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If I were president of US SAILING, I would....
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The Publisher
*****


May 19, 2009, 12:20 PM

Post #1 of 64 (147964 views)
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During the US SAILING Board of Director’s meeting in April 2009, Director Gary Jobson noted how touched he has been by the support many have given him since the announcement of his nomination to be the next President of the Association. However, he wanted to remind all that the Association, just like our country, has only one President at a time, and that the current President is Jim Capron.

However, as he prepares for his term to begin in October, Jobson is meeting with each member of the Board of Directors in person, as a part of his fact-finding approach so that he may hit the ground running after the election. But what about sitting down with the ‘buttheads too?

Gary told us he would welcome the input from the Scuttlebutt community, so here is our chance. Also, to help motivate us,
OceanRacing.com has donated three Optimum Watches to be raffled off to everyone that submits their input.

So here is the format… fill in the blank:



"If I were president of US SAILING, I would______________________________."

Be sure to log-in, then click on reply (upper right corner) to submit your post. Raffle will be held June 1, 2009 (noon PT).







OPTIMUM TIME SAILING WATCHES
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http://www.oceanracing.com/product.php?cid=103




esteroali
**

May 20, 2009, 5:01 PM

Post #2 of 64 (147801 views)
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I would make US Sailing a group for all in the US that sail, especially the youth. US sailing needs to be inclusive to grow. Not just racing or yachting....but SAILING.....moving boats around on the water using wind. Spread the thrill and passion one kid at a time. Be a mentor. Take a non-sailor out on the water. DONATE your boat. Teach someone to sail.


Scarlett
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May 20, 2009, 8:41 PM

Post #3 of 64 (147768 views)
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Survey all of the members of US Sailing (and offer prizes in a drawing for each completed survey) to find out what big and small moves are best to grow and improve the sport.


bobscribner
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May 21, 2009, 3:45 AM

Post #4 of 64 (147730 views)
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If I were President of US Sailing I would have series of town hall meetings as input to my five year strategic plan. The plan needs to embrace the entire spectrum of sailing and create ways to broaden participation and more importantly create the involvement ,at a deeper level, from individuals who can contribute resources and time to provide the momentum to elevate participation, national and regional awareness.
Robert Scribner


mdharnois
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May 21, 2009, 6:13 AM

Post #5 of 64 (147695 views)
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worry more about the "Good Old Boat" kind of sailor, the one who can't buy a new boat or every new toy as soon as it hits the market.


guthpaul
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May 21, 2009, 8:00 AM

Post #6 of 64 (147674 views)
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If I were President of US Sailing I would I would seek to make the organization more inclusive and move to make sailing education more widely available throughout the larger community


toscana
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May 21, 2009, 9:06 AM

Post #7 of 64 (147661 views)
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I would institute a NATIONAL TAKE A YOUTH SAILING DAY!


Chip Nilsen
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May 21, 2009, 12:19 PM

Post #8 of 64 (147620 views)
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Work at all levels to promote sailing and provide a clear line of communication to the sailing world and as president make sure our country is competitive and meets the needs of all sailors by looking to the future, not the past.


danknoxsf
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May 21, 2009, 3:54 PM

Post #9 of 64 (147586 views)
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Give away a free booklet to all members containing the RRS. If necessary I would increase the dues to help pay for them.

It amazes me how many people out there don't have a clue. Well most have a clue or two on their sails but those on the only clues they have! :)


Ben Tice
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May 22, 2009, 5:38 AM

Post #10 of 64 (147528 views)
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Promote simplified sailboat races for the new, un-initiated or overwhelmed sailors. Promote simplified rules for these informal races.
Promote simplified starting procedures like rabbit starts to make it easier for the inexperienced to feel competitive.
Seek to reduce the elitist image of sailboat racing.


lincs62
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May 22, 2009, 6:10 AM

Post #11 of 64 (147518 views)
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If I were president of US Sailing, I would find a single, universally accepted solution for rating offshore boats.


