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Another club closure

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Dinghy classes
Forum Name: Dinghy development
Forum Discription: The latest moves in the dinghy market
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=13934
Printed Date: 08 Aug 22 at 1:12am
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Topic: Another club closure
Posted By: Late starter
Subject: Another club closure
Date Posted: 04 May 22 at 11:30am
https://www.suttoninashfieldsailingclub.co.uk/?fbclid=IwAR2XBygmxLh_gGjuWiu64r6NrN7n4cr0m1KF3NAazFEXWCSMWy-SLRdoauo

Looks like Sutton in Ashfield SC have lost their battle with the local council and will be closing in September. It's been years since I sailed there but I remember it being quite unusual in being in an urban setting, friendly bunch though so it's very sad.



Replies:
Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 04 May 22 at 12:19pm
Very bad news, sailing clubs get very little consideration from council officials, they are like the majority of people who think we are all 'Toffs'.

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Robert


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 04 May 22 at 2:31pm
Let's hope Ogston welcomes their members and has boat park space


Posted By: The Q
Date Posted: 04 May 22 at 3:00pm
Looking at  Ogston on the maps / earth view they have a ton of spare space..
Looking at their fees they are quite reasonable too, their membership fee is over 50% more than ours, but their berth fees are much less.


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Still sailing in circles


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 04 May 22 at 3:08pm
Itís always sad when a club closes , I know from personal experience. But at least as TT pointed out ,there are at least options of other clubs not too far away . 

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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 04 May 22 at 6:35pm
Small sailing clubs are at "one minute to midnight" from what I can see in West Mid's. What about other areas ?

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Robert


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 04 May 22 at 7:08pm
I agree to a certain extent . Speaking as a member of a small club in the midlands , I donít think itís itís a one minute midnight for us, more like 10 mins to midnight. LOL.
The only good thing is when my club does go, it means more sailors for other small/medium clubs in the area like Banbury, Shustoke, Earlswood , Tamworth etc. None of us want the big club experience like Draycote . 



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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: Late starter
Date Posted: 04 May 22 at 8:18pm
When I started sailing in the 70s there were 6 relatively local clubs, there are now 3 so club closures isn't a new issue so I guess we should treasure the ones that are left.

The local paper are saying that the council intend to kick Sutton in Ashfield SC off their site to allow a commercial water sports centre to be developed. Not for me, but perhaps it's the future.

https://www.chad.co.uk/news/environment/last-chance-to-enjoy-sailing-at-kings-mill-reservoir-as-sutton-club-launches-final-season-3655675


Posted By: NickA
Date Posted: 04 May 22 at 10:21pm
Even medium size midland clubs ( Carsington ) are struggling. Loss of members post Covid, lack of younger dinghy racers coming through to replace the oldies giving up, not really made up by the small rash of wing foilers and foil boarders, increased rent by the landlords etc etc plus the difficulty of getting people to help out with safety boats and race running...I guess people reckon they've paid a hefty membership fee and that should be that.

The answer (apparently) is to buy our way out of trouble by souping up the training division, running lots of courses and thereby getting in new members.

Not convinced it will work, but hope it does else were screwed ( and lumbered with lots of expensive ribs etc )

Meanwhile I was down at Bowmoore SC in the Cotswold water park last weekend. Tiny duckpond but 25 boats out ( fewer than usual apparently ) and lots of family groups staying the weekend on site. They got something right that we didn't!

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Javelin 558
Contender 2574


Posted By: CT249
Date Posted: 04 May 22 at 11:42pm
It's no wonder that people think sailors are toffs, when World Sailing and most of the media (Y & Y being an exception) continue to try to throw the entire sport down an elitist wonderland rabbit hole where everyone can afford to sail a carbon foiler. It's not working, it will never work and none of the earlier elitist sailing models really worked, but it seems that actually looking at evidence is too hard for WS and much of the sailing industry.


Posted By: The Q
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 6:27am
Foilers will never work on our waters, they'd sail behind the first tree and crash down..
Our club was failing, then about 15 years ago they set up a club sailing school. 
They now have up to 80 children signed on each year, for sail training. 
It took a while but it has revived the dinghy classes, and some of the adults have been learning to sail and are beginning to feed through to the keel boat classes (and a few with the dinghies).
Oh I intend to volunteer to help with the sailing School from next year when I've retired.


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Still sailing in circles


Posted By: Paramedic
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 6:44am
Originally posted by Grumpycat

I agree to a certain extent . Speaking as a member of a small club in the midlands , I donít think itís itís a one minute midnight for us, more like 10 mins to midnight. LOL.
The only good thing is when my club does go, it means more sailors for other small/medium clubs in the area like Banbury, Shustoke, Earlswood , Tamworth etc. None of us want the big club experience like Draycote . 


I must admit I think the medium/large clubs are more at risk in the midlands than the small ones, many of which I'm now in my 20th year of wondering how on earth they keep going?

The answer I think is that they are 5 minutes from home for most of their members, live largely off club camaraderie rather that the outright sailing experience and occupy water that no-one wants to use for anything else and land that no-one is allowed to use for anything else.

The larger clubs however are occupying premium sites with a more fickle membership who are much more inclined to travel and with the expansion of multi class traveller series maybe more likely to sod it and join the RYA. How ironic would it be if too many traveller events at premier clubs leads to their demise? Thats very much a 23:00 scenario at the moment, but for small clubs its 23:59 and clock stopped.

For the smaller clubs ageing membership is the biggest threat I think, and the shift in lifestyle leading to their being a lack of members they tick boxes for


Posted By: fleaberto
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 9:04am
I'm a member of two clubs. One a 'Premium' place on big water - and seems to be stuggling post-covid.
The other, a 'small family pond club' has just exceeded it's previous record membership numbers (200) and shows no sign of this slowing in the coming momths.
The biggest difference? The 'Small' club used the covid downtime to look at what would be required once people were allowed out again. As a result we spent a LOT of money refurbing the club facilities and grounds, as well as plotting a 'return to the water' strategy that included paddle boarding.
Lets face it, we had 18 months to get it all sorted and, with the benefit of 'at home' time allowing for the chasing of a lot of grant money, have succeeded handsomely in attracting brand-new members that had been enquiring throughout the pandemic lockdowns. We kept in touch, communicated our plans, had progress pictures on websites and facebook pages etc - and it worked.
A small club absolutely bucking the membership trend and still retaining its 'family' feel and ethos.




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Lightning368 'All the Gear' (409), Lightning368 'Sprite' (101), Laser (big number) 'Yellow Jack', RS Vareo (432)'The Golden Rays'


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 9:08am
Some good news and some disturbing news, surprised to hear of a large club struggling.

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Robert


Posted By: fleaberto
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 10:29am
Some 'Large clubs' seem to have rested on their laurels a little and (or) didn't foresee the big change that lay ahead in terms of how people want to spend their leisure time. 
My 'Small' club didn't increase fees, for example, as a reward to those that did renew during the period of closure and as an incentive to those enquiring. 
Chased every grant going and have been very successful in this. To the point where we have an increased membership AND an increased revenue.
Now, obviously, this needs to be maintained into next season but, by ensuring that the club looks good, keeps it's 'feel' and continues to respond to current leisure-time demands, I don't think that this will be an issue.

