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  • #4336

    There was a good article in the recent Y&Y about developing classes. As an outsider looking in (but a member of UKWA all the same) it looks as though the National Circuit Series is very SE focused………maybe that is where the strength of the class is based, but it does make it almost impossible for those of us on the Celtic fringe to take part.

    Just some thoughts and observations (please dont shoot me down out of hand!)……….
    – The circuit does not include the UK Nationals, Irish Nationals or Scottish Nationals, events which I believe should be promoted as the pinnacle of the class in the regions!
    – Numbers at events appear to be reasonably low (under 20 boats at events), which seems low for Y&Y ‘class of the year’ with over 100 boats at an event last year, especially when events are held in clubs which have large fleets. Why not have a ‘ National Circuit’ which includes a number of the high profile events. Open events can then be promoted on a local basis by the clubs.
    – Are there too many circuit events? I only attended one this year and it was well worth the journey, but it would be too difficult for me to attend more
    – Should the format of events be looked at? At our club we tried short informal races one evening, I think we did 13 short windward – leewards in an evening and everyone seemed to really enjoy them
    – There are sailors in the Wayfarer class who sail other classes – do they have any ideas for developing the class?

    I know that the current committee, many of the regulars at events and the Hartley’s are looking at ways to promote and develop the class, and we should support them in doing this. If people have ideas, pass them on. If people think things are being done right or wrong, let the committee (or a member of the committee) know. The Wayfarer is a great boat to race, but I strongly believe that we need more people attending events and need to get ideas from people on how to do this. Lets get a discussion going and support the committee in building numbers, improving standards and increasing enjoyment. The Mk4 is a great boat to sail and as many people have commented, it does give good, close one deisgn racing.

    W 10686


    I feel strongly that national championships should be standalone events so that the crew that win it can describe themselves as the best crew in their country. The hierarchy in terms of status should be:

    1. Winner of the UK National Champs
    2. Winner of the National Circuit Series (counting discards)
    3. Winner of the Travellers Trophy (counting all National Circuit Events).

    The problem that we have had in the past is that there has been no coordination of National Championships – I seem to remember that a couple of years ago we had the Dutch, Scottish and maybe the Irish Champs all on one weekend in September.

    One option would be a new ‘Champion of Champions’ series counting the UK, Scottish, Irish, Danish, and Dutch Championships (yes, I know that Scotland is still part of the UK at the moment).


    Hi Steve,

    I agree that winning the Nationals should be the pinnacle – the winner is ‘The National Champion’ and should be seen as the best crew in the country, be the one to get an invite to the Endeavour Trophy etc etc. If people disagree with this, then they should make the effort to sail in the nationals the following year!!! And yes, there should be (and in my opinion is) a clear heirarchy of events. You are also right that there were three ‘nationals’ on the same weekend.

    I think there is an issue with attendance numbers at events but that the work of the Hartleys and the class committee will continue to change this percieved trend. Here in Ireland we have had varying numbers at our nationals in recent years, from 11 Irish boats this year, to 23 a few years back. Numbers at regional events have fallen. I dont know what the trend is for the circuit / travellers trophy / open events in GB, but it appears that numbers aren’t huge. I dont know if there is an answer and dont like stating facts without suggesting solutions. We are looking at various ideas at club and national level. We are lucky in that we regularly get 10 – 12 Wayfarers out club racing, but are still looking at ways of improving standards throughout the fleet in our club. Everything from informal lectures through the winter, tuning sessions, chat of 2-boat team racing, fun events etc etc.

    The idea of a Champion of Champions series is a new one, I dont know what the uptake would be – the cost implications would be huge. We could have a UKWA ‘Champion of Champions’ – best 2 results out of the UK, Irish and Scottish Nationals – it could well have the effect of boosting the Scottish and Irish Events, but obviously there would be some degree of co-ordination required. Would the Scots object to more boats attending their nationals? Any takers? It is certainly easier for some of the N Ireland based boats to get to Loch Lomond than it is to get to the S Coast of England, and likewise for Scots to travel to Ireland via Cairnryan / Stranraer.

