Too much master's coverage in the Laser Sailor?

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by 154537, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. BRace

    BRace New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Getting back to the original topic - two thoughts

    1. the class should be catering to the younger set or else it will die off. I had the same impression when I saw the Laser Sailor - why is there an master (grand?) on the cover? Why not some attractive youngster?

    2. Why is the class still printing a magazine? It is costly and quite honestly boring.

    The class should take the money they save on printing and postage and spend it on a website that people want to go to and use.
     
  2. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    38



    My take on the magazine is:
    1. It is something a sailor can hold . It is value.
    2 it is a tool for dissemination of the information we MUST distribute.

    The current problem remains our magazine is printed in a much too expensive format and that format keeps the magazine from being an effective tool.

    When the newsletter was printed on newsprint it had everything it has today PLUS!!! much more story content, ten times the photos ( of sailors having fun), information about fleets you might join, more information about regattas you might want to attend and...we always printed about 3000 extra copies to leave around anywhere we could manage to have them left.
    With a newsprint publication, we could afford to send stacks of newsletters to dozens of gatherings of sailors all over North America.

    Over the years I have seen Laser Sailor magazines in the cars of many sailors. Many times the publication had the set of directions published in it which had helped the vehicle navigate its way to the event where I enjoyed time sailing with the driver and passengers.
    With flashy clay covered paper for media, we cannot afford to publish most of the very most important information which is necessary for the health and growth of the game of Laser sailing.


    I love pretty stuff as much as the next guy. For 12 years The NA Laser Classs Assiciation published a newsprint magazine because professional managers who dedicated their lives to the gathering and dissemination of information about our game could find no better way to effectively accomplish the goals of the class. Newsprint is cheap. Newspaper printing takes hours and the elapsed time from delivery to the printer to your mailbox is the shortest with a newsprint newsletter.
    It is bad enough that information in the newsprint newsletter is a couple weeks out of date when it arrives. Our current format guarantees delivery of information that is months old.
    and

    The more expensive version which takes loinger to disseminate gives us less space for the essential information we must disseminate to survive....much less grow.

    Summary:

    The current newsletter format is a waste of our resources and we could be doing a much better job for a lot less money.
     
  3. HECS

    HECS New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The masters hide behind the chicken weenie excuse that "sailing would just be a physical contest."
    yeah right...Laser racing without your old man anti use of the body rules might be just like the contest you you loved to play when you were young and athletic yourselves. Selfish chicken out of shape old farts are ruining the game for the real athletes so they can compete in what is now a pathetic diluted used to be sport. Selfish selfish selfish!!!"


    It's not selfish selfish selfish. The first ever international small boat class - the sailing canoes - banned kinetics back in the 1800s. Why? Because this sport is not about rolling and pumping yourself around a course, it's about sailing.

    You don't have to insult everyone who doesn't happen to hold the same views as you, you know.

    I know of Laser sailors who are also currently 2nd nationally in a class that allows unrestricted pumping, and 1st/2nd nationally in a class that allows unrestricted pumping downwind, yet who oppose pumping in Lasers.

    Why? Because it opens the racing up too much. It makes it too hard to attract new sailors. It turns the majority of people off. It detracts from skills people like in sailing (trimming etc) and rewards grunt and effort. If you want to do that, get a rowboat.

    Personally, I do best in pumping conditions in the above classes, yet I oppose pumping. People CAN oppose pumping because they have seen it destroy classes, not because they are selfish.
     
  4. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18

    Actually... the current newsletter format is less than one week from delivery of pdf file to mailing and many people are now receiving TLS within 2 weeks of Jerelyn shipping to the printer (remember that we send bulk mail). More importantly, TLS has now become self supporting (in fact, it even made a little bit of money this last issue) since the magazine is a great vehicle for Laser specific advertisers to reach their market and, judging by demand, they really like it (thank you advertisers!).

    The World is an ever changing place and keeping pace is always difficult... back when TLS was newsprint people were not as online as they are now, everyone did not have a cell phone, cars did not come with in-dash navigation systems and google maps didn't exist. When you walk by a car at a regatta nowadays you are more likely to see a printout of google map directions, or a gps system, or maybe a gps mapping phone (I've seen them!).

    A fair bit of information that used to be in TLS can be considered to be time sensitive (e.g. classified ads, regatta NORs, Grand Prix rankings, etc.). People who sell things typically don't want to wait through a 3 month cycle to get bids on their items, regatta NORs sometimes change and once printed in TLS people could have the wrong information, a surprisingly large number of people want to see the latest Grand Prix rankings yesterday, etc.

    Other pieces of information are maybe less time sensitive but are probably also much better dealt with on the website. For example, each District page on the website has a listing of fleets with links to what can be their own pages (see this example) where they can advertise for people to come sail with them.