Big clubs carry big fees and, perhaps, the time away has seen people reappraise where their spending goes and the value that is offered.
Some clubs saw an opportunity to respond to the whole 'Staycation' thing as people looked closer to home for their leisure activities. Others (Many?) stayed stuck in the 'This is how we do things' and responded too late.
Renewal requests accompanied with "Sorry, but it's been a tough time so fees need to go up" doesn't really cut it with most people, they just decide to quit the sport or go elsewhere for a (perceived) better value club. My 'Big' club is seeing exactly this.



 


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Lightning368 'All the Gear' (409), Lightning368 'Sprite' (101), Laser (big number) 'Yellow Jack', RS Vareo (432)'The Golden Rays'


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 10:29am
I'm not - I applaud the work of the committee members of larger clubs, but it's more than a second job in many cases.  Honestly, I don't know how they do it, especially if they have regular family commitments too.

They are businesses - there's a P&L to manage and there's only so much goodwill can be extracted to avoid overhead costs with paid employees.


Posted By: Riv
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 10:53am
We have about 1000 adults, children and dogs at our club and run a variety of training. Its been interesting that the demand for PB2 training has increased dramatically. However this has not resulted in more members wanting to do rescue boat duties. All the extra training has resulted in a lot of load on volunto and for some this is unsustainable. We have been extremely luck to get a retired IT professional to run the Sailing club manager, there is no way we could afford him.The problem we face is how to convert the club service users into club members and see volunteering as something they want to do.

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Mistral Div II prototype board, Original Windsurfer, Hornet built'74.


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 11:18am
My experience was never a lack of desire, but simply one of time; especially as the family commitments grew.  Even the word sounds onerous: 'duties'.

Try explaining that to a non-sailing partner, it does sound rather ridiculous when compared to golf, fishing, cycling, 5 a side, cricket, bridge club....  




Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 11:59am
I have no idea, do you need to do duties at Bartley SC? Sailed there a couple of times, never noticed how it was organised, (feel a bit embarrassed).

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Robert


Posted By: The Moo
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 12:12pm
Originally posted by Grumpycat




I agree to a certain extent . Speaking as a member of a small club in the midlands , I donít think itís itís a one minute midnight for us, more like 10 mins to midnight.†LOL.
The only good thing is when my club does go, it means more sailors for other small/medium clubs in the area like Banbury, Shustoke, Earlswood , Tamworth etc. None of us want the big club experience like Draycote .†





Based on your forecast, I don't need to work on our epitaph just yet then.😊

As a very small, but fortunately incorporated Club (best decision we ever made), post pandemic we are in a far stronger financial position than we ever have been due to HM Govt chucking grants our way during lockdown. However, we do need to use that windfall wisely and work hard on getting bums in boats to try and secure a sustainable longer term future.


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 12:25pm
I guess grants for sailing clubs are really important when there's a cost of living crisis and there are more food banks springing up.... Ermm


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 3:00pm
A drop in the pond compared to the £350m a week the NHS is getting post Brexsh*t...

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 3:17pm
Not bad Food banks, NHS and Brexit, page three.

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Robert


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 3:37pm
Originally posted by turnturtle

I guess grants for sailing clubs are really important when there's a cost of living crisis and there are more food banks springing up.... Ermm

Are there any particular sporting activities where it is acceptable to receive grant aid, or is it just sailing clubs that should be singled out?  And why stop there, why should Art and Culture be supported?



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Happily living in the past


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 4:09pm
Would be a grey world if grants of any description were cancelled. Just because people have minimum income doesn't mean they can't enjoy culture, free to go to museums, sailing clubs receiving grants would probably accommodate someone with no money, but keen to learn to sail and remain a member. There is also a direct link between grants and jobs, every pound spent on subsidies is worth four pounds spent on military spending.

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Robert


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 4:34pm
Originally posted by davidyacht


Originally posted by turnturtle

I guess grants for sailing clubs are really important when there's a cost of living crisis and there are more food banks springing up....†Ermm

Are there any particular sporting activities where it is acceptable to receive grant aid, or is it just sailing clubs that should be singled out?† And why stop there, why should Art and Culture be supported?


Good point, socially diverse sports with low cost of entry like sailing should definitely qualify for a bail out (no pun intended)


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 4:48pm
Originally posted by turnturtle

I guess grants for sailing clubs are really important when there's a cost of living crisis and there are more food banks springing up.... Ermm

Itís a little rich for you to use food banks as a reason why sailing clubs shouldnít get grants when you fully support the all the policies over the last decade that made them necessary Angry

Post what you want as a retort, as a know you will.  I will not comment on this subject again . 


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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 5:06pm

You know my voting record Duncan? †I doubt it... but fair to say I've not voted for the sitting MP in my constituency but I've certainly contributed to keeping his horses warm at night.


edit: this isn't a dig at Lottery Funding or Conventional Grants for Sport & Culture... †more for emergency funding for businesses going to the wall due to response to Covid 19

I guess if some of you knew people who'd topped themselves because of it, you'd understand a little... †Iím sure Mid Warwickshire Yacht Club would have survived regardless.


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 6:16pm
Originally posted by turnturtle

My experience was never a lack of desire, but simply one of time; especially as the family commitments grew.  Even the word sounds onerous: 'duties'.

Try explaining that to a non-sailing partner, it does sound rather ridiculous when compared to golf, fishing, cycling, 5 a side, cricket, bridge club....  


I used to think that ďmembershipĒ of a club (any club, not just sailing) was an off putting thought - the commitment that that implies even if you arenít clear exactly what that means.  Many people want a more casual relationship with an activity and donít want to immerse themselves into the unknown. And I agree the term ďdutyĒ sounds unpleasant and like something from the time of rationing.  

However, I donít know if it is me getting older and finally being prepared to accept that I have settled roots, or whether it is a new found camaraderie from the strange covid times, but I now really appreciate the societal impact of community clubs.  I now no longer view clubs and membership as an antiquated business model but as a desirable feature that really adds value to the community and most duties are actually quite fun and rewarding (perhaps there is a better, modern, term for these?  Well-being day? Kindness day? Civic pride day? Ideas on a postcard!).


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 6:21pm
I donít think there is room on this forum for a critique of Covid 19 emergency funding, save to say that there were many many less deserving recipients than sailing clubs imo, notably off the shelf limited companies and large public companies that continued to make profits through Covid.  Others may chose to differ Ö

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Happily living in the past


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 6:23pm
I know what you mean - I think feeling settled and certainly Ďless busyí post Covid has some impact

Iím organising a charity bike pack next weekend, weíll raise all of Ä100 for the Ukrainian Crisis Centre but itís at least something above adding flags to bios on Facebook

As for duties themselves, especially on the water - they are often quite good fun with an experienced PRO, especially when the timer screws up and you have to guess them for the results sheet


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 6:34pm
Stick with 'duties', shows a level of discipline and dedication.

