World Sailing Show

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

     
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  2. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    How depressing. The biggest studies into the perception of our sport have shown that one of the biggest problems is that it's seen as too elitist, exclusive and difficult - and our governing body produces a video showing incredibly expensive boats. Apart from a one-second shot of Radials on trolleys and another second of a 9er, I don't think a single boat they showed costs less than $50,000 complete. That second of Radial footage was the only shot I could see in a quick flick that showed a single popular class or a boat that the typical sailor is likely to own. The message from World Sailing is clear - the sailors in popular classes are not worth mentioning in a show created by the body that demands the right to govern them.

    We really need a real revolution - one that concentrates on boats that the average sailor can sail and buy.
     
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  3. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    I thought that episode of the World Sailing Show was great-even inspirational. Some of the video of the classics and of the state of the art multies was just terrific.
    The Artemis simulator and autonomous project were very interesting.
    I think this episode of the show was about capturing the imagination by showing so many varied aspects of the sport. Well done, in my opinion!
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  4. Doug Halsey
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    Doug Halsey Senior Member

    I don't know how anyone can watch that video & then comment "How depressing."

    I thought it was great!

    CT: Do you get upset watching pro football because it's beyond the reach of most school children?
     
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  5. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    Doug H, it's a rational reaction to the fact that one of the biggest problems in our sport (as identified by the two biggest studies of the perception of the sport) is that it is too complex, too expensive and elitist. I don't see how anyone can read those two studies and then watch a video by a governing body that almost entirely on complex, elitist and expensive craft and not be concerned. Other people have spent decades studying why people do and do not do sport, and their findings chime in with what the studies on sailing showed.

    We have been warned about the biggest problem for the perception and popular appeal of our sport, and our governing body appears to making it worse. How can one ignore that?

    Football is completely different. You can buy the same football used at the World Cup for $200. The shoes worn by the top players apparently cost up to around $500-600 ish. You can learn the skills in bare feet and with a $5 ball. A pro using $20 shoes (or bare feet) will beat the pants of the good amateur player. It's an affordable sport, and you can do it anywhere. It's the same with cycling, the most popular "gear intensive" sport - buy a $300 bike and you can be highly competitive at your local club and, if you're good enough, in regional events.

    The World Sailing Show, on the other hand, is mostly promoting gear that costs from $6 million up to $20 million or more. If you give the best sailor in the world the cheapest boat (Snark or Windsurfer) or even an expensive Formula 18 or J/121 they will be beaten easily by a good amateur on the sort of boats that the WS concentrates on, and the skills you can learn in a cheap boat are very different from those you need for most of the boats in the vid. The message is loud and clear - if you do not have a budget in the millions, you are not worth covering in a show run by the sport's governing body.

    If the "extreme" end of the sport is such a good advertisement, why are so many of the 'extreme' classes so small, and showing little if any growth? Surely if they were so attractive, they would be among the biggest or fastest-growing classes? In fact, it appears that the main growing segment of the sport is simple, medium-speed seahugging singlehanders - an area that the WS show ignored but for 15 seconds (I did miss the other 14 seconds of Laser footage).

    And which sport is doing better - football, cycling or sailing? We can either shut our eyes to the studies and the history of our sport, or take on board the knowledge. Which is the better approach?
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
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  6. Doug Halsey
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    Doug Halsey Senior Member

    You can choose to focus on all the negatives (over & over) and bemoan the shrinking of the numbers,

    or you can celebrate some of the things that are great about the sport (like this video did).

    Which is the better approach?
     
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  7. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    The better approach is surely the one that uses information gained from objective, independent studies to say that the governing body's policy of ignoring the vast majority of sailors is hurting our sport. Focusing on the negatives is much better than ignoring them. And far from being negative, I'm very positive about our sport - so positive that I believe that the grass-roots classes are wonderful and therefore should not be utterly shunned by a show created by the body that demands the right to govern them, takes their money, and then ignores them and instead concentrates its publicity on a tiny minority.

    By the way, the classes and clubs I've been involved with running are either holding their numbers or increasing them, in one case at an enormous rate, because of the emphasis on affordable, simple sailing. The frustrating thing is that the message we are getting, from studies, manufacturers and sailors, is that the emphasis on extreme sailing is making our job of maintaining the grass roots much harder. Why can't we say that?

    PS - if I'm repetitive, remember that I'm normally just reacting to the even more numerous and repetitive claims or implications that the future of our sport is in "extreme" sailing or that there's a 'revolution' going on. Look at the many 30 minute World Sailing shows that repetitively ignore the popular classes, concentrate on extreme classes, and imply that extreme craft are the future and therefore the mainstream ones have no future.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
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