US isn’t competitive in medal chase at Tokyo 2020 because…

JulianB

Super Anarchist
1,240
1,777
Sydney mostly
If I may be so presumptuous to make a few observations, and I have little doubt I will get a pilloried!

The only “Rock Stars” that I am sure of that have degree are Sir Russel Coutts, and Sir Jyrki Javia.

I may be 1000% wrong but Nathan, the 2 Tom’s, all the Grael’s, most of the AC skippers, most of the VOR skippers and crews, have spent very little time in universities.

So to limit your pool to your intervarsity program is cutting out probably 90% of your potential.

I am un-aware of any other country that dose this.

But far more important than this is look 8 years ahead, looking at today or worse yesterday dooms you to failure.

Even today, I spent a good part of it, with, sure he is an impressive solicitor, and he will read this,  but he is designing training programs to excite 14-15-16 year old’s, mostly girls, and giving them purpose and a life where sailing can be a part of it, even if those kids end up in tertiary institutions.

5% of that pool may end up with Olympic aspirations.

Bigger the pool, great the number of potential aspirants, and the greatly the chance of success.

The really big game changer is those who are in control of, in this case US Sailing, need to accept, almost by definition, they are past it.    If you are old enough to rise to the top of any sporting body, your past it.    Acceptance of that, and the design of the program you administer is your greatest legacy.     Having know Janet Baxter very well and Cory even better, you biggest issue, I am guessing with US Sailing is the term is too short to be able to make effective change.

I am super impressed in the I49erCA which, under Ben, and the last 3 pres, is anything but an ICA and is now a GSC [Global Sailing Community]. Totally transparent, with all the players knowing the issues and making the decisions rather than fiefdoms that riddle say ILCA that Tracy and Takao have to battle with every day.   These guys only have so much energy, to waste it on minutia is a travesty.    

Go to McKinsey and get them to re-design the structure, and remember the 3rd Peter Principal, “the validity of an idea is proportional, and opposite to the opposition it creates”!

Squeaky wheel gets the oil.  

You never kick a dead horse

Etc etc etc.

 

Bored Stiff

Member
277
201
Copenhagen
If I may be so presumptuous to make a few observations, and I have little doubt I will get a pilloried!

The only “Rock Stars” that I am sure of that have degree are Sir Russel Coutts, and Sir Jyrki Javia.

I may be 1000% wrong but Nathan, the 2 Tom’s, all the Grael’s, most of the AC skippers, most of the VOR skippers and crews, have spent very little time in universities.

So to limit your pool to your intervarsity program is cutting out probably 90% of your potential.

I am un-aware of any other country that dose this.

But far more important than this is look 8 years ahead, looking at today or worse yesterday dooms you to failure.

Even today, I spent a good part of it, with, sure he is an impressive solicitor, and he will read this,  but he is designing training programs to excite 14-15-16 year old’s, mostly girls, and giving them purpose and a life where sailing can be a part of it, even if those kids end up in tertiary institutions.

5% of that pool may end up with Olympic aspirations.

Bigger the pool, great the number of potential aspirants, and the greatly the chance of success.

The really big game changer is those who are in control of, in this case US Sailing, need to accept, almost by definition, they are past it.    If you are old enough to rise to the top of any sporting body, your past it.    Acceptance of that, and the design of the program you administer is your greatest legacy.     Having know Janet Baxter very well and Cory even better, you biggest issue, I am guessing with US Sailing is the term is too short to be able to make effective change.

I am super impressed in the I49erCA which, under Ben, and the last 3 pres, is anything but an ICA and is now a GSC [Global Sailing Community]. Totally transparent, with all the players knowing the issues and making the decisions rather than fiefdoms that riddle say ILCA that Tracy and Takao have to battle with every day.   These guys only have so much energy, to waste it on minutia is a travesty.    

Go to McKinsey and get them to re-design the structure, and remember the 3rd Peter Principal, “the validity of an idea is proportional, and opposite to the opposition it creates”!

Squeaky wheel gets the oil.  

You never kick a dead horse

Etc etc etc.
I’d add Iain Percy to the (short) list of graduates, but otherwise totally agree. 

 

JulianB

Super Anarchist
1,240
1,777
Sydney mostly
Let me go back a qualify that:-

They had a degree when they won a GM.

My point being, if you are trolling universities for Olympic aspriants, then your too early!

 

maxstaylock

Anarchist
723
428
So in the UK, there is a pathway system to the olympic circus, it starts at maybe 6 years old in Optimists or Toppers and goes through Fevas and 420's and 29ers and Radials, local to national squads.  Up or out. Puts a huge time and expense pain on the families.  Much talent is lost because it doesn't come prepackaged with a Volvo SUV and kit fund.  The tree gets very narrow at the top (16 plus).  RYA effectively bypassed the club scene, so most of them rarely continue racing when they leave the system.  There are no free lunches.

 

enigmatically2

Super Anarchist
3,861
1,981
Earth
Universities may be largely irrelevant to development of sailors in most countries, as they are to development of most sports, but the US sporting development is highly focused around the colleges, so I get why it is more relevant there. 

 

European Bloke

Super Anarchist
3,407
829
I’d add Iain Percy to the (short) list of graduates, but otherwise totally agree. 
Ian went to university but didn't sail there. He got a degree, played football and got pissed up. We tried to persuade him, but he was having none of it 

I think he recognised that few made it in Olympic sailing, and if you don't you want a career to fall back on. Who wants to be a coach forever?

 
Last edited by a moderator:

JimC

Not actually an anarchist.
8,183
1,079
South East England
I suspect there's also a problem with US culture. The impression I get from this forum is that for most young sailors the aim is to sit on the side of a leadmine and party on the dollar of some rich executive. It seems in the UK many more sailors would rather own or share in a dinghy of their own for their active sailing life. Such folk aren't prospective Olympic sailors, but their kids are, brought up round dinghy clubs and sailing dinghies. Which again is to do with size of the pond.