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Robert


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 8:28pm
Originally posted by Late starter

https://www.suttoninashfieldsailingclub.co.uk/?fbclid=IwAR2XBygmxLh_gGjuWiu64r6NrN7n4cr0m1KF3NAazFEXWCSMWy-SLRdoauo

Looks like Sutton in Ashfield SC have lost their battle with the local council and will be closing in September. It's been years since I sailed there but I remember it being quite unusual in being in an urban setting, friendly bunch though so it's very sad.
A quick look at old race results o their website suggests it dropped below any sort of critical mass ages ago.
I'm a diehard total believer in the 'members' club' model of sailing clubs, but I think maybe there comes a point where too many cubs in too small an area is not helpful.
Maybe a commercial operation on this water could get more than 5 boats x twice a week n the water, and that would actually be better for 'sailing' in the big picture? Or maybe we should look beyond Dinghy Sailing and be positive about a wider range of water sports!

Post covid it's likely to get tougher, people have thought about what's importat, you can WFH and if sailing is important to you, you don't have to live in some dump at the wrong end of the A38 and sail on puddles only any good for RC boats.

Sometimes , it  is good to stop fighting rearguard actions aganst the decline of the inland dinghy craze  it's not the 1980s any more let alone the 1960s.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 8:59pm
TBF if you don't live within an hour of a decent coastal club (and not everybody can prioritise personal hobbies over work and family) then an inland club may be all that is available...

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 9:42pm
Wow here's me living in one of the poorest parts of the UK and wasting my time sailing on a puddle, wish I had the money to follow my dream and sail on the sea.

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Robert


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 05 May 22 at 10:35pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

TBF if you don't live within an hour of a decent coastal club (and not everybody can prioritise personal hobbies over work and family) then an inland club may be all that is available...

Am a little surprised at you for this post, I might have read it incorrectly, but it sounds like a sniff of  snobbery in this post re the sea over inland sailing . 

I am more than happy inland sailing , with in 40 mins of my house there are about 10 clubs and if I increased that range to an hour the number would go up to over 20 . They range in size from tiny clubs like mine up to Grafham sc. I think that give me all variety I need. 
Why would I want to travel 2 hours + to sail less, because of the weather/sea conditions and the fact most sea clubs are only open 9 months of the year. 

I apologise in advance if I have read too much into your post Smile


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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 06 May 22 at 8:32am
Events would seem to suggest that many 10s of 1000s of people living near the club in question are not  exactly enthusiastic about sailing there.

I've done my share of racing on such water, and the only way it can be any good is class racing with a reasonable fleet of fairly matched boats. Maybe team racing.

Beyond racing, it may be a good place to learn to sail, but once you are competent, you can hardly 'cruise' very far.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 06 May 22 at 8:48am
Originally posted by Grumpycat

Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

TBF if you don't live within an hour of a decent coastal club (and not everybody can prioritise personal hobbies over work and family) then an inland club may be all that is available...

Am a little surprised at you for this post, I might have read it incorrectly, but it sounds like a sniff of  snobbery in this post re the sea over inland sailing . 

I am more than happy inland sailing , with in 40 mins of my house there are about 10 clubs and if I increased that range to an hour the number would go up to over 20 . They range in size from tiny clubs like mine up to Grafham sc. I think that give me all variety I need. 
Why would I want to travel 2 hours + to sail less, because of the weather/sea conditions and the fact most sea clubs are only open 9 months of the year. 

I apologise in advance if I have read too much into your post Smile

Apologies in return, having reread my post I can easily see that it came across that way and that was quite the opposite of my intention Embarrassed 
For the record I enjoy sailing at my inland club every bit as much as I do sailing on the sea.


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 06 May 22 at 9:59am
Originally posted by eric_c

Events would seem to suggest that many 10s of 1000s of people living near the club in question are not  exactly enthusiastic about sailing there.

I've done my share of racing on such water, and the only way it can be any good is class racing with a reasonable fleet of fairly matched boats. Maybe team racing.

Beyond racing, it may be a good place to learn to sail, but once you are competent, you can hardly 'cruise' very far.

Just putting a question out there , taking out the large Scottish lochs and the the big lakes in the Lake District. Does anyone ever join a inland club to cruise ? 


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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 06 May 22 at 10:34am
I wouldn't cruise on most inland water, exceptions being Rivers, Rutland, Kielder, etc, at a pinch I would sail round on my twenty acres pool with the kids, to get them interested in sailing.

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Robert


Posted By: sarg boland
Date Posted: 06 May 22 at 10:50am
Plenty of  cruising on the Norfolk Broads.  Yesterday met 5 Solos on a morning cruise - all from Hickling Broad SC and there were other people getting dinghies (Wayfarers) and small cruisers ready.  It was a glorious day with a moderate breeze and the Broads were at their very best.  The Marsh Harriers were also offering spectacular aerobatics. 

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Fair winds


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 06 May 22 at 11:06am
Originally posted by Grumpycat

[QUOTE=eric_c]
Events would seem to suggest that many 10s of 1000s of people living near the club in question are not  exactly enthusiastic about sailing there.

I've done my share of racing on such water, and the only way it can be any good is class racing with a reasonable fleet of fairly matched boats. Maybe team racing.

Beyond racing, it may be a good place to learn to sail, but once you are competent, you can hardly 'cruise' very far.

Just putting a question out there , taking out the large Scottish lochs and the the big lakes in the Lake District. Does anyone ever join a inland club to cruise ? 
[/QUOTE

People used to. back when I was a kid in the late 60s ad 70s, I recall lots of people sailing and not racing.  Perhaps a bit like people paddle boards and sit-on kayaks now and have zero interest in competing? Did that die before windsurfing came along? Or did boards take that market?  Also of course a lot of people took their non-competitive sailing into yachts.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 06 May 22 at 1:11pm
I hardly ever just go for a sail at my inland club but I'm in Anglesey and off for a blast with a fellow Blaze sailor in half an hour (raining, F5-6, 13ļC). It looks pretty flat but I'm sure there will be some small lumps to get surfing on Big smile

I agree with davidyacht's comment on the other thread that "the quality of the racing and the camaraderie of the club are IMO far more important than the salinity of the water"


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: The Moo
Date Posted: 06 May 22 at 5:32pm
Originally posted by Grumpycat


Originally posted by eric_c

Events would seem to suggest that many 10s of 1000s of people living near the club in question are not† exactly enthusiastic about sailing there.
I've done my share of racing on such water, and the only way it can be any good is class racing with a reasonable fleet of fairly matched boats. Maybe team racing.
Beyond racing, it may be a good place to learn to sail, but once you are competent, you can hardly 'cruise' very far.

Just putting a question out there , taking out the large Scottish lochs and the the big lakes in the Lake District. Does anyone ever join a inland club to cruise ?†


It is amazing to see how times have changed. When I joined our puddle club as a teenager with my parents (my 64th birthday today 🥂) on a Saturday afternoons the water would be full of people in boats who had no desire whatsover to race..a completely different crowd to those who rocked up for competitive sailing on a Sunday.

