Is the cvrda the way to go?

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Max McCarthy
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Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Max McCarthy » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:04 pm

Hi All,

I have recently read a thread on the Y&Y forum, and I was thinking (and as was pointed out by many people) that the idea that puts people off sailing is the fact that people view it as an elitist and expensive sport. So is the only way to promote the class, getting it cheaper and more accesible. I think this is what Jack Holt did in the 60's, but now people can play 'virtual' sports on computers, and games on the play station and stuff like that, so are put off by sports which look expensive, elitist and more effort then playing games all day, which is a real shame really....however, the reason I started this thread, is that I feel that people would be a lot less put off if they thought it was more accesible, so I ask...is the cvrda the way to go? As far as attracting more people to the sport? As for me, it got me really into sailing, I discovered the satisfaction of renovating and repairing boats to later be sailed by me, and my family. And it got me into the sport properly, and made me really enjoy it, even more than I previously did, and I enjoyed it a lot than anyway! But what I am trying to say, is if we promoted the cvrda as a class (as it was done in the 2011 December issue of yachts and yachting), do you think it would attract more people to our treasured sport? I have already though that if people were interested in sailing, then there could be 'taster' days, in which people would try out new boats, and see what sailing (dinghies anyway) is really like as a sport. I think Nessa, has done a lot of work into this already.

Anyhow....what do you think?

Best wishes,

Max
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Max McCarthy » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:05 pm

Here is the link to the thread I was taking about......

http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/ ... -our-sport
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Rupert
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Rupert » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:27 pm

In some, non monetary, ways, I can't help but feel that the cvrda is even more elitist than the rest of the sailing world. From the outside, it looks like you need to know the complete history of sailing, need to be a joiner with perfect painting skills, have undercover storage for a boat which is more precious than the crown jewels... I'm sure there is more.

Even ownership of an old GRP boat is a complex affair needing knowledge of the boating world to avoid the pitfalls.
Rupert

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Ed
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Ed » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:56 am

mmmmmmmmmmmm maybe.

but isn't that exactly why we have the CVRDA and the forum?

to support and help people own and race old boats?

I think on the whole I agree with Max. When we started the CVRDA we made a real attempt to try and find, involve and encourage beginners and newbies into the sport.

It seemed then, that a lot of people new into the sport bought old wooden boats as they were a cheap way for them to explore how they found the sport. They were not confident enough to race, but bought old boats just to cruise and learn. We all will be familiar with these boats/helms/owners who we see on the water between racing.

These owners should be really encouraged to come and race in the easy informal racing that the CVRDA offers.

I know that we still do this.....Chris, Nessa, myself and others have got old boat owners to come and try racing with us....

but I have always felt this should be a core part of what the CVRDA does. In early days at Roadford, we used to get over 30 boats racing and 40 boats registered. Of those, over hallf were local Roadford boats, with unexperienced and learner crews.

So, I am not sure it is the boats that should encourage people into the sport.....but I do think that we should be doing this.

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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Rupert » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:13 am

Sorry, I was just posting the contrary view!

There are all sorts of people who are now regulars with the cvrda who have been drawn in because of what old boats can offer in the way of low cost fun with a large dose of individuality, but it does take a certain mind set. It is road less traveled compared to getting a low interest loan from RS and buying a new plastic boat, which gives instant access to brand new kit and very helpful customer service.

Personally (or I'd not be on this site quite so often) I prefer the ownership experience of the cvrda, where you certainly get to know far more about what makes boats work, and whilst we don't have customer service, exactly, we do have the hive mind...
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by davidh » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:28 am

As it is the festive season, peace and goodwill and all that, I'll manage to control my thoughts on this so that I can be both brief and polite (it doesn't happen often so make the most of it)

Over the past few years, the RYA has spent a small fortune with major consultancy firms asking questions just like this and if anyone wants to know the results of their hugely expensive labours, they you only have to ask them. But just like this weeks Levenson Report, the RYA could be equally accused of commisioning the Inquiry, only to then ignore the recommendations. The insistence is still on managing the sport from a 'top down' perspective rather than a 'bottom up'. All those people who spend far too long on the Y&Y forum only have to look there to see the report from the USA into their failures.... the answers to their problems and the storm clouds that are gathering over the sport in the UK are all there in the public domain.

The problems are NOT the fault of Laser, RS and other SMOD builders, indeed it may well end up that they are the ones who save at least something of the sport for generations to come. Thanks to them, it is just not true that the cost is the major hurdle, for in truth the structure of sailing has never in 'real terms' been cheaper or more accessible. It's not just the boats, it is everything that goes with it. You want a wet suit..... go on line and there are literally thousands of 'deals' open to us all.

But what IS wrong; This is where the RYA and the 'real world' will part company! Many in sailing's biggest ivory tower still cling to the view that it ain't broke so why try and fix it. Yet at the same time, let no one dare to question their plans to make the UK the 'Number One sailing nation in the world', for in their blinkered view, they will sell the birthright of the sport to fund the success of a few..

Just this week, I've had a piece of work 'pulled' from a magazine because I dared to question the true value to the sport of the Olympic Regatta this summer. My article was neither a rant nor was it overtly critical of the Games...but I did say that for the huge 'majority' of club sailors, the events that took place off the Nothe had little to do with 'sport' (why else would a windshift in the first 2 minutes of a race not result in flag N going up, pulling the fleet (all of 10 boats) and restarting?) But now even the moderate are censored..........little wonder when I attend an RYA event as their 'speaker' and mention that the following week i'll be speaking again on 'The Slow Death of fast dinghy sailing'......a senior mandarin from Hamble reeled off their Youth and Olympic results, then said how COULD anything be wrong when we win so many medals. Case rests methinks.......

