Saving Racing - from front page

TeamFugu

Super Anarchist
5,049
33
SLC, UT
Now that the economic bubble has popped we can see that coalescence is healthy for a community in both good times and bad, but fragmentation is especially visible and threatening in the bad. What can be done?It’s pretty simple:
Join a club, and if there isn’t one within reach, form one

Share boats if necessary

Set a race course

Enter whatever boat you have access to

Take your turn doing race committee

Take your kids and their friends
There has been some banter about this on the D-one and other threads about new single handers with kites. I think rather than get hugely off topic, I'll start a thread for the train wreck.

My views from my time racing in a desert.

"Join a club, and if there isn't one within reach, form one." This is a good idea but takes a lot of effort especially if you are forming one. One thing to remember is that you get out of a club what you put in. If you only show up to take from the club what it will offer, you'll soon drain it's resources and have little for you. Become an active member and you'll form bonds of friendship that will last a long time and you'll learn a few things along the way.

"Share boats if necessary." A good idea but in some cases not very practical. When you can, I recommend sharing boats though. You can introduce others to your boat and in trying other people's boats, you can learn some things that might help on your own boat.

"Set a race course." Capitol idea. You can get a greater understanding on just what the RC goes through. The world looks a little different from the other side.

"Enter whatever boat you have access to." Another capitol idea. I think too much emphasis is placed on OD racing. Sure it makes it hard to tell if you sailed as well as you really thought you did and I've often looked at the results and can then go back to the race and figure where I'd made the mistakes that added that amount of time to my finishing time. Think of handicap racing as club racing and something you do for fun. I race more for the social aspects than the trophies anyway. It is better bring what you have to the pot luck than not show up because you don't know how to make Chateau Briand. Not showing up is the crime, not showing up with your best meatloaf.

"Take your turn doing race committee." You'll be amazed how this can improve your own racing. If you do more than operate the horn and the flags but actually watch the top dogs set up on the line and how they attack the corners, you'll learn a lot about racing. I've been amazed how much people improve after you take them with you on the RC boat and get them to actually study what is going on. Never turn down the chance to help out on RC duties. It also goes back to the first point of the more you put in, the more you get out.

"Take your kids and their friends." This one is huge! I've taken some of my kids' friends an their parents out and they always remark that sailing isn't anything like the thought it would be. Even people that have gas guzzling power boats remark that even though you don't go as fast, there is so much going on that it is very fun and at the same time relaxing.

I'd like to add that at the club level, racing should be kept fun and unprofessional. I've seen too many clubs hurt by people moving in and expecting an all volunteer club to run races to the standards of an ISAF worlds competition. Club racing should be nurturing of newcomers and the intensity of professional racing drives them off. Ass hats that take advantage of the rules at every turn and at the same time break them at will should be dealt with ASAP. They can be a cancer that drives good people away. Save the serious stuff for when you travel to the majors in your particular class. Have meetings after the race with pot lucks, suds, winner roasts, and anything to keep people around after the races are over.

Food for thought. I'll let the flaming begin.

Note there is nothing in here about what boat is best. In dead air, they all drift the same and sailing is sailing.

 

Death Roll

Super Anarchist
5,623
0
Does anyone else appreciate the irony of the juxtaposition between the Saving Sailing article and this one from a few weeks back?

Seems like we want to see more people racing, but only if everyone sails boats that are cool enough.

 
119
15
Funnily enough, I didn't read that the article was calling for fewer classes (to continue from the D1 thread). What's needed, is better cooperation and organisation between classe, to get the coalescence described.

I've said it before (and I have no affiliation with RS apart from owning their boats) that the RS model should be seriously looked at as a way of classes organising themselves together for mutual benefit. The difficulty I guess, stopping classes being self serving and actually cooperating! I admit it's easier under a SMOD banner, but it should be possible to replicate...

 

AlStorer

Super Anarchist
2,741
0
Cambridge
See, this is the sort of thing that we do really differently over here. In some parts of the country, there's barely a puddle without a sailing club using it. Even in the less well populated areas of Scotland, you're unlikely to be over an hour's drive from the nearest club. Down in the south east, on the south coast or in the Midlands, you're practically tripping over them.

Most are basic. Many consist of "portacabins" or post-war pre-fab board buildings, often with dodgy showers and poor heating. Very, very few have any paid staff at all. Most will run a duty roster- two or three times a year (or possibly more) you'll be down to be on a rescue/safety boat or be a race officer/assistant RO.

Many are currently in poor health- many people are unwilling to volunteer, and there are clubs that are teettering on and even falling off the brink of existence. Even so, there are also clubs springing up.

Compare two roughly similar sized (population wise) metropolitan areas.

Exhibit A: Birmingham, West Midlands

Spot the bodies of water? The UK's second largest city and its surrounds. as good as landlocked as we go.

