Is the cvrda the way to go?

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Max McCarthy
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Max McCarthy » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:04 pm

I agree largely with what has been said. Although, if we want to attract people to this style of racing, and boat ownership (and therefore more people to sailing) I do think the cvrda would be a very good way of doing it. I do see where Rupert is coming from, that the cvrda can seem even more elitist than the rest. However, I disagree with that. Because I have found that the cvrda is a very friendly welcoming place. I came here to gain knowledge about the boats I have owned, and that is exactly what I got. But not just that, I gained this knowledge from the people on here, in a friendly way, and have now been to several cvrda 'opens' (as it were) aswell. And I am by no means and expert on dinghy sailing, but the people here I can always rely on to give me some expert advice, that I would never of got otherwise. So, no. I don't agree with Ruperts first post....

However, I still maintain that my most favourite racing circuit (for dinghies) is the cvrda. Hence, why I am so sad that I have no more 'cvrda-able' boats - at least ones that I am allowed to sail (as I have been told the moth must go).....anyhow, what I am trying to say, is that I think the cvrda is not only the perfect way to learn about there being a cheaper way into sailing, but also the perfect way to learn about the maintenance of boats, rebuilds/renovations of boats, and just having great fun whilst doing so. So....that is why I love the cvrda. It is not just this, but people are there to sail (as just said) to enjoy sailing, and that is another reason why (despite only having been to two cvrda events) I prefer the cvrda circuit to anywhere else, rather then there just to win. And I think it is a very important to enjoy sailing, for just the sake of it, rather then just winning, nothing can just quite compare to just sailing, in the cool summer breeze, with the sun out, and just enjoying it. It is just great, and enjoying that with other people is great too. And isn't that the whole point of the cvrda? To enjoy, not necessarily competitive boat, all as a one. At least, that is why I am here. Isn't that why you are here?

This is why I feel the cvrda is just the perfect platform to attract new sailors to sailing.

All the best,

Max
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by SoggyBadger » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:49 pm

Max,

My preference in racing is class racing but each to their own. I don't know which class circuits you have been involved with but your claim of people being there "just for the winning" doesn't tally with any I've been involved with, including Silver tiller events.
Best wishes


SB

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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Max McCarthy » Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:17 am

SoggyBadger wrote:Max,

My preference in racing is class racing but each to their own. I don't know which class circuits you have been involved with but your claim of people being there "just for the winning" doesn't tally with any I've been involved with, including Silver tiller events.
Sorry, didn't really take that into account. What I mean is some of the classes I has been involved with have been like that, ie when people don't win in the races they were involved with they just got cross! Of course not all the people there were like that, not by any means. You see, what I mean, is that some people do feel that winning is everything, most people don't, but I have found that all the people I have come across at the cvrda have been there just to enjoy the sport they love. And isn't that a good thing?

All the best,

Max
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Finnsailor » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:13 am

What an interesting thread, with a range of views that really question and at the same time answer what sailing is all about - providing an opportunity for sailors to sail boats that suit them in the way they want. An a elitist sailor in an Olympic class, a club sailor in a modern RS and a 1957 classic Finn, I can see merit in all other arguments.

It is a fact that modern life is a throw away culture and only those with the interest, time and in some cases money can repair, maintain and use classic kit, by that I mean boats, cars, aeroplanes etc. The modern classes like RS and Laser manage their own sailing with teams of salesman, top sailors and managed events all marketing their product just like any manufacturer in a competitive environment, with new boats in many sailing centres to encourage new sailors to learn in and then buy that boat. The consequence of learning in a high performance boat in a controlled environment is you buy one, discover sailing a national events is too hard and the atmosphere is not what you thought and give up sailing. Or you go to a club and either find the world champion in the same fleet who has not got time for anyone, beats you every race and has gone home before you get ashore or the boat just does not work because it will not sail in light winds, will not run dead downwind against the tide or some other factor.

A significant number of clubs are struggling to keep going, partly because you do not need to be a club member to sail an RS or Laser and club memberships are declining. Yet there are large numbers of dinghies in club compounds that do not get out, why? Owners in some cases do not want to race against modern super fast machines and get put off turning up to race or sail when others are about. Can we impact on this, yes!

I have encouraged my club to adopt the CVRDA handicapping system for club handicap and class racing and it has promoted a revival in Wayfarers, Finns and Mirrors. Now even old boats are competitive. The Mirror class has expanded exponentially with the introduction of an under £300.00 class, this in turn has encouraged more youngsters and we now have a very active and progressive youth class in a range of old and new Mirrors. Interest in classic boats is now increasing at my club and at others locally, just look at the Finns at Roadford SC.

