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Thread: The state of my sport.

  1. #71
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    If you need to work hard because of competition to be a pro sailor, racing must be doing OK generating all that talent. Wonder how many kids are stuffed in Optis cause dad is hoping sailing will pay(or add an admissions boost) for college? All the putt-about recreational sailors are still there they have just moved on to plastic kayaks and stand up boards. We can hate on them for that, but they are still enjoying the water which is the bigger point. I don't think the public ever cared much for sailing racing, it just looked that way in the old days of limited media when the media covered the AC. As a veteran of niche sports my advice, you need to disengage your ego from public admiration for your sport. It just isn't going to happen. And sailing has two huge foundations most niche sports don't- College teams(sailing scholarships/admissions boost) and the Olympics. Sailboat racing is not going to go away, and the public at large is never going to care. Do it, or follow it, because you like it. Don't expect your coworkers and neighbors to care.

  2. #72
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    I am fortunate in having undercover storage for all 3 of my sailing boats, modern housing not so. Modern lifestyle also makes sailing a difficult and potentially expensive sport. If dad doesn't sail likely the kids won't. I started on a big inner city lake with a dozen clubs and hire facilities. A rare occurrence even then, and then there's the ubiquitous tinny and it's successors. But our local clubs are mostly well populated, we have no more rack space, and boats not sailed are being returned to owners.
    The security of beach clubs re council ownership of land is another matter of concern, we have no lease the council refusing to renew a few years ago. 60 years ago the land we are on was water, the club is 50 years old. The very tidal estuarine river is showing signs of wanting it back.

  3. #73
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Quote Originally Posted by sailnstink View Post
    If you need to work hard because of competition to be a pro sailor, racing must be doing OK generating all that talent. Wonder how many kids are stuffed in Optis cause dad is hoping sailing will pay(or add an admissions boost) for college? All the putt-about recreational sailors are still there they have just moved on to plastic kayaks and stand up boards. We can hate on them for that, but they are still enjoying the water which is the bigger point. I don't think the public ever cared much for sailing racing, it just looked that way in the old days of limited media when the media covered the AC. As a veteran of niche sports my advice, you need to disengage your ego from public admiration for your sport. It just isn't going to happen. And sailing has two huge foundations most niche sports don't- College teams(sailing scholarships/admissions boost) and the Olympics. Sailboat racing is not going to go away, and the public at large is never going to care. Do it, or follow it, because you like it. Don't expect your coworkers and neighbors to care.
    That's very much a US-centric view. Sailing scholarships to university are completely unknown as far as I know in English-speaking countries outside the USA (and I've had a fair bit to do with uni sailing).

    I'm not sure why you are implying we care if others care about our sport. I don't, but I do notice that non-racers seem to be obsessed with their own personal vision that racing is an ego thing. Ego has very little to do with it for most racers - after all, most of us normally get beaten. Sure, there is sometimes some ego element, but look at any forum about cruisers or potterers and you can see expressions of some pretty strong egoes.

    Some events in other countries are fairly well known to the general public, but that's got nothing at all to do with why many sailors like to do those events. I would like sail racing to stay strong because many of us love it, and we don't want to have to stop doing it because there is no one to sail with, or to be unable to find a good fleet and good facilities. I've also introduced people to the sport and seen them fall in love with it. If the sport shrinks then that will be harder.
    Last edited by Chris249; 07-03-2017 at 07:33 AM.

  4. #74
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Quote Originally Posted by skuthorp View Post
    I am fortunate in having undercover storage for all 3 of my sailing boats, modern housing not so. Modern lifestyle also makes sailing a difficult and potentially expensive sport. If dad doesn't sail likely the kids won't. I started on a big inner city lake with a dozen clubs and hire facilities. A rare occurrence even then, and then there's the ubiquitous tinny and it's successors. But our local clubs are mostly well populated, we have no more rack space, and boats not sailed are being returned to owners.
    The security of beach clubs re council ownership of land is another matter of concern, we have no lease the council refusing to renew a few years ago. 60 years ago the land we are on was water, the club is 50 years old. The very tidal estuarine river is showing signs of wanting it back.
    All very valid points, and it's a bit frustrating that Australian Sailing seems to ignore such concerns.

  5. #75
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    There's no sailing based university scholarships in the US either. There is head hunting and a lowering of entry requirements for outstanding sailors.

  6. #76
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Access to water and facilities is important. The real reason for yacht clubs has long been to provide somewhere to leave your stuff.
    IMAGINES VEL NON FUERINT

  7. #77
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    I raced a lot when I was younger, much younger; Turnabouts, Mercurys and lots of one designs in college. Did some big blue water racing when I lived in the UK. Racing does I beleive make you a better sailor if you define being a better sailor as knowing when and how to trim to stick with your plotted course and how tomget from A to B as quickly as possible, taking into account the tide and how that effects your chosen course.This is all valuable stuff if you want to cruise and only have a week to get out there and sail.

    I watched about three minutes of the AC and found it lacking. If you have to wear crash helmets and kevlar vests you are not sailing. I dont know what it n is but if you have no sails, you are not sailing. Perhaps you are foiling?

