Saving handicap racing: Now what do we do?

Back in October our friend at Sailish.com, Kurt Hoehne, began the noble quest of finding out what can be done to save handicap sailboat racing in the Pacific Northwest through a survey on the topic. Well, the people spoke, answered his survey and here’s some of what can be done.  “Now what?” Dalton Bergan posed […]

Back in October our friend at Sailish.com, Kurt Hoehne, began the noble quest of finding out what can be done to save handicap sailboat racing in the Pacific Northwest through a survey on the topic. Well, the people spoke, answered his survey and here’s some of what can be done. 

“Now what?” Dalton Bergan posed that excellent question a couple days ago as we were sailing in from some frostbiting. The survey we did here on sailish.com got a lot of attention, and revealed a few important elements that might be holding Northwest handicap sailboat racing back, and the comments were generally on point and showed a lot of passion. But the question remains, now what?

Here goes:

1.More Welcoming Atmosphere

One of the things that came out of the survey, and it will be a surprise to many, is that our sport does not present a very welcoming atmosphere. It’s a no-brainer that this must be changed. How to do it? How about setting up “greeters.” Kind of like Walmart but with more to offer.

Every yacht club, handicap system, broker, rigger and sailmaker should have a list of greeters. Sailish.com should too. As soon as someone expresses interest in racing, a greeter should be in touch and help them get involved. Specifically, if you’re willing to do this, get your name to your club, sailmaker etc. When someone expresses interest, the clubs etc should send in the greeter.

The greeter can give the lowdown on the clubs, race schedule, basic regional tactics etc. I have a feeling once this gets started, it’ll take care of itself.

Continue reading at Sailish.com.

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