east is east and west is west

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davidh
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east is east and west is west

Post by davidh » Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:32 pm

and the twain shall never meet!

Being serious for a brief moment..... it is only when you try to document the evolutionary path of the sailing dinghy in the UK, that you realise just how 'social geography' played a part in bring about so many classes - many of which share something of a common ancestry, get grew into 'different' classes. Hence there are locations that will forever be associated with particular classes; Welsh Harp and the British Moth, THe London River clubs and Merlins, Fishers Green and the Wineglass...etc etc.

Back at the start of the dinghy 'boom' period, there was nothing like the ease of moving about that there is now. If you wanted to go from Weston to Felixstowe Ferry (and my... you'd have to really want to) then this was a 'significant' trip, all the more so with a dinghy on the back. Likewise, from Burnham or Brightlingsea to Plymouth, or from Hayling to Hollingsworth Lake.... to do these trips, then a full weekend of races (and none of this 45 minutes maximum 'crash and burn' format), before packing up and returning, being on the Open Meeting circuit was a tough place to be.

This very marked "we're here, Hayling is there, Burnham is further over there, Abersoch is up there and Hollingsworth is nigh on off the map" meant that a rivalry built up between the areas, that probably doesn't exist through to today (though the Solent/East Coast bitching will NEVER stop). At open events, various clubs all tried to outdo each other, on and off the water. Hence the Hornets from Stone would cap anything the Weston crowd did - as clubs such as Thorpe Bay and Highcliffe found to their cost! (Alan W - I guess you'e one of those still banned?) Mention of Highcliffe reminds me how this 'fragmentation' affected the choice of location for classes. Many Contender sailors spent so long at events at Highcliffe they were charged Poll Tax by the town. Conversely, most 505 sailors wouldn't be able to find the club there on the best day they ever had (drunk or sober)!

So here is the interesting thought. As fuel costs rocket and the cost of attending an Open Event starts to reach the point where people think twice and then don't go, will sailing revert to that we saw in the 1960s, where the 'home club' was all important and boats evolved to make the most of local conditions? Hardly a good arguement for Smods!!

D
David H

Pat
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Re: east is east and west is west

Post by Pat » Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:48 pm

There's certainly a case for regional circuits such as the Merlin's Midland and Thames ones. But unless you're with a really good club with good sailing, people will travel. In the 60's they hadn't had good sailing elsewhere so they didn't miss it but now travelling is so much easier, though costlier, I think we will get about but be more picky and only do favourites.

DavidC
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Re: east is east and west is west

Post by DavidC » Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:44 pm

The rivalry between areas was and is always fun and kept alive the fun of travel. The development of boats suitable for their area was one of the most important things in the sport. It started before dinghies with the local one designs which were the ultimate local boat.

The ability for classes to adapt has given us the fantastic range of really good classes we now have. Unfortunately. like so many other things in life, one size does not fit all and the newer designs generally give an average boat in every way.

I think at present, people will still travel although a little more selectively, but it will be the classes that look very carefully at their circuits that could thrive. Certainly regional circuits have a lot of potential. The problem for clubs is to keep young sailors from being totally taken over by the squad system and kept only in that group. I am not saying the squad system should not exist but I do wonder if the balance has gone too far? There are many young sailors who no longer belong to a club, only the RYA as they only ever sail RYA events. :(

jonathan
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Re: east is east and west is west

Post by jonathan » Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:01 am

Good morning folks. And as I write this I look out of my window to the sunrise in the east and a day in the wonderful micro climate of NE Essex.

I was told not so long ago when fuel prices were rising that motoring in the UK relative to average incomes is still below the cost of motoring in 1950's to the 1970's. I think what has happened is that other things put pressure on the income of sailors. The pressure on family budgets is very high at the moment and within many families and with dinkies and singletons too there are other areas of interest and sport that divert the sailing £. We had this debate at our club a few years back and it can be seen that children get a much wider choice on how the family leisure £ is spent. Gone are the days when dad, the chief bread winner said we are a sailing family and that was it. Off they all went in the Wolsley, Merlin or Enterprise in tow. Mum and dad sailed a few races, kids had to be shore helpers and sit outside the club house with a glass of lemonade and a bag of crisps (salt in little blue bag, natch) then back home. Now kids rule the roost in a lot of families and the pressure on parents to be seen to indulge their every whim and ensure the kids do not feel stimatised by not taking part in the latest craze sport or activity.

