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This Article Last Updated: Oct 14th, 2010 - 15:13:49 

Report on District 1 Meeting on Event Participation
By David Bolles and Peter Cusick
Nov 16, 2005, 16:57

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The Nov. 12th, 2005 "Focus On Participation" 1st District Star Class meeting was a great success! The meeting was attended by over 30 1st District sailors and by Tom VanderMolen, Star Class Marketing Manager, in from the Gull Lake fleet in Michigan.

Agreements Moving Forward:

1. "Focus On 4" Schedule: There was unanimous agreement to focus participation efforts on 4 core events. The district is well on the way to achieving 30+ boats per focus event.

2. "Regatta Revitilazation": Unanimous agreement to focus on "housing" and the "extras" that set good events apart. The Milford YC fleet announced their revitalized itinerary for their focus event ('06 Arms White). It's the season Focus 4 opener -- so lock it in for a great event and party.

3. "1st District Banquet": General agreement that it's a good idea if we can put together a banquet to conincide with the annual fall meeting to socialize and celebrate the season's achievements.

4. "Fleet Racing, Membership": Agreement on the importance of building local fleet strength and attracting new sailors. A 1st District "target membership list" was established where we will combine our efforts (letter of intro, invitation to sail event, etc.) to drive new membership.

We look forward to hearing from those who could not attend the meeting.


Minutes of the Star 1st District 2006 Planning Meeting
“The Year of 1st District Participation”
November 12, 2005 NYYC, Newport, RI

The meeting was called to order at 12 noon. About thirty 1st District members representing all six active fleets (BH, CA, CLIS, HB, Mid and NB) attended the meeting, held in the Junior Yacht Club meeting room of the New York Yacht Club facility in Newport, RI. Also present at the meeting was Tom VanderMolen, Star Class Marketing Manager, from the Gull Lake fleet.

The meeting began with opening statements by Peter Cusick and John Lombard. They presented the “Focus on 4” Regatta Participation Plan:

· Background: 1st District Regatta participation has been steadily declining over the past 5 years. For example, the Bedford Pitcher and Nutmegs, historically attended by 25+ boats, had just 13 and 14 boats in 2005. Busy schedules, increased number of events, competing classes, and other factors has spread us thin. If the average 1st District event becomes a bore, we’re jeopardizing our sport and class!

· The Good News: Over 45 1st District teams participated in at least one 1st District event in 2005. We have a great district, lots of good friends, deep competition and we don’t have to drive far to go to events – we just need to commit to go. Besides, if you race sailboats, what else compares – 30+ Stars on the line, a day of battle, followed by a great dinner!

“Focus On 4” Participation Plan: Increase participation to 25 – 30+ boats by agreeing to and targeting “4 Focus” 1st District events annually. This is not a proposal to eliminate any events. It is simply an agreement to attend the events where turnout is critical for maintaining 1st District strength:

1st District Regatta Participation – Past 5 Years:
Event Average ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02 ‘01
1. Arms - White: 28 19 25 27 30 37
2. Marblehead Nood: 28 25 NA 31 NA NA
3. 1st Districts: 25 20 22 26 28 29
4. Nutmegs: 21 14 BL 20 25 23
5. Ned Hey: 19 19 20 14 19 24
6. Bedford Pitcher: 17 13 14 19 20 BL
7. Larchmont: 12 8 16 NA NA NA
8. Indian Harbor: 8 8 NA NA NA NA
9. JFK Regatta: 8 NR 6 NR NR 9
10. Skipper’s Choice: 8 NR NR 7 7 8
11. Sec’s Cup/MA Wish: 8 NR 6 NR NR 10
12. NE Masters: 23 17 18 32 32 18

Proposed 2006 Focus 4 Calendar:
· 1st District Champs – Our first priority, hosted in 2006 by Cottage Park YC
· Arms - White – Leading 1st District event in participation at MYC
· Ned Hay – Destination event, need to support and maintain viability at SBYC
· Bedford Pitcher – Need to strengthen and support Central LIS Fleet, CPYC

After the Plan was presented the “Focus On 4” Participation Spreadsheet was handed out. Those present were asked to fill out their slot as to which events they pledge to participate in in 2006. Prior to each of the events the spreadsheet will be forwarded to fleet captains so that they can confirm that the pledges are still good.

The questions of early registration at the “Focus 4” events was brought up. The suggestion was made that perhaps some discount could be included for early registration. Also discussed was the question of participating in Districts 2 and 12 events. It was generally agreed that the two events which should be focused on are the Sunapee Open and the Oxford Fall Wind-up.