Bruce Cattanach
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May 22, 2009, 7:25 AM

Post #12 of 64 (147503 views)
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hire a professional office staff to create a professional organization.

In the past, US Sailing hired "sailors" for office jobs. Some were able, some were not. As a Level 1 Instructor Trainer, we have good people now, but it is totally understaffed. It took years to create a quality website, as we used "sailors" not web design people.

To be the best, get the best.


psuchunk
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May 22, 2009, 10:59 AM

Post #13 of 64 (147469 views)
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...figure out a way to mainstream the sport of sailing in the US. It's not even recognized as a sport on ESPN.com, yet snowboarding and rally car racing are. I've always been a fan of building a true American syndicate, made up of American sailors, for the America's Cup. US Sailing could 'sponsor' or 'sanction' a syndicate as the US representative in the Cup, opening up contacts, and add legitimacy to the effort under the umbrella of US Sailing. Play up the America's Cup history and tradition of US boats winning, garner some media attention for the US boat and American sailors, get American companies involved in sponsorship. Get Americans - regular American's - interested.

Everything else should be able to fall into place form there... more youth interested and participating, leading to a demand for high-school sailing teams, leading to a swell of ICSA sailing, leading to a better effort and more recognition for Olympic sailing, and expansion of opportunities and accessibility for non-youth (read: adult) sailors.


Carbontech
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May 23, 2009, 1:30 PM

Post #14 of 64 (147392 views)
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If I were President of US Sailing I would focus my efforts on the long term growth and health of the sport, by encouraging youth and high school programs and providing a national program for introducing new sailors to the sport. The program would consist of a nationally recognized platform for YC's to introduce new sailors to the sport, provide 'simple' races to encourage cruisers and support low cost one designs.


youthsailor
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May 24, 2009, 6:44 PM

Post #15 of 64 (147317 views)
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If I was president of US Sailing, I would get more kids sailing. Inner city kids, rural kids, and suburban kids. I would find a boat that goes fast and cost a lot less, while still having the ability to grow as a class nationally and internationally. Kids are the future of our sport, we need them.


J29maniac
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May 25, 2009, 5:13 AM

Post #16 of 64 (147291 views)
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Work with clubs to somehow stop the elitist attitude that follows our sport - most of which is fueled by the un-welcome signs at club entrances announcing 'members only' (not a great way to get new participants).


ChiTown
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May 25, 2009, 6:25 AM

Post #17 of 64 (147282 views)
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Angelic have videos made that document & compare the good and bad "micro" sailing techniques ... jib position when rounding the upwind mark, tailing during a tack, the impact of weight distribution on the rail, etc.


petiedons
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May 25, 2009, 11:58 AM

Post #18 of 64 (147261 views)
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If I were President of US Sailing, I'd read all the posts on Scuttlebutt, then I'd take a real hard look at the sport of Golf. Really, golfing has been much more successful at reaching a mainstream audience than sailing. Both have the elitist stigma, both can be considered extremely dull to watch on TV, yet Golf has done an incredible job of becoming a tremendously popular sport. Gary, I say, learn some lessons from Golfing, Snowboarding, and Skating about publicity and marketing, then apply those lessons to the sport of Sailing and bring sailing back into the spotlight.

Regards,

Petiedons


scotrin
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May 25, 2009, 7:41 PM

Post #19 of 64 (147224 views)
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adjust membership costs to correspond to hard economic times.

Particularly, reducing costs for youth to become members, as having youth start early will get them into the swing of maintaining that membership as they get older.

Establish a means for youth and young adults to transition into having sailing as a greater priority after high school and college years.

