Are we getting the message across

and what is happening with the CVRDA today?
Mark
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Post by Mark » Wed May 31, 2006 1:10 pm

Whilst at Bourne End Week I spoke to several sailors of CVRDA eligible craft about the organisation and whereas all had heard of us they all had the impression that not much happens.
The main culprit seems to be the website, the lack of updates was commented on and because of that none of them had got beyond the front page.
This is not meant to be a critisism, purely an observation, but we do seem to missing out on a lot of potential members and some interesting craft.
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Ed
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Post by Ed » Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:52 am

Mark,

I certainly take on board what you say about the web site. Pat and I are working on trying to get this a little more regularly updated. It has been hard since Stu stopped his sterling work. I do what I can, but at moment find it hard to find the time to even look at a boat....let along the website.

It may be worthwhile changing front page to a Blogg and allowing a wider selection of people to update it. We did try this a while ago, but it was felt that it competed with the Forum and we changed back.

On the other hand.....

There was a time when I spent just about every weekend of the year travelling around the UK visiting clubs and events evangualising for the CVRDA and the attitude was pretty much always as you say. "Oh yes, we have heard about them, but.......".

There is no place where this attitude was/is more prevalent than the thames clubs. I have done Bourne End week, I have raced at Bourne End for other events. I have been too Cookham, Tamesis and other clubs. (For what it is worth, I was brought up at a house 2 up from Bourne End Railway bridge and my brother lives 200 yds from Cookham Reach SC). I have talked and talked and to the best of my knowledge we have never had one of these sailors come to a CVRDA event.

I used to spend some time wondering about this....and considering ways to get this area, which many would argue is the centre of classic and vintage boat racing more involved in the CVRDA, all alas to no avail.

I think that the reason for their lack of interest in involvement in the CVRDA is based on a number of things:

First, I remember one year talking to a Merlin Proctor MkIX owner who had just done very well at Bourne End week. (Not Laurie Smart - who has won the nat river champs and classic champs in a MkIXb - are they still doing these events at Bourne End Week?). I suggested that he might like to come to a CVRDA event.....he told me that he wasn't interested in racing with all those old boats....he had chosen the MkIX because he considered it the 'best' tool for the job of merlin racing on the Thames (he was from Tamesis or Hampton). He just wanted to race with other Merlins.

Second, which follows directly is that most boats in/on Thames are 'Merlins' 'Nat 12s' 'Fireflys' and Int 14s. The Fireflys are all pretty much competative in modern fleets and the others all have vintage fleet racing for their class and to be honest, I think this better suits their needs and requirements. The Merlin Vintage fleet has had some good times and some bad times over the years, but at present it is flourishing under Mervyn Allen and long may it do so!

Third, most of the vintage boats at River Clubs are owned by people who want to race on the River....full stop, they just are not interested in going anywhere else. Many won't even tow away from the closest of local clubs.

Fourth, the eclectic mix of boats that makes up CVRDA racing is not really quite to their liking, they tend to be much more meopic in terms of choice of dinghy class. A fact which in many ways, I totally understand.

So,this is not to say that I/We should not be shot for the woeful lack of updating that I/We undertake for the site.....but I think the question is really not quite that simple.

What is important is that CVRDA members do continue to visit any/all other classic dinghy events and that we all tell as many people as possible about our events and encourage them to come along.

For that, I really do thank you!

cheers

eib
Ed Bremner
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Post by Mark » Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:07 pm

Ed
There was some interest from a couple of the 14s and an Alb.
I have the same problem with the British Moth Site, if you don't update twice a day then someone will moan, but could I suggest that you remove the "last updated" bit, it is a dead gieaway...
Bourne End was wonderful, and very hospitable, roll on next year.
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Post by Pat » Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:35 am

Funny you should say that as whilst I was away and offline I was looking at the website pages and decided that the front page needs a major re-vamp as it is our main advertising to the outside world. At present it is too internal. I think the "who can come" page text should be right up front with some easy links for newcomers to such items as the boat care section (varnishing etc).
And yes, I'd concluded that the last updated date was of minor importance and should be at the bottom!
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Post by PeterV » Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:43 pm

