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Paramedic View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paramedic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 22 at 1:27pm
A lot of clubs did try different things over covid. Most clubs I know of changed their race format in some way, some from handicap to pursuit others then other way round. With hindsight I think this was largely to be seen to be trying to help than any actual safety advantage in a pandemic, but I bet few clubs have reverted completely to
Pre pandemic type. I would think the exercise of doing things differently has been good.

The key to change is getting members to buy into it, but resistance to even try stops many would be positive changes in their tracks. The way change was embraced the last three years as a means to keep going might open
a few minds.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eric_c Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Apr 22 at 4:50pm
A lot of clubs did less formal things through covid, but some of this would make club sailing less accessible to young people and beginners.
A lot of the old ways probably evolved for a reason.
You need a certain degree of formality to put rescue boats in place.
If you want timing and PY that implies a race officer.

A lot of the alternatives may not endure once the novelty wears off.
Or are not so different anyway. A lot of people treat club racing as training/practice and don't worry about the results.

But some alternatives are good, like coaching and tuning days, inter-club events etc.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DiscoBall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 22 at 7:34am
Originally posted by A2Z

Which country would you move to that had a better club racing scene?  Not letting you pick a specific club that happens to be an isolated example of strong club racing, just a country. 


Define better?!  Smile

TBH I'd take anywhere that did multiple short course class races over the UK standard menagerie reaching and fetching fest.

Denmark is an obvious one as a Europe sailor. CT249s website articles on German local classes always sound interesting.

I lived in France a while back and was initially miffed that there was no apparent club racing (later turned out that the local 505s did have racing but wasn't in a position to buy one).  Then I started to get invited to training with the local radial fleet - more intermittent than weekly club racing, but much more fun and useful for improving.

The exceptionalist view that the UK setup is superior seems odd when almost no other country (or most other sports) seems to have chosen that route. Bit like American insistence that the rest of the developed world is wrong and the ultimate home security is a gun... Confused Sailing appears to be alive and well in many other places where PY and 200+ classes aren't a feature!   


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paramedic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 22 at 8:01am
Its swings and roundabouts I think.

The positive of loads of classes are that there is definitely a class for you out there be you a giant or a dwarf, whether you want to sail on your own, with a young child, or with someone as equally dimensionally gifted/challenged as you are. If you want a new challenge you change class.

Class racing is better, but if I must handicap race i'd much rather do it in a boat I like sailing.

I think the UK arrangement suits the UK - its a british solution.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paramedic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 22 at 8:04am
Originally posted by DiscoBall

 multiple short course class races over the UK standard menagerie reaching and fetching fest.

If that I what your club puts on I would move clubs. Good course setting is key to good racing of any format. You'll never get away from some courses suiting some classes better but if we can at least choose our side upwind and downwind and maybe whether to high or low on the reaches we usually feel that we have had a good sail.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Grumpycat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 22 at 8:15am
Originally posted by Paramedic

Its swings and roundabouts I think.

The positive of loads of classes are that there is definitely a class for you out there be you a giant or a dwarf, whether you want to sail on your own, with a young child, or with someone as equally dimensionally gifted/challenged as you are. If you want a new challenge you change class.

Class racing is better, but if I must handicap race i'd much rather do it in a boat I like sailing.

I think the UK arrangement suits the UK - its a british solution.

Think this sums it up rather well.  Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DiscoBall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 22 at 9:09am
Originally posted by Grumpycat

Originally posted by Paramedic

Its swings and roundabouts I think.

The positive of loads of classes are that there is definitely a class for you out there be you a giant or a dwarf, whether you want to sail on your own, with a young child, or with someone as equally dimensionally gifted/challenged as you are. If you want a new challenge you change class.

Class racing is better, but if I must handicap race i'd much rather do it in a boat I like sailing.

I think the UK arrangement suits the UK - its a british solution.

Think this sums it up rather well.  Smile


It is the reality and unlikely to change, but I'm not sure I'd agree it's a valid equivalent of countries that run more restricted systems.

