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Post Options Post Options   Quote Oinks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Structure
    Posted: 07 Nov 19 at 11:24pm
Once upon a time classes were categorised by Olympic class, International, National...and all the rest. It seems we've lost that a long time ago. Just looking at the "Laser Club Edition" thread. It just seems we once had some sort of structure and now anything goes. I just wonder whether dinghy sailing as a competitive sport just needs to get back to something similar to that sort of structure. What might that structure be? I know its anathema to a "Dinghy Development" forum!
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ian.r.mcdonald View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ian.r.mcdonald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 19 at 7:01am
Not many clubs are still restricting the number of classes that can be raced. I remember thinking how old fashioned and out of date this type of restriction was but perhaps they were right.

Rather than working to support and ( within the rules) improve a class, the drive is to constantly add " new" classes. Anything not selling in sufficient numbers is ditched- not unreasonable in some cases but as this becomes the norm, the constant addition accelerates.

By changing from class racing to a group of assorted boats racing, the motivation to get out and race your fellow like minded sailors is reduced.
Access to the experience of others in particular boat is reduced.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 19 at 10:34am
Extreme case but if in the 60's every club had fleet racing only there would be no opportunity for new boats and we would still all be sailing Ents, GP, Solos and Merlins (other pre-'69 classes exist). So, no skiffs or 400s and, no Lasers  Clown

This was not the case though so the change was member driven, if a club doesn't offer racing for the class you own or want to sail you would change clubs, any club not offering what enough people wanted to sail would wither and die. Even in the '80s I was aware of a couple of clubs that only allowed certain classes (Hollingworth Lake SC and Pilkingtons IIRC, the latter sailing only Enterprises, the former Merlins, Solos, GPs plus a couple of others). Both now have handicap fleets.


Edited by Sam.Spoons - 08 Nov 19 at 10:41am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Noah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 19 at 10:46am
I think the structure is still there, but it has become a bit blurred by the proliferation of classes. World Sailing (ISAF as was) seem to have claimed the term 'World Championship' somehow so classes which are not recognised as international (Solo, Wayfarer) have to name their milti-national events something else. Solo : Nations Cup?  Wayfarer : Internationals?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ian.r.mcdonald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 19 at 10:47am
I can see the downside in restricting classes but if we had fixed at some point including the Laser we would also miss out on the diversity which reduces commitment to come and sail. And would have escaped from the horde of plastic moulded boats hiding in the nettles of most dinghy parks

The other issue is the " different rig" option boats. A smaller rig to get kids into the fleet is fine but having a range of rigs loses the advantage a lightweight or heavyweight used to have in extreme conditions. And the skills involved in adjusting the rig is not the important factor it used to be
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 19 at 10:49am
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

Extreme case but if in the 60's every club had fleet racing only there would be no opportunity for new boats


Perhaps a touch exaggerated. Even clubs with strict fleet only policies would drop and adopt classes from time to time. What's ironic is that there were many more new classes introduced back then than there are now.

Edited by JimC - 08 Nov 19 at 10:56am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ian.r.mcdonald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 19 at 10:51am
Originally posted by Noah

I think the structure is still there, but it has become a bit blurred by the proliferation of classes. World Sailing (ISAF as was) seem to have claimed the term 'World Championship' somehow so classes which are not recognised as international (Solo, Wayfarer) have to name their milti-national events something else. Solo : Nations Cup?  Wayfarer : Internationals?


And I believe that World Sailing has voted to have kite surfing in the Olympics? Clearly TV sales are more important that promoting sailing.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 19 at 10:57am
Originally posted by JimC

Perhaps a touch exaggerated. Even clubs with strict fleet only policies would drop and adopt classes from time to time. What's ironic is that there were many more new classes introduced back then than there are now.

Agreed Jim, but those new classes had to start developing in the handicap fleets at clubs which had them before becoming popular enough to be considered by fleet only clubs. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ian.r.mcdonald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 19 at 11:00am
Originally posted by JimC

Perhaps a touch exaggerated. Even clubs with strict fleet only policies would drop and adopt classes from time to time. What's ironic is that there were many more new classes introduced back then than there are now.


A regular review is sensible. It's the acceptance of all boats with no consideration that stops the creation of support groups within clubs and the motivation to get out and race. I would suggest that clubs promoting "suggested boats" whilst allowing most others is a reasonable compromise.

Edited by ian.r.mcdonald - 08 Nov 19 at 11:02am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote H2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 19 at 3:08pm
I suspect that clubs dictating what people sailed went out of fashion when the iron curtain came down and we moved away from calling each other "Comrade". Sometimes it does surprise me that sailing ever survived the boomers.
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