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

Monkey

Super Anarchist
11,059
2,691
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
Apparently college sailing doesn’t care either because I just got roped into running a match race regatta for them. I’m still wondering when I’ll finally get paid for all this! 🤣
 

Foredeck Shuffle

More of a Stoic Cynic, Anarchy Sounds Exhausting
reality as it may be, it still kind of sucks. I bet a larger percent of golfers know their sports' rules compared to sailors.
Hit ball, hit ball again, try to hit the little ball into the larger hole, keep trying. Memorize these names for how many shots it took you to put the ball into the hole and use them so that you sound cool while drinking your hard seltzer light zero and straightening the collar on your golf shirt.
 
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EYESAILOR

Super Anarchist
3,632
2,101
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.
I lend my boat to a bunch of drunken losers every other weekend, I volunteer to drive unpaid, and US Sailing doesn't even offer to pay for my entry fees. I demand to know where my membership fees go.

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Wess

Super Anarchist
reality as it may be, it still kind of sucks. I bet a larger percent of golfers know their sports' rules compared to sailors.
I don't know if that is true or not but it would not surprise me. The casual weekend warrior golfer can go out and have fun and not need to spend lots of time wondering what the rules of their sport are (they are easily known and understood)... whereas the casual weekend warrior sailor can't especially if its after a recent rules change cycle. US Sailing seems only to have value to a sailor on an Olympic track and that ain't many sailors.

Not trolling and not hating here but honestly, what is it you think US Sailing does for the casual club level weekend warrior sailor who has no interest in the Olympics?

I am guessing your answer will have something to do with the rules of sailing or the application thereof. And that I suggest is actually the problem and not the benefit. They make the sport less and less accessible by making the rules more and more complex, no? There are many many many olympic level sports that don't have this problem (of rules so complex they are a barrier to entry). Fix that US Sailing!
 
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EYESAILOR

Super Anarchist
3,632
2,101
Hit ball, hit ball again, try to hit the little ball into the larger hole, keep trying. Memorize these names for how many shots it took you to put the ball into the hole and use them so that you sound cool while drinking for hard seltzer light zero and straightening the collar on your golf shirt.
I would rather be dead than play golf.
 

bloodshot

Super Anarchist
1,611
151
United States
I don't know if that is true or not but it would not surprise me. The casual weekend warrior golfer can go out and have fun and not need to spend lots of time wondering what the rules of their sport are (they are easily known and understood)... whereas the casual weekend warrior sailor can't especially if it after a recent rules change cycle. US Sailing seems only to have value to a sailor on an Olympic track and that ain't many sailors.

Not trolling and not hating here but honestly, what is it you think US Sailing does for the casual club level weekend warrior sailor who has no interest in the Olympics?

I am guessing your answer will have something to do with the rules of sailing or the application thereof. And that I suggest is actually the problem and not the benefit. They make the sport less and less accessible by making the rules more and more complex, no? There are many many many olympic level sports that don't have this problem (of rules so complex they are a barrier to entry). Fix that US Sailing!
Im not sure the sailing rules becoming more complex lies solely with US Sailing or not. maybe IYRU? Maybe RYA? Maybe a combo or all or none?

I do think that US Sailing at least provides an avenue to a) learn the rules and b) be trained to run and/or judge a good race. Again, its nowhere near perfect....
 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
11,059
2,691
I lend my boat to a bunch of drunken losers every other weekend, I volunteer to drive unpaid, and US Sailing doesn't even offer to pay for my entry fees. I demand to know where my membership fees go.

View attachment 540898
I’m not exactly sure what point you’re trying to make.

Edit: I really hope you have a good explanation for your post.
 
