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Arresting the Decline and Fall of our Sport.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 19 at 6:46am
Originally posted by davidyacht

Presumably the people organising the Oppies also like to go racing?

You would think, but many Oppie parents donít sail or are very infrequent sailors. Clearly there are exemptions but I would say less than half are keen sailors, and obviously they are sailing less. 

The RYA is moving more to regions but I think more community based around clubs has to be better. The RYAs focus is clearly Olympic medals and thatís good but like everything it is all about balance. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 19 at 6:33am
Presumably the people organising the Oppies also like to go racing?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 19 at 5:58am
Originally posted by eric_c


Originally posted by tink

...
Recently moved from up North to within 40 mins to an hour from the south coast - the dinghy racing on offer was poor at best, some at ridiculous times and I couldnít find any where I could race at the same time as my daughter. Luckily we are close to a good inland club
I don't know where on the South Coast† you can't find any decent racing?
Obviously, it's the sea,some places are tidal.
My old club mostly races at high tide, you get used to racing at different times each week, it allows you to slot other activities around sailing, and every week is not the same rut.
Some venues are not great for younger kids, that's true.
There are so many clubs on the South Coast that many are a bit 'village'.
You have to pick a club where the ethos matches what you want.
Some only dabble in dinghy sailing in between yacht cruising or racing.
The remark 'luckily we are close to a good inland club' seems quite bizarre to me, I moved to the coast to go sailing 30-odd years ago and wouldn't consider moving house without serious investigation of the clubs in the area. The traffic in the South is such that I don't want to be driving more than 20 minutes to go sailing, and that doesn't get you far.

At my Northern club there was racing all day Sunday with up to four races. Some races had different fleets with the later ones on the day all together. All the racing was very inclusive including kids, novices and national champions. It meant that I could sail and my daughter was sailing her optimist at the same time. I could not find a club on the coast between Hayling and Lymington that offered this. The kids sailing is separate from the adult sailing. As a family for us both to sail require me to commit twice the amount of time to sailing.

It appears to me that this way of organising things contributes to the decline. Once they are competent the youth and junior should be sailing with the adults.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eric_c Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 19 at 4:49am
Originally posted by tink

...

Recently moved from up North to within 40 mins to an hour from the south coast - the dinghy racing on offer was poor at best, some at ridiculous times and I couldnít find any where I could race at the same time as my daughter. Luckily we are close to a good inland club


I don't know where on the South Coast  you can't find any decent racing?
Obviously, it's the sea,some places are tidal.
My old club mostly races at high tide, you get used to racing at different times each week, it allows you to slot other activities around sailing, and every week is not the same rut.
Some venues are not great for younger kids, that's true.

There are so many clubs on the South Coast that many are a bit 'village'.
You have to pick a club where the ethos matches what you want.
Some only dabble in dinghy sailing in between yacht cruising or racing.

The remark 'luckily we are close to a good inland club' seems quite bizarre to me, I moved to the coast to go sailing 30-odd years ago and wouldn't consider moving house without serious investigation of the clubs in the area. The traffic in the South is such that I don't want to be driving more than 20 minutes to go sailing, and that doesn't get you far.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 19 at 9:21pm
Originally posted by davidyacht

Depends on the water; I think that two people are expected in a rescue boat these days (frankly if there is only one I will politely ask them to go away if I need rescuing).  

At school the rescue boat was an unmanned rowing boat, and one of us had to sail in to use it!

I am happy to run a Wednesday evening race on my own.  However this is quite demanding, especially if times need to be recorded and therefore onerous for the inexperienced RO, in fact two in the box allows new people to be trained up.  I have done Wednesday evening races in the past with no RO where the first finisher scribbles the times down of the other finishers.

It is also known for us to email around after a period of blown off races, and race unofficially in our harbour with rabbit starts and little rescue cover , nominating random marks and restarting when the fleet has settled into an order ... actually good fun.  So I guess that you donít need anyone if you are happy to sail at your own risk.

