And the last shall be first

Please use this area for off topic conversations and banter
User avatar
Ancient Geek
Posts: 1133
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:50 am
Location: Sletten,3250, Denmark and Hampshire GU33 7LR UK

And the last shall be first

Post by Ancient Geek » Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:09 pm

Regatta Organizers need to think carefully.
In any given regatta only a very small number of boats succeed in
arriving first in the races; whereas the majority of the boats, never succeed in
achieving this place.
It is true that boats which finish first regularly do so again and again.
Whereas the others always trail behind.
After a number of regattas it is most probable that they’ll be further and
further behind.
It is also true that boats who are regularly last are so again and again.
It is interesting to note that it is more rewarding to arrive first than last.
So there is a certain motivation to be first.
There is none to be last.
We assume correctly that last boats usually get tired of racing behind everybody
else and admiring the fleets ahead.
In the end, they may end up by not racing at all.
This has a double consequence:
- first there is another boat going to be last ( and thus repeating the process
of decay)
- and secondly the races are held with one boat less.
The number of new subjects ready to invest and to try to avoid being last is not
necessarily the same as the one for boats disaffecting the races.
No statistical evidence can be brought forward.
However common sense tends to agree that there is a problem with boats
that trail at the end of the races.
In short something must be done for the less able.
Organizations in general, tend to put the highest emphasis on the needs of the
first boats:
-best of starting lines,
- good committees,
- correct measurements,
- up-to-standard windward buoys, etc, etc..
This is of utmost importance for the top racers.
Whereas, for the others, the most important thing is to participate, not to
break anything and finish the race.
Organizers generally have a very good habit of completely neglecting the competitors
behind.
They are rarely if ever mentioned.(The CVRDA has a better record than most in this respect.)
They very rarely receive even a souvenir of the race. Most of the time they must
be happy with a paper list where the name of the boat is down at the bottom of
the page.
Sometimes one gets the impression, they are there as make weights, to make the
crowd around the better ones and the organizing committee in all its glory.
Again, something must be done for the less able ones.
The better competitors are also not blameless.
Some who are so well placed in the overall classification, even have the
rudeness not to sail the last race.
Some, during the last race, after crossing the line, just return spinnaker fully
set, across the race course, through the pack of the less speedy ones, not
giving a damn about the fact that these boats also compete for not being the
second last or the third before the least.
I have even seen some of them, in regattas in Europe preparing to be towed just in the middle of a pack of arriving boats not caring whether their manoeuvre was upsetting the normal race
of the latecomers.
So there is also a problem with the full respect due to the last boat.
It is of utmost importance to remember:
that the last boat has also fully paid the entrance fee,
that its crew also drinks at the bar (if not better),
and therefore it has all the same rights as the first one.

Furthermore: the farther down the list the boat is, the greater the fleet is.

Which means:
- that there is a difference between organizing a race for 5 boats and one for
20 or more,
- that it is a real pleasure to see large fleets sailing in races.
- that larger crowds help the organizations to cover the costs and attract
sponsors.
We win nothing with races showing decreasing fleets. On the contrary ; we are like
dinosaurs - dying.
"Oh yes that lovely boat I saw once on a lake, many years
ago...You still sail that?”
Do something for the last boat and do it well.
Simples.

ACB
Posts: 223
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:45 am
Location: Woodbridge, Suffolk

Re: And the last shall be first

Post by ACB » Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:11 pm

As one who tends to enjoy a fine view of the boats in front, hear, hear!

The Old Gaffers Association address this problem rather throughly; they are in fact mainly about racing, and have to cope with humungously disparate fleets, from "sailmaker's works boats" (and I kid you not, gentlemen...the battle between Gayle Heard's Morecambe Bay prawner "Laura" and Jimmy Lawrence's Leigh bawley "Helen and Violet" was something to see...and an awful lot of sail orders turned on the results, including mine) via Edwardian racers rebuilt regardless of expense down to boats that can scarcely get out of their own way, like "Spray" replicas.

