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Will the new OSC deem multihulls as worthy of investment? #251355
08/13/12 09:43 PM
08/13/12 09:43 PM
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Reiss Offline OP
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Will the new US Olympic Sailing Committee deem the multihull class strategically worthy of investment for the 2016 Games?

In an August 8th interview by Sailing World, outgoing US Olympic Sailing Committee chair, Dean Brenner, was asked whether the introduction of new events would perhaps help the USA "catch up" on plans to turn around the United States' Olympic sailing performance. The question and Mr. Brenner's response is below:

Sailing World: Do you think the introduction of new events will perhaps help you catch up?

Dean Brenner: Sure, the new classes, is that an opportunity? Maybe. Maybe. Olympic sailing is a portfolio of 10 business units, if you will. And you have to make strategic decisions unless you have significant funding to compete on the full portfolio; you have to make your choices on where youíre going to compete. Maybe theyíll make different choices for 2016 for the U.S. Team, I donít know.

The full article can be found at this link: http://www.sailingworld.com/blogs/racing/olympic/no-medals-and-a-lot-of-questions

So, the frank assessment of the outgoing OSC chair is that certain event classes are basically expendable. Since he made this comment in response to a question about his view of the Olympic sailing events that will be new in 2016, it raises the question of what those in the US sailing catamaran community (at least those who care about multihull sailing as an Olympic sport) should do to prevent the multihull discipline from being relegated to an "expendable class" when it comes to developing, identifying, and supporting US sailors for 2016. Thoughts, anyone?

-- Have You Seen This? --
Re: Will the new OSC deem multihulls as worthy of investment? [Re: Reiss] #251356
08/13/12 10:24 PM
08/13/12 10:24 PM
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Kingston SE South Australia
JeffS Offline
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US Olympic sailing commitee wanting to relegate cats would be in line with them blindsiding the cats out of the Olympics at the last selection. I don't think US sailing has a fast race mentality at the top, more of a chess player, match race mentality so 49ers, Lasers and cats probably don't fit them comfortably.


Jeff Southall
Current boats
Nacra 5.8 1703 Animal Scanning Services
Nacra 5.8 1667 Ram Raider
Nacra 18 Square
Arrow 1576
Re: Will the new OSC deem multihulls as worthy of investment? [Re: Reiss] #251361
08/14/12 01:01 AM
08/14/12 01:01 AM
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uk
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The RYA [UK MNA] have got 4 Nacra 17s on order. Thats the first time that they have ever owned any cats themselves


Paul

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Re: Will the new OSC deem multihulls as worthy of investment? [Re: Reiss] #251402
08/15/12 07:30 AM
08/15/12 07:30 AM
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Boston, Ma
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Jeff.Dusek Offline
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Dean Brenner is answering questions over on the SA forums about the Olympic Sailing efforts. I haven't been posting over there lately because of the negativity, but I asked these questions:


Hi Dean, thanks for taking the time to answer questions. First off, I wanted to say thank you for all the work you have put into the program. I know the last few weeks were disappointing, but I know every member of your team gave everything they had to representing our country, so thank you.

I had a couple questions relating to the new mixed multihull, and the youth development pipeline.

1. With the introduction of the Nacra 17 for the 2016 games, does US Sailing plan to incorporate more multihulls into its youth development efforts? Could we see a multihull class at youth champs and at the elite clinics such as CISA and the Brooke Gonzalez? Is there a plan in place to identify multihull talent for the USDT and then provide them with high level coaching and access to the Nacra 17?

2. With the Nacra 17 being a new class, does the USST plan to work with the established multihull classes to create training and racing opportunities for potential olympic campaigners? What can we do as a class to support the efforts of our future olympians?

I also wonder about how college sailing impacts olympic development, and what we can do at the college level to improve our sailor's chances, but I will leave that discussion for later. Thanks again Dean!

Best,
Jeff Dusek

USF18 Eastern Area Rep
MITNA Commodore/Team Race Chair


USF18 Eastern Area Rep
Nacra Infusion USA 753
Re: Will the new OSC deem multihulls as worthy of investment? [Re: Jeff.Dusek] #251410
08/15/12 10:27 AM
08/15/12 10:27 AM
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Annapolis, MD
Mark Schneider Offline
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I spoke with Dean about three weeks before the games with similar questions. Before I check out his current point of view on what happened... i want to give his point of view prior to the games.