Nowadays the Saturday afternoon sailors (in vastly reduced numbers) are in the main Sunday competitors getting a bit of extra curricular practice.


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 06 May 22 at 8:14pm
Originally posted by Grumpycat

Just putting a question out there , taking out the large Scottish lochs and the the big lakes in the Lake District. Does anyone ever join a inland club to cruise ? 
My inland club has about 500 members of which probably not more than 100 or so do any racing. So I guess thatís 400 in it for the cruising. And thatís a very long way from Scotland!


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 07 May 22 at 9:13am
Originally posted by A2Z

Originally posted by Grumpycat

Just putting a question out there , taking out the large Scottish lochs and the the big lakes in the Lake District. Does anyone ever join a inland club to cruise ? 
My inland club has about 500 members of which probably not more than 100 or so do any racing. So I guess thatís 400 in it for the cruising. And thatís a very long way from Scotland!

Or several hundrd who don't do much sailing?


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 07 May 22 at 9:44am
Originally posted by eric_c

Originally posted by A2Z

Originally posted by Grumpycat

Just putting a question out there , taking out the large Scottish lochs and the the big lakes in the Lake District. Does anyone ever join a inland club to cruise ? 
My inland club has about 500 members of which probably not more than 100 or so do any racing. So I guess thatís 400 in it for the cruising. And thatís a very long way from Scotland!

Or several hundrd who don't do much sailing?
No - the 60 odd Wayfarers never race but are regularly out mid week.  The Quests, Ents, Topaz, Challengers, Oppies, Toppers, wineglass, Leaders, Miracles etc are out in force on a Saturday.  Believe it or not, most club members do not race but still enjoy sailing around a lake in an AONB and donít find it ďrubbishĒ.  


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 07 May 22 at 10:52am
With the greatest respect to the club in question, AONB wouldn't exactly be a good description... however the wind bend off the Morrison's Car Park was a natty local secret in a Northerly.


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 07 May 22 at 11:00am
A2Z Did anyone say cruising or sailing just for fun was rubbish ? I must of missed that .
Even I have been known to take the D-Zero out for a spin on a Saturday afternoon blast occasionally and as we only sail on 8 acres itís not like I donít know every cm of the pond . But to be honest if that was my only sailing experience it would soon get very boring. It would  be different if I sailed at a larger water like Draycote or even Shustoke/Cotswold/South Cerney etc  type size. 
At the end of the day, sailing is a very big cake and we can all decide how big a slice of that cake we want to experience and enjoy .Smile



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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 07 May 22 at 11:28am
When it comes to asking about levels of 'activity' at a club, starters in races is something you can measure, it's on most clubs' websites . Participation in organised training is less public, but again something that can be found out.  Boats out sailing casually are much harder to quantify, but I've often found  clubs to be pretty quiet when there's no racing or formal training going on. So many boats only afloat a dozen times a year or less.


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 07 May 22 at 11:41am
You must be a scientist ;)

Just because you canít measure it or didnít observe it, doesnít mean it didnít happen.

This is the action as of 5 minutes ago.  No one racing or in organised training, just out for a good time.



Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 07 May 22 at 12:09pm
That's Chew. Two events on their calendar today....


Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 07 May 22 at 1:24pm
Originally posted by eric_c

When it comes to asking about levels of 'activity' at a club, starters in races is something you can measure, it's on most clubs' websites . Participation in organised training is less public, but again something that can be found out.† Boats out sailing casually are much harder to quantify, but I've often found† clubs to be pretty quiet when there's no racing or formal training going on. So many boats only afloat a dozen times a year or less.


Cruising is often a victim of the safety cultureÖ..people canít or wonít sail unless there is safety cover. Safety cover is often only provided during racing.


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 07 May 22 at 3:24pm
Ö which is why I never resented the Ďapparentlyí high fees at my old club

We had professional safety cover through water opening hours, and the personal cost is soon amortised in the event of gear failure or injury

TBH- the fees were bloody good value compared to most other leisure activities Iíve done


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 07 May 22 at 4:34pm
Originally posted by sargesail

Originally posted by eric_c

When it comes to asking about levels of 'activity' at a club, starters in races is something you can measure, it's on most clubs' websites . Participation in organised training is less public, but again something that can be found out.  Boats out sailing casually are much harder to quantify, but I've often found  clubs to be pretty quiet when there's no racing or formal training going on. So many boats only afloat a dozen times a year or less.


Cruising is often a victim of the safety cultureÖ..people canít or wonít sail unless there is safety cover. Safety cover is often only provided during racing.


Depends what you mean by 'cruising'.
Pottering about in F3 in a Wayfarer is pretty low risk.
Blasting around in a fragile high performance boat in F5 has a lot more potential for things to go wrong.
Conversely, in some places the biggest risk is ending up a long way from home if the wind dies.
People's attitude to requiring safety cover may be somewhat related to changes in boats and attitudes to how light a wind is worth going for a sail in, or what the upper end of 'enjoyable' is. As a kid, we had family beach holidays with a dinghy to cruise, but my Dad's ideas of 'cruising conditions' were more likely to need oars or an outboard than toestraps. these days, my idea of  cruising generally involves a boat with a built in cooker and a ballast keel. Many other people around here, if they're not going to race, they'd choose a board instead of a boat. Most board people are not expecting a safety boat.


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 07 May 22 at 5:17pm
Some owners of water suitable for sailing specify a safety boat, Sandwell council who own the water where my club is, used to put a safety boat on every day, but due to cuts this was stopped.

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Robert


Posted By: sargesail
Date Posted: 08 May 22 at 8:02am
Inland the risk (if correctly dressed) is ending up a long way from home.

And whisper it quietly but the presence of a safety boat or boats covering a fleet rather than a couple of boats is no real mitigation against entrapment risks.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 09 May 22 at 5:19pm
Originally posted by eric_c

Many other people around here, if they're not going to race, they'd choose a board instead of a boat. Most board people are not expecting a safety boat.

My old board sailing club is still thriving, there is no organised club racing and the safety boat is only on the water during events. It's a bit of a walk back if you end up at the downwind end of the lake but it's perfectly doable.


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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 09 May 22 at 6:10pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

Originally posted by eric_c

Many other people around here, if they're not going to race, they'd choose a board instead of a boat. Most board people are not expecting a safety boat.

My old board sailing club is still thriving, there is no organised club racing and the safety boat is only on the water during events. It's a bit of a walk back if you end up at the downwind end of the lake but it's perfectly doable.


I can imagine ending up on the wrong side of a private reservoir could be worse than eding up on the wrong public beach. But all these things are more nuisance than life-threatening generally.
Good to hear people are making a go of a board club on a non-racing model.


