Latest News: Forums Racing How do we get club sailors to support their open meeting?

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  • #3753

    We have now had two well organised national circuit series meetings at Blackwater in May and Warsash last weekend.

    We had 20 boats on the water at Blackwater and 18 at Warsash.

    The only disappointing aspects of both meetings was the lack of home boats. Warsash had 17 visitors but only one home club sailor, and we all had to walk past 20 immaculate looking Wayfarers under their covers in the dinghy park in order to get to the changing room.

    I did get some feedback from Patrick Daly, Class Captain at Blackwater. He commented that a large proportion of home sailors are beginners and they were nervous about competing in a large fleet. I can understand this and one option that I have thought about for some time is to have a separate start for beginners one minute after the main start. People could self select which start they could go for, but we keep the feel of a big fleet.

    What do you think? Post your comments here.

    I have also noted that we don’t spread the trophies around very well in the Wayfarer fleet. Quentin walked off with all the silverware at Blackwater and Mike Mac did the same at Warsash.

    Should we have trophies for the first home club member? And/or gold, silver, bronze categories?

    #7045
    mudskipper
    Member

    In response to Steve’s thoughts earlier – personally I think that finding a way of introducing a few more opportunities for people to feel they might win something may encourage a few more boats out.

    I think to have split starts would not be ideal (even just in terms of the sanity of the race officers, who most of the time do a really good job). However, having a couple (or 3) of fleets within the fleet may be a way of livening things up. Not sure of the mechanics of this, but I remember some discussion about it at a previous open we were at, so someone out there probably knows exactly how to manage it.

    In terms of the distribution of silverware at the 2 opens you mention, I think both helm/crews sailed and won – so deserve the silver. I don’t think we should change things to take prizes away from people, but rather we need a way of adding a little more.

    Mudskipper

    #7046
    krgough
    Participant

    Hi,

    This’ll be controversial – 😉

    What puts me off is the pain in the neck of certificates. I know we all need to be safe and the racing needs to be fair but….

    I’ll give you an example – I was once told (by a measurer) that my rudder was illegal because it was rounded at the tip, not within 5mm of the tolerances or something like that – due either to shark bites or being dragged up the beach – take your pick) – but definitely not some kind of tweaking to increase speed. There was no way I was going to shell out a new rudder just to be race legal for opens – so that was the end of that.

    regards

    Keith

    #7047

    I think you can race one fleet with maybe a Gold, Silver and Bronze fleet within that fleet.
    At Waldringfield we have an ‘A’ Fleet and a ‘B’ Fleet and although we all race together, and all appear on the same results sheet, there is another result sheet for the ‘B’ fleet and so although you could be say 18th in the fleet you could also win the ‘B’ Fleet and we have trophies for Spring, Summer and Autumn Series.
    There is some complicated formula to work out who is ‘B’ Fleet, but it is very encouraging, especially the year that Matthew won all 3, well bitter-sweet cos that meant we had to be in the ‘A’ Fleet but even is the ‘B’ fleet is only 5 strong it is quite nice to know that you are the best of the rest, and just not part of the rest.
    The Lark Association have a very good System with Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets.

    #7048

    The Dart catamaran class has, or at least used to have, a system which enabled the scorer to calculate the theoretixal finishing position of each boat in a given fleet of boats. Prizes were given to the boat that did best compared to her expected place. It mean that throughout the fleet every place won or lost counted for something.

    I think I still have a copy if anyone is mathematically minded.

    Gordon

    #7051

    I’ll come off the fence and say that I am in favour of introducing a gold, silver and bronze fleet for the national circuit series (although I haven’t yet discussed this with my senior Racing Secretary colleague, Mike McKechnie).

    It will be a simple job, after the third race in the series at Waldringfield SC in August, for me to analyse the results on sailwave.com and produce a draft list of gold, silver and bronze competitors. This will give everyone in the fleet a target to aim for in the final two races in the series at Upper Thames and Bough Beech.

    Watch this space for further details (subject to Excomm approval)!

