Snipe USA

And The Survey Says!

April 14
21:38 2009

If you’re interested in the results from the Nationals survey cut and paste the links below to see what Snipers had to say.

Note: Sail numbers and names withheld to protect the innocent.

The link below takes you to a summary of all 165 response where you can create your own filters to see what different groups within the US Snipedom thought.

Your Snipe Nationals Improvement Committee

Nationals Committee report to the Board Jan. 2009

Nationals Regatta Growth Initiative and Nationals Improvement Survey Report –

A. Nationals Improvement Survey Results – Kay Voss presented the preliminary results of the Nationals Improvement Survey. She noted that 161 responses had been received and that approximately 60% of which were older than 40 years, indicating, in part, the need to grow youth participation in SCIRA USA. Kay Voss noted that according to the survey the two most consistent hurdles to attending the US Nationals were (i) distance, i.e., too far, and (ii) insufficient vacation time, particularly among younger sailors. She also noted that among those who had not attended the US Nationals before, the measurement process was intimidating and perceived as complicated and difficult to satisfy. The Board observed that geographic location and facilitating participation by younger sailors were independent issues important to differing age groups of sailors. The Board further observed that measurement was more an issued of perception that could be improved with education. It noted an explosion of youth sailors experienced in the Opti and Laser classes and the need for a longer term plan to court these sailors for when they are ready to graduate to larger boats. The Board also noted the early exposure to the Snipe to youth and collegiate sailors increases the odds of an eventual transition to the Snipe.

B Committee Consensus – With respect to the shorter term solutions for increased participation at the US Nationals, the consensus of the Nationals Regatta Growth Strategy Working Committee (the “Committee”) was presented to the Board in a written report and oral presentation focusing on the following issues and recommendations:

i. Geographical Rotation – The Committee suggested modifying the US Nationals hosting rotation from a District-based schedule to a broader geographical rotation based on where the highest percentages of the membership population were located. The Committee determined that using these rotational criteria, the optimum rotation should be revolving venues among the East Coast, Middle America and the West Coast, rather than among Districts. The Committee suggested a rotation of 2 alternating East Coast (EC) and Middle America (MA) for every West Coast (WC), i.e., EC, MA, EC, MA, WC, with the frequency of rotation being reevaluated every 5 years to allow for growth changes in the class demographics. The Committee noted that this order attempts to minimize the distance for the largest number of sailors, supports locations where the class is strongest and opens up more potential venue options/bidders for a given year. The Committee also noted that the suggest rotation penalizes the WC as they will have to make 2 trips to the EC every 5 years rather than the 2 in 6 years under the current system.

The Committee also suggested that in evaluating host venues consideration be given to:
– the existence of affordable housing in some combination of camping, boats, homestays, or dormitories;
– the existence of babysitting and programs for young children; and
– that conditions expected in international events for which the Nationals is a qualifier regatta shall not be used as a criteria during venue selection for the US Nationals.

ii. Measurement – The Committee recommended that measurement be conducted for only 1 day before the start of the event. It further recommended that at a minimum all boats must have an MDS, be weighed, safety equipment verified and have sails measured prior to the start of the Crosby Series, where certified measurement stickers would be accepted for hull and spar measurements provided the stickers were not issued more than 4 years before the event.

iii. Qualification – The Committee recommended that the Crosby Series remain as the qualifier for the Heinzerling Series but be reduced to a 1 day event. It was also recommended that District Champions again have an automatic entry into the Heinzerling Series (with the hope that this would increase participation in the District event).

iv. Wells Series – The Committee recommended that the Wells Series shall be promoted as an open family friendly event with the following primary features:

– Crosby Series standing shall not be carried forward into the Wells Series scoring;
– allowing multiple crew changes upon notification to race committee at the time of registration to facilitate family member changes;
– limited measurement process consisting of an MDS, boat weighing and sail measurement or sail certification sticker and confirmation of safety equipment;
– that sailors wishing to sail only the Wells Series must register in advance (no on-site registration on the day of the event), so that accommodations for weighing and sail measurement can be properly arranged and scheduled.

v. Format – The Committee also provided two format alternatives – a full week long event as currently exists or a shorter 4 day event (not including the Juniors which in each case would be held the preceding two days) to accommodate a large number of responding sailors who desired a shorter event, including younger sailors. In the shorter event, it was contemplated that no Crosby or Wells Series would be held leaving a full 4 days for the Heinzerling Series.

A lengthy discussion followed in which the various recommendations were considered and details discussed and during which the Committee sought the Board’s input primarily with respect to the focus of US Nationals strategy, i.e., increasing participating by accommodating existing membership or by encouraging new prospective membership groups, and format of the US Nationals modifications, i.e., full week event or four day event. Kay Voss agreed to make the preliminary survey conclusions and Committee recommendations changes available on the SCIRA USA website to membership comment.


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