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Another club closure

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Mark Aged 42 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mark Aged 42 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 22 at 7:12am
At Essex Yacht Club we recently held a Race practice day. We had a special small triangular course laid out, and ran 4 races. The day was run by our 2 superstars, who started by giving a short talk on some ways to be faster. On the water, we had other leading sailors in RIBs or in Lasers. They were passing on advice during the races. 
The biggest improvement we saw was in the quality of the starts. The first was pretty ragged. The fourth was really impressive, and the intensity of the sailors was noticeably increased. 
And, in the races we have had since, the sailors who attended the practice day, have put in much more determined starts, and sailed to a higher standard.
This is a good way to bring up the level of the fleet, without patronising anyone.
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Mozzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mozzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 22 at 8:12am
Originally posted by Grumpycat

Think you have this the wrong way round. As most sailors are py racing .
You have to convince the majority of sailors that class racing is best and the future of sailing .  LOL
And it takes it back to my point ,if you sail py pursuits everyone knows who is winning.  Smile

PY racing seems a nice fit for those who have reached a comfortable level and would rather sail a boat they prefer, or keep interest by switching boats.

Is it good way to sustain the clubs though? Would new sailors prefer class racing? Would youth / young adults favour class racing? 

Has a club that offered class racing ever closed?

Obviously I do handicap racing, and for me it's better than not racing, although not always better than just sailing. There is certainly a place for it at most clubs, but perhaps it shouldn't come at the cost of class racing which may be better suited to people who are otherwise voting with their feet? 
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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: 25 May 22 at 9:10am
In 2016 there was 1,024 RYA clubs, probably another couple of hundred closed door clubs (due to their joining system RYA distances themselves from them) over 700 only do handicap racing, over 900 do handicap and class racing, (no figures available for closed door clubs).
Robert
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sussex Lad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 22 at 9:29am
This forum has always been top heavy with dinghy racers and there are not enough ordinary folk who enjoy messing about on the water. 

I don't want to labour a point (or maybe I do) There is not enough diversity of opinion on this forum. This is not a criticism, it's an observation. Ordinary folk who just enjoy a bimble on the water are not present. They used to come here to get info and advice years ago but they have stopped coming. Most members of sailing clubs don't race regularly, most don't even sail regularly and yet they keep the clubs going.

Stemming the exodus is going to need more than a refocus on racing or discussions about how good we are thus underlining how poor the newbies are.

It seems the new pathway into the sailing club environment is through adult 1&2 members. I don't think getting them through the door is a problem from what I can see, the problem is keeping them beyond 3 or 4 years. Racing at a level that satisfies those here is not what the majority of club members are interested in.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ChrisI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 22 at 9:31am
At Essex Yacht Club we recently held a Race practice day. We had a special small triangular course laid out, and ran 4 races. The day was run by our 2 superstars, who started by giving a short talk on some ways to be faster. On the water, we had other leading sailors in RIBs or in Lasers. They were passing on advice during the races. The biggest improvement we saw was in the quality of the starts. The first was pretty ragged. The fourth was really impressive, and the intensity of the sailors was noticeably increased. And, in the races we have had since, the sailors who attended the practice day, have put in much more determined starts, and sailed to a higher standard.This is a good way to bring up the level of the fleet, without patronising anyone.

Nice idea. Think we should do something similar.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eric_c Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 22 at 9:32am
Originally posted by Grumpycat

Think you have this the wrong way round. As most sailors are py racing .
You have to convince the majority of sailors that class racing is best and the future of sailing .  LOL

The title of this thread  is 'Another Cub Closure'.


It might be more useful to think about convincing people who currently don't race that racing is something they'd like to do. Thinking in terms of the majority of  existing sailors is a sure recipe for shrinking.

One thing I learned in the pandemic is that two Lasers can have an enjoyable, worthwhile race. 5 or 6 disparate boats in a PY race was often a farce. Maybe when clubs struggle for numbers, members might think about what boats the sail in terms of not just enjoying their own race, but giving their fellow members a good race?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Grumpycat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 22 at 9:47am
Originally posted by Mozzy

Originally posted by Grumpycat

Think you have this the wrong way round. As most sailors are py racing .
You have to convince the majority of sailors that class racing is best and the future of sailing .  LOL
And it takes it back to my point ,if you sail py pursuits everyone knows who is winning.  Smile

PY racing seems a nice fit for those who have reached a comfortable level and would rather sail a boat they prefer, or keep interest by switching boats.

