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Arresting the Decline and Fall of our Sport.

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eric_c View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eric_c Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 19 at 8:06am
Originally posted by tink

...
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.


Oppie racing same time every Sunday with no respect for tide times would be an odd form of child abuse in Solent tides.
People who live locally seem to find a way for their kids to learn to sail, but Oppies are mostly only seen at HW or at places like Emsworth's Mill Pond.
My sometimes Crew's kids started their helming at about 5 in a Sigma 33, not racing I hasten to add.
Toppers and Picos and Fevas etc are more practical for sailing against the tide.

It's the sea, you have to put up with tides and weather. Hence we tend to wind down a bit in Winter or head inland or up harbour.
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sargesail View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sargesail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 19 at 8:10am
Tink, you probably didnít find the gem that Is Thorney Idland Sailing Club when you were looking. A good programme of short course and other races, with full integration where possible of all sailors, and On The Water sessions that my two love: messing around in Picos and getting very wet just brilliant.

But it is Ďwhere possibleí. You canít integrate an Optimist into the longer races due to the effect that tide has on VMG. The environment is also pretty harsh....wind against tide it cuts up rough....capsized Opis pin down patrol boats more than most craft because of the need to standby while they bail.

You can get integrated sailing further up harbour at Dell Quay for example....but itís a limited tidal window.

So I share your disappointment but I donít blame the clubs....itís environmental. Youíre lucky to have Burghfield tho.

So I
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Post Options Post Options   Quote H2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 19 at 8:31am
Originally posted by eric_c

Originally posted by tink

...
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.


Oppie racing same time every Sunday with no respect for tide times would be an odd form of child abuse in Solent tides.
People who live locally seem to find a way for their kids to learn to sail, but Oppies are mostly only seen at HW or at places like Emsworth's Mill Pond.
My sometimes Crew's kids started their helming at about 5 in a Sigma 33, not racing I hasten to add.
Toppers and Picos and Fevas etc are more practical for sailing against the tide.

It's the sea, you have to put up with tides and weather. Hence we tend to wind down a bit in Winter or head inland or up harbour.

I also try and live no more than 20 to 30 minutes drive from the club (which is why I sail on a small pond in the Cotswolds) but at some point will have to move to South Coast with work. I went looking for clubs that have 20 boats out racing on a Sunday through the Summer and found surprisingly few, like count them on a few fingers. What club do you use Eric?
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Gordon 1430 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Gordon 1430 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 19 at 9:06am
At Lee our biggest fleets are on a Tuesday Evening but we have all states of tide slip so start races 14.30 on Saturdays all summer until the hour changes. Tuesday nights early and late are 18.45 and 19.00 for the balance.
We don't have Oppies as they would spend more time bailing than racing in the chop and launching and recovery could be a challenge. I would love to see more juniors progress to want to join in and race but it does not seem to be part of our trainings aims.
If you have a 400 or Aero we have fleet racing and both General and Asymmetric handicap, (the general is mostly single handers) 
For next year we will have a brand new club house with fantastic Solent views
We locally is 4 clubs within 10 minutes drive from Hillhead to Stokes Bay which dilutes the numbers, but compound space is at a premium.
Tink we would love to see you and your daughter when she has grown into a Topper/ Aero 5
Gordon
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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: 14 Nov 19 at 9:44am
Let's change the title and direction of this thread

" How we are growing and improving dinghy racing and club sailing"

Far better on a wet and miserable day!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 19 at 9:57am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fleaberto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 19 at 12:22pm
Originally posted by ian.r.mcdonald

Let's change the title and direction of this thread

" How we are growing and improving dinghy racing and club sailing"


At one of my clubs we did this by getting rid of racing. Yep, we removed racing from the agenda.

Firstly we noticed that, actually, it was only a small percentage of our members that actually wanted to race - yet the vast majority of our club focus was spent on this.
I bet if you were to look at membership Vs Racing participation many clubs would find this same correlation too.

Secondly we then noticed that racing numbers started to dwindle due to some particularly 'shouty' sailors that thought that they were on Olympic courses with Gold medals at stake. That's certainly not what this club is about.

Now, once numbers started to dwindle into single figure turnouts (at a very picturesque and relaxing Inland club) these uber-competitive people (who always seemed to get out of doing duties) were obviously winning everything - which they enjoyed despite the, by now, lack of competition...with others thinking "Well, Dave wins everything so there's no point"

Meanwhile, our Junior sailing and adult training was on an opposite trajectory - 40 kids on a Saturday morning, 10 Adults enjoying training / sailing on a Saturday afternoon and whole families starting to enjoy the club all day long.

Our racing was on Sundays and, despite single figure turnouts, seemed to be where the focus still went..... until someone that could see the obvious decided to say: "Well this is a bit crap don't you think?" and made some changes.
These changes weren't massively popular with the shouty ones that remained and it was these that drove away the more 'recreational' racers and - more importantly - the kids from racing. 

We decided that making these efforts in terms of duties etc it was just too much work to cater to the three boats that might turnout - so we canned racing.

In turn, this saw the shouty types leave (Obviously in massive huffs commenting on how this would destroy the club......)

Now? Well, over the last two years we've been running very gentle racing on Saturday afternoons - no 'series' no 'champions' (apart from one big race of which *cough* I won this year LOL) and what do you think has happened?

Racing has seen a nice takeup to where we're seeing double-figure handicap fleets, newbies are going out and buying old bangers to have a go with - and, thus, investing in sailing and the club.
Membership is on the up - particularly amongst adults and families as people chat to their friends about Sailing and the club itself - with most people willing to pitch in with helping out in some capacity or another.

We have huge turnouts to randomly organised social events and even clean-up days see more than we need.

In short, ditching 'Racing' has been the best thing for this club in years.

Now, we see people using the racing as an extension of their day's sailing and, every month, our training team brings all of the kids and novice adults into the fleet as well - and it's a right laugh!
We don't discourage anyone - if you want to have a go then come on down. Junior/Trainee/Novice/Expert all are welcome - but just don't be a dick!

All of this has come from changing the short-sighted focus that 'Racing' is what makes a club. 
Maybe for some it is, but for us it wasn't and as soon as we recognised and acknowledged that, we set on a path to move this focus to bringing people into sailing and, importantly, retaining them.

We now have kids that started at 7yrs old undertaking AI, DI and even SI training. Some have been out for seasons at the beach clubs, some have been out to the U.S at Summer Camps teaching sailing.......all from making "Lets just go sailing" the focus of our club.

We're now thriving again, have a lovely social, inclusive atmosphere and can now have some great racing without the fear of a couple of Jobby-heads ruining things for everyone.

I'm not saying that this is the way to go for every club - but a bit of self analysis did us the world of good and allowed us to discover what it actually was / is that people want from our club.


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Brass View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 19 at 12:36pm
Originally posted by sargesail

[QUOTE=Brass]
But if youíve got your 20? Do you still have to keep growing?

If you're not growing you're dying?
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eric_c View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eric_c Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 19 at 1:03pm
Originally posted by Brass

If you're not growing you're dying?


Or maybe 'mature'.
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sargesail View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sargesail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 19 at 1:06pm
Originally posted by Brass


Originally posted by sargesail

[QUOTE=Brass]But if youíve got your 20? Do you still have to keep growing?

If you're not growing you're dying?


Not necessarily....yes you need input to sustain against fall out.....but if youíve got your 20 and it sustains then youíre definitely living as far as Iím concerned.
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