Mr. Ben wrote:To respond to the original proposal...
I enjoy the CVRDA because it is so inclusive.
... the people in the paddock with the old, lovingly maintained classics, who count originality over speed, are MY KIND OF PEOPLE.
... but all classes are usually dominated by those with the depth of pocket to get all the best kit and that's an arms race I can't sustain. So class racing usually shakes out in to an order based on quality of kit and sailing ability and often it becomes more of a procession than a race.
To draw another classic motor racing analogy, the best racing you'll ever see is watching an american Ford Galaxy (a massive 7 litre monster) racing a Mini in pre-65 saloon car racing. Every straight the Galaxy powers past the Mini and at every corner the Mini undertakes the Galaxy.
Similarly, and regardless of my boats competitiveness and my own sailing (or lack of) ability, the mix of boats at the CVRDA, wherein some are better upwind, some better down etc. means I always get fun racing and I dont care if it's at the front of the fleet or the back! But it's fun vying for place on the water - how the handicaps shake the order out matters less to me.
So to get to the point - the CVRDA to me is defined by the people not the boats. It nevers seems too serious and the welcome is always warm and friendly (which incidentally also makes it a lot less intimidating to novices like myself). Would that change if the modern classics were let in? I hope not. Because the kind of people that would rather sail handicap than class are usually doing so for similar reasons - they have neither the inclination or the money to sustain the arms race in their own fleet. Usually they'll be looking for the opportunity to visit some different venues, have some fun racing, have a good day out with like-minded people and show off their old racing dinghy. Any pot-hunting bandits that creep in would quickly get fed up with the individual handicap system.
While I am pretty much in wholehearted agreement with you Mr Ben, I feel we should be careful about decrying the posession of a long pocket as implying a lesser enthusiasm for the whole classic scene.
The important thing is that if someone is lucky enough to have spare cash to invest in a classic boat and enjoys sailing that boat as it is, for the joy of competing with like minded sailors, it is to the benefit of us all, and it matters not that they employed another professional to achieve their goal. The nuturing of professional skills is a vital role of any society dedicated to the classic scene especially if these boats are to survive beyond the short term of their current owners tenure, and these skills will largely be kept alive by people who can employ those skills.
I can "earn" more hours of maintenance on my boat by doing a few locums, than I could ever afford to spend doing all my own maintenance, and the job will be done better , and quicker, allowing me to enjoy sailing I hope with my mates in the CVRDA. That being said I shall be far more proud of the bits I did myself, and in this the assotiation has a crucial role in encouraging those timid woodworkers amongst us to give it a try.
I spent a good deal more than the value of my firefly getting her back to racing trim and first class condition. I am unashamed of the fact (except perhaps to SWMBO
) and I managed an impressive 52nd(
) place in last years Firefly nationals. I am niether an arms racer nor a "pintle" in the fleet, but I do love sailing my boat. Arms racing is not neccesarily about spending money, it is about Corinthian ideals being squashed by the need to win.
Compare the path of the Uraguayan Football team into the semi final with the enthralling race between the British Dwarf, against the tall (South African?) paraplegic in the last paralympic long distance freestyle race in the Peking Paralympics. Like the Mini vs the Galaxy. What a race, turns vs straights, and the Brit got it by a fingernail
I will remember that Swim race long after the Uraguayans have gone home.
I'm not sure if I can get to Clywedog, but I will look forward to seeing who has the Mini and who has the Galaxy. A little like Ed's Jolly boat and the Wagtail or whatever the (Still unidentified) boat was on the old Forum home page.