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Organization: American Sailing Association
Summary: This article is a guide to the newsgroup alt.sailing.asa.
X-Last-Updated: 1999/2/25
Posting-Frequency: bi-monthly
Archive-name: sports/sailing/asa
Last-modified: March 25, 1999

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
This article is a guide to the newsgroup alt.sailing.asa.

An HTML version of this document can be found at:

1.0 Newsgroup origin

alt.sailing.asa was begun by the American Sailing Association in 1990 as a
forum for the exchange of ideas by people who share an interest in the
sport and lifestyle of sailing.  At the time, the only other, similar
newsgroup was  alt.sailing.asa had a more specific focus.

1.1 Moderator

alt.sailing.asa is and unmoderated newsgroup.  Anyone claiming to be the
moderator has done so in error.  Any communication with the American
Sailing Association should be directed to

2.0 Nuisance Note

As a public forum, alt.sailing.asa is accessible to anyone with Internet
access.  Unfortunately, the same people who spray paint their names in
public places and yell obscenities out the windows of moving cars find
their way to our newsgroup.

Despite their claims to the contrary, alt.sailing.asa was not created to
enable a bunch of half-wits to amuse each other with inane harassment of
people who are genuinely interested in sailing.  Anyone who feels they have
been victimized or harassed by people who post to alt.sailing.asa, should
take the following action.

2.1 Trace the offender's posts.

Many of the cowardly individuals who attack users of alt.sailing.asa post
from blind boxes such as or  They do so
to avoid detection and termination by their Internet Service Providers
(more on this later).

You will need to see the original header (information at the top of a
posting) to determine the source of an offending message.  If your
newsreader masks this information you will need to get it from someone who
can read it.  Assume the name that appears on the "FROM:" line is
fictitious.  You may want to post a follow-up message asking someone to
find the source for you if you can't see the header lines below.

The most important lines in the header are:

NNTP-Posting-Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 21:21:58 EST

Message-ID: won't mean anything to you but it will help the ISP identify
the offender if they decide to take action.

NNTP-Posting-Host: is important.  You will find either some unintelligible
code or four sets of numbers set apart by periods.  Look for a familiar
domain configuration such as "" or "".  If you find one,
copy it and proceed directly to section 2.3 below.  If you find numbers
such as (a.k.a. an IP address) you will need to follow
instructions in section 2.2.

2.2 Performing a Whois search.

Copy the four sets of numbers exactly.  Use your web browser to go to
( might work as a backup.  Place the
number you copied in the window that appears there and click "Submit" or
hit return.  Information similar to that below will appear.

       Edgenet (NETBLK-EDGE-166)       EDGE-166 -

The important part is the (NETBLK-EDGE-166).  It's a code that will lead
you to the domain name associated with the IP address.  Put that back into
the window (without the parentheses) and submit it.  In this example you
would get:

Edgenet (NETBLK-EDGE-166)
          19 Railroad Ave
          Westerly, RI 02891

          Netname: EDGE-166
          Netblock: -

             Thompson, Jeffrey  (JT524-ARIN)  jeff@EDGENET.NET

2.3 Determining the ISP's abuse policy.

Most ISPs want to avoid acquiring a poor reputation.  Some have been
ostracized by other ISPs and had access to their postings and messages
denied by those ISPs.  They soon become less valuable to their customers,
and if you think that doesn't matter to someone running a small business
(or even a big business), think again.

Put "www." in front of "" and you have an address to plug into
your browser.  In this case it's "".  When you do, you get
an attractive main page with a button at the bottom that says, "Acceptible
Use Policy".  Click it and you see:

"While it is not the policy of eFortress to act as The Net Police,
eFortress considers the following (but not limited to) an abuse of service:

*  Attempting to circumvent user authentication or security of any host,
network, or account on accessibility systems or the Internet at large
("hacking and/or cracking")
*  Attempting, in any way, to interfere with or deny service to any user or
any host on the Internet
*  Forging email or USENET posting header information
*  Sending large numbers of unsolicited mail messages (i.e. "Junk Mail
and/or Spamming"); this includes adding or attempting to add addresses to
any mailing list without explicit positive consent of the addressee
*  Forwarding or posting "chain letters" (multiple forwarding) of any type
*  Posting inappropriate messages to USENET newsgroups e.g., posting
 large numbers of unsolicited posts indiscriminately ("spamming"), or
*  posting encoded binary files to USENET newsgroups not specifically
 named for that purpose
*  Attempting to cancel, supersede, or otherwise interfere with email or
*  USENET posts other than one's own
*  Engaging in harassment, whether through language, frequency, or size of
*  To report suspected abuse from an eFortress account, we provide an email
*  When reporting email or Usenet abuse, include a FULL copy of the
 message, including headers. This information is required in order for any
 action to be taken."

"When reporting other types of abuse, include details such as log files
the incident. eFortress must have documented proof of an incident. Send your
report in email to Since a number of reports might
pertain to
a single abuse incident, it is not always possible for eFortress to respond
to each
and every report."

