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Author: Ted Lohr
Subject: Reinventing Long Distance Series
Info: (7121 views) Posted: Tuesday 10-15-13 02:02:42 PM
Thanks Mike.

My wife and I are relatively new to the class, purchasing our Express 3 years ago. After a long search, we chose the Express on one part because of it being an exceptional fit for our conditions here in the Gorge/Hood River OR and just as important a consideration, the fleet activity in the Bay and our ability to race OD in a very competitive fleet.

Your comment on the weight limit at 880# being one of the key restrictions to participation is dead on, especially for out of town boats that may not have access to as large a pool of potential crew. We've been to Nationals 2x. Last year with our 'Regular' crew and we hit the number dead-on at 880. This year we were light, but only because one of our regulars (and heaviest at 205) couldn't make it. Had he been available, he might still not have been able to sail with us because a couple of us had grown 5# each.

We are considering leaving our boat in SFO - winter 2015, but I'm concerned that I wouldn't be able to put a 'legal' crew together on a consistent basis, especially being from out of town.

Another 25-30# would make a huge difference, giving owners/skippers much more flexibility without encouraging the 6th man on the rail. Looking at other similar fleets, the Express weight limit is very aggressive - Moore's are 825# for a crew of 4.

I know that this is in some way opening a can of worms. At each of the annual meetings I've participated in, it seems that bringing up the weight issue is taboo among those at the meeting. Then again, all of us at the meeting racing, means that the weight issue didn't keep us from the regatta.

With a fleet where the avg age of owners and crew is probably increasing and along with it their avg weights, I think it's time to revisit the 880# weight and either increase it or go to a percentage of Owner/driver weight to encourage participation.

Stoked to be a part of the Express 27 class and look forward to being able to participate in more races in SFO in the future