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 09 May 22 at 11:48pm
Originally posted by turnturtle

Ö which is why I never resented the Ďapparentlyí high fees at my old club

We had professional safety cover through water opening hours, and the personal cost is soon amortised in the event of gear failure or injury

TBH- the fees were bloody good value compared to most other leisure activities Iíve done
Itís just a shame that the club doesnít have enough members to be able to cover the cost of this professional safety cover and their severn Trent rent .  We were talking about small clubs like mine going under but this large club hasnít made a profit two years in a row for over a decade and has to dip into its reserves every other year to keep going . It has to pay @ 30,000 a year to severn Trent in rent  and pay for professional safety crew for 364 days a year . Which for most week days is not used . If it wasnít for the bar/events and sail training profits this club would be dead in the water already . Ouch
And before tt rubbishís this post , this information is public knowledge on their own social media. 


-------------
D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: salmon80
Date Posted: 09 May 22 at 11:59pm
Doesn't seem a huge loss, hardly any activity at the club.
Spread the members out at other clubs reinforces their membership and volunteer pool.


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 10 May 22 at 5:26am
Originally posted by Grumpycat




Originally posted by turnturtle

Ö which is why I never resented the Ďapparentlyí high fees at my old club

We had professional safety cover through water opening hours, and the personal cost is soon amortised in the event of gear failure or injury

TBH- the fees were bloody good value compared to most other leisure activities Iíve done

Itís just a shame that the club doesnít have enough members to be able to cover the cost of this professional safety cover and their severn Trent rent .  We were talking about small clubs like mine going under but this large club hasnít made a profit two years in a row for over a decade and has to dip into its reserves every other year to keep going . It has to pay @ 30,000 a year to severn Trent in rent  and pay for professional safety crew for 364 days a year . Which for most week days is not used . If it wasnít for the bar/events and sail training profits this club would be dead in the water already . Ouch
And before tt rubbishís this post , this information is public knowledge on their own social media. 




No plans to rubbish your post GrouchyPussy - Iíve no idea about the financial salience of the place, I havenít been there for four years at least - but itís a great stretch of water and the guys who work(ed) there couldnít be more approachable and helpful; if it isnít viable long term then sadly I think that reflects a lot more on the wider sailing community than it does on this specific establishment - no one could accuse the committee or the staff of doing anything but the best they could, and those efforts translate into far better outcomes than many of the rest of us could achieve


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 10 May 22 at 9:12am
LOL Tbh I have painted the raw facts in the worst light and the most recent committee that took over just before covid have tried to address these issues and did a fantastic job steering the club though the minefield that was the covid regulations. 
In fact they did such a good job that a lot of clubs ( including mine ) based their covid protocols on Draycotes .


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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 10 May 22 at 10:57am
They have exactly the right guy leading them despite it being the absolutely worst time in living memory to manage an outdoor sports club... even a cynical tw*t like me can recognise good leadership and exceptional achievement over adversity.


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 10 May 22 at 12:11pm
Originally posted by turnturtle

They have exactly the right guy leading them despite it being the absolutely worst time in living memory to manage an outdoor sports club... even a cynical tw*t like me can recognise good leadership and exceptional achievement over adversity.

Very true. If you you mean the committee, if you mean our friend Dave I have to say Iíve never taken to the man for many reasons . None of which I would ever mention on a forum . 
I really wish the best for the club ( even though on here it sometimes sounds as if I donít ) . This area needs a big club . Smile


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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: Sussex Lad
Date Posted: 10 May 22 at 3:16pm
I'm intrigued.LOL

Leadership Styles? One thinks he's the mutts nuts, the other thinks otherwise. Let me guess which style........I think I know, I'm sure I know......yes, I've got itLOL


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 10 May 22 at 5:12pm
I was referring specifically to Commodore, but as for the other guy, I said in an earlier post how I found him and the rest of the team approachable, friendly and a massive asset to the membership offeringÖ so sorry, no bad word about anyone   


Posted By: Sussex Lad
Date Posted: 10 May 22 at 5:47pm
......what an anti climax. Thought it was gonna get all EastEnders.


Posted By: Late starter
Date Posted: 10 May 22 at 9:19pm
Originally posted by salmon80

Doesn't seem a huge loss, hardly any activity at the club.
Spread the members out at other clubs reinforces their membership and volunteer pool.
It would be interesting to see some statistics around what happens to the membership of a club when it closes. At my small club we've always had many members who live locally, and while I think some of the keener racers will move club and continue in the sport I think a lot of our members would leave the sport if the club closed. IMHO club closures are usually a big deal.  


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 10 May 22 at 9:22pm
Anyway back to the op. The club might be closing on the 30th September but they are still trying to make their last season a good one , Lightning open meeting at the end of the month. Smile

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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 11 May 22 at 7:27am

Originally posted by Sussex Lad

......what an anti climax. Thought it was gonna get all EastEnders.



What... Peggy Mitchell screaming 'geeh outta my clubbbb'!!! for daring to use a Rooster sail on the laser start line? †No, never fear, it's far more civilised.

First offence is a little finger, yakuza style, using a baby stroller to administer the punishment...

Second offence, well we're born with two little fingers aren't we? As long as your parents could afford a decent pram, you should still have two for adulthood

Third offence, you'd beg for death... the punishment is far worse: relegated to the PY fleet racing agsinst a spreadsheet


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 11 May 22 at 8:27am
Originally posted by Late starter

Originally posted by salmon80

Doesn't seem a huge loss, hardly any activity at the club.
Spread the members out at other clubs reinforces their membership and volunteer pool.
It would be interesting to see some statistics around what happens to the membership of a club when it closes. At my small club we've always had many members who live locally, and while I think some of the keener racers will move club and continue in the sport I think a lot of our members would leave the sport if the club closed. IMHO club closures are usually a big deal.  

When my first club closed 25 years ago , I think we were down to about 30 members and about 15 of them were were regular racers . I have less information on what happened to the 15 none racers but I do know of at least two or three of them that joined other clubs .
I do know more about happened to the 15 racers , 3 were over retiring age and I think just didnít want to be bothered with the upheaval of joining a new club and stopped sailing, but the rest of us found new clubs straight away. 
To sum up, if this is replicated in other clubs that close, about 50% of a clubs membership will go on to get new clubs. 
I am not saying these are reliable statistics in anyway. Smile


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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 11 May 22 at 11:00am
I'd guess that mst actual active sailors will join another club if they actually enjoy racing.
Some might be ready to take a break from it or give it up.
The people who are involved with the sport running races, manning safety boats etc, if they don't race themselves, are perhaps more likely not to join another club? There are a lot of ex-sailors, parents of sailors etc etc who do a lot of work. Some of that will be missed by sailing as a whole. Some of the 'work' in running a a club which doesn't attract enough sailors is perhaps only of value to the people it's keeping amused on their committees?


Posted By: Ian99
Date Posted: 11 May 22 at 11:28am
Of the clubs which close, how many of those were due to the club becoming unviable? Most closures I can think of are down to them losing sailing water, or are mergers of two clubs which were aleeady next door to each other and sailed on the same water.

Possibly more interesting, what was the most recent completely new club to open? Discounting WPNSA, and the equivalents in Wales and Scotland as they aren't really clubs in the conventional sense of the word, the most recent I can think of is Carsington which opened in the mid 90s after the reservoir was built there. New sailing venues have appeared since then, but those are existing clubs which have moved to a new lake such as Bowmoor rather than a completely new club.


