What's Right (or Wrong) with US Sailing?

BrightAyes

Member
243
71
Although the invite came bit late to actually fly to and attend this meeting, AT LEAST THEY ARE REACHING OUT to the peons in Paducca Flyover Country and seeking our hillbilly opinions. I find it encouraging (within limits) that the "new" leadership at US Sailing has gotten the message "Stopping focusing exclusively on Newport and Miami and the damn Five Ring Circus and give a bohicans some love and attention. We're paying the bills and demand our pound of flesh.

What's your take or stake?

Event Overview
The Stakeholders Summit provides a collaborative forum for the leadership of local sailing organizations to meet with the leadership of US Sailing to share ideas and perspectives about sailing within specific regions of the United States. The roundtable-type environment of the event allows for engaging and thoughtful conversation between attendees and US Sailing leadership that will stick with you long past the conclusion of the Summit.

All leaders are welcome - instructors, program directors, board members, race managers or individuals from community programs, commercial schools, yacht clubs, high school or college programs, or any other organization, sailing specific or not. Whether you're a seasoned veteran within the sailing industry or are just getting your sea-legs under you, the Stakeholders Summit provides a great experience for all levels of sailing proficiency.

Registration is FREE! Lunch and refreshments are included. Please note that space is Limited - Advance Registration Required.
Schedule of Events(Subject to change)
Welcome, Opening Remarks & Introductions
Richard Jepsen, President, Board of Directors

US Sailing: The New Organization & Mission to Serve All Stakeholders
Alan Ostfield, CEO, US Sailing

Regional Topic #1 TBD
Panel Discussion & Open Forum

Lunch & Networking

Turning Kids into Lifelong Sailors

Panel Discussion & Open Forum

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Non-Profit Governance and Best Practices
Panel Discussion & Open Forum

Q&A and Open Discussion
US Sailing Board of Directors and Leadership Team
 

Wemedge

New member
34
16
Detroit
Over the past two seasons, the "skill up" app has been well received by both coaches and parents within our club's junior program.


 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
10,859
2,490
Now for the negative. It’s bullshit that for what they charge, I had to pay extra for a hard copy of the rule book. They’ve gotten so cheap that we don’t even get the cute US Sailing sticker anymore that was just free advertising for sailing in general. Then there’s their certification madness. I happily volunteer my time to PRO local regattas or friendly ones out of town, but at the most can only run mark set boats for the bigger events. Why? Because I refuse to pay their absurd fees to get “certified” just so I can volunteer my time. And yet they wonder why it gets harder and harder to run events. If they had an ounce of common sense, they’d “sponsor” seasoned PRO’s that don’t charge money to take their dumb course. Rant over.

Edit: Try to tell me that I didn’t learn more in the three weeks working under Luigi than I would in some dopey classroom.
 
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Monkey

Super Anarchist
10,859
2,490
To extend on my rant. If US Sailing had a fucking clue, they wouldn’t charge for their certification courses. Their brilliant minds think it’s a good idea for all future instructors and volunteers to pay them in order to do what they do. I’m not going to keep playing that game. Member 815558U won’t be renewing unless things change.
 

sunseeker

Super Anarchist
3,570
543
Right or wrong depends on your interests, perspective and experience.

Basically, they suck. It used to be a pretty well run organization to support yacht racing. Now it’s the AAA of sailing.

I don’t see evidence of them doing anything particularly well.
 

Roller Skates

Super Anarchist
1,155
103
North
To extend on my rant. If US Sailing had a fucking clue, they wouldn’t charge for their certification courses. Their brilliant minds think it’s a good idea for all future instructors and volunteers to pay them in order to do what they do. I’m not going to keep playing that game. Member 815558U won’t be renewing unless things

Glad to hear my time teaching instructor courses isn’t worth anything to you. Professional teaching isn’t volunteer shit. Sorry. It takes an assload of work to do right.

Organizations in our area cover the costs. I agree, it shouldn’t be on the people giving their time to pay to do so. But the member user fees of our orgs should for that level.
 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
10,859
2,490
Glad to hear my time teaching instructor courses isn’t worth anything to you. Professional teaching isn’t volunteer shit. Sorry. It takes an assload of work to do right.

Organizations in our area cover the costs. I agree, it shouldn’t be on the people giving their time to pay to do so. But the member user fees of our orgs should for that level.
My comment was poorly phrased, and I sincerely apologize. Unfortunately, US sailing only cares about completing that course. Please answer this honestly. Do you think that someone who learned from experience instead, is unqualified? Many of those learning hours were spent working for folks like Peter Reggio. He seemed like he knew what he was doing and I just absorbed every little bit of advice he shared. I’ve probably got a few thousand hours of running races at this point. Instructors are absolutely valuable, but perhaps US Sailing could just let folks like me take their test without shelling out the cash for the course. And no, I won’t pay for the course just to donate my time.

Our organization offered to pay for it. Nope. That just means an expense kicked down the road to the sailors.
 

BobJ

Super Anarchist
1,225
181
US Sailing also makes it expensive for their certified sailing instructors to represent them. I've had their Keelboat Instructor certification since 2004. We used to get a renewal reminder, there was no renewal fee and they'd send a hat or something. Now there's no reminder and you have to pay fees for the membership, renewal and First Aid/AED cards, none of which are cheap. ASA has a bigger presence here on SF Bay and the course content is almost identical. I'm considering moving over to their program.

