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iGRF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 19 at 10:52am
Originally posted by stonefish



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.


Well what a refreshing tale this is to read, thanks for posting, Congratulations on finding a great club, wouldn't it be great if their formula could be replicated across the country, with a little ad campaign for them to use in local newpapers to attract adult newcomers.. Wouldn't it be great if there were a joined up marketing initiative between the RYA and the Dinghy business backing such an effort.. Wouldn't it be great if we had someone at said governing body who even thought like this?


Edited by iGRF - 13 Feb 19 at 10:53am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DiscoBall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 19 at 12:54pm
Originally posted by stonefish

  
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.

Great post. So true of starting out in any new sport, let alone one as complicated and obscure as sailing - it doesn't take much of a bad experience or being ignored at a club to make you decide to go and spend your time and money elsewhere. I think too many clubs have a 'sink or swim'attitude to newcomers.

Originally posted by jeffers

The only bit of complication was the dangly pole for the jib but most people would be able to work that out fairly quickly.


I think the dangly pole is far superior to a conventional one. For the newbie crews I've taken out in the Tasar the pole qualifies as 'most hated item'  LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PeterG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 19 at 2:01pm
One of my main reasons for fitting a dangly jib pole was that I frequently sail with relatively inexperienced crews. It took a little time to get properly set up, but now it is it's far easier and quicker for a new crew to use, and there's no chance of one fumbling and dropping it over the side (which happened in the past more than once). And as a bonus if I go out alone I can still boom the jib.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jeffers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 19 at 3:59pm
Originally posted by DiscoBall



Originally posted by jeffers

The only bit of complication was the dangly pole for the jib but most people would be able to work that out fairly quickly.


I think the dangly pole is far superior to a conventional one. For the newbie crews I've taken out in the Tasar the pole qualifies as 'most hated item'  LOL

I agree, the complication being remembering to uncleat the pole at tack time as you used it on all points of sail in the Icon aside from upwind.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cirrus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 19 at 4:45pm
the complication being remembering to uncleat the pole at tack time as you used it on all points of sail in the Icon aside from upwind.

Not quite true .. You could use it upwind to adjust the back of the sail but this should have only ever been 'slight' and the boat could be easily tacked without  'dumping' it... ie as automatic as could be - set and forget.  Offwind they are fully adjustable to get just whatever angle / tension you want on the jib - and all you needed to do in a gybe was to release a single downhaul line  ... and pull it back on on the other side .. the pole automatically setting to the new side was a feature.  Much much simpler in most ways than a 'regular' jib stick and if explained to a newbie in advance almost foolproof... Pretty much standard practice now on Ents', N12's, Albacores and most other 2 sail racers .. and Icon.  I'm certain it could have been applied on the Tasar but they always seemed  determined to set the class rules in 70's style mixed concrete - so I guess it just won't happen any time soon.  Very low cost, very simple and better.   Pity.  Smile ....

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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 19 at 4:50pm
Guess it would make a nonsense of the aerodymically efficient rotating rig
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Old Timer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 19 at 7:25pm
Originally posted by jeffers

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.

The Icon early death is a shame but the chopping and changing of builder and not having a big backer didn't help it off the launch pad ... 

Very hard for an small builder to establish a new class these days.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cirrus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 19 at 7:32pm
Guess it would make a nonsense of the aerodymically efficient rotating rig

You might be right ... but maybe not.  If you have not used this system however the advantages and application may not be that obvious.    When I raced Tasars a couple of decades ago a few crews did use the standard jib stick 'off' the opposing jib sheet some of the time allowing them a degree of control in a similar manner to the 'dangly' system.  It worked very well in part but what a faff compared to the fully developed and tested dangly alternatives today !!   When Icon went through development the first rigs were (larger) NS14 rotating ones.  The dangly system worked very well with them but the overall (rotating) rig itself was not as good or as flexible across the wind range in use as hoped - hence the switch to a modest diameter but fixed non-rotating carbon stick.  Bethwaite I think suggested at one point he would have gone for a slim carbon stick himself if they had made sense for the Taser in the 70's.



Edited by Cirrus - 13 Feb 19 at 7:32pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 19 at 4:48am
Yes, right up till the end of his life (about three weeks before, if I recall correctly) Frank was advocating a switch to a carbon pole mast. The sticking points were (1) the class had fairly recently gone through some other significant changes (2) the new mast was spreaderless and therefore no one could be satisfied that it could be adjusted for crews of different weights.

One of those who raised the adjustment issue most strongly was a top-class international sailmaker who has been involved in leading edge sailcloth development, which is yet another indication that any inference that people want the rules "stuck in concrete" because they are against development or change per se is incorrect. Most people in most places around the world like their class rules to remain largely unchanged - look at the top classes in the USA, Australia, Germany etc and even in the UK to a large extent. We don't want to break classes apart, make boats uncompetitive, or exclude the owners who cannot afford the upgrade. We don't care if our one design race finishes 30 seconds earlier because we've all spend thousands improving our speed - if we want speed we'd get cats, foilers or kites. The push for this sort of change normally seems to come from people outside a class or in the industry - funny how easy it is to spend someone else's money or make someone else's boat obsolete!





Edited by Chris 249 - 14 Feb 19 at 4:57am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 19 at 5:08am
Originally posted by JimC

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.

Whoops, my earlier answer got lost.

Yes, most of the big boat manufacturers realised the issue - the fact that RS, J/boats etc listen to their customers instead of the hype seems to be a key to their success. But much of the rest of the sport - many national authorities, World Sailing, most of the sailing media, many sailors, etc - seem to still be committed to the "make it extreme and they will come" mindset. They do silly things like keep dinghies out of the Youth Olympics in favour of kites, proposing an Olympics where kites, skiffs and foilers dominate, and as you mention, mocking entry level boats. I get the feeling (and of course it could well be wrong) that in windsurfing some of the manufacturers may be leading the way against that sort of thinking in a more explicit fashion.


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