Posted By: Sussex Lad
Date Posted: 11 May 22 at 1:07pm
Although not a huge loss for the world of sailing it's probably a devastating blow for those who have grown up there and put so much into the club.

Having said that, the traditional SC setup is unfortunately slightly anachronistic. Leisure time availability, values and fashions etc have changed (not for the better imo). Traditional approaches are being abandoned wholesale.......  SC's are not noted for their ability to adapt to these things.


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 11 May 22 at 2:43pm
Originally posted by Sussex Lad

Although not a huge loss for the world of sailing it's probably a devastating blow for those who have grown up there and put so much into the club.

Having said that, the traditional SC setup is unfortunately slightly anachronistic. Leisure time availability, values and fashions etc have changed (not for the better imo). Traditional approaches are being abandoned wholesale.......  SC's are not noted for their ability to adapt to these things.

This is true but the added cost of clubs with full time staff and rescue crew will also force people out of the sport too. 
Sailing is between a rock and a hard place . 
 




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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 11 May 22 at 2:45pm
I think that the big issue is that once somebody has allocated their leisure time to a different activity, then it is hard to wean them back, so the most active sailors are likely to find new clubs, but the occasional sailors will probably do other things with their time.

The clubs that I am aware of that have packed up have mainly been landlord related.


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Happily living in the past


Posted By: Grumpycat
Date Posted: 11 May 22 at 3:45pm
davidyacht Sure you are correct , re landlord problems causing most club closures .
Unless your a midlands river club. Clubs like Warwick ( my old club) and Evesham just ran out of members in the 90s due to changing tastes in sailing . People wanted more than sailing up and down on narrow bit of river fighting with canoeists, hire boats and in Eveshams case, canal boats Smile



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D-zero
Ex Laser x2
Ex British Moth x4
Ex Lightning 368
Ex Supernova


Posted By: Sussex Lad
Date Posted: 11 May 22 at 5:07pm
Folk seem to want to do sport in short bursts these days. An hour at the gym, and hour running or cycling, maybe a couple of hours SUPing. It fits the modern lifestyle and frame of mind. They want to do it without an ongoing commitment to others. Volunteering for duties or work parties is not going to happen......in for an hour and out, then shower, no further mucking about or hassle.

A modern factor is background levels of stress and anxiety within the population. Clearly Job security, career prospects and lower relative wages doesn't help. This has been steadily getting worse for a couple of decades at least. You may think that this is all part of life's rich cycle and folk need to get over it (mmmm that's another debate) but this does take it's toll.

add to this current international and domestic political situations + now covid......and...... the tendency now for the media to present the worst possible disaster scenarios in language that is at best inflammatory because fear and alarm sells papers.

The population, (which includes sailors) are becoming more anxious and stressed. People who are stressed tend to narrow their outlook, narrow their field of concern. They get angrier and more easily offended, less likely to tolerate. The become less interested in further stimulation or hassles. They care less about stuff that's outside their immediate sphere of concern. They want easy answers to other incidental needs like health and fitness  (and other things).

The effects are insidious but relentless ATM. 

Sailing is complicated, needs lots of time and if you're doing it in a traditional club, needs lots of commitment to that club and other members. It also comes with extra hassle.

People are changing.

I am aware that some folk on here will think this is all absolutely irrelevant BS but Hey ho. I doubt SC's can adapt to this.



Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 11 May 22 at 5:43pm
The problem with the short burst no commitment model is that it is very expensive. Sailing clubs in their traditional form developed in the 1950s when people were much less affluent than they are today, and evolved as the cheapest way to make dinghy racing possible. Alternates will only really work for the rich who don't have to worry about the money.

In many ways it would be going back to competitive sailing as it existed before WW2, even WW1 when gentleman (and some ladies) had their expensive clubs in Cowes or on the Thames, and the only working people who sailed were fishermen and the like who crewed on millionaires yachts in the summer.


Posted By: Do Different
Date Posted: 11 May 22 at 7:23pm
Spot on Jim.

In general affluence breeds laziness. Yes an old fashioned view but hey ho there y'go not everyone will agree.

Pay and play with no commitment, how is that an answer for money stressed; it's not, it is an outdated legacy of living on tick.

Deliveroo, JustEat,,,,,,,,, get your act together and save money. 
 


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 11 May 22 at 7:33pm
I have seen no evidence that amateur run clubs will survive once the over sixties have gone. Sailing will be run and staffed by todays SI's and DI's, overseen either by local authorities or companies.

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Robert


Posted By: turnturtle
Date Posted: 11 May 22 at 7:39pm
And in an increasing culture where one can sue for stubbing their toe, or being wrong-pronouned whilst being rescued after a capsize, a certain level of professional H&S is inevitable


Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 11 May 22 at 8:08pm
Adults only amateur club would substantially reduce paper work, no buildings or possessions, would remove insurance mitigation, rock up in a group and run races, safety is the responsibility of nearest boats to the incident. Would work really well, for that group but would do nothing for sailing.

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Robert


Posted By: Do Different
Date Posted: 11 May 22 at 8:16pm
Who's that bloke on here who signs off "Happily living in the past" ?
From what I'm reading, the past offers a more healthy future than the rabbit hole I see from my perspective. 


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 11 May 22 at 8:38pm
 I think some consolidation of clubs is inevitable over the next ten years as the wave of the boomer sailors of the 60ís and 70ís work through.  I donít think that there is any one model that will lead the way.  I suspect that the clubs that support and are supported by a local community are the most likely to survive Ö I work along the south coast and can point to several clubs that appear to be doing ok, judging by their Wednesday night turnouts, and are firmly embedded in ďsailing townsĒ Ö Warsash, Lymington and Salcombe stand out.  Rather reassuringly there were four new younger pairings sailing in our Wednesday evening race tonight, so maybe fears of the demise of club racing are premature

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Happily living in the past


Posted By: A2Z
Date Posted: 11 May 22 at 9:06pm
I got news for the naysayersÖ
1. the sky isnít falling in
2. Pay and play equals easy come, easy go.  It is hard to plan anything even medium term when your customers can been gone in the morning.
3. Sailing is rare in being multi-generational, outdoors, green and doesnít have many direct alternatives. It wonít appeal to everyone, but it appeals strongly to those it does appeal to.
4.  Todayís over 60s will be replaced by the next generation.  Thatís how life works.  At any rate the average age of our committee is probably mid 40s. 




Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 11 May 22 at 9:07pm
Statistics point to imminent demise of amateur sports. Substantial majority of professional staff and skilled trades people are over fifty, in ten years this country is going to be in dire straits, we will be reduced to economic level of semi industrial countries, its that bad.

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Robert


Posted By: Do Different
Date Posted: 11 May 22 at 9:19pm
Although I didn't sail until middle age my town living school mates were going to this Club. It has been going since 1907 so will have gone through several flushes of enthusiasm and appears to be going full bore to this day. 

https://www.becclesasc.co.uk/about
 


Posted By: CT249
Date Posted: 12 May 22 at 4:52am
Originally posted by JimC


In many ways it would be going back to competitive sailing as it existed before WW2, even WW1 when gentleman (and some ladies) had their expensive clubs in Cowes or on the Thames, and the only working people who sailed were fishermen and the like who crewed on millionaires yachts in the summer.

