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NicolaJayne View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote NicolaJayne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 22 at 11:20pm
Originally posted by fab100

This is an interesting discussion and I've so far only been lurking, with not much to add until now.

I absolutely agree the great-god television is a bane in so many ways. 

But so far, I think we've missed a major barrier to entry; when it comes to club racing, particularly in dinghies, we've all got too good in a hugely skill's-based sport. (even you TT)

Look at the photos from back in the 'heyday'  - the clothing was crap, the sails were often awful (much of any Mirror fleet with the lowest-bidder Jeckells sails) and the majority were bumbling around, not flat, not trimmed, rig not tuned and with no idea what a wind shift or bend was.

A beginner therefore had company. 

It's not like that anymore. Our club's Cadet and Tera fleets get more formal training in a season than an Olympian used to over a campaign, back when it was every amateur (or even "amateur") for himself.

Sails are better, boats are better, clothing's better and some of us have had decades of practice getting better. Anyone starting from scratch, aged over 25 (say) is really going to struggle.

Jumping on a bike, or a paddleboard does not require dinghy racing's diverse skill and knowledge sets in the same way. Ours being the ultimate sport is truly both a blessing and a curse.

We can be as inclusive as Scandinavian convention on woke-ness, but in being inclusive we should surely recognise that it's a damn steep learning curve for anyone and everyone that starts from scratch.

Annoyingly, I don't have a magic bullet for this (not even my book is the universal panacea, dammit). Even when we baby-boomers shuffle off, too many have passed the knowledge to the offspring. Perhaps the answer is a pitch simply that sailing is the ultimate sport, for life, and you need to get (your kids) in on the secret. And get Jo Rowling to shift her focus Arthur Ransome-wards.


Rowling  aside from her  views on Sex andgedner  really  isn;t all that good a writer and some other  problemativc views  with regard to  faith, race  and slavery ... 

the  'we've all got too good'  comment is an interesting  one. 

I haven't actively  sailed for a good few years  but even wheni was actively sailing  were  were into that  phase of things even if  not to extent it has been in more recent years . 

 i currently  engage in  another skill based and marginally  equipment based activty ( equipment based   particuarly as a woman )  and that is  ballet  

10 years ago adult  recreational ballet  really wasn;t a thing , there was the odd 'mum's class'  around the various  dance schools  aimed at  children and young people and if you lived in  that London and had  danced as  youngster there were open classes  at pineapple  and danceworks ... 

then something changed   and   we  started to see more and more  'adult  receational ballet classes'  and over that past 10 years  we've reached  a point  where it;s a whole business  sector  of it;s own  within dance ( leaving aside 'silver swans' and the like  which has also comefrom nowhere)  and  there are  an awful lot of  of adult  recreational dancers who are now  dancing at level equivalent to the pre professional  students  or  the  standard of ballet  required by the 'triple threat'  / musicla theatre professional ...    but look at what  it;s  hapening i nthe typicla 'Intermediate '  or @Advanced  ballet class  today for  recreational dancers and compare it to what the  actual apid pros were doing in the 50s and 60s  ... 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ChrisI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 22 at 1:01pm
Originally posted by fab100

This is an interesting discussion and I've so far only been lurking, with not much to add until now.
I absolutely agree the great-god television is a bane in so many ways.
But so far, I think we've missed a major barrier to entry; when it comes to club racing, particularly in dinghies, we've all got too good in a hugely skill's-based sport. (even you TT)
Look at the photos from back in the 'heyday' - the clothing was crap, the sails were often awful (much of any Mirror fleet with the lowest-bidder Jeckells sails) and the majority were bumbling around, not flat, not trimmed, rig not tuned and with no idea what a wind shift or bend was.
A beginner therefore had company.
It's not like that anymore. Our club's Cadet and Tera fleets get more formal training in a season than an Olympian used to over a campaign, back when it was every amateur (or even "amateur") for himself.
Sails are better, boats are better, clothing's better and some of us have had decades of practice getting better. Anyone starting from scratch, aged over 25 (say) is really going to struggle.
Jumping on a bike, or a paddleboard does not require dinghy racing's diverse skill and knowledge sets in the same way. Ours being the ultimate sport is truly both a blessing and a curse.
We can be as inclusive as Scandinavian convention on woke-ness, but in being inclusive we should surely recognise that it's a damn steep learning curve for anyone and everyone that starts from scratch.
Annoyingly, I don't have a magic bullet for this (not even my book is the universal panacea, dammit). Even when we baby-boomers shuffle off, too many have passed the knowledge to the offspring. Perhaps the answer is a pitch simply that sailing is the ultimate sport, for life, and you need to get (your kids) in on the secret. And get Jo Rowling to shift her focus Arthur Ransome-wards.



Think this is a really important point and totally correct.... sailing takes huge time on the water to get really good and to race well, although not too long to learn basics.
Our club has many more signing up for our 'General Sailing' day every weekend (most of whom have done their RYA !&2) rather than for the other day which is 'Racing'.
We are trying to intro a fun racing element on this day (short course 'wacky racing') but I think this is the step that has to be solved in order to grow the sport generally (i.e. the problem is not the numbers doing our 1&2 courses which are choc-a-bloc full).
To be controversial.....is 'not making people pay' for this bit (unlike the 1&2 courses at our club), and therefore not being able to pay for qualified help to make sure it always gets managed and supervised well, the possible problem with this step?
Like most clubs we are always debating what volunteers 'should' do and what we will pay people to do....which is the commercial sailing centre vs voluntary club issue in a nutshell.