The OGA solution is twofold:

First, they have lots of prizes - we once collected a pot for "first boat home on corrected time with a helmsman under 21", but have so far escaped the Plodder's Pot (self explanatory) and the Thirstlet Spittoon (for going aground on Thirstlet Spit).

Second, they are extremely good at cooking up and dishing out race plaques and other memorabilia for every boat that turns up and crosses the start line.

Oh, and the Race Committee always go out of their way to remember your boat, if not you, and to make you feel welcome.

F 3163 "Aquarius",
IC K229 nameless for the time being
I14 K377 "Mercury" - long term rebuild project

User avatar
Ancient Geek
Posts: 1133
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:50 am
Location: Sletten,3250, Denmark and Hampshire GU33 7LR UK

Re: And the last shall be first

Post by Ancient Geek » Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:25 am

Thank you Andrew, there is one further thing and I appreciate the CVRDA stands alone and is light on sponsorship, but in these difficult times an idea that has caught on in Europe and comes, I think, from Horse Trials (More yachtsmen than is recognised have an interest in horses some of us even hunt!) which is at the end of every regatta, a fuel voucher (Provided by sponsorship from one of the fuel companies - even supermarket!) is given to every competitor equating to a tank full of fuel, not strictly equitable but welcome and removing a major item of cast, more welcome than free beer!!!
I have every reason to believe a certain Very Large Supermarket would be receptive to the concept!
Hope Thames has better weather than I am far from enjoying!
Simples.

Pat
Posts: 2460
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 1:42 pm
Location: West Wiltshire (Wessex)

Re: And the last shall be first

Post by Pat » Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:37 pm

It was just this that caused the invention of the "More behind than in front" prize at the Nationals. And of course there's the Wingnut. Any more good award ideas welcome.

MartinH
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:55 pm
Location: West Wilts

Re: And the last shall be first

Post by MartinH » Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:34 pm

I agree that feels good to have your participation in any event acknowledged. Other hobbies (OK so sailing is more than a hobby - passion? disease??) are awarded medalions, small plaques etc for partipation in shows etc. Visit a steam fair or model railway exhibition and a number of exhibitors will have a trophy board proclaiming their involvement over the years.

This is probably impractical for smaller, one-off events, but how about a token award for, say, attending three or more traveller events in a year.

For a race that yields a variety of prizes all down the fleet take a look at the results of the Glyn Charles Pursuit Race. I would love to know the criteria for the award of "Searching for Seahorses!" and "The Parking Lot" awards.
Martin
Grad 2146 FOR SALE
Solo 2863

ACB
Posts: 223
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:45 am
Location: Woodbridge, Suffolk

Re: And the last shall be first

Post by ACB » Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm

I like what the Firefly Class are doing this year - handing out one raffle ticket for F4000 to each helm and crew who turn up to an Open.

F 3163 "Aquarius",
IC K229 nameless for the time being
I14 K377 "Mercury" - long term rebuild project

Rupert
Posts: 6240
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 8:40 pm
Location: Cotswold Water Park

Re: And the last shall be first

Post by Rupert » Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:56 pm

Maybe, more in the spirit of the cvrda, we could find an ebay wreck and raffle it off...
We could, if we have time, fix up a buddy system for the racing, so that each wing teams up after the 1st race first and last, 2nd and 2nd last in the Vintage wing etc with a prize at the end for the best performing teams? Some fudging might be needed to make it run properly, but it is a good way of getting people talking and taking an interest in each end of the fleet. I'm happy to supply a couple of bottles of wine as prizes for one wing, if a couple of others will supply a couple for the others?
Rupert

Garry R

Re: And the last shall be first

Post by Garry R » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:12 pm

Rupert - on the team buddy thing I think that's a great idea. It can of course be run concurrently with the usual racing possibly over the last day when it can be seen how the positions have panned out and you know who is there for the duration of the Championships. Does it have to be wings though - over all the fleet would be good as there are likely to be few classics and I'm sure that Chris wouldn't want lumbered with me!!!!!!! 1st matches with last, 2nd with second last etc over the whole fleet then it would go across boat designs too ... wine is always acceptable. A few toys for any kids who are taking part too.

