Brooksey and other 505 lovers

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Michael Brigg
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Re: Brooksey and other 505 lovers

Post by Michael Brigg » Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:41 pm

Davidh said:-
Maybe...just maybe, the door was not left open to Smods but forced off it's hinges by demanding sailors, greedy builders and a complacent administration.
Is this the awful truth you were telling us about David when you said we would all stop speaking to you?! Are you a whistle blower, a parliamentary mole with a gigabyte of data on the expenses claims of RYA?

Is the shape of a 5-O's bottom (its "Callipygian quality" as Ed put it not so long ago in the rather sweaty thread about wooden Fairey 5-O's) our sailing equivalent of Adult films on the expense account??

The worst thing about the paliamentary expenses scandal is not that they were doing it, but the fact that they were telling the rest of us that we were greedy and corrupt if we so much as put an extra mile on the petrol allowance. They are themselves guilty of Gross Moral Terpitude!! (so now you know David :lol: )

So it seems to me you are calling some of the Classic Dinghy classes Pots to the SMOD kettle, which I suppose is a fair enough suggestion. Some classes have learned this to their cost, but in the face of intense competition One design classes perhaps need to adapt or die unless they are supported at a club level. It is all too common for a Club looking at it's membership figures to change its "middle grade" class for a more popular model hoping to attract new members. Wrong! The new prototype class turns out to be badly made, or unsuitable for the water or sailor, overpowered perhaps, or too complicated, and so a stable popular format of close club racing in boats whose history and tradition is linked with a club can suddenly be forever lost at the whim of a few lobbyists. This also happens at a higher level.

For example, The Mirror class has abandoned its "signature" gaff rig for a bermudan. It is justified on the grounds of "Expense," but has surely been pushed through by a minority of the older racing members of the assotiation (who choose to continue racing a childrens boat.) Nessa has already told us how the worst behaved sailors are the Optimist parents.

What is to be done when sailors are deserting in droves to other classes that are percieved to be more Cool or easier to maintain. The SMOD has considerable appeal to the newcomer to the sport. Clean, shiny and aggressively marketed to modern standards that flatter to decieve. You could easily imagine yourself as a champion in one of these whereas the more practical designs sailed and seriously raced in many clubs need more time and attention than a Sunsail or similar Flotilla sailor might have available.

One designs have to modernise, and increased speed is all too often percieved as the same process. I have enjoyed a week-end at the back of, but nevertheless still within the fleet of highly competative fireflies without suffering the indignity of being lapped because a good winning margin is not a country mile by merit of the boats naturally slower hull speed. I do not as a result feel that I am completely outclassed even if that is actually the case!

Long time sailors love to sail. Doesn't matter what the boat is. Whichever classes are allowed into the CVRDA events I think the CVRDA is essentially safe from being overun by "Bandits" because if someone needs winning that much they probably don't really love the sport, or the pursuit of quintessentialism that seems to underly much of the CVRDA event philosophy.

It is the difference between a Twitcher and a Birdwatcher.
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Re: Brooksey and other 505 lovers

Post by davidh » Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:08 pm

well said brooksey, Nigel and Rupert!

For sure, one of the good things about the CVRDA is that is will be what the members want it to be. To date, that has been to provide a heathly platform for some good sailing.... not to mention the central clearing point for so much useful information.

I'm aware of a couple of people who had talked about coming along to pot hunt yet have never gotten around to it. That is not to say though that the idea is not out there - it is (and no, I am not referring to a Seafire in a Brightlingsea Shed.... though that would do the trick, I have no doubt at all of that).

Another strength of the Association is the ability to get feedback without full on committment; far better to know now that the 505 (or any other similar boat) is a non starter, at least for two more years, than to turn up and be like the unwanted wedding guest.

At the time, I did apologise for using Strangler and his Horent as an example, not for the least in the fact that I have the greatest respect for his sailing ability - which we all saw well demonstrated at Netley. BUT (that word again) - the fact remains that this is a good example of what has been at the core of the discussion here. The Hornet that sailed in the Netley Nationals is the same boat that Strangler races out on the core open meeting circuit. Put it up against Shoestring and the rationale of the arguement becomes obvious.