    ALL of this stuff is now available online through the Laser Class website (where one should note that we link to TLF classifieds in order to avoid duplication of effort).

    The website is a constant work in progress with many new features cominig within the next two months. For example, soon you will be able to click on "location" in a regatta listing and it will bring up a google map from which you can get driving directions from your home. We are also in the process of putting the membership databases online (with Regatta Network making sure it is done in a very secure manner), as well as revamping the District pages. And, of course, news is always getting added. This is also a great time to make solid suggestions for further improvements since we are making other improvements over the next two weeks anyway.

    We can argue whether there is any need for a publication at all since we could (and for many do) publish regatta results and reports, technique articles and other writeups on the class website. However, I agree with Fred that it is a membership value (and the glossy format hopefully gives some extra value) and that it is still a great tool for disseminating information and attracting people to Laser sailing. And it is not that regatta schedules and fleet listings have completely disappeared from TLS either. Remember that we include an insert in the Winter and Spring editions with the full regatta schedule and full fleet listings when it is presumed that people are still planning their schedules for the year (and, believe me, getting next year's regatta schedule for all the Districts by December 15 is an impossible task).

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!
     
  5. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    See the attached ILCA-NA membership profile taken from this link on the class website. We have a large proportion of Masters sailors because they have something like a 45 year age range to draw from while the pre-college set can, realistically, only draw on about 6 years. Still, things are looking pretty good to me at the youth end, especially the number of Radial sailors and in particular the sizeable (and growing) fraction of female sailors.

    Once the 4.7 gets established I would expect this end to grow dramatically.

    See my response to Fred's response to this question.
    As always, if you think there is content that should be more interesting to you then you should contact the Class Office and let them know. Asking for something doesn't mean you get it because someone still has to produce the requested article, but it helps give them guidance when they are setting up for the next issue. Alternatively, you have until December 15 to contribute something for the Winter issue (which is always the best way to get the content you want!).

    As an aside, the Class Office is always looking for pictures to print in TLS. However, you need to make sure you have a photo credit, can identify the people in the picture (we like to have captions) AND that the photo is print quality. This last point is important, most pictures posted on the web are lower resolution (to make the file size smaller) and are NOT print quality and, unfortunately, can't be used.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. paulmarshall

    paulmarshall New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That's a really interesting graph. Does the ILCA have one for world-wide membership?
     
  7. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Cool fabulous!!
    Maybe a pretty shiny newsletter is so impressive to the typical person that everything else is by comparison a minor consideration in the resulting perceived value.
    Covering the cost of newsletters with advertising in newsprint was pretty easy to accomplish. We used to bring in about $6000 an issue and spend about that much to pay the editors and print it. ( or you could say we used to pay for printing and distribution with advertising funds and that the newsletter subsidized our operations to the tune of about $8000 a year.)

    But whining on....Just because somebody is willing to pay for it, doesn't necessarily mean the money is being well spent. All advertising money actually comes from sailor pockets. If the newsletter is primarily a tool for dissemination of information, I find it hard to believe the current format is the most effective tool for disseminating that information.
    Damn tootin!!
    And thankless as well!!
    One year I hired a "Home for Thanksgiving and Christmas" college girl to sit in the office and do whatever she could for three full weeks to simply contact all last years hosts, all the district secretaries, all the fleet captains, and then to look at any website she could find in North America with any regatta listed that might even possibly have a start for Lasers. This was in addition to all the regattas we were told about by volunteers and those I had found myself by doing whatever it was I did.
    The resulting list of about 400 events had at least a couple dozen wrong dates and places culled from improperly posted schedules.
    While she was assembling the list I updated the Laser.org website nightly with her latest finds. Whenever new regattas were added to any district list we emailed the district secretary with notification of those additipons and requested further information. She emailed the schedules to the various district secretaries and asked for corrections and additions before we went to press, called the district secretaries who failed to return emails and ...
    even though some of the information had been on line for over two months..
    shortly after the newsletter with the schedule was published..
    Three of the district secretaries complained that we had published improper and inaccurate information.

    Just to be certain I am clear...
    Although I often wish your attention would be enthusiastically focused in a different direction, all of the class officers and hired hands are doing lots of stuff I know needs to be done and I absolutely would rather not have to do myself. I appreciate every minute anybody spends doing any of the endless work it takes to make the Laser game prosper!!

    And what can we do to resurrect the traditional Thanksgiving Regatta Bruce Cup??
     
  8. Georg W.F.

    Georg W.F. Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Keep the paper format! I hate reading stuff on a computer screen and I will never be able to find an article I liked again. Besides, you can take it anywhere and read it during a boring moment in your day.

    Gouvernail, your comments about contacting district secretaries and regatta organizers makes me depressive: why can people never simply do what they are supposed to do? I have organized regatta's where it was impossible to get certain classes to come to the event, because they were so disorganized that after 5 reminders they still did not know when the regatta would take place.

