ILCA-NA Newsletter missing 1/3 of its District's Reports

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by gouvernail, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    The fall ILCA -NA Newsletter was published without bothering to secure District report articles from Manitoba, Western Ontario, Western New York State, The entire Gulf Coast from Pensacola to Brownsville, Western Florida, Western Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, or Hawaii.

    Perhaps it doesn't matter much. Apparently nobody in those states or provinces bothered to submit an article to the ILCA-NA office in time for the fall Newsletter deadline.

    Maybe the staff tried calling repeatedly and the district secretaries refused to write anything.

    Maybe the District Secretaries refused to even grant an interview so the paid staff could at least fake something up for the newsletter.

    Maybe the NA VP declined, when asked, to either get an article from the District Secretary or write something about his district himself.

    As of September 15, 2008 only 372 members remained in those 9 NA Laser Class Districts.

    As of Mid August, 2002 There were 795 members in those same districts.

    District --2002-- 2008
    4 ----------15------7
    9-----------102----39
    14----------41-----22
    15----------222---79
    16----------47----18
    17----------70----15
    19----------90----62
    20----------150---99
    23----------58----31

    Maybe there is some relationship between membership and effort spent gathering information about the game and making certain that information is published in our newsletters.

    Note: This published version is the NICE version . I just spent over an hour editing and re-editing in an attempt to be nice about this.

    My opinion is we really need to do something about this and NEVER EVER publish another newsletter that simply writes off such a large portion of our region.

    The statistics say over 50% of the ILCA-NA membership decline since 2002 has been in those un-reported upon districts. Districts.
    In 2002 over 25% of our membership resided in those districts.
    In September of this year under 16% lived in those districts the class no longer covers with its newsletter..

    Does anybody have any ideas about what to do??
     
  2. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: NA-ILCA Abandons 1/3 of Its Districts

    First, thank you for the nice version. The knee jerk ones don't make me thoughtful on the chosen topic.

    Having been a District Secretary, I know that the ILCA-NA secretaries send out an e-mail request for schedules and articles about regattas. They send two, one announcing the deadline is about two weeks away, and the other announcing the time has come. I suppose that we could contract them to nag, but I think it would be more productive for the Laser sailors in the dying districts to demand more from their District Secretary (with a nice request, of course). And if that secretary declines, someone else with more enthusiasm should step up. If someone seriously entertains doing this, I suggest that you CC Sherri and Jerelyn, the ILCA-NA secretaries, with all correspondence.

    As Gouvernail has been trying to tell us, you get what you tolerate.
     
  3. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    Re: NA-ILCA Abandons 1/3 of Its Districts

    Fred, have you tried to contact the ILCA-NA Office and talk to Sherri and/or Jerelyn to get answers to your questions and maybe offer some suggestions on how they might be able to get better response in the future? I think they would be happy to talk to you about it. Office phone is 619-222-0252

    Alternatively, drop them an email with a phone number and I'm sure they will be happy to call you.
     
  4. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    Re: NA-ILCA Abandons 1/3 of Its Districts

    Sorry for the rambling thoughts, but I'm in the middle of a few projects with a little time to kill.

    Do we still think the newsletter is even nec ? With a good website geared towards content management, I would gladly give up my bathroom reading. (Surely there must be other classes in North America that have made this move)

    Some of the districts maintain web sites and update them with regatta reports and district events - I know that some just copy and paste from their sites as the submission for the newsletter, so again the newsletter contains nothing new in that regard..

    I think Merrily has it backwards as far as the D.S. The D.S. should be demanding more from the fleets, the event chairs, and the regatta participants. Any or all of them should be submitting writeups before and after each regatta. Both Newport, RI and Cedar Point "require" that the winner of the day of each frostbite day write up their thoughts, tips and tricks.. And the winners do it with nary a complaint.

    As a participant I feel if I want to keep the game going/growing, it starts with me! That is major factor in my posting on TLF.

    If people don't want to give a rats hiney they reap what they sow, unless they are lucky enough to have that one dedicated person who picks up the slack for the them.
    For a while.
    Until they get sick of no one else contributing and they flame out.
    Just seems a bit silly to put the load on a single person.

    </rambling over, back to work>
     
  5. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: NA-ILCA Abandons 1/3 of Its Districts

    The DS's turning it back on the officials at the club level is definitely how it works, but if there's no report or schedule from the district, it comes down to the DS not doing that, or not putting together what they have been sent. It definitely is not the ILCA-NA secretaries who are the problem here. They always responded to me quickly and productively.

    As 49208 says, get out there and help your club and your district and quit thinking that someone else will do it.
     
