Scheduling...Thoughts on what's right for us

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by gouvernail, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    38
    A few years ago we were trying to schedule a North American Laser Masters Championships at the New York Yacht Club.

    we were REQUIRED to give at elast three years notice to obtain a weekend.

    That experience taught me something fundamental and, I believe critical, about the regatta scheduling process.

    It is MUCH easier to get the very best weekends at the very best venues if a well recognized asscociation askes well before anyone else is even thinking about that weekend.

    Because of this awakening, (or you might call it a head bashing by Eric Robbins) as of July 2002 the NA class had already secured venues and handshake arranged hosts for all its major events through 2005. . The Class website had working scheduling pages for each year and some events were even listed on projection pages as far ahead as 2006.

    Of course Easter in Austin was already scheduled until 2053 as I have decided to host until I am 100 and then think about quitting. Yes!! I do have official permission from AYC and have had it since 1988.

    Recently I have been very hard on the class officers for what I believe is a fundamental failure to properly schedule. I believe it is a total failure in scheduling whenever an event is held and the hosts of the event for the following year do not show up and invite the sailors to "next year's event."

    We are THE LASER CLASS> We are the biggest,, the best and professionally run. We can go to yacht clubs anywhere on the planet and schedule three years ahead by simply explainiung...

    We refuse to comprimise quality by waiting until the last minute. We schedule well in advance while the very best venues on the planet are available."


    Currently the NA Class has listings for regattas that are to be held in the next few weeks and months, but we are failing miserably to accomplish the "grab the best venues" advance scheduling that will allow us to ALWAYS secure the very best venues.

    I would like to see a new set of deadlines and goals for our scheculing that reflect the VBERY BEST and professionaly run class that we are.

    1. I would like to see an effort made to find next year's hosts for each of the over 500 events currently posted on the Clas Website and see if we can have those hosts show up or at least send invitsations such that those invitations can be extended at this year's events.

    2. I would like to see a drop dead minimum or we find somebody else to do the job number of 2010 events that must be on the ILCA-NA website schedule by September 30, 2009. As in school 60% is a failing grade, I would suggest 300 of the 500 currently listed events would be a geat minimum performance.

    3. I would like to see working outlines of our scheduling for 2011 and 2012 up and on line by that same September 30 deadline.


    Please understand, I did these things in 2001 and 2002 after learning how simple it was to accomplish them and once I started, it was easy. Once in a while some club oficer would tell me "We don't schedule that far in advance."
    I would simply explain that "We cannot risk failing to schedule early as we do not wish to risk missing the opportunity to sail at your club."

    Universally, the reception to advance scheduling was willingness and cooperation and for the most part, we can have any weekends we want if we just ask three years ahead.

    We can have answers if we ask...Who is hosting next eyar?

    people are very impressed when we are the ones who appear to be the very most on the ball.

    and we are the best...WE are the Laser class!!!

    And...it takes less time than wigling in between an aready set schedule!!!


    Obviously there are additional benefits for the sailors and the organizers.

    People at a fun event can agree to sail in Hoboken next year only if Hoboken is already announced.

    People who are hosting next year can come sail this year to see, "How will we do a better event than those guys?"


    Anybody want to modify this proposal and make it a working policy??
     
  2. fracisco

    fracisco New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I can provide a little insight as to how a 'big' yacht club does its planning. I am a member of a yacht club that in the past five years has hosted the Laser Radial Worlds and a couple of MWW (in addition to numerous north american and national championship events for other one design classes).

    There is a regatta planning committee that looks out into the future for big events to host for one design classes. It is a small group that strategically tries to identify at least 1 - 3 premier championship quality events, and then proceeds to write and submit proposals to act as a host. The regatta schedule fills up quickly, and the club prefers not to host too many top level events over the course of the year, so it is the exception for a class to knock on their door to host an event, especially if it is within a year of the event date, and is an event that will run longer than a weekend, as it takes many more volunteers and sponsors to run an event that goes 3, 4, 5 days or more (including registration and measurement).
     
  3. fracisco

    fracisco New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Looks like a good approach, and a good use of class resources that the membership pays for.
     
  4. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Over 95% of the events in the calendar at www.laser.org are fleet/club/District events. Personally, I very strongly believe that it is the responsibility of the District Secretaries, working with their fleets and club contacts, to schedule these events since they are the LOCAL people who KNOW the venues, KNOW the people involved, KNOW what's changed, what's new, etc. The last thing these volunteers need is someone from outside their district going past them to organize events on their home turf. The ILCA-NA Office does offer gentle reminders at the end of the sailing season to start thinking about next year... reminders which become more frequent as the new season approaches.

