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If you are fed up with how YA treats catamarans....... SPEAK UP. It is the only way to get through to them.

Who the frigging hell wants to see a 420 or a 470 do anything....? Or we could continually watch a Star break a mast or any monohull go slow and be as boring as bat sheete.

We have Bundock, Ashby, Forbes and more having won more world championships than any swimmers, runners, footy teams or Laser sailors. Add Cairns, Anderson, Brewin, Goodall, Booth, McKenzie, I COULD GO ON AND ON.

Let them know.

Catamarans also have more than one class and that is what the kids would rather sail. Give them the option and let them choose. A sabot or a Wave. A Manly Junior or a Maricat.




Matt Cowley

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YA... HA!

YA/YNSW are as hopeless as the rest at organising grassroots support. Its always going to be a conundrum when you look at where their money comes from.

With out going through last financial years balance sheets, i'd say 60-70% of their funding (i know they got a funding boost post beijing and again this year) comes from ASC (Australian Sports Commission) grants (we the paying sailors make up probably 20-25% of the funding). The Australian Sports Commission (government department) gets its money for grants from the Government. The Government really only puts money into sports so that we can win gold medals (gold medals = worldwide media coverage = tourism dollars etc).

So if you look at it from that point of view then, 60-70% of their focus should be on High Performance sailing and the programs that lead into high performance sailing...

Having worked for a NSA (national sporting association) its always a bitching point for paying members.

The argument "i pay $50-100 to YA, WHAT DO I GET BACK? NOTHING!".

The answer "a card that says your a member of a club affiliated with YA, an insurance policy that covers personal damage etc (worth ALOT elsewhere), some o.k. membership deals (not alot of people use them) and a 'tick of approval' to enter almost all regattas".

Now where does your membership fee go? Well when you pay your club membership with YA, your club will take a piece of the pie (usually the lesser half, unless you live in sydney) & YA takes the rest. YA will then use some to pay your state association, overheads & some change for a 'rainyday' (if they are lucky).

With association organisational structures, the current push from the ASC is to move associations from the federation structure (each state association is its own entity, there is little to no sharing of admin and you double up on alot of resources) to the unitary structure (all state associations are branches of the main association, all under one entity, resources are shared more cutting costs). I'm not sure how far down the road of this that YA are BUT it has proven VERY difficult to implement in other sports as there is often ALOT of 'politics' involved which cannot always be over come, as well as active members being scared of change. Take Australian Canoeing as an example, they went all but bankrupt following the slalom & sprint world championships in 2006 (poorly run & managed, lost almost as much money on those 2 events as they make from sponsorship/membership/grants in an entire year...). The ASC bailed them out with a $200,000 loan, on the terms that they undertake the recommendations of an australia wide report into how to better run the sport of canoeing (the ASC did the review). Members complained that the report further focused the association on high performance (well the ASC were giving grants around 80% of the total income of the sport & they did do the report so they looked after their money), the 'politics' of state stalwarts quashed the movement to the unitary structure which would have saved ALOT of $$$ resources across the entire sport freeing up money to spend on grassroots programs. Following this the AIS (australian institute of sport) took back the high performance program (and the grants associated with it), Australian canoeing got a small grass roots grant and the sport is none the better for it. Though they have stabilised financially, they would have been better off had they implemented the report.

Bottom line, for YA to be interested in 'US' the sailors from which they find there high performance athletes we need to supply a bigger piece of the funding pie or help them reduce costs so that, from our membership dollars they have more to give back in the form of club level programs.

Like, sending a high performance coach to a club for a day would be one that ALOT of members could benefit from. Take mannering park for example, the age (both members & boats) varies widely and so does the length the members have been sailing and hence the ability varies widely. Sending a high performance coach to Mannering park for a day would allow those that arent as fast to get some 'background' knowledge & pointers to help them increase their speed around the course.

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My complaint with the YA is not cats v monohulls, but local sailors vs the elite.