The next subject to be brought up was that of revitalizing the 1st District Events:
· Background: Better events lead to better participation, which leads to better events. We have good events -- many with great tradition. However, let’s not loose sight that the social element is the primary foundation of Star sailing and the 1st District. Some simple reminders for fueling the regatta experience:
· Housing: An institution on the wane? Who knows why, however, being housed or housing a team usually leads to a more memorable experience – you get to better know your 1st District brethren! If you can, try to open your doors at least once a year (during your club’s focus event) and if you’re on the road, maybe try to find housing once a season (maybe when w/out family).
· Yeah, You Missed It! That’s not what you want to hear if you’ve missed an event, but as a regatta organizer, that’s the goal! Once the basic plan is in place (committee, support, trophies, dinner, etc.) don’t forget to add the element or two to put the event over the top. And since revitalization starts at home, the Milford Star Fleet will throw their hat in the ring … …and cordially invite you June 17-18, 2006 to ….


· Festivities commence at 12 noon sharp on Friday the 16th where regatta arrivals will be met and saluted by cannon upon their arrival to Milford Yacht Club

· At 6PM, the Arms - White will officially begin with a complimentary round of Arms -White Pain Killers, a British Virgin Islands concoction slightly modified to provide the proper latitude adjustment to kick off 1st District summer sailing

· At 7PM, the pre-regatta cook-out will begin with hearty food and beverage and an welcoming introduction from the Mid-Ct Fleet regatta organizers

· Following the cookout, participants electing housing will be escorted back to their perspective local accommodations for the weekend

· Saturday during racing a spectator boat will be provided. For those more interested in shopping rather than on-the-water activities, a Milford YC host will escort an afternoon of shopping and sight seeing in and around downtown Yale New Haven (many cool shops, boutiques, cafes, art galleries, museums, and other fun activities – just 15 minutes from MYC.

· Saturday evening’s dinner will feature the Rolling Stones (upon availability) or other prominent artist, a recap of the day’s events and awards for the day’s races

· Sunday’s award’s banquet – not to be missed, daily and regatta series awarded, all levels of masters and one or two good surprises


· Proposal to host an annual 1st District Fall banquet, following the 1st District annual fall meeting, i.e., one year from now. The banquet will be held at a prominent fleet-centric location, such as Newport, and will feature:

– 1st District Summer Championship for overall top 3-5 places across the “Focus Four” events (Nash Trophy could be expanded to Summer Championship along with prizes for top 3-5 boats) – excellent take home trophies provide ample incentive!
– A series of overall summer recognition/achievement awards, for example:
· King of The District Award -- Most 1st District events/races sailed
· Shooting Star Award – Best finish w/in focus four event vs. previous year
· Club Star Award – 1st District sailors vote on best run event, award is given to Yacht Club, and prominently displayed
· Race Committee, support team recognition and awards
· Bear Trap Award (Best breakdown or crash! – a perpetual based on Bear Hovey’s 2005 epic District Championship crash)
· Corrected Time Award (team, boat most likely to succeed if they had updated equipment)
· Align guest speakers, i.e., America’s Cup or Star Olympic hopefuls to discuss campaign and commitment to excellence
· Entertainment includes compilation of season photos, video, human interest stories (i.e., Ben Cesare’s “unhitched Star”, Steve Braverman’s harbor arrest, Guy Gurney’s infamous highway blowouts, etc.)
At this point the meeting took a break for lunch. After lunch the meeting then looked at the question of how to get new sailors into the Class:

· 1st District/Star Class “Membership Drive” discussion
- A list of possible prospective Class members was drawn up for each Club. This list will be shared by all of the Class members in the 1st District.
- A letter will be sent to these prospective members. The goal of letter is to close on test drive with several dates offered – either fleet or district regatta event complete with good equipment (sponsor’s boat) and crew
- Shared list allows “cross club” full court press, i.e., “I hear the Star Class wants you as a member, that’s good news!”
- Next year we come to banquet, look back at list, # move to test drive, # joining class, review and modify

· “State of Fleet Racing” Discussion -- a look back at 2005 by club
- Each fleet reported on how the 2005 season went. It was apparent that fleet racing in all fleets is anemic, with fleets reporting low participation, and in some cases, as the summer progressed, no participation.
- Example – Milford Yacht Club’s Season Club Championship had a 3-5 boat average throughout the summer.
- Possible solution: Designate a holiday weekend event as the Club Championship with the goal of 8+ boats

The meeting was adjourned at 3:00 PM.

Submitted: David Bolles, 1st District Secretary; Peter Cusick, Mid-Connecticut Star Fleet Captain and meeting co-chairman.

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