Hi BUBS board,
Nice to talk to you all on Monday evening. I am excited to be able to
fundraise with you all. However, I'm not certain we will be able to put
together a team for match racing worlds. The short version is that there is
not a lot of interest. It is just following too soon on the heels of fleet
racing last year, and I think people are a little burned out from putting
together the money and travel plans.
The long version:
Of the people who might go, Thax has a conflict, Amy and Duane won't want
to leave during the first week of school for their kids, and Pauline wants
someone else to have the opportunity. Willi is interested and has practiced
a lot, but he would need a team. Katherine and Jason both say they are not
ready since they don't have enough match racing experience, and I think
that is true for others as well. I am assuming Matt, Mark, Inky, and Nina
are all not interested.
According to the Notice of Race, a team must apply for an invitation to the
regatta by this Sunday, May 20. I do not think it would be correct to apply
with an incomplete team.
There are a couple of things we can do. I can reach out to the race
organizers and see what the status of applicants is. If they have few,
maybe we can push the time limit to pick a team, but I'm not sure that
would change anything for us. We could also try to match Willi with another
incomplete American team, and work together to help him get to Worlds.
Or, we could lay low, take a year off from going to Worlds, and work on
both our fleet and match racing skills and our fundraising. I am of course
disappointed not to send a team to match racing worlds, because I believe
that match racing with the audible marks is the next level of blind
sailing, and promotes autonomy and teamwork among blind sailors. Those of
you who haven't tried it and are used to being told what to do and how to
sail may be skeptical of such a setup. But, I have seen for myself how
quickly a new blind sailor can learn using the audible buoys than they can
from a guide.
In regards to our discussion of dues, what if we considered the CBI model?
At CBI, if you are a disabled sailor, you can pay $50 to join the Universal
Access Program. Most of our regular sailors are members. However, if you
can't pay $50, they will accept $1 instead. What if our dues were
suggested? It seems to me that we are not providing any services that are
not readily available already, we just promote access to them. Therefore,
we could suggest that members donate to help grow our community and our
capability, but not require the donation to allow participation.
What are your thoughts?