Another provider that offers a home to one of alt.sailing.asa's most
infantile and impotent abusers has a similar policy posted on its main web

"Harassment will not be tolerated in any fashion. Harassment is defined as
any willful, malicious action against another subscriber, network
representative or Internet user. TerraNovaNet reserves the right to
determine whether a specific action or group of actions is harassment.
Offenders will be warned once, after which the offender's account will be
terminated and a public statement describing the activities will be made to
other providers. Please report any abuse of the Internet by TerraNovaNet
subscribers that you observe to"

2.4 Reporting Abuse

Do exactly as eFortress states in their abuse policy.  Submit the full
harassing message to the ISP along with a copy of the relevant section of
their abuse policy to remind them of their commitment.  Don't threaten,
simply ask that they enforce their own policy.

You may also want to keep an eye out for other offensive postings by the
same individual.  If other visitors to alt.sailing.asa have been singled
out for harassment, you should point them to this FAQ or copy these
instructions and forward them via email.

3.0 American Sailing Association (ASA)

3.1 ASA History and Purpose

The American Sailing Association (ASA) is an association of sailing
schools, charter companies, professional sailing instructors and sailors.
There are over 170 affiliated sailing schools located throughout the U.S.,
Canada and the Caribbean.  These accredited schools offer ASA certification
to individuals who meet the requirements for a given level.

The ASA was established with the goal of increasing sailing safety by
establishing standards for sailing education.  In nearly every other nation
where sailing is popular, there is some sort of organization overseeing
educational standards.  Until the ASA implemented its certification program
in 1983, there was no such unity in the U.S.  The program has been
extremely successful.

The ASA educational system has a strong heritage.  Rather than starting at
ground zero, the founders of the ASA studied the programs available in
other countries.  Eventually, the Canadian Yachting Association's (CYA)
"Learn to Cruise" program was selected and licensed by the ASA for use in
the U.S.  The system continues to be improved and expanded through the
valuable input of the ASA school network.  The ASA works closely with other
nations through the International Sailing Association (ISA) in an effort to
co-ordinate international standards.

The certification program has been immensely successful in the U.S.  There
is no other program like it.  By meeting established criteria, a sailing
school may offer ASA certification to students.  The most rigorous of the
requirements concerns the school's instructional staff.  Instructors must
be certified at Instructor Qualification Clinic (IQCs) conducted by
Instructor Evaluators.  The intensive, three day clinic measures the
instructor candidate's knowledge of sailing and seamanship, practical
sailing ability and teaching ability.  The ASA Instructor Training Program
is extremely demanding because of the importance the ASA places on the
professional instructor.  Over 3000 instructors have been qualified as ASA
Certified Instructors.  Only these instructors are empowered to teach to
the ASA system and certify their students.

All of this quality control is designed to ensure that a student can be
confident that he or she will receive quality instruction at any ASA
school.  The benefits of certification are immediately obvious.  The ASA
system has eight primary levels of student certification.  (see attached)
The newcomer begins at the ASA Basic Sailing Standard.  Once he or she has
passed the first course (requiring both a written exam and a practical
on-the-water exam) the student receives their first level of certification.
The certified student receives a seal for the personal Log Book as proof of

All standards have a written exam that tests the student at the appropriate
level.  All standards, except the two navigation levels, require a
practical on-the-water checkout too.  The ashore and afloat requirements
for each standard are outlined in the ASA Log Book.

All Basic Keelboat sailors since 1997 received certification for taking a
National Safe Boating Course as well as sailing certification.  ASA is the
only national program with on-the-water NASBLA approved sailing education.

The ASA system promotes continuing education.  There is always more for a
sailor to learn and the upper level standards provide a goal and a measure
of the sailor's ability.  ASA certification is recognized at over 170
sailing clubs and charter companies in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.
Many offer rental/charter discounts to sailors who are certified above the
Basic Coastal Cruising level.  The sailor's official ASA Log Book provides
proof of ability that can make charter check-outs easier and less
time-consuming.  The Bareboat Charter Standard is specifically designed for
this purpose.

For the experienced sailor, the ASA offers the opportunity to "challenge"
the system.  The individual must simply pass the written and the sailing
requirements of the desired standard with an instructor aboard. This
enables the experienced sailor to become certified without having to take a
full course at school.

The American Sailing Association has come a long way towards achieving its
goals.  By establishing national standards for sailing education we have
ensured that more people will be brought into the sport safely with the
proper training and respect for their responsibilities as boaters.  ASA
certification provides a meaningful measure of a sailor's ability and a
structure for the sailing industry.  Ultimately, it will be through this
sort of self-policing that sailing will keep the specter of mandatory
government licensing out of our sport.

3.2  ASA Contact Information

American Sailing Association
13922 Marquesas Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Phone (310) 822-7171
Fax (310) 822-4741

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