing these issues, is yapping out hissy-fits because sailing folk aren't falling all over the place saying nice things about US SAILING. What I would like to see is someone real from US SAILING addressing these issues in an educated, adult manner, instead of this sham_69 sniffling, whimpering child.

 

He'll probably jump all over me as he did all over PeterHuston, but I am coming at this from an entirely different perspective. I am not a seasoned sailor. Actually, I am not a sailor at all. I (& a hopefully a few friends) will be learning to sail this year. Presently, I am reading a couple books, looking at a few online sites & reading threads on Sailing Anarchy to get as much understanding of this as I can before I get involved in a few weeks when sailing season starts here. I ran into this site early last year (disabled at the time) while looking up information about the Beneteau 36.7 race that happened at the end of summer here on Lake Erie & have been reading it ever since, mostly the Sailing Anarchy, Gear Anarchy & some of the boating anarchy threads, & General Anarchy for fun. It's been educational, interesting, a lot of laughs & confusing, because I don't know much about sailing yet.

 

So I am the worst kind of n00b. :( I really, really, really don't know squat about sailing. :blink: I only know about stinkpots & got out of those a few years ago because of the general ignorance of the group, especially since coming close to being killed by a couple of them who couldn't be bothered learning some of those silly rules of the water. Far as I'm concerned, the high prices of gas was the best thing to happen to power boats. Most of those idiots are off the water now.

 

So why should I join US Sailing? Well, why should I join it? Another SAer recommended their sailing videos to me, & I've watched them, but the rest of their site has been impossible to navigate. I can't believe, with all the other excellent sites on every imaginable subject on the planet, that US SAILING can't do better than that. They have the budget, so why such a lousy site? OK, what about sailing classes? Where, pray tell, around here? I've taken boating safety classes through the US Coast Guard & a local power boat club. US SAILING doesn't have boating safety classes here. Learn to sail? I've found some classes here, but again, nothing from US SAILING. Now, I can walk out the side door of my house, look to the west & see the Niagara River. I can walk to the corner of my street & look to the south & see Lake Erie. I can drive less than 20 minutes & pass several marinas full of sailboats & get to the Erie Basin Marina & watch sailboats all summer long, like I've been doing. But US SAILING doesn't have any sanctioned sailing classes anywhere near where I live. I'd have to drive for two hours east to Rochester to get to the nearest US SAILING sanctioned sailing school, & I can walk to Laker Erie!

 

If US SAILING wants to be something to sailors, they will have to attract sailors. They haven't done anything to help me or my friends get involved with it at all. I've never even given thought to joining their organization & read this thread with interest because I didn't have any idea that joining US Sailing would ever be any kind of option, let alone any interest to me. These guys have written some thoughtful insights on what a governing body in this sport should be about. Sure, there's some smart-ass stuff, but this is SA & I'd be disappointed if no one utilized sarcasm. Mostly, they're answering US SAILING's question. Let US SAILING answer them.

 

While they're at it, they can tell me why they're not doing anything here in the Buffalo area to attract people to sailing. We sit on the beaches, the canal & the river watching people sail by every summer. Where is US SAILING for those of us who would love to get on some of those boats? Until my friend told me about their site (only good if you happen to have a computer), I'd never heard of them.

 

So, sham_69, why should I consider joining US SAILING? They didn't teach my boating safety course. They don't offer any sailing classes for us here. They basically are offering me nothing. As of now, I will return the favor. I will not pay dues to their organization. I paid the Coast Guard & will pay those kind folks who will teach me the fine art of sailing this spring. Too bad US SAILING has no interest in this area on the shores of one of the largest inland lakes in the world. They already flunked in my book.

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Membership and revenues are rising under the current leadership.

 

If that is true, then why was this thread started?

 

Until and unless US Sailing realizes that sailors can race with or without the existence of US Sailing, nothing will change. The biggest growth in the PNW is in racing (?) that has no rules, just fun. It's all about getting boats on the water. Maybe some of those people graduate to more organized racing, maybe they don't.

I think it would be a major problem for US Sailing to put the clubs in the position of enforcing a rule that only benefits US Sailing. As DB pointed out, if they can't get market share in a monopoly, what hope is there? Bring back an organization of clubs and RSAs that can respond to their members needs.

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Perhaps a little background on Jim Capron would help. He is not retired. He runs a large company and works hard at it. Jim owns and sail an Etchells less than he would like. He is quite competent and would be very good if he had the time to invest in his sailing program. Before the Etchells he raced a J-35 with success. Jim is and always has been very helpful to our fleet. He is as available to answer questions as anyone with his work load could be.

