Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Building Race Management Resources

By Jenn Lancaster - Race Director, Newport Harbor Yacht Club / Lynn M. Lynch - On-the-Water Director, Chicago Yacht Club / Taran Teague - Annapolis Yacht Club

Building race management resources at your club or sailing center requires a significant commitment. Investing time, effort and money in these resources can go a long way in positively impacting sailors' experience on and off the water at your racing events and programs.

Consider these questions when recruiting personnel to join the race committee: 

What challenges do you face trying to get people to join the race committee?
  • Time commitments
  • Lack of skills or knowledge
  • Fear of being judged by their peers
What motivates people to join the race committee?
  • Learn something new
  • Social opportunity. Have fun.
  • Reward / Recognition
  • Obligation
Learn more about other factors for consideration in building race management resources , including information on equipment and boats, outside support, and more.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

College Sailing's Chalk Talk: National Championship Edition

It's ICSA National Championship week in college sailing!

In the opening segment of this two-part Nationals Edition special, the Chalk Talk team goes in-depth on the 2014 Sperry Top-Sider College Sailing Women's National Championship.

Also check out Part 2, the Team Race Preview:

Chalk Talk is presented by US Sailing. The show also enjoys support from Zim Sailing.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Implementing an Offshore Safety and Preparedness Plan

By Chuck Hawley & Sally Lindsay Honey

Here are some items to consider when creating and implementing an offshore safety and preparedness plan:

1. Start with a safety ethos for the event
2. Implement pre-departure training
3. Select an equipment list
4. Identify skipper/crew/yacht qualifications, if any
5. Pre-departure inspections – make them useful
6. Communication plan appropriate for the event
7. Emergency Action Plan - anticipate problems
8. Post race inspections? All? Some? None?
9. What can we learn from the sailing incidents over the last three years?

Learn more about offshore safety and preparedness plans in this presentation from the 2014 Sailing Leadership Forum.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Reflections from the President

By Tom Hubbell, President of US Sailing

For years, my sailing activities consisted of 95% racing, usually with my wife, Pat, and our friend, Punch.  But that changed one evening, after a full day of racing. During the social hour I saw that my friend Charlie’s boat was still rigged. I asked and he replied that it was just too nice an evening to put the boat away and he was looking for someone to go for a sail. I accepted and the next hour changed my perspective forever.

Charlie had been the Thistle Class President and National Champion. He was an icon. Time stood still as we sailed his Thistle on our little lake as twilight approached. We missed the regatta dinner but we solved the world’s problems and shared family stories. 

I’m still racing - three regattas and 16 races so far this year. But that day Charlie rekindled my awareness and enjoyment so that I can also make time to just go sailing for an hour, or an evening, or a day. I wish I had learned this when the kids were still small.

I have enjoyed reading the sailing commentary lately promoting the adventure, the recreation, the pure fun, and the idea of not pushing new sailors so much into the competitive side of the sport. Nevin Sayre speaks to the issue enthusiastically in his presentation from our Sailing Leadership Forum in February. 

A number of creative sailing educators and entrepreneurs have long been aware of the reality that most sailors enjoy the sport without racing but as an adventure, an escape, a lifestyle, or simply open sailing.  And they know that many very active racing sailors also relish adventures on the water with no scorekeeping. I’m one of those. Most of us are not just one kind of sailor.

A 2003 McKinsey study about the sport kindled our restructuring and the beginning of our new approach to recreational sailing. Since then, US Sailing has been looking for ways to support the work of instructors and the play of folks whose focus is the enjoyment of going sailing. It’s a fact that pure enjoyment of wind and water is the glue that binds all sailors. Community sailing programs and sailing clubs succeed when they create sailing activities that build collegiality of their sailing community, more so than working to define the hierarchy of competitive prowess. It comes down to helping build a community of sailors.

