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Scuttlebutt Poll:
Are there too many races a day?

(Sept 30-Oct 1, 2007) Maybe I'm getting old, but I remember when there used to be 1 race a day on weekends - that was when we sailed around government marks. Then we switched to drop marks and windward leeward courses and started 2 races a day. Then Premiere Racing and NOOD started doing 3 races a day. This over time seems to have changed the mentality of the Race Officers. Now it seems that the committee tries to get as many races a possible each day.

I'm not sure if it's bragging rights their looking for, but not all Race Committees are sufficiently trained and experienced for a schedule of multiple races to work. Procedural mistakes are made, courses are not lined up well to the wind, and in one case this Summer, the RC failed to record finishers of several classes while other classes were starting. I do not mean to disparage the hard work that the Race Committees do. It is a difficult task and they are highly scrutinized. It can be repetitive, tiring, uncomfortable, and very tense. However, this trend seems to have led to quantity over quality mentality.

Another issue is how the multiple races are making for long days. With morning winds, we might leave the dock by 8 a.m. and return around 4 or 5 p.m. If we have to go to testify for a protest, the day might not end until 7 or 8 p.m. Most of us are amateur sailors and because of that, we are carrying a full load during the week. Long days on the water are okay for the hard-core sailors, but itís detrimental to sailing as a Corinthian sport. We find it difficult to entice novices or young sailors to sail with us when they have to basically give up their whole weekend. US Sailing is always looking for ways to improve sailing and get new people interested, and addressing this issue might help. -- Bill Heintz

Based on the above, we asked these questions:

For a weekend event, how many hours on the water would you prefer for each day?
  • 2-3 hours - 5.74%
  • 3-4 hours - 21.15%
  • 4-5 hours - 35.35%
  • 5-6 hours - 23.56%
  • 6-7 hours - 8.76%
  • 7-8 hours - 5.44%

  • What is your sailor classification
  • Group 1 - Amateur - 84.59%
  • Group 3 - Professional (paid to sail) - 3.63%
  • Group 2 - Murky - 11.78%

  • Click here to read the comments.

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