If you are thinking of takng up something then go to school jumble/car boot sales and take your pick of the barely out of the box kit for sale! Mind you ebay seems to be getting a lot more of this.

Anyway back to my point. I think that its is not so much costs as other budgetry pressures that stop so much travelling. Lets face it you have to be keen and dedicated to want to tow a boat round the M25 and queue at the Dartford tollbooths.

For me this year has been difficult because of work pressure and a now diagnosed affliction that makes long distance driving tricky (unplanned 40 winks on M25 central reservation with boat attached to car!). If we do plummet into a deep recession then the roads will be clearer except for furniture vans heading for the ports and those with protected incomes and guranteed pensions will be able to get from club to club with ease, even in the southeast. They will have a massive choise of boats to pick from as they get abandoned, especially medium sized yachts should they want to go cruising.

Oooh what a bleak picture! Its going to be a great weekend and we have our race round three islands on Sunday to look forward to.

Good sailing everyone.

Phil
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Re: east is east and west is west

Post by Phil » Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:39 am

Hi all,

Sort of on the same lines, this summer during my travels around the east coast , I noticed loads of dinghies at clubs that clearly had not moved for ages ! You know the signs , not looked after, grass growing over the trailer wheels and the likes.

Has the sailing community become a “chuck away society”?. Buy it and try it. We have all seen the adds , “Dinghy A for sale minimal maintenance required, just wash and go” or as said already, on e-bay we are now seeing end of season rush to sell up.

So is it the monetary problems of the country or has this been around for a few years ? Lets face it sailing is a hobby for most of us and in hard times hobbies are the first to go. The up side to all this is that there will be some wonderful bargains to be had for the committed restorer / sailor. The down side is the “lost class’s” list will have a few more members.

Regarding costs, I keep mine down bye sailing from free lunching sites and I am lucky because there is quiet a few around the east coast. Please find link to very useful site http://www.boatlaunch.co.uk/
This site gives very useful information and links.

Probably a good post on here would be a “where do you sail section“? Some thing like below;

Where do you sail :- Burnham Overy, East coast.

Why :- Safe estuary sailing, very sheltered. Access via narrow channel into north sea .

Cost’s :- Free if you sail from the car park

Web sites :- http://www.overystaithesc.org.uk/

Hints and tips :- Can only be sailed 4 hours over the top of the tide. Can be tricky getting out of harbour area into estuary under certain tides and wind conditions. Watch out for car park flooding on extra high tides !

Local amenities :- Good pub , The Nelson, no local toilets, good reasonable general chandlery.


Just a few thoughts

Phil

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Nessa
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Re: east is east and west is west

Post by Nessa » Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:35 pm

Where do I sail? My contender is kept at Oxford SC, but I do try to do the circuit and even went out to Canada for the Worlds this year. I keep my phantom at Priory SC in Bedford because that is where I do the majority of my instructing and it is easier to get to than OSC. However, we will shortly be moving up to near Cambridge, so the contender will be going up to Grafham and I'm looking forward to having a big lake to sail on with seven day a week sailing available for training.

I'm not sure where the 14 will end up. Probably at Priory for her sea trials and initial launch, but when we start spinnaker sailing we'll need somewhere much bigger, so I expect she will go to Grafham eventually too.

If I have missed opens this year it has been either because of the weather (too little or too much wind) or because we have had house move things to do.

There do seem to be a lot of smods on ebay right now - I think people have bought them in the summer after an initial burst of enthusiasm and now, disapointed and struggling to pay the mortgage, they want to try and recoup some of the cost. second hand contenders are like hens' teeth at the moment because nobody can afford the price of a new boat and I think that trend will cross into most classes where there is a competitive race circuit.

Our Nationals return to Highcliffe next year David, so the town should expect an influx of big strong blokes any time soon. I might put in a few trips too!
Yellow Peril
Agamemnon
Lovely little Cadet
Manky old Wayfarer
Stealth
Xena Warrior Princess
Finn 469

Michael Brigg
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Re: east is east and west is west

Post by Michael Brigg » Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:46 am

Jonathon said:
kids had to be shore helpers and sit outside the club house with a glass of lemonade and a bag of crisps
I can certainly relate to this memory, and can recall many happy week-ends up to my thighs in the river Chess beside Troy lake in Rickmansworth catching minnows and sticklebacks while my parents did something out on the lake. It never occurred to me that they were sailing, I was too busy having fun. Seeing how far we could wade upstream was always good for an adventure. It felt like exploring the Amazon.

