Leadership Forum ready for launch

Published on January 31st, 2018

The Sailing Leadership Forum, US Sailing’s biennial event, has attracted leaders from sail training and education, yacht club and sailing organization management, race officials, and industry professionals to meet and learn from one-another amid a full schedule of presentations on February 1-3 in St. Petersburg, FL.

Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck offers some general observations from several of the pre-conference meetings held January 31:

11:00-12:00pm: US Offshore (chair – Ron White)
Progress and improving processes is the theme, but when you have four rules – IRC, ORC, ORR, and PHRF – passing through this committee and office of US Sailing, this becomes a significant task. Education is in the pipeline to improve upon and expand the current base of 10 active measurers. The technical measurement rules continue to move toward a unified Universal Measurement System (UMS) so that boat measurement is transferrable between the rules, with a future international mandate seeking to legislate this requirement. Also, revisions to each rule must mesh with the SAP powered Universal Certification System (UCS) now used by US Sailing to facilitate this service.

1:00-2:00pm: Government Relations Committee (chair – Jim Muldoon)

US Sailing is actively working with the US Coast Guard and other federal agencies as an advocate and ally for the sport. Strategic areas include enhanced education, oversight on state-led initiatives, encouraging reciprocity among states, and mining for information to make evidence-based decisions. Despite 2016 seeing a rise in boating accidents, the incidents were largely attributed to other forms of boating, and the yet-to-be-released 2017 stats indicate a decrease. Consideration by government is being given to unify impaired citations for boats and cars (BUI and DUI) for penalties to amass and impact both. By collaborating with the USCG, US Sailing has accumulated $2.6 mil for programs to improve safety.

3:00-5:00pm: Youth Racing Class Associations Meeting (host – John Pearce)
Not often do you see so many key youth leaders around one table, but this group, currently referred to as the Youth Racing Advisory Council, was together sharing ideas to move the ball forward. Discussing scheduling conflicts moved to how classes can combine their events, which would help logistically plus expose the kids to boats and other sailors they may not know. There was the idea of hosting demo days to showcase the range of classes, which now include windsurfing and catamarans. Promoting an informational chart that included all the classes, and what kind of sailor each class attracts (height, weight, aspirations), would help direct interest. I chimed in how youth classes, by and large, are not great at sharing their news with the media.

After taking an overnight flight, my plan today was to rest up for the start of the forum tomorrow. However, the sessions I sat in on (and there were many others) got me fired up for the next three days (and the beach bonfire cocktail reception tonight). Let’s go sailing!

Forum details: sailingleadership.org

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