    Are there any strong feelings regarding attendance at National Circuit Events? I have minimal experience of these events, but they appear to be great fun, well run, great experience, many of the top crews attend, all well worth the effort etc etc……..

    …………all my own personal opinions of course!


    Colin Parkstone

    My Euro worth, The opens and people in the Wayfarer class are great, fun weekends with like minded people who have kept me in the fleet for the longest time of any boat I have sailed.

    We are at the moment going through a big change in the class with the new boat and many people of long standing have not seen the boat in a good light as they perseive the boat to be the only one to have.

    With money being very tight to spend on new boats and the fuel to travel them, I have seen that they have moved on or kept at home this last couple of years, Id say, understandable!!

    The Champs at Weymouth was a one off and jolly good it was too but we have come back to land again and I feel we all need to maybe understand that its not going to be like that again for a while but it will not be for the want of trying.

    At our club we expect to see our 15th and maybe 16th new Hartley boat next season and it has already changed the class to much closer racing. We all have the same toys in our prams!!

    New people have joined the fleet with them and lots of us have changed to them. We are perceived as a new class to consider and take notice of with many good coments for the boat.
    I foresee that the boat at ours and many other clubs will steadly grow to be nearer to what it was with good home sailing being had by lots of people.

    This I am hoping will also filter down,or up to the Opens and Champs as people get used to the boat and want to challenge themselves a little bit more.

    Remember the type of boat the Wayfarer is, its not an out an out racing boat which you will have only bought for racing, it is so much more and so will spread itself wider than just the Racing side of life.

    I will say that I only race mine and its what I bought it for so I wish for the best racing the class can run and I can afford to do!! Hope to see you more next year and we will try to bring along more of ours to test the waters!



    @Trevor Fisher wrote:

    Hi Steve,
    We could have a UKWA ‘Champion of Champions’ – best 2 results out of the UK, Irish and Scottish Nationals

    At the risk of political controversy – could this be the “British Isles Championships Series”?



    Ireland is part of the UKWA – there is no ‘Irish Association’ as such, but an Irish branch of the UKWA, so I dont think ‘UKWA championship’ would cause controversy!

    Controversy and Ireland apparently go hand in hand anyway!



    Hello, everyone, as a recent owner of a MkII who doesn’t know too much about the racing scene. (I’ve never competed in a race, but intend to try it over the winter), from what I’ve read, it seems to me that the MKII was never considered to be the best boat to go racing in. But it is also the most numerous. Maybe to boost numbers, a new category for MkI GRP and MkII could be created, perhaps with or without spinnaker. The idea would be that those people who haven’t got the latest boat could compete both for a MKI/II championship and also compete within the main fleet for overall honours. This might get more sailors out to compete in something in which they feel they could be competitive. I know this would go against of the principle of “one-design” and the more established members such as yourselves would obviously be better placed than me to know the relative performance of each model and whether this suggestion would be fair to say, Plus”S'” owners, but it might help. Regards, Davdor

    Colin Parkstone

    Dave, the class runs a silver fleet at championships that seamed to work well at Weymouth if that would help!!


    Hi Dave,

    This year there was a prize for the best non-Hartley boat, I cant remember if it was won by a +S, Mark 2 or woodie! However, I think the class has always acknowledged that there are different types of boats racing and have provided silver and bronze fleet prizes.

    UKWA championships………I like the sound of that…… 2 results from the Irish, Scottish and UK Nationals to count………
    You could even weight the UK nationals as it will be the most competitive……………

    What about boosting numbers at events, or are people happy with the current level of interest, range of events and locations?
    There are no responses about this, so people must be happy with the current numbers!

    The Y&Y attendance table for national championships can be found here……
    Wayfarers are 64th………



    Rather than calling it a trophy for the first non Hartley boat, how about calling it the ‘vintage’ or ‘classic trophy’ for the first boat with a sail number under W10500? This would be in addition to the silver and bronze trophies, but gold fleet sailors could be banned from competing for it in order to rule out the small number of top helms who have not switched to the new boats.

