WHAT IS CASRA?
CASRA, Chicago Area Sail Racing Association, is a newly created organization, comprised of a group of five yacht clubs, that will serve the interests of boat owners’, racers’ and yacht clubs’, with a focus on the Chicago waterfront, to collaboratively coordinate and grow sail yacht racing. Some key words worthy calling out here are collaboration, growth, and a Chicago focus.
WHAT YACHT CLUBS MAKE UP CASRA?
Burnham Park Yacht Club, Chicago Yacht Club, Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club, Columbia Yacht Club, and Jackson Park Yacht Club.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE, GOALS & OBJECTIVES OF CASRA?
Broadly speaking, the purpose of CASRA is to respond to the needs and desires of yacht clubs, boat owners, and racers. More specifically CASRA will coordinate sail racing activities of the yacht clubs in the City of Chicago, to promote growth of the sport and foster sail yacht racing, again, in the Chicagoland area. As to goals & objectives, the immediate tasks at hand include securing input from sail yacht racing owners and crew so that the yacht clubs can develop the 2017 race schedule with that input. CASRA seeks direct input from all constituencies and will employ a few different mediums, to be announced shortly. Longer term CASRA has thoughts on elevating sail yacht racing to an even higher caliber than exists currently with additional events for the entire boating community in Chicago.
WHO IS CURRENTLY INVOLVED WITH CASRA?
CASRA has just very recently been formed by five founding members; Burnham Park Yacht Club, Chicago Yacht Club, Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club, Columbia Yacht Club, and Jackson Park Yacht Club. As the CASRA organization is very new, at this point involvement is with the five clubs. However, CASRA has plans, discussed and agreed by the five clubs, in process to involve and engage all sail yacht racing participants: all sail boat owners; One Design fleets; racers that crew; other non CASRA clubs and racing organizations; and Regional Sailing Authorities that govern the sport.
WHAT DISTINGUISHES CASRA FROM OTHER SAILING ORGANIZATIONS?
There are a few key elements here. First, is the focus…its sail racing in the greater Chicagoland area. This is a fantastic sailing city and a skyline view from the water that is second to none. Chicago and the waterfront is a perfect canvas upon which to paint a greater more vibrant sail racing program. Second, is fostering and promoting growth of the sail racing sport, and more broadly boating in general. Whether via building upon current youth programs at the yacht clubs, adding new exciting sail racing events, or creating new events for the boating community in Chicago, growth is a key purpose of CASRA. Third, CASRA will bring innovation to all processes with an eye to reducing complexity in sail racing, and increasing availability and participation.
HOW WILL SAILBOAT RACING BE DIFFERENT IN THE CHICAGO AREA UNDER CASRA?
CASRA aspires to grow the sport, with a Chicago focus, and via the collaborative efforts of the five founding member yacht clubs, CASRA has the critical mass to effect change and make improvements. So simply being able to drive change via collaboration will be a big difference. More specifically, from an on the water perspective, racers will see more events, and events tailored to their desires, based on their input. New to racing sailors will see events tailored to them so they can realize more time on their vessels with family & friends. All will see complexities reduced.
HOW WILL CASRA ADDRESS PARTICIPATION LEVELS IN THE SAIL RACING SPORT IN CHICAGO?
Simply, CASRA will engage boat owners, clubs, harbor management, racing fleets, and sailing organizations of all types, to determine needs and desires, and then respond with offerings via the five clubs comprising CASRA. This means offering new events, offering events at optimal dates & times, reducing complexity, offering events for owners/sailors new to racing.
HOW WILL SAIL RACING FLEETS BE INVOLVED WITH CASRA?
CASRA has reached out requesting to meet with each sail racing fleet individually to seek their input as to what they would like to see in the 2017 racing season.
HOW WILL RACERS, WHETHER OWNERS OR CREW, AND IRRESPECTIVE OF FLEET AFFILIATION, BE INVOLVED WITH CASRA?
First, CASRA has launched a survey of all racers seeking their input. Second, a town hall meeting is being scheduled, likely date is Dec 10th at Columbia Yacht Club, where survey results will be shared and additional input will be sought. All will influence the 2017 race schedule.
WILL RACERS, BOAT OWNERS, AND CREW BE REQUIRED TO BE CASRA MEMBERS?
SO RACERS, BOAT OWNERS, AND CREW, CAN RACE IN EVENTS ORGANIZED BY CASRA YACHT CLUBS WITHOUT BECOMING A CASRA MEMBER?
WHAT WILL BE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CASRA & LMSRF?
CASRA will become a member of LMSRF, the Regional Sailing Authority, with direct linkage to US Sailing.
WILL CASRA DEVELOP NEW HANDICAPPING SYSTEMS?
No. CASRA will support utilization of existing handicapping rules & systems, primarily ORR & PHRF.
HOW WILL RACE SCHEDULING BE ACCOMPLISHED?
The five yacht clubs comprising CASRA will collaborate to develop a 2017 race schedule for the greater Chicagoland area, and plan to announce it on/before mid-January 2017. CASRA will also coordinate efforts with yacht clubs outside the greater Chicagoland area for events, current and/or new, that terminate at those other yacht clubs.
WHAT SCORING SYSTEMS DO CASRA CLUBS PLAN TO UTILIZE?
WHAT IS THE STRUCTURE OF CASRA AND HOW WILL IT BE GOVERNED?
CASRA is structured as a collaborative association of five clubs (Burnham Park YC; Chicago YC; Chicago Corinthian YC; Columbia YC; Jackson Park YC), governed by a set of concise by-laws. Each club will have one delegate to CASRA, appointed by the Commodore of the respective club. Each delegate will have one vote. CASRA’s business will be led/facilitated by a President, who does not have a vote. Only the five clubs vote.