For example "Try Sailing Day" this year is on Sunday November 7th. It's organised by the Boating Industry Association of NSW (who are giving our club 12 free life jackets) and "supported by Yachting NSW". It's unclear what that support is, but a search for "Try Sailing Day" on their website retrieves only one article; dated 2005. I notified them of this a month ago and still they've not updated it.

The point of Try Sailing Day is to provide an opportunity for the public to try sailing, a starting point for recruiting new sailors. More sailors would mean more YA members, so they ought to realise it's in their interest to get on-board.

This year's Sailor of the Year Awards seem to have been selected by the amount of media coverage they generated. The criteria was stated as "outstanding sailing or boating achievement", "of good character" and "known for displaying good sportsmanship". Male Sailor of the Year James Spithill was ballast on the America's Cup trimaran, which clearly outperformed it's catamaran rival through boat design & engineering - not his contribution. With all the legal battles and argument associated with that race, how did James score highly in the "sportsmanship" criteria?

I nominated Mannering Park's Ian Marcovitch, International Paper Tiger Champion, staunch supporter of cat sailing and famous for helping others with sailing tips and boat tuning. Rather than sending some YA snob to coach at Mannering Park, how giving some credit to expertise already there?

I'd like to see the YA, and Australian Sailing Magazine, more involved and supportive of club events; like Try Sailing Day, the various regattas and class Titles.

If you want something done properly, you have to do it yourself. So I've a flier to promote Try Sailing Day locally, will be there taking people out on various boats, write articles for the local papers, and I guess should also submit articles on regattas to the YA website. If we all keep up the effort and keep sending YA material, maybe they'll start including some in their newsletters.

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Read my post above about where the bulk of YA's money comes from hence the focus more on elite sport.

Its from the ASC (government) which is given it by the government to win gold medals because that helps promote Australia.

As I say, unless the membership dollars are getting higher than the ASC dollars, it will be very unlikely that the focus will change much.

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Fine. My complaint is with their 80's "Greed is right. Greed is good. Greed WORKS" mentality. I guess they believe in the Golden Rule; "he who has the gold, rules."

With numbers of sailors dwindling, the future of the sport requires support, encouragement and recruiting at club level.

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I will agree with Steve on this one.

Phil Jones was one of "Yes" votes for the Tornado for London 2012. He was vocal within the ISAF meetings about it.

He also voted "Yes" on the 'we f'd up' vote last year and then votes "Yes" again for the 'should we change the classes we chose' vote.

Go Phil!!!

Why do they never include multis on the news letters

When I received the newsletter about the nominations, there was no mention of Spithill or Ashby.

Even when they played their part in the AC33 victory, there was no mention of the aussies involved.

But it was necessary to mention that match racing was cancelled due to lack of interest.........

I thought they could've told those who registered interest in match racing that it was cancelled, and given the 2 lads (Spithill & Ashby) a mention instead!!!

Nothing about them in the C class either, had to read that on Sailing anarchy.

Didn't Glenn win an Olympic medal once with some bloke called Bundock???.....;-)

We didn't even hear about Angus MacGregor, one of our Tinaroo Juniors, winning the 2.3 access becoming world champion....

Angus also did well in the O'pen bics in Europe, in an open class, with his diasability!!!!

I don't know what they are doing, but there is something wrong in YA somewhere.....

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Fine. My complaint is with their 80's "Greed is right. Greed is good. Greed WORKS" mentality. I guess they believe in the Golden Rule; "he who has the gold, rules."

With numbers of sailors dwindling, the future of the sport requires support, encouragement and recruiting at club level.

Hi Tony,

We are apparently one of the more active clubs in Queensland, and there are some, like me, who travel 220klms for a sunday sail.

We have a huge juniors fleet, but, and i am being presumptous, because they aren't in sabots or optis, or aren't in SEQ, we never see YQ.

I was bouyed to hear they had some coach come up from down south, but we cat sailors weren't made to feel welcome (it didn't really matter, but it still pisses one off to feel shunted)

I hope they start encouraging juniors and realize there is more to life than 420, 470 and lasers. oh wait, there's also etchells and flying 15's LOL

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If you think their attitude is "Greed is right. Greed is good. Greed WORKS" then get off your computer and go make a difference by becoming a YNSW board member or join the members council.