    And, to introduce an element of controversy to keep this discussion thread going, how about reallocating the Duncannon Trophy for this purpose? This is the trophy for the first boat with a combined helm and crew age of 100+ which nobody really wants to win!


    Colin Parkstone

    Please dont get rid of the Duncannon trophy, with the right crew it will be the only cup for me to go for soon !!!!!

    If you realy do feel left out of the trophies I understand the changes, but having now got a new Mk4 i feel in some winds and also crew weight combinations it is not so fast and so the older shape will prevail.

    Try not to get too hung up on the new boat being the only one to have, lots of good boats around for a cheaper form of Wayfarer racing.
    Watch out for the ‘Them and Us’ thinking !!

    What is nice for us at Parkstone is that we are mostly sailing the same boat now and that is bringing us together more in the races !!

    As for the traveling to opens, I used to do lots of it but it costs a lot to do and we are not in a good place at the moment in this country. Low turnout maybe should be exspected but we could look to make a trip, value for money?

    I am glad that Ireland had a good time this year but I could not justify going for a short time with exspensive ferry costs, if it had been a longer week i may have been able to go!!

    But thats just me, others I am sure will see it differantly and that is the quandary for our masters!


    Thank you to Trevor for starting this thread off and also thanks to those who are contributing. There are some good points being made here and we on the UKWA Committee will have a discussion about it all this coming w/e for the UKWA Committee Meeting that is happening in Derby. As I arrange and travel to most of the Open Meetings on the national circuit I obviously have a view as well and I think that Colin (sensible head that he has on his shoulders!) is mostly right when he says that, in the current climate, the cost of travelling (time taken packing a boat up at the home club, extra fuel towing a boat, time away from family and work) is the predominant factor in relatively low numbers at Open Circuit events at the moment. Over the last three or four years I have tried to organize Opens at places that are either ‘at’ or ‘near’ to clubs with known established Wayfarer fleets. Sometimes this has worked and others not; sometimes the visitors to a club out-number the locals and other times it is the other way around. We have to remember that the Wayfarer, wonderful boat that it is, has a multi-faceted appeal to people. Some people buy it for cruising and the family and others for racing. We all know of clubs that have numerous boats in the dinghy park and only a small percentage make it onto the water each weekend. There are some clubs where I take an Open meeting to and only one local boat takes part in the weekend; at other clubs sometimes 10 local boats take part. It seems to depend on the ‘local’ enthusiasm and the local class captain as much as anything else. What I will continue to do is to try and organize events at places where I have a degree of confidence that they are going to work – because of local fleet numbers – and I will take on board the points and try and spread the meetings geographically. Next year, 2012, I have events fixed for Aldeburgh, Blackwater, Medway, Shoreham, but swing around the south to include Hayling Island and going west to Swansea and Tata Steel SC’s club in south Wales. Hopefully some of the strong Irish contingent might be able to make it via Fishguard to south Wales and also pick up some people from Devon and Cornwall. I, like Colin, think that, as the economic situation improves, people will migrate back to the Open circuit when they feel more confidence that the money that they have in their pocket might stay there and not be nicked by inflation and frozen salaries. Best wishes, Mike


    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for all of that. Do you have any idea where and when the nationals may be next year? I know it is a long way away, but it would be good to start planning and seeing if it is feasible to come across………….
    I know the idea of having the Nationals as part of a bigger regatta was discussed and most people at the Nationals this year were in favour of it. Abersoch Dinghy Week starts on the 21st July!