One could say that much of the sailing industry and World Sailing are driving the sport in that direction anyway. When one reads the sailing press of late 1800s to 1930s it appears to be quite similar to the sailing press of the 2020s in its concentration on the most expensive and elitist part of the sailing scene, and in the way it largely ignores local or cheap classes. The sailing authority decisions also concentrated largely on the elite, just as they do today.

It's a vast contrast to the situation in the sport's later growth periods, when at least some parts of the industry promoted classes like Snipes, or the real boomtime with its concentration on classes like Holt designs and cruiser/racers, rather than boats that almost no one can afford.

It's a long way from dinghy sailing, but the fact that in the '60s boomtime the New York Yacht Club thought that the America's Cup was too elitist because a winning campaign cost $800,000 (about $7 million in today's values) says a lot about how enormously our standards have changed.

To me one of the weirdest things is that no one today seems to use data to see what is succeeding and what is failing in the promotion of our sport, so bull***t reigns.

I'm lucky, our local club is booming as is my main class, but the overall situation is pretty poor.


Posted By: Paramedic
Date Posted: 12 May 22 at 6:28am
Originally posted by A2Z


4.  Todayís over 60s will be replaced by the next generation.  Thatís how life works.  At any rate the average age of our committee is probably mid 40s. 



Thats a very young committee!


Posted By: The Q
Date Posted: 12 May 22 at 6:29am
Originally posted by Do Different

Although I didn't sail until middle age my town living school mates were going to this Club. It has been going since 1907 so will have gone through several flushes of enthusiasm and appears to be going full bore to this day. 

https://www.becclesasc.co.uk/about
 
Beccles is a good club, I've sailed there a couple of times..

Up here on the northern Broads at Horning SC (originally formally founded 1910***), I think our current Commodore is in his 50's and the Commodore before that was in her early 30s.
Throughout  my 43 year membership of HSC, the majority of officers and workers at this entirely Amateur run and operated club has been mostly the retired. I retire at the end of the year and will be volunteering for many more duties.

We have all but run out of space in our Dinghy park, but we have lost a few out of the  keelboat classes (20-25ft no cabin) so have mooring spaces there..

*** there was racing / sailing at Horning many years before that there's a photo of 1895 racing  and there is film of the 1908 regatta here...  http://www.eafa.org.uk/catalogue/57 The current club house is on the same corner of the river and our racing is mostly on the same stretch of river.


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Still sailing in circles


Posted By: Mark Aged 42
Date Posted: 12 May 22 at 7:11am
Judging a club by the age of its committee members is wrong. Most sports see a decline in participation in two age groups - when the 18 year olds head off to university, and when the 25-35 year olds have children. Committee members being in their late 50s to 60s is the norm, because they have the free time, experience and energy.


Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 12 May 22 at 9:20am
Originally posted by CT249

.

One could say that much of the sailing industry and World Sailing are driving the sport in that direction anyway. When one reads the sailing press of late 1800s to 1930s it appears to be quite similar to the sailing press of the 2020s in its concentration on the most expensive and elitist part of the sailing scene, and in the way it largely ignores local or cheap classes. The sailing authority decisions also concentrated largely on the elite, just as they do today.

It's a vast contrast to the situation in the sport's later growth periods, when at least some parts of the industry promoted classes like Snipes, or the real boomtime with its concentration on classes like Holt designs and cruiser/racers, rather than boats that almost no one can afford.

It's a long way from dinghy sailing, but the fact that in the '60s boomtime the New York Yacht Club thought that the America's Cup was too elitist because a winning campaign cost $800,000 (about $7 million in today's values) says a lot about how enormously our standards have changed.

To me one of the weirdest things is that no one today seems to use data to see what is succeeding and what is failing in the promotion of our sport, so bull***t reigns.

I'm lucky, our local club is booming as is my main class, but the overall situation is pretty poor.

This is full of errors.
Most of the 'elitist' events are not, and ever have been, drien byWS or its previous incarnations. The really expensive events like the Americas Cup, Sail GP are driven by media interests and M/B -illionaires.  WS meanwhile promotes the international classes like the Laser. Who's fault is it that the GrandPrix type events get the media coverage? Could it be that's what media viewers and readers want? I think it's time people STFU about the 1960 dinghy boom, it's never going to be the 1960s again, get over it. Using 'data' to measure success requires deciding what 'success' actually is. 'Success' for one mud-puddle club in one year might not be contributing to 'success' for the wider view of UK sailing looking forwards  to the next couple of decades.  


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 12 May 22 at 11:54am
Well to my mind success is ordinary folks having fun on the water. I don't really give a flying f*** about millionaire toys or professional sailing.


Posted By: Late starter
Date Posted: 12 May 22 at 12:07pm
Originally posted by JimC

Well to my mind success is ordinary folks having fun on the water. I don't really give a flying f*** about millionaire toys or professional sailing.
Probably the best post in this entire thread !    Well said sir !


Posted By: Sussex Lad
Date Posted: 12 May 22 at 12:23pm
Originally posted by JimC

Well to my mind success is ordinary folks having fun on the water. I don't really give a flying f*** about millionaire toys or professional sailing.


Absolutely, utterly and completely agree.

Commercial pressure for those clubs renting and social pressures affecting folks desire to sail are real. We can all think of clubs that buck the trend but to deny that many sailing clubs are struggling and the overall trend is falling participation is to my mind living in denial. 

The image of sailing is the logical starting point when it comes to making the best of a bad situation.
White, middle class, male dominated, increasingly elderly, imperialist and vaguely military. Most of the folks in SC's ATM are ok with this image and may even be proud of it but I would say the majority of the population wouldn't be for one reason or another. The sport has got to look acceptable to as many folk as possible first and foremost.

Yes there are pressures but can the sport of sailing adapt in this way.....I don't think it can anymore


Posted By: CT249
Date Posted: 12 May 22 at 12:42pm
Originally posted by eric_c

Originally posted by CT249

.

One could say that much of the sailing industry and World Sailing are driving the sport in that direction anyway. When one reads the sailing press of late 1800s to 1930s it appears to be quite similar to the sailing press of the 2020s in its concentration on the most expensive and elitist part of the sailing scene, and in the way it largely ignores local or cheap classes. The sailing authority decisions also concentrated largely on the elite, just as they do today.

It's a vast contrast to the situation in the sport's later growth periods, when at least some parts of the industry promoted classes like Snipes, or the real boomtime with its concentration on classes like Holt designs and cruiser/racers, rather than boats that almost no one can afford.

It's a long way from dinghy sailing, but the fact that in the '60s boomtime the New York Yacht Club thought that the America's Cup was too elitist because a winning campaign cost $800,000 (about $7 million in today's values) says a lot about how enormously our standards have changed.