Anyone can sit behind the safety of their keyboard and sling mud, but few actually do anything constructive to help fix perceived problems.

Whinging here will do you no good. It's not getting the message to those it should be, nor is it helping fix anything.

I've given you insight from within a similar National Sporting Body, i've let you know some of the politics involved. Now go forth and join the politics of amatuer sport.

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Mate, above I've detailed some symptoms of the problem, and you've re-stated the problem is with their $ and fame focus. You now argue I shouldn't accept your analysis? Join the board? No, the big cheeses can sit on the silver platter, I'm happy to be a crumb down here on the floor.

Great to hear from Cruiser that Tinaroo is going well. In the October 2009 issue of "Australian Sailing" (p.51) an article describes how the club bought 3 O'pen BIC junior boats to start a junior fleet, which turned around "a decline in the number of junior sailors".

This season at Wallagoot Lake is also shaping up to be the best ever; 19 boats competing in the 1st race of the season, including 2 Paper Tigers, 2 Windrush, 2 Maricats and a Nacra 5.0. The growth has come through our regular submission of articles and photos to the local papers, an annual sailing school, access to club boats for new sailors, and occasional Try Sailing Day. Similar to Tinaroo, the club has bought several boats to make them available, while I've bought a spare PT to have it racing regularly. We try to keep the focus on having fun, rather than aggressive competition. It's through this local level support, encouragement and promotion that our club is doing well.

The Wallagoot Lake Boat Club is excited about the prospect of Maricats joining in our regatta (March 12-13, 2011); it's a perfect spot to race 14' cats, more numbers will provide better racing and the extra entries will help the club's finances. It's win-win! The club seeks a few $ to replace the old hot water system, and as we've no mains power and no mains water, there's a few extra costs. Don't s'pose the YA has $5000 spare for that?

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Quite right. You don't seem to want to accept my analysis so i've suggested that you go an deal with the problems from a state level first hand.

The only way it will change is via more membership dollars or member focused board members (hence the suggestion you join the board or members council)...

I reckon what Tinaroo, Mannering Park & Wallagoot is well above the norm and is to be commended.

As for the grants have you made a submission to the NSW Sport & Rec department? They give out grants to local club each year, i reckon $5k is not outside their means.

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If the bulk of YA's money comes the ASC (government) to win gold medals, and hence the focus more on elite sport, then I say that makes them greedy. It demonstrates their interest is in revenue for their own gain and the few elite, rather than the majority of its membership, or the benefit of sailing as a sport generally.

There are a few simple and cheap things YA could do, without compromising benefits to the narrow niche who qualify for the elite level support;

Event support

Recent discussions revealed to me that clubs and classes both need training in the procedures of running events.

Specifically, these issues have arisen:

- rescue procedures; what to do if someone has a spinal injury? What equipment should a club have? What procedure is recommended for righting a boat? Where can expert training be obtained?

- starting procedures; how do we get people trained up in laying courses and doing starts, so that they might be able to support events?

- facilities; if the clubhouse has been demolished by white ants, or the ancient hot water system has died, where can a club go to for help?

- if a club which has a lot of one class wants to hold an event, say a State or National Titles, where can they find skilled people to help run it? It's preferable if the club locals dont have to do it themselves, because then they cant race!

Promotion and recognition

As discussed above, the performance of elite sailors is of little interest or relevance to a lot of cat sailors. It wouldn't take much to include a little club & class content in YA's newsletters and website. This would go a long way to making members feel like they are actually a part of Yachting in Australia, rather than being given a "dont like it? Then fck off" treatment.

It seems the YA are unlikely to change, so rather than wrestle with the bull at their meetings, it seems more productive to spend time resolving the issues detailed here.

So who's going to help get newbies onto cats this Try Sailing Day?


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I too am amzed that GAshby and Spithill and others receive so little media recognition, and that so many Aussie champions (Hobie 16s, A-cats, etc etc) never make it to the media.

I'm happy to write to YA - but there's a long list of people on their website - any clues as to who to write to?

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