 
So in the UK, there is a pathway system to the olympic circus, it starts at maybe 6 years old in Optimists or Toppers and goes through Fevas and 420's and 29ers and Radials, local to national squads.  Up or out. Puts a huge time and expense pain on the families.  Much talent is lost because it doesn't come prepackaged with a Volvo SUV and kit fund.  The tree gets very narrow at the top (16 plus).  RYA effectively bypassed the club scene, so most of them rarely continue racing when they leave the system.  There are no free lunches.
Note that the junior pathway is changing, with the aim of more local activity, though the funding issue is still a major hurdle. Any elite sport requires huge support from a young athlete's parents and the Performance teams are well aware of the impact. IMHO, the money is not the biggest concern... a committed family can access sports funding,  logistical help from other families and so on at Junior level, though there's no doubt it will get tough at Youth level and above. 

 In my area,  at least,  participating clubs can benefit from the support funding in various ways to improve their offering to members on & off the pathway.

 Running a multi-boat programme with international logistics once you are in your 20s is a different kettle of fish... 

 

fastyacht

Super Anarchist
12,928
2,600
Interesting discussion. Butvtopic is USA. Basic problem remains: self funded. We do not have an Olympic development budget. U.S. sailors pay their own way.

 

martin 'hoff

Super Anarchist
2,202
1,062
Miami
Obviously, it's a complex multi-faceted problem. Not just one thing. Funding for bases, coaches, more travel to Europe (where the strongest teams seem to be racing and training together).

However, one aspect that jumps at me is how much time US olympic aspirants spend looking for funding. Dinners, raffles, special events, coaching...  I don't know the details of US Sailing support (how much / what / when), but likely to be "less" and "later than other nations". 

 

dogwatch

Super Anarchist
17,161
1,760
South Coast, UK
A grandiose sailing centre in the USA is not the right answer. Financially supporting the best sailors (with coaches) to do major international regattas in their classes would cost a fraction of that and achieve a great deal more. To get to be the best, you need to go out and compete with the best, over a build-up period of years. The days when sailors could do that within their own country are long gone. 

 

dogwatch

Super Anarchist
17,161
1,760
South Coast, UK
Think the UK has put aside £20,000,000 for the next (3 year) cycle
Last time I looked, less than half of that. I haven't re-checked but doubt it has escalated that much.

The Cayard piece says it is government money, most of it isn't, at least not in the sense of raised by taxation. It is National Lottery money.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

enigmatically2

Super Anarchist
3,861
1,981
Earth
Last time I looked, less than half of that. I haven't checked but doubt it has escalated that much.

The Cayard piece says it is government money, most of it isn't, at least not in the sense of raised by taxation. It is National Lottery money.
Was £22m for this 5 year cycle, so maybe not that far off

 

enigmatically2

Super Anarchist
3,861
1,981
Earth
Worth noting though that GB success at Olympic sailing long predates the lottery funding that has helped GB in the Olympics so much. That is why as per the Brazil thread we head the table for all time success.

So whilst the money helps, it is not the only factor by any means

 
The biggest issue with US olympic planning is, I think:

A huge national focus on college sailing - despite college sailings stated mission purpose being inclusion and growth of sailing rather than an olmypic pipeline (nothing wrong with that), and those who maybe at 18 being in a good skill-wise position to do an olympic campaign are instead choosing to participate in college sailing.

Additionally, once someone does commit to a campaign, you need to travel off continent, and be self funded almost to the very end. AUS, CAN, and NZ of course have similar problems, but I think are much, much better funded by their national bodies. 

Of course, there are no "poor" olympic sailors, any would probably be the exception, but it is a much larger jump from being family support until 16-18 for junior sailing and pre-olympic pathway, to being fully self-funded when the real campaign starts. Moving yourself around, housing, food, boats, sails, moving the boat (probably two boats), coaching until you make the USSOT, etc. 

I suspect there's also a problem with US culture. The impression I get from this forum is that for most young sailors the aim is to sit on the side of a leadmine and party on the dollar of some rich executive. It seems in the UK many more sailors would rather own or share in a dinghy of their own for their active sailing life. Such folk aren't prospective Olympic sailors, but their kids are, brought up round dinghy clubs and sailing dinghies. Which again is to do with size of the pond.
There is a big focus in this country for leadmine sailing. As an ex dinghy sailor, it's just a time, location, and access. I can show up to hop on some rich guy's boat and know that the boat captain has it ready to go. I don't need to drive hours just to go work on the boat. I don't have the facilities right now to store or work on a boat at home. I spent high school in Florida - it was 35minutes to get to the boat park, easy peasy. After college I moved to Philly - access blows. I need to drive hours to get anywhere I would consider "worth" sailing. Maybe I'm spoiled having grown up sailing in Florida and Newport (ok I'm spoiled). Sailing a Laser on the Delaware might be ok, but rivers, current, and still a long drive from where I work to the only active-ish-maybe laser fleets on the river are still an hour drive from work and then two hours to get home. Anywho, this has fuckall to do with the olympics. If I ever move back to Newport I'll probably buy a 505 or A-Cat the next day... 

Obviously, it's a complex multi-faceted problem. Not just one thing. Funding for bases, coaches, more travel to Europe (where the strongest teams seem to be racing and training together).

However, one aspect that jumps at me is how much time US olympic aspirants spend looking for funding. Dinners, raffles, special events, coaching...  I don't know the details of US Sailing support (how much / what / when), but likely to be "less" and "later than other nations". 
Funding from USS is focused on coaching. I don't think there is help with logistics until you're on final approach to the games, selections made, etc. 

 




Top