    I'm involved with the scheduling of events for one of the largest clubs on San Francisco Bay. Scheduling of our LOCAL events calendar happens in the Fall of the year before. There are so many factors that go into scheduling events on SF Bay that its simply not realistic to work on putting out a schedule for the LOCAL events much further ahead than that. In fact, even when "final" in December its not uncommon to see some dates get moved around to accommodate, for example, the City of San Francisco taking over the Marina Green for some event that they will make money on.

    Similarly, some Districts can (and always do) pull together their schedules in the late Fall while, for whatever reason that I'm willing to give to them, some Districts can't realistically work on their schedules until the winter.

    We're not (yet) talking about the major events, these are the local events that make up some 95% of the entries in the calendar. Its just not realistic to demand that they be in the calendar before the end of September, nor do I believe it necessary.

    If clubs/fleets/Laser sailors do have events that they know will happen on certain dates and want to get the event in early then they can go to calendar page at www.laser.org, select the "Submit Event" link and enter their event. Courtesy says a note will be sent to the District Secretary so they will know and can approve the event before it will display in the calendar.

    For Major events (NA's, Women's Radial NA's, US and Canadian Championships, MWE, MWW, ACC's, GCC's, GLC's, NCC's and PCC's, plus the Masters' equivalents), up until this past December, there was a long range grid posted at www.laser.org. It received effectively zero hits and the format didn't fit into the "new look", so it was dumped. However, if you call the ILCA-NA office (619 222 0252) Sherri can run you through the current system which:
    a) sets a rotation schedule for moving major events around the region up to 10 years out,
    b) identifies potential hosts (note the plural here) to, as I recall, about 3 years out (with a give and take between potential hosts offering and the office asking),
    c) locks down venues as soon as a host is willing to commit (and that is not always going to be 3 years from now since not all potential hosts in North America are the New York or Austin Yacht Clubs! :( ),
    d) sets dates as soon as all the affected parties agree to them (where the office tries to link major events together, like last summer where in a 3 week period you could do the NA's, PCC's and US Nationals all within a day's drive, and this often takes some negotiation on dates).

    As a bit of an aside on scheduling... one should remember that the Winter Regattas, which don't move around too much, are now fairly well locked onto specific weekends and I think everyone knows what will be the major event schedule from January to the end of March pretty much until the end of time (which will happen before Lasers cease to exist). Part of the reason is that the locations don't move by much (e.g. you know you are going to Florida the third weekend in February for MWE, not, say, Lake Minnetonka). On the other hand, the rest of the major events are meant to move around the entire North American Region, which means the dates have to move around to accommodate the best time of year for a given host's sailing conditions (e.g. July is always the best month for sailing in the Columbia River Gorge). That does introduce an extra level of difficulty into scheduling.

    Anyway, talk to the Class Office, they will be happy to help you better understand where the events are going in the next several years, and what's being done to link events together where possible to maximize the bang for the buck.
     
  5. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    38
    After spending two hours carefully writing a reply I just accidentally deleted it...

    The summary:

    80% of our sailors do not participate in the Grand Prix. The grand prix includes 26 "local" events called district championships.

    90% of teh North American masters will not compete in teh worlds even though it is a "Local" event this year.

    The game being managed by the ILCA is almost entirely local and NOT about the big regattas.

    Statements like Tracy's only encourage those who refuse to pay dues for 'The class to spend on the stuff I never do anyway."

    IN fact. I submit this:

    The Big deal events are attended by and run by our most involved and passionate sailors. The big deal events need almost no help and encouragement. it is teh tiny nearly failing events that we must focus upon so they will not flail and fail. We need a growing local scene so we can have the cream rise and make the big deal events actually mean anything.

    The ILCA -NA does need to encourage advance planning and yes I am 100% behind a policy of trying to have every laser event on the planet scheduled for the next dozen years.

    My easter laser regatta is very successful and has been for a long time. I do lots of things to make it successful and one of those things is I let people know..."You can come sometime...it is here year after year after year and the NOR for 2010 is already on line ."

    Tracy made it clear he interpreted my suggestion as calling for the Class to legislate from its ivory tower.

    There simply is no iovory tower and the legislation would be ignored.