    How is this possible? I am not sure, but often it seems that someone who screwed up something is elected for an important function to make up for whatever s/he screwed up. We end up with an even bigger mess, because you elect people who are not interested, who are somewhat resentful, and who screw things up anyway.
    What is the answer? We need good people to step up the plate and do something they are capable of doing, for their club, their fleet, their class, their district, for the sport of sailing!
    Will we find these people? No, but the question is: will these people find us?
    In other words: Do not ask what your laser class can do for you, but ask what you can do for your laser class!

    Georg
     
  9. sorosz

    sorosz Member

    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I too like the current Laser Sailor format but I hope the back issues keep getting archived on the website. I didn't realize they were until just now when I went to take a look. . . While I do hang on to the print copies it's nice to know that if I lose one or I'm at work or something and want to refer to an article I can look it up.

    If the class is looking to save money in this area they could investigate uploading the Laser Sailor sooner, like on the "press" date, so the impatient and tech types can read it online before it arrives in the mail. If that proves popular the class could offer an e-mail/online only choice for the newsletter to the membership. If enough people preferred that option it might save some money in printing in postage. FWIW I prefer to get the print copy myself but some might prefer the higher tech option.
     
  10. MasterMike

    MasterMike D22

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I also like the current print format. I like color printing. I like photos. I especially like the tech and technique articles. I read the ads, learn things, buy stuff. I like to see results printed, and recognize names I know in the standings. I too like back issues that I can refer to.

    I agree that the class should be encouraging younger sailors and women sailors and build for the future. I am a masters sailor who wants the fleet to be strong well into the future as well as keep it's Olympic status. There are new hot rod boats coming along every few years and someday one of them may be selected. All that said, if you look at the graph posted, that strong constituency at the 45+ peak also needs to be represented and taken care of.
     
  11. 154537

    154537 Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    just to clarify since i was the one who started this post-
    i like the laser sailor, especially when the laser world insert is included.
    but the fact remains, the masters choose to exclude the youngins from their events, and now they are taking over TLS, just when the fleet desperately needs to attract younger members...
    why not just eliminate masters specific events, and just sail everyone together and separate out the scoring any way you like later?
    call me crazy, but arent there masters out there who may want to participate in the same events as their kids??????
     
  12. stick

    stick Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    if you started the thread, don't you understand that any master only event also has a corresponding junior or open event. do you feel that there are too many masters events? there is not. there are tons of laser regattas with separate scoring. i don't get it. there are tons of junior or age limit laser events too. next you'll be asking to race 4.7's, radials, and full rigs together and score them equal. if someone organizes a regatta it's to fill a need, not keep people from racing in it.
     
  13. 154537

    154537 Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    what do you mean has a corresponding open event?
    obviously there are na's, us champs etc, for each catagory but the point is they are completely separate events that require extra planning, resources, yacht clubs, race committee's, etc.
    plus, as fred said, fleets get diluted with the more sub-catagories you create.

    yes, we all hate losing to people younger than us. im 26, and junior sailors who can practice everyday will beat me when im rusty, but im not going to go and create some event thats just for 20-35 year olds...

    please dont take offense to my comments, i recognize the masters are clearly a huge part of the NA laser class, are well organized, and turn out well for events!
    i just think if you were to eliminate the duplicity of these corresponding events, and truely combine them in the same venue and race courses, time, money and resources would be saved, plus events such as the PCC's, US champs, etc would be that much bigger/better.
     
  14. stick

    stick Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    yeah, by corresponding i meant that there are Nat'l, US, NA, etc. and yes, there are separate regattas. but, alot of the master competitors sail in both. i did not know that there was a strain on resources and time to sponsor these separate events. i am always thankful and respectful of any organizers of sailing events. but, i also volunteer my time for events in my district and try to participate as often as possible.

    as for the dilution, i guess i look at how unique the Laser class is. the fact that it can offer so much diversity. it's unfortunate that not every district or Area or Association can attract large turnouts to every event they host. i don't see how that can be helped. there are too many opportunities out there, and you can't make everybody happy.

    i'm not out to offend any body either, these are just my opinions. i talk the boat and the class up wherever i am. not because of anything i do , numbers and turnout seem to be ok where i race. will it last? i don't know.
     
  15. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    38
    So you guys sound like you begrudge the 50 to 80 year olds their own events. Some of them wouldn't sail at all without masters events, I'll bet.

    Plus, and I think this is big, do you really think the kids want to sail against 75 year olds?
     
  16. RJ Graef

    RJ Graef New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I prefer as a junoir sailing against younger masters to give me more comp.
     
  17. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Geezers sailing Lasers have probably saved the class from the fate of other Olympic class boats.
     

Share This Page