Strangely I can't remember being bored. Even on the days it was to wet or windy.

Our parents in those halcyon days were perhaps less risk averse than we are today. We probably wouldn't be allowed in the river now because of the risk from Leptospirosis, and wandering off alone as children is something that these days attracts the attention of social workers. My own pet neurosis for wondering children is the danger of the motorcar although in the 1960's I believe there were more fatalaties from accidents than there are today.

Rickmansworth was a stronghold of i14's back then. My father owned an old Uffa design (I think) called "Perigrine." I often wonder where she might be.
Hmmm..., Troy Lake, any link there to Agamemnon?
Michael Brigg

davidh
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Re: east is east and west is west

Post by davidh » Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:54 am

Nessa.


Arrrgghhhhhh..... Highcliffe for the Nationals................ memories of 1977!! Had to keep a low profile after going there with the Hornets - the occasion when the fleet were politely asked NOT to come back (maybe the business at the Commodores Reception - involving the FireHose had something to do with it)

D
David H

alan williams
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Re: east is east and west is west

Post by alan williams » Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:17 pm

Hi Dave Probably still banned. However when the Hornet fleet was banned from Torquay, the week following was Prince of Wales Week. At that time I had Hornet and a 14. We caused quite a stir in the RTYC as being a Horneteer my crew and I were technicially banned from sailing at their events. However several famous 14 sailors took up our case and we were allowed to sail. Needless to say in the company of the gentlemen of the 14 fleet Pat and I behaved impeccably!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
Cheers Al

davidh
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Re: east is east and west is west

Post by davidh » Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:06 pm

Alan,

shame on you and shame on you once again.... how about at 'Throp bay' (Throp as in jeremy throp, leader of the Liberal Party sometime past) and the Hornets storming the members lounge upstairs ( to the question of 'is there a member here I think Lance answered "yes, here's mine"........

I went back 10 days later with the Shearwaters, everywhere we went the question was the same..... you're not the same lot as were here last week are you?

"of course not guv....." - but with teams from Stone and that other east coast hornet club in attendance, the behaviour was just the same!!!

We're all grown up now I thik (not!!)

D
David H

Michael Brigg
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Re: east is east and west is west

Post by Michael Brigg » Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:40 pm

The evenings are closing in and clearly more time is being spent in the bar by some than others. Perhaps it's the approaching deadline but somehow from the recent threads and remeniscences I get a feeling that David's "favourites" tab has developed a bout of dyslexia. Heres the link you need David!

http://www.camra.org.uk/

Since Teachers are only to well aware Dyslexia is a contagious disease with epedemics that occur in the Summer (usually cured by allowance of extra time for the exam) I shall assume my browser has also aquired it as I am compelled also to write about beer! I remember reading Willie Rushton's book "Pigsticking, and other sports" in which he very rightly points out the different countries, (and by the same logic in our divided isle counties or even regions,) have evolved their favourite drink over centuries, even millenia of experience. So when in South of France we should feel the urge for Ouzo, or in Greece, Retsina. The same logic must follow for Wadsworth6X, Fullers London Pride, Abbott Ale or Horndean Special Brew.(Gales HSB for the unenlightened) and even Devenish Ale

As for that reference to Watneys Red Barrel this was surely brewed(?) well ahead of it's time for the SMOD set, and hopefully prophesies the future as CAMRA sprang from the need to resist the drive towards big breweries imposing a watery uniformity on our palate mistakenly believing that mking it very fizzy would make it a better beer. By the same token the CVRDA was developed from a need to resist change imposed by a false notion that "new" must mean "better." Perhaps this happily similar acronym that unites us springs from the need to preserve our local sailing heritage from the drive towards bland "me too" no maintenance skiffs for all, that also mistakenly believe that a sailing boat only needs a fizzy performance to attract a following.

It is precisely because one class of boat, or patch of water has difficult idiosyncracies that makes these "real" boats and locations more palatable. Ed I am sure would agree that Devenish ale is an aquired taste and Pat has already alluded to the fascinating vertical airsteams that provide such entertaining races at Shearwater...

