Why join your class association ?

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by Deimos, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. Deimos

    Deimos Member

    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I can appreciate the reasons and was fully intending to join mine (i.e. in the country where I live). However, pre purchasing my boat I had a couple of major questions to ask them to clarify some regulations. I tried to contact them but never got any response. They thus appear to me now the same as many other institutions here - just take your money.
    I appreciate they represent you, protect the class, etc. but if you cannot contact them, cannot get any response from them then how can they do this ? I am more than happy to pay to join an organisation that is active, does things, etc. but one that just takes your money and ignores you seems a bit of a waste of time.

    Not trying to be controversial but I suppose I'm looking for reasons why I should spend the money as in many respects I do want to join, just do not want to send money into a "black hole" without good reason.

    Ian
     
  2. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Ian, I am District 18 Secretary (it's easy and fun, kids!), so you are getting your first "official" reply. Who did you contact--the folks at the International level, or in France? I looked in your profile to find your place of residence. If you asked Internationally, it does take a while to get a reply, some weeks. You may get a quicker reply from your district leader. My ILCA member handbook shows that that is Jean-Luc Michon. E-mail: michonjl@hotmail.com. His mobile phone number is +33 6 62 10 98 32. Website www.francelaser.org If you contacted him already and didn't get a reply, well, it's a volunteer position.

    Your questions may also be answered at the ILCA website under General Questions:
    http://www.laserinternational.org/information/information.htm
    Or at the North American Laser website:
    http://www.nalaser.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=section&id=3&Itemid=72

    One great thing that membership gets you is the Handbook that I mentioned. Besides the Constitution and Class Rules, it's got all the names, addresses, and e-mails of every district administrator, plus the district website URL if there is one. Just perusing the contents I see Masters Policy, Handicap Numbers, Coaching and Coaches International Events Calendar, Laser Library-books for Laser Sailors, Finances, Instructions for applying Sail Numbers & National Letters, Specifications and Parts Diagram, Boat Care, and more. So I think the $40 membership is worth just this book. Many of the questions that are frequently asked here at the forum are answered in the little ILCA volume or gives one leads to finding answers.

    Hope this helps.
    Janet Rupert
    District 18 Secretary--Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Western Pennsylvania.
     
  3. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Hey, this is off topic, but I looked at the forum at the French website. My French isn't very good, but I found something I can identify with: "j'ai terminé dernier" ;)
     
  4. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    136
    Trophy Points:
    63
    In addition to what Janet wrote, participating in higher-level regattas may require class membership. I don't know how relevant this is for France, but if Hyeres is on your 2007 schedule, you may want to consider that a good reason to join.
     
  5. rock steady

    rock steady New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Remember these organisations are run by volunteers. They have full time jobs and families to look after. I have always been able to get in touch my reps without a problem. You may have just been unlucky with your timing.

    A Class association is about a community that supports Laser sailors, you shouldn't expect too much from individuals. Forums like this are actually better places to ask questions as the load is spread across a lot more people.
     
  6. dyzzypyxxy

    dyzzypyxxy Member

    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Obviously a lot less people think joining the Class is worthwhile now than they used to, here in North America anyway! Latest newsletter (which costs the Class $3 apiece to produce) has NA membership at 900-odd. That's down quite a bit from 3100 in 4 years!

    Merrily has the right attitude, for sure, but $40 for an ILCA Handbook is a lot of money! The Class Association also makes sure there are championship regattas in your World, continent, country, District etc. They're responsible for writing and enforcing your Class rules, so that everybody essentially sails the same boat.

    Most importantly your Class Association Exec are a group of elected volunteers who are supposed to act as consumer advocates for you if you have problems dealing with your boat dealer or builder about their products - the boats themselves and all the many bits and pieces that make them work, like sails, blades, lines blablablab . . ...

    If your Class Assn. is doing all this, and also putting out a great newsletter that you look for every time it is due to arrive because there are great regatta reports and pictures and lots of important information in them, then it's absolutely worth it to support them.

    So far no reply to this thread from any of the current NA Exec, I notice . . . Tracy, you out there??