    I used to enjoy watching the cup triqls and the cup when it was the 12 metres. I think we blew it when we ran a multihull agaisnst that big beast however many years ago. The whole sport hit the skids from that minute on.

    I think PHRF is the best thing to happen to club racing ever. My racing is now confined to Wednesday night club racing in the cruising division. We are compettetive because the field is balanced by the rating. Its nowhere near as competetive as the one designs like Atlantics and the fleets of J's and Star boats but it gets me on the water and keeps me sharp.

    Never having owned a power boat I have no idea if motoring is inherently more or less expensive than sailing but as the years
    go by there are fewer and fewer masts in the marinas and mooring fields here. Why arent kids sailing more? Dunno but I find it sad.

  8. #78
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Quote Originally Posted by willin woodworks View Post

    I used to enjoy watching the cup triqls and the cup when it was the 12 metres. I think we blew it when we ran a multihull agaisnst that big beast however many years ago. The whole sport hit the skids from that minute on.



    Never having owned a power boat I have no idea if motoring is inherently more or less expensive than sailing but as the years
    go by there are fewer and fewer masts in the marinas and mooring fields here. Why arent kids sailing more? Dunno but I find it sad.

    I agree that the AC took a nose dive when they decided to defend using a cat. The choice was unprecedented and made to counter an equally outrageous challenger boat. But it clarified one thing: The point was all about winning. Or, more important, not losing. It doesn't matter how you play the game... it's whether you win or lose that counts.

    As far as there being a decline in young people going into sailing... I wonder if some of the reason is due to the emphasis on racing over cruising. There is a lot of talk here about wanting to see kids involved with club Opti races or somesuch. Well, what about the kids that are just not the competitive sort? Where's their motivators? I wonder how many yacht clubs have a program to teach young people how to anchor, navigate, cruise on a budget, etc. Not many, I'll wager.

    Jeff

  9. #79
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    I love sailing. Power boating not so much. I've raced my own boats and crewed on others. I had all 3 of my kids in Sunfish programs when they were 8-9 and then they raced 420's. But the truth it they would all rather go tubing or water skiing or wake boarding behind a power boat. And I can't blame them. When I'm not helming I'm bored out of my mind. And if they are sailing with me as much as I want them to take the helm to make them love sailing, the reality is I want the tiller. The best times we ever have on boats is when I drag the sunfish along and send them out on it.
    Take Care,
    Steve W

    Honeoye Falls, New York
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  10. #80
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    We're talking about the state of competitive sailing because, as the first post makes clear, that's the thread subject.

    I've spent a lot of time finding data on the state of the sport, and it indicates that the concern about falling numbers of kids may be misplaced. There are LOTS of kids sailing - in fact it appears that there may well be more than in earlier eras. They give up in their teens - but there is a huge amount of data showing that they give up most organised sport in their teens. What could be the real issue is the lack of people from around 30 to 50. Personally I agree about many clubs having too much emphasis on racing, but having an active non-racing organisation that actually gets people to turn up doesn't seem as easy as can be implied.

    Personally I enjoy handing over the wheel or tiller of my own boat, so I can run around, work on sail trim, run the foredeck and do tactics. We're all different!
    Last edited by Chris249; 07-05-2017 at 05:31 PM.

  11. #81
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    I find helming the dullest job on the boat.

  12. #82
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Helming is usually the easiest job on the boat, but in my mind it is never dull. Usually as soon as we cross a finish line all the adrenaline runs out of me and I feel helpless as a baby for a couple of minutes.

    Maybe really good guys don't feel like that? I know that a lot of the races I have won it felt like everything went right and things were very easy, while races where I was chasing people felt like really hard work.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

  13. #83
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Quote Originally Posted by epoxyboy View Post
    Christchurch is home, and I grew up down the road from the Manders.
    Pre quake, Christchurch had three yacht clubs (just dinghy sailing) operating on the estuary of the Heathcote and Avon rivers - at high tide it is a large area of shallow water, at low tide it is mostly mud. Post quake, more mud, less water, one of the clubs had their building destroyed, and IIRC, access to water restricted. I'm not sure if it still even exists. The second had their boat ramp and rigging area commandeered as a building site for several years while a new bridge was being built. The third is at the monied end of town.

    Our "lovely harbour" has no sheltered all-weather public boat ramp, just a borderline dangerous ramp with a good long fetch to pick up the southerly swell. You would only retrieve a trailer yacht there if you were really desperate, even the stinkboats struggle sometimes. It is entertaining to watch, in a train wreck sort of way. I think there is now "a" toilet there. Nothing else.
    It has the most miserable excuse for a marina (and I hesitate to call it that, a collection of grotty pile moorings more like), again with zero facilities. After multiple storms and sunken boats there, due to the total lack of a breakwater, the long term collection on the hard has grown quite large. Some of these yachts have been out for years.
    The port company that has had the nice sheltered inner harbour locked down, offered bugger all access and no facilities, but that is about to change a little - still no car park or public ramp though, but at least the few live aboards will be able to get a coffee.
    The only trailer yacht friendly ramp in the entire harbour is locked up by the the yacht club over there. I think there are a couple of dinghy clubs on the far side of the harbour too. In five years, my Pathfinder went in at Lyttelton once - it was less painful to drive an hour over the hill to Akaroa.