    I want teh clas to act as teh teacher, nanny, mom, dad, friendly neighbor, coach, minister, rabbi, guru...


    the ILCA can and must help our sailors to understand there is simply no downside to advance planning.

    certainly the san francisco schedule for 2010 cannot be published accuratly this week but...A sheet of paaper passed out with a tentative 2010 schedule can be made up today and folks can start agreeing to be incharge of the various weeks and events and they can be at this year's event bragging up next year's event.

    in fact, one of the sheets of paper might find it's way to some kitchen table where the wife and kids will decide to buy a Dad a new boat for Christmas.


    Maybe not. but I can guarantee...It won't happen if the sheet isn't published..

    There are probably a dozen or more fragile ILCA-NA fleets whose failure will happen this year because a couple more sailors wandered off and the critical mass evaporated. The ILCA-NA can help. The ILCA-NA has the experienced experts who can come in and coach and teach and help the East Overshoe fleet to do things more like the Cedar Point frostbite fleet and maybe instead of failing, two more sailors will join this year.

    I can already tell you the Austin Wednesday Night races will run May through September in 2020.

    The regatta on Flathead will happen sometime in 2012. Seabrooks Two's a Crowd regatta and LCYC's Wurstfest are going to happen in 2012...Why not ask the hosts to let ILCA -NA put it on the schedule now??

    I think it should be a class policy:

    We are the best and most organized class in the world. We know next year's hosts and have them at every regatta becuase, we are the laser class and we know that helps us stay as the very best.


    There is no downside to this set of concepts..or I sure don't know any.

    The upside?? who knows??



    Do you suppose I picked up any more sailors by publishing my NOR in this thread??
    this NOR

    I bet I did. I bet the sailor or sailors will ahave fun too.


    Summary:
    The past is already organized.
    I belive it is absolutely the task fo the ILCA to constantly work on organization and promotiion of the Future of Laser sailing.
    The future is the grass roots.
     
  6. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    You are correct, I misinterpreted your comments as suggesting that the ILCA-NA office dictate from an ivory tower. Thank you for correcting me on this - clearly nobody wants the class to run like that!

    Equally, I would not want my comments to be misconstrued with respect to events in the calendar. It is my belief that when it comes to events, the highest priority for the ILCA-NA office IS to schedule the "major" events, just as the ILCA Office's highest priority is to schedule the world championships. But I think it would be wrong to think that there is no consideration given to the grass roots level sailing... especially since over 95% of the events in the calendar are getting a tax break, er, are fleet/club/District events - ie grass roots level sailing. And, clearly, this information should flow up from the local fleets/clubs through the District Secretaries to the Class office, or it can come straight to the office (or through the website) but the District Secretaries need to be kept in the loop.

    Also, while the calendar is the focal point of www.laser.org (in terms of activity on the site), its not the only way for the grass roots to "get the word out." For example: every District has a page at www.laser.org with basic information (e.g. see District 7's page), including the District Schedule, District Secretary contact info, a list of fleets in the district and, importantly, a link to the district website (if they have one, we have a plan in the works for the handful of Districts that don't have one, District 10 will be the guinea pig for this). In addition, each Fleet has its own page at www.laser.org which can be as detailed as the fleet captain might want. The vast bulk of fleet pages still contain the minimal contact info, but an increasing number have something extra to help get people interested in going sailing (here is an example). This is just at www.laser.org, the individual District websites have a lot more local information (as they should).

    One final comment - I thought I did point out in my post that if someone knows the dates for an event in, say, 2020, then it can be entered into the calendar now, but if the dates are not yet set then, well, its difficult to get it posted in the calendar. I guess I just don't see this as a fatal flaw... somehow I don't see the utility in the calendar telling me that racing will start at 6:00 pm at Shoreline Lake on Wednesday, May 25, 2016, even though I know it will happen. Well, unless they drain the lake to expand the golf course...
     
  7. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Well..If they do built that course...You are welcome to come sail in the Austin fleet that night...I will find you a good boat!!!
    I know it is hard to comprehend that old laid back never plans past teh next meal Fred is al pushy about thios shcedule schedule schedule stuff.

    But I really and truly believe that a HUGE part of being the very best class includes grabbing the very best venues and making it known..WE will always be present at teh best venues at teh best ie of year.

    I want something lszr i9n Houston in later June every eyar. I want something along teh southern shore of lake Erie in both early June and mid to late september.

    I do not want to have to schedule ANY laser event EVER in the interior of texas in mid september.