    Gilgamesh
     
  7. bel120343

    bel120343 New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    hey, iam sorry to say, butt here in Belgium, i pay my membership every year, no effence, where that money goes? lotts of drinks for the masters i suposse, the youth sailors never see no support, no training, no help, no nothing! Now there going to try to boost the 4.7 because some parents went on the class association, butt me and a whole generation youngsters who could have been great sailors where left in the cold for many years, while other classes and country's always had everything, we where always alone on the racing area, and train ourselves at the home club.

    I hope there will be a fresh breeze now, butt the last generation had some serious neglect. That's why Evi Van Acker is now booming, she just started the laser radial recently after good coaching and training from the europeclass.

    greetz Tom
     
  8. bel120343

    bel120343 New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    hey, i cant edit my previous post, iam sorry for my mistakes in my english writing, i abviously mean but instead of butt.
     
  9. Steve_Landeau

    Steve_Landeau New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't think training is the responsibility of the class. That would be at the club level. If your club does not have coaches (which cost money, and lots of it for good coaches), then it may be time for you to look for a better sailing club.
     
  10. dyzzypyxxy

    dyzzypyxxy Member

    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    8
    I would agree with Steve, that supplying coaching can't be done by the Class Association. What they CAN do, though, is facilitate communication between Class members eg.

    Say a group of young sailors want to get together and have a clinic over a weekend. A coach that one guy could not hope to afford could do a clinic for 10 or 20 people for a whole weekend. The Class's role in this is putting those sailors in touch with each other.

    Same if 10 sailors from all over the US (or Europe?) were all planning to go to a big regatta - maybe by pooling their resources they can hire a great coach to work with them at the regatta. They get together from thousands of miles away by subscribing to this Forum - which, I'm guessing, is another service supported by the Class Association.
     
  11. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    38
    No, TLF is privately owned and operated by Bradley Green of the Sailing Forums Network, with no resources from the class.
     
  12. Crooked Beat

    Crooked Beat Member

    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    8
    A few years ago I read on the old email listserv that the International Class had about 100,000 pounds in the bank! Can anyone confirm that number is current?
     
  13. nybozo1

    nybozo1 New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    money, money, money, money.......

    if you can't afford a pro coach you just can't compete. not to mention new boat, new sails (often), $50k fancy zodiac for the "sports" parents to motor around in often getting in the damn way, videos, de-brief session, critques, and all the other stuff.

    hell, I started sailing again when my kids got older. thought i was getting away from all the sports nazi stupidity.

    the olympics had the effect of ramping up participation in the class...now, in the last 5 years or so, it has totally gone pro.

    the FL districts mentioned elswhere was just weird...everybody in their little clicks, zero socializing, except among some ancients (like the kind folks running the regatta) and a few "normal" club members.

    I do think this has had a direct negative effect on participation. Unless you are totally monied up, and I'm talking about youth, not me, you have no chance. And all this yields 1 US guy in the top 10 at the Miami OCR? Go figure.
     
  14. dyzzypyxxy

    dyzzypyxxy Member

    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    8
    When I was an ILCA officer, the International Class office had a huge bank balance that was a VERY sore point with most of the volunteer officers on the World Council.

    The last report I recall which would be 2001, the amount was around 300,000 pounds, and certainly would be over 1/2 million now - that is to say well over $1M in US dollars. We used to refer to it as "Jeff's Superfund".

    I haven't followed Laser politics closely for over 5 years now, so I don't know the financial status. But you certainly have the right to ask - it IS YOUR MONEY. You also have the right to demand that your elected Class officers tell you why it is that a non-profit organization has so much money socked away and exactly what they intend to do with it. There have been resolutions more than once by the World Council to spend some of that fund on promotion of Laser sailing, but . . . I can't say I've seen evidence of it.

    The ILCA Exec Secretary Jeff Martin always said it was "in case of an emergency" that they kept a "reserve". I do remember on more than one occasion asking him how many people did he think would be racing Lasers after a nuclear war broke out, and short of that catastrophe, what sort of "emergency" did he forsee?

    I kind of doubt they've sent any money for Tsunami relief, or Katrina relief. D'you think if sailors who lost their Lasers in those disasters wrote to Jeff for help he'd send them a cheque?

    Mmmm, . . . Nah!

