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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #31  
Old 03-25-2013
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Re: Is Sailing an Elitist Sport?

Many years ago I competed in a Nonsuch regatta at the Edgartown YC which is one of the elite sailing spots, the race committee wore matching blazers and flannels with ties - while on the water. I noticed that the men in the club all had first names that could be last names, like Hunter, Emerson, and Crosby. I found it particularly funny because I thought at an inner city school in Toronto. We had many poor Jamaican immigrants and the boys had similar names.

About the expensive America's Cup tickets, I doubt that individuals pay for these things. It is corporate, which means they are being paid for by all of us through tax loopholes. Wonder if such business 'entertainment' tax breaks will be addressed in the current discussions?
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  #32  
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Re: Is Sailing an Elitist Sport?

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Seriously, when factoring in slip fees, operating and maintenance costs, he and I probably don't spend any more money than someone with an RV who travels the country, or who likes to restore old Chevy's in their garage, or someone with a powerboat equipped with a large V-8 engine.

However, the perception of the way we invest our time and energy seems to give this elitist vibe in the US.
So true

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It is therapy and mesmerizing to me still after 45 years of sailing
I never thought about it till you put it to words. That's exactly right.
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  #33  
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Re: Is Sailing an Elitist Sport?

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Originally Posted by jppp View Post
Sailboat racing is a sport and certainly can be elitist but for the rest of us not at all. Sailing (day sailing or cruising)on the other hand is as much a sport as driving a motor home through Yellowstone.
I agree 100%. If I can engage in an activity while having a beer I don't call it a sport.
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  #34  
Old 03-25-2013
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Re: Is Sailing an Elitist Sport?

I strongly believe that's just advertising gimmicks. And I think we all see through it, but it's fun to let it run its course and help the sport gain more popularity.

I don't think that Americas Cup sailing and that elitist point of view represents the entire hobby or culture, at all. It's just a part of it - the part that makes a lot of money, the publicized, high-class-wannabe, money-driven part that has a big impact on everyone outside of the sailing world.

Companies such as rolex and all the other major sponsors kick all that money into it so that they give off and feed into the perspective of "Rich and famous" classic beautiful wooden boats, sunsets and wine and champagne, wealthy couples in khakis and white sweaters who step off their porch in the Hamptons vacation home down to the yacht on their private dock type. You don't see Walmart or Target advertising at these events because they don't need to cater to the demographic, however I own a sailboat and I buy cleaning products and portable fans and trash bags for my boat at Target. We all know money doesn't go wasted with these companies and sex sells, that's why yacht magazines will have a full-page picture of something obscure like a teak deck and a woman's fancy heeled shoe left alone on it, all in black & white. That's it. I've seen these exact ads but couldn't tell you if it was for a boat manufacturer in TX, a broker in FL, a watch from Sweden, an investment company, or what, all I know is that some lucky dude owns that nice boat and gets a well-dress girl on it who can't wait to undress, cuz he's got money and a boat... I think that's what they're telling me...that's what my advertising class in college would say, and that's going to get potential customers to want that, too.

It's a good idea, because there certainly are people participating in sailing and boating and boat shows and shore-front races that have a lot of money to spend on luxurious goods. That's how these companies get their pay-off. A few big-ticket items go a long way. An entry level Rolex watch costs as much as like 50% of the sailboats on the market.

Of course, all that is an entirely inaccurate stereotype to apply to the whole sailing community, of DIYers, adrenaline junkies, weekend warriors, liveaboards, bareboat charters, world cruisers, people that like it as a past-time and just want to relax on the water, families with a tradition vacation trip once a year, etc. And those people participate way more in the not-so-sport of sailing.

So to the outside world, who may only see Americas Cup ads or shiny fancy boat shows and events come to town with Rolex banners or a celebrity on a yacht in the Med, that's where the elitist marketing hits hard and they're influenced to presume, "Oh, those high-society yachties on their boats in their marinas and their Rolex's" - Some people want to be looked at that way, and will buy everything they can to appear that way, and that's how the cycle continues.

The thing I like about sailing, is that it's not just a "sport" - It's only a sport when you're racing or competing and many people sailors will never even do that. It's a hobby and an interest for everyone else, which is probably most of the people who participate in the sailing community.