    Maybe the Nationals could be part of a UKWA CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES……….
    So, here’s a proposal 💡 :
    Irish, Scottish and UK Nationals, best two results to count, one discard allowed
    High scoring system, so if there are 40 boats in the UK Nationals, the winner gets 40 points, in the Scottish or Irish nationals with 15 boats, the winner would get 15 points. If you dont sail, you dont get any points. It would be more than likely that someone who did reasonably well in the UK nationals and sailed in either the irish or Scottish event would stand a good chance of winning. ‘So what is the point?’ I hear you ask……..well from a selfish point of view, it would dramatically increase the standard of racing at the smaller events, with top helms present and ideas shared around.
    UK Nationals are much more competitive but are weighted by virtue of the fact that the fleet is bigger. 😛

    ………Just an idea………would it encourage people to travel between the events? I don’t know.
    Does anyone have an idea of how many people will be for the Circuit Series this year i.e. will sail enough events to not count a DNC in their results?

    I am not so sure about a ‘Vintage Trophy’ if it was based on to many criteria – pre 1050, outside gold fleet, etc when there is already the potential of Bronze and Silver Fleets. If you look at the results of Weymouth, the Hartleys were spread throughout the fleet. But I usually sit on any fence that is around and will jump to one side eventually!



    With numbers sold I can understand the lasers, toppers and RS200 being at the top of the list for numbers attending the Nationals but the Wayfarer at 64th – that is disappointing.

    Is it just the boat or do the other classes do something else better than us? Can anyone who is involved in other classes Nationals comment

    The event at Weymouth shows what can be achieved – what went so right there – was it Richard Hartleys added involvment and sponsership or the Venue? The next Internationals will be across the Atlantic so it possibly won’t be as well attended as a European one. Is there one that alternates between countries called “The European Championship”.

    The best events that we have attended are ones where there is cheap local accomodation including camping and a good turnout. For us with lots of other commitments making it one of a weeks summer holiday’s that we blot out in the calender is better than the travelling and rushing around to compete in a weekend event. A weekend event would be more attractive if it was a long bank holiday weekend. Both Poole Wk and Falmouth Wk have been consistantly good. Both had a good social programme and Robin Barker was always good at marketing Falmouth!

    My understanding is that the Mk4 is selling well so there should be an increasingly large pool of possible participants both from the new boats and those sold on secondhand.

    Poole wk was so enjoyable at Parkstone and as Colin says the fleet is getting bigger. This may be a factor in discouraging travelling for a weekend event as its hard to justify the packing up and travelling etc for just an extra 3 races at another venue instead of the almost guaranteed good home club race.

    Cannot help but think a major part must be encouraging more to sail and race Wayfarers at club level. A suggestion is to video aspects of major events and get someone like Mike Mac or Ian Porter to do a debriefing of incidents and indiviuals after the race to demonstrate where we can all improve. That way coaching can be part of the competition instead of a separate event.

    I agree with Colin that the Mk 4 should not be a class on its own and I believe the Gold/Silver and Bronze fleets were a great idea so those less able or experienced (or a dog of a boat!) have a chance of winning a prize. As Colin states in the right conditions a Mk2 or Woody in the right hands will give a Mk 4 a run for its money. One good helm at our club won the last race in their Woody (against many Mk4s) even though it was already sold in preparation to buy a new Mk4! I suspect that a good helm in either v heavy winds or light winds could surprise a few Mk4s and the Mk 4 only comes into its own in marginal planning conditions. The Mk 4 is undeniably a better all round boat but regrettably I know that many good helms in a Woody or Mk2 +S will beat us in our Mk4 – but we will keep trying to improve!


    @Colin Parkstone wrote:

    Please dont get rid of the Duncannon trophy, with the right crew it will be the only cup for me to go for soon !!!!!

    OK you won’t hear me mention the Duncannon Tophy again (in any case I have avoided the risk of winning in the short term it by getting my son to crew for me – we won’t be eligible until 2021 god willing!)

    However I do think that we should pursue the idea of a vintage or classic trophy for the National Circuit Series (remember that we don’t have gold, silver and bronze categories for this series). And let’s make anyone with a pre-10500 boat eligible to win it.

    We will need to find someone to sponsor a new trophy if we are not going to recyle an existing one.


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