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Rupert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 19 at 9:05am
Does anyone actually have racing participation numbers over all aspects of dinghies, so club class racing, class opens, club handicap and open handicap, for now and "back in the golden age"?

I'm very willing to believe that numbers are down, but has it been a slow drip or catastrophic episodes?
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Chris 249 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 19 at 10:20am
Oooohhhh, that makes it sound as if you expect those who desire to run the sport should actually study it so they can know what's really happening. Certainly I've been looking for something like that information, anywhere in the world, and have never found it. Germany's ranking lists would be the closest and I assume that's not what you are looking for.

My gut feeling from tracing nationals attendance numbers is that there are periods of relative statis followed by periods of decline, but the problem is that the data is so messy that it's hard to be sure.

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sargesail View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sargesail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 19 at 2:37pm
Originally posted by Rupert

Does anyone actually have racing participation numbers over all aspects of dinghies, so club class racing, class opens, club handicap and open handicap, for now and "back in the golden age"?

I'm very willing to believe that numbers are down, but has it been a slow drip or catastrophic episodes?


So I’ve challenged those who make the claim but they’re never willing to show any leg...
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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: 10 Feb 19 at 4:20pm
Nationals turnouts are way down except for the youth classes. Numbers of boats built are also way down. Those are the only numbers that are reasonably available.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RS400atC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 19 at 11:10am
"The 60s and 70s" is a very big and varied period of time from which people can cherry-pick data to support whatever their opinion might be.
Society changed a lot during those two decades, as did dinghy sailing.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 19 at 1:14pm
The problem as far as I saw it, was that during the nineties dinghy sailing caught the windsurfing disease which started with what we then called dedicated slalom boards, it then followed an ever increasing trend to the margins of wave and high wind sailing. Dinghies headed in the direction of ever increasing performance and elitism in boats that could only really be enjoyed by experts. This all happened long before I came along and did my bit to moan and highlight it. I'm testament to exactly what's wrong, it's taken me now, over ten years to become a middle of the road club sailor with occasional moments in the sun. Heaven help anyone coming from a world with no experience of sailing, what happens to them? For the most part those I've witnessed endure the lower echelon of the laserati. Is there a pathway for fresh adults who've made the decision to sail? Can't say I've noticed one, I guess some clubs do their bit, but there doesn't appear to be any hard and fast formula, best we do is push the boat out and attract some leisure cruisey types, very difficult to get them racing. Racers come only from the squad fallout and maybe returnees, all steeped in the way it was/is. So society may have changed but dinghy sailing hasn't in any way that would attract those necessary new adults in my view.

Edited by iGRF - 11 Feb 19 at 1:17pm
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Chris 249 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 19 at 7:47pm
Originally posted by RS400atC

"The 60s and 70s" is a very big and varied period of time from which people can cherry-pick data to support whatever their opinion might be.
Society changed a lot during those two decades, as did dinghy sailing.

Perhaps, but as far as I can recall no one I have ever encountered has ever been able to "cherry pick" any data that shows that dinghy sailing is stronger these days. On the other hand, there's heaps of data to show that the sport is declining.

I got sick of presenting data on SA because if you give lots of data, they accuse you of writing too much. If you present selected data, they accuse you of cherry picking and then cherry pick themselves. What they NEVER (IIRC) is actually show ANY data that backs up the claims that, for instance, there is significant growth in high performance dinghy sailing.

There's data here  (https://sailcraftblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/pat-1-36-boomtime/ ) from the '60s, especially lower down. Compare the number of boats built at that time with current World Sailing class reports and the picture is bleak.

Y&Y's invaluable nationals table goes back to the '70s, although my records have huge holes. They show a clear and very large drop in attendance. 

In fact the problem isn't cherry picking - it's that in many aspects of discussion about trends in dinghy sailing, one side has lots of evidence and the other side has none at all but will not admit it.




Edited by Chris 249 - 11 Feb 19 at 8:05pm
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Chris 249 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 19 at 8:00pm
Originally posted by sargesail

Originally posted by Rupert

Does anyone actually have racing participation numbers over all aspects of dinghies, so club class racing, class opens, club handicap and open handicap, for now and "back in the golden age"?

I'm very willing to believe that numbers are down, but has it been a slow drip or catastrophic episodes?


So I’ve challenged those who make the claim but they’re never willing to show any leg...

Here's a portion of a database that includes a LOT of "leg", in terms of legwork like going to maritime museums and flicking through page after page of championship reports.

https://sailcraftblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/11557/

https://sailcraftblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/so-where-is-the-sport-today/

Those are fairly short term trends but the database goes back to the '60s. It's messy data but shows clear trends. The reason I haven't bothered to clean it up and put it out there is that people who present NO data will nit-pick anyone who has spent many, many, many hours obtaining data. 


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Post Options Post Options   Quote DiscoBall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 19 at 10:22pm
Originally posted by Chris 249

In fact the problem isn't cherry picking - it's that in many aspects of discussion about trends in dinghy sailing, one side has lots of evidence and the other side has none at all but will not admit it.


A quote from an article on cycling advocacy - "bringing facts to a culture war is like bringing a spoon to a knife fight"  Smile

If facts really held much sway then we'd long ago have started doing something about climate change and the 'war on terror' would be the 'war on sitting on your backside shoving doritos in your gob'.  Wink 

I'm not really convinced that even if our wonderful governing authorities had the will, they'd really be know what direction to go (though the Y&Y/RYA seminars are at least a start to the discussion). I seems that sports become popular from grassroots, then once you get governing bodies, elite paid athletes and oodles of paperwork, things are on a downward slide...
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DiscoBall View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DiscoBall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 19 at 10:26pm
Originally posted by iGRF

So society may have changed but dinghy sailing hasn't in any way that would attract those necessary new adults in my view.


And - scarily - I agree with GRF... Shocked
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