His central point was that he was RETRING and that the new director would be running the program his way.

He would be making recommendations based on his experience.... so...any issues I might have as part of the MHC and Championship Committee would be taken up with the new guy... who was not yet announced.

His point of view was and remains the following... Olympic Sailing is fundamentally different from Class OD sailing.

OLYMPIC candidates put themselves on the track and develop their skills independently. His leadership put in place Common Team based practices and training requirements that supported the sailors.... Racing at the last three ISAF Grade I events would sort out the US representatives.
Quote

1. With the introduction of the Nacra 17 for the 2016 games, does US Sailing plan to incorporate more multihulls into its youth development efforts? Could we see a multihull class at youth champs and at the elite clinics such as CISA and the Brooke Gonzalez? Is there a plan in place to identify multihull talent for the USDT and then provide them with high level coaching and access to the Nacra 17?


CISA has done multihull clinics for juniors on Hobie 16s but lack of interest stopped their participation.

Is there an organized Youth cohort that would show up for a major Independent Junior championship? In my years as chair, I have not seen more then a handful of junior sailors competing.

US Olympic will not be buying boats.

He does not live in a vacuum... He is well aware of the top multihull sailors and their potential and goals. Moreover, his connections with Olympic coaches, past and present continually assess the talent pool.

He reminded me that US Olympic is not developing a large pool of world class cat racers... they want ONE team to win a medal.

We did not discuss specific sailors but I was confident that he was well aware of the current top sailors. (Would i like his judgement. probably not but, He was getting paid to make those calls to win medals.)

Quote


2. With the Nacra 17 being a new class, does the USST plan to work with the established multihull classes to create training and racing opportunities for potential olympic campaigners? What can we do as a class to support the efforts of our future olympians?


Olympic Sailing is unlike Class OD sailing. Each sailor makes their own judgement of how much they want to participate in their Class OD activities. US Olympic has attempted to partner with Class events in the recent past and they concluded that this was not a good thing. Dean strongly recommends that US Olympic run their own events which are independent of a OD class or Club.

What one design classes can do is to encourage any sailor with an Olympic goal to get as much training and coaching as they can and compete at the highest level of the F18 class as they can. The standards for the Olympic Development team are published and members are evaluated yearly. If your goal is the Olympics... go for it.

Quote
I also wonder about how college sailing impacts olympic development,


College Sailing has developed 2 of the last 3 Multihull teams that competed internationally. Johnny and Charlie and Lars and his Sheet hand, were college all Americans. They put themselves into the ISAF top 20 by getting initial coaching from Randy and then other top level coaches and training partners. The notion that you must grow up in a high performance class to be successful is simply not supported by the facts.


It is a hard world... and US Olympic is not a gravy train by any stretch of the imagination.

My last recommendation to Dean was that the Olympic Sailors are almost invisible to the rank and file sailor. The next cycle and leadership should look for ways to reconnect the Olympic wanna be to the rank and file.

For the record, I have grown to appreciate Dean's point of view and told him so quite recently. I have had several contentious arguments with Dean in the distant past but I truly respect his willingness to discuss my concerns and listen to my point of view. I might not like his answers at the time but I acknowledge that he always gave me straight answers. I will personally thank Dean for all of the hard work and he has put in and the spears that he has caught over the years. Of course we all wish that the US Sailors had done a bit better at Weymouth.

Mark


crac.sailregattas.com
Re: Will the new OSC deem multihulls as worthy of investment? [Re: Reiss] #251414
08/15/12 11:44 AM
08/15/12 11:44 AM
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Jeff.Dusek Offline
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Mark,

I support the framework that Dean has put in place as well, especially the team atmosphere and emphasis on physical conditioning. I am also very aware of the difference between OD sailing and an Olympic campaign. This will be especially true for the Nacra 17- there will simply not be enough boats for domestic OD class racing, and that is perfectly ok.

What my questions were hoping to find, and what I still don't think exists, was some plan for a development pathway for multihull sailing. Dean has said in several places that the current development pathway in the US is not working, and I agree with him on that point. So the question is, how to fix it?

If we look at the case of Multihulls, there is currently no coherent path for a young sailor looking to develop their skills. There are definitely outstanding individual programs (SYSP is a great example), but nothing nationwide. Personally, I would like to see the youth multihll championship incorporated into either the Chubb Jr. Championships or the Youth Champs. I think having it as a separate event places it a rung below the "premier" youth championships, and hurts participation. We all know the challenge there would be having boats available, and I honestly don't know the solution to that problem.

