Latest News: Forums Racing Developing the class

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    Roughly when will the venue and dates of next years nationals be announced?
    My crew is starting a new job and needs to negotiate his holiday as a new boy to make sure he can get the time off.


    Sources close to the UKWA Racing Secretary confirm that the 2012 National Championships will be held at Medway Yacht Club on the 20, 21, and 22 July. See front page of the website.


    Some comments from a New Boy

    It seems to me its key to encourage participation regardless of Mark, experience or travel concerns

    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!

    As the buyer of the above boat (!), I have to say I feel that the sheer diversity of use and aesthetic within the single class is great, as is the general atmophere of wayfaring in all its forms. I wonder how many people there up and down the country who think they might want to get into racing, but want to cruise and do general family/friends sailing too. If you want bums on seats/boats at events then I’d imagine I’m the kind of person that needs to feel able to come (he says!). This way you bring new people into racing, get them learning.

    Thus, it would be a terrible thing to see a mark IV vs prior Mark split developing especially when so much angst and effort has been expended on making sure the IV is a wayfarer and that its fair and reasonable to compete with the previous versions. I do wonder reading this thread if there may be something of a “confounding variable” (as the statisticians say) with very keen experienced sailors buying the new version, thus giving the impression of “better”.

    If travel is a problem for people (it certainly will be something would/will pose a problem for me if I become interested in racing) then perhaps regional series within the overall series could be considered. Say for example you attended 2 out of 3 meetings within a region that those scores could be totted up to give regional results as well as being eligible for the national series? At least you get more people at the events that are easier for them to get to and they get something to show for it.

    it is a matter of bums on seats (and thwarts) to build that sense of enthusiasm and participation. As a newbie, my comment would be
    make it easy for people to participate in Something, and enable them to learn and share as much knowledge and enthusiasm with others when they do!




    As the buyer of the above boat (!),

    I do wonder reading this thread if there may be something of a “confounding variable” (as the statisticians say) with very keen experienced sailors buying the new version, thus giving the impression of “better”.


    Congratulations on your purchase – we have struggled against that boat for years even when the previous helm was some 70 yrs old and suffering from Parkinsons and still managed the occassional 1st.

    Regarding your second statement – it was always thus so!. before the Mk IV the woodie was always assumed to be superior and nearly all the best helms sought out a “good” woodie with a good pedigree. Unfortunately no one told Stuart Rix and he won the nationals one year in a Mk2 +S.

    If you are keen at doing well you will try harder, practice harder and buy what you perceive is the best equipment/boat. The results may be a lot better but many will always want to attribute it only to the boat.

    The Mk IV is great in that it creates a level playing field with no other boat percieved as being any better.

    With the mix of boats and helm/crew abilities I firmly believe that the Gold/Silver/Bronze fleets is the way to go to encourage everyone to have a go at racing. Race training for newbees and people that want to improve is usually arranged by the class as an added day to a weekend regional event.

    Many years ago we went to Grafham Water for a training weekend with Michael Mac that started us off but more importantly some of the couples we met that weekend have become our closest friends even if they have subsequently given up Wayfarer sailing.


    Unfortunately, I damaged my hand recently and,therefore, have had a little time (on my damaged hands) to browse the forum. Looking at the attendances to date at the 4 outings for the National Series, the max attendance at any event was 18 helms with an average attendance of the 4 events of 16 (18,15,16,15). Altogether 44 helm have participated in 1 or more of the 4 events yet the DNC is set at 79. Why?

    Only 1 helm has managed to attend all 4 events and only 4 have managed 3.

    Looking at the overall results sheet and being realistic, only 5 sailors currently have a chance to take overall honours at the 5th event in Bough Beech. This is possibly a discouragement to people to attend more events when they are penalised so severely for not attending one.

    By reducing a sailors DNC score at an event to 1 more than the actual no. of participants, (eg, In Royal Harwich, 18 participants, therefore DNC 19.) the score for the 6th placed helm would be 20 points, while 14th place would have 42 points. This puts far more people in overall contention despite missing 1 of the events and might encourage them to attend the other events despite missing one. As it stands, I think that perhaps the penalty is so severe for missing an event it might actually discourage participation in further events.

    I know that the current scoring system is in line with International practice, and that there are lots of reasons for non-participation in an individual event, and I’m not an active racer (so what do I know?) but would a modified scoring system encourage more participation at events? What do people think? Regards and sorry for the long post. Dave Doran.


    Most of the posts in thread are conflating the success / type of UKWA racing events with development of the class. Of course that is part of development, but UKWA racing affects only a tiny part of the membership. Far more club race and far more still cruise, potter or hardly use their boat after the first flush.

    We race partly because we enjoy it (we love it at club level but find it tedious at UKWA events and no longer go) but the main reason we race is social – it’s a social activity with like-minded people vying for the last piece of club fruit cake after racing in the midst of plenty of banter and war stories of the two-mile planing reach round the cans reach through waves.

    So, the development of the class is at the club level by attracting new members into the club events and getting inactive existing members to brush the cobwebs of their unused boats by attracting them socially. It’ probably also to do with a good supply of secondhand boats and class starts. I don’t think it has a lot to do with the flavour of national events.

    If UKWA spends any effort in class development, it should be in encouraging those who don’t go to national events (who are already the converted) and supporting clubs get critical mass of Ws to spin out as a class from the handicap fleets.

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