How does this help, we'll it promotes sailing to those who do not want to sail modern washing up bowls and makes older boat sailors feel valued again. It has also promoted a resurgence and thirst for knowledge on how to repair your boat and for those short of cash it has given them an easy way to sail again. The modern pay and play culture has a significant impact on the way we live and sail we cannot ignore it we need to embrace it and find a way to open up sailing for all. The RYA has a role with a focus on the Olympic classes, but they do much more for sailing, we just do not see all of it - let me rephrase a quote from Life of Brian and " what do the Romans/RYA do for us", and I feel it is there but not as overt to us non-Olympic class sailors.
Martin
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by trebor » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:28 am

well done Finn sailor, very refreshing to get such a positive attitude and a successful result.
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Max McCarthy » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:36 am

I agree, great post finnsailor! Really nice to read.

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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Rupert » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:10 pm

Max McCarthy wrote: So, no. I don't agree with Ruperts first post....

Max
Good! If people who post on here agreed with that, then there wouldn't be an "on here" for much longer. I still think it is a minority interest, though, but the minority could be larger than it is, if people could see past coffee table boat mags and realize that it doesn't have to be like that.

Finnsailor, what club do you sail at? You sound ripe for a classic boat invasion!
Rupert

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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by davidh » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:56 pm

festive season.....oh really!

I do not think I have seen such bilgewater sloshing around in the bottom of the boat since that day at Whitefriars when in desperation (I said it was with Roger D who was crewing on the day but in reality it was with the worst cut sail since Noah found the Ark wouldn't go to windward).

Although I never reached the exalted level myself (though I got close at times) I can't claim to have been a World Champion. What I can claim, with real 'authority' is to have crewed for a good few of these great men, plus Olympic medallists, in fact, as one of the early 'proto-crews' who lived on the basis of 'have trapeze harness, will travel', I can honestly say that I've sailed with some of the real greats. But it is not only that; when writing the Contender Book and other mainstream articles, I've met many more Champions and interviewed them, often in detail.

This notion that because they are World Champions that they have no time for anyone else isn't just misplaced, it is downright wrong. Not one of the people that i've had the pleasure to sail with, or interview have ever shown anything else but the greatest love of the sport itself and a readiness to help those who are still on the 'ladder'. Okay, 20 minutes before they go afloat they might be a bit focused but then so is any 'wanting to win sailor' - or at least, they should be. Yes, as Club level I have also seen them get frustrated and tetchy, when people who cannot be bothered to get their act together whinge about being on the same PY as the 'star'! Now I saw this in real time recently...yet the indistputable fact was that the whinger came ashore after the race, did nothing to his boat but found his way to the bar. Where was the world champion? He was still out sailing, working upwind and down, ironing out some imperfection in his tacks and gybes......

The other sad point about some of the recent postings is the 'lets all bash the SMODS'...... the rotomoulded bathtubs as many refer to them. Now, purely by chance of birth, I lived in an area that allowed me to sail some of the very early 'new' boats.... a very very early Lark and one of the first Kestrels sping to mind. I'm sure I do not need to tell you what the GP14 and Enterprise sailors of the time called them.....yep, plastic bathtubs, yet now these are happily ensconced at 'mainstream' classes that no one would dare question. The harsh reality is that many of the SMODs are not stopping people from sailing but are actually doing the opposite - they are keeping people sailing. And do sailing schools really teach people to sail in 'high performance boats' that they then but but cannot sail? Really? Most of the sailing schools I see use boats that these days are easily identifiable as training boats. It is not the fault of the schools that people then rush off and buy some overcanvassed lightweight rocket ship, but has everything to do with a 'perception' in the sport that unless you are sailing some high powered beast that you're merely a mortal. Take as an example Max, who started this thread........all power and credit to him if he can 'crack it' but from a very modest beginning at the start of the year, his 'aquisitions' this year have included a Fireball, then a twin wire 14 and now an AC!

I'm afraid Max that I'm with Soggy Badger!! You talk about the 'classes you are involved with' but there is a huge difference between owning a boat and saying that your are involved, or, as the Badger pointed out, travelling all around the country doing the major open meeting series. Do that for a few seasons and I think you'll find that your perceptions of what the sport is about will change dramatically.

At the recent Hornet Championships, a pair of young hopefuls bought a cheapo boat, restrung it, changed those fittings that needed changing, sorted out the things that needed sorting - and went and competed - successfully. It is a great story and an inspiration to all. But equally, it shows the gulf that exists between cheap boats and classic boats. We're in danger of blurring that distinction and in doing so, following the rest of the sport onto a downhill spiral! This is a far deeper and more complex subject than one that can be simply dismissed as the fault of the sailing schools, smods or any other 'single reason' failing and I would suggest that the CVRDA would do itself no favours by thinking that it had the answer, for it has not.



D
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Rupert » Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:45 pm

Relax, David!