Likewise, those who set carbon deck stepped rigs on a 40 year old Merlin. Yes, you can do it and yes, it is clearly effective but is it the way we want to go?

We have seen in the Firefly fleet on of the Olympic boats, fully done up and modernised, putting almost the whole of the rest, including all the modern boats, well into their place. This is a boat that in everyway is 100% eligible yet is far removed from Saskia or Michael Brigg's boat.

So rather than curtail the debate, let it roll on, for in doing so it is helping solidify where the rules, not to mention the 'lines in the sand' should be. The work that was done 10 years ago has got the CVRDA to the position it is today, but the arguement has to be that sometime in the next decade, that in one way or another, that these rules, like those for MPs expenses, will be found wanting.

So much better for sure to have that debate now, then set the rules in place for the next decade. Then go sailing...... knowing that all is well for another 3653 days........
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Re: Brooksey and other 505 lovers

Post by roger » Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:12 pm

Rupert wrote:I'd just like to revisit the case of Strangler and his Hornet at last year's Netley event. I confess I wasn't aware that there had been any mutterings - the boat was a well set up qualifying Hornet, sailed very well and a deserved winner. The conditions suited him, and I certainly have no quibbles about being soundly thrashed! I hope that the handicap points we gave Roger to compensate for the age thing were enough to mean that helming skill and the windy conditions were the deciding factors between the boats.
No I was robbed I am a much better sailor than Strangler :roll: :shock: :D
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alan williams
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Re: Brooksey and other 505 lovers

Post by alan williams » Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:26 am

I would just like to say that the CVDRA was not set up as a panacea for all that is wrong in the rule making bodies of other Assoc's. Those persons sailing outdated one designs should firstly address their complaints to their Assoc., making it very clear that they feel marginailsed by the Assoc., that demands their subs or participation in events. Most classes now have a Classic division which is determined by the members of the Assoc. Some have very definate cut off points others have vague criteria such as the Fireball based on sail numbers. What is a classic in one class is not necessary a classic, old boat in the CVRDA. I feel that these persons are looking for an easy way out rather than facing up to their Assocs. Who in light of the current climate, with very few new boats being built apart from plastic fantastic's SMOD's, are feeling under pressure and should be welcoming all the boats they can. Setting up divisions within a championship and open meetings (which the Fireball's are doing very succesfully), to accommodate them and generally look after their members. They could also adjust the PY using the CVRDA guidelines or develop their own to ensure more equitable racing. Some thing that alot of clubs are now doing. PY's Are NOT CARVED IN STONE.
I also feel that to point the finger at Strangler is not fair John is a great sailor several times winner of the Hornet and FD champs and lets face it, far better than the majority of us. I spoke to him last weekend and he will not be defending his title and was evasive when I asked why, could he have been driven away by all the chinese whispers?( I've not heard any),. The fact that he can win the Hornet Nationals in a CVRDA qualifying boat is to be praised not rubbished. The Hornets racing in the CVRDA have always had there handicaps adjusted accordlingy. Based on not only age but also on whether they were a qualifying Revo, Coombes or pre Revo, with the Revo,s and Coombes boats racing off the current handicap. Pre Revo/Coombes handicaps are adjusted to go with the orginallity of the boat. This also applies to all boats racing under CVRDA rules.
Thats my moan of the day.
Al Finn 424etc.
Last edited by alan williams on Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Brooksey and other 505 lovers

Post by Pat » Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:25 pm

Shame you're not bringing the 505 to Roadford, David. I was looking forward to seeing it thrash the RS400s in the Goodacre Cup just like Chris B did there in his unmodernised, fifty year old Merlin on Sunday :D

Personally I've sailed an old Lark at a cvrda meeting a couple of times but only to boost numbers and get a sail when the Merlin's not available. It's older than our qualifying Merlin and with the original sails too! The class chairman wants to get a "classic" wing going and is trying to drum up support but I haven't heard anything lately.
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Re: Brooksey and other 505 lovers

Post by davidh » Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:21 pm


If you look back I think you will find that tere was not any 'finger pointing' at Strangler, for like you, I know just how good a helm he is. But when you're looking for an example to illustrate a point, well, it just so happens that he unwittingly supplied it.