But what does this all have to do with the CVRDA. I hate to say this but the answer OUGHT to be 'absolutely NOTHING'!!!
Sailing in classic dinghies is not, nor should it be, a open portal into the bigger world of dinghy sailing. Instead, the CVRDA should be about the boats, classic and vintage dinghies, saving them, restoring them, racing them. It's never going to be mainstream, nor should it be.

D
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Obscured by clouds » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:03 pm

the CVRDA should be about the boats, classic and vintage dinghies, saving them, restoring them, racing them.
and to that I would add and 'just pootling about in them'
It's never going to be mainstream, nor should it be.
I concur.

The cvrda can act as a portal though, into single class classics, such as the Finn, MR, Nat 12 etc or even into classic keelboats for the older, infirm and richer amongst us.

I would never have found my MR or Unit 2/7without the CVRDA, or been in a position to pass the Unit on or to have fun racing without the stress that comes from trying [and spending] to be at the head of the fleet.
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by trebor » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:35 pm

Hi all, I found my way into sailing via youtube and the RYA, I was looking for a cruise a work colleague went on, that had a bit of a tussle with the sea, their were numerous videos taken on phones, cameras etc, I typed in "extreme sailing" one of the titles was "extreme Laser sailing" I watched this and youtube then threw up loads of sailing videos, one of these was the RYA video "why I love sailing" , I then went to RYA website spotted the sailing course heading typed in my postcode and was directed to a sailing centre 5 miles away, this cost £95 for RYA level 1, this centre also had all the sailing gear in case you did not have your own, dry suits, wet suits etc.
I found my way into CVRDA from Minisail website, I searched ebay for single hander sailing dinghies, I bid on what I thought was a Minisail Monaco, I got the boat for £52, Minisail people then gave me advice on how to undertake the various tasks to renovate boat, I spent approximately £300 over 12 months (inc purchase price) to get the boat I wanted, boat was then identified as an Aquabat and I joined CVRDA.
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by PeterV » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:13 pm

An interesting thread, well done to Max for starting it.

I do feel CVRDA will never be mainstream, becasue many owners of old cheap boats are not very knowledgeable or experienced and so wouldn't dream of travelling to any form of meet with their boat. However when they do they're usually very supported and encouraged. But I do feel that the non-competitive side of the CVRDA has diminished, hence my suggestions about activities for the Nationals. For myself I'd prefer all the events racing to be on the sea in a force 5, but I'm well aware I'm in a small minority, and more fun or competitions which are more about geting boats out onto the water and less about racing skills are I think necessary.
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by trebor » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:25 pm

I personally have not found dinghy sailing to be elitist, but if you read Pondmonkeys posts on Y&Y you can understand why it is percieved as elitist, this type of attitude does nothing to help sailings public profile.
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Pat » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:02 pm

One problem is that newcomers are encouraged to go for new or nearly new boats at higher cost . We keep telling people that sailing doesn't have to be an expensive sport and you can buy an old boat very cheaply and have fun but that message is not passed on by others at clubs, especially racing sailors who seem to think buying your way to the front of the fleet is the only sailing possible.
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by JB9 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:10 pm

David and I were initially involved in an RYA project a couple of years ago to increase adult participation in sailing. We both pulled out. At a meeting a couple of weeks ago it was confirmed that the targets were not achieved, the next target age group would be 16 to 24 years old (or around that) and that budgets for club development had been or were about to be cut, severely, all fairly predictable.

I think the CVRDA does what it can to encourage participation in classic dinghy sailing, racing, pottering, ownership etc. I hope that can continue. I also think that more of a proactive approach could be taken but somebody needs to be prepared to put in the time and effort which then may detract from other areas.
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Pat » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:32 pm

If they want to increase adult participation in sailing they'd do well to target the "Empty Nesters" who are generally looking to get a bit fitter and do something now the children are older or have left home. They usually have more disposable income too.
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Rupert » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:43 pm

Quite agree, Pat. And the good thing from a cvrda point of view is that the boats that suit that age group best tend to be cvrdaable classes - apart from rotomoulded ones, of course (oh, and the Laser 2000).

Though maybe a new class, called the "Empty Nester", where you can only sail if your children have left home, is the way to go?

We could also design a boat to be sailed purely by pensioners, where there is a door in the side, like in those baths for people who can't step over...
Rupert

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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by SoggyBadger » Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:29 pm

Rupert wrote:We could also design a boat to be sailed purely by pensioners, where there is a door in the side, like in those baths for people who can't step over...
Isn't that the reason they've done away with transoms on modern boats? :lol:

Back to the point though...

For me the CVRDA is a much closer fit to the way dinghy racing used to be in the good old days when maintaining/repairing/fettling was part of the whole experience - a world away from the appliance operators who seem to dominate the sport nowadays. The great thing about this forum is that you can come here and find people who are both passionate and knowledgeable about racing dinghies and sail them for the pure pleasure rather than for bragging rights, which seems the principle motivation elsewhere.

I think classic dinghies will always be a niche activity. I don't see the CVRDA in the role of saviour of the sport but then I don't regard the sport as exists today being worth saving anyway.
Best wishes


SB

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