Yes, you are right - I know some excellent sailors, and have sailed with some of them, too - not as many as you, though - and almost without exception they have been friendly and helpful. The "almost" word can be the problem, as it means that some people's limited experience will be bad.

The same goes for the rotomoulded boats - bashing them gets us nowhere in encouraging people to sail, but at the same time, there have been plenty of occasions when professional sales people have talked newcomers into the wrong boat, in amongst the far greater times when a helpful sales person has got things exactly right and introduced sailors and their families to a sport which they will enjoy for years to come.

For me, it is the small plastic boats that have got it right - the Tera and the Feva. They certainly have faults (hence the need for the horrible balloons at the top of the mast - I'm a convert for training sessions, as it means less disruption to the coaching, but it does show a design fault) but in general they seem to be well loved by juniors. The bigger boats don't do it for me - they just don't seem to have the nice feel of any of the older boats, or the Rs200 and 400 or Laser 2000. But then, I'm not the target market.
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by davidh » Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:03 pm

Rupert,

I think it a mistake to get 'hung up' on RS..... they are just one of the major builders now (in the same way that laser have had some excellent boats in addition to the core single hander - i'm a real fan of the now sadly departed EPS) but they do have some very good boats in their range. The 400 is a delight to sail, even allowing for the fact that the sheet loading can make it hard work for the crew and I'll bow to no one in my admiration for the 600 (and this from a life long Contender sailor; to me, the 600 is the purest single hander yet produced - to better this you need to be going up on foils). Sadly though, many of the more rabid naysayers probably don't have the sailing skills needed to fully appreciate just how good some of these boats are.

The wider issue is not one that needs relaxation, but instead is one that could reward greater vigilance. Seeing that the Y&Y website has been getting an airing here (not something that is establishing a good precedent I fear) you will have seen the thread on the Merlin Rockets 'better at self harm than the BBC'! Could there be a danger that some of our posts get read and reported elsewhere? Far better than we do what we do - promote the oldies and classics and do that job well, rather than stray into Y&Y (or worse, Sailing Anarchy) territory and in doing so attract derisory comment!

D
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by Max McCarthy » Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:33 pm

Hi David,

I am sorry my post came across that way, I didn't mean that at all. What I am trying to say, isthat not by any means are all sailors out of the cvrda ones who care about nothing but winning, including world class sailors such as yourself, but that there are the occasional people that are like that. Which, I expect many world class sailors are NOT like. And this is because, it might well of been that, I was unfortunate to have been in the situation in which I ended up coming across such people, which must of tarnished my view of how other classes then the cvrda are. However, I was wrong to make that comment, and I now regret what I said. So I am sorry my post came across that way.

I hope to enjoy other classes, as I have enjoyed the cvrda, and I am sure others will too....

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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by trebor » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:35 am

Hi David, surely we can discuss interesting comments that users of this forum have seen on other forums? the topic happens to be one of interest to all in sailing, their are people on here such has yourself, Rupert, Nessa etc who are in a position to influence sailing matters, Finnsailors post shows you can try things at clubs that work.
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by davidh » Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:05 pm

Trebor...no one, least of all me, is saying "Don't discuss". What I am say is, just like the good old say...

"be careful what you wish for"!

The CVRDA is doing a great job, raising awareness, providing information and is very much a primary port of call for people who want to sail 'classic' dinghies. But as a portal for bringing people into the world of mainstream dinghy sailing - I'm sorry but I cannot see the rationale or thinking behind this.

Am about to email Pat a pdf of the Classic piece I did for all at sea.... I hope she can find a way to get this posted on here.

D
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by trebor » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:46 pm

Hi David, I always read your posts with interest, and look forward to reading your article, I can assure you I am not wishing for anything, I know nothing about sailing clubs or their structure and would not therefore offer any suggestions regarding any improvements, every club I should imagine is different and would require different fixes, if they needed any at all, I learnt at an LEA centre not a club, so again I could not comment on how to keep adults sailing.
How could derisory comments be posted on here from other Forums? I cannot imagine Neil or any of the other moderators allowing the type of posts, some of the contributors post on Y&Y on here.
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Re: Is the cvrda the way to go?

Post by davidh » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:57 pm

Trebor.

The recent article on Bosham and the Tideway is now up on the website (many thanks to Pat).

Believe me, posts can and do migrate from one web forum to another, but worse, comments can easily be taken 'out of context'.

I'm fairly immune to comments about what I write and say - you'd not last long as a freelancer if you were too think skinned. I do though really 'care' about the current direction and future not only of the classic scene but of dinghy sailing full stop. That 'care' probably marks out my work as being old, irrelevant and probably written in dinosaur-speak but - I don't care, I will continue doing what I can to promote the sport in its non elitist sense.

Hope you enjoy the article anyway

D
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