Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Paparazzi Wanted!

Hey we know that a bunch of you took pictures on the race course this year... if you got 'em, send 'em to Steph for the (second annual!) AYC slideshow! Your adoring fans will be disappointed if your boat isn't representin' in the mix. Of course, we'll find pics for all the boats, but would love to have more. CD is the best format, and pix only, not video (I am low-tech, but still savvy enough to pull off a slideshow!).

It would be great to have them by the end of the month, and I will NEED to have them by OCTOBER 9th. We'll be showing the slide show on October 16th, at the Round the Buoys/ Oktoberfest/ Awards Extravaganza at AYC.

Please drop off CD's at Northwest Rigging, or mail them to 1312 35th St in Anacortes, or call Steph or Andy and we'll come retreive them. Guaranteed enjoyment!

Why is the Rum always gone?

Here's a chance to get your full ration of rum compliments of our favorite sailing dentist, bird hunter, kayaker, all around good guy, and the only person I know that has not missed a Swiftsure Race since 1978. Dr. Paul Bergman is the annual sponsor of the Race for the Rum around Sinclair Island. Start off tanker dock @ 0930 listen on VHF 72 in case of a delay. Course is any course you like to buoy N of Sinclair, leave it to Port and hurry home. This can be a real drag race and of course the crew will be pleased with a noggin 'o grog @ AYC upon arrival. Set sail for fun, set sail for rum, just set sail before the fun is done......

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Plan now for next summer...

It's officially official now. The 2011 Santa Cruz 27 Nationals will be held @ Whidbey Island Race Week July 17th-22nd. It is likely there will be one design class racing @ Tulip and Windermere, this year featured 9 boats. The SC 27 was designed in 1973 and started sailing in 1975, there are probably about 100 or so around in decent sailing condition, we have located about 20 between Hood River, OR and Vancouver BC. There are three currently on the hard here in A-town, Double Helix, Solitaire and King Cole. It would be excellent to see some local sailors join Wild Rumpus, Cookie Monster, Limey Bastard, Kokopelli, Ol Yeller(B'ham), Saltheart Foamfollower (Orcas) and the Seattle fleet boats. This is a fleet you can compete in that is not dominated by National and International sailing stars. We took a local boat bought 3 sails over a two year period, borrowed a trailer, invited some friends and placed second at the 2010 Nationals. I know there are a bunch of great sailors in our club that would be interested in joining the fun and competition. Stephanie Schwenk and Chuck Tidrington are the local cheerleaders, contact them for more information!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Double your Pleasure

This Saturday the18th @0930 the annual Jack Island Doublehanded Race starts off the tanker dock. We generally have three divisions, Jack and Jill, 3 score and ten (avg age over 70), and plain old doublehanded. Typically pets and children are not counted, autopilots are ok.. Listen on 72 for any last minute changes (ppd for wind, tanker traffic, etc). Also check your race packet or this website for proper course.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

2010 Benson Cup Open for Registraiton...

For those of you who haven't heard of this event, the 2010 running of the Benson Cup is scheduled for Sunday, October 3, 2010.

The Benson Cup is a race named after Father Benson who ministered to the people of San Juan County for many years. He had a small boat that he used to travel from island to island. From that boat came a copper tea pot which became the Benson Cup Trophy. The race has been run since 1981 and the course is from Jones Island around Waldron Island and back (any way), with a distance of 15 miles.  The proceeds from the race are given to the Children's House a local San Juan County charity.

You can access the Benson Cup homepage HERE where you can see the list of past winners and download a race entry form.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Round the County Roll Call

November 6th and 7th marks OIYC's annual 'Round the County Race. It consists of two 32 mile legs with a layover Saturday night in Roche Harbor. The first 60 boats to sign up get in, after that it is up to the RC's discretion. 10 boats have signed up so far and this race usually sells out at least a month before the race starts, so goto oiyc.org and send in your $$$. AYC boats have traditionally brought home a ton of silverware from this regatta and also some terrific sea stories. AYC boats from 68ft (ICON) to 20 ft(ZOOM) have competed. If you're looking for some late season sailing in one of the most beautiful venues on earth this race is for you!

Friday, September 03, 2010

What's Really Wrong with Yacht Clubs...

Here is a great article by Nicholas Hayes about what is really wrong with Yacht Clubs - I don't know about you, but this is one of the few articles that I have read on this topic recently that makes sense...