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EYESAILOR

Super Anarchist
3,632
2,101
I am guessing your answer will have something to do with the rules of sailing or the application thereof. And that I suggest is actually the problem and not the benefit. They make the sport less and less accessible by making the rules more and more complex, no? There are many many many olympic level sports that don't have this problem (of rules so complex they are a barrier to entry). Fix that US Sailing!
The rules are produced by World Sailing. Historically, US Sailing representation on the World Sailing Rules Committee has made a significant contribution to revising the RRS but that is due to the contributions of specific individuals volunteering their time and expertise rather than USS.
The rules have been simplified over the years.

Yes, there are new additions to deal with new challenges like drugs, environment and waste but the core of the racing rules in Part 2 "When Boats meet" has gotten shorter and simpler such that now it consists of 4 paragraphs and 120 succint words.

Then there are a few more paragraphs which deal with transitions, which can be summed up as....."Give the Keep Clear boat room to keep clear"

And rule 18 at the mark.

A brief rules course, which costs less than a round of beer for the crew gets most skippers up to speed with all they need for the weekend warrior.
 

J88 Alchemy

New member
The negative comments are pretty surprising and discouraging. If you have never used the Skill Up App, you should. If you have never attended a US Sailing Coaching Seminar or National Symposium you should. The last coaching symposium was online (because of Covid), and free for 3 full days and the content was great. In addition, the education department at US Sailing is accessible, interested in feedback, and has developed excellent programming (REACH, etc.).

If you have worked closely with any of the US Sailing staff or programs and you still have complaints, let them know. If you haven't, maybe you aren't aware of all the good things that US Sailing continues to do for the sport. It's not a perfect organization, but in my opinion, they are doing a great service to the sport.
 

EYESAILOR

Super Anarchist
3,632
2,101
I’m not exactly sure what point you’re trying to make.

Edit: I really hope you have a good explanation for your post.
Your "grumble", as you describe it is that you have to pay a fee of $40 for a recertification course every 4 years. That amortizes to $10 a year. It is such a small amount and seems great value to me.
Many enjoy the recertification course and don't begrudge contributing their time in attendance and the small gesture towards the cost.
It is entirely voluntary, and only for those who enjoy being a certified race officer and staying up to date.
 

Lucky Dog

Member
280
26
Detroit
I am not going to re-up my 30+ year membership as I am done.

I do not see what value you get and frankly the most of PRo's in this sport are assholes.
 

sunseeker

Super Anarchist
3,689
623
The negative comments are pretty surprising and discouraging. If you have never used the Skill Up App, you should. If you have never attended a US Sailing Coaching Seminar or National Symposium you should. The last coaching symposium was online (because of Covid), and free for 3 full days and the content was great. In addition, the education department at US Sailing is accessible, interested in feedback, and has developed excellent programming (REACH, etc.).

If you have worked closely with any of the US Sailing staff or programs and you still have complaints, let them know. If you haven't, maybe you aren't aware of all the good things that US Sailing continues to do for the sport. It's not a perfect organization, but in my opinion, they are doing a great service to the sport.
You think a fucking app is somehow better than actually sailing with really good people?

“The education department”? Fine, for a newbie that’s never sailed I’m sure it’s sufficient, but this stuff is worthless for the purpose of racing sailboats.

And yes, I’ve worked plenty for decades with USYRU/US Sailing. I’m old enough to know the difference in the organization then and now. It used to be a volunteer led organization, now it’s an ivory tower think/wank tank.
 
The judging seminars and courses run by US sailing are generally excellent. If anyone here has negative comments based on actually attending them, then speak up and give the feedback. They welcome feedback. I have attended a couple and they were really good.

I have not attended a race management seminar. I have passed by one that Hank Stuart was giving and everyone seemed to be having an interesting and good time. People I speak to who have attended them, including really experienced PROs who have run Olympic lines say good things about them.

There is lots that can be improved at US Sailing but the judging and race management certification infrastructure seems in good shape. Any process of improvement needs to change what needs changing but keep what is good. If it aint broke, dont fix it.
 
I have read some of the complaints about the $40 fee for attending the Race Management seminar. I respect opinions of those who contribute, hours, days and weeks of their time to running races for us....but respectfully, I strongly disagree. US Sailing must not start paying for courses attended by volunteers. It is a slippery slope.

