2017 Southern Circuit Survey Summary

Survey Name: April 20, 2017 Southern Circuit Survey
Response Status: Partial & Completed
Southern Circuit Attendance Knowledge of Mentor Program
Location Participation Future Mentor Program Participation
Non-Participation Reasons Likes about Mentor Program
Favorite Part of the Southern Circuit Suggested Improvements to Mentor Program
Mentor Program/Water Coaching Mentor Program at Other Regattas
Probable Attendance-2018 Southern Circuit Interest/Value in Social Activities
Southern Circuit Preferences Best Things About St Pete
Reasons for Nonattendance at Future Southern Circuits Recommended Changes to St Pete Racing
Incentives for Future Attendance at Southern Circuits Best Things About Miami Racing
Preferred Racing Schedule Recommended Changes to Miami Racing
Likely Participation Based on Schedule/Venues Recommendations for 2018 Southern Circuit
Mentor Program Participation  
   
How many times have you sailed part or all of the Southern Circuit?:
  Number of Response(s)

Response
Ratio

 
1-3 14 18.9%  
4-8 15 20.2%  
8+ 44 59.4%  
No responses 1 1.3%  
Total 74 100%  
 
Top
 
Did you participate as either a skipper or crew in either of the 2017 events - St Pete or Miami? :
  Number of Response(s)

Response
Ratio

 
Yes 43 58.1%  
No 30 40.5%  
No responses 1 1.3%  
Total 74 100%  
 
Top
 
We missed seeing you in Florida this March! Please help us understand why you DID NOT participate this year.
Top number is the count of respondents selecting the option. Bottom % is percent of the total respondents selecting the option.

Highly
Influenced

Influenced

Some
Influence

No
Influence
No time off from work or school 10 1 2 9
45% 5% 9% 41%
Not in my budget this year 3 6 7 6
14% 27% 32% 27%
Dates didn't work for me this year 7 7 1 6
33% 33% 5% 29%
Wasn't interested this year 2 1 5 12
10% 5% 25% 60%
Other - write comments below 7 7 0 5
47% 47% 0% 33%
 
15 Comments
Bad back and leg.. Still came...
Both St. Pete and Miami are expensive regattas to do. Didn't feel like spending the money or time this year.
I was detained due to work issues. But, I won't lie, my crew and I look at the weather forecast and will change our schedule if the likelihood of a drifter is probable. We have sailed too many drifters in St. Pete.
Could not line up crew.
No crew.
Don't have a boat now.
Alternative vacation with family. Mom sailing.
I allocate my PTO and effort based on a number of factors. the circuit is such a production that it is not a priority form me unless I am prepping for a specific and imminent major event. It's a bridge too far for me and my team at this point.
Spent part of Jan and all Feb in FL.
Husband getting business going- slow in fall - then picked up substantially in Winter-too busy to take time off. I was available but wouldn't want to participate without him.
Daughter was delivering first child.
Kids couldn't get time off from work. Miami in the last few years became less attractive. The last two times I attended I wasn't able to keep my boat at Coral Reef. Sailing in St Pete is highly unpredictable and can be a non event because of fickle winds.
Because of age, will not sail Southern Circuit.
Injury meant we could not sail 2017 .... back again in 2018
I'm 78 and finally made the difficult decision to retire, and I sold my beloved boat. I had back surgery last summer which was successful but will not alleviate the symptoms of spinal osteoarthritis, primarily pain and stiffness. Also logistically it was harder to get the boat and other crew to the SC. I'm not finished sailing, however (am sailing the Masters in Salinas next November)! So why I didn't sail the Circuit - AGE
 
Top
 
What was your favorite part of the Southern Circuit?  
39 Comments:
I only go to St. Pete. Just because I only want to do 3 days of sailing, and then spend time in Florida doing other things w' my non-sailing wife.
Tipping over in Miami.

Great wind conditions. Eating in the club house in Miami for dinner.

Wind in St. Pete.
Seeing old friends and meeting new. Getting out of the cold weather up north.

Working with Nick and the coaching was great. And I also appreciated his help determining if we should sail and when we went in due to weather out of the cold weather up north.

Mentor Program. Improving Sailing Skills.

St Pete and Miami.
Weather was great. Bit windy but better than drifters. Also RC at St Pete was great. Knew when to take us out and when to race and gave good races.
The Mentor program and the weather.
Good sailing in both venues.
Great winds in Miami. Also the after race get-together in St.Pete's was wonderful.
Timing of the races in St. Pete with respect to wind, social events, etc. It was all well-communicated and we maximized the conditions we had.
Competition
The wind velocity, sun and warm temperatures in Miami.
Rum party at St. Pete; sailing at St. Pete.
Sailing in Miami, I like the extra day of sailing in Miami.
Reunion with friends.
Non party at the St Pete sailing center. Wind everywhere.
First time down as a skipper with my boat. Just did the St Petersburg Regatta. Everything was very easy. That made it much more relaxing and enjoyable as the hotel, yacht club, and sailing center are all walking distance. The wind and weather were great.
4 great races the last day!! The dinner.
The entire St Pete regatta! Fantastic weather/race committee/rum party! It was very well put together. My only complaint which is a very small one, is that I thought registering was a little more complicated than it should be. Why should I register online when I have to register at the site as well? It could be simpler.
Wam Weather, competitive sailing , and getting to see all my friends from around the country.
The great sailboat racing and seeing all my Lightning friends.
Nick. Very helpful. Wish I could get more of that. Laura does a great job.
Being there with family and friends.
Nick Turney's briefings were great. Excellent PRO in St Pete. We need to keep Tom Farquar away from the Lightning fleet altogether.
Having Brian and Nick on a coach boat was more helpful than all the mentoring the past Southern Circuits have done in total. Well done Nick!!!
Seeing old friends.
St Pete sailing.
The coaching by Nick and the venues.
The racing.
The weather conditions in Miami, great race management, and the hospitality of CRYC. Nick's mentoring was OUTSTANDING! We did not sail St. Pete.
The breeze showed up at both venues and the mentoring program was fantastic!
The Mentor program
The sailing!
Race Committee Decisions in both venues relative to when to depart the dock and when to cancel racing due to high winds.
Sailing with 12 yr old grandson in St. Pete.
In the water coaching.
 
