Well, my quick note a few days ago has certainly provoked some comment about electronics. I’ve nothing against progress – we were an early adopter of the MkIV (10508) while the “will it be approved or not?” debate was still raging. And certainly, if I was cruising or tuning or speed testing I’d certainly want the best electronics. When we had deep keel cruiser we had the lot. But this season will be the first in twenty-five years dinghy racing that we will be using a compass (one without tactical advice). Why? – it’s not for safety as we don’t race in fog and have safety cover. It’s simply because the racing’s getting closer and one or two of the closest have compasses. I don’t know whether the compass will help (I’ve always looked back at the wake when on the wind to see if there’s been a shift) it might distract and be a complete waste of money most of the time on our very tidal river. I bought it because there’s a faint chance it might help. And that’s the point – it probably won’t help but it might do, so I need to get one and that’s how expensive arms races start and that’s why I’m against electronics.
Far better, as someone else has said above, to keep the boat simple and concentrate on boat-handling, tactics, rules, river-craft, meteorology, team-work etc, etc. Increasing the standard of tuning of seats-of-the-pants is what we should be aiming for not moving the electronic office into the boat.
PS I don’t often look at the forum and those who do are probably a small minority of members – so how do UKWA find out what the majority of members really want?