I hope by now that we've moved the debate on a bit, but that said, once again the good Doctor has correctly identified the underlying ailment. Classic pots and Smod kettles is a good analogy and one that I like, for it is close to my own line of thinking.

Sadly Michael, no, my treachery runs far deeper than that! We I to come clear any discussion of the eligability of the 505 would be a non starter - other than for a tall mast to 'hang him high'!

Sadly Pat, I do not think the Five-O is up to thrashing anyone right now, still less the nicely handicapped rs400. When we started at Torquay, it became clear in the first beat that this was a rig optimised for flat water - lake conditions no less (had it been legal I'd have brought it to Shearwater - now that WOULD have been worth seeing). It now looks far more like a rig for sailing in breeze and a chop - but who did not record where things were before changing them (hey... I'm a helm.... what do you expect? INtelligence??) By the time the mast changes to a telephone pole like Epsilon with two foot spreaders, it might work in waves too.

Can we have the 2012/2013 Nationals at Plymouth/Lyme Regis/Worthing...anywhere with big seas!

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Re: Brooksey and other 505 lovers

Post by Ed » Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:14 pm

I have been keeping up with this thread......but really biting my tongue trying to not jump in.

Why.....simply because we have discussed it many many times before and I wasnt' sure there was any new opinions or thoughts to cover that had not been done to death before.

But as it has quietened down a little bit....I thought I would just stir the mire a teeny weeny bit.

I will try and make it quick though...

But First....Dave,

That gorgeous 505. It was never "happily accepted when in the bosom of the South Western clique". It was never accepted by anyone or seen by anyone as a 'cvrda' boat. It never raced with the CVRDA, it was never given a CVRDA handicap and I dont think that its owner (other Neil?) was ever a cvrda member.

It was simply a modern wood-composite boat raced at Roadford.....that looked beautiful. It is beautiful....but a pretty long way away from the ethos of the boats that the CVRDA was originally put together for.....the boats from the 50s - 60s, the Fairey boats, and Proctor Merlins and 12s etc....

I was tempted to buy it....I loved it, one of the main reasons I didn't was that I didn't want to wait till it was legible. To be honest, at the time, I thought the wait was more like 10 years than 5 so was just not interested.

But this original post came very close to 'trolling' :cry: and if it had been said by someone from the Solent about the East coast or the other way around, I would of removed it, but I didn't want to think I was removing a thread - just because I was protecting a 'clique' ...that I guess included me.

But so, its too new by 3 years of something.....should it race? This would always cause some discussion and there could only be lots of opinions 'for' and 'against'. Those have been aired and as I don't have any influence anyway....I am happy to say - the membership has spoken. Mind you, for myself....I would of been happy to allow it to race.....but and it is a big BUT. I would expect the handicap to be pretty damn tough. To the point of you going "What the 'f..., you must be kidding".

Have we had boats this out of eligible date before....I am afraid so....and they have won the 'Old Wing' before too....but this was largely by mistake and when the boat came back the following year, they were so upset with the 'new' handicap, they left declaring we had 'handicapped' them out of the event.....but they were still 3 years too young at the time.

Again, have people tried to bring 'just 25-year old' boats to pot-hunt.....well yes and they also had 'punitive' handicaps for that year and took it with a smile and sailed 'hard' to still do very well. One year one of these boats was winning at end of first day but then it broke.

I also agree with you regarding much of what you say....especially re some of the classes that just 'don't' get in with the current rules. For me, as we have discussed, I especially worry about the Phantoms and the Marauders. Both of which seem to me well within the 'ethos' . Especially the Marauder. They asked us to put on their last 'nats'. We turned them down as they were not 'in'. I thought then and still think this was a mistake. We should of supported them by helping run their nats.