  6. Eric_R

    Eric_R D10 Secretary

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    Re: NA-ILCA Abandons 1/3 of Its Districts

    Do I think a newsletter is necessary, most definitely. I enjoy getting something in the mail from the class about what's going on in the world of Lasers. Do I think there should be more about regattas in there, yes, I think people should be doing articles about regattas rather than putting them all into a district report. As D10's secretary, I usually compile the results up for the newsletter and send it out. There just isn't much in terms of people wanting to write up something (which I'm going to try to change) after each regatta or series. Adding pics of regattas as well as results and a report would be great to see more of in the newsletter.

    As for the newsletter itself, 4 times a year is about a minimum as you can get. I know the lightning class does one practically every month (with winter exceptions) but is filled with regatta reports, info on restoring boats, tactics, etc. Well worth it. They have the option of going either electronic or paper. I think optinews went from monthly down to bimonthly or lesser frequency than that.

    I personally think getting more info from the entire area is great to see and it gives people the opportunity to see what is out there, not just in their own club or district. Maybe that will get some people to travel more. Maybe putting news letters out more frequently will give people a chance to hype up more events or get background info to say a North Americans.

    As for the DS thing, I don't know many of them, but I know in the past with D10 I have seen where there was no report, and that bothered me. I hated not seeing what was going on in our district. I never told the previous DS about it, but when I became one, I made sure I got one out on time. If you don't like whats going on, change it yourself or even write the report and submit it to the secretary, take action yourself!!!
     
  7. Eric_R

    Eric_R D10 Secretary

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    Re: NA-ILCA Abandons 1/3 of Its Districts

    Thing is though people may not check the websites for the district, they may not know. I'm all for the idea of getting info out to as many people as I can.

    I use an email list (too lazy to make a website) and I always think I get it out to everyone I know, I don't know if there are people lurking around or aren't class members. I'm really at the mercy of the membership list to get emails (and some regattas). I maybe email out something once a week at the most and I've even had someone call the district list viral. I never know if everyone is reading it but I figure if I make a website many may not see that either. I know that class members get the newsletter and will read that
     
  8. halibut

    halibut New Member

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    Re: NA-ILCA Abandons 1/3 of Its Districts

    Or...someone from the ILCA-NA office could CALL the District Secretaries in the non-responsive districts. Find out if they even got the email(s). Find out if there is a problem. Listen to what they have to say. Maybe learn something about what's happening in the district.

    Maybe help them find another District Secretary if the current one is too busy or not interested enough to continue.

    After all, the people in the ILCA-NA office are PAID to run the class. The District Secretaries are NOT, and I know from experience (five years as D11 DS) that's its a thankless and time consuming task...

    Mike S
     
  9. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: NA-ILCA Abandons 1/3 of Its Districts

    Or someone could CALL the ILCA-NA secretaries and find out if there is some way that they can help out. It seems like a better option than bad mouthing people on a public forum. Sherri Camphbell is the mother of Andrew Campbell, who writes the Monday Morning Tactician that TLF keeps us up on. Jerelyn Biehl is the mother of Graham Biehl, also a USA olympian. Good and reasonable people who do what they were hired to do.

    I believe that it is probable that the public criticism from this forum and Sailing Anarchy keeps people from stepping up to serve, and it will only get worse if we tolerate it. This is not to say that problems shouldn't be addressed, but there are better ways. People respond well to direct and discreet contact, not public criticism.
     
  10. Eric_R

    Eric_R D10 Secretary

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    Re: NA-ILCA Abandons 1/3 of Its Districts

    Ok so looking at the previous 3 Laser Sailors here are the missing district reports:

    Summer: 8,13,14,16,18,19,22,23
    Spring: 4,5,14,16,17,19,22,23
    Winter: 8,14,16,17,18,19,20,22,23,26
     
  11. MasterMike

    MasterMike D22

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    Re: NA-ILCA has not Abandoned 22!

    Sherri and Jerelyn work very hard and do a great job. This is the typical kind of reminder we get well ahead of the deadline:

    "Laser District Secretaries;

    Please remember to gather & send your 2009 racing calendars for
    inclusion in the Winter Laser Sailor - deadline December 1.

    Also forward any fleet captain changes so we can include them as well.

    Thanks!

    Jerelyn Biehl
    ILCA-NA Office"


    So, plenty of time for us DS's to get the info into the magazine.

    D22 essentially died a couple of years ago. I went to a District Champs and there was no presence of the Laser Class, and only a handful of boats. I had just bought a boat and found I was the only ILCA member in three states. So guess who got to take it over? A year later we have a 300% increase in membership (Yes, three!) and 17 boats showed up to race. Those issues with no report were because there was no activity except a friend and I sailing around an empty lake. Next year there will be regular Saturday races, perhaps an event on one of the big Idaho lakes, and then I hope a bigger District Championship here in NW Montana. We are in contact with our neighbors in D6 and D5, and some of us have traveled to each other's events.

    So we're bucking the trend up here!
     