Increased youth participation and fresh blood is the key to growing the organizational base.


eheisler
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May 25, 2009, 9:47 PM

Post #20 of 64 (147205 views)
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"If I were president of US SAILING, I would route more funds to small and poorly funded 501c3 Sailing "foundations" to grow the sport as a whole for the next generations of new sailors both old and young.


schai
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May 25, 2009, 11:57 PM

Post #21 of 64 (147192 views)
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If I were president of US Sailing, I would try to make US Sailing's WEB SITE into a point of INFORMATION AND LINKAGE to ALL sailing in the USA.

This would include easy to navigate links to all dinghy classes, yacht clubs, a map with links to yacht clubs, boat clubs, class associations, boating magazines, media listings, manufacturers, sailing instruction, dinghy and yacht dealers, sailboat chartering companies, etc., etc. Of course, it would also have a highly effective search engine that could narrow down the results to a class, a geographic area, a type of boat, etc.

This single point source of virtually all sailing information in the country would promote sailing at all levels. It would be the starting point for most sailing related web surfing. The non-racers would get frequent glimpses of the racing side of the sport. As an attraction, there might be videos of high performance sailboats, ultimate record attempts, etc., at much higher resolutions than Youtube. An expected side effect would be to enhance and support competitive sailing by making US Sailing more visible to a larger sailing population.

There would be clear links to forms to enable a class, vendor, yacht club, etc., to fill out a form, get verified, and added to the "US Sailing - Information Starting Point".
(USSISP, and USS-ISP.org, .com, .net are all available)

The better the site became as a tool for people interested in sailing, the more fun and information they gleaned from going there, the more often they would return and know about competitive sailing.

COST - the linkage and information pages could carry paid advertisements. The goal would be to generate enough revenue to support the web pages, but no more than necessary. It should NOT be considered a profit center for US Sailing, as the additional advertising bandwidth would burden the effectiveness of the main objective of fun and information.

Steve Chaikin

PS: Your landlubber sailingscuttlebutt SPELL CHECKER doesn't know the word "yacht" and offers "yeast" and "yost" instead. It is also not very patriotic, suggesting [Use, Us, Ugh, Uzi] for USA!





dtofias
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May 26, 2009, 3:12 AM

Post #22 of 64 (147174 views)
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if i were gary jobson, and the next president of US SAILING, i would begin to create strong, all inclusive, regional councils based on where we all sail. Sailing is a regional sport for most participants, and the organization should reflect the areas people compete. Best of luck Gary-
i know you will do a great job for sailing. cheers. donald tofias


chrisl
**

May 26, 2009, 4:15 AM

Post #23 of 64 (147164 views)
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...focus more on providing services to the average sailor. I'm not a US Sailing member and I can't think of a reason to join. There should be clear, obvious benefits to me joining.


gesail
*

May 26, 2009, 4:24 AM

Post #24 of 64 (147160 views)
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I had been a 35 year member of US Sailing until 2005. I quit because I was disgusted with the organization's general arrogance and complete disregard for the core of the sailing community- the amateur weekend club racer. I also became dissillusioned because of the organizations focus on youth sailing's obsession with the Optimist class, which is slowly killing our sport. Many 8 yearr olds are not mature enough to handle a boat by themsleves. Many of those, including my son, that can handle the boat are quietly scared to be alone but are too macho to admit it. Finally, the Optimist only trains skippers, not crew. The proof is in the pudding- look at all the kids who quit sailing by age 15.

US Sailing owes the sailing community a zero-based rethink of its role. It needs to lead the sport out of its obsession with training future Olympians and represent the majority of its declining membership- the everyday amateur. It also needs to stir the pot on youth sailing and get beyond what looks like strong participation and recognize singlehanded youth training is not a good way to teach well-rounded sailors who enjoy the sport beyond winning races.


sailstoo
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May 26, 2009, 7:50 AM

Post #25 of 64 (147112 views)
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make it a priority to make the rules understandable. Each four year iteration serves to make them more obtuse and undecipherable. This should be a non-issue rather than an entry bar to sailboat racing.


robstephan
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May 26, 2009, 9:15 AM