Top
 
Were you aware that the Mentor Program had added on the water coaching this year? And for those that participated how did you like this feature? Please make a short note about on the water coaching in the comment section. Further in the survey are a few more Mentor Program questions. 
  Number of
Response(s)
Response
Ratio
 
Yes 35 47.2%  
No 3 4.0%  
No Responses 36 48.6%  
Total 74 100%  
 
27 Comments
I was not aware before we got there. Sorry I did not sign up. Next year I will.
Loved it.
Liked listening to the comments on the radio.
Nick did a fantastic job this year.
Sometimes hard to get a hold of the coach boat for sailing tips. Not sure how to fix this other than another coach boat. Nature of the beast.
Excelent iniciative.
I signed up late but the talks afterward were GREAT. I learned alot.
I liked it very much. Really learned. Very accesible coach. Clear and complete answers.
Nick does a wonderful job. It appears that sailors really appreciate his program.
The whole program was fantastic and both Nick and Brian should be commended. If it were acceptable to coach the tail-enders during the actual racing, I think that would be most helpful.
This was valuable for all, and a huge addition to the post-race briefing. Nick is a great communicator and seems to spread his knowledge to anyone interested. Having Brian with him also helped give a 2nd perspective. Thanks to both!
Informative & helpful. Good interaction to those that wanted the input and off the boat input/observation.
Did not participate but listened in on the briefing and media sessions. Very well done and valuable.
All the coaching is great, But we are on vacation and one or more than one of the team wants to relax and enjoy the sailing, we are not training to win we are having fun, maybe not 24/7.
Helpful. Might be good to designate a boat or two to focus on at the morning meeting.
Very helpful but must be really frustrating for Nick & Bryan.
Mentoring program was very good. Nick Turney presented some great information. Really appreciated the efforts to get video footage of multiple boats and then presenting it to us as what was right, and things that could be done better.
Do it again. Big help to back of the fleet teams.
Yes, I was aware and participated. It was purely professional and easy to understand and a real asset to the class/regatta to have such a program. Nick and Brian were great!
Anything to help the people who are not in the top of the fleet is good. I learned more from this than any other coaching ever!
I learned more from this than any other coaching ever!
Thank you Nick!!
I really appreciated and gained from having Nick on and off the water.
Nick was fantastic, not only in mentoring me as a skipper, but in mentoring us as a team, and members of our team individually. An incredible experience for a new sailing team.
The on the water coaching was great. We especialy liked the video taping and having the coach showing us what we were doing wrong whilw reviewing them, as well as listening to his comments about others in group sessions.
On Water coaching was my other most favorite part of the this years event. Having both Nick and Brian helping me with sail shape, on water tuning and trim was just what I needed to get my boat going.
It was fantastic - I learned more from it than any other thing the class has done. I could not get enough of the on the water video and analysis of it. It was like a graduate course in Lightning Boatspeed.
 
Top
 
Our dates and venues are confirmed for 2018. Looking further into the future, would you be more likely to attend the Southern Circuit if:
  Number of Response(s)

Response
Ratio

 
It was a 2-venue circuit similar to this years event. 24 32.4%  
It was a three venue circuit 2 2.7%  
It was a one venue event 4 5.4%  
I will attend regardless of the structure/schedule. 31 41.8%  
I do not anticipate doing the circuit in the near future, due to other factors 8 10.8%  
No Responses 5 6.7%  
Total 74 100%  
 
Top
 
Even though the structure/schedule does not matter to you, what is your preference?
  Number
of Response(s)

Response
Ratio

 
A 2-venue circuit similar to this year's event. 23 31.0%  
A three venue circuit. 6 8.1%  
A one venue event. 1 1.3%  
No Responses 44 59.4%  
Total 74 100%  
 
20 Comments
St. Pete and another venue that is lower cost and further north.. Sarasota? Jacksonville?
I hate Savanah. St Pete is on my list too!

I hate Savanah. St Pete is on my list too! Miami though is great.

I think people generally like 2 venues. As I said earlier, I only want to do 3 days of sailing.

I think people generally like 2 venues. As I said earlier, I only want to do 3 days of sailing. But I would be interested in trying other venues. Jacksonville would be of particular interest to us.

I love the town of st Pete town. And also live sailing in Miami.
Just as long as Miami is considered as one of the venues.
Back to Savannah!
What I have seen in other classes is three events about a month apart allowing to leave boat between events. But then there are flights and storage that some may not like in the lightning class. This format minimizes loosing a week of work. These would be 3 day weekends and maybe 4 days for the last one. People in the North seem to like it best.

I also like the idea of exploring some new locations that would be new for us.