    That is all a bit depressing sounding, eh! In summary, a lot of the dinghy sailing is tide dependant, you can trailer yacht sail locally only if you join the club at Lyttelon. Clubs generally give me the $hitz, too much bs and old boy politics, so thats a no from me.
    If you are lucky enough to get one of the very finite supply of sheltered moorings, you can enjoy your keelboat without stressing every time there is a storm.
    That all is why sailing in Christchurch struggles, there is not a lot to encourage casual participation. Rant over - Aucklanders dont know how good they have it! And it is warm up there ;-)

    Pete
    Facilities are certainly important. The yacht club I raced in as a teenager had a dinghy dock and adopted a silly little boat called the El Toro (because it was invented at a bull session -- the symbol on the sail is a shovel) which had so much rocker, it wouldn't plane, but was surprisingly tolerant of different weights. They could be home built, and there was a local shipwright building them at a rate of one a day, so they weren't too expensive. When I looked at the class a few years back, it took $5,000 to have a competitive boat. Now, they don't have a builder and are back to encouraging people to build their own.

    I could carry one of those on my back. Launching was really not a problem. Now, the club has JY 15s, and my sister is working on keeping the junior program going -- there was talk of ditching it. If they don't provide a place for dinghy racing, it will have to be done from a launching ramp, and I don't see that happening.

    Meanwhile, the local park now has a facility for crew racing, but sailing is not on their radar.

    We can do things about the cost of the boats, but the cost of the facilities is another matter. A lot of industrial waterfront has been gentrified, and it's increasingly difficult to find a spot for facilities.

  14. #84
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Quote Originally Posted by bamamick View Post
    Helming is usually the easiest job on the boat, but in my mind it is never dull. Usually as soon as we cross a finish line all the adrenaline runs out of me and I feel helpless as a baby for a couple of minutes.

    Maybe really good guys don't feel like that? I know that a lot of the races I have won it felt like everything went right and things were very easy, while races where I was chasing people felt like really hard work.

    Mickey Lake
    Ted Geary, a locally famous yacht designer and also a great helmsman, is said to have fainted right after one of the toughest R boat races of his career.

    Not everyone wants to be a helmsman, which is why it's important that junior programs don't focus too much on single handed classes like the Laser.

  15. #85
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    I guess I am experiencing a bit of a loss of faith of sorts: after racing this Saturday in <5 knots and spending five hours on a small boat in the summer heat, I just could not force myself to go back and do it again Sunday. Stress from work, helping take care of my mom, maintaining my property and my personal fleet of six sailboats and yadayadayada and I just don't need the stress of going out and drift-racing right now. Damn. I feel terrible. The guilt of letting my fleet down, my crew down, myself down.

    Right this minute I feel lost in the woods.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

  16. #86
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Sailing will be 1/4 of what is now in 25 years. The dozens of lakes with marinas in three states I rode through/by this past week (2000 miles) on two lane routes and local roads - i did not see a single sailboat on the water, at a dock or on a trailer in the massive parking lots.
    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 07-17-2017 at 09:05 AM.
    Be wary of your critics, at peace with your decisions, and work hard to be a better man.

  17. #87
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Quote Originally Posted by bamamick View Post
    I guess I am experiencing a bit of a loss of faith of sorts: after racing this Saturday in <5 knots and spending five hours on a small boat in the summer heat, I just could not force myself to go back and do it again Sunday. Stress from work, helping take care of my mom, maintaining my property and my personal fleet of six sailboats and yadayadayada and I just don't need the stress of going out and drift-racing right now. Damn. I feel terrible. The guilt of letting my fleet down, my crew down, myself down.

    Right this minute I feel lost in the woods.

    Mickey Lake
    Hey, we do this for fun.

  18. #88
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    Sailing will be 1/4 of what is now in 25 years. The dozens of lakes with marinas in three states I rode through/by this past week (2000 miles) on two lane routes and local roads - i did not see a single sailboat on the water, at a dock or on a trailer in the massive parking lots.
    Nah all those stand up paddlers are going to get tired of paddling and add a sail...

  19. #89
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.



    Testing posting pics with Postimg. Today was Regatta Day in Freeport.

  20. #90
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    I'm encouraged by the amount of activity in our local club. They are now sporting cut-down rigs on Optimists on brisk days
    for those children who are very much beginners. The kids I see out there are having a blast and can control the boats in challenging conditions without having to jump around quite so quickly.
    "... and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago."

  21. #91
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    Default Re: The state of my sport.

    Sometimes I think we would be much better off with a much shorter, more compressed racing season or even two seasons. Everyone south of us in Florida stops racing from about May until Sept./October. I have three regattas in Sept. and if I were still sailing inter-club boats I'd have four, and September around here the last decade or so has meant very high temps and very low winds. April and March and October and November would be really good times to schedule events where I live, but at least on Mobile Bay, of those 16 weekends or so, only a couple of them are utilized for racing, and I think that is a problem.

    It is unpleasantly warm in the summer where I live.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

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