As for Strangler......I didn't realise there was much 'muttering'. None came my way. Now I think this is strange. It was fairly common knowledge that the event handicaps were worked out mainly by Rupert and me.....yet He has already said he 'heard' nothing...and neither did I. If there was 'muttering' then why didn't we know?

I still have no problem with the handicap we gave that Hornet. Strangler won simply because he was sailing way way better than most of the rest of us (hell I was sitting on the beach, worrying about damaging Conquest).

But, I do agree that the handicap on Shoestring, was most probably not as 'kind' as it should of been. This is always what we feel after the event and I know that Rupe and I will continue to think about how we can help the really old boats get a fair race. I have said this a million times, but if someone wants to win really bad....and we had the handicaps right, they would be looking for an old boat....and trying to find 'cotton' sails and a 'wooden' mast to fit. If they feel that they need a foam sandwich hull, with a wood-epoxy deck, then we simply have not got the handicapping right yet.

All this talk does show that there is still some discussion on how the constitution could be changed to improve our racing.

I am all for that. As Roger said: now is the time to draw up any 'changes' you many want to have so that we can vote for them at the AGM.

I will start another thread shortly with some of my opinions and we can discuss it there.

I think someone suggested that the constitution was not 'written in stone'.....

I agree, but we did take time and care to both draw up a set of rules that supported what we (and it is a w i d e church) wanted to do....and also make them secure enough that they could not be just changed by whim against the will of the majority. The CVRDA is pretty lax about most things.....but it is all based on a pretty firm set of original ideals and we have already seen that members do support them and prefer to have a set of rules rather than an anarchy.

Our current rules have been around for 10 years and it may well be that now is a good time to consider changing them. Strangely enough for me, I am far more concerned about the definitions of 'vintage' and 'classic' rather than the 'old' which has always been a bit of weird compromise, (brought in at the last minute) to try and allow some old boats....but not others.

If you have any new ideas....and can put them on paper....go for it....lets get discussing.


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Re: Brooksey and other 505 lovers

Post by roger » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:02 pm


I have no worries about the handicap given to shoestring at the Nationals. Truth is we didnt complete enough races as I was concerned about that heavy wooden mast swinging about and pulling those 50 year old brass bolts out of the shroud plates and dropping bits of mast through the deck.
It was great to get her on a full on plane on the reaches and I am please she suffered no ill effects but looking back maybe I should have sat on the beach more often than i sailed her that weekend.
Strang is a top class sailor with a up to date boat. He sailed well and was able to push his boat where we lesser mortals chose to ease off. If the wind had been lighter and the waves a little less choppy the handicap given (which I didnt even look at) may have given a different result.
When I sail Shoestring I winning is the last thing on my mind.

Looknig forward to Roadford.
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Re: Brooksey and other 505 lovers

Post by davidh » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:58 pm

Cor blimey Ed, you're taking a bit of a risk! You'll be sent to the naughty step for pot stirring!

But every word you say is pretty much 'on the nail' so well done for saying it.

Whatever the respective merits of the old wooden five-o, it is not the boat that is important but the potential for what it could be. You see, just before 7939 (got number right this time after 4 days of looking up at the mainsail) came my way, a carbon hulled Parker crossed my path. Now given the state of things here, adding a boat in to the collection was, as the song goes, "the last thing on my mind". But - and here is the rub, compressed down into one focused sentiment - I could have done and in doing so would have had a boat that was probably faster than the Morrison woodie, just not as pretty. And what is more, it would have been comfortably 'inside' the CVRDA criteria and therefore eligible for Roadford.

Is that what we want? My gut feel is no..... yet in the current situation, it would be difficult to say no to someone turning up with such a boat. It matters then not one jot if 7939 is ineligible now, for as the CVRDA second decade kicks off, it will become so - along with some pretty damn good Merlins, National 12s and penultimate 14s. By the time we're half way through the second decade, FRP Canterbury Tales will be street legal , as will Howlett 1bs.
Let's take this one step further; 2/3rds through the second decade, will Isos be sailing with us?