The "If your goal is the Olympics... go for it" attitude is fine, but the countries that are winning medals have clear pathways to develop their sailors. Until we start putting similar pathways in place, I don't see us keeping up.


USF18 Eastern Area Rep
Nacra Infusion USA 753
Re: Will the new OSC deem multihulls as worthy of investment? [Re: Jeff.Dusek] #251417
08/15/12 01:00 PM
08/15/12 01:00 PM
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Annapolis, MD
Mark Schneider Offline
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Jeff

I see that Dean replied to your set of questions.... not much juice in his answer tho!

I doubled down with another set of questions about junior development training.... I agree with you that this is the great unknown.... (along with... Do we have coaches able to get US Sailors to gold.)

I anticipate an answer similar to yours... It's the new guys problem now...

Truth is.... this is a very hard problem in the states.... and worse... it entails a culture change in all of the sailboat racing rank and file to support a development culture.

We will see what Dean and the new guy have to say... But this has been a problem for 20 years and it could remain a problem.

Remember... a hard look at the medals the US has won in multi's was fundamentally because we had a technology edge on the competition.... (Smyth had a new sail design)....Lovell had a cuben fiber edge among some other advantages.

This is a big big hill to climb...
Mark



crac.sailregattas.com
Re: Will the new OSC deem multihulls as worthy of investment? [Re: Mark Schneider] #251419
08/15/12 01:53 PM
08/15/12 01:53 PM
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catandahalf Offline
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Let's look back into history and discover how it can easily repeat itself. Remember Major and Sue Hall and the U.S. Boardsailing Team (circa 1985 - 1992)? They chose their events based on where the most competitors from other nations would attend. They sailed in major Oly events in Europe but stressed continental racing for more time on the water, rather than fund raising campaigns/traveling to make appearances and speeches etc;

Maybe the "US Catamaran Team" would be an interesting target for investigation.

br

Re: Will the new OSC deem multihulls as worthy of investment? [Re: Reiss] #251424
08/15/12 07:09 PM
08/15/12 07:09 PM
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brucat Offline
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I heard two reasons for US Sailing voting against multihulls for London, and the only credible one was that they felt they needed to vote for the events where they stood the best chance to win.

If they still don't believe that we have a truly viable contender, you can bet where the development funds will (and won't) be spent.

US Sailing has never been afraid to spend its money "strategically," just look at how the Rolex money is "divided" amongst the championships.

So, if, the next Olympic cat team will come from our side of the sport, they will need to be well-funded, driven phenoms that can't be beaten on the water.

That's what we (OD classes) can do: identify, train and fund them (and don't be looking for handouts from US Sailing).

Mike

Re: Will the new OSC deem multihulls as worthy of investment? [Re: Reiss] #251425
08/15/12 07:40 PM
08/15/12 07:40 PM
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Branford, CT
rhodysail Offline
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In my limited experience (just one medal) if you want to be an Olympic medalist you need to beat your own path. You canít do it without lots of help along the way but ultimately itís up to you and the person in the boat with you. Donít be counting on someone elseís program to get you there.

Re: Will the new OSC deem multihulls as worthy of investment? [Re: Reiss] #251426
08/15/12 08:57 PM
08/15/12 08:57 PM
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Jeff.Dusek Offline
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Bob,

Would love to hear about what you guys did to train, what events you attended etc., and if you think a similar strategy would work as well against the current Olympic competition. Maybe a good topic for over some beers in Long Beach!

-Jeff


USF18 Eastern Area Rep
Nacra Infusion USA 753
Re: Will the new OSC deem multihulls as worthy of investment? [Re: Jeff.Dusek] #251437
08/16/12 09:05 AM
08/16/12 09:05 AM
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catandahalf Offline
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The piece, on Sailing Anarchy, this morning, by Mr. Bishop may raise some eyebrows. The ex pat living in France shares the experience his son had sailing for France - then sailing with the Alpha Graphics team.

Re: Will the new OSC deem multihulls as worthy of investment? [Re: Reiss] #251444
08/16/12 10:00 AM
08/16/12 10:00 AM
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I followed Robbie Daniel through Multihulls Magazine when he was doing his Olympic Tornado campaign. He had a part time job with Home Depot through their Olympic athlete program. But is sounded like there was a lot of scratching for funds and time to compete in Europe.