Post #26 of 64 (147046 views)
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Rapidly create a structure to promote Junior Big Boat programs at Yacht Clubs and Community Sailing Programs around the country. Junior Big Boat Programs, where junior sailors are exposed to the thrills and challenges of sailing boats over 24' is the best way to promote interest in sailing competition among the 16 and over crowd that is available. US Sailing could set up a certification for JBBS Instructors so that YC's know they are employing skilled instructors who are properly trained to supervise a crew on a boat over 24'. US Sailing can set up a revenue stream with training manuals and instructor clinics to help promote big boat sailing which will not only help US Sailing but add to the available talent ready and able to crew on big boats. If US Sailing takes a leadership role to promote this it will have a tremendous multiplier effect and could be the best way to ensure the continued interest in sailing for all those 16 and over! Rob Stephan, Fairfield, CT





Glenn McCarthy
**

May 26, 2009, 9:59 AM

Post #27 of 64 (147042 views)
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If I were president of US SAILING, I would...........

INTERNAL
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.

EXTERNAL
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.


Earl Boebert
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May 26, 2009, 10:12 AM

Post #28 of 64 (147037 views)
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I would initiate an activity to produce an Appendix to the RRS to cover friendly competitions in the Corinthian spirit.

With regard to basic principles, I would ask that the Appendix clearly state that races are to be won by superior seamanship and not by legalistic manipulation off the water.

With regard to detailed provisions, I would ask that the Appendix concentrate on the avoidance of contact and minimize the opportunity to exploit rules for tactical advantage.

With regard to process, I would insist that the Appendix be developed in the open, subjected to extensive and intensive peer review, and be tested in actually regattas before being submitted to ISAF for approval.

Cheers,

Earl


Blitzen
**

May 26, 2009, 10:21 AM

Post #29 of 64 (147036 views)
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US Sailing could get a lot of free advertising if every member was required to have a US Sailing sticker on their boat in order to qualify for the entry fee discount that is typically offered at regattas.

"Show your card & show your sticker" - add a little peer pressure to the mix to get more people to join up

Just like thee one-design classes.


pilgenfr
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May 26, 2009, 10:55 AM

Post #30 of 64 (147029 views)
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add multi-hulls back to Olympic sailing and I'm not even a multi-hull sailor. It should be about all kinds of sailing not just the ones each country thinks they can win.


Glenn McCarthy
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May 26, 2009, 11:37 AM

Post #31 of 64 (147019 views)
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8. Create an On-Line racing rules test. Where each time a different set of questions comes up. Then allow events to allow only competitors who have passed the test to compete.


dbs01
**

May 26, 2009, 4:50 PM

Post #32 of 64 (146931 views)
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Do a better job promoting the positive things that US Sailing does. The Olympic program seems to get all the publicity - and that's a very small part of what US Sailing does (and the money doesn't even come from US Sailing, it comes from the USOC, something I only recently discovered). How to do that? Well, that's the question - start with more ads in Scuttlebutt?


edwardkee
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May 27, 2009, 5:46 AM

Post #33 of 64 (146851 views)
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If I were president of US Sailing, I would consider adding a requirement that race competitors have served on a race committee. Just as certified race officers must have done some racing, it would help the sport if competitors were required to spend some time on the committee boat. Otherwise, we will continue to have competitors that have never served on a race committee, with some having no appreciation of the issues faced in running races.


Grrrrr
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May 27, 2009, 5:59 AM

Post #34 of 64 (146848 views)
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Bring someone like Wanda Kenton Smith aboard to creatively market US Sailing to ALL sailors. There should be a US Sailing sticker on every sailor's car, not just the hard core racer's.

Support organizations that grow our sport--the article about the Northwestern Univ. Sailing team offering BBQ and sailboat rides over the Memorial Day Wknd is an example of a concept that could be easily implemented and expanded throughout college campuses.