Ted Lohr Monster Express Hood River OR

:: Will called this week seeking guidance on how to
:: reconfigure and refresh the SF Long Distance Series for
:: FUN and as an attractor too invigorate overall class
:: participation.
::
:: Having dreamed up Long Distance Series a decade ago as
:: diverse alternate too hard core Championship Series
:: emphasis on full weekend, windward leeward multi races,
:: these are my thoughts.
::
:: Goal one is for Fun to be put back into Long Distance
:: series which has a well established FUN race foundation,
:: although, could use some refresh capable of attracting
:: boats and more so crews and crew candidates.
::
:: Goal two is to increase the overall fleet participation
:: getting boats off their trailers and onto the race
:: course.
::
:: Objective is for the Long Distance Series to attract and
:: exceed Championship Series in annual participation.
:: Foremost to become the basis for fleet building from
:: which boats and crew migrate toward and into the core of
:: Championship Series. Under this plan a large FUN fleet
:: means a larger Class Championship fleet.
::
:: Strategy one is to change the name of SF Long Distance
:: Series to Fun Series.
::
:: Strategy two is to weed out and replace current races
:: that require extra administration and may not be that
:: Fun from time to time.
::
:: Strategy three is to drop the weight limit for FUN
:: enabling the entry of owners and crew restricted by the
:: current 880# limit. It is this limit, not the series
:: race format itself, that minimizes overall class
:: participation into its consolidated nucleus that needs a
:: few protons shot right through it.
::
:: I am only suggesting weight limit dropped in
:: reconfigured Long Distance Series for FUN and not for
:: Championship Series.
::
:: Strategy four is to allow non owner professionals drive
:: in Fun Series; but not to enable either open weight or
:: professional non owner into Class Championship Series.
:: Enabling the reentry of the non owner professional into
:: FUN is meant for six reasons.
::
:: To support owners who might want to bring in a driver
:: coach with wide open access to open crew choices.
::
:: To provide an environment where that professional might
:: open their check book to the boat owner for a piece of
:: Class Championship Action.
::
:: To establish a benchmark and create competitive marks
:: attractive to really great sailors; inside and looking
:: from outside into the fleet.
::
:: Too support class prominence, purpose, position, support
:: boat purchase and sustain high resale values.
::
:: Too encourage the super rich and multi-boat ‘b” for FUN
:: and “a” boat teams derived from a subset of two crew’s
:: worth of boats. And yes, it does still place two boats
:: onto the course, and into rivalry, which is what
:: competition that attracts competitors for a prominent
:: fleet is all about.
::
:: The way too succeed in this endeavor is to drop all the
:: crew restrictions, the professional restrictions, and to
:: arrange through Bill & Melinda a meeting with Mr.
:: Ellison to enter purchase the sponsor of two boats that
:: could grow into something much greater. And that Brendan
:: should sell his other boats, and in example of
:: leadership, be the first to sponsor a two boat team; one
:: open weight, the other class core. Perhaps incorporating
:: college core crew’s as a catalyst for future Express 27
:: ownership.
::
:: Finally, coordination through trailer bound owner’s
:: Special Interest Group too approach and establish a LOGO
:: boat team for each of the regional sail lofts, and rig
:: shops, on their subsidies; drivers, talent and what ever
:: other forms of commensurate support might be had.
::
:: Subsequently, logos and advertising would be allowed in
:: FUN Series.
::
:: The greatest issue facing the fleet is opening of the
:: weight limit to those being left out, are in fact left
:: out, and want in. No amount of series reconfiguration
:: with the objectives in mind can be had without this
:: change. All arguments to sustain the 880# rule are
:: statistically invalid in relation too the upside of
:: growing the overall crew pool.
::
:: Strategy five is too emphasis in bay, and except for
:: Vallejo, continue the one race day per weekend format
:: along the well accepted requisite of regatta’s
:: associated with events and mixers following Saturday
:: race day. The exception being Great Pumpkin Sunday,
:: which is the long distance, fun, non buoy race day of
:: that specific weekend event.
::
:: Then primarily leaves Sunday free too clean up the boat,
:: or do something that has nothing to do with sailing.
:: Perhaps Saturday participants can start a Sunday
:: Mountain Bike with round robin administration of ride
:: location for this type of alternative participation
:: builder.
::
:: Tactically this mean removing ocean races from Fun
:: Series on administrative hassle that has grown past few
:: years. However not to deter from core ocean contingent
:: support that subset of ownership by establishing Ocean
:: Trophy series, of two to three races, form a committee
:: to decide on the races and make it happen.
::
:: Establishing Ocean Series means the fleet purchase a
:: perpetual trophy and recognize participant’s at our
:: annual awards celebration. Express 27’s were built to
:: win Midget Ocean Racing Association, did for years, and
:: the tradition continues.
::
:: Tactically ease of administration has always been a draw
:: for the alternate series and there are many boat’s who
:: sail SSS double and single handed. I’ve encouraged SSS
:: series races incorporated into Long Distance for years.
:: Except for Vallejo 1-2 which would violate the one race
:: day per weekend and ease of administration rule.
::
:: Removing ocean races from FUN into their own series
:: requires there replacement. I’ve proposed SSS as
:: replacement accept there is one issue with the SSS ease
:: of participation and administration advantages. SSS
:: deters from objective of crew building. So i suggest
:: races like Big Daddy, Plastic Classic, or increase
:: number of YRA Party Circuit races to those already
:: incorporated into Long Distance schedule.
:: Administratively there is no reason to build up on entry
:: fees. Some addition of SSS and YRA Party Circuit are
:: still had under the packaged entry fee rate.
::
:: I see no change for 3 Bridge, Vallejo, Ditch, 2nd Half,
:: National’s Friday, Great Pumpkin Sunday.
::
:: Pursuant to SSS double handed v objective of cultivating
:: crew, I suggest at this stage in the fleets development,
:: more emphasis on the fully crewed races under an open
:: weight limit, and open professional standard, then
:: double handed despite administrative benefits.

:: Mike Bruzzone

:: Desperado e27 US 8

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