  12. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Re: NA-ILCA Abandons 1/3 of Its Districts

    I apologize for starting another thread whose sole purpose is to remind anyone who reads it>>>

    The North American Laser Class grew for 35 consecutive months while I served as one of two Vice Presidents of the Class and as the Executive Secretary.

    We had over 3100 members the day I was thrown out as both Executive Secretary and Vice President. We had already paid a sufficient amount of dues to the ILCA to be awarded 20 NA berths in the next World Championship.

    All you have ever needed to do to shut me up is, "Do significantly better than I did whan I was running things."

    I have a keyboard and an internet connection, a memory, and enough time to occasionally check up on your performance since I was shown the door..


    You all know I am looking for any excuse to rag on your abysmal performance.

    Way back when I was driven out, you all agreed, "The job I was doing was not all that great." So do better!!

    Why don't you get off your collective butts and recruit 4000 new members, train up a couple sailors to finish in the top five or just one to win the Laser worlds and shut me up??

    Why didn't you publish the entire 2009 Major regatta schedule in the fall newsletter and shut me up?

    Why don't you publish webpages with the tentative major regatta schedules for 2010 through 2013 and shut me up?

    Why don't you get local articles and photos for every district and shut me up?

    Why don't you help the NA Builder to annually sell more than the 1000 new boats they sold in 2002 and shut me up?

    Why don't you get a paid officer at the registration desk for 25 events a year and shut me up?

    Why don't you get a class officer to show up and help the management team at another 30 events a year and shut med up?

    You fired me. Isn't it sorta kinda personally unacceptable to do a worse job than the guy you fired??

    I bet it drives you nuts that the fellow you drove out is the sort of small minded vindictive fellow who watches your every move and keeps rubbing your nose in it when your inability to do things without his help is clearly visible...

    Of course, you could just team up and do a better job than he did and shut him up.

    Two options follow. Perhaps you should choose one:

    a. Continue to leave yourselves open to the list of "why don't you" above. Sail in small fleets.

    b. Spend a couple hundred hours per year assembling a team and performing the necessary tasks to seriously outperform the fired guy's management. Enjoy huge fleets. Meet lots of new friends. Listen to everyone, even the fired guy, praising you for performing a very difficult task.

    It's your choice.

    My keyboard access is out of your control.
     
  13. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Re: NA-ILCA has not Abandoned 22!


    Go MIke GO!!!

    One day I would love to come sail on Flathead with you guys!!!

    And wouldn't a US Nationals on Yellowstone be super??

    Go Mike GO!!!
     
  14. dierkp

    dierkp New Member

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    I think the class has to really get proactive about providing tools and incentives for building district membership.

    We need a way to create clean smart looking html emails for each district with photos and polls.

    http://www.madisonsailingcenter.com/NEWS/July2008.html

    http://www.madisonsailingcenter.com/NEWS/Aug2008.html

    We need to get our class champ to give more clinics and those clinics need to require class membership.

    I really blame US Sailing for running all these Junior Olympic Events without any regard the local fleets or districts. They are never require class membership. They never forward the participants email or mailing addresses to the national class or district.

    In addition, to often our District fleets get populated with disagreeable sailors who don't fit into any other fleet.

    I also think US Sailing and the way youth sailors are provided with everything with little obligation to put back into their club/region/fleet/district.

    I would say to youth sailors, hey I will help you fix your boat up.. but you got to join the class and participate in a regatta. If you bring two buddies then I will pay for your district membership for one year.

    I am not a member because my district has gotten so bad as far as communicating or working toward a shared goal. All the sailors under 30 never ever participate in any way. I used to be a District Secretary but got burned out by the attitude of youth and young adult sailors who want stuff given to them.

    My local fleet has taken off and has great great competition but we are all over 40. We have extra boats for youths colleges sailors to use, but frankly they are too lazy.

    Is Anna Tunnicliffe on tour in the US this winter? Is Laser USA sponsoring a tour? How about the Laser Masters Foundation? We spend all this money travelling the world to Laser Regatta's in exotic places but we have no Tax Deductible Foundation.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Eric_R

    Eric_R D10 Secretary

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    Actually that's a really good point. I thought at one point trying to make our JO regatta the Districts for the radials since that usually has the best turnout (and the dates never change). The one thing I did think is that US Sailing doesn't give a crap about memberships unless it's ussailing. I wonder what it would take to make it available for each of those regattas to check fleet memberships for the boat they are sailing as well. The juniors were IMO the harder ones to check for fleet membership. Many come from just junior programs and they don't seem to travel very much. I figure with a regatta like a JO, they should be a class member regardless. I would think the opti class would be fine since the majority of them move around but the laser would be the tougher one. This would be a good move to try to make this happen, maybe I'll email the organizer of the local JO for next year.
     

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