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Too Many Classes?

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JimC View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 Feb 14 at 10:54pm
Its often said that nowadays there are too many classes... I've been compiling some old Portsmouth Yardstick data, and since 1984 about 150 classes have dropped off the Portsmouth yardstick list. The number of dinghy keelboat and multihull classes on each years list since then has varied between low 90s and 140s, and at the moment its on the low side. That partly reflects policy of course, since the RYA has always received returns for more classes than it has published, because if the data isn't good enough to be useful they won't publish.

Only 32 classes have been in every PY list since 1984...

Incidentally I have just had sight of a 1964 list, and back then there were somthing like 180 classes listed, although admittedly a few of them were US classes and there were also quite a few of local one design keelboats, something you don't see so much of these days.

I was amused to see that the 1964 list includes a "Flying Moth", but with a PY a tad slower than a British Moth it probably didn't much resemble the flying Moths we have nowadays!

Edited by JimC - 22 Feb 14 at 11:18pm
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yellowwelly View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote yellowwelly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb 14 at 10:59pm
Do you have the total race numbers Jim? Interesting to see if the perceived decline is real and pro-rata, how many classes there were to number of participants compared to today?
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb 14 at 11:07pm
No, that level of detail in the data is long gone I think, even as far as it existed.

But you only have to look at old issues of Yachts and Yachting and the pages and pages of classifieds to see there was more activity back in the 80s than there is now, even with free boat advertising on the web I'm in not the slightest doubt the number of ads for second hand boats is way down.

What is amusing, looking at very old issues of Yachts and Yachting, is that the letters your fathers wrote weren't very different from the posts their sons make on the forums nowadays...

Edited by JimC - 22 Feb 14 at 11:10pm
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iitick View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iitick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 14 at 8:35am
1984 does not seem that long ago to me and I presume that the average club menagerie fleet would have looked much the same as now. We still have GP,s, Fireball's and Ent's.........Actually I am talking rubbish. Since 1984 we have had all those Ovington and RS classes....but the others are still there.

 Bearing in mind that at least two new classes will appear at the show what will drop off the list in compensation? There seem to be quite a lot of D 1's and 100's out there after a few years. There is probably a finite number of sailors so which existing classes are suffering and approaching extermination?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Blue One Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 14 at 9:09am
Originally posted by JimC

No, that level of detail in the data is long gone I think, even as far as it existed.

But you only have to look at old issues of Yachts and Yachting and the pages and pages of classifieds to see there was more activity back in the 80s than there is now, even with free boat advertising on the web I'm in not the slightest doubt the number of ads for second hand boats is way down.

What is amusing, looking at very old issues of Yachts and Yachting, is that the letters your fathers wrote weren't very different from the posts their sons make on the forums nowadays...

 
That's because they were moaning old farts then and we are moaning old farts now! LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Simon Lovesey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 14 at 10:03am
We saw 95 different classes in the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series,  another possible measure of  number of active classes

Top 20 :
1Laser
2Laser Radial
3Merlin Rocket
4Topper
5Solo
629er
7RS 400
8RS 200
9Fireball
10Musto Skiff
11International Moth
12Enterprise
13Flying 15
14RS Feva XL
15420
16Blaze
17RS 800
18Phantom
192000 / Laser 2000
20National 12
www.sailracer.org
Online Sailing Results, GPS Tracking & Event Management
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 14 at 10:13am
Be interesting to compare that with the numbers of races against each class in the new PY when it comes out.
Comparing the three figures readily available to us, races recorded in the PY table, entries in the SJ series and no of championship entries as precentages might be interesting.
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yellowwelly View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote yellowwelly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 14 at 10:19am
Agreed- back to your earlier point, it's no surprise that when the barriers to entry are so high with a pastime like sailing that the group-think gets handed down generation to generation without the (badly needed?) fresh blood providing some useful insight and rationalisation.
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 14 at 12:43pm
Originally posted by yellowwelly




Arggh, help, things are really black, the glass is going to be empty any time now.


You really need to back off on the old reckless optimism you know...

Edited by JimC - 23 Feb 14 at 12:46pm
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yellowwelly View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote yellowwelly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 14 at 1:27pm
Well a quick look at the handicap results table of my current club would leave anyone thinking the point of half empty was reached quite some time ago ;-)  

Fortunately the top of the 'big kettle' has been topped up by newbies in Lasers.... so much as my historic posting record might put me in the camp of 'hater', to use some hyperbolic internet nomenclature, there really isn't a great amount to dislike about the one class which is probably singlehandedly (no pun intended) stopping the entire operation, and certainly the viable racing programme, from totally imploding.  Even so, the complex requirements on race officership still causes the club some quite major resourcing issues. 

So back to the OP- too many classes?  Maybe, but maybe there's also a grass roots return to something approaching class racing, or at least different classes that can loosely be put into the same category.  Certainly the most talked about new launches on here, could seemingly, occupy the same space in the market- and certainly it would make sense to race them scratch together while both in their infancy... but we won't do that, it's not what our fathers would have done, nor their fathers before them.  One must die... there can be only one.... blah, blah...

Perhaps we should ask the women... they seem to be far better at getting group sporting leisure off the ground... just look at zumba, body pump, body combat, spin classes, netball leagues, women's football and rugby, roller derby....  all on the up and i don't think anyone cares whether you run in Nike or Reebok.  


Edited by yellowwelly - 23 Feb 14 at 1:31pm
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