The shortened format is a good idea, but would enjoy rotating venues a bit. Maybe back to Savannah every 3rd year, or an alternate site. Sarasota? Punta Gorda? Stuart? Tired of sitting out long postponements at St Pete. (Love the tradition and welcome attitude of St Pete).
I'm in between 2 and 3 venues, honestly. I loved the older version of Savannah, Miami, St. Pete -- but probably because that's how I was first introduced to the SC and I am nostalgic. In thinking about future participation, at least for where I am in my life right now (early 30s with aspirations of having a family), all that travel seems a bit overwhelming and logistically stressful. I wouldn't be opposed to a one venue event, but I would miss the comraderie and bonding experiences of travel.
There are advantages and disadvantages of both. I liked the racing in Savanah, but didn't like that it takes 3 days with travel for only three races. I like more racing for a given amount of effort, so I guess that means I prefer a two venue event if we only have a week.
Would like to go back to Savanah.
The answer to that question all depends on what the venues are. I highly doubt I will ever return to Miami as it is too crowded, too expensive ( value does not exist at hotels and restaurants nearby ) and the club is not particularly welcoming.
Sailing on Biscayne Bay is the best, but onshore, Miami is a real hassle.
Eliminate Miami, I dislike Miami.
I miss Savannah. That said, I can only participate if the dates coincide with my spring break dates. They did this year, but I don't think they do in 2018.
We would like a week in Miami because of the better winds. However, it is getting very expensive there, so we liked the idea of looking for another venue in Florida where there would be a better winds than in St Pete, and more reasonably priced. Sarasota and Key Largo were mentioned and souded like good venues to look into. Maybe we could try a location like that in conjunction with Miami for a year to see haow it works out.
I think the three venue event meant more for the people that do the whole thing, and allows families options to do one, two, or three of the events. I also think that many families would do the first and third event, and spend family time in Florida in between. I liked that aspect of it.
 
Top
 
We are sorry to hear you do not anticipate doing the Circuit in the near future. Please let us know why. 
8 Comments
Parking is always a problem, the car race set up is a problem overall cost of the event.
Sold boat due other interests.
The circuit is awesome if:
-you can afford it
-you have the time (either prioritize it high enough or have less restrictive work situation)
-you view it as a vacation.
I don't view it as an important enough regatta/series to make it worth going for it's own sake. I went once in an attempt to prepare for the following Worlds. So for now the benefits don't outweigh the costs.
I Sail in more than this class and I can't get time off for a whole week. Only a weekend.
Interesting question, as I said no such thing. I will always be interested in doing the Circuit, I just don't care to go to Miami any longer.
I have sailed the circuit 8 times, I'm turning 76 this summer and it's time for me to stop.
Age
See earlier comment as to why I didn't sail this yr. (Age)
 
Top
 
If you could change one thing that would increase your desire to attend the Southern Circuit what would it be? 
47 Comments
I'd be way more likely to be able to sail if I could take fewer days off to do it - so a Friday-Sunday event or even a Thursday-Sunday is easier than if it's a full week.
Don't keep us on the water so late into the day.
Both regatta on a weekend.
Learning from the success of the Davis Island J70 circuit, they do one weekend a month and allow you to keep your boat at their club. You end up only having to take a day off to get your boat down there and a day off to get your boat home. All the sailing days are Saturday and Sunday. I think we should consider something like this.
Have an event at a different local. The plan I thought was to swap out one of the events periodically and sail somewhere else. Sarasota, Pensicolla, Rudder club Jacksonville, Davis Island and more.
I believe the Class is doing the best that they can.
Lower registration cost
Nothing
Cut the cost of housing! (and registration). I spent $650 on gas, $900 about on car wear and tear, 525 on registration and a whopping $3000 on motels including drive up and back. It was about $1000 for each venue and that is rediculous really.
Better parking space for cars and boats.
More sailboat racing in St. Pete. When the weather is good, we should be on the water.
I appreciate everyone has commitments, but many do drive a pretty good distance to take part in the Circuit. If one more event could be squeezed in, I'd like that. Savanah is a super neat place to sail and I would not mind seeing it back in the Circuit. It is closer for most too.
The last question wasn't fair. I would attend if any of them as long as there is a high probability of wind. I really think the east coast of Florida is better than the west coast for the tradewinds.
I would sail it if it was at Lake Monroe verse St. Pete. I like Florida Yacht Club in Jacksonville Fl.
If logistics, hotels, local members and staff and parking were as easy at all venues as it is in St. Pete it would be a must-do annually.
Participation.
Run it exclusively in Miami over 4-5 days and provide housing or very low cost accomodations.
3 venues - one of which being St. Pete
New locations.
My desire is already high, not sure if it can be increased.
Mixing up the venues a bit.
I'm not a huge fan of the set-up of Miami. I love the sailing, but the parking lot/'drysail' is always crowded and a pain to get in and out of. But generally, I have always enjoyed my SC experiences and would travel almost anywhere to see and sail against/with my friends.
I like it all.
I know Miami is a great place to sail, but my only experience there was great on the water, but other logistics were bit more of a hassle. At this point in my sailing life, I seek good sailing waters and also seek events that are "easy" logistically. I like to enjoy my time off the water as much as on the water. I like Venues that have things nearby that my family can enjoy also should they not be sailing with me....fun in the sun for everyone is always a priority.
I put down 1 venue event, presumably at Corel Reef YC, but that is primarily because St. Pete's winds are usually so light.
More predictable wind in St. Pete.
Lower the cost, and to live closer so I don't have a 30hr drive back home at the end of it! Haha
I think we need to have a group decide if we stay at St Pete. Sailing was good this year but it is expensive and not always a great set of wind conditions. Also find out how many more people from the Southeast district would truly attend the circuit if one of the venues was Charleston, Savannah or Jacksonville.
Savannah instead of Miami.
Making one event over the weekend is easier to find crew. I think we need to make it more affordable for young people like myself to skipper the circuit and get more boats on the line. Whether it is housing, entree fees, making the circuit more affordable will help me sail it more with young people.
More boats!
More advertising of boats for charter.
I would like to see a little more consideration given to the "get away" days. Having the St Pete banquet on the day most people would otherwise be looking to get on the road to Miami did not seem to be viewed favorably by many. Also, keeping competitors out on the water for a long day on the last day of the regatta did not seem like a great idea. Many people travel long distances to get to the Circuit. By the time we get to the last day, we are looking to get on the road home early in the day after a short day on the water. If we haven't gotten enough good sailing in on the days prior, we should not be looking to jam most of the races in on the last day.
Desire is always there. The fact that you moved it to the last week of March for 2018 will make it easier for me to attend.

