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If I were president of US SAILING, I would....
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annieb19
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May 27, 2009, 4:46 PM

Post #41 of 64 (57974 views)
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I would make it a priority to ensure a strong line of successors to the top posts. Dedicated managers, talented communicators, enthusiastic sailors. Create a better process to bring these potential leaders to the top of the organization. Thanks for asking Gary!


jeffrubin
*

May 27, 2009, 6:30 PM

Post #42 of 64 (57970 views)
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.....simplify the make up of the Board of Directors. I would create a Board of Directors of 12 competent individuals representing the various interest groups in our sailing community. i.e. racing, crusing, small boats, large boats, youth sailing, Olympic sailing, etc. I would create committees representing each group who would report to the Board. The Board would have an elected president acting as chairman of the board. I would run USSA like every other major company.





PaulK
****


May 27, 2009, 6:58 PM

Post #43 of 64 (57965 views)
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Wow! Lots of good ideas here. I have to agree with many who feel that learning to sail in singlehanded boats tends to put off kids who like to socialize and who coordinate well with others. Boosting participation by including more people and making sailing more accessible in a variety of ways also makes sense. If I were president of US Sailing, I would do this by promoting sailing on "big boats", such as racer/cruisers, which can obviously accommodate the most people on board at a time. Including the most people would mean discouraging divisive rating rules that dilute the racing by reducing the overall fleet size and whose rating certificates are inordinately expensive. I would therefore actively promote PHRF - perhaps with some improvements - to get the most people out racing and having fun sailing.


Glenn McCarthy
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May 28, 2009, 9:55 AM

Post #44 of 64 (57953 views)
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9. I have gone through the judges certification a few times. It wipes out a weekend. It goes through things learned previously. Most of the sport remains the same and the few changes are picked up through other readings and communications. There is absolutely no reason the course couldn't be put on the web as online education done on my own time, at my own speed. There is no reason why the test (with randomized questions) couldn't be online as well and automated so it punches out a certificate when successful. Like the gentleman said previously, it would reduce the cost for the volunteers and I would add the time investment considerably. I suspect the same logic would apply to race management courses and safety at sea courses as well (though there is a hands-on component that for safety at sea that would not be eligible to the web).

The result of these online classes is that you would double or quadruple the number of people who would become certified, and isn't that the idea, to get more people involved?


Weekend Warrior
***


May 28, 2009, 12:18 PM

Post #45 of 64 (57948 views)
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Gary,

How about a simplified set of 'club racing' rules? They could be printed on both sides of an 8 1/2 x 11 plastic card and kept in the cockpit or sheet bag. Everyone would get one with their membership.

Cheers,

Ed Kriese
Ocean Racing
G. E. Kriese
www.OceanRacing.com


mlh
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May 28, 2009, 7:55 PM

Post #46 of 64 (57941 views)
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Increase the focus on community sailing programs.


maross
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May 29, 2009, 6:23 AM

Post #47 of 64 (57922 views)
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I would try to get the word out to a larger audience. I would move events (races, shows, seminars) out of the sailing meccas and spread them all along the coasts. World Match Race type sailing is great becasue people can view the action from the shore.


JPraley
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May 29, 2009, 6:31 AM

Post #48 of 64 (57920 views)
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If I were President of US sailing, I would turn sponsorship of the Olympic team over to a separate entity. While the Olympics are sexy, they are a tremendous distraction for the organization, requiring a tremendous expenditure of time and resources. (How much were the attorney's fees in the Farah Hall case?) By taking the Olympics off the table the organization could concentrate on what I believe are more critical responsibilities - sailing education, growing participation in the sport and so on. Another benefit would be that by giving up its Olympic role, US Sailing would get out from under the Ted Stevens Sports Act and the dictates regarding our sport's rules.


allmarblehead
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May 29, 2009, 8:13 AM

Post #49 of 64 (57915 views)
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Need to do it with passion and have the time. With both firmly in hand, I would take an assistant and go on a serious road trip and hit as many regattas and organize club events around the mission "What can USSA do for the sport and the activity of sailing".

I would have a system of objectives that would allow me to look at the wide spectrum of sailing and begin to drill down into specific action items to better our sport and increase the exposure of sailing from Olympic sailing to the day sailer and youngster.

Tops on my list would be to have Jr. Ambassadors to help me with this endeavor at each place that I land. Get young sailors involved in the organization and in spreading the word and conveying the message by highlighting their achievements and experiences on the water. A "bring a kid sailing for a day" is just scratching the surface on our most valuable resource...children. Every club should be encouraged to introduce afternoon sails or racing positions to youth organizations as a staple program and not just a token day.

