Masters Poll in the Fall Laser Sailor


Active Member
Thread starter #1
Anybody have any thoughts?

With respect to the masters Midwinters? Or midwinters generally?? We have bounced the hosting idea around in Austin fleet meetings since before there was a masters midwinters.

Midwinters East and Midwinters West seems like a generally great concept for our huge land mass but it also seems like a gathering in the middle of the south would be a good idea as well.

The plus side is huge gathering in a central location.

The down side is also very real. Our membership is largely in the East and also somewhat concentrated in the west. The current midwinters locations allow for a "straight south" trip. The "angle to the middle" is longer for everybody except the Minnesotans.

Regardless, Austin's hat is perpetually in the ring for a Master's Midwinters Central on the weekend either before or after Easter.

Houston Yacht Club would also gladly accept either the Masters or the open midwinters. For those who would like a two regatta trip, Seabrook Sailing Club and Texas Corinthian Yacht Club are fully capable of hosting a Masters Midwinters.
Californians can fly to FLL (Fort Lauderdale) for less than it would cost to fly to Houston on Jet Blue.
A few related questions: What is the basic scenario for someone travelling to a regatta like this? Are there charter boats available? How much? What gear does one bring of his own besides a sail and clothing?
I'm heavy into radio sailing, and have traveled worldwide, but that's rather easy as your boat and all the gear fits in a golf case. Being a newbie to adult Laser sailing, I'm certainly going to be interested in out of town regattas. I can trailer up and down the left coast, but if Midwinters is always in the southeast, I'm going to need other options (obvously).
I have to do the Masters circuit on a shoestring, but I can when it is all in Florida (Florida Masters, Midweek Maddness, Masters Mids, Open Mids). I have to trailer my boat down cause I can't afford chartering. Moving the Masters would be okay, but can it be part of a fairly tightly packed 2-week circuit somewhere else, where I can still get two weeks of sailing within a couple of hundred miles?


Active Member
Thread starter #5
Avoiding misunderstanding>>

I like the Florida thing as it is. Swenson, Masters and open on three weeks in a row is a nice trip. Someday, I would love to do all three. Other years, one of three would be great.

On the one hand, I believe there is a potential benmefit to rotating the Masters Midwinters events around a bit.
On the other hand there are other factors to be considered.
1. The Jack Swenson memorial regatta is where it is and probably needs to be where it is. ( Although, I loved the guy too and would host the event here in Austin sometime if the gamg wanted to try a different place once.)
2. My easter Event is one of the regattas that can be used as a tandem event. It is about as illogical to move the Easter laser regatta somewhere else as to move the Jack Swenson Memorial...But I would certainly consider it for a year sometime.
3. It almost always works to build on a known success. If the additional improvements are made without degrading the original successful product or event. Working to improve the Florida series fits this successful style of improving things.
4. It rarely works to speculatively change a successful game to "get the people who are not already playing." Some folks who were already playing will be annoyed by the changes and quit. Others MAY join as a result of the changes.

Just thinking with the fingers
Some additional thoughts:

There is merit in creating another "circuit" in the south during the winter months for us winterbound. Keep the Florida circuit as is, but put together something else in Texas if you like. That way, if I can't do Feb in Florida, I can do March in Texas. The point is, to make all the driving worth my while, I need to know I have two weeks of solid racing to look forward to and when I am down there, I'd like to know that I have limited driving to do between venues.