Venues that:
1) want us there
2) are affordable (housing/hotels)
3) have consistent wind

Do not have regatta when SPYC is closed.
Reduce cost.
Would love to see some of the younger as well as international teams represented.
Eliminate Miami and pick up an alternate venue.
More boats, and a deeper field.
Venues, like Miami, that predictably have breeze.
Less expensive venue with good wind in Florida, and a more welcoming atmosphere to the lightning Class,
More time between regattas. It is a sprint with little time for anything else.
Keeping the circuit within one week, makes the event easier to attend.
Less expensive housing options.
Enjoyed sailing in Savannah.
Make sure we keep 6 race days and have no limit on number of races if weather good ... just a latest warning last day.
I think it is time to stop all of the tinkering with it, and settle into a predictable routine. I want to know what I am going to get, and enjoyed the traditions I was making relative to the things I did every year.
 
Top
 
How many scheduled days of racing do you prefer in the Southern Circuit? (Please rank in order of interest). 
Top number is the count of respondents selecting the option. Bottom % is percent of the total respondents selecting the option. Most Desired
1

2

3
3 days of racing 4 6 41
8% 12% 80%
4-5 days of racing 15 36 0
29% 71% 0%
More than 5 days of racing 21 9 10
63% 18% 20%
 
25 Comments
I'm typically only interested in 3 days of sailing. Of course, this answer is influenced by the number of venues.
Of course this answer is influenced by the number of venues.
I generally go to St. Pete - have relatives in the area which make it much cheaper.
5-6 days of scheduled racing is perfect.
3 and 3 to make the trip worthwhile or 5 but not more. Again issue is housing costs.
Putting up and taking down is sort of a pain, but if 3 regattas could be fit in, perhaps with only 1 regatta being 3 days, the event would revert to a full-fledged "Circuit".
As many sailing days as possible WITH WIND!!!! If we sail only Miami but we sail five days of wind, then so be it....it will be fun. I like moving from one venue to another but...there must be wind.
6 days of racing scheduled is good.
Given travel time, 3 days is not enough especially if you lose 1-2 days due to weather conditions.
We've discussed this FOREVER. I come to regattas to sail my boat. There is always time to catch up with friends
even if we sail 6 days. When I want a non-sailing vacation
(why?) I can take anon- sailing vacation .
5 - 6 would be ideal if we stick to the Sunday to Saturday schedule.
If it turns into a one venue event, I would prefer 3-4 days of racing.
Prefer 5-6 days.
I think the two 3-day regattas are perfect.
6 days - 3 at each of 2 venues.
Even though this is a vacation and time too spend with friends and family, I am doing these events to race and spend time on the water.
I have time, because I'm in the business, but other people may not. I like to race, so more opportunities for racing are better for me.
Scheduling more days will make it easier to cancel a day, or part of a day due to unfavorable weather conditions.
Prefer a longer event with the option to attend 1 or all events. It's nice to get away in the winter if possible - the longer the better.
I like three days at each venue.
6 day of scheduled racing is perfect.
I need to fit the trip into a one week time frame yet make the trip worthwhile.
At least 3 days if 2 venues, and 5 days if 1 venue.
5 Days is great with the following... more 3 leg races so teams/RC can organize for next race on the lazy downwind back to start area and start promptly when fleet arrives.
I drive so far, that I need to get at least as many days of races as travel time, or all I did was tow the boat around the country.
 
Top
 
Would you be more likely to participate if the Southern Circuit (or Series) were in: 
  Number
of Response(s)

Response
Ratio

 
1 week-long circuit/series at multiple venues 30 40.5%  
Multiple winter (2-3 day) events and a week-long circuit. 9 12.1%  
Multiple 2-4 day events throughout the winter at various locations. 5 6.7%  
Multiple 2-4 day events throughout the winter at the same location. 5 6.7%  
Other 6 8.1%  
No Responses 19 25.6%  
Total 74 100%  
 
6 Other Responses
10 day circuit at multiple venues.
Tie: 1 week long and multiple at the same location
Miami over 4-5 days
Not sure
1 wk long series at 1 venue.
 
15 Comments
I circuit where you keep having to travel to Florida would be a burden for most.
Interesting. I think I might have an interest in multiple 2 or 3 days events in the same or different locations, but not in a row. Maybe one in early Feb and the mid March event.
It would be tough to get there more than once. One trip to sail as much as possible.
Will not come down if races are spread across the winter months. Will only come down for the week and head back North.
I like the current 2 location but am willing to try more variations. Still have to get the car and boat down and keep it somewhere and that means planning the drive. I would not like multiple locations due to the logistics issues of boats and cars if we had multiple events.
Airfare is getting better for travel but not sure I could do too many events due to crew costs.
It's two far to commute back and forth throughout the winter.
Any of these options might be ok.
I would not drive to Florida twice in the same winter to sail in multiple regattas.
This series is well known by other classes - would hate to lose the recognition by others by changing the format too much. One can choose to sail the FL Winter regattas should they want.
We would prefer 1 week long series at 1 good venue to cut down travel time and breakdown / setup time.
I would not drive to Florida twice in the same winter to sail in multiple regattas.
I think we lose large fleet if we shift to Multiple 2-4 day events throughout the winter due to cost of travel...
I would never be able to work attending short events separated my weeks over winter option
An entire team has to travel to race the boat. If you make three people fly back and forth multiple times it will be too expensive for me to take part in.
 