Be sure to add him to you conversation at the World's. He probably has some good ideas.

Last edited by jkkartz1; 08/16/12 10:00 AM.
Re: Will the new OSC deem multihulls as worthy of investment? [Re: catandahalf] #251445
08/16/12 11:21 AM
08/16/12 11:21 AM
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Roanoke Island ,N.C.
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Originally Posted by catandahalf
The piece, on Sailing Anarchy, this morning, by Mr. Bishop may raise some eyebrows. The ex pat living in France shares the experience his son had sailing for France - then sailing with the Alpha Graphics team.


Link???


"I said, now, I said ,pay attention boy!"

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea
Isak Dinesen
If a man is to be obsessed by something.... I suppose a boat is as good as anything... perhaps a bit better than most.
E. B. White
Re: Will the new OSC deem multihulls as worthy of investment? [Re: Team_Cat_Fever] #251446
08/16/12 11:29 AM
08/16/12 11:29 AM
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tampa, fl
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ksurfer2 Offline
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http://www.sailinganarchy.com/index_page1.php

2nd article down. Geez....how lazy are you????


If your havin girl problems i feel bad for you son
I got 99 problems but my beautiful wife ain't one
Re: Will the new OSC deem multihulls as worthy of investment? [Re: ksurfer2] #251447
08/16/12 12:11 PM
08/16/12 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ksurfer2
http://www.sailinganarchy.com/index_page1.php

2nd article down. Geez....how lazy are you????


I was looking in the forums. Front page... what front page.


"I said, now, I said ,pay attention boy!"

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea
Isak Dinesen
If a man is to be obsessed by something.... I suppose a boat is as good as anything... perhaps a bit better than most.
E. B. White
Re: Will the new OSC deem multihulls as worthy of investment? [Re: catandahalf] #251448
08/16/12 01:09 PM
08/16/12 01:09 PM
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David Ingram Offline
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Originally Posted by catandahalf
The piece, on Sailing Anarchy, this morning, by Mr. Bishop may raise some eyebrows.


Only for those that haven't tried to work with US Sailing.


David Ingram
F18 USA 242
http://www.solarwind.solar

"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda
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"You don't have to be a brain surgeon to be a complete idiot, but it helps"
Re: Will the new OSC deem multihulls as worthy of investment? [Re: ksurfer2] #251449
08/16/12 01:12 PM
08/16/12 01:12 PM
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Northfield Mn
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Originally Posted by ksurfer2
http://www.sailinganarchy.com/index_page1.php

2nd article down. Geez....how lazy are you????


I'm so lazy I didn't even bother to ask.


I'm boatless.
Re: Will the new OSC deem multihulls as worthy of investment? [Re: Jeff.Dusek] #251454
08/16/12 06:55 PM
08/16/12 06:55 PM
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rhodysail Offline
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Originally Posted by Jeff.Dusek
Bob,

Would love to hear about what you guys did to train, what events you attended etc., and if you think a similar strategy would work as well against the current Olympic competition. Maybe a good topic for over some beers in Long Beach!

-Jeff


We were diligent about updating all of our sponsors and donors at just about every turn and it's all archived at the following link.

http://www.oocities.org/santana338/team_2000/




Re: Will the new OSC deem multihulls as worthy of investment? [Re: rhodysail] #251461
08/17/12 09:35 AM
08/17/12 09:35 AM
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Annapolis, MD
Mark Schneider Offline
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Mark Schneider  Offline
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This is the best account of US Sailing Olympic that I know of... US Olympic is almost completely different from the organization that Dave loves to disparage.

YMMV.

From SA...


This is Bryan Boyd. I think we may have crossed paths at a regatta or two. I was a member of the team in the Finn Class from 2001-2010. I would like to speak to your comment about the 2010 coaching budget and tie it into what I think are some popular misconceptions about the ways the OSC "support" for our athletes has evolved. I was involved in three separate Olympic quads and there were some pretty stark differences in each. For clarity, I'll outline each quad and discuss what I think were some of the ways the OSC did/did not help the athletes. This won't be comprehensive , but I hope it addresses your illness over the budget figures you quoted.

