May 26, 2009, 9:59 AM
Post #27 of 64
If I were president of US SAILING, I would...........
Re: [sailstoo] If I were president of US SAILING, I would....
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1. Support the in-house sponsors and not give away watches that are made by a different manufacturer. I'll be looking for my Rolex in the mail!
2. Change the bylaws back to the bottom up management format and get the volunteers back in charge.
3. Eliminate the "member elections," as it has been determined to be a farce and expensive. Replace it with a representative model in the bylaws like in the prior bylaws.
4. Figure out why dues have outpaced inflation by an enormous amount over the past 15 years and why benefits disappeared during the same period. This ship needs righting.
5. As US SAILING does not have any marketing program to grow the sport, at least pretend to try by partnering with the NMMA "Grow Boating" campaign and ISAF's "Connect to Sailing" campaign and the "Summer Sailstice" campaign. Some things can be accomplished for very little cost.
6. Wake up and realize that certified judges, certified tace officers, etc. does not grow the sport. They are nice compliments to it, but don't hang your hat on it.
7. While certified race officers have increased quality on the race course, it has come with a sacrifice. The sacrifice has been not starting races on time and long delays between subsequent races. Not just at championship events, but at club racing as well. Change the race management program to accomplish: 1. Start races at the appointed hour. 2. Teach race management to have two teams on board, one who finishes the race, another simultaneously on the radio getting the weather mark re-set after the last boat rounds it in anticipation of the next race, when a gap arrives of finishers, move the starting mark if necessary too. We have lost too many days of racing and too many subsequent races with "quality race management." Improve it! Give us more racing.
8. Here is a big project for the sport. Simply what it does is standardizes the quality of the experience of racing. When I go event to event, I never know what to expect, as a result my expectations are low. Even repeating the same event from year to year, there is no way to know what you will get. While US SAILING has created all sorts of manuals for the pieces and parts of sailboat racing, it has missed the target by not creating the regatta managers manual. I see this manual with three tiers. Tier 1 is for national and international events. Tier 2 is for regional events. Tier 3 is for club events. Every person put in charge of any event needs to read this manual. It would cover everything. How to appoint race officials (and make the manager aware of the US SAILING manuals associated to it), how to do good web reporting (results and stories), meals available, how to set up parties and socials (which must be a part of any race), how to rent dance bands, coordinate guest housing at members homes, registration set up, etc. etc. etc. Once written, a club could advertise that they are running a Tier 2 event, which would have a "minimum" set of standards (food service, parties, good web reports going out, etc.) and I would then know what to expect from the event. The printed document all sailors see today is the NOR and SIs which advise that none of the stuff mentioned above should be included in them. So race managers leave out the social information in their advertisements and just use the NOR and SIs to promote their events. The sport needs to be fun, if not, people will go to Six Flags, Disney World, Weddings, Weekend Getaways, etc. We are competing against many other aspects of peoples time. If we don't start advertising the social end of events, and only advertise the racing aspect of the events, we will get what we are getting today - less participation. We need to revert to the old days of bringing back the fun and advertising it.
As the US SAILING membership continues to drop, it is a result of dropping participation in the sport. Take the success lessons where there are pockets of growth and repeat, then repeat often. If you want to see membership in US SAILING grow, you'll first have to figure out how to make the sport attractive once again.