I think the interest in the website could be increased if it was more of a resource. The hints and tips sections are very good, how about also adding more to the classes page. We could have a bit of a history of many of the CVRDA boats on the pages. I know Alan tried to get the Finn class interested in older boats, so, for instance, why not have an old Finns page with pictures and details of history and the various makes. If the type of information found in the forum was added it would be a very useful reference for many visitors. I'm sure there are many individuals who could contribute from their knowledge to different pages.
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Post by Rupert » Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:31 pm

You need to get writing, Peter!
The Cherub site is a very good example of how well a "resource" site can be done. Our needs are very different, but we share the DIY mentality, if not the same materials! But putting it together takes both skill and time, and probebly flair, too!
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Post by Pat » Mon Jun 05, 2006 6:40 am

Agreed about the classes and the resources pages - something I'd also thought myself.
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Post by davidh » Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:30 pm

As a relative 'new comer' I think that the website does still do very well at hooking in the interested - the forum is clearly a place where one can share ideas and get help. Of course it could be better BUT - as has been pointed out, the real root cause is elsewhere.

I had hoped that Dinghy Magazine would have been pleased with the feedback to the recent series of articles about the 'older' boats and would allow us to build on this with more of the same. To date though they've not said either way - which is a shame, as that would have helped no end. It's not just the older boats that are lacking in respresentation these days...it's the older saior too.

Somefrom from outside the sport who picked up and read any of the Mags these days could be excused for thinking that dinghy sailing is the domain of the teenager/twentysomething sailing a plastic fantastic. Funny that...for as I trundle round either sailing or Race Officering I see lots of old boats AND old sailors.

An interesting side issue comes when one looks at the 'fast sail' idea - an home for all the 'old' spinnaker classes such as the javelin, FD, Osprey (and Hornet, Fireball, 470 et all) - their success clearly shows that there IS a need for a platform for the non mass produced boats....

Not sure what the answer is though....

D
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Post by PeterV » Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:28 am

OK Rupert,
If I write a dit on classic Finns I'll get it checked by a couple of others and see if it's suitable for adding to the classes page.

Peter
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Pat
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Post by Pat » Wed Jun 07, 2006 12:58 pm

Peter - Good. Yes please. If the class website has a good design guide (I'm thinking Merlin Rocket here) then we'll link to it from an overview page - no point in re-inventing wheels!
I have a finn photo or two - Baltic Wharf and Roadford - as it would be nice to use members' pics for the illustrations.
Email the text (word doc is favourite or just notepad) and I'll put it into a page.

Any more volunteers to take a class - how about some lost and cat classes too?
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Post by Mark » Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:09 pm

Pat i am more than happy to take the British Moths, and as the class is 75 next year we are pushing the older boats.
On a similar subject I may have an interesting project for Rupert (for money !!!)
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Post by Rupert » Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:13 pm

Money? Ears prick up...I can vaguely remember it - stuff you swap for beer?
Rupert

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Post by Pat » Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:42 pm

Thanks Mark. Ruert could you do the Toy?
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Post by Rupert » Wed Jun 07, 2006 11:07 pm

If DavidH (or DSM) doesn't mind it being reproduced, the article he did says it all better than I can (unless I just crib it anyway...). Happy to write something about the Firefly, though the boat is so well documented, it will be difficult to find a "new" angle. Maybe the history within the cvrda, or something. Will give it thought. Never seen my name without the P before...given the state of my bladder..enough...Family forum...Good old Pastis...
Rupert

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Post by davidh » Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:36 am

I'm more than happy to do a version of the DSM article on the ToY - plus any other classes that need a spiel!

Mark - the BM 75th birthday next year...have the Class Assoc got this covered off already publicity wise....?

Is there a Class Historian/keeper of records?

I'm more than happy to work with you to pull something together.... I'm thinking that after the 'lost classes' idea how about a series on the 'great survivors' - leading off with the Moth. (then Firefly, IC...Nat 12...14 even..... Solo...Finn (arrrggghhhh - them again) - I'm sure that other suggestions would come to mind!!

D
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