Edited by ChrisI - 19 May 22 at 1:02pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eric_c Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 22 at 2:28pm
Originally posted by ChrisI

Originally posted by fab100

.....


Think this is a really important point and totally correct.... sailing takes huge time on the water to get really good and to race well, although not too long to learn basics.
Our club has many more signing up for our 'General Sailing' day every weekend (most of whom have done their RYA !&2) rather than for the other day which is 'Racing'.
We are trying to intro a fun racing element on this day (short course 'wacky racing') but I think this is the step that has to be solved in order to grow the sport generally (i.e. the problem is not the numbers doing our 1&2 courses which are choc-a-bloc full).
To be controversial.....is 'not making people pay' for this bit (unlike the 1&2 courses at our club), and therefore not being able to pay for qualified help to make sure it always gets managed and supervised well, the possible problem with this step?
Like most clubs we are always debating what volunteers 'should' do and what we will pay people to do....which is the commercial sailing centre vs voluntary club issue in a nutshell.


But in other sports, people don't turn up as beginners and expect to compete with the top people. When I was younger, people bought old boats as beginners and competed among the other beginners (and a few experienced, un competitive people with old boats). Do people buy racing bikes and expect to be at the front of their local club after a month or two?



I think you raise a good point about paying to improve, coaching is very valauble at club level, more could be done to provide this, although I think it will be much easier to do on a class basis. There arecoaches, and there are plenty of punters who could benefit, there seems to be a gap in making it happen except in a few classes.
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fab100 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fab100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 22 at 2:52pm
Originally posted by eric_c

Originally posted by ChrisI

Originally posted by fab100

.....


Think this is a really important point and totally correct.... sailing takes huge time on the water to get really good and to race well, although not too long to learn basics.
Our club has many more signing up for our 'General Sailing' day every weekend (most of whom have done their RYA !&2) rather than for the other day which is 'Racing'.
We are trying to intro a fun racing element on this day (short course 'wacky racing') but I think this is the step that has to be solved in order to grow the sport generally (i.e. the problem is not the numbers doing our 1&2 courses which are choc-a-bloc full).
To be controversial.....is 'not making people pay' for this bit (unlike the 1&2 courses at our club), and therefore not being able to pay for qualified help to make sure it always gets managed and supervised well, the possible problem with this step?
Like most clubs we are always debating what volunteers 'should' do and what we will pay people to do....which is the commercial sailing centre vs voluntary club issue in a nutshell.


But in other sports, people don't turn up as beginners and expect to compete with the top people. When I was younger, people bought old boats as beginners and competed among the other beginners (and a few experienced, un competitive people with old boats). Do people buy racing bikes and expect to be at the front of their local club after a month or two?



I think you raise a good point about paying to improve, coaching is very valauble at club level, more could be done to provide this, although I think it will be much easier to do on a class basis. There arecoaches, and there are plenty of punters who could benefit, there seems to be a gap in making it happen except in a few classes.

But activities that have taken off like paddle-boarding, cycling and the like are largely side-stepping the element of competing against others and thereby those learning curves. Which I suppose echoes school sports where everyone has to be a winner these days and there's no such thing as losing.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sussex Lad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 22 at 4:52pm
Quick question for all:

Your adult 1&2 graduates. How long do they typically persist with sailing. How many are still sailing 1,  2, 3 or 10 years later?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 22 at 5:03pm
I did level one and two more than ten years ago, but already involved with water based sports, sailing as 'crew' and kayaking, just decided to helm, did RYA courses mainly due to hiring off the beach boats on holiday, no one ever asked for proof though.
Robert
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ChrisI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 22 at 9:08am
I think 10-20% stay on - most are maybe trying a range of different outdoor activities.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eric_c Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 22 at 10:52am
Originally posted by Sussex Lad

Quick question for all:

Your adult 1&2 graduates. How long do they typically persist with sailing. How many are still sailing 1,  2, 3 or 10 years later?


Of all the hundreds of sailing people I know, only one is, to my knowledge a level 2 dinghy sailing certificate owner, haing done the course as an adult. I may be wrong about that, the 5 day course might not have been called 'level 2' back then. I know a lot more people who have RYA yachting certs. Some of whom sail dinghies.

People I meet who show interest in joining dinghy clubs generally speak of having done some sailing  'years ago' or rcently at other clubs. Not many small coastal clubs seem to be in the business of 'Adult' courses.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eric_c Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 22 at 11:41am
Originally posted by fab100

......

But activities that have taken off like paddle-boarding, cycling and the like are largely side-stepping the element of competing against others and thereby those learning curves. Which I suppose echoes school sports where everyone has to be a winner these days and there's no such thing as losing.


Cycling has been through, umm, cycles, of popularity over the past 100+ years.
The part of it which endures is probably the high-end competitive part, and the basic transport part.

I thnk the mass appeal of paddle boards will fade, but what is its relevance  to the problem of dinghy clubs losing membership? If you think people want to sail dnghies on the same non-competitive basis, yet in a club environment, the evidence suggests you are wrong. Otherwise, what is this 'but paddleboards' whataboutism actually saying?

I suspect your views about school sport are 25 years out of date too.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eric_c Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 22 at 11:55am
Another point about cycling, at present, a big slice of the market is a 'new' sector, gravel bikes, which are selling well because, in my simple view, mountain bikes have got silly, people want something which ticks more boxes. Dinghy sailing doesn't have anything very inspiring right now, nobody is marketing new classes other than the 'eros, which to someone on the fringes are just yet more single sail single hander one-trick ponies. 20/30 years ago, we had people who'd dropped out of dinghies looking at RS400s, L4000s, and 'wanting some of that'.
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