I would share the only expectation that I have with my 2 children that it is about the joy of sailing and "messing around on boats". Then, they can run with it to the extent that is good for them. One of my girls is into it big time ad the other likes to putt around the harbor. Both like to sail and will hopefully bring that love and aptitude with them through their lives.


DaveFew
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May 31, 2009, 8:44 AM

Post #50 of 64 (57880 views)
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If I were President of US Sailing I would post all PHRF ratings as their current numbers plus about 550, the intent being to portray a number that represents the time the committee believes it takes the boat to sail one n.m. on the course type specified in nominal conditions for that PHRF area. ---Just as the IMS GP number does/did. Remember the rating of ZERO was for the scratch boat "American Eagle" when it was the fastest thing in So Cal and we now have ratings approaching minus 200 for OWC. -- Dave Few Past Chairman, NCPHRF Area G


clinnin
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May 31, 2009, 11:19 AM

Post #51 of 64 (57881 views)
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If I were King of US Sailing, Not queen, not duke, not baron.
My regal robes of the fleet, would be cuban, not cotton, not dacron.
I'd command each thing, be it ellison or ehman.
With a woof and a woof and a royal growl - woof.
As I'd click my heel, all the boats would heel.
And the sloops bow and the cats kowtow.
And America's Cup would take wing - If I - If I - were King!
ESPN would show respect to me. The Clubs all genuflect to me.
Though my sail would lash, I would show compash
For every underling!
If I - If I - were King!
Just King!
Monarch of all I survey -- Mo--na-a-a--a-arch Of all I survey!


wizard
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May 31, 2009, 7:59 PM

Post #52 of 64 (57869 views)
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If I were president of US Sailing __________________

If I were president of US Sailing, I would poll the membership to see who belongs for one design, who belongs for inshore, who belongs for offshore and so forth for all of the various groups served. And of course. to quote our old friend Harvey Kilpatrick, some members just belong for "The Good of The Order" Then I would tally the polls and make sure each group is properly served.

Then I would again poll the membership to see who is a amateur and who is a pro. And of course, who is in between. To quote one friend of mine, "I have two strikes against me . . . . . . I am classified as a pro, but in reality I am not all that good." Then again I would tally the polls and make sure US Sailing is serving the whole spectrum well.

Bill Lee





waskow
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May 31, 2009, 8:07 PM

Post #53 of 64 (57867 views)
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If I were president of US SAILING, I would:

Come up with a program that serves the grass roots weekend sailors that is part of your
US Sailing Membership. For example build on the Mount Gay speaker series: free (or significantly reduced rate) admission for US Sailing members and charge for non members. Expand education so it's not always about getting a certification but itís about educating sailors. Have US sailing host rules seminars, racing seminars, and clinics for the general membership and not just for Junior Instructors, RC, or Judges. These should be free or at nominal cost and not cost $50 to $100.

I have an AAA card that I show for discounts everywhere. I canít recall anyone ever asking to see my
US Sailing card. Create mass appeal tie ins like a discount to major boat shows or with sailing retailers. Or save the US Sailing budget and stop mailing out cards.

List all the US Sailing member Yacht Clubs on the US Sailing site under a link ďIf you would like to start or continue sailing click hereĒ and then show Yacht Clubs and Community Sailing Organizations on a google style map you can click on for more information.

Create incentives to volunteer, and donít treat the most active members as cash cows. As a certified Judge and Club Race Officer I pay to attend the seminars and pay for the manuals, appeals, and rule books. So I have to pay money and give up rare sailing time to stay certified, and no one cares that I am certified. Unless you want to host a US Sailing Championship or an Olympic trials the issue does not come up. If you are an active volunteer in your local area and help run events, no one asks if you are certified when they ask you to help. I know many excellent race offices who have no interest in becoming certified. They run raced well and donít see the benefit of becoming certified when it takes time and money.

Best of Luck


pooodil
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May 31, 2009, 10:17 PM

Post #54 of 64 (57863 views)
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ask all the past Olympians who have participated in world sailing events to be on the board. I would then ask Gary Jobson to be president of US sailing as my replacement when I resign. I would request a website with a live chat room and live feed for active sailing events to help excel our competitive sailors in upcoming regatta's.


EasyWind
**

Jun 1, 2009, 4:05 AM

Post #55 of 64 (57858 views)
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I would make Team Racing a top priority,including entering the event into the Olympics. It's co-ed, the races are short with plenty of action at mark roundings. An entire race could be aired, giving the first time viewer something new and exciting to watch without falling asleep,(e.g., boring windward-leeward courses) Let Gary Jobson do the play-by play with Dave Perry providing his witty commentary and rules info.


rg3john2
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Jun 1, 2009, 4:59 AM

Post #56 of 64 (57857 views)
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If I were president of US SAILING, I would focus on the new sailor. More educational articles, more how to get started, buying your first boat, etc...