This is pure speculation on my part, but maybe you could come up with a Dallas, Houston, Austin circuit. Make it fill three weekends in March with something like midweek maddness in the middle of the first week, and you've got something. Make it Masters regattas only, and I'd be all over it.
Why would you want it Masters only thats ridiculous. It should be open to all ages it's hard enough getting people to race in winter without limiting the age. I am biased though since I am not a master and would like to sail in these potential regattas.;) Still it makes more sense for it to be open to all ages.
To Laser 170806
The poll is centered around the three masters events and how they are tied to the open midwinters. That's why it is targeted at masters. Just look forward to when you reach the ripe old age of 35 and can play with the rest of us old guys!
Finding 3 to 5 venues which could host the open and masters midwinters east and rotating amongst these would offer some changes for the competitors and possibly increase Masters attendance. Limiting the venue for the MMWE to a site that can qualify as a Class 1 ISAF for the open MWE takes away several attractive locations. Most Masters sailors do not attend the open MWE. Check the records for the last few years. See how many Masters sailed in both MMWE and MWE. I suspect the number is around 10. We've had fleets of 50 to 80 or so at the MMWE in the last few years -- have the numbers dropped off? Maybe a change in location would spur more interest. There are several attractive and fun places to sail besides Clearwater in Florida. Sarasota, Jensen Beach, Palm Beach, Lauderdale, Miami, "The Keys", Ft Myers-Punta Gorda-Naples area, Davis Island(Tampa), Melbourne area all have good sailing conditions and organizations which could host a Masters MWE. Oh yeah, there's also Pensacola and Ft Walton Beach. It's not Florida, but Gulfport is not that far away, either. So why not spice things up a little and get some variety in our locations. Try it for a few years and see what happens.
The idea of spreading the racing across the state from year to year is a good one. I like Clearwater, but I would love to sail Miami for a change, or Sarasota, or wherever. Again, the key thing for people like me who are commited to making the trip every year is that I know I have two weeks of sailing in good fleets.
If it is well organized by the state association, I can see where you could sell the three or four regattas as a package. The venues could work together to offer discounted accomodation, an over-all award and other perks. Even some off-day touring. I would love to be able to sign up in one shot for the "Texas Masters Midwinters Circuit" which includes three regattas, a training session, a tour of something, and an opportunity to win an overall title. Very cool.
Thread starter #12
Personally?? I love racing with the kids as much as the old farts. And...being the social engineer I am...It seems appropriate to have a carrot and reward.

Examp;le: An open even sandwiched between two masters events. The title for the three events would be best of two but the open event would have to be sailed. Masters would be pulled from the fleet and scored separatly for the purposes of the series but Masters would simply be participants in the open event. The open could still be the throw out if all three were sailed.

Last year Easter had 1st and second place won by Grand masters...( light wind Sunday allowed us old guys to beat up on teh kids....Yes a 230 lb guy was in front and eventualy finished 2 in the 0 to 5 knot race. First was the oldest guy in the regatta)

Anyway..I like the concept of a series with benefits between and will chat it up with the locals. maybe in a month or two we will have a proposal for the winter of 2007 - 2008.

Note: I absolutely believe any decent annual event MUST be scheduled such that the hosts for that event can show up at the year just before it and make a big pitch and invite everybody.

Example: For the J-22 NA Champs it is comon practice for next years hosts to bring t shirts and beer to this year's event and make a big balyhoo about how great NEXT year will be.

It all goes together. If we want great venues we need to grab them while they are open. Scheduling a year or three ahead makes venue selection and reservation of those venues a piece of cake.
I agree you need a year to promote the idea. If you have something pretty well settled and named (very important) by the time we are in Florida this Feb, you'll have a targeted audience and ready interest.
Some marketing suggestions:
Make sure you have:
- Good Trophies
- a name or two to throw out of guys who have committed to being there (Tracy? Peter S.?)
- An overall series winner
- A series closing dinner/ceremony
- A name for the series
- Billeting (some of us are at the financial limit as it is. Remember, Laser sailing is an obsession for some, and we have no business spending what we spend on it in the first place. A little mercy, please.)
- Reasons to want to be in Texas in March (need buy-in from girlfriends and wives)
- A clinic (very important in my view. The Midweek Madness in Florida really made the trip for me last year.)

And you are right about racing with the kids. I like it, too. There is no reason one regatta cannot be an Open. But make it in a typically light air venue.
Regardless of age, we need an event in a warm, generally windy location during the late winter/early spring months and having a fun atmosphere.

To that end, I've often spouted that we need a Midwinters TX on South Padre island during spring break.
Midwinters on South Padre during spring break will definitely not help with the buy-in from spouses of Masters.

But, hell, let's do it anyway!!
For all you Masters sailors who think of sailing in Florida in the Winter, you now have three ways to submit the survey:
1) Cut out the copy in the Fall issue of TLS and mail to the office,
2) Fill out the Word Document Sherri distributed and email to the office,
3) Go to the online form on the ILCA-NA website.

No excuses for not getting a lot of feedback!
it seemed like the whole magazine was about masters stuff. maybe it would be appropriate for yall to get your own separate newsletter??