    Regards
    Steve

    Assistant Sailing Secretary

    #7052

    @kgough wrote:

    Hi,

    What puts me off is the pain in the neck of certificates. I know we all need to be safe and the racing needs to be fair but….

    Keith
    I’d like to reassure you that competitors were not required to produce certificates for inspection at Blackwater or Warsash. It was all done on trust and we were required to sign a declaration that we had an up to date certificate and buoyancy endorsement. This is normal practice at most clubs these days, and I know that this will be the case at Upper Thames and Bough Beech.

    I am not quite so sure about Waldringfield SC – they have a fearsome reputation when it comes to measurement issues! However, I am sure that we will receive a warm welcome there – I am looking forward to it.

    I can also reassure you that, after my discussions with Parkstone YC, we will have light touch scrutineering at the National Champs this year – not least because we would all rather be out sailing rather than hanging around in the dinghy park with tape measures. We also want our 50th Anniversary to a be a relaxed and enjoyable affair on and off the water. And definitely no controversies!

    Hope you can come, Keith. It’s not far from Southampton to Poole!

    #7055
    krgough
    Participant

    Hi Steve

    Thanks for your reply – I think it’s great that the committee are now more active on the forum.

    I suspect I’m in a minority here when it comes to certificates so I’m not going to push it 😉 but my point was that I don’t have any and there is a effort/cost issue which will probably prevent me ever getting them.

    I wonder how many clubs actually insist on certificates for handicap racing – mine doesn’t – but then the racing here is very relaxed – never any protesting for example.

    Anyway – I’m still trying to work out why my W won’t point well – my commodore thinks that my mast rake is too far forward so that’s this years job ….

    I won’t make it to Poole unfortunately – I remember Falmouth 2000, which was fantastic so I hope you get a good turnout.

    regards

    Keith

    #7060
    Dave8181
    Member

    The Wayfarer Nationals Notice of Race says that competitors must present a valid measurement certificate with a current buoyancy endorsement at registration. This documentation is checked at every Poole Week.

    The first Wayfarer I owned initially had no certificate. I found no major difficulty or costs involved in getting it measured apart from passing the buoyancy test, which was needed anyhow for the boat to be seaworthy. This is essential, as if buoyancy tank(s) fill with water the boat is not recoverable without outside assistance/rescue. This is obviously a hazard to the crew and ties up safety boats which need to be available to assist others.
    @kgough wrote:

    I was once told (by a measurer) that my rudder was illegal because it was rounded at the tip, not within 5mm of the tolerances or something like that – due either to shark bites or being dragged up the beach – take your pick) – but definitely not some kind of tweaking to increase speed. There was no way I was going to shell out a new rudder just to be race legal for opens – so that was the end of that.

    Repairs to foil shapes can easily be made e.g. by rebuilding the tip using filler, or glueing on a small piece of wood to replace what has worn away and sanding it to shape. It is quite possible to go racing on a limited budget. Usually measurement issues only require minor changes to be made that are not expensive. For the buoyancy test, once it has been passed initially, it should be possible to maintain it without too much difficulty. Admittedly it does help to be part of a club with a large Wayfarer fleet, with people who can assist with the easiest way to resolve any problems, however you can also ask for advice from class measurers.

    To get back to the original question about getting club sailors to support open meetings, in my opinion it is important not to stage events that may be too challenging for all but the most expert racers (I am thinking multiple races on the open sea). Hopefully the ‘estuary conditions’ Nationals at Poole Week with its round-the-harbour type courses will be more accessible. Secondly, running race training would increase racing numbers.