I love reading about the "big" stuff, but am often confused because I'm such a beginner.


sayrasail
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Jun 1, 2009, 7:06 AM

Post #57 of 64 (57849 views)
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would focus on Junior Sailing, Junior Sailing and Junior Sailing.


JohnSherwood
*

Jun 1, 2009, 7:25 AM

Post #58 of 64 (57846 views)
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If I were president of U. S., Sailing I would work to keep people who are already involved in the sport actively sailing. Included are young adults who have been in junior/scholastic/college sailing but who drop out in their twenties. For them I would encourage loaner boat programs like that of the Lightning Class and borrowed/shared boats at clubs and/or community sailing venues. Another group would be seniors (age 50 and up.) Seniors have the interest and means and even the time. Some classes devote events and/or recognition to senior sailors but participants don't receive much attention, compared, say, with junior sailors and Olympic hopefuls. These are ready markets that tend to get lost in the fuss made over the grand prix elite. ..... John Sherwood, Annapolis (still actively racing at 73)


The Publisher
*****


Jun 1, 2009, 9:36 AM

Post #59 of 64 (57840 views)
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Thanks to everyone that contributed their input to this thread. I just traded emails with Gary, and I will now be forwarding everyone's input to him. Thanks also to OceanRacing.com, which provided the three Optimum Watches to be raffled off to everyone that submited their input. I just conducted the random drawing, and here were the winners:

danknoxsf
psuchunk
YBFast1960

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt


In Reply To
During the US SAILING Board of Directorís 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 Ďbuttheads 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 formatÖ 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
OceanRacing.com has got the latest models with large, easy-to-read digits, pre-programmed 5,4,1,0 ISAF start sequences, loud audible alerts, sync feature for spot on starts and bright electro-luminescence backlight displays for nighttime viewing. Shock and water resistant, all watches come with a one year warranty plus an easy to understand manual. --
http://www.oceanracing.com/product.php?cid=103



The Publisher
*****


Jun 19, 2009, 11:23 AM

Post #60 of 64 (57687 views)
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In Reply To
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.



From Mark Schneider:

Interesting point of view and you assign the responsibility to the Yacht Club for the racing and social event and want to grade them as tier 1, 2, or 3 in order to manage sailor expectations according to USSA standards.

Yacht clubs are volunteer organizations that are reciprocating racing privileges with clubs in their area and they do the best they can. I would think that standards established from on high and then grading the YCís efforts on the event would not be seen as welcome. Moreover, a Yacht Club can only manage the facilities that make a social event happen. I think you are missing the real cause of the problems. Your point about expectations is on target: When your expectations are low you canít be upset about what you actually get but your ultimate satisfaction can be limited. Worse, you donít have a reason to schedule the time the following year. Anticipation of the event is a big factor in peopleís appreciation of the regatta.

It seems to me that the fundamental element to reorient is the class management (or lack thereof) and not the Yacht Club. For example, YCís take last yearís NOR and relist the class starts. It does not matter if only two boats raced in PHRF C last year. The result is another dull race for two different boats and no social event and no reason to waste your time showing up next year. Do you blame the YC or do you blame the PHRF C class?

IMO, USSA needs to set some standards up for this class management issue at the local level. USSA must address the expectations game for both racing, (number of boats on the line) and social scene and support their RSAís and YCís in having each class (Handicap or OD) take ownership of the FUN factor. USSA and the RSA could take the leadership on these issues and recommended that Yacht Clubs cancel or not offer starts to classes that donít measure up. The YC would then be able to tell a class ďSorry, we are rolling you into the non spin class or refunding your entry fee because you did not measure upĒ. Forcing a class (Handicap or OD) to generate a consensus and commit to a racing schedule and take ownership of their social event will go a long way to fixing weekend racing. Responsible classes get to choose which events and parties to attend and how often they race as a class etc.

USSA could set the standards and support the RSAís and Yacht clubs in holding the handicap and OD classes to a standard of viability. Low expectations result in the decline of the sport. They are not the basis of a phoenix like rebirth of the sport.





Glenn McCarthy
**

Jun 19, 2009, 12:36 PM

Post #61 of 64 (57666 views)
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Mark,

I've thought about this long and hard. But I need to take a step back in time which will help you with the answer. US SAILING used to be about Yacht Clubs and YRA's coming to the table and developing common standards. Originally a hundred years ago there were many handicap systems around that made moving your boat from event to event borderlining on ridiculous. The clubs came together at NAYRU and created a handicap system that was universal. Today's version of US SAILING with the Top Down management that you describe is a problem for coming up with these types of solutions.