Is it good way to sustain the clubs though? Would new sailors prefer class racing? Would youth / young adults favour class racing? 

Has a club that offered class racing ever closed?

Obviously I do handicap racing, and for me it's better than not racing, although not always better than just sailing. There is certainly a place for it at most clubs, but perhaps it shouldn't come at the cost of class racing which may be better suited to people who are otherwise voting with their feet? 

Some very interesting points ( by the way some people call me a py fanboy, I am not . This is just the real world for most sailors inland. Smile. I am happy to be called a PURSUIT FAN BOY  LOL
Point 1 ) Spot on . You have just described me and most of my club mates.
Point 2 ) Donít really know . But if new sailors wanted class racing surly that would ask for it or move to a club that did it . Young sailors , well a lot of them get sucked in squads, class race then never race again ( think thatís for another discussion. )
Point 3 ) Probably not. But hundreds changed from class only clubs to py racing in the 1970s/1980s and I donít know of any club gone the other way. Does anyone ? The gene is out of the bottle and I cannot think of a way of putting it back .l live in the centre of the country , there are hundreds of clubs within a hundred miles of me and I can only think of a handful that are class racing only. 
Point 4) The fact is people voted with their feet in the past which is why we ended up with so many py clubs and as I said earlier I cannot see a way of putting the gene back in the bottle. For everyone that could be attracted by class racing there will be a person , like me , who would leave the sport rather than be forced to sail a boat they donít like ( just the thought of sailing a laser again or worse a solo, brings me out in a cold sweat lol )
In an ideal world clubs would be able to mix and match and do both and I lot do , but for smaller clubs itís just impossible as they donít have enough boats of any one class to make it worth the effort .


Edited by Grumpycat - 25 May 22 at 10:40am
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eric_c View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eric_c Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 22 at 9:50am
Originally posted by Sussex Lad

This forum has always been top heavy with dinghy racers and there are not enough ordinary folk who enjoy messing about on the water. 

I don't want to labour a point (or maybe I do) There is not enough diversity of opinion on this forum. This is not a criticism, it's an observation. Ordinary folk who just enjoy a bimble on the water are not present. They used to come here to get info and advice years ago but they have stopped coming. Most members of sailing clubs don't race regularly, most don't even sail regularly and yet they keep the clubs going.

Stemming the exodus is going to need more than a refocus on racing or discussions about how good we are thus underlining how poor the newbies are.

It seems the new pathway into the sailing club environment is through adult 1&2 members. I don't think getting them through the door is a problem from what I can see, the problem is keeping them beyond 3 or 4 years. Racing at a level that satisfies those here is not what the majority of club members are interested in.
Whole mix of issues there.
Forums are last century. This is a dinghy racing forum. People who enjoy a bimble on the water will likely be elsewhere, like our sailing club's facebook page.
I don't know how many clubs enjoy a good stream of RYA 1&2 adult new members. It's not something that has been big in any of my clubs in the last 30 years.
Lots of people try a few sports and drift out of them after a few years. In sailing it's rarely too late for them to return. Quite a few yacht owners I know are people who didn't really take to dinghy racing. As are one or two kitesurfers. Some of them may return with kids in toppers.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 22 at 10:04am
Maybe the thing to understand that there is no perfect model ... I class race at weekends, and no doubt will be handicap racing this evening (forecast 32mph so maybe not).  We have a pretty successful club, and benefit from a couple of good class racing fleets, as well as fast and slow handicap fleets ... I suspect that good turnouts are the result of serendipity.

I differ from Grumpycat in that I would (and possibly do) sail in a class, not for the performance of the boat, but because of the quality of the class racing.  

If class racing was not available I would revert to Handicap racing and probably sail something else (an H2 probably).  If I did this, I probably would sail less frequently because I would not be consumed by competing with the ten or so regulars in the various series.  

Maybe this is the key point is that Handicap racing may be a more dip in and out of thing.
Happily living in the past
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The Q Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 22 at 10:13am
if various joints hadn't given out then a H2 would probably be my choice, instead I sail a mini 16ft Keel boat.
We do get some new to sailing adults but they are almost entirely parents. The parents come down to the sailing school with their children, get bored sat around an not understanding what going on. Then they discover we have a couple of Yeoman Keelboats  (20ft) to teach in, so they start in those, and generally stay in those classes.
 Yeoman,  Yare and Bure one design(white boat), Rebel keel boat and Reedling keelboat, all in the around / just over 20ft size. Not dinghies but generally sailed like one with a lump of lead on the bottom to stop you getting wet.
Still sailing in circles
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