The problem with safety cover is it needs to be in place before the day and therefore by default manned for the worst conditions and the biggest fleet. A normally light wind, shifty lake will have far more capsizes when if is F4 than a coastal club in a F4. As your light wind lake sailors donít need to generally be as fit they will struggle when capsized. I recently rescued 3 such people who simply couldnít get back in their boats.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 19 at 9:06pm
Originally posted by KazRob

I think speaking anecdotally, weekend sailing at clubs is struggling everywhere due to the pattern of modern family life. Mid week evening sailing however seems to be where itís at. I always wonder whether Sunday mornings would work better than weekend afternoons? Lots of other sports like running, local football seem to do well getting a morning session in and then leaving the rest of the day free for other things. Obviously not all clubs can do this due to tides, but again perhaps worth a try if weekend sailing is waning where you are

Our Wednesday night well attended considering generally poor wind, Sunday morning popular but much poorer in afternoon. We have  professional catering and a lonnnng lunch and I think this effects the afternoon racers - best wind is always over lunch. Old club no catering, four races on a Sunday, attendance for the last one dropped off if it was blowing a bit. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 19 at 8:59pm
Originally posted by H2

Originally posted by eric_c

Maybe mass participation is not the only or best measure of success?
Maybe it doesn't matter if only half as many people go sailing compared to 10 years ago, so long as those that do go sailing get affordable quality sport?

I've lived at a few places on the coast, and TBH I'm bored of hearing about the disaster of not every nasty little lake in the hinterland being able to support a drifting club.
Face the facts, it isn't 1965 any more, when every DIY chap wanted to build a plywood boat and learn to sail. Stop comparing now with then and think about what the 200k (total guess) people who actually want to sail, actually want. We don't need to convert everyone, we're not a church or a politcal party.

I have a work colleague who shoots pistols seriously competitively. In that sport, they keep themselves to themselves, don't ask for handouts, don't seek to drag half the public in, they just get on with it. Off their own bat. Likewise people in amateur motorcycle sport.
Some of these people also realise the world don't end at Dover...


I was really surprised when I looked at the results pages of some famous coastal sailing clubs to find that the weekend club racing is very poorly attended with a handful of boats showing up to race. I just assumed that places like Hayling, Itchenor, Netley etc would have loads of boats out each weekend. The little pond I race at still has over 20 boats out racing at this time of year on a Sunday - I struggled to find too many clubs who achieve that even in the Summer!

Recently moved from up North to within 40 mins to an hour from the south coast - the dinghy racing on offer was poor at best, some at ridiculous times and I couldnít find any where I could race at the same time as my daughter. Luckily we are close to a good inland club
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Post Options Post Options   Quote A2Z Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 19 at 11:18am
We have 9 people on duty on a Sunday (Officer of the Day + 2 assistants, Race Officer + 1 assistant, 2 RIBs with helm and crew each). On a Weds evening we donít have an OOD (or assistants) but we have an extra helper with the RO, so 7 to run the racing. I always thought this was too many, but with 3 or 4 fleets to start, 25 Laser numbers to record and 50 handicap times to take it isnít easy even with three running the race!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ian.r.mcdonald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 19 at 10:43am
There are two types of person involved in club racing.

The involved group, willing to drop out from racing if windy to support rescue. And happy to volunteer 4 times a year to keep it all going.

The "takers" group, who just turn up and race ( and winge if all is not 100%). And to be fair the beginners who hopefully will move to the other group once trained. Support racing under protest.

Group 1 is diminishing and I dont have any ideas how best to move group 2 into helping!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Nov 19 at 10:34am
Depends on the water; I think that two people are expected in a rescue boat these days (frankly if there is only one I will politely ask them to go away if I need rescuing).  

At school the rescue boat was an unmanned rowing boat, and one of us had to sail in to use it!

I am happy to run a Wednesday evening race on my own.  However this is quite demanding, especially if times need to be recorded and therefore onerous for the inexperienced RO, in fact two in the box allows new people to be trained up.  I have done Wednesday evening races in the past with no RO where the first finisher scribbles the times down of the other finishers.

It is also known for us to email around after a period of blown off races, and race unofficially in our harbour with rabbit starts and little rescue cover , nominating random marks and restarting when the fleet has settled into an order ... actually good fun.  So I guess that you donít need anyone if you are happy to sail at your own risk.
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