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

I personally think so. I gain as much from the informal "war story" portion of the classes as the actual course work...
Ditto for the judging courses. In all honesty it is a very interesting and pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Meet some new people who love the same sport. Enjoy a few cold ones after the course. It is what USS ought to be about.
 

beercanned

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By definition, volunteers give their time to the sport, their clubs, their sailors. There's no expectation of compensation and the financial and time costs of certification are more often seen as an investment than a burden. In the best cases there are many volunteers to call from and the work is shared. Many hands, etc. etc.

Recertification in line with the 4 year rules quad is a great idea, simply because Race management practices evolve and so do rules. RCs and Judges need to know those changes and help their organizations through the transitions. We get those updates through the RC and Judge communities and certification keeps us in synch.

For example, a new version of Rule 18 is in test status now and if successful will go into the 2025 rule book. If we rely only on what we learned how ever many quads ago, racing would quickly become inconsistently managed and some old goat will be yelling 'mast abeam' at us.

For balance, I think there are issues that are rooted in youth sailing and the problems mandated by US Sailing's role in Olympic development (although I suppose someone has to do it).

The problem at the youth level is (in my opinon) caused by the absence of a two person training boat designed for the same age range as the Cube / Optimist. There is no better way for beginners to learn sailing than from other kids a year or two older. There is no better way to build momentum into a youth program than for those who learned last year to take pride in showing the basics to the new crop of kids joining this year.
If we want sailing to be a strong sport, then club level youth sailing is is the foundation. The Oppies can stay, but please let's have a two hander as well. Something smaller and easier to manage than a C420. An RS Zest is ~ the same price as 2 cubes and you put two kids in each one, so the economics are a wash. If you have optimists, 2x optimist > one Zest. And I'm not attached to the Zest, it's just an example.

We can rant all day about the Olympics favoring only those who have time, money or time and money, that the classes are stagnant and or / inaccessible etc, etc. All those arguments are at least partially true.

But whatever the merits of those arguments, what's inarguable is that a strong olympic squad can't happen without a strong youth program to feed it.

So back to US sailing- more emphasis on local youth programs, please. There is already a good instructor program. Perhaps add a round of boat grants for small 2 handers.
 

sunseeker

Super Anarchist
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By definition, volunteers give their time to the sport, their clubs, their sailors. There's no expectation of compensation and the financial and time costs of certification are more often seen as an investment than a burden. In the best cases there are many volunteers to call from and the work is shared. Many hands, etc. etc.

Recertification in line with the 4 year rules quad is a great idea, simply because Race management practices evolve and so do rules. RCs and Judges need to know those changes and help their organizations through the transitions. We get those updates through the RC and Judge communities and certification keeps us in synch.

For example, a new version of Rule 18 is in test status now and if successful will go into the 2025 rule book. If we rely only on what we learned how ever many quads ago, racing would quickly become inconsistently managed and some old goat will be yelling 'mast abeam' at us.

For balance, I think there are issues that are rooted in youth sailing and the problems mandated by US Sailing's role in Olympic development (although I suppose someone has to do it).

The problem at the youth level is (in my opinon) caused by the absence of a two person training boat designed for the same age range as the Cube / Optimist. There is no better way for beginners to learn sailing than from other kids a year or two older. There is no better way to build momentum into a youth program than for those who learned last year to take pride in showing the basics to the new crop of kids joining this year.
If we want sailing to be a strong sport, then club level youth sailing is is the foundation. The Oppies can stay, but please let's have a two hander as well. Something smaller and easier to manage than a C420. An RS Zest is ~ the same price as 2 cubes and you put two kids in each one, so the economics are a wash. If you have optimists, 2x optimist > one Zest. And I'm not attached to the Zest, it's just an example.

We can rant all day about the Olympics favoring only those who have time, money or time and money, that the classes are stagnant and or / inaccessible etc, etc. All those arguments are at least partially true.

But whatever the merits of those arguments, what's inarguable is that a strong olympic squad can't happen without a strong youth program to feed it.

So back to US sailing- more emphasis on local youth programs, please. There is already a good instructor program. Perhaps add a round of boat grants for small 2 handers.
This - t. There is no better way for beginners to learn sailing than from other kids a year or two older. - I disagree. There is a better way. Have kids sail in multigenerational boats. Sail with experienced people. And sail a bunch of different boats, sometimes with all the same age range, sometimes multi generational. Just look at classes like scows, lightings. I’ll bet the Melges 15 ends up a bunch of parent-child teams.
 

beercanned

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There is a better way. Have kids sail in multigenerational boats. Sail with experienced people. And sail a bunch of different boats, sometimes with all the same age range, sometimes multi generational. Just look at classes like scows, lightings. I’ll bet the Melges 15 ends up a bunch of parent-child teams.
I agree with that and we have grandparent / parent / youth / tiddler teams in our local club too. In OD and PHRF classes.

But we were discussing improvements to US Sailing and my point is still to end the oppy monopoly for entry level courses.
 

sunseeker

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I agree with that and we have grandparent / parent / youth / tiddler teams in our local club too. In OD and PHRF classes.