The trouble is, in your wisdom, you created something good in the CVRDA, so no wonder that others may well want to jump on the bandwagon. Just because it hasn't happened yet, does not mean to say that it won't, so maybe the recent debate is exactly the sort of discussion that should be being held, so that come 2010 and beyond, the way forward is clear.

I think you're right - the Mirror 14s (only using them as an example - honest) are a worthy case, far more so than a barely legal 505 (albeit one that is legal), ditto some of the very early Phantoms when at some point in the no too distant future, pretty nifty Finns will be welcome. NOTE - not a dig at the Finns but again - it just shows how time is catching up quicker than we think.

Working on the premise that the best gamekeeper is a reformed poacher, I am more than happy to put in some extra research, as part of a 'working group', to create a more coherent set of rules (as against guidelines) that could be circulated and if acceptable, adopted to see us through the next decade.

But your pot stirring aside, yes, please start another string and let's consign this one to history.

But yes, see you at Roadford.

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Re: Brooksey and other 505 lovers

Post by JimC » Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:35 am

davidh wrote:It matters then not one jot if 7939 is ineligible now, for as the CVRDA second decade kicks off, it will become so - along with some pretty damn good Merlins, National 12s and penultimate 14s. By the time we're half way through the second decade, FRP Canterbury Tales will be street legal , as will Howlett 1bs.
We're already well into the epoxy/foam era with Cherubs - I was recently sorely tempted to pick up the kevlar/foam 1980 World Champion boat to preserve it from excessive updating and return the boat to something approximating 1980 specification... There aren't any easy answers. If I were to turn up with that boat with pole kite, original style spars and all the rest of it I would hope to be welcomed, but If I brought along the same boat but with brand new specification carbon spars, sails, sprit kite, everything in 2009 status, well that's a bit dubious isn't it... And at the moment the boat is being sailed with 1989 vintage spars, sails and asymettric spinnaker - sails that are exactly the same vintage as the old mylar main I use on my 74 Cherub because I have nothing else usable... Hmmm... There will always be grey areas... No good pretending anything else I suppose.

I don't come along with any view of pot hunting because my boat never matches the venue, and to be quite honest my waistline no longer matches the boat, but I can see how it could be done... Its instructive though to think that the IC I race every weekend is theoretically about 17 years old already... I say theoretically because all that's left from launch day is the hull shell, but on the other hand there are Thames Raters that have far less original structure... Whilst 25 years is pretty old for a boat that lives outside all winter, a wood boat that lives under cover and is only taken out for a dozen or so open events a year - and these are more common these days - is still going to be at well over 90% of its "as new" speed, especially if gear, spars and fittings have all been replaced with modern equivalents.

Maybe we should only worry if turnouts get large - degree of originality should be an important factor in qualiication for a limited entry perhaps...

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Re: Brooksey and other 505 lovers

Post by Rupert » Sat Jun 20, 2009 11:20 am

David, the Iso wan't a class in existance in 1965, so will never be able to join in. Unless it becomes a lost class, I suppose...
I'm not sure why there is a problem with the Mirror 14? If ever a class was a perfect example (unlike the Tonic, which really doesn't "fit") of the lost classes we are trying to support, that is it. No need for any changes to the constitution at all. It is a class with no visble means of support for its owners. There is no association to lobby to work out a classic fleet within the modern fleet, as there is no modern fleet. As far as I can see, the only problem is getting contact between Mirror 14 owners and the cvrda and letting them know they are welcome to come along to events. There are quite a few very rare 1970's classes that fit this catagory. By definition we won't be swamped... Classes with active associations aren't in the same position, though, as has been said before, if clubs wish to include them in their invite to an event, they are welcome, especially to non traveller events.

Personally, I feel we need to go back to the constitution to come up with a solution, not scrap it. There is clearly a difference between racing an "Old" boat and racing a "Classic" boat within the cvrda. Maybe we need to start making more emphasis on this differenciation.

