Backs to the wall
There has been a lot to complain about lately. The 33rd America’s Cup is in the crapper and the Catamaran is out of the 2012 Olympics. Add the war in Iraq, human rights concerns in China, a tough local economy, rising gas prices, environmental issues… it makes for quite the Molotov cocktail. In this climate, why the heck would US SAILING initiate the concept to require the American sailor to join the national sailing authority?
We strongly suspect US SAILING did not anticipate the reaction of the American sailor. Now they are in an awkward position of arguing with their customers, trying to explain their value when they haven’t sufficiently demonstrated it. Based on the recent Scuttlebutt poll and comments, there are plenty of people that feel they should join US SAILING, but they feel quite differently if it is required.
If you are highly vested in the sport, actively playing the game, supporting US SAILING shouldn’t be a hard sell. However, US SAILING has done such a total botch job in presenting the idea of required membership, and now finds itself in a stand-off with the very people they need to be working with. The Board of Directors will vote on the issue next week, and the burning question will be in how well they listened to their customers. For them to say, “Heh, we screwed up” would solve a lot of problems, and would likely provide a pretty nice starting point for the American sailors to reunite and move forward again… together.
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