It also bugs me that US Sailing charges such a high price for the course books, certificates, etc. We're steering new sailors into membership with them but the schools, instructors and students are all getting shafted for the privilege of doing so. They've really "lost the plot" on this.
 
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Dervish

Member
238
2
Boston, PRM
Taken certification training for all sorts of skills and became an Instructor or Coach in the Army and out. Also officiate Hockey and Lacrosse.

Our YC was hosting a national regatta so thought I’d get certified as a Race Official.

Took the local seminar. Like most of the people in the class, was an active racer and had worked on RC’s for many regattas up to National and World events.

One of the people in the class had run a line in a major regional regatta for years. Everyone in the class had experience.

After taking and passing the test, to become an actual Regional Race official, you had to work for three or four (don’t recall) different Race Committees to become even a Regional official. Seemed like a Union rule, not a program to expand Race Committee certification. Turns out most clubs running races, like ours, didn’t have a single USSA certified person - and did just fine.

How broken did I think that system was? After writing a scathing review, dropped the family USSA membership of 20+ years. The club hired someone with the necessary National credential to run the regatta. Worked the weather mark boat.

Very broken org.
 

Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
44,107
9,535
Eastern NC
Glad to hear my time teaching instructor courses isn’t worth anything to you. Professional teaching isn’t volunteer shit. Sorry. It takes an assload of work to do right.

...

Yes, it is an assload of work.

Way to show respect for volunteers.

This is why I dropped out of US Sailing years ago, and won't be back. You're welcome.
 
I really like how they put the rule book and appeals book on the app. I also like regatta network. I'm a small boat certified instructor and one of the biggest selling points was the supplemental insurance that came along with certification. Unfortunately, the insurance has gone away recently but I believe they are working to get new coverage. I hope they can get it back soon.
 
I'm not sure that the call that 'everything should be free' will be very persuasive.

I think more fundamental questions should be along the lines of:
Who does US Sailing represent?
Who are the President and Board accountable to?
Should the President and Board be elected or appointed?
Should nominations for the Board come from the members and member organizations... or from the Board?

When there is only one candidate nominated for each role, then it is not an election, it is an appointment. When the candidates for the Board are nominated by the Board.....then the Board effectively appoints itself and is accountable to itself.

For example you might not get very far complaining about courses and certification, if the person in overall charge of the organization you are complaining to is the person who designed those certification courses.

It would be a bit like complaining to the US Department of Treasury about the malpractice of Goldman Sachs, only to discover that the Secretary of US Treasury is a partner at Goldman Sachs......Oh Wait!

However.......despite the potential flaws in governorship, I will stand up and say a few good things about the output of USS.

Our club values knowing that when we interview certified instructors or pay for new recruits to get certified that they are all trained to a minimum standard that is appropriate.
When we decided to provide adult sailing lessons, the course and hurdles to become accredited seemed appropriate and suitably demanding. The members and non-members attending those classes are entitled to expect a minimum duty of care and skill level. We don't mind paying the cost of that training and we certainly dont expect the rank and file membership of US Sailing to pay for the cost of our training at our club.

I have extensive rules experience and have sat on dozens of local protest committees. I have always been a competitor first and foremost so I never got certified as a judge. More recently I thought it would be useful to get certified to give some time back to the sport I love. I attended an advanced judging course in Annapolis and have completed the various online tests. I cannot remember how much it cost but it seemed reasonable and I was happy to cover the cost. I dont think other US sailing members should pay for my education. I found the course to be fun, interesting and useful. I enjoyed networking with a great group of people.

So my experience of the work of US Sailing in terms of training volunteers and professionals has generally been favorable. Sorry if that does not fit with the narrative of this thread.
 
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KnockedDown

Member
94
2
Then there’s the notion that one has to be lectured to about being alone behind closed doors with an underage athlete before one can be a certified race officer. And have to got through background screening.
 

Foredeck Shuffle

More of a Stoic Cynic, Anarchy Sounds Exhausting
Over the past two seasons, the "skill up" app has been well received by both coaches and parents within our club's junior program.
This is what USS has always done well, connect with the Olympic path of youth racing that utilizes Opti's and C420's, but then what?

US Sailing seems to be focused on chasing the maximum funding for the above program, the rest of us do not represent the cash potential of the Olympic path nor the heart warming and high profile activities related to youth sailing. They seem to have gotten themselves stuck to that pathway and because too many of the regular sailors barely know what USS is, they are stuck. I've also read from their reports that they are hurting for volunteers, but that's a can of worms into itself.

Sorta done with USS. My kid will not follow any silly racing path USS currently has in mind. He will get a functional degree in something and play on boats in his spare time, chasing the Olympics would only hinder him in life. I'll make sure he has access to fun modern boats with as much carbon fibre as I can afford, that keep him in sailing. The added bonus of that is he will be unlikely to be interested in a C420 in his teenage years. USS needs a complete rethink from the ground up. The Olympics are a pyre of good intentions turned in something terrible. USS needs to diversify and all they need to do is look at RYA which seems to really have most of the pieces in place.

About USS funding. Pay your dues, they are cheap and nearly come with a free subscription to a sailing magazine. I will cotninue to pay my dues regardless of how I feel about USS. It takes money to train RC volunteers and that alone is worth the price. Otherwise I'm just hoping USS changes in my life time but I see nothing to indicate it will.
 




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