Shake it up, Gary! You can do it.
Grrrrr


stonehorse46
****

May 27, 2009, 6:44 AM

Post #35 of 64 (146831 views)
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Place a special emphasis on community boating with special recognition for increased participation (maybe by category e.g. adults, teenagers, disabled) and encourage regular competition between community boating organizations.


sails4fun
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May 27, 2009, 8:45 AM

Post #36 of 64 (146805 views)
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If I were President of US Sailing, I would redirect the focus to better represent our sport by showing some value to those sailors that do not race. Sailing is a sport that has a very small minority that races, yet US Sailing maintains a view that by focusing on racing, US Sailing is THE NATIONAL SAILING AUTHORITY.
If US Sailing is interested in promoting the sport of sailing, then take a position that represents the majority of sailors.
Membership would grow if sailors (other than racers) saw value in belonging.
This would fund Junior programs to teach sailing beyond the Yacht Club setting and make our sport reach many more potential sailors.


C.Brakman
*

May 27, 2009, 8:48 AM

Post #37 of 64 (146802 views)
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If I were president of US SAILING, I would use everything within my considerable powers to pull together yachtracing key constituents (including other national sailing organizations outside the US, sailors, race organizers from the Olympics to the America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and World Match Racing Circuit, yacht designers, sponsors, youth programs, but let's not forget windsurfing and kite boarding) to work together and design a nationwide and global sailing competition that's universally ranked / accepted as the US's and world's most prestigious yachtracing competition, or series. I would work with those same constituents to ensure popular broadcast coverage, including by revisiting the racing rules, making them much less complex, and making the sport more accessible to the public at large by relying more on faster yachts (like Volvo 70) graphics and color commentators. This would also involve increased usage of webvideo (Volvo Ocean Race), broadcast during regular hours with race progress logs, updated calculated positions, yachtperson standings etc. I would aim to come up with "Champions League" type of events that cut through the incredible dispersion in our sport and pull together the best from each individual event into a truly US and world-best 'umbrella' series, to add excitement, fun and interest to the sport, and increase interest by the viewing public and potential sponsors. Globally, I would very much seek the input from countries like Australia, Brazil, France, New Zealand, Spain and the UK as well as promising emerging economies like China and South Africa, where clear growth opportunities exist, in terms of participation, sponsorship and the yachting industry. Once I had the racing side sorted out and the envisaged event(s) running, I would focus on what was happening in the cruising community, since the recreational part of the sport would get a subsequent lift from the increased, higher level of interest on the racing side. All along, I would work with US government and other local governing bodies as well as the US Coast Guard to make sure all are "on board" and encourage them to (continue to) lead and enforce responsible stewardship programs that ensure the measured use and protection of our recreational assets, and be open and make changes to my plan on the road to implementation! --Christiaan Brakman


ralphlongfellow
*

May 27, 2009, 10:14 AM

Post #38 of 64 (146788 views)
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promote the benefits of being a member of US Sailing. Oh, Maybe I should review the benefits and determine if they need to be improved.


DaffyDik
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May 27, 2009, 2:42 PM

Post #39 of 64 (146770 views)
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I would get sponsorship in order to make a full length Oscar winning feature movie of the VOR.


YBFast1960
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May 27, 2009, 4:11 PM

Post #40 of 64 (146765 views)
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Re: [The Publisher] If I were president of US SAILING, I would.... [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

If I were president of US Sailing I would make it less expensive for volunteers to work for sailors. I've worked as a measurer, and paid the price for all the PHRF and Portsmith books. As I became a senior race officer I purchased the race officer and race management books, while qualifying to be a Judge I purchased more rules and appeals books. At one time you had to go to a US sailing national convention to take the tests which also cost money. All the time and money to become qualified was followed by more vacation time and expenses to volunteer to help run regatta's.

I no longer maintain certification in any of these activities because they became so cost prohibitive. I would love to get back involved but it appears I will need to win the lottery or inherit way more than I have to be able to afford the costs associated with being a volunteer.


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