Please select your home edition
Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

A call to action from the organisers of the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series

by Andy Rice 27 May 12:00 BST
The Oxford Blue - Seldén SailJuice Winter Series 2022-23 finale © Tim Olin /


Where is dinghy racing in the UK headed and how can we make it better than it is today? That was the broad question addressed in a recent Zoom call which attracted a live audience to discuss the issues facing the sport in the fast-changing times we're living in.

Hosted by the co-organisers of the Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series, Simon Lovesey and Andy Rice, the aim was to find out what are the roadblocks to greater participation in small-boat racing, and also to find out some of the best practices so that they can be shared more widely across clubs and classes in the UK.

Around 60 participants showed up to share their views. There was a huge amount of useful feedback on the 60-minute call. One of the themes that kept on coming up was fragmentation. Too many small events with small turnouts that don't really work for anyone.

Class Associations Group: interested?

Simon Lovesey is looking to form a Class Associations Group, so if you're on your class committee would like to explore potential collaboration with other classes sign up here for the next online meeting on Zoom

Meanwhile, here are ten points that emerged out of the previous Zoom call...


1. Foster Collaboration among Different Classes

  • Urge classes with limited boat numbers to work together on scheduling and organising open meetings.
  • Make event planning a collective effort to ensure best use of resources.

2. Embrace Diversity in Boat Selection

  • Choose diverse groups of boats, such as Flying 15, Europe, and 600.
  • Create more interesting and inclusive events that appeal to a wider range of sailors.

3. Address Fragmentation by holding more Multi-Class Events

  • Combat declining participation by promoting multi-class events.
  • Shift the focus from single-class events, making multi-class events the norm.

4. Harness the power of 'Influencers'

  • The fortunes of particular clubs and classes tend to ebb and flow depending on the drive and enthusiasm of 'influencers'. People in the fleet or the club who inspire others to get on the water more, and to contribute more to the community.
  • Identify the influencers and give them the tools to do their job of leadership even more effectively.
  • Build templates of the work required to run an organisation effectively, so that when key people move on, others are better equipped to pick up the baton and carry on the vital work.

5. Prioritise Participant Needs

  • Identify what sailors want in events and tailor offerings accordingly.
  • Ensure the success and satisfaction of participants through customised event experiences.

6. Adapt and Innovate

  • Recognise that preferences and needs evolve over time. Tried and tested formats don't necessarily appeal to the next generation of sailors, or even to the older sailors whose priorities have changed.
  • Continuously adapt and innovate to remain relevant and maintain engagement.

7. Promote Change in Established Fleets and Events

  • Introduce new strategies and locations to improve collaboration.
  • Foster a spirit of cooperation among different sailing classes and associations.

8. Harness the Power of Volunteer Enthusiasm

  • Learn from classes like the Scorpion where rejuvenation has come down partly to the impact of dedicated volunteers.
  • Encourage and support volunteer involvement to revitalise struggling classes.

9. Experiment with Alternative Racing Formats

  • Reduce dependence on volunteers by embracing modern technology.
  • Explore new racing styles, such as time trials, speed trials, and orienteering, to attract more participants.

10. Conduct Surveys for Continuous Improvement

  • Gather feedback on event agendas and collaboration initiatives.
  • Use survey results to drive improvements in the sailing community.

Related Articles

Seldén Sailjuice Winter Series starts soon
Beginning with Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash on 18-19 November The 15th edition of the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series starts in two months' time with the Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash on 18 & 19 November 2023. It's the first of eight events across the season. Posted on 21 Sep
The Future of Dinghy Racing in the UK
Zoom Forum coming up on Tuesday - join in free Where is dinghy racing in the UK headed? Dinghy sailing in the UK is still the most vibrant and diverse small-boat racing circuit anywhere in the world, but can it do better? Posted on 7 Apr
Seldén SailJuice Winter Series looking forward
What would you like from next year's series? As the dust settles at the end of the 14th edition of the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series, it's time to take stock and consider what comes next... Posted on 11 Mar
The world's most diverse racing dinghy collection
77 different classes of boat in this season's Seldén SailJuice Winter Series There were 77 different classes of boat in this season's Seldén SailJuice Winter Series, and we'll be celebrating that diversity at the Dinghy Show... Posted on 24 Feb
Eleven years later! Gray wins second winter title
Peter Gray & Geoff Edwards have won the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series It's 11 years since Peter Gray won the overall title in a Scorpion. This year the Staunton Harold sailor wins the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series sailing an Osprey with Geoff Edwards. Posted on 21 Feb
Davis & Rayner score 420 hat trick in Oxford Blue
Making the most of strong breeze for the final event of the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series 2022-23 Alice Davis and Oliver Rayner made the most of strong breeze for the final event of the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series, the Oxford Blue... Posted on 19 Feb
Will you join the 69 at the Oxford Blue?
Final event of the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series With 69 entries already down for the final event of the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series, and a number of boats in overall contention for the trophy, the Oxford Blue looks set for a warm and windy climax to the season... Posted on 16 Feb
Seldén SailJuice Winter Series finale approaches
Overall victory will be decided at the Oxford Blue on 18th Feb The Seldén SailJuice Winter Series reaches its climax with the Oxford Blue next Saturday (18 February), and there are three top boats in contention. So far this winter, all eight events and the maximum 24 races have been held. Posted on 10 Feb
Hawkes swoops for victory at The Tiger
Eighth event in this season's Seldén SailJuice Winter Series The trapeze boats had their moment to shine, but no one could match the consistent performance of Simon Hawkes's K1 keelboat which dominated the Tiger Trophy to become the latest winner in the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series. Posted on 7 Feb
From the A-Rater to the Waszp
Almost the A-Z of dinghies racing at The Tiger No.8 in the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series is coming up this weekend and there's still time to enter online for the The John Merricks Tiger Trophy before the late-entry fee kicks in... Posted on 2 Feb