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Next Step Boat from an Opti?
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RC
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Nov 15, 2006, 6:07 AM

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good editorial in Scuttlebutt today by EERO LEHTINEN.....

What is the sport doing for the growth of the sport? Making Opti's, an anachronism if there ever was one, the focus of getting people into the sport?

What can people do about the lack of transition between them and the next step in a sailor's development?


Montrose
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Dec 5, 2006, 9:00 AM

Post #2 of 8 (10076 views)
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Get Opti kids into windsurfing. Skateboarding came back from the dead in the US; now its time for windsurfing to do the same. Even if the kid does not have olympic dreams (but the US is wide open if they did), windsurfing is the perfect fit for this generation of kids that need to mess around more with sailing. Get away from the structure that is the current youth schedule, and just go out and rail-ride, head dip and wave jump your way back to the roots of the sport.


------------------------------------------------------------
Paul Elvestrom, "If, in the course of victory you have not won the respect of your competitors, you have won nothing at all."


PaulK
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Dec 5, 2006, 2:50 PM

Post #3 of 8 (10068 views)
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Re: [Montrose] Next Step Boat from an Opti? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Sounds like fun! When do we learn about how to work as a team to hold the boat flat, share tactical information, and use spinnakers? One of the reasons our sailing program moves kids out of optis before the max age is reached is because the kids need more social and teamwork skills that they can't develop in singlehanded boats. Lasers are lots of fun too, but you don't learn about working with others or additional sails in a Laser either. We are developing Pixel fleets in this area so that the sailors are more well-rounded and friendlier. Windsurfing in water that's frequently closed to clamming is another concern, especially for beginners. If it works for you, great. Imho it's not going to fly here.


msherman
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Dec 6, 2006, 6:41 AM

Post #4 of 8 (10055 views)
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There was a comment in on newsletter regarding how the 29'r should be fitted in as a transition boat.

I can see your point on how the fragmented number of classes don't tell an easily understood story to people (kids and parents) as they approach the sport. A consistent and well-understood pathway that takes kids from entry-level through successive steps would seem to be a big help. However, I guess it does seem that the opti's are doing so well that no one really has the energy to look past that and to the big picture.


Montrose
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Dec 7, 2006, 6:15 AM

Post #5 of 8 (10032 views)
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Re: [PaulK] Next Step Boat from an Opti? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Lots of ways to learn about teamwork. Let's not start damning all the individual sports like tennis, wrestling, track, alpine, etc.

Bringing windsurfing to the clubs will be major eye candy for the kids that are too cool to sail some of the clunker doublehanders (ie, FJ, 420). The fact is that alot of Opti kids do not continue sailing - this could be a way to keep some sailing, even if it is not mainstream.


Alicia
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Dec 7, 2006, 7:47 AM

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I think that the most important question to ask is "are there levels in sailing"
It depends quite a bit what your goal is where you transition to.
Do you want the kid to grow up and which does the kid want to be:
1. be an Volvo ocean racer
2. Cruise around the world with you when you retire
3. Be a good club level racer( thursday beer cans)
4. live on a sailboat
5. design sails for a living
6. be a profesional sailboat maker
7. The kid that is willing to go out sailing with his/her dad everytime they visit you

How about J22's or other smaller match race boats. you learn how to do all the positions and be part of a team.


PaulK
****


Dec 7, 2006, 6:30 PM

Post #7 of 8 (10018 views)
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Re: [Montrose] Next Step Boat from an Opti? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Tennis, Track, wrestling, Alpine skiing etc are all sports where individual results are compiled in a Team total that determines the results. Singlehanded boats like lasers or windsurfers could be (and are) used in team races. If that works to build social skills, great. The sailhandling question remains. Besides this, though, not all locations are "windsurfer friendly", despite having a lot of sailing going on. In our case, it is not only because of the questionable cleanliness of the water and its chilliness much of the year. Can you tow several windsurfers at a time? Tacking up our narrow channel in the prevailing wind would provide a lone windsurfer the opportunity to cause several tens of thousands of dollars of topside damage to moored boats each time he or she set out. Other places with beach or wider expanses of water would be better suited to windsurfers. Different boats are suited to differing situations - that's why there are so many different boats.



Attachments: Sprt in seas.jpg (178 KB)


kyle
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Dec 8, 2006, 1:04 PM

Post #8 of 8 (10007 views)
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Re: [PaulK] Next Step Boat from an Opti? [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

I think the point by the original poster is that there is no clear path for people in the sport, so they all know what to graduate into, teamwork or not. The development path needs to be spelled out more clearly, I agree, so that it is easier to hook/get hooked into sailing as one gets older. Won't happen, due to the scattered dispersements of one designs so communities don't share the same approach as often as they should, but it is a good idea.


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