What’s Really Wrong with Yacht Clubs
By Nicholas Hayes, Author of Saving Sailing

(April 23, 2010) If I had to make a chart to represent hours of fun I’ve had by originating location, it would show that a big slice of my fun begins at a yacht club. So I generally like them a lot.

At the same time, I’ll admit a personal bias towards the idea that yacht clubs should instead call themselves sailing clubs, and the sooner they do it, the better for sailing. For me, it’s not just about marketing: if I never see, smell, hear or feel a power boat again in my life, I’ll be thrilled. And I hate blazers and slacks.

But more than naming conventions and my pet-peeves, yacht clubs are generally in trouble, because their members are dying faster than they can find or make new ones. They need to make a change. I’ve been studying the problem now for almost 20 years; some of my research inspired the book Saving Sailing. Yacht clubs have an age problem: member average age is usually around 60. Of course most clubs have junior programs as a feeder, but they usually don’t feed. I’ve written extensively about how age segregation is part of the problem - it creates a broad chasm between young skilled, eager sailors, and the older, tiring base of a club. Consider these observations, excerpted from the book:

      “In most sailing clubs today, the kids show up in the morning, and leave in the late afternoon, just about the time the adults are arriving”

      “...the decline in participation in sailing is better explained as a decline in devotion to intergenerational free-time pursuits.”

It is hard to explain why it seems we’ve gone to such lengths to create this gap -- separating the generations unnecessarily -- accept to suggest that:

      1.) it is a passive response to a general trend towards youth-sports and away from intergenerational activities everywhere, because youth-sports are easier to market, coordinate and scale, or...

      2.) we’ve come to depend on active, age-specific marketing for everything, and we’re lacking the pop culture hero willing to twitter to inspire both 11 year olds and their moms to try sailing. After all, marketing to parents means marketing to their kids, right?

And then some new data hit my desk, suggesting that it has nothing to do with marketing at all. We have it backwards.

Last month I was planning a Saving Sailing presentation at a 110 year old club, and working with a smart, relatively young (40’s) member of the club’s board of directors to ensure a relevant talk. He suggested that in advance he would survey members to understand age, tenure, interests and value delivered. As with most club surveys, his drew an adequate sample of his members, and it confirmed some common findings: average age, 60-ish; average time of service, 20-ish years; outgoing members outpacing incoming members. It is easy to predict that this pace will quicken, and see tough times ahead. Thus the talk. On a hunch, I suggested, and he agreed, that instead of concentrating on turnover trends, we should find the mean age of club newcomers at the time of entry and chart it over the years.

And the cause of the age segregation gap popped into view, as did this club’s chief challenge and some suggested solutions, which may be useful elsewhere. For me, these data suggest a clear, new path to sustainability.

Notice that in 1960, the average age of a new club member was 32 years old. By 1993, the average newcomer was over 60, and the age has hovered around 55 ever since. So during the heyday, when sailing was growing, its advocates were right in the middle of the years of active parenting. They were bringing their kids. And they were recruiting their friends who were often about the same age. And they were bringing their kids.

Over the years, as the core group aged, the same advocates no longer had kids at home and their good efforts to introduce new friends resulted in newcomers of about the same age (and also without kids.) So clubs (and sailing) began to shrink when the typical club newcomer became an empty-nester or a retiree, and now sailing is no longer a sport enjoyed by families.

It’s also telling that at this specific club, where today there is a strong commitment to a junior sailing program, there is only one member child in it. The rest of the kids who participate arrive via schools or other youth clubs, or their non-member, non-sailing parents drop them off.

While there is no overall market statistical significance to these data, since this club’s age demographics and member make-up are similar to those found in all of sailing in the US, it is safe to use the data anecdotally to make a point.

What’s wrong with Yacht Clubs? Members aged, and as they did, they seemed to forget that they were once young. One of the keys to Saving Sailing is that Yacht (cough) Sailing Clubs must re-open their doors to people in the active parenting years. Of course, this has much broader implications and creates a new set of needs. Most families don’t have sailboats. Often kids take to sailing earlier and more naturally than parents. Families often have less disposable time than they had 40 years ago, or at least, their schedules are more complex. It’ll be hard to break the youth-sports habit. Most clubs plan parties for adults, and day care for kids (some just say no to kids altogether.) The Sailing Club of the future will have found great solutions to these challenges. And then it will be younger, and more vibrant, and more fun for everyone.