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getafix View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote getafix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 19 at 2:46pm
Ha Ha, this thread..... and still they search for the answer in the weeds, while rehearsing all the same old tired "my class is better than your class" arguments from days of old.

Class 'proliferation' is progress.  Choice is good.  Being individual and liking what you like is OK.

Having dozens of sunday league teams, hundreds of bike manufacturers and genres and loads of different public and private golf courses and equipment manufacturers hasn't hurt participation in those sports.

The answer might be in asking the customer and prospective customers what they want and actually listening to what they say.... then acting on it.... rather than assuming the current industry and practitioners know best and newbies should do what we think and say to do.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 19 at 3:07pm
I don't subscribe to the "my class is better than your class", but I am a dyed in the wool one-design fleet racer.

To be fair to them, I think RS have got a pretty good grip on what sailors want.  Interestingly they also focus on developong one design racing fleets.

IMO the major change in the last 20 years is the blurring of the lines between "competitive" and "non-competitive" sailing and how this is best managed.  There used to be lots of lakes where the sailing club was a quite separate operation to th (often council run) sailing centre.

I am not sure that this is about the make and model of the boat, but how a club adapts to accomodate both interest groups, and hopefully feed off each other.

I would go further and suggest that Clubs need to embrace other watersports to move forward; people dip in and out of lots of different sports these days and one would hope that there could be a symbiotic relationship that allows for lifetime participation by members, even if they are not sailing for all of that time.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DiscoBall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 19 at 3:11pm
Originally posted by JimC

Got to disagree with you there. My experience of rule changes in development classes (and I still have the mental scars) is that they are very often driven by a faction within the class.

Not necessarily even a faction - just those who sit on the committee. Often they are the keenest people, who live their lives around that class/club/sport which results in being in a bit of an echo chamber.

While they often have the best intentions, they can end up taking decisions that aren't in the best interests of the wider group of participants (or potential participants).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 19 at 3:32pm
Originally posted by DiscoBall

Originally posted by JimC

Got to disagree with you there. My experience of rule changes in development classes (and I still have the mental scars) is that they are very often driven by a faction within the class.

Not necessarily even a faction - just those who sit on the committee. Often they are the keenest people, who live their lives around that class/club/sport which results in being in a bit of an echo chamber.

While they often have the best intentions, they can end up taking decisions that aren't in the best interests of the wider group of participants (or potential participants).
And AGMs are typically held at National Championships by the sea ...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DiscoBall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 19 at 4:00pm
Originally posted by davidyacht

And AGMs are typically held at National Championships by the sea ...

Indeed.

So winged rudders worth more than most class member's entire boats seem like a good idea...  Cry


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Post Options Post Options   Quote H2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 19 at 4:08pm
I was delighted that at our class AGM last year (held at the Nationals and by the sea) that we voted to reduce complexity by limiting the class to one sail maker and one cut of sail!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 19 at 4:27pm
Interestingly the RYA’s National Class scheme was originally introduced to protect classes from moments of madness by a classes copyright holders or its members
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DiscoBall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 19 at 4:56pm
Originally posted by getafix

Class 'proliferation' is progress.  Choice is good.  Being individual and liking what you like is OK.

Having dozens of sunday league teams, hundreds of bike manufacturers and genres and loads of different public and private golf courses and equipment manufacturers hasn't hurt participation in those sports.

When you look at the competitive parts of other kit sports like cycling or canoeing you essentially have a very small number of restricted/development 'classes'. The limitations of human muscle power probably also reduce the options and temptation for excessive technical development.  Certainly in canoeing you get blank looks if you ask about the technicalities of the boats, but most paddlers can talk at length about their chosen training regimes...and that with K1 rules that make the moth rules look complex.

I think class proliferation in a shrinking market probably is a bad thing. My impression is that, despite RS's undoubted commercial success, the real result of the regular new classes (particular the 'me too' ones where Topper/Laser/RS all launched pretty similar designs) has been to break the sport into ever smaller chunks.





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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 19 at 6:26pm
Surely proliferation is good if a boat brings something to the party and excites people enough to raise their level of participation, all of the OEMs have at sometime produced product that has achieved this spectacularly; the Laser 1, Topper, RS200, RS400, Aero ... I would add the 29er and 49er ... the common denominator of all these products are the identification of gaps in the market, and excellent engineering.

The same companies, in some cases under different management have also produced a lot of dross, resulting in sailors getting stuck in a cul-de-sac, I suspect in these cases this has been more of a distraction from moving the sport forward rather than a disaster, since few of these boats gained sufficient traction to take way from the main event.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Riv Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Feb 19 at 8:26pm
A quick look at Apollo Duck tonight gives the following available, I have removed the Keel boats and Cats as well as ones I know are not active, like the TOY

Laser 2000,3000, 4000, 29er, 49er, 420, 470, 505, Albacore, Alto, B14, Blaze, Cadet, Cherub, Comet, Contender, D one, D zero, Enterprise, Europe, Finn, Fireball, Firefly, GP14, 
Graduate, Gull, Heron, Hornet, Int 14, Int Moth, Int Canoe, Iso, Kestrel, Lark, Laser 4.7, Laser Radial, Laser Standard, Vortex, Sunfish, EPS, Vago, Laser 2 Merlin Rocket, Miracle, Mirror, Musto Skiff, N12, OK, Optimist, Phantom, Redwing, RS 100, 200,300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800 Feva, Tera, Vareo, Quba, Scorpion, Solo, Solution, Streaker, Supernova, Topper, Topper Buzz, Wanderer, Waszp, Wayfarer.

There are over 70 in this list. They are the ones people are currently buying and selling, some may have no class associations such as the Laser 2 but many people seem to sail them.

If you add Cats then there are about 10 types and there are 3 types of keelboats mentioned.

This means there are about 80 types of small sailing boat regularly traded and presumably used in the UK and I'm sure it maybe closer to 90 if I did the survey at other times of the year.

Is this a proliferation or symptom of growth over 100+ years.

If you did the same thing in say, Germany, how many would you get?



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