Those companies sure put on a good show, though.
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  #35  
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Re: Is Sailing an Elitist Sport?

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Of course, all that is an entirely inaccurate stereotype to apply to the whole sailing community, of DIYers, adrenaline junkies, weekend warriors, liveaboards, bareboat charters, world cruisers, people that like it as a past-time and just want to relax on the water, families with a tradition vacation trip once a year, etc. And those people participate way more in the not-so-sport of sailing.

So to the outside world, who may only see Americas Cup ads or shiny fancy boat shows and events come to town with Rolex banners or a celebrity on a yacht in the Med, that's where the elitist marketing hits hard and they're influenced to presume, "Oh, those high-society yachties on their boats in their marinas and their Rolex's" - Some people want to be looked at that way, and will buy everything they can to appear that way, and that's how the cycle continues.
Well said.

It's to bad that to the general public they have the Rolex view of sailing. I think it hurts sailing as a whole just when sailors are trying to entice young sailors into the hobby.

Don't mis read this. I'm not against the America's Cup at all. More power to them; i just wonder if they could have gone about it a different way. I remember the big stink when they first came out with the plans for this AC.

Is it the right direction?
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  #36  
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Re: Is Sailing an Elitist Sport?

I don't know Brent, living on board for $300 a month sounds pretty elite to me.
Elite: the choice or most carefully selected part of a group, as of a society or profession.
$300 a month puts you in a pretty elite group of live aboards, which in themselves is a pretty elite group. That you comment on it must make you an elitest.
It is never about how much you spend, but how well you spend it. And that puts you in a very, very elite group.
I think I'm jealous.
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  #37  
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Re: Is Sailing an Elitist Sport?

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Originally Posted by benesailor View Post
BubbleheadMd can you please clarify this statement, just not sure how to read into it.

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A friend of mine recently commented "Sailing is illegal in the United States."
Well, based upon the relative percentage of motoring to sailing done by most 'sailors' I see out there, one could easily be forgiven for presuming that such might actually be the case... (grin)
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  #38  
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Re: Is Sailing an Elitist Sport?

Organized sailing in the US, under the auspices of the US Sailing Association (USSA) is offically NOT elitist.

There was a long discussion around 1990 when the Unite States Yacht Racing Union (USYRU) changed their name, and one of the main points was to ensure that n one mistook it for an elitist sport.

So, officially, by the organization that has the official sanction over all competitive sailing in the US, it is not an elitist sport.

I told them that if somebody couldn't get past the name, they probably should stick to golf anyhow.

Now, how about we start getting the dronecopter guys to send quadcopters out all over the race course, and broadcast the results on the web for free? Won't have the fancy racing lines and circles and arrows drawn on the screen, but it'll sure take the wind out of those pricey premium cable prices to watch the race, too. :-)
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  #39  
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Re: Is Sailing an Elitist Sport?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
I constantly have to explain that the cost to travel 3 miles or 85 miles is the same, because the wind is free.
The ability to harness that wind is not free, so when you shut that motor off and sail is it really, I would say not.

Intesting thread though, glad I finally stopped in to read it
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  #40  
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Re: Is Sailing an Elitist Sport?

"I constantly have to explain that the cost to travel 3 miles or 85 miles is the same, because the wind is free. "

I know a number of alleged MBAs who would say the same thing, but it just ain't so.

The immediate cost out of your pocket may be the same, but traveling 85 miles WILL cost you about 30x as much as traveling 3 miles, no matter how you slice it. Sooner of later you need to apply new bottom paint (ablative, wears off by the mile) replace blown out sails (stretch, wear, take UV damage by the mile and hour, however you prefer to measure) and even replace the rigging, which takes a load cycle and wears out every time you tack, or put strain on/off the rigging.

So while you may not feel those expenses for five or ten years, or two years for bottom paint, you still WILL eventually pay for the use of the boat, and you will pay by the hour and the mile for any use you put on it. Even if you don't use the batteries and lights or any other consumables.

Fixed costs, variable costs...the real MBAs can tell you how it all breaks down, but it does break down, one way or another.
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