So my suggestion is linked to the concept that the standards are developed at the table by yacht clubs. This stuff isn't rocket science, but more importantly the problem is that all events have high turnover at the top at clubs. Whoever runs an event one year, is probably not in charge of the event the next year.

So by developing a set of standards that shows that the event will provide 3 squares a day, and the adult beverages are provided for, that the band is part of it at 8:00, and what ever else creates a template that is not only duplicated from club to club, it is also duplicated from year to year at the same club with different volunteers each year.

Why should the quality change from year to year as volunteers change from year to year? If we use the excuse that it is volunteer run and we allow things to be dropped and forgotten about over time, the inconsistancy not applies not only from event to event, but within each event from year to year.

And people keep scratching their heads wondering why participation is down? Either we provide a quality product that is consistant, or we end up with the hodge podge we have in the sport.

In no way am I suggesting standards that clubs can't meet. As the standards must be developed by clubs, they know their limits on what they can accomplish.

I can go anywhere in the U.S. and order a Big Mac, Fries and a Vanilla Shake. Each time I know exactly what I am getting (besides clogged arteries!). It is consistant, the weight and size is standard, and the flavor doesn't vary. If a happy meal can be standardized with millions and millions served, then why can't regattas be standardized?

And more importantly, when a successful standard is modelled, one that delivers participants, just why wouldn't you want the model duplicated over and over again to make all of the rest of the events across the country successful?


Curmudgeon
*** / Moderator

Jun 21, 2009, 4:51 PM

Post #62 of 64 (57390 views)
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If I was El Jefe, I'd change the name back to North American Yacht Racing Union - and shift the focus appropriately.


Tcatman
**

Jun 23, 2009, 7:52 PM

Post #63 of 64 (57365 views)
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Glen
I see.

And people keep scratching their heads wondering why participation is down? Either we provide a quality product that is consistant, or we end up with the hodge podge we have in the sport.

I completely agree! A solution is needed... People's time is valuable... if they feel they wasted it on a bummer regatta... they may not be back.

I am a big believer in setting expectations and then meeting those expectations. No upsets and usually lots of happy sailors when their expectations for the weekend are met.

It seems to me that the YRA needs to step up and use the peer pressure of the other clubs to ensure a quality product. Your Standards idea along with guidelines on race time tables, common deadlines, standard fees could be a great way to get that ball moving and the regional clubs focused on delivering a consistent quality event. I did not understand how bottom up your.. standards would be derived and defined.

Having just helped with a regatta.... I must say it's a two way street. One OD class bailed on the regatta with less then a week notice... (oops they had scheduled their NA's that weekend) Another class had made a big deal about getting a gaurantee for their OD start... promised 8.. delivered 4... 2 raced on the water. The YC's volunteer's expectations matter in this equation as well.

I would sum it up and say USSA needs to get their YRA's to use their organization to manage quality events ... or cut them off the schedule.
Your standards idea... if driven from the clubs in the region would get everyone on the same page and focused on delivering the fun factor.

The YRA has to set some standards for classes as well and make it clear that YC volunteers have expectations as well and no shows will have some consequences.

US Sailing could really offer some leadership on these issues.


Glenn McCarthy
**

Jun 24, 2009, 8:08 AM

Post #64 of 64 (57358 views)
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I should add that these standards are actually targeted to a person that US SAILING has pretty much ignored up to this point. I call this person the "Regatta Manager." He/She is not the race committee, or the protest committee, nor do I believe these types should be involved in this project. The Regatta Manager is in charge of everything from the beginning to the end of the event, including printing, mailing, appointing RC and PC, clearing schedules with other clubs, the class, other events, and the club internally, assuring adequate supply of beverages, meals, festivities, give aways, sponsorship, etc. etc. etc. Really, there is no product US SAILING has today to offer these burdoned individuals to assist them in planning a successful event. Each one has to re-invent the wheel and has no reference manual to fall back on.

Case in point, I went to a National One-Design Championship with 38 boats a few years ago. The planning was immense. They raised something like $150,000 for the week long regatta. Each morning there were boat gifts on the deck of your boat. Everything went well on the first day, smiles all around. On the morning of the second day, the Regatta Manager was hurt, frustrated, angry and actually tearful because one thing he didn't include in his plan (that he had to re-invent the wheel to create) did not include a "communications officer." Not by name, but he was slammed in Scuttlebutt for not getting the results on the web, not sending out press releases to the major news organizations like Scuttlebutt and others and after 18 months of planning felt he had blown it.

Of course the "standard" or "Regatta Managers Manual" would cover the need for a communications officer and the need for that appointment.

I also see this project of having something like three different levels, the first would be the person in charge of just club weekend or beercan racing. The second would be regional regattas or district championships. The third would address National and World's championships. The amount of services provided at each of these levels is hugely different from the next which would probably result in three different levels of standards.


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