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Old Timer View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08 Feb 19 at 2:27pm
much talked about but is it true?

Where there really less classes in the 60s and  70s?

Anyone got any actual data on the matter?
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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: 08 Feb 19 at 2:31pm
No there were more active classes. Of course we still have boats left from the classes that have faded from then, so there must be more designs around, but not actually active as classes. I think JimC has lots of data on it.
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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: 08 Feb 19 at 3:24pm
I make it 121 centreboard classes on the 1973 PY list, 84 on last years.
Basically its nonsense, there were far more classes back in the day. Go back to an early 60s list and there are classes you'd struggle to find photographs of, never mind an actual boat!

Edited by JimC - 08 Feb 19 at 3:25pm
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MikeBz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MikeBz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 19 at 4:12pm
I think there were a lot fewer types of boat racing back in 1973.  At my club we had class starts for Mirrors, Toys, GP14s, Hornets, BODs, FDs, and possibly Tornados.   I believe there was also a single handicap class which had a few odds & sods in it.  Nowadays we have about 5 different handicap classes, and that's it.  An extreme example but is that not generally the way things have gone?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Oinks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 19 at 6:40pm
Less classes now maybe, but many less active sailors is my guess.
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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: 08 Feb 19 at 6:49pm
Originally posted by MikeBz

At my club we had class starts for Mirrors, Toys, GP14s, Hornets, BODs, FDs, and possibly Tornados.†

But the next club down the coast probably had Herons, Solos, Enterprises, Fireballs and 505s...
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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: 08 Feb 19 at 7:22pm
As I think I may have said before, the question that interests me is why fleet racing is so unpopular. It seems fairly easy to start the nucleus of a fleet, and charismatic individuals can build quite a substantial fleet up with an awful lot of hard work. But if they move or lose enthusiasm it rapidly falls apart and it will be back to ones and twos again. If people really valued fleet racing for their normal weekend's sailing then it would be the opposite - it would be hard to build a nucleus of a new fleet, but once it was there it would snowball.

Again, too, in areas where there are a lot of clubs close together then club A would build a fleet of one class, club B of another, as it used to be in the days when the fleets were encouraged or mandated, and there was no handicap racing.

It seems clear that when you look at what people actually do, as opposed to what they say, that they value the club over the class, and would much rather be one of 2 boats at their preferred club than one of 20 boats at another one.

Of course there are people who think differently, but they're the minority on the open circuit.

This is, incidentally, why I really dislike the summer sailing challenge thing. Even at the biggest of the major winter handicap races you rarely get enough boats of most classes to deliver a reasonable single class race within a race. And even if you do boat on boat class tactics is a way to the back of the overall places. So if this thing takes off it will inevitably take some of the keen sailors from class events, which means there will be no fleet racing for anyone anywhere.

Edited by JimC - 08 Feb 19 at 7:24pm
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Daniel Holman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Daniel Holman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 19 at 8:47pm
All good points, Jim.
I think that boat choice is an intensely personal thing, to which very little cold hard pragmatic reasoning is generally applied. It is very quixotic.
Club choice maybe to a lesser degree.
I think you are right, people may prefer fleet racing to py all other things being equal, but because people are lazy creatures of habit that prefer not to leave comfort zones, especially in the way that they consume luxury goods (sailing dinghies) that class (or rather, boat) then club trumps fleet racing.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Peaky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 19 at 8:59pm
I think itís because many/most people arenít actually that into racing. If you get into class racing you have to accept that you will only win if you put the effort in - fit enough to out hike the opposition, boat kept in tip top condition, new sails, perfected tuning, well chosen crew to be the right size etc. That takes more time on the water than most can manage. On the other hand, do some club based handicap racing and the PY may cover a multitude of sins on any given day, and youíll likely still get some boat on boat action for that little frisson of excitement.
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Daniel Holman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Daniel Holman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 19 at 9:48pm
Hehheh good job we arenít salesmen hey?
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