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|Posted on Thursday, January 13, 2000 - 06:00 pm: || |
This area contains the information published in the January 2000 Newsletter.
NEW WEB SITE part 1
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|Posted on Friday, January 14, 2000 - 12:28 am: || |
As millions of people anxiously awaited the Y2K collapse of technology upon the arrival of the new millenium, Class Webmaster Russ fender was busy finalizing his work on technology that will revolutionize the ability of the Class to deliver value to its members.
The results of Russ’ efforts are now evident on the Class web site! (www.s291.com).
Although the Class established a "presence" on the internet last year, the site had yet to harness the true potential of the web to serve members. The next step, adding powerful interactive and self-sufficient features to the site, proved to be a much larger task.
First, it should be noted that the fanfare surrounding this development is NOT merely an attempt to explain the absence of newsletters in 1999. Rather, throughout the year, the Class leadership was confident that this sizable pursuit was a very worthwhile re-direction of our efforts to serve members in an even more useful and timely manner.
The bottom line was this: We needed a way to serve members better... faster... and more easily!
This quest was motivated by several factors. First, the Class Mission Statement states that the goal of the Class is to facilitate and promote the sharing of knowledge and experience among our membership. Secondly, our success in this area had begun to suffer as of late under the sheer weight of the task at hand. The growth of the Class was making it progressively more difficult for its volunteer leadership to keep pace with the need to deliver valuable and timely information. Thirdly, the growing popularity and ease of access to the internet convinced us that fewer and fewer members would suffer in the transition. Finally, its powerfrul potential for self-sufficiency made it obvious that the web-site was clearly the most effective way to improve upon the success of our communications efforts to date.
Before we explain how the site is going to improve Class communications, it is very appropriate that immense credit be given to Class member and webmaster Russ Fender. The Class owes Russ a huge "thank you" for his tremendous efforts on the web site. When you visit the site, take a moment to send him a BRIEF email expressing your apppreciation.
This point is important because, like all of us, Russ has numerous responsibilities and obligations that restrict the amount of time he can volunteer to a cause such as this. In fact, Russ’ familiarity with time constraints was instrumental in his ability to develop a solution that would greatly reduce the work load on the Class Officers (and hopefully the Class webmaster as well!).
Which brings us to how the site works and what could possibly be the most important value of the web-site: "self-sufficiency".
(continued in Part 2)
NEW WEB SITE part 2
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|Posted on Friday, January 14, 2000 - 12:31 am: || |
(continued from Part 1)
In the past, members who had a question, concern, idea or experience to share typically had to rely on a Class Officer to provide an answer or facilitate contact with others.
The "bulletin board" within the web site now allows members to "post" questions, news, ideas, etc. directly and instantly to the entire membership! What’s more, ALL members can easily visit the bulletin board regularly to read breaking news and/or reply to posted questions with their answers or experience. All without involving the Class Officers!
But wait there’s more... it’s a much better investment than printing newsletters, buying envelopes, licking stamps, etc.
The electronic nature of the web-site also creates a permanence and perpetuity of information that print-based media could never achieve. The value here is that information is stored and accessible in ONE location where it is ALL available at ANY time FOREVER. Rather than receiving printed "tidbits" of information in a random and perishable form, members will now have UNLIMITED access to ONE source of data that contains EVERY piece of information collected by the Class SINCE ITS INCEPTION!
To facilitate this, Russ has wisely utilized bulletin board technology that enables postings to be categorized and "searched", in the same manner as search engines like "Yahoo", "Lycos" or "Alta Vista".
Members can scan a category or "search" the entire bulletin board for any information pertaining to a specific topic. As a result, the bulletin board will become the official, constantly up-to-date Class "resource archive".
While simple and few at the start, the number and nature of categories will develop over time as the bulletin board grows.
The large collection of information collected by the Class to date (currently stored in the Commodore’s files where they are not very accessible) will gradually be "posted" in an organized manner to the bulletin board over the next few months.
One other capability of the bulletin board worth mentioning is the future option for members to request automatic email notification of any new postings to the board. This will allow members, if they desire, to automatically receive notices or information posted by the Class Officers as well as contribute easily to the exchange of information by members. Again, this eliminates the need for Class Officers to stuff envelopes,lick stamps and wait for the mail to deliver breaking news.
Beyond the obvious, ongoing value of more frequent exchange and archived information, the web site will offer additional efficiencies.
A membership form is now accessible on the site that can be printed and mailed with payment of dues to the Class.
The "links" page will allow visitors to easily add and access other web sites of value to members. These will include USSailing, Sailing Magazines, major regattas, parts manufacturers, weather sites, yacht clubs, etc. Many of these sites will reciprocate by offering links to our site, enabling owners of 9.1 Meters to more easily "discover" the Class.
If this sounds like "alot" of stuff, rest assured that it IS! And that it represents a great deal of effort on the part of the Class Officers and Webmaster to deliver value to its members.
During your early visits to the site you may notice that a few of these capabilities are still in their infancy. We have, in fact, acccomplished most of the "big" stuff and the process of refining will continue, especially as members make greater use of the site. After all, our mission has always been to keep getting better!
We hope you are proud of our work!
REPORT ON 1999 WINTER MEETING
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|Posted on Friday, January 14, 2000 - 12:32 am: || |
1999 ANNUAL WINTER MEETING REPORT
The 1999 Annual Winter Class Meeting was well attended with owners and crew representing nearly twenty boats present.
The pattern of past years was clearly succeeding as very few items on the agenda prompted lengthy conversation.
The 1998 season was reviewed, trophies awarded and identical schedules for the 1999 Great Lakes and 1999 North American Championships were approved. The Class web site received unanimous support.
The only interesting development came when Scott Corder reiterated his desire to relinquish the Secretary’s duties. Rick Erickson volunteered to become Treasurer and Commodore Greg Young offered to "swap" roles with Scott to become Secretary. Loren Thompson would remain as Vice Commodore.
Oddly enough, Rick’s wife would prompt him to buy a Beneteau 40 later that day! So, in spite of the lengthy letter in the last newsletter, here we all are in basically the same roles as a year ago! Suffice to say, Scott was left wondering "What just happened here?
CUPCAKE RATING ARTICLE IN SAILING WORLD MAGAZINE
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|Posted on Friday, January 14, 2000 - 12:49 am: || |
"CUPCAKE" RATING ARTICLE IN 1999 SAILING WORLD MAGAZINE
Early in 1999, Sailing World Magazine published an article by John Collins identifying the 9.1 Meter as one of a few boats blessed with a "cupcake rating". The article implied that sailors could win more easily due to the boat’s handicap rating under PHRF.
This was not well received by the Class Commodore, who felt compelled to respond on behalf of the Class membership. Besides encouraging exploitation of PHRF’s obvious weaknesses and having no empirical data to support his arguments, Collins did a great disservice to 9.1 Meter owners who, as a result of the article, would face undeserved ridicule in PRHF fleets around the country.
Letters from the Class Commodore to John Burnham, the editor of Sailing World and Terry Harper the Executive Director of US Sailing resulted in several sincere and friendly phone conversations with each.
Mr. Harper apologized for the actions of Collins who he described as "out of touch". Sailing World also apologized and later published a Class response stating our displeasure and providing more accurate data. A short time later, a defensive letter to the Class Commodore from John Collins tried to dispute our data and implied that although he had apparently been "spoken to" by Terry Harper, he felt no obligation to apologize to the Class.
Although Mr. Collins appears to bear no remorse, the support of the others mentioned here was plentiful and bears much more relevance to our national reputation.