    Dave8181

    #7062
    Sea Lancer
    Member

    I recently went to the Southerns at Warsash. This was my first ever open meeting. I went for various reasons including pressure from my crew, relative proximity and to try to encourage entrants to come to the Poole Week/2008 Wayfarer Nationals. The majority of the regulars will be coming anyway but I hoped I might meet a few of the locals to travel the hour or so up the road to Poole. Unfortunately no locals turned out (1 boat on day 2)

    To those and others who are concerned about joining in I have to say that I had an excellent time. I consider myself to be a mediocre club sailor and thought I would be left behind, but there are other boats in a similar position to me, just starting or just happy to be involved in what is a great way to spend your time. I had racing, not chasing, on both days and although the top boys were in a different class, the fleet was still relatively close. I learned a tremendous amount on and off the water from a crowd who were only too happy to help. The social side was great with everyone joining in the BBQ on the Saturday evening and supporting the host club who looked after us extremely well.

    It would have been better with more local boats but it was good anyway. So I say give it a go, it’s just the same as club sailing but with other boats.

    I will be joining in again although costs for fuel and accomodation are an issue.

    See you all at the Nationals in August!

    Evenstar W3819

    #7066
    krgough
    Participant

    @Dave8181 wrote:

    Repairs to foil shapes can easily be made e.g. by rebuilding the tip using filler, or glueing on a small piece of wood to replace what has worn away and sanding it to shape.

    I know what you are saying but it all takes up valueable sailing time and it’s simply not necessary unless you want to attend an open, my point being that I already had a perfectly good rudder.

    Anyway – I’m hoping there will be an open at Warsash again next year, it’s close to me so I’ll have no excuses about travelling distance.

    PS – incidentally, did you have to pay the Hamble river entrance fee to take part in this – I heard that they charge entry fees into the river now even for dinghies.

    #7070

    @Dave8181 wrote:

    The Wayfarer Nationals Notice of Race says that competitors must present a valid measurement certificate with a current buoyancy endorsement at registration. This documentation is checked at every Poole Week.

    Dave8181

    Agreed. You will need (rightly) a valid measurement certificate to compete in the Nationals. Scrutineering is a different aspect, and by light touch, I mean that we won’t be lifting up Wayfarers on cranes to look at the angle of dangle of the centreboard!

    Steve

    #7071
    krgough
    Participant

    Hi Steve,

    You say “rightly”. By this do you mean – it’s the rules or actually that you believe it’s necessary in order to have a reasonable racing circuit. My guess is that you are saying you think it’s necessary – which may be true for reasonable open racing – it depends on the definition of reasonable.

    What I’m trying to say is that I know it’s the rules – but does anyone think it deters broad appeal? I suspect it does. Perhaps broad appeal and things like certification are exclusive and maybe this is “right” for open’s and national competitions because we want those to be competitive or fair or whatever.

    BTW – I also wonder if it’s simply inherent with the class of boat we sail and the fact that other classes are perceived to be a lot more “exciting”. So maybe a lot of the sort of people who want to race at opens nowadays are sailing other classes. I’ll say now that I think w’s are great and I can’t imagine owning anything else but… we have to face it there is a bit of an image thing going on. I definitely get a lot of “beard and pipe” comments from other sailing mates (every one of which has wiped the smile off their face when we’ve gone sailing over to the IOW in a breeze which would have sent them home half drowned and with a broken boat).

    regards

    Keith

    PS – I’m ducking out of this now before I loose too many friends

    #7079

    @kgough wrote:

    Hi Steve,

    You say “rightly”. By this do you mean – it’s the rules or actually that you believe it’s necessary in order to have a reasonable racing circuit.

    I think I mean that it’s ‘right’ that we tighten up attention to the rules for a national championship, but take a more relaxed approach to other open meetings, and to club sailing.

    Steve

    #7080
    Colin Parkstone
    Participant

    A relaxed approach maybe Steve but not a lapse approach !!

    We have rules that are in force at all times when racing which it turn means can be brought into force by any competitor via a protest.

    To me the responsibility of the class and its rules is to keep the racing fair
    to all its competitors,specialy the ones who take care to look after there boats within the rules.

    If the above views are to be encouraged and we are looking to involve more into the racing at all levels then we must also encourage people to bother with the rules and not hope that it will all go away because i am “Just entering for Fun “

    CP 😀

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