I think we've ended up with a much more unsatisfying setup (I'm sure there's research that says excessive choice is stressful and doesn't make people happy).

In sailing we don't/can't race the clock so our performance relative to our competitors is fundamental to how we perceive our performance. This is arguably more meaningful/enjoyable in a larger group where we have enough similar peers. Not only from a racing standpoint but from a social one.

In a country with only a few allowed classes you can be surer you'll get good racing, that you can get spares, that you can get relevant coaching and that your investment in the boat is likely to be secure. In the UK you have to hit the moving target; will  the class (or even the handicap band) still be popular at the club in a season or two or will you have to change class again? Will the manufacturer have dropped the class or the class has tanked nationally along with your investment?

I think changing class is only sometimes genuinely about a new challenge. Most of the time it's the conviction that if we are not doing well it must be the boat/PY at fault (remind you of any forum members?  Wink ). So it's cheating ourselves of really improving and trying to get some happiness from retail therapy instead. Very British I guess...

Confidence is (most?) important to participation - if you are sure you'll have good racing you'll make more effort to turn up and prioritise sailing over other things in life. There's a difference to the draw of a 'certain' 20+ boat open meeting and a 'maybe' 5 boat one - same applies at club level.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paramedic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 22 at 11:19am
Originally posted by DiscoBall



I think we've ended up with a much more unsatisfying setup (I'm sure there's research that says excessive choice is stressful and doesn't make people happy).

In a country with only a few allowed classes you can be surer you'll get good racing, that you can get spares, that you can get relevant coaching and that your investment in the boat is likely to be secure. In the UK you have to hit the moving target; will  the class (or even the handicap band) still be popular at the club in a season or two or will you have to change class again? Will the manufacturer have dropped the class or the class has tanked nationally along with your investment?

I think changing class is only sometimes genuinely about a new challenge. Most of the time it's the conviction that if we are not doing well it must be the boat/PY at fault (remind you of any forum members?  Wink ). So it's cheating ourselves of really improving and trying to get some happiness from retail therapy instead. Very British I guess...

So what do you do if you're 6 foot 3, 15 stone, want to helm a two man boat competitively and the only available classes are 420, 470, Fireball and local one designs? Thats quite a large chunk of our population that in Europe are potentially (depending on the local classes) lost to the sport that over here are catered for.

Regarding the second point if you think back to the 90's the writing was on the wall for the Boss, Iso and Buzz as soon as Laser got their teeth into the market, and they they were also obviously and throughly done over by RS - you could see it coming the key was to not be an early adopter and to carefully check before committing exactly like buying a car. The classes that have disappeared did so for very good and obvious reasons. Spares wise pretty much all classes use nominally the same masts and booms (Remember how ubiquitous the old D section was - and would probably still be - over many, many classes? Its still largely the same with I guess 10 or so mast variations suiting the majority of UK based classes). There isn't a lot thats totally class specific with no parallel anywhere else, certain early carbon one design masts excepted and sails of course.

I would argue the flip side to your argument against changing class as a new challenge. A new pecking order, different people, different venues, clubs, subtle differences in how you achieve the same thing. Actually I think I improve more by trying different things than by doing the same every week. 10 years ago id have been with you but wider experience has taught me otherwise in my case - not everyone learns the same way though, and for some people you are right, they do bandit hunt.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 22 at 11:46am
I like the order and discipline required to run a successful club, just rocking up for a blast in strong winds with a bunch of mates is brilliant too, but probably not suitable for learners or sustaining the sport.
Robert
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paramedic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Apr 22 at 8:20pm
Originally posted by 423zero

just rocking up for a blast in strong winds with a bunch of mates is brilliant too, but probably not suitable for learners or sustaining the sport.

We used to do it all the time when I was at school (Mid 90s). Would be frowned upon now.


Edited by Paramedic - 17 Apr 22 at 8:20pm
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