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Sam.Spoons View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 20 at 10:07am
93 boats u the Topper Nationals 5.3 Gold fleet, plus another 120 in the silver, bronze and 4.2 fleets, thats 223 sailors serious enough to travel to Largs for the event.

Changing colour would involve purging the system in an injection moulding machine as the plastic has to be molten before it's injected so there is an additional cost in material and time which does not occur when producing several of the same colour. In a roto-moulding machine the granules are placed directly into the mould so two different colours could follow with no more than a clean (which I assume happens each time anyway).
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polc1410 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote polc1410 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 20 at 6:50am
At the "top end" (where most of the people are buying new) -

Do you want to be the only yellow hull or only blue hull in a fleet that is 90+% red?

Protest room;

"How sure are you it was sail number 123456 that was on port and not 153426?"

"He has a yellow hull"

Committee boat: "did you catch the sail number of the OCS boat to BFD?"

"It was the blue hull ending 789"

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A2Z View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote A2Z Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 20 at 7:15am
I hear that argument all the time and I find it bonkers.  Maybe in the Olympics, possibly.  Though with so few boats and so many cameras even that’s highly doubtful.  

But in a Topper, really? It’s a fun boat in what is meant to be a fun hobby. 100-200 race at national level and about 20-30 race “seriously”.  And what kind of lesson is that to kids - “stay anonymous and you may get away with things”?  
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tink View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tink Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 20 at 7:41am
Toppers have a 3 digit champ number on the sail so no one is hiding. A considerable number of kids get a lot of fun by sailing competitively
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Do Different View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Do Different Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 20 at 7:44am
Completely agree A2Z

I like racing but certainly not the attitude shown by some. 




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polc1410 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote polc1410 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 20 at 8:01am
I hear that argument all the time and I find it bonkers.  Maybe in the Olympics, possibly.  Though with so few boats and so many cameras even that’s highly doubtful.
I'd agree - much harder at the olympics to not be recognisable. Tons of Jury boats, TV, etc.


But in a Topper, really?
You've never been to a Topper Nationals Protest Hearing then!  Some of these guys will be future Olympic hopefuls. They are being trained at age ~12 to compete like olympians.

It’s a fun boat in what is meant to be a fun hobby.
Ah. You are considering sailing a hobby rather than a sport.

100-200 race at national level and about 20-30 race “seriously”.
There are 20-30 who might stand a chance of a win.  If thats the definition of seriously.  Further down the fleet there will remain 'serious' races.  Coming 50th might still mean getting a regional squad place.  Or it might simply mean beating your arch rival.

And what kind of lesson is that to kids - “stay anonymous and you may get away with things”? 
The trouble is... if all the others are staying anonymous - you might need to too.  Obviously the rules should be followed.   The Black Flag is probably the best time to not be identifiable; that may or may not mean cheating.  Lets say 10 boats are over on BF with 200 boat start.  If the OD can identify all 10, you are BFD. If he can't identify them all he will have to Gen Recall.  If he identifies some they will be BFD.  Not being identified isn't cheating, its the reality of a race.  

But lets be realistic.  Its those top 20 who are buying a brand new race topper.  Those then sell to the rest of the fleet over time.  So those 20 set the spec.

Also £50 extra for a sail and £50 extra for hull top sides.   So £100.  Those racers would rather spend that on something that makes the boat sail faster or protects the boat better.  Some of those guys will be buying new sails every year or two.  Those £50 extras add up.

Coloured sails fade quicker.  The beach clubs likely said not to do it.  The beach clubs wouldn't pay more for coloured hulls.
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A2Z View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote A2Z Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 20 at 8:10am
Originally posted by tink

Toppers have a 3 digit champ number on the sail so no one is hiding. A considerable number of kids get a lot of fun by sailing competitively
At the clew, so unlikely to be seen on a crowded line...
Of course kids enjoy competing, some may also enjoy the chance to personalise the boat - pride of ownership etc.
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A2Z View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote A2Z Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 20 at 8:34am
Originally posted by polc1410

You've never been to a Topper Nationals Protest Hearing then!  Some of these guys will be future Olympic hopefuls. They are being trained at age ~12 to compete like olympians.
No, but I have sat on a Topper Open Meeting protest committee where a protest was heard after a parent listening in (via radio) to race office comms decided to protest based on what they overheard...
Ah. You are considering sailing a hobby rather than a sport.
The sport of sailing is a hobby for the vast, vast majority (anyone not trying to make a living from it).  I was a Topper squaddie in the 90’s, there were dark blue, light blue, raspberry, red, grey and purple boats at the front of the fleet. Yellow ones always seemed slow...

 And even more sail colour combos - I always liked the blue, gold & red myself, or the pink, yellow & grey.


But lets be realistic.  Its those top 20 who are buying a brand new race topper.  Those then sell to the rest of the fleet over time.  So those 20 set the spec.


That might be the business model for a Finn or a 49er, but wasn’t, shouldn’t be and hopefully still isn’t the case for the Topper.  If only top end racers buy new Toppers the class is in trouble - there are many more potential buyers at the bottom of the pyramid or with no intention of racing at all.  In this I agree with GRF - it is shortsighted to think that elite money is somehow more valuable. 

 And if you have an older raspberry or pale blue hull the red/white/blue sail clashes horribly!  I’d happily pay £50 more to avoid that ;)
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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: 15 Aug 20 at 10:52am
Originally posted by A2Z

I hear that argument all the time and I find it bonkers.

And to my mind it's also highly morally dubious.

"I selected a boat the same as everyone else in the hopes that I could get away with 'accidentally' cheating at the start"


"A boat and her owner shall compete in compliance with recognized principles of sportsmanship and fair play"


If I'm over the line I deserve to get called by the RC. I'm not going to do anything to make their task more difficult.


Edited by JimC - 15 Aug 20 at 10:54am
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Do Different View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Do Different Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 20 at 9:17pm
I think we're seeing varying interpretations of sport.
Jim's and anything within the rules or you get away with.
I believe amateur sport is more healthy if it falls under that of Jim and professional sport isn't really sport at all, actually a money making front. 
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