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Arresting the Decline and Fall of our Sport.

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DiscoBall View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DiscoBall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 19 at 3:36pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

Originally posted by eric_c

You have to learn to leave the racing on the racecourse and head for the bar.

 at club level it's usually ok 'cos you know everybody personally.
 

Which is great if you've been doing the sport and have known the other competitors for 20-30 years...but is it really surprising if people not immersed in the sport encounter this and decide to vote with their feet.

As ever the discussion on how to get more people into the sport seems to come down to the view that it's the fault of those dastardly, lazy, snowflake non-sailors for not knowing how it all (duties/aggro/boat ownership) works in advance...and going off and doing lazy things like running marathons instead.  LOL



I'd do anything to have more people in our sport. Except consider changing anything.  Wink








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davidyacht View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 19 at 4:19pm
I'd do anything to have more people in our sport. Except consider changing anything ...

I have followed this thread with interest, since I think we are united by a desire to put dinghy racing on a more positive trajectory, however in 14 pages the only really big idea is that propounded by fleaberto of removing racing from the agenda.

Whilst this may seem radical, the message that I took was that some of us (and I include myself) present a too serious aura which is off putting to those who are looking for fun on the water ... looking back at people have joined and then not rejoined the club I can see that this is likely to be the case.

May be the grumpy old men need to rethink how we present ourselves both on and off the water?
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Sussex Lad View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sussex Lad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 19 at 4:25pm
Originally posted by DiscoBall

 
I'd do anything to have more people in our sport. Except consider changing anything.  Wink




Very true.

The warning signs were there at least 15 yrs ago. Discussed on this forum and the general conclusion over the years seems to have been that there's nothing wrong with the sport  Confused


As for lapsers or new adult beginners? Half our Sunday fleet is now made up of sailors who took it up as adults after doing the club 1 & 2. Good to see them enjoying it. The down side is that they don't have the experience needed to run races and do safety boat helm duties. We run a couple of opens a year and use as many newbies as possible to try and get them up to speed but for a major open we generally have to use the more experienced members.
  The adult learners are never (or rarely) going to acquire the same level of skill and commitment as someone who's been doing it since they were kids.

Sorry to say it but it seems inevitable that sailing (to some extent) has got to be dumbed down. A major organised effort to pass on skills required is also needed. 
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423zero View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 19 at 4:45pm
I wouldn't myself change anything, I only race, majority of our RYA one and twoers, doing a bucket list, we have gained members from push the boat out and members friends. They are all encouraged to race, or if just cruising they have to follow the course.
Robert
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Sussex Lad View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sussex Lad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Nov 19 at 4:51pm
Originally posted by 423zero

I wouldn't myself change anything,


Given the choice neither would I.
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DiscoBall View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DiscoBall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 19 at 3:32pm
Originally posted by Sussex Lad

Originally posted by 423zero

I wouldn't myself change anything,

Given the choice neither would I.


But without trying new things how do you know you wouldn't like it more...?  Smile I think the cruising and free-sailing days my club has developed over the past few years have been a net positive - certainly get a perception that the club engages more of it's membership and has more life to it.

I think the cause of decline isn't at all hard to pin down - we have a very complex sport that takes a long time to learn and appreciate, but all we offer to beginners is a few days of basic tuition and then it's sink-or-swim boat ownership/club life/racing. 

Long term mentoring (the conclusion of Nicholas Hayes Saving Sailing) is the likely solution. How you deliver that/work it in to the present club system is undoubtedly a far more difficult and complex issue.

I wonder if Oli and Fleaberto's clubs have more women involved on the water and/or the committee? A couple of other beginner friendly clubs I'm aware of seem to have a lot more women involved in running the sailing.



 


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Rupert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 19 at 4:04pm
The RYA offer all sorts of courses beyond L2, but take up is small. So, if club life isn't right, courses aren't right, what is right to keep more people who do the "bucket list" levels 1&2 in the sport, beyond maybe hiring a boat off the beach in Greece? Sailing is a little like trad climbing outside, but without the far more popular option of climbing walls for when the weather is sh*t.
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Loyboy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Loyboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 19 at 5:39pm
I have to disagree. I grew up at Reading Sailing Club, crewed in my father's home built Mirror at 8, cried a lot so then my Dad concentrated on racing his Solo as it was one of the few adopted classes along with the Laser and Enterprise. I got interested in sailing at the age of 15 when I had grown some, borrowed the Solo and was instantly hooked. Yes, the sense of freedom was part of it but my own personal drive was to beat every other Solo there. Even then my father and I would berate the new designs that turned up at the club, they formed their own menagerie fleet and raced in handicap series. There was some interest in winning these but it was generally dependent on the conditions.  My point is, if I had turned up at a club that just had loads of different craft floating around, the drive would probably to sail something that was exhilarating rather than race likeminded sailors in one designs, self improving the skills to win and accept failure rather than just blast around with no end goal.
I believe a club would benefit from limiting the classes accepted. 
The decline of sailing is down to the dilution of class racing in the same way that the decline of family relationships is down to the allowance of Sunday trading IMHO.

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423zero View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 19 at 5:53pm
When you first take up sailing you little realise the responsibility you are taking on, what other sport are you expected to run a club ? The building, safety boats, water management, take training courses, first aid, power boat and rescue, the list goes on.
You also feel responsibility to ensure growth, can be quite daunting.
Robert
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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: 21 Nov 19 at 6:10pm
Originally posted by Loyboy

I have to disagree. I grew up at Reading Sailing Club, crewed in my father's home built Mirror at 8, cried a lot so then my Dad concentrated on racing his Solo as it was one of the few adopted classes along with the Laser and Enterprise. I got interested in sailing at the age of 15 when I had grown some, borrowed the Solo and was instantly hooked. Yes, the sense of freedom was part of it but my own personal drive was to beat every other Solo there. Even then my father and I would berate the new designs that turned up at the club, they formed their own menagerie fleet and raced in handicap series. There was some interest in winning these but it was generally dependent on the conditions.  My point is, if I had turned up at a club that just had loads of different craft floating around, the drive would probably to sail something that was exhilarating rather than race likeminded sailors in one designs, self improving the skills to win and accept failure rather than just blast around with no end goal.
I believe a club would benefit from limiting the classes accepted. 
The decline of sailing is down to the dilution of class racing in the same way that the decline of family relationships is down to the allowance of Sunday trading IMHO.


Certainly having a certain class at a club allows access to specialist advice and also some motivation to get down the club to support your mates.

The market has moved on with many designs, but I think the clubs supporting and recommending a small range of classes and then having a handicap fleet to welcome all others are doing the best.

And I own up to support racing as a vital part of a successful club.

Cruising is a great addition but how many are out in February? And how many waters are safe for non supported cruising not needing a manned safety boat if windy or cold?
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