    I never ever want to sail in anywhere in Pennsylvania or Ohiop or Michigan in teh second or third week of August.

    We need to always select so far ahead we can have those places when their winds actually work.

    Part of the success of CORK, Midwinters east, Key West race Weekj, Miami OCR, The Erie Open, The Berlin Open, Wurstfest at LCYC, The Masters florida series, the Sandusky end of summer regatta, Dallas Dinghyfest, is they are pretty much scheduled years ahead of time.

    Shevy's Dr laser site had a super annoying anal retentive regatta host's planning calendar that totally nailed 90% a ton of things a host could do to make the perfect event a possiblilty. There IS planning to do a eyar ahead even for the weekend event.

    A host can arrange super deals on T shirts and trophies if there is an entire year to plan. I know my T shirt supplier would give me a super deal if I ordered my easter T shirts for delivery sometime between labor Day and next easter...."Make them whenever you get a chance. I will store them until next easter." I would have to revive him after he heard me seriously offer that deal.

    I don't know who is hosting the next masters NA Champs but I sure would love to hear from them in Wrightsville Beach.

    At the J-22 North Americans teh hosts for teh next eyar generally show up in matching t shirts that are printed just to promote next eyar's event.

    I want us to be better organized than teh J-22s.

    I am embarassed that every eyar more new lasers are added to our fleet than teh total world suply of J-22s. but somehow the J-22 class puts over 60 boats on teh line for its NA Champs.

    If we had percentage of turnout like the J-22s, we would have 70,000 boats at the Masters worlds and 25,000 boats at the laser North Americans.

    Yes...we should need qualifiers for our major events...We don't right now...But...it certainly would be wonderful if there were that much interest.

    Sorry..I digressed a tad.
     
  8. knot_moving

    knot_moving Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    GYA has an "eternal schedule" for a lot of their events - so you can see at a glance when and where they fall on any year.

    http://gya.org/Schedule/FixedCapdevielle.htm
    (these aren't laser events, just an example calendar showing eternal scheduling)

    So the Easter Regatta would be on there, MMWE would be on there, along with the Florida Masters and Midweek Madness. The Pensacola YC opening regatta could be on there. Ft Walton YC would be able to put the Meigs regatta on there ...

    This would end up being a mix of the big regional events and all the local fleet laser events that happen every year on a specific weekend.

    Is this sortof what you are thinking of?
     
  9. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    38

    Absolutely!!

    And just FYI.. I have been harping at USSailing to use maybe three or four full time employees to make up a browsable website with every single sailing event of any sort, boat dealers, yacht clubs, sailmakers, businesses like mine and anything that might help sailors come play the game.

    if a person goes to teh USSailing website and types Austin in teh search engine, he oughta get where to learn, wher to buy. where to launch, where to store, where to get fixed...How to join clubs...I mean everything.

    Certainly it would be a full time job for many people. I think it would be a much better use of USSailing funds than virtually every other program they run.

    I believe there are millions of folks who would love to take up sailing or do more sailing who just do not know how easy it is to play with us and how welcome they are to come join the fun.

    With respect to USSailing ( and probably the Laser Class) it seems absurd that USSailing wants to claim it is the organizing authority when they don't even know where and when we are sailing .

    I believe it would be great for the game if there were some way to know every time anybody in the world shoved a laser away from a dock.

    better yet. when a laser sailor leaves the house, the tracking system ought to continue to show teh sailor's activities until those activities indicate teh sailor is NOT going toward the launching site.

    Think how cool it would be to know, " Robert Scheidt is headed toward his boat." You could grab your gear and go tune with him.


    Seriously, the more information we can put out and the earlier we can put it out there, the more people will be able to get excited and come join the fun.

    The gathering and dissemination of information is, in my opinion, teh vdry most important job any association can do for its membership.

    If the mission of treh association is good, more available and unavoidable information about its wonderful mission can only be a good thing.
     
  10. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Many years ago, in the days before teh interwebz, I was trying to find a mast for a 470. I needed an address or phone number for a company in England.

    I thought to myself, "Gee, why don't I call US Sailing and see if they have any contact info". No dice.
     
  11. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Our NA Office staff WOULD have answers for you!!

    in fact, I bet they would give you phone numbers and usually the name of the person who will answer the phone at a somewhat nearby supplier.

    One thing our class does very well is help advertise where to buy stuff for your toys.
     