Let me preface my analysis by saying I am not an apologist or insider looking to defend my buddies or cronies. I'm not a member of the Olympic Sailing Committee, and don't much care for the weather in Portsmouth, RI. I grew up in redneck Florida, live in California, didn't start sailing until I was 17, and I'm from a non-sailing family. Neither do I have an axe to grind over past or present injustices. I come at this from what I think is a fairly informed perspective and with a personal philosophy that abhors bitching because it takes time away from plotting my next move (on the race course or otherwise).

2004 Quad:
-No transparency in the process of getting either dollars or coaching.
-I campaigned full time and the only thing I knew for sure was the criteria for qualifying for the US Sailing Team.
-I got one grant check a year for around $500-$1000 and box of Nautica clothes.
-I never once enjoyed a day of coaching, provided or paid for.
-Other athletes got a LOT more than that, but I couldn't tell you for sure how they went about getting it.
-This system was fucked in a big way. I knew that they objectively didn't have much money, but I also had very little trust that the OSC was even doing what little they could be for us.
-I was at-best an upper mid-fleeter internationally

2008 Quad:
-Transparency and a coherent plan for acquiring funding starts to appear this quad.
-I actually didn't campaign full time, but I knew EXACTLY how much money was out there for EVERY athlete to go get and HOW to get it.
-I knew what what every other athlete got in terms of dollars.
-Some classes still enjoyed more coaching support than others. This was a bummer, but it was always explained to us that coaches were almost entirely paid for out of USOC money which mandated that it go to classes with the best medal chances. The OSC's message to athletes was "we know it sucks, we're working to get more money to spread the coaching support around more."
-I have still never enjoyed a single day of coaching this quad either.
-The system is improving, but the rest of the world is improving faster. At least I now have some trust in the OSC, I just wish they'd hurry the kiss up because I'm getting old and tired.
-I'm still just an upper mid-fleeter internationally

2012 Quad:
-Still transparent and coherent funding plan.
-There is a LOT more direct dollar funding available for the earning. You are still making a HUGE financial sacrifice to do this, but it's almost manageable.
-The OSC made good on the promise of more indirect money and turned into a ****-TON of coaching days for sailors. Does that money go into my pocket? No, it goes into the pockets of coaches that I couldn't afford to hire. For the most part, excellent coaches.
-I return to a full-time campaign because the one thing I could never afford on my own is now being poured all over me...coaching. Yes, I had to bootstrap my way to a minimum level of results in order to get that coaching, but life is tough and the resources still aren't limitless.
-The system is still improving, as is the rest of the world. I now have total trust that the OSC is acting in good faith. A LOT of game changing decisions have been made, and I suspect that some of those were wrong. That's the price you pay when you're running fast and going big.
-I make the jump to top-ten in the world rankings. I am winning individual races at every ISAF World Cup event and at the World's. Life, however catches up to me. I'm 35 with a world of responsibilities that have nothing to do with sailing circles around some blow-up buoys. I shed my tears and let go my dream. Where was this program and this opportunity ten years ago?.....


My point is this: I don't think spending the money they've spent on coaching is misguided, self-serving, or shady. It is athlete support; the kind we both would've killed for back in the bad ol' days. Ask any athlete whether they'd rather have another $30,000 cash each year or access to 150 coaching days shared with 2 or 3 of their teammates. Because that's the trade-off. The OSC chose coaching, and I think they made the right call. No one is getting rich coaching the US Sailing Team. $107K is a great salary for sure. It pays someone who has worked their way to the top of their industry to endure being constantly on the road, never seeing their family, and living in almost constant fear of their job. Whether or not an Olympic Committee Chairperson should be paid is a separate issue in my mind and a very reasonable concern. It would be great if someone old, wealthy AND RIGHT FOR THE JOB could do it gratis. Any volunteers? $125K is a big paycheck, but it's also a huge job. Dean took that $125K investment in his time (and it was/is a full time commitment) and turned it into a LOT MORE dollars for the program. That much is quantifiable and unassailable. As a budding entrepreneur, I'd happily hire any employee who returned over 10x on their salary (i'm pretty sure Dean's return was higher).

We need to do some serious root-cause analysis of the team performance in Weymouth, but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. Please don't make this about bashing some perceived Cult of Personality. If were that, then Dean wouldn't be leaving.

Cheers,
Bryan Boyd


crac.sailregattas.com
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