Vive la differance! Clearly David has celebrated it in full in more than one foreign land and clubhouse
Michael Brigg

JimC
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Re: east is east and west is west

Post by JimC » Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:44 am

Phil wrote:... loads of dinghies at clubs that clearly had not moved for ages ! You know the signs , not looked after, grass growing over the trailer wheels and the likes. ... So is it the monetary problems of the country or has this been around for a few years ?
Its been like it for the last thirty five years that I can remember... I guess because fewer clubs are oversubscribed and because plastic boats are less likely to turn into a soggy mush there may be a few more about, but only because the worst examples are less likely to be removed/burned...

Pat
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Re: east is east and west is west

Post by Pat » Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:12 pm

As for that reference to Watneys Red Barrel this was surely brewed(?) well ahead of it's time for the SMOD set, and hopefully prophesies the future as CAMRA sprang from the need to resist the drive towards big breweries imposing a watery uniformity on our palate mistakenly believing that mking it very fizzy would make it a better beer. By the same token the CVRDA was developed from a need to resist change imposed by a false notion that "new" must mean "better."
So that's why this founder member of the university real ale society in the mid seventies is now preserving old boats! And add a vote for Otter beers too.

Seriously one of the problems with dinghy parks is year round sailing so there is no requirement to move boats at the end of the season. Boats and trailers are just left longer and longer and are forgotten and people move so owners can't be traced after several years. I walked around West Oxford's lake recently and there's hundreds of pounds worth of trailers covered in grass and brambles that are growing up really quickly in these wet summers.
At Shearwater we have to remove boats from the park each year by 31 Dec and there's rarely a boat left, especially after a phone call to any tardy owners - last year was a first in having something to sell off in March. It also means the park gets a clear up and cut back of bramble and bushes in February. Boats are still parked up and not sailed but the owners are known to be current members and contactable and the grass doesn't get beyond control.
I noted a similar thing at Brightlingsea where the park is also cleared and both boats and dinghy park look far more cared for - a major contribution to the overall impression one gets of any club is from the state of the dinghy park.

Michael Brigg
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Re: east is east and west is west

Post by Michael Brigg » Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:57 pm

I said:-
Watneys Red Barrel this was surely brewed(?) well ahead of it's time for the SMOD set, and hopefully prophesies the future
What on earth am I going on about?!

Yes well this is wishful thinking I suppose. David ask a question of "those of us who can remember Watney's Red Barrel" which clearly indicates to us that this "Nectar of the SMOD's" has gone the way of Queen Mary Reservoir in the last 2 or 3 years... Dried up!

The development of CAMRA as a response to bland Keg beer led to a resurgence of interest in Local "live" ales largely as a reactionary swing away from fizzy pop. Well, one might hope so, although Bottled Lager seems to be the vogue at present and there is a very real danger of the major breweries buying up small companies and pulling the plug again. (David I am sure was aware of the threatened closure of Horndean Brewery following just such a takeover I think last year?)

I suppose by a similar token I am speculating that CVRDA might snowball in the shires and provoke a move back into traditional post war sailing dinghies once the vogue for buying overpowered "wash and go" plastic for little Johnny has blown over.

The latest additon to the Star Wars set is a CGI cartoon aptly named "The Clone Wars." It does for the original what Red Barrel did for Bitter and what an Audi5000 does for a penultimate i14. Pale imitation.

Modern Beer isn't all bad. Whitbread Pale Ale brought us the original Round the World race before the media men from Volvo chopped the event into small pieces and no-one would suggest there was any reality about that brew. Like the Ocean race is always won in the doldrums Whitbread was also all about lots of flat water!
Michael Brigg

alan williams
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Re: east is east and west is west

Post by alan williams » Thu Oct 23, 2008 5:32 pm

Hi Guys there all woossy beers come down to Devon for some Indiana's Bones, Cripple Dick, Skull Number to name a few. This ale is quality tested to the point of destruction by the brewers who then decide a name for it based on the after effects of a good drinking session. Some of the venerated Plymouth Hornet Fleet Drinking team have been invited to naming cerermonies and have voted for some of these rather apt names.
Cheers Al Finn 424 Shark 41 etc. Mine's a bucket of Skull number

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