Anyway, the problem for me is not the Merlins, where the difference between a 25 year old boat and a pre 1965 boat is so great it is pretty obvious where things stand by using the fleets, but in the one designs. A 1966 "old" Firefly could be totally as original, a 1965 "classic" updated to be as new. In some ways, the boat kept completely as original would be better off racing with boats like Iska in the vintage fleet, than in the old fleet with carbon 505's and wide Merlins.

I suppose I would like to see (as we did at Netley, putting Shoestring in the Vintage fleet) some way of sorting the fleets out so like minded people are racing against each other. I know many people on here claim not to care where they finish in the racing, but it is more fun to not care when racing a beautifully restored original against other beautifully restored originals than against either boats that just happen to qualify or boats that have been modernized. From a personal point of view, I think all are equally valid as cvrda boats, but the boats that have had all that care lavished on them but are still sailed regularly are the heart of the association.

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Re: Brooksey and other 505 lovers

Post by davidh » Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:30 pm

Jim C and Rupert (not to mention ed and all the other worthy contributors to this string)

One sentiment is ever present in every email on this string. It is simple - we all care, with a passion, about the preservation of the dinghy heritage and the leading role the CVRDA has played in promoting the past (rather than hte somewhat dubious marketing of the future that is such a part of the 'modern' dinghy scene).

It is easy to say that the CVRDA isn't broken so doesn't need fixing, a very valid and defendable statement. BUT - somewhere along the line in the next decade, the questions will be asked, trying to solve them ad hoc may then create more of a bigger problem than if this was addressed now - at a time of relative quiet.

Jim C's example of the Cherub says it all. It is not that far removed from the walnut sized 'Inclusivity' point that I maybe tried to use the 505 sledgehammer to crack, so thanks Jim for giving us a better and more workable case to consider.

But back to the ISO (bless them all - they didn't know what they were buying at the time).

True - post '65 but equally - a lost class? Okay, maybe not the ISO quite yet, but the Spice is and very clearly so (Not to mention the Breeze - did anyone ever see one out sailing?) . If someone turned up with a Bell Flyer we'd all go 'hi' (whilst silently extending sympathy) but all the same, the door would be open. Ditto the Spearhead (having already played an active part in the Association), Photon, Jacksnipe, Mirror 16 (hands up for handicap banditry) Mark, ... gosh - just how many classes have been lost!

Before I rest my case and retire from this discussion, remember to that we made quite a thing about WhiteFriars with the 'lost' singlehanded classes, had someone turned up with a Harrier we'd all have been delighted at the fact that we'd attracted yet another boat to swell the ranks. Yet the Harrier, in keeping with a number of those 'lost' singlehanders that gave us all so much fun in watch (like...watching Ruperts deck depress when he sat on it), is post 65.

As someone who spends their day looking at boats and sailing clubs - my own view is that dinghy sailing in the UK is sat on top of a ticking demographic time bomb. I wrote an article that suggested that far from being in a Golden Era, dinghy sailing is actually in quite a poorly state (though in remission last year thanks to boost from the Qingdoa regatta) that may well worser in the next decade. I'm not talking about just the classic scene BUT the wider issue of dinghy sailing. The article got shelved as it would have made uncomfortable reading for the authorities that run the sport and the big companies that now exert such a grip on the supply chain. Ed, Alan, Chris, Roger.... and all the other founding members of the association have all worked hard to give the older boats some breathing space - not to mention some of the older sailors. For the rest of us - if we didn't equally care, then we'd not bother and that is not the case here.

I'm signing off from this debate now though if Ed wants to start another string, expressing some of his thoughts on the way forward, then I will gladly contibute there.

Not long now till Roadford.

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Re: Brooksey and other 505 lovers

Post by chris » Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:36 pm

Yes , let's start another topic on this.
I would agrre that our classifications might be rethought. I would like to see more encouragemnent for those who want to keep old boats original. I has been suggested before that boats like shoestring should be vintage, there are other examples too, of boats that are not ribbed and rivited but conserved in their original state. Likewise I used to feel uncomfortable that you could have a 25yr old Tideway, for example, sailing in the vintage wing. I would welcome a better definition of Vintage (and Classic)

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