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stonefish View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote stonefish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 19 at 10:50pm
Originally posted by iGRF

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

This was me two years ago, 41 years old never been in a dinghy before but decided that I wanted to have a go at a fresh sport with a competitive option, living very near to Chichester harbour dinghy sailing seemed ideal.

I was nervous about getting into it, like you say there was no real clear pathway for an adult, I looked around a lot of clubs and almost decided to give up before I even started as there really was nothing much on offer for someone like me wanting to start from scratch.

I visited Dell Quay SC and I have to say it was the club that made a massive difference in me deciding to go for it and stick it out. They offered BOB (Blokes on Boats) social sailing, an introduction to racing course, they had a guest from the RYA come in and give a good overview of the rules, I attended workshops on assistant race officer and race officer training.  The regular guys racing were a huge help, they offered to go out during the week and practice race in small groups or one to one, practice starts, boat tuning etc.. The club runs beginner races for those that haven't won races before. Social media plays an important part in advertising the club, keeping member up to date and arranging stuff informally between like minded members.

I now race as often as I can and I love it, one of the best decisions ever.  If you want to get adults into sailing who have never sailed before forget the formal RYA level 1/2 etc etc courses at the beginning and get the existing club members to meet prospective members. Find out what they want, tailor some informal courses, make it as easy as possible to join and participate. The atmosphere makes a huge difference, friendly, helpful, competitive but not in an overly serious way leave that for class racing and open meetings. Clubs and their members need to change and become more flexible if they want to attract more racers which ultimately benefits those already racing.


Edited by stonefish - 11 Feb 19 at 11:01pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 19 at 12:56am
Brilliant  Thumbs Up exactly how it should be (and much as it was back in the day). I think many clubs try to do exactly that and, while not all are as successful as Dell Quay obviously are, if they can attract the newcomers in the first place I suspect they will do their best to encourage them. Dinghy sailors are a friendly bunch, mostly.

And welcome to the wonderful world of sailing #stonefish  Big smile
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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: 12 Feb 19 at 9:29am
Originally posted by iGRF

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.

Very, very true IMHO. Arguably what stopped boat sailing from suffering the same dramatic crash as windsurfing is the resistance from club sailors, clubs and classes. Windsurfing lacked the same structure of strong clubs and independent class associations, and also attracted more early adopters - who will by definition soon go off and adopt something else.

The "lower echelons of the Laserati" approach seems to be working better than any other approach I know of, as far as attracting new adults. The numbers seem to show it, and from an anecdotal point of view my little club has tripled its fleet in about 18 months by concentrating on Lasers. It used to basically be a Laser, a Byte C1 style mini Laser, a Tasar, and two different cats. Now we get up to nine or ten Lasers, two or three cats and a Tasar. The Laser offers a cheap, simple and tough introduction and we get plenty of close and fun racing.

Perhaps one of the real gaps is a dead simple two-person Laser type. Much as I love the Tasar, it's more of a sophisticated machine and not as easy for beginners. I s'pose the 200 comes closest.

To continue the windsurfer analogy, now that just about every brand has realised they went down a blind alley when they only promoted high performance kit and ended up creating "technological overshoot", many of them have banded together to promote the new version of the original Windsurfer, the Windsurfer LT. In considerably less than a year 800 have been sold, orders are pouring in for the northern hemisphere summer, there are events with over 100 starters, and the manufacturers are building a fourth mould to keep up with demand.

Just as windsurfing was the first part of sailing to go down the blind alley of technological overshoot, it could be the first part of the sport to realise its error and return to promoting the simple, accessible, cheap part of the sport as the main course, with the occasional side plate of spicy high speed stuff for those who like it.


Edited by Chris 249 - 12 Feb 19 at 9:30am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 19 at 3:25pm
Originally posted by Chris 249

Just as windsurfing was the first part of sailing to go down the blind alley of technological overshoot, it could be the first part of the sport to realise its error and return to promoting the simple, accessible, cheap part of the sport as the main course, with the occasional side plate of spicy high speed stuff for those who like it.

I think the manufacturers were there some years ago by and large. Of the former big 3 only RS still sell a performance boat. A big challenge, perhaps, is to stop existing sailors mocking the entry level boats and making their purchasers feel excluded before they start.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Do Different Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 19 at 7:59pm
Spot on Jim. There's some right sorry cases out there too ready to make themselves feel big by scorning a newcomer's pride n joy. 
edited for precision 20.48.


Edited by Do Different - 12 Feb 19 at 8:48pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 19 at 9:15pm
There have been loads of attempts to create a 2 person Laser. I guess the Laser 2, aptly, was the most successful for a long time, but suffered more than anything else when the asymmetric revolution kicked in. How much of that was Laser itself killing the boat?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Old Timer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 19 at 10:07pm
Is the Tasar dumped that heavy wing rotating mast for a carbon pole it would be perfect. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 19 at 12:06am
The Laser had four sail controls, one sail, and no trap. The Laser II had about 12 controls, three sails, and a trap, and was aimed at experienced teens and young adults. The Tasar was designed as more of a high-tech machine, in terms of construction and rig and hull design. Both the Tasar and the Laser II were also aimed more at strong wind performance than the Laser. As Ian Bruce (who loved the boat, as do I) said that meant that when they took it to Toronto, for example, the huge Albacore fleet found that in a typical twilight race the much-hyped Tasar was no faster than the Albacore. And as a long-term and passionate owner and former class captain, I found it's not as easy to put beginners in a Tasar as in a Laser.

The two-person Laser I was dreaming about would have had no spinnaker, no trap, and very minimalist jib sheet adjustment. It would have been, like the Laser, aimed at short tacking in light winds as well as blast reaching which is where the Laser II excelled, or brisk breezes where the Tasar is a delight. Perhaps it would have been more like a lighter, simple, newer round bilged Ent.

Ian Bruce told me that he was very frustrated that the corporate managers who ran Laser killed off the Tasar after, IIRC, the cash crisis caused by the development of the delightful Laser 28 because he reckoned the Tasar had a great future, but in significant ways it was a very different boat to the Laser.

 


Edited by Chris 249 - 13 Feb 19 at 2:09am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jeffers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 19 at 9:04am
Originally posted by Chris 249


The two-person Laser I was dreaming about would have had no spinnaker, no trap, and very minimalist jib sheet adjustment. It would have been, like the Laser, aimed at short tacking in light winds as well as blast reaching which is where the Laser II excelled, or brisk breezes where the Tasar is a delight. Perhaps it would have been more like a lighter, simple, newer round bilged Ent.
 

The closest I have sailed to that was the Icon. Sadly now fading into obscurity but was a simple boat to rig, easy enough to handle on shore and a very spritely performance for a 2 sailed boat. The only bit of complication was the dangly pole for the jib but most people would be able to work that out fairly quickly.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 19 at 9:27am
Maybe the Laser found a gap in the market that simply wasn't there in the 2 sail double handed market, which in the UK at least, and I suspect in other European countries too, was amply supplied with successful designs.

As for Laser 2s, most that I sailed were 2 sail, 3 string team racing boats. And awful they were...
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