This shows where the sailing clubs and sailing centres are

Exhibit B: Denver.

Looks to me to be about as wet. Are there as many clubs? if not, why not?

(this half baked contribution will be concluded later. it's dark, and I've a ten mile cycle home)

 

TeamFugu

Super Anarchist
5,049
33
SLC, UT
Funnily enough, I didn't read that the article was calling for fewer classes (to continue from the D1 thread). What's needed, is better cooperation and organisation between classe, to get the coalescence described.
I've said it before (and I have no affiliation with RS apart from owning their boats) that the RS model should be seriously looked at as a way of classes organising themselves together for mutual benefit. The difficulty I guess, stopping classes being self serving and actually cooperating! I admit it's easier under a SMOD banner, but it should be possible to replicate...
I had a similar feeling. The article for me seemed more of inclusion than exclusion. Every time I've seen any one class dominate a club, I've seen the club dwindle and almost die unless that club started as on OD club to start with. I guess you can key of any sentence you want in the article to prove your point but I see inclusion of numerous classes to be more of a plus than a minus.

SMODs and ODs have their place but they aren't the solution to what is right or wrong with sailing. It has much more to do with the human element than the physical platform you sail on. In the OD world, it doesn't matter what you sail as long as everyone sails the same thing. Then it comes down to ability and tactics. In mixed fleet, the ability and tactics are skewed by handicaps but you also get to sail what you love to sail and you take your chances with the outcome. Saying that you can only sail with me if you sail what I sail and sail the way I sail isn't the answer. Bring what you go, sail as best you can, leave it on the water, seems more like a way to go to me.

At my club, we only get turn outs for racing and a few socials. There are cruising activities but an even smaller fraction turn out for the cruises than the races. What we need to do is take the seriousness out of club racing, make it fun for beginners to join in, and use it for a way to build clubs. Maybe even make some fun races where skippers and crews swap so that you pare a newbie skipper with a seasoned crew and a seasoned skipper with a newbie crew. Maybe don't push the boats to the limit as much and must make it all for fun. Maybe give the winner first access to the buffet and bar after the racing.

To get more women involved, ease up on the testosterone and have some women only events. Done right, they are very fun to just help out on for the guys.

 

bistros

Super Anarchist
1,264
13
Funnily enough, I didn't read that the article was calling for fewer classes (to continue from the D1 thread). What's needed, is better cooperation and organisation between classe, to get the coalescence described.
I've said it before (and I have no affiliation with RS apart from owning their boats) that the RS model should be seriously looked at as a way of classes organising themselves together for mutual benefit. The difficulty I guess, stopping classes being self serving and actually cooperating! I admit it's easier under a SMOD banner, but it should be possible to replicate...
Here in Ottawa there are several fleets which are in competition for the same crop of potential sailors. The 505s are strong, the Fireballs in recession, the skiff racing fleet has become an I14-only elite group (a little pricey and intimidating) and there is a strong Albacore & Laser fleets as well.

My work schedule, parental responsibilities, distance and traffic problems have rendered racing impossible for me. I can't make a 6:00PM on-the-water start - it means I'd have to leave here at 4:00 to get there and be rigged and on the water with no time to spare. 4:00PM departures are a complete non-starter. I'm in the east end, the club is in the west end and there is a one hour rush hour traffic problem in the middle. Basically, the race start times define only leisure time-rich west end folks can race.

There is no east end dinghy club option with a fun race program in Ottawa. A city of one million people and there is only one real dinghy club. Water isn't the problem, options are.

I'm not sure I'm going to rejoin my club next year - I just don't have enough time available given the distance and traffic. The only benefits I use from the club is dry sail storage, launch ramps and a nice fence.

--

Bill

 

Streetwise

Super Anarchist
1,726
75
Lake Champlain
wind_apparent said:
Compare two roughly similar sized (population wise) metropolitan areas.Exhibit A: Birmingham, West Midlands

Spot the bodies of water? The UK's second largest city and its surrounds. as good as landlocked as we go.

This shows where the sailing clubs and sailing centres are

Exhibit B: Denver.

Looks to me to be about as wet. Are there as many clubs? if not, why not?
There are sailing clubs on Boulder Res, Union res, Standley Lake, and cherry creek res. There is a decent 505 fleet and they have 4-5

A-cats that race at union on sundays. Wish there was a better scene though. CU is starting a sailing team on boulder res, so maybe that will help the laser/420 groups in the area. Wish it was better though, also wish the wind wasn't so shitty.
Cool! I wish CU-Boulder had a sailing team when I went there in the nineties. I would go windsurfing once or twice a year on the reservoir, and that was my only sailing out there. I didn't have car to get to the other reservoirs or up to Lake Dylan.

Cheers,

jason

 




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