To me one of the weirdest things is that no one today seems to use data to see what is succeeding and what is failing in the promotion of our sport, so bull***t reigns.

I'm lucky, our local club is booming as is my main class, but the overall situation is pretty poor.

This is full of errors.
Most of the 'elitist' events are not, and ever have been, drien byWS or its previous incarnations. The really expensive events like the Americas Cup, Sail GP are driven by media interests and M/B -illionaires.  WS meanwhile promotes the international classes like the Laser. Who's fault is it that the GrandPrix type events get the media coverage? Could it be that's what media viewers and readers want? I think it's time people STFU about the 1960 dinghy boom, it's never going to be the 1960s again, get over it. Using 'data' to measure success requires deciding what 'success' actually is. 'Success' for one mud-puddle club in one year might not be contributing to 'success' for the wider view of UK sailing looking forwards  to the next couple of decades.  

Wrong.


I didn't say that WS drove the "elitist" events like the AC. I used the AC as an example of "how enormously our standards have changed", not as an example of an event run or driven by WS.


In about 1969, for example, the NYYC had a committee consider the replacement of the 12s with a 62'-ish IOR boat because the 12s were seen as too separate from the "mainstream" of the sport, and too expensive in terms of lack of resale value. These days, it's accepted that an AC is at least five times as expensive (in inflation adjusted terms) and its accepted that an AC boat will be vastly different from the mainstream.


WS is not just promoting classes like the Laser, which is a member of one of the world's most popular types, the singlehanded hiking dinghy - rather, it has promoted far less popular foilers so much that they form majority of classes in the Olympics, the major event that WS controls. That is an example of the "elitist" (one may use other terms, perhaps) nature of WS' direction. They are NOT trying to reflect the sport's makeup as it actually is, like they did in earlier times.


The reports about adoption of earlier Olympic classes, like the Laser, 470, windsurfer etc make it clear that in those days, WS believed that the Olympics should represent the participant side of the sport to a large extent. These days, they basically ignore that in favour of promoting a bunch of classes that, with one or perhaps two exceptions, are very small niches compared to the "mainstream" types that are largely or entirely excluded.


When I left the industry it was apparent that a whole bunch of factors had caused a drift away from the sailing industry and media promoting the sailing that most sailors do and towards the sailing that very, very few of them do. I didn't say it was anyone's "fault" that events like the GP get the media coverage. However, given that last time anyone (AFAIK) tried to get data they found that potential sailors were turned off by the sport's image as elitist, expensive, difficult and dangerous it seems logical to note that the concentration on that sort of sailing would logically seem to be hurting the sport.


I have no idea why you apparently believe that I have only one vision of what "success" is. Don't claim I'm making errors merely because of conclusions you drew without evidence.


The point is that in the past, to use one example, people in the sailing media have regularly used and highlighted data to look at various indicators of "success". Even in the 1880s, Dixon Kemp would keep data on the number of active racing yachts from one year to the next, and he could therefore provide useful data on what types of boat were growing or fading and the general health of the racing side of the sport.


These days there is lots of that sort of data around but the sailing media and, from my conversations with some of them and their printed remarks, the sailing authorities ignore data such as the number of boats sailing in general, the types that are actually selling, etc.


I'm quite over the 60s but that doesn't mean I have to STFU about the reasons why clubs and classes are fading. I want to ensure that our sport remains strong enough that we can still get boats and races, and to do that I have studied lessons that I have used to grow my local club and to revive a class that I once ran and which is now the 2nd or 3rd top selling class in the world.


Sorry if actually trying to learn how to keep our sport vital annoys you for some reason, and for finding it intellectually interesting.



Posted By: eric_c
Date Posted: 12 May 22 at 1:09pm
Originally posted by Sussex Lad

Originally posted by JimC

Well to my mind success is ordinary folks having fun on the water. I don't really give a flying f*** about millionaire toys or professional sailing.


Absolutely, utterly and completely agree.

Commercial pressure for those clubs renting and social pressures affecting folks desire to sail are real. We can all think of clubs that buck the trend but to deny that many sailing clubs are struggling and the overall trend is falling participation is to my mind living in denial. 

The image of sailing is the logical starting point when it comes to making the best of a bad situation.
White, middle class, male dominated, increasingly elderly, imperialist and vaguely military. Most of the folks in SC's ATM are ok with this image and may even be proud of it but I would say the majority of the population wouldn't be for one reason or another. The sport has got to look acceptable to as many folk as possible first and foremost.

Yes there are pressures but can the sport of sailing adapt in this way.....I don't think it can anymore


Since about 1960, if not before, the wealthy and/or professional sailors have had a significant role in getting ordinary people interested in sailing. Chichester, Rose, Blyth and all those people inspired others. More recently, Ellen Macarthur, and a few others?

I'm not sure looking acceptable to the maximum number of people is what matters, maybe it's more important to deliver some 'value' to enough people who are likely to be interested? It doesn't matter what football fans or cricketers think of us if they're busy doing football or cricket.  There maybe no point in chasing the mass market like in the 60s, because the world has changed. In a UK where 1.5 million people go skiing every year, just to pick one alterative way of spending cash on fun, 'sailing' might need to face the fact it will have a smaller market share. In my view it's more viable to provide a good quality offering to people who want it, than to go chasing people who are not really interested. These days there are a lot of alternatives to tacking around a small pond.Spread yourself thin, sell yourself short. It's inevitable that some clubs are unviable in a shrinking market and that people will shop around for clubs which offer them what they want, or question whether clubs serve them at all.
OTOH, some small clubs have had their ups and downs for 50 or 100 years, people come, people go, boats change a bit but sailing is still sailing.


Posted By: Sussex Lad
Date Posted: 12 May 22 at 3:29pm
Originally posted by eric_c

 



Since about 1960, if not before, the wealthy and/or professional sailors have had a significant role in getting ordinary people interested in sailing. Chichester, Rose, Blyth and all those people inspired others. More recently, Ellen Macarthur, and a few others?
I disagree with elitism because it sets unattainable goals for 99%. Elitism is also invariably linked with Individualism which is one of the major follies of Human kind (and no I'm not a commie). I do get your point though and I like the phrase "ordinary people" although ordinary people come in all shapes, sizes, colours and genders, a diverse bunch........anyway it seems you are suggesting that promoting the sport to the general public is a good thing , that part I like. It's part of my clubs written constitution/objectives. It's also what this forum used to be about BTW. Marvellous. 
I'm not sure looking acceptable to the maximum number of people is what matters, maybe it's more important to deliver some 'value' to enough people who are likely to be interested?   There maybe no point in chasing the mass market like in the 60s, because the world has changed.
What group of people are they who are "likely to be interested"? How do I recognise them? How do you recognise them? How do they recognise themselves? They may really enjoy the activity but Why should they come forward when the image is unacceptable to them? You are suggesting a targeted approach when we have no idea what the target looks like.
In my view it's more viable to provide a good quality offering to people who want it, than to go chasing people who are not really interested. 
Now you're sounding like you prefer a more exclusive approach. A far cry from your initial statement where you suggest promoting it to ordinary people.



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