    :cool:
     
  15. nybozo1

    nybozo1 New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    why don't you ask Landt?

    he sez ....well it has something to do with Ian..
     
  16. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Then it is safe to assume Ian has nothing what so ever to do with it.
     
  17. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    16
    The Laser World included with the Winter 2007 issue of The Laser Sailor doesn't seem to have any info on ILCA Finances. But the one sent with the Winter 2006 issue of TLS does.

    This shows that on 30.09.04 the accumulated funds of ILCA were 650,489. (I assume that is in pounds sterling?)

    To put it into context ILCA's expenditures were 614,595 in 2004 and 248,165 in 2003. The big difference between these two annual expenditures seems to be because the 2003 and 2004 World Chamionship expenditures were both accounted for in the financial year 2004.
     
  18. Deimos

    Deimos Member

    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    18
    If that is the only difference in costs between the two years then the "World Championships" must be rather expensive for the ILCA - in fact I would be interested to know where all the money would be going for a World Championship.
    Ian
     
  19. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Again from the same source (ILCA accounts published in the LaserWorld bound into the Winter 2006 issue TLS), it looks as if championships are indeed the major expenditure of ILCA but in 2004 and 2003 they were self-supporting with, for example in 2004, championship income of 445,497 and championship expenditure of 420,432.
     
  20. dyzzypyxxy

    dyzzypyxxy Member

    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Here are some "championship expenditures" I know about:

    1. ILCA pays for Jeff Martin to fly to prospective Worlds venues to meet with host clubs and check out the facilities, conditions, costs, accessibility etc.

    2, Your World Council (the elected volunteer officers plus Jeff and the builder reps) has an all-day meeting at every World Championship and ILCA pays for all WC members' travel and accommodations for, I think it was 3 days. So if your class officer cannot sail in the event (Masters is open) at least they can attend the meeting, the awards for the Worlds regatta and the opening party for the Masters event. It's essential for them to be able to attend the WC meeting in person, and great PR for them to be able to meet all the sailors.

    This still doesn't get us to the big numbers published in LaserWorld, so I'm guessing - maybe ILCA buys the boats (boats at Worlds are supplied - approx 140 brand new Lasers) ships them to the venue, then charters them to participants for the two weeks of Worlds regattas, and sells them off "lightly used". Since they must negotiate a good price from the builder on such a big purchase, plus the charter fee is not small, plus they re-coup much of the cost on re-sale, this can't cost a lot. Maybe insurance and shipping, but boat costs should be close to a wash. I'd emphasize that I don't KNOW if ILCA funds this boat supply exercise - you'd think if there was a profit in it the builders would do it, if not probably the Class funds it.

    ILCA may also supply trophies, 10 deep at Worlds, plus 10 deep in 4 age categories at the Masters. Fifty of those little lexan cubes at cost?

    <light bulb flashes on above my head> Oh yeah, there are now 2 Worlds regattas each year - the Radials have their own event, right? (since I left, Radial became an International Class all its own, then Olympic) So - double Jeff's travel for research, trophy costs, and double the boat supply, shipping, and insurance costs unless they can use the charter fleet for both events.

    As Class members, you do have the right to ask for a breakdown, and also for a justification of their "reserve" funds. Ask your elected officers for this information, and they should make every effort to get it from their paid employee - Mr. Martin.

    All that being said, Laser Worlds regattas are an immense undertaking, they are First Class regattas, and there's no doubt in my mind that Jeff Martin does a superb job of making them happen. But it IS expensive. That just means that every Class member should make the effort to attend, at least once. IF you can't qualify for the Open, then you can go when you are a Master, over 35. If you are a keen Laser sailor, it's the best vacation you can imagine.

    Bottom line - professionally run Worlds regattas at wonderful venues every year ARE another reason to join your Class Association. But transparency of finances are essential - in a perfect world, Class Assocations operating on member's funds should have a zero balance all the time. Money should flow in from the members, and be directed out again by the management to nurture and grow the game the members are paying to play. ALL the members, not just Worlds participants and Olympic aspirants.

    The accounting in LaserWorld sounds like it doesn't show the "reserve" amount. Ask about it!
     

Share This Page