Top
 
Have you ever participated in the Mentor Program? 
  Number of Response(s) Response Ratio  
Yes 34 45.9%  
No 21 28.3%  
No Responses 19 15.6%  
Total 74 100%  
 
Top  
 
Did you know the Mentor Program was taking place during the circuit? 
  Number of Response(s) Response Ratio  
Yes 52 70.2%  
No 3 4.0%  
No Responses 19 25.6%  
Total 74 100%  
 
Top  
 
Would you participate in the mentor program in the future as either a mentor or participant? 
  Number of Response(s) Response Ratio  
Yes 50 67.5%  
No 5 6.7%  
No Responses 19 25.6%  
Total 74 100%
 
14 Comments
I should have signed up and missed the notices. The morning briefings were terrific.
No one has ever asked me to participate.
Probably not. Like listening to the daily wrapups though. Learn some things.
It was GREAT!
Came to the Circuit specifically to learn to sail chop better, and feel the Mentor program especially helped.
It is good for beginners and professionals. Two boats working together to get better is always a benefit.
I found this to be one of the greatest features of the circuit and was very impressed with the leaders and the meetings. Photos and videos were terrific, showing the good, bad and ugly sail trim, boat handling and racing...
Did the Mentor thing this year. Did not want to attend early meetings every morning.
In theory. But I would need to have more time to devote to the class and my Lightning sailing to make either aspect justifiable.
Mentor has been very helpful in the past.
If your referring to Nick and Brian's coaching in St Pete, then I did participate.
Don't know as I don't know what it is.
Being a long time experienced sailor I'm on the edge of being a mentor or mentee. I almost sat out due to not knowing if it was useful. On water coaching really was more help to me.
I WILL ALWAYS TAKE PART IN THE MENTOR PROGRAM.
Top    
What did you like about the Mentor Program? 
35 Responses
I think it is a good idea to get all up to speed.
The social aspect of meeting new top level sailors that I wouldn't normally get to meet.
Could here what other people were seeing on the radio. very helpful.
I have watched it in the past.
Everything
Reviewing of the boat handling.
Various views.
I got good individual suggestions which paid off.
Great coaches. Very accesible and clear.
Nick was fantastic and Brian, although he didn't talk a lot, always had excellent comments.
When someone else on the race course is taking note of you...the discussions after the race is always beneficial. You really take note of each other.
I had Ched, I beat him one regatta and he me the second. We talked about it both ways....had to have helped both of us.
Everyone can learn something from this program and it really helps bring everyone together and increases the sense of community our Class is famous for.
Sharing and good feedback.
Brings sailors together; camaraderie.
There is so much to learn and these wonderful champions share there thoughts and ideas with us.
Good way to connect faster sailors with learning teams.
It epitomizes much of what our class is about -- friends enjoying time together on and off the water. I've always loved the open and friendly nature of the Lightning class. People always willing to help out and lend a hand. This program does a good job of formalizing it, especially for those who might not feel they have an immediate/natural "in".
Professionally done. Pre race briefings in morning were great. Video footage was also valuable. Having the pro be able to coach while we were out there was also valuable.
Help those that need some guidance and gives a reason for those that know they might not do well to come and learn.
The coaching/briefing/on the water video.
It was a chance to bridge the gap between the back and front of the fleet. I met and spent time with people i would normally not.
That people felt they had the opportunity to learn. Having another coach to help me coach my Mentees.
Helping new circuit participants feel comfortable with the logistics and sailing.
Nick Turney. He does a great job. Input from other "experts".
The chance to learn more - even if its only 1 thing.
Having Brian and Nick on the water in a coach boat, able to drive around and look at sail setup. Then watching the racing and able to tell us what we did wrong in the race. (or right).
Increases interest.
Loved the availability of one on one and open discussions by Nick.
I liked having a mentor who was not competing. I think it makes for a healthier, more productive interaction. It also allowed the mentors to help with tuning and trim on the water, something a competitor/mentor cannot do.
Meeting new/different members of the class.
Briefings but now everyone is attending. It's a great resource and social center for the fleet.
Legacy of Lightning Class, competitive but always helpful to newer members.
The general talk sessions after each day.
It is a graduate course in Lightning boat speed. For people who cannot sail in a regatta every weekend it is the best way to climb the ladder that I know of.
Top
What can we do to improve the Mentor Program?
25 Comments  
I think adding in a pre-event mentor touch would be great. Something like a phone call to the person being mentored that goes like "Hey this is your mentor for the S.C. I will be available on and off the water during the event. If you haven't done the circuit before, let me send you a cheat sheet of the most important things to know".
Keep Nick doing it.
Better on the water communication.
Nothing.
Make it more known.
Perhaps consider the weather briefing the evening before.
Try not to make it just for beginners. Encourage everyone to take part....
The actual mentors should be relied on more for on-shore discussions and not necessarily tuning-up on the water. Most mentors would like to focus on their own racing while afloat. I find the best mentors are those who can introduce newcomers to as many people as possible. (A "social mentor"?)
Keep good talent to lead.
Additional photos and videos; more participation from more experienced racers.
It got a little repetitious.
I'm probably not familiar enough with the program to offer constructive advice.
Ask the Pro to send out a summary of things to work on going forward. Ask them to send brief email with a few video clips to each mentoree of things they did correct and things that could use improvement. Yes, I realize this would be a lot of work on the Mentor, but I would find this valuable and motivating.
Short of having one crew with me, I don't know.
Need to coaches with boats.
?! I think it's great the way it is.
Great Job.
I don't know.
Better communication as to meeting times - with group.
Add more Mentors in more coach boats for an even more personalized instruction.
Depending on the size of the fleet, you may need an additional coach.
I thought it was perfect.
I think it's pretty good. Nick does a very good job.
Video review was a terrific hit....do more if possible with more mentors looking at videos with mentees.
Ask yacht scoring to have a footnote to identify that junior sailor(s) in training. When results are being sent in real time to the world, some skippers may be reluctant to introduce juniors to a high level adult event. 99% of the sailors understood what we were doing by having a 12 yr old onboard, but one adult team didn't get it and were critical.
 
