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September 6, 2017

President’s Report August 2017

I hope you were following the recent Multiworld’s/European Championships in The Netherlands. It turned out to be a really nice and extremely well attended event, 287 boats from 24 countries. This event was the world championships for the Hobie 14, Wild Cat and Dragoon, combined with the European championships for the Hobie 16 open, H16 spi, H16 women/youth/masters/grand masters and Tiger. This combination has proven very successful as competitors can participate in multiple events. If you never been to The Netherlands, wow what a nice place. Probably the cleanest country, I have ever been too. The Hobie 14 continues to amaze with 57 boats participating in a BYOB world championships. I am convinced we are seeing a resurgence of Hobie 14 activity. The host club did an amazing job organizing the event and managing the large number of entrants. I was told they had over 300 volunteers working the event. Sailing was in the North Sea and fulfilled my expectations of being a breezy place with substantial waves. The temperatures were on the cool side but it was a nice change for me coming from very hot weather at home. I particularly enjoyed meeting and talking with sailors from all around the world. We all come from many different places but we all enjoy Hobie sailing.

Here in the USA, I follow Scuttlebutt Sailing News and a recent article “Editors Rant: Unique Event Websites” got me thinking about how we cover our events and ultimately preserve our class history. I agree with the Scuttlebutt editor that we should avoid unique events web sites and his article shows some excellent examples of why it’s better to avoid this. This is the policy the IHCA adopted many years ago. It is why you will not find multiple IHCA sites but one central spot for all the information. A related topic is how we (and other sailing classes) use Facebook and social media to cover our events. We have tried many different ways to use Facebook for our event coverage but what is really the best way? Fortunately Facebook provides some good advice. The preferred practice is to not use event specific sites, sound familiar. Instead use either your main Facebook site or to create an event site from your main Facebook site. If you create an event page, the key is to make it easy for people to find it. You can “pin” your post to the top of your page so it doesn’t get lost in your news feed.

I think it is vital for our class and events to covet our history. I also think it is also important to control how the information is stored. I worry about our reliance on Facebook. While social media does make it exceedingly easy to get info online, over reliance on it can go too far. It is OK for now but not for later. Moving the content onto a controlled platform is needed so all the links can be maintained for the future. I feel that promoting ourselves and our events is a key component of stimulating participation. We have really fun events, let’s be sure that people know about them so we can encourage them to come. We can use digital media to stimulate participation.

For more excellent advice regarding on line communications see:

http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2014/02/05/decisions-regarding-online-communication/