ECSA Participation Report 2016

Last fall while reviewing the results of the 2015 Circuit races coupled with an observed gradual decline in ECSA memberships it was clear that declining participation was an issue.  While this matter has been observed over the last several years, Commodore Fredericksen appointed a committee to review the participation issue and formulate a course of action to reverse this trend.  A brief survey of ECSA membership solicited input and recommendations.  After considerable discussion, the Participation Committee concluded that the most productive efforts have to start at the grass roots level, namely with the individual sailors and potential sailors.

The final committee report below which was debated and approved by the ECSA Board speaks for itself.  The solution to the participation problem begins with everyone.

Final Report of the Participation Committee

There are two separate categories of actions that are warranted. Those within the purview of ECSA; and those that ECSA strongly recommends that the various Yacht Clubs enact.


The ECSA Board has adopted the following actions:

  1. Circuit races will be scored under the PHRF handicap system as administered by the ECSA PHRF Council.
  2. Establish an ECSA circuit wide boat/crew finder on Facebook.

The ECSA Board accepts and strongly supports that member clubs follow the items below to further enhance sailing participation:

  1. Strongly encourage the member clubs to review and follow: THE GUIDELINES FOR MEMBER YACHT CLUBS HOSTING ECSA OFFSHORE CIRCUIT RACEs”
  2. Follow the ECSA Off Shore Racing Circuit (ORC) class designations as closely as possible to provide consistency in competition throughout the season. The nominal ORC minimum class size is 2 yachts. This will allow smaller classes with a reasonable PHRF spread. Regular competition among the established classes will provide more meaningful season results. Ideally, class designators should be used to assign classes first, then by PHRF handicap. When there are 2 or more boats entered with a SB class designator, those boats should never race against boats with C or HP class designators.
  3. LEADERSHIP AND MARKETING are needed at a grass roots level to ensure a successful regatta. Start by encouraging each club to press their membership to sail in their designated club regattas.
  4. Have an experienced quality PHRF race committee including mark boats and scorers, not just those with one design experience.
  5. In deference to boats traveling to your regatta, consider start times somewhat later in the day, while maintaining a reasonable 3-4 hour race duration
  6. Except possibly for One Design and SB’s, discourage W/L courses.
  7. Join with adjacent clubs where possible to create a better regatta experience.
  8. As a gesture of “Hospitality”, attempt to provide visiting boats moorings/dockage prior to and/or subsequent to the race at very reduced rates or no charge..
  9. Strive to keep entry and party costs reasonable.
  10. Support informal “beer can” racing to grow interest and encourage learning.
  11. In an effort to be fair and transparent, encourage club members that feel that a specific PHRF handicap is inequitable to notify the ECSA PHRF Council.


Approved by the ECSA Board 4 January 2016