But we were discussing improvements to US Sailing and my point is still to end the oppy monopoly for entry level courses.
100% agree about ending the Opti mafia. If someone had stuck me in a shitty Opti I probably would not have stuck with sailing. I loved being with my friends in boats. There’s about 30 of us that grew up together and we are all family because we had the shared experience of sailing together.
 

bloodshot

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IMO, Optis killed junior sailing. A lot of my friends stayed with racing much longer than they normally would have because they could crew on a BlueJay or an FJ and sail with their friends. The concept that 14 YO kids still race a singlehanded box with a sail on it is borderline negligent in my book. And the C420 is not the next step up from a Opti either. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.
 

pqbon

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They have a delegated power to issue Department of Transport recognised Yachtmaster certificates. I'm not sure in what other sense they could be described as "quasi-governmental".
Is that not enough?
But there is also the radio licensing scheme and a few other things.
 

bloodshot

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In all seriousness the biggest thing wrong is that they have absolutely zero relevance to the vast majority of sailors.
a big thing that's wrong is that they have a ton of relevance to racers (i.e. RRS, race organization, etc) but many racers have no idea or don't care.

I don't care a whit about casual sailors or cruisers. They are as relevant to US Sailing as two kids throwing a frisbee on the beach are to competitive ultimate Frisbee (or any other competitive sport with a national association)
 

Wess

Super Anarchist
a big thing that's wrong is that they have a ton of relevance to racers (i.e. RRS, race organization, etc) but many racers have no idea or don't care.

I don't care a whit about casual sailors or cruisers. They are as relevant to US Sailing as two kids throwing a frisbee on the beach are to competitive ultimate Frisbee (or any other competitive sport with a national association)
Gotta disagree. Check out their website. They are claiming relevance for the recreational and even cruising (and even international cruising) sailor, virtually none of whom even know they exists to help(?).
 
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bloodshot

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Gotta disagree. Check out their website. They are claiming relevance for the recreational and even cruising (and even international cruising sailor)... virtually none of whom even know they exists to help(?).
and *that* part is what I disagree with US Sailing the most. They should be the national association for competitive sailing in the US and that alone. That mission will overlap with boating safety and instruction at times, but their mission should be limited to that.

That said, a lot of racers have zero interest in keeping up with rules and general competition requirements and that's a shame

BRING BACK USYRU!!

usyru-Google-Search.png
 

EYESAILOR

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a big thing that's wrong is that they have a ton of relevance to racers (i.e. RRS, race organization, etc) but many racers have no idea or don't care.

I don't care a whit about casual sailors or cruisers. They are as relevant to US Sailing as two kids throwing a frisbee on the beach are to competitive ultimate Frisbee (or any other competitive sport with a national association)
Since most racers are casual sailors..........they dont care a whit in return about US Sailing.

The tiny minority of serious racers dont care about US Sailing because the organizations that most affect their lives and sponsor their racing are their class associations and their clubs.

We had two major womens keel boat regattas organized within a 1.5 hour drive of my house. One by a club. One by a Class Association. Combined, 125 women sailors participated on the same weekend!
The number of attendees at the US Sailing run International Womens Keelboat Championship over the last 5 years = 0
 

Snaggletooth

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Oune of thinges I licked wase Katey Nastro, if they putte picts of herre in theire RRS I buye it evereytime.
 

MR.CLEAN

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Gotta disagree. Check out their website. They are claiming relevance for the recreational and even cruising (and even international cruising sailor)... virtually none of whom even know they exists to help(?).
They only have the monopoly for racing, and aren't really competitive with the organizations (ASA for one) for their other offerings. It'd be a better, more focused org were it called "USA Sail Racing" or something
 

Wess

Super Anarchist
and *that* part is what I disagree with US Sailing the most. They should be the national association for competitive sailing in the US and that alone. That mission will overlap with boating safety and instruction at times, but their mission should be limited to that.

That said, a lot of racers have zero interest in keeping up with rules and general competition requirements and that's a shame

BRING BACK USYRU!!

View attachment 540855
Don't see it as a shame. Its reality. Most racers are pretty casual, weekend warrior type and so again US Sailing has no relevance. They don't do an ounce of good and some maybe even most would argue they do bad. Have the rules of racing gotten more or less clear over time? I think most casual racers see US Sailing rightly as just one of so many with their hand out wanting money for nothing.
 

Monkey

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I could see a solution that if your ARO deems you worthy of recertification/renewal, then it should be just as easy as that. Taking the class every 4 years I guess isn't all that bad, but as long as your SOARs data is fulfilled, I don't see why they can't just go on that.
I'm actually totally in favor of the education side of RO certs. But I can see the argument that recertification for people like @Monkey may feel onerous when they have dozens if not hundreds of hours of RC experience per year. I'd listen to arguments that a middle ground is appropriate to gain and retain good qualified ROs.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m all for certification courses. None of us know everything and almost always learn new tips and tricks. My grumble was just that we pay annual dues to US Sailing, then they charge their volunteers to be allowed to volunteer. The instructors deserve to be paid, but our annual dues should pay for that. I would even argue that the certification should require “apprenticing” for a regatta under an experienced PRO. Classrooms teach a lot, but can never account for all the variables that happen out on the water. I didn’t mean to disrespect the folks teaching all the courses. They’re awesome! It’s the admin folks at the top that annoy me.
 

bloodshot

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Don't see it as a shame. Its reality. Most racers are pretty casual, weekend warrior type and so again US Sailing has no relevance. They don't do an ounce of good and some maybe even most would argue they do bad. Have the rules of racing gotten more or less clear over time? I think most casual racers see US Sailing rightly as just one of so many with their hand out wanting money for nothing.
reality as it may be, it still kind of sucks. I bet a larger percent of golfers know their sports' rules compared to sailors.
 

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