Through US Sailing, we’re providing forums and seminars for networking and sharing best practices to support local sailing organizations (Sailing Leadership Forum, National and Regional Sailing Symposiums.). A recurring theme at those sessions is that we must share our enthusiasm about boats without prematurely pushing a racing agenda.

We’re providing training programs at multiple levels, offered at many places that bring sailors together to raise their skills, while improving safety and seamanship (Safety at Sea, Bareboat Cruising, Safety, Rescue & Support Boat Handling, etc.).

We have a fabulous means to connect young people to the water. The Reach program is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education pathway for teaching science and math using the maritime experience as a platform. And there is much more that US Sailing offers for individual sailors through local sailing programs.

I believe we are also fostering an inclusive culture that celebrates the incredible variety of ways that sailing can be enjoyed. There is no “one best way.” It’s up to all of us to find ways to support each other’s time on the water. As we do that, we can share the magical experience with youth, young adults, and anyone who enjoys being outside.

It is a challenge for US Sailing to address the needs of this incredibly broad-spectrum of our sport. If you have ideas or comments about supporting or promoting adventure sailing or recreational sailing, please send me a note. The future of sailing in the U.S. depends on our achievements in growing the sport, for the recreational sailor as well as the racing sailor.

See you on the water!

Tom Hubbell
President of US Sailing

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @TomHubbell

We want to hear your thoughts on cruising and how US Sailing can support this area of the sport. Submit your comment below...

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The Dos and Don'ts of Filing an Appeal

By Dave Perry

Dave Perry, Chairman of US Sailing Appeals Committee, presented the dos and don'ts of filing an appeal at the Sailing Leadership Forum last February in San Diego. Perry is the author of Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing and Dave Perry’s 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes. He is also a US Sailing Senior Certified Judge.

When filing your appeal do...
  • Read Appendix R, rules R1, R2 and R3 carefully.
  • Read the FAQ on the US Sailing Appeals page.
  • Send your appeal within the 15 day time limit (see rule R2.1(a)).
  • Include everything asked for in rule R2.2, including the names and email address of all the parties, and the chairman of the protest committee, and appeals committee if applicable.
  • Be sure all documents are dated.
  • Keep your grounds (the reason you are appealing) as brief and concise as possible.
  • Organize your supporting documents so they are clearly marked, and consolidate any email threads into one well-marked file as much as possible.
  • Be patient. The average time from receipt of an appeal to sending the decision is three months, and it can be much longer depending on the complexity of the case and/or the number of times the appeals committee must ask the protest committee for additional facts and information.
When filing your appeal don’t...
  • Send your appeal after the 15 day time limit has expired (see rule R2.1(a)).
  • Send individual copies of many emails; or a lot of documents with no clear marking as to what they are.
  • Copy your appeal to people who are not representatives of the parties or committees directly involved in the appeal.
  • Send in an incomplete appeal (see rules R 2.1(a) and R2.2).
Learn more about this process.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Your Most Powerful Marketing Tool: The Regatta Website

By Jared Wohlgemuth, San Diego Yacht Club

Does your regatta website succeed in engaging the public and preparing your competitors? Jared Wohlgemuth of the San Diego Yacht Club walks us through the "must-haves" for your regatta website.
  • Define Your Regatta: recurring event or singular, local/regional, national/international, media attention, sponsor requirements
  • Know Participant’s Needs: regatta documents, logistics, schedules, value for participation, regatta management contacts
  • Involve The Media: basic event info, timely press releases/recaps, access to competitors, credential sign up, media contact, media list
  • Live Coverage: live video, race tracking, social media, timely results posted
  • Know Regatta Website Basics: event name/logo, dates prominently displayed, locations/host, regatta documents, contact info, registration, timely results
  • Additional Components: information on hospitality, event news, chartering, social media, jury notices, merchandise, volunteers, photos and video, entry list, history of the event, previous winners, about the host and venue content
Learn more on how to develop a regatta website, including multiple examples of how race organizers have used their website to share their message and inform racers.