Mar 7, 2013, 2:18 PM
Re: [The Publisher] HOW TO ANSWER: "HOW EXPENSIVE IS SAILING?"
From John Lambert:
Having read several follow-up comments to Mr. McCarthy's "How expensive is sailing?" and his conclusion that it's for millionaires - but don't admit it, I am unable to resist noting the irony of that edition also announcing the Rolex U.S. sailors of the year; not the Timex or Casio sailors of the year, but Rolex. We associate our "sailor of the year" with conspicuous consumption?
Despite the sport of sailboat racing (not sailing, really a different activity) struggling to sustain its numbers at the adult level, our sport's stewards seek out branding opportunities like Rolex to reinforce the association of racing and wealth (It ain't the "Kia Melges 20", it's the "Audi Melges 20").
Stewardship is not, however, content with only such branding. Just weeks ago, it was announced that the U.S. Youth Championship, now governed by the Olympic Development Cmtee - part of the Olympic development process - a path that less than 1% of US sailors have chosen - will include even more expensive classes and that, in at least one instance, virtually nobody owns (the F16 US Class Assn doesn't even have a website).
Hey, here's a plan to grow the sport: for kids, let's use expensive boats that are hard to find in the US or better yet, boats like the F16 that nobody owns. Sure the plan will disenfranchise many kids, but it will make it more likely that those who do race, will be kids who can buy Rolexes.
As for the other kids, let them eat cake.
From Malinda Crain, Chair, US Sailing Youth Championships Committee:
We would like to thank John Lambert for his note, as it provides us another opportunity to share information about the upcoming 2013 US Sailing Youth Championships, to be held in Corpus Christi, TX, August 12-16, and to provide some details about the event that may have been overlooked.
The US Sailing Youth Championship Committee works hard to ensure that the US Youth Champs is the premier youth sailing event in the country. We are constantly evaluating the criteria for selection, the equipment to be included, the venues and the economic value for the sailors and their families. As examples of this, three years ago we moved the event from June to August, so the sailors could be at their best; and two years ago we voted to include the I-420 in the event, in addition to the C-420, beginning in 2013.
As a committee, we are cooperating with the Olympic Sailing Committee to make Youth Champs a stepping stone on the Olympic Pathway, should a sailor be interested in this pursuit. This year, the US Youth Championship will also be a qualifying event for the 2014 ISAF Youth Worlds Team. With this addition, it is necessary to include the equipment that ISAF has chosen for the Youth World Championship.
We have expanded the number of classes from 4 to 7 by adding the I-420 (which we were doing in any event), the F-16 multihull and boys and girls RS:X windsurfers. We have not removed any equipment from the event and will also include Lasers, Laser Radials, Club 420s and 29ers as in previous years. Additionally, our maximum number of selected sailors has been increased from 150 to 170 to accommodate the expanded number of classes. Free housing and free coaching by the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider coaches are available to all participants. Sailing grants (sailorships) based on financial need to support travel to a US Sailing junior or youth championship are also available.
The US Youth Championships is all about providing our best youth sailors with a competitive experience unlike any other available in the USA, and we expect this year's event will provide our top youth sailors with a chance to compete against the very best while exposing them to other types of equipment and opportunities. We are especially pleased that for the first time, all of the small boat-types will be in our event – dinghies, skiffs, sailboards and multi-hulls! The sailors who attend the 2013 US Sailing Youth Championship will be strengthening the future of sailing in the USA by gaining both experience and knowledge of the many facets of our sport.
Applications will close at midnight on March 22, 2013 and are available online at http://championships.ussailing.org/.../US_Youth_Champs.htm