Top  
 
If the Class were to offer the Mentor Program at other regattas would it increase your participation at those regattas? 
Number of Response(s) Response Ratio  
Yes 16 21.6%  
No 33 44.5%  
No Responses 25 33.7%  
Total 74 100%  
     
12 Comments
I'm not going to go or not go to an event based on the availability of a mentor program. But I think it is a nice plus.
Maybe. Mostly depends on cost and availability to get to the race.
I think I would go to one or two events and try to get my crew more involved
Everyone wants to do better.
Breaks are nice so you can apply what you learned.
I like it at the circuit, let's leave it there only...keeps it special.
There is no time at weekend regattas, we would need to leave a day early, this is not possible for the whole team, there for it would be harder to find crew.
I think it's a great idea. But for me personally, it has no bearing on whether or not I would attend a regatta.
Probably not.
It won't impact my scheduling of other regattas but it would be nice to add to a short regatta is small doses.
Not sure.
I would make a huge effort to go to more Mentor regattas.
Top
Please rank your value/interest of the following: 
Top number is the count of respondents selecting the option. Bottom % is percent of the total respondents selecting the option. High Value/
Interest
Some Value/
Interest
Neutral No Value/
Interest
Entertainment/ Games 3 21 22 8
6% 39% 41% 15%
Nicer Dinners 7 18 22 7
13% 33% 41% 13%
Complementary Beverages 16 18 14 4
31% 35% 27% 8%
Southern Circuit Participation Glasses 7 16 18 12
13% 30% 34% 23%
Door Prizes and Give Aways 7 15 25 7
13% 28% 46% 13%
Mentor Program 31 17 5 1
57% 31% 9% 2%
 
9 Comments
Need good RC work!
I come for the opportunity to improve my sailing skills and talk with other sailors, not the dinner or prizes.
Games were great for getting people together. Poor Laura was doing alot and then trying to get games going. I think they are good but they overload her I think. The dinner at St Pete was great and got people mixing. I had dinner with some people at CRYC last night and it was good to talk to others. Dinner at CRYC was great too.
Always good when people walk away with something. Fancy dinners etc really don't make the regatta...people make the regatta...beer and hamburgers and a place to hang is just as much fun as a formal dinner. (I personally hate formal anything.)
The efforts the class makes for low cost lodging are good. Bagels or something in morning are good as well as drinks at end of day.
Really don't value anything as much as the sailing. More please.
Diners were excellent this year.
Free or low cost housing would be high value.
The value of the glasses went down when I only had to go to 2 events to get them. The 3 event glasses (and the way they were presented at the banquet - calling teams up) were a trophy in their own right. 2 event glasses are simply swag.
Top
 
Please tell us what you think the best thing about going to St Pete to race is? 
43 Comments
Great venue.
Plenty for my non-sailing wife to do (the museums, the spa at the Vinoy). We always go out to the Gulf for dinner one evening.
The friendliness of the club.
Relatives in the area. More about that than the sailing. reason to go see relatives. Sailing is a plus and gives me some time on my home waters.
It is the closest destination to the Midwest.
Simplicity of the onshore venue. Not expensive to find housing or food. Sailing is also great.
Number of boat racing.
Party on the pier :) fine club, nice surroundings.
RC very good and for the number of boats we had the venue was good for boat parking and launch. We take over the place and it feels good.
The venue. The club is grate and the town is amazing
Nice warm water. Neat club too.
I don't understand why more boats sail St Pete over Miami. The facilities are nicer (more hoists and easier to get in and out of the water)...but the wind and sailing is the pits.
Welcoming attitude and weather!
Discount hotel lots. Drinks/social after races.
The bar and pool.
Facilities, parking, ease of logistics, Todd as PRO; Kathy are Chair
The location of the hotels and the sailing center.
Tradition. Would not want to lose Class connection with StPYC.
The ease of getting on and off the water. Beautiful and safe feeling city. Location to the race course from the club. Friendly club members and staff. I generally am always very content at St. Pete -- even though the wind is often tricky. I have very fond memories of this club, both from Lightning racing and other sailing events.
The club, class history there, and reception by the members.
Easy, great sailing center to launch from, hotel and yacht club really close to sailing site, and a beautiful downtown area. Really easy Regatta to do if you stay at the Hampton Inn.
Very nice club and facilities but winds too light too often.
Facility, food and bar.
I love the facility, the club, and the challenging Tampa Bay
Tradition and nice dinners.
Great venue for social events and seeing friends at the bar. Yacht club is great.
Great facility and good race management. Having the will to run races late in the day, when the breeze dictates.
SPYC bar.
The sailing center. Proximity.
Nice venue. Great facilities. We are always treated well there (except for Tom Farquar).
Todd
RC is excellent, more gatherings after races.
Nice facilities ang good venue.
History
Great club.
NA
I love St. Pete, but sadly the breeze is inconsistent.
Functions at the Yacht Club
The Florida weather and seeing old friends. The sailing is not great.
Sailing when the breeze is decent.
Great launch facility, Club House and warm reception.
Snowbird.
The club and town.
St Pete is a gathering of the clan in a delightful location. It is a ritual, a rite of passage, the beginning of spring. I love the city the club, how welcome we are, and the chance to renew my friendship with so many people.
Top
 
