2001 NATA Report to WTC

Report from Cathy Sherwood, President, NATA, to the 2001 World Council Meeting.

North America.  Carol Buchan presented the following report on behalf of Cathy Sherwood:  I am sorry I could not join you. I am sure the event will be a wonderful one. Kent and I certainly enjoyed the English hospitality at the Brixham Worlds. I am happy to report we have been having a terrific sailing year in Seattle. It may help some that that we have had several boats preparing for the Worlds. The growth in our Victoria fleet seems to have leveled off. But I'm sure that hosting the 2003 worlds will be a major boost to their numbers. The number of boats in Vancouver is holding steady, with about 12 racing on Tuesday nights, and about 20 entering major weekend regattas . Seattle has been very active this year. Our weeknight sailing program has seen the most boats out since I joined the class 10 years ago. Weekend regattas regularly draw between 15 and 22 boats. We are very excited about a number of new members this year.

Comments on the agenda items:

1)  Advertising: When asked to comment, people did not seem to care strongly about this in the US and Canada. Category C seemed slightly more popular because it offers some flexibility.

2)  Age categories: We agreed with Richard's proposal to have the combined ages of 80 and 100 for Masters and Grand Masters. Other than that the regatta organizers can have a free hand to decide.

3)  Racing formats for the worlds: as Richard said, we have allowed race organizers to decide the number and approximately length of races, and it has seemed to work just fine. We would be against any restrictions to deciding how races should be run as well as the length of the races.

4)  The crew weight rule (which is what I believe Japan was referring to in their request): North America has been sailing without the crew weight rule since 1996. Until last year we had voted at our annual general meeting whether or not we should race with the crew weight rule. Every year our membership voted overwhelmingly to sail without the crew weight rule. Two years ago we decided that it was unnecessary to continue to vote on the rule. North America would sail without it until such time as it was either put back on the Agenda, or we were required to under the World rules (i.e. the international championships were being held here). If you review our race results you will see that it has made little, if any, difference in who is winning our races. The winners win though better skill and expertise. Additionally, it has encouraged several parents to sail with their children. I think this has been a bonus for our fleet. Not only does it bring more boats to the starting line, it helps promote the future of the sport. Promoting youth sailing in the US is getting more and more difficult all the time with the many activities that are competing for our children's time and attention. Personally I think we should abandon the crew weight rule permanently for all of the Tasar class.

I wish everyone a fun, safe and successful regatta. Good luck to you all.

Cathy Sherwood, August 21, 2001