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Sprint 15 Class Association at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show

by David Groom on 8 Mar 2016 5-6 March 2016
Sprint 15s at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show © David Groom

The Sprint 15 Class Association was recently described as being head and shoulders above most classes in promoting itself. This was very obvious at the recent Dinghy Show which the Association attended as part of the combined Catamaran Island organised by the United Kingdom Catamaran Racing Association. The stand included representatives from almost all catamaran fleets with the exception of the Dart 18's who were doing their own thing elsewhere as part of their 40th Anniversary celebrations.

All feedback was that the combined stand was a great success that it is hoped will be followed up in future years particularly if a higher profile location can be agreed.

The centre piece of the Sprint 15 part of the stand was a superb looking brand spanking new never got wet Boat that demonstrated the high quality of product now available from Windsport at a price that compares well to many of the other dinghies available for sale on the day. Also apparent was the significant interest in used Sprints as evidenced by the take up of the for sale lists taken off the Association website available on the day. The main message to those interested in buying second hand was do not dither as boats that are both competitive and amazing value for money sell very fast.

Also evident on the stand were examples of the top quality publicity and promotion materials the Association produces notably copies of the excellent bi-annual magazine, the one off show magazine, copies of boat tests, banners to be displayed at Open Meetings and Training sessions and large flags for competitors to display on individual boats whilst attending events. This means that the presence of the 15 fleet was not only evident on the day but will be evident at venues all over the country throughout the year by far more than the sheer number of boats that attend. Further promotional activities will include stickers and press releases before during and after events together with active advice on Sprint sailing and encouragement to try one out by the newly invigorated fleet captains and area representatives.

All of the above will build on the unique position the Sprint has in the sailing world due to its numbers and sheer flexibility together with the structured training and support from beginner to expert provided by the Class Association in association with it's primary sponsors Windsport. Talking of sponsorship arrangements are underway to ensure additional partnerships particularly at the two main Nationals event those being for single sailed non trapeze mode and twin sail and trapeze sports mode. These events are to be held respectively at North Devon Yacht Club over the weekend of the 10th to the 12th June and Pwllheli over the 31st August to the 2nd September which will include the infamous go kart competition.

The strength and popularity of the fleet is evident from many indicators including the number of people who visited the stand and the double digit number of newbies to the Sprint fleet who signed up for a trial sail during the show. The Class Association is building on this interest both by promoting the fleet to non cat sailors and those cat sailors who have not yet gravitated to the Sprint 15 and by providing what it's Members want. This process will intensify over the next couple of years in the run up to the forthcoming 40th Anniversary Year which will be a season not to be missed with possible events in France and Cornwall.

With all the interest in the Americas Cup and other major international catamaran events, the re-introduction of catamarans to the Olympics and the hype around foiling catamaran multihulls are on the up and up. For full details of what an admittedly more traditional catamaran fleet is up to you are referred to the excellent and constantly updated website, and the Association Facebook Page.

If you have had enough of tippy falling over monohulls or struggle to find a crew contact the Association and find out what you are missing out on.

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