Please tell us what you would change (if anything) about going to St Pete to race? 
35 Comments
The wind.
Often too light to sail.
Start on Friday or Saturday. Keep it to fewer days off from work.
The 4th race on the first day was not necessary for the fleet. Only a few boats benefitted. Seems like the PRO really wanted to get the 4th race in no matter what. I heard quite a bit of grumbling that offset a really nice day.
Schedule races to start at 2 or 3pm to anticipate the sea breeze. Dinner could still happen, just later in the evening (if at all). Also keeps the hangovers to a minimum during racing :0. Also, have a designated parking area for everyone. Preferably inside the gate or work something out with the yacht club.
Nothing.
Try and schedule racing with good wind. now that we are out of the traditional spring break I dont care if it is Feb, March or even April for regatta.
Starting races later in the day.
Keep the rum party at the sailing center.
Move it to the other side of Florida, Florida Yacht Club in Jacksonville or even Lake Monroe. Anywhere closer to the easterly prevailing breeze that comes across the islands. Even with a High pressure over Florida you get something.
Prior to this year I would have said better coordination of racing with the fickle breeze. This year Todd Fedyzyn did a great job of getting races in while minimizing Postponements afloat and communicating everything well.
Good place to dail, nothing.
The wind.
Always try to make it the same Sat-Mon or Fri-Sun. Consistent dates.
Move away from the Indy Car race weekend. Pursue the SPYC's other station and think about sailing in the ocean as a way to add variety. Out concept is a bit stale.
The wind comes in later in the day but the start on all three days is early. at the skippers meeting we should pick one day for a late start maybe 3:00 PM and sail until 7:00 PM. crew can sleep in and the rest of us can go for a big unrushed breakfast. this year he mentor program started at 7:30 and we had one race . The RC did a great job.
I haven't been there in awhile, unfortunately. So nothing comes immediately to mind.
Nothing.
We need to decide if we will always have st Pete as part of the circuit.
Not the best racing because of wind but still a great place to be.
Less hassle with the parking.
It would be nice if the saling conditions were reliably better.
Sporadic lack of wind is the biggest negative, but we can't do much about that. Again, Tom Farquar is a big negative.
No Change.
Finally RC is getting to where if it looks like a typical light air day with seabreeze in the afternoon will happen. don't even bring us to the club until afternoon, and don't even think of racing until the seabreeze fills in. This year was great! Why? Because we waited for the seabreeze and got really good races in. This year was great! Why? Because we waited for the seabreeze and got really good races in.
Parking
Usually need more wind.
NA
Provide more wind. RC was better this year. open gates to sailing center earlier.
It is what it is. It is OK!
Todd is a very good PRO, making sure he is available to run the races is important.
Not much!
Easier parking.
More wind.
May I have wind every year, all the time? When it is on it is great, nothing better. When it is off I have learned to visit with everyone. Maybe on calm days postponing early for most of the day until the evening breeze comes in, so I can go sightsee.
Top
 
Please tell us what you think the best thing about going to Miami to race is?  
46 Comments
The wind.
Never been to Miami.
Almost always good breeze.
Lots of wind.
The sailing conditions.
Biscayne Bay.
The sailing venue.
Racing and the city.
Weather, wind, international airport, nature at sea.
Weather is usually very good.
The vecinity ( 3 hour flight), the weather and the Race course. Also plane tickets are less expensive compared with any other part of South America.
Best breeze. The dinner at the Club this year was very good.
Great to be inside Biscayne Bay.
The sailing is generally the best there is in the area...could be the country.
Dolphins.
Things to do, warm.
Wind sun and warm temperatures.
The sailing conditions.
Dependable breeze. Good race management.
It's all good.
Reliable sailing conditions and warm weather.
Typically the weather conditions are very favorable. A really pretty place to sail. Coconut Grove is a fairly safe feeling environment, as well. From what I remember, RC is very efficient in getting in races.
Beautiful water, it is warm. Like the club, RC gets racing done.
Did not go this year.
Great sailing conditions.
Wind.
Another great club and sailing venue that is world class.
The racing is the best we do all year. On the water is fantastic.
Great sailing and warm weather and water.
The sailing.
The sailing on Biscayne Bay.
Consistent breeze.
NA
Biscayne Bay sailing
The location.
Nothing.
Sailing conditions and venue.
The conditions followed closely by CRYC.
The breeze and the club are fantastic.
Sailing conditions on Biscayne Bay.
Wind and weather.
Sailing!
Great wind and weather.
Wind.
Wind.
The on the water racing.
Top
 