  12. knot_moving

    knot_moving Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    So is the Laser Wiki a place that the mythical "someone" could set this up? Then harp on posters here to put their yearly events in?
     
  13. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    38

    Mikle...Something tells me you have the skills to set it up and that it would be accomplished in less than an evening.

    I would be happy to be a pain in the ass volunter encouragement artist if you do teh original set up.

    Of course my next move would be to encourage everybody to beg rergatta hosts to visit your srte and add their events.

    maybe you could convince the class to run a big obvious link on the class website, Bradley to post a link here and Vanguard's buyers to post stuff on their website and certainly there should be a big how to post on the wiki scheduli in every newsletter....

    Who me??? Over do what??
     
  14. knot_moving

    knot_moving Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Actually NOT !! If you want an autopilot for an airplane, bomb, satellite, rocket or robot -- that I can do. Web pages, beyond posting some semi-literate drivel ... forget it!

    Besides my ADD issues (as someone else so afflicted aptly put it) "cause me to curl up in a corner shaking uncontrollably" whenever anyone suggests that I should take on any sort of "long-term" project.

    I do however have a prototype of what I was thinking, maybe it is enough to get it started maybe not. Just needs someone to put it in the Wiki and start beating the drum to get stuff added
    BIG KEY is users have to be adding it -- it is a Wiki after all


    .....!#$&(*$ can't upload it as an excel table so had to upload as pdf. Someone else will have to figure out how to make it an editable table in the webpage
     

    Attached Files:

  15. knot_moving

    knot_moving Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    ok so here is a word doc with the beginnings of a "fixed schedule" and some example events in each of the various sections.

    The dates for some of the really big national and regional events probably move a bit, but there is room to nail them down as many years in advance as the info is available.

    The hyperlinked dates go to the ILCA-NA calendar which has all the info you might need

    If the event is fixed to a particular location, then the event name is hyperlinked to that club or to the website for the event.

    Masters events are italicized

    all the above can be changed in any way that whoever might take this on wants - this is just intended as something to start better ideas and interest growing.

    But I have no clue how to get this into the Laser Wiki (or some other appropriate website) or how to edit it once it is there - so someone please jump in here

    if no interest -- then it won't be the first or last bad idea I worked on :)
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Mike,

    You've got the midwinter Masters events at the same place for the next 5 years, if I read that correctly. In the past, the locations have jumped around a bit, so I'm just wondering....
     
  17. knot_moving

    knot_moving Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I think both the Florida Masters and the Midweek Madness have always been at the same place. The Masters Midwinters East seems to move from year to year. If I am wrong then hopefully when someone gets this schedule posted we can fix it.
     
  18. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Mike,

    Please don't let my lack of response show less appreciation than I should. Next week the boats in my shop are leaving for the J-24 worlds In Annapolis and I simply do not heve any time, even enough to post the results from my own regatta.

    I love your idea!!
     
  19. knot_moving

    knot_moving Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    No worries - I've been swamped myself!

    Of course if its just you & I who think this might be a good idea then its not going to be much good is it? Hopefully someone will come along that can help get it hosted
     
  20. jon

    jon Member

    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    8
    As a district secretary that was scheduled to host a major regatta, I had absolutely NO idea that our district was to be hosting the ACC this year and no way to easily look it up on the web (I am sure it was in the newsletter, but I read it for the articles and probably glossed over it). I found out from another DS who asked me about it. Once I was able to confirm this with the class office I had effectively two weeks to find a host in time to get the date/location published in the Winter Laser sailor. We got it done, but it sure would be nice to have the regatta grid and future regatta rotation posted on the website. At least have the class office posting this information to the DS email list periodically.


    Tracy, Is there any way this information could be published somewhere on the web site?
    >>>>
    a) sets a rotation schedule for moving major events around the region up to 10 years out,
    b) identifies potential hosts (note the plural here) to, as I recall, about 3 years out (with a give and take between potential hosts offering and the office asking),
    c) locks down venues as soon as a host is willing to commit (and that is not always going to be 3 years from now since not all potential hosts in North America are the New York or Austin Yacht Clubs! ),
    d) sets dates as soon as all the affected parties agree to them (where the office tries to link major events together, like last summer where in a 3 week period you could do the NA's, PCC's and US Nationals all within a day's drive, and this often takes some negotiation on dates).

    <<<<

    I was one of the 'effectively 0 hits' that did periodically view the regatta grid to find out where the majors were.
     

Share This Page