 

As a judge, Jim answers rules questions without dissembling. He is aware of the interpretation problem. That's a big jump.

 

Please remember that Jim is the President, not the emperor. Being aware and willing is a vast improvement over the imperious attitude I have dealt with in the past. He may be one of the few members of the power structure in our sport that would read this thread. I know of others that simply dismiss SA as a bunch of radicals at the fringe of the sport.

 

I may not agree with Jim all the time. However, I can tell you that, unlike some others, he isn't on some power trip. He really cares about the sport.

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I'm a member and a Level 2. I'd like to see transparency (even translucency) in voting and finances. It seems to me from my perspective, that it's the same incestuous merry go round of people in every job. They do nothing for me. Even though I'm involved in training, I think the "training" side of it is poor. Level 2 is a rubber stamp everything above that is sketchy until you get to IT (instructor trainer) and those candidates are chosen on the same secret system they seem to use for everything. this is the link for their IT training calendar.

 

A big thank you to volunteers (and I continue to volunteer in small ways, but wish I could do more), but 6 million dollars is real money to me (despite the earlier "apartment complex" reference) and I really think the professionals we pay for in US Sailing should be held accountable.

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Perhaps a little background on Jim Capron would help. He is not retired. He runs a large company and works hard at it. Jim owns and sail an Etchells less than he would like. He is quite competent and would be very good if he had the time to invest in his sailing program. Before the Etchells he raced a J-35 with success. Jim is and always has been very helpful to our fleet. He is as available to answer questions as anyone with his work load could be.

 

As a judge, Jim answers rules questions without dissembling. He is aware of the interpretation problem. That's a big jump.

 

Please remember that Jim is the President, not the emperor. Being aware and willing is a vast improvement over the imperious attitude I have dealt with in the past. He may be one of the few members of the power structure in our sport that would read this thread. I know of others that simply dismiss SA as a bunch of radicals at the fringe of the sport.

 

I may not agree with Jim all the time. However, I can tell you that, unlike some others, he isn't on some power trip. He really cares about the sport.

 

A willingness to listen is a good first step, and something that has been sorely lacking at USS for way too long. Any chance of getting him on here, or interviewed by Clean or the Ed?.

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A willingness to listen is a good first step, and something that has been sorely lacking at USS for way too long. Any chance of getting him on here, or interviewed by Clean or the Ed?.

 

Sure there is. Just ask.

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Some observations from a non-member cruiser:

 

- one difference in the "mandatory membership" for other sports like skiing and cycling versus sailing is that those other sports are individual sports, not "team sports" like much of yacht racing. In cross-country skiing, at least, one could race in "citizen's" races without being a member, and the reason for competing in the serious, sanctioned races was to qualify for regional championships, then national championships, and ultimately to make the national team and be sent abroad to compete internationally.

 

- given the structure of sailing, does it even make sense to have "individual" membership of US Sailing? Perhaps the individuals only need to be members of local clubs, which are members of regional associations, and then the only "members" of US Sailing, should be the regional associations, or the class associations.

 

- regarding "return on investment" to the members, a lot of people join organizations in support of some "cause," be it environmental, humanitarian, civil or political, without expecting much in return except the good feeling they get, and a periodic newsletter or magazine informing the members of the "good works" that organization is carrying out. But yacht racing isn't that kind of "cause," is it?

 

- the RRS, the Safety Regs, information about sailing, etc... are out there; people can use them without having to be members -- kind of like public broadcasting. So what is the value added of membership? Public Radio and TV stations are providing an alternative to commercial fare, and thus appeal to prospective members as a "good cause." But again, is that yacht racing?

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Perhaps a little background on Jim Capron would help. He is not retired. He runs a large company and works hard at it.

So is his position at US sailing a volunteer position? If he is paid for it, then he ought to make the commitment to do it well. If he's not paid for it, there are plenty of people at US sailing who are being paid that he ought to delegate to.

 

 

Sham 69. I think you ought to come clean, your last post post indicates you are an insider at US sailing. Who are you?

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A willingness to listen is a good first step, and something that has been sorely lacking at USS for way too long. Any chance of getting him on here, or interviewed by Clean or the Ed?.

 

Probably not. I encouraged him to sign up and participate in the dicussion, but he is a volunteer with a real business that pays real money. I can only imagine the volume of e-mail he has to deal with. Clean and Ed are loose cannons as far as US SAILING's conc