ULLMAN: Focus on the middle tier, not the top tier

Published on April 17th, 2013

Dave Ullman grew up sailing in Southern California, started his sailmaking business in 1967 and remains active in running the network of lofts. Now deep into his 60s, with shelves of championship titles to his name, he continues to race and coach at the highest level. Here Dave shares some advice on leadership and participation…Ullman

“So often we listen to the top tier of competitors, the top 10%. But if the mission is to build or even sustain growth in a class of boats, that is the wrong segment to focus on. The focus must be more toward the middle.

“For example, when one design classes are deciding on where to locate their prominent events, like their Nationals Championship, the middle of the class will go to a venue where they can bring their family on vacation. But if the top tier push for a venue that provides a good enough race course, but gives no consideration for non-sailing attributes, the attendance will suffer for that event.

“Weak turnouts then have a negative trickle down affect for the class, and if you do that often enough, you can cause some serious damage to a class.”

Agree or disagree?

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