Despite the disemboweling of the previous democratic governance of US sailing, it still preserves some key characteristics of a volunteer organization. I agree that US Sailing needs to change and the organization needs to get closer to the grass roots of sailing. But it must preserve that volunteer ethos without the gravy train, expense paid image that has beset World sailing. The US Sailing board members pay their own air fares and hotel expenses when attending board meetings and summits, so do all the volunteers and committee members. The senior judges and PROs pay for their courses and recertification. We cannot charge our travel expenses, hotel rooms or the $40 course fee to US Sailing. That is how it should be. The moment that US Sailing membership fees start paying for volunteer courses etc, we open a door that cannot be closed.

Membership fees should pay the professional staff, the rent, light and heat of the building, lobbying fees so that Sailing is well represented in our increasingly legislative environment . research, creating the courses to certify judges, race officers and instructors and some selective and effective grants.
Everything else, whether offshore certificates, attending courses, Olympics etc should roughly cover its own expenses.

Pay the $40, because if we dont we open pandora's box.
 
I am not going to re-up my 30+ year membership as I am done.

I do not see what value you get and frankly the most of PRo's in this sport are assholes.
I am not a PRO but I do a lot of sail boat racing , and my experience is that there are more assholes on the race course that there are in the committee boat. :) . But there are even more assholes on land, which is why I like to get out on a boat.
 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
11,059
2,691
I am not a PRO but I do a lot of sail boat racing , and my experience is that there are more assholes on the race course that there are in the committee boat. :) . But there are even more assholes on land, which is why I like to get out on a boat.
Nobody that’s an asshole should be a PRO. I genuinely enjoy making racing possible for others. That’s it. Same goes for every good PRO I’ve ever worked for. We all do it to support the game. Inevitably, we make someone mad every time. It’s a thankless job. Trust me, nothing makes everyone hate you more than putting up an AP flag.
 

Wess

Super Anarchist
I am sorry but you just don’t get this. Very few see any value. People vote with their feet. This is an organization just like WS and all the rest in the racket that does nothing for most sailors and even most racers and is just another entity picking pockets and it’s be obvious for years. A sport that should be fun and easy and affordable has been turned into something elitist, complicate and expensive and so ordinary people just walk away. There are far too many better options to have fun.
 
Nobody that’s an asshole should be a PRO. I genuinely enjoy making racing possible for others. That’s it. Same goes for every good PRO I’ve ever worked for. We all do it to support the game. Inevitably, we make someone mad every time. It’s a thankless job. Trust me, nothing makes everyone hate you more than putting up an AP flag.
That has been my experience.
the AP doesnt bother me. That is what the tunes are for.
 
I am sorry but you just don’t get this. Very few see any value. People vote with their feet. This is an organization just like WS and all the rest in the racket that does nothing for most sailors and even most racers and is just another entity picking pockets and it’s be obvious for years. A sport that should be fun and easy and affordable has been turned into something elitist, complicate and expensive and so ordinary people just walk away. There are far too many better options to have fun.
Oh Geez. It is not US Sailing that makes sailboat racing expensive. Membership is a lousy $65 per year and less if you join for a multi year deal.
What makes sailing expensive is the cost of admission for most clubs
What makes admission expensive for most clubs on the Eastern Seaboard is real estate taxes. It is a fundamental difference between the UK and here. The cheaper clubs around here are thousands of dollars a year which would make them among the most expensive in the UK where you can join a decent club for a couple of hundred quid.
In order to cover their real estate taxes, yacht clubs start adding useless fluff like fine dining, swimming pools, tennis courts, 12 hour launch services, fuel docks, which makes the cost of sailing a sunfish on Thursdays totally inaccessible. The cost of US sailing is a mere blip. If they really wanted to spend money to affect sailing, lobby for real estate tax concessions for sailing clubs.
 




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