Please tell us what you would change (if anything) about going to Miami to race?  
41 Comments
The city.
Always have a dinner inside.
Find a way to make it less expensive. Miami is a very expensive town.
Distance and cost.
Lower cost for the onshore venue. Clubhouse/Club was much to overpriced. Parking was not terrible just outside the gate but did not appreciate the attitude of the guards of the club.
Nothing.
Housing costs and places to park. Security was good on last dys of regatta but before it is scary in Miami now.
Race Management was unaceptable on day one. (start lines, first leg no beat and no course change to try and fix.) Day two decision to not race was VERY GOOD. DAy three was ok. The people on Committee boat are my friends but....
Safer parking lot for the car.
Nothing.
A little tricky launching and getting away, but not really a worry.
Parking, they need to open their lot up to the guests at least the right side. And maybe 50% of the boats need to go to the sailing center on the left so it is easier to get in and out of the water. If security is an issue, get a night guard.
Parking of both cars and boats.
Great place to sail, nothing.
Make it the exclusive venue over 4-5 days with housing or very low cost accommodations.
Lock in consistent dates; expensive.
Perhaps a location out on Key Biscayne where there might be better parking.
Price of hotels.
It is awfully crowded and pricey. Do not feel particularly welcome at Club as we are the last of an endless series of events they host. Never comfortable that the cars are safely parked.
The parking lot/drysail area is a pain. As is the hoist situation.
Parking closer.
Nothing to comment on.
Have all the racing at CRYC. Love it the way it is.
Letting us in the boat park/club after driving for 2 days.
It's a bit far, too busy, pretty expensive -- would rather go to Savannah even though the racing there is obviously not so 'pure.'
The cost of housing and eating in Miami is extremely high.
Set up the race course further South to get away from the 1 side advantage and the motor boats.
It would be nice to feel more welcome at the club.
Reasonably priced places to stay would be nice, but I am not sure how that gets addressed.
No change.
Cheaper housing and easier time parking boat and vehicle.
High cost, parking and hospitality.
Eliminate.
CRYC could be a little more welcoming when we first arriving. Not a big deal though, and I understand members' desire to have full use of their club during the regatta.
It would be nice to be able to park inside, or at least when setting up and tearing down.
Provide closer and safer parking ( let some of us park in their parking lot like they did in the past), and make us feel more welcome at the Club.
We don't feel welcome. Need a club that wants us.
It's a great spot on shore and on the race course.
Housing cost!
Ensure security of vehicles while sailing. Better launching.
More friendly club.
At times, CRYC has made me feel like a second class citizen, which is offensive given that I have driven 2200 miles to get there. I think they did a lot this year to erase what was becoming a bad taste in my mouth - eating inside the club was fantastic - thank you Bill Mauk for arranging that, and for solving the parking issue.
Top
 
One final question... What can your Southern Circuit Co-Chairs, David Starck and Bill Mauk focus on to make the 2018 Southern Circuit a better experience? 
40 Comments
I think these two do an outstanding job and I would just like to say THANKS!
Try and block housing in Miami.
Keep up the good work. Would like to see a different venue in the mix. You may get some people coming just to sail that new venue.
Keep up communicating with the participants and try to understand why those that missed this year were not there.
Lowering cost wherever possible. Develop more support from local ILCA members for finding housing at the venues.
Nothing.
Not much now. I may not go because of cost of Miami. I am thinking of St. Pete and maybe some other of the regattas?
Maintian the mentor program.
I liked the old format and miss Savannah.
I would work on having no general recalls. I would call boats over from one minute down, which I understand is legal, and physically point at the over-early boats from the committee boats at both ends of the line. ("Yes, we mean you.")
Boats either side of the over-early boats could also back up and a single, fair start could be had.
I am not sure, can you change location? St. Pete's light air stinks. WIND at all costs. How many lightning sailors are sailing other boats? J70's are killing us to say the least Lutz, Lutz, Schon,Fisher team- Charleston. Call me I will talk -- Mark Schneider
For years there has been discussion about trying different venues. We may have the 2 best venues in the South already. Maybe during the 2018 SC we can have a Round Table discussion, communicate to everyone present what the options are, what the difficulties are, etc. This may help everyone appreciate what we have!
You're doing fine.
Ditto, same as above- MIAMI.

Break the mold. Try something different. Don't make tinkering changes that only Circuit experts would even notice. Big change can breed new interest...if the new ideas are good.

A little more variety in the racing. The 3 venue format required the top boats to perform well over a wide range of conditions. That was a big part of what made the Southern Circuit unique.
Making sure there is always a focus on fun and friendship (not saying there hasn't been). I think the Mentor program is probably a very positive thing in growing camaraderie, while also improving the sailing.
Love the photos.
Continue to seek new participates, really focus on memebers who have never traveled to this event. Try to find a way to promote these events as enjoyable and easy to do. My wife sailed it this year for first time and had a blast, she thought St Pete was beautiful.
For me, find 2 good crew. So few people I know can get away to crew for a week.
Keep up the good work!
This survey is a good start!
I think most people are looking for a cost effective opportunity to sail in great conditions and spend ample time with friends and family. History means a lot to this class but a little change of location maybe good to make everyone happy.
Publicize the fun we had this year so more boats come next year!
The more the merrier! Plan and promote a great event and hopefully people will come.
Frankly I think they are doing a fine job.
Other than addressing the foregoing comments, I cannot offer any other suggestions. Overall, the Circuit has been fun and the Co-Chairs have done a good job of making that possible. It is appreciated by me.
I'm sorry-nothing to add. Very happy in all past experiences with Southern Circuit.
Resist the temptation to sail on marginal conditions.
St Pete pushed one too many races first day.
My only concern was the amount of safety boats on the water while in Miami. Seemed like a few more were needed.

Keep up the good work! Look into ways to hold the event at a location in Forida with good wind, is less expensive, and has parking available.

The Circuit is great and we will keep coming. These are only suggestions to make it even better.
Two days between events and a Club in Miami that wants us!
Increase participation.
$100/ night College dorm rooms in Coral Gables and 20 more car parking spaces near sailing center in St Pete.
The morning briefings were great. It would be interesting to have a pro out on the course watching the racing and providing some well thought out comments to the sailors to improve their performance.
Getting us all there ... thanks guys for doing this.
Make us feel welcome and valued wherever we go.
Top