PS I'd like to be teamed up with a battering ra... sorry, a Flying Fifteen. All jesting apart it's a grand idea to keep interest going.

Rupert
Posts: 6240
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 8:40 pm
Location: Cotswold Water Park

Re: And the last shall be first

Post by Rupert » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:08 pm

I was avoiding the main fleet following the discussions on keeping things separate. Maybe the divide could follow Sunday's racing for Monday. I assume that we are keeping Sat for a play day like before?
Rupert

User avatar
Ed
Site Admin
Posts: 3474
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:11 pm
Location: Plymouth
Contact:

Re: And the last shall be first

Post by Ed » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:27 pm

AG.....you are so right and very eloquently put.

When we first started the CVRDA, those points were very much uppermost in our intentions and I think that the CVRDA did go a fair way towards trying to improve the experience for the bottom half of the fleet.

A while ago, I posted to the forum a rather doom-laden message saying that in some ways I was worried that the CVRDA had slightly lost its bearings....and it was exactly on these points that I felt that the CVRDA was not quite as good as it once was.

What did we use to do that was different?

Well nothing big, just little things....but for me one of the big things was that the whole thing was about the 'boats'.....and not the 'helms'.

some of the differences were:
  • We only really gave the 'wing' results rather than the 'overall' results
  • Results were worked out by the 'boat' not the 'helm' - you could change a boats helm and the result stayed with the boat. This encouraged people to move boats, change helms and crews and just not take it so seriously. Some of us with more than one boat, did one race in one, then another race in another boat...and then crewed with a newbie because he or she was unconfident. It was about getting the 'boats' onto the water....not about giving the 'helms' great racing
  • Prizes were given to the 'boat' not to the 'crews'. In the first events, we didn't even announce the crews - just the boats names.
  • We always had enough 'cruising' or 'fun' events during the w/end to give someone who was not at all interested in racing the feeling that they had something to do all w/end and not just get left out when everyone else went racing.
  • We really didn't worry about 'who' raced with us as long as they were into old boats - Early Roadfords had quite a few boats that were well outside the rules and no-one really worried about it. We wanted to sail, not discuss rules
  • Early Roadfords (and other early events) were used as an excuse to encourage ANYBODY with an old boat to come and race in Friendly uncompetative races. The first two Roadfords had 35-36 boats.....but nearly 20 of those were local Roadford boats - mainly kids and newbies
  • We liked having 'newbies' and 'kids' racing with us, it was friendly and we were all about encouraging them to take part and to have fun
Remember Chris Barlow has even had a RYA award for providing this kind of help and support to other sailors and owners.....but we all used to take pride in doing it.

But of course we 'raced' that was and remains the whole point.....it is just getting the attitude to the racing right!

If the attitude is right, the last two boats should have just as much fun....just trying to make sure it is not them that is last this time.

When we started the CVRDA it was because some of us were fed up with always coming last....in old boats in new fleets. But I reckon that if we were not happy to come last then we would of all sold our classic boats and bought RSs. So I don't think we should worry too much about people coming last.....but we should worry a great deal about making sure it is still fun to come last.

cheers

eib
Ed Bremner
CVRDA


Jollyboat J3
Firefly F2942
IC GBR314 ex S51 - 1970 Slurp
MR 638 - Please come and take it away
Phelps Scull
Bathurst Whiff - looking for someone to love it

Pat
Posts: 2460
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 1:42 pm
Location: West Wiltshire (Wessex)

Re: And the last shall be first

Post by Pat » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:45 pm

To that end how about a perseverance prize for the lowest placed boat which started all races (so DNF is Ok but DNC eliminates that boat!). Someone can give it a name - Tail End Trophy? Sounds like a bit of rope on a plaque :D

Michael Brigg
Posts: 1662
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 7:11 pm
Location: Gosport, UK

Re: And the last shall be first

Post by Michael Brigg » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:15 pm

How about an "Off Topic Trophy"

I would suggest something like a Wheel nut (to accompany the Wing nut)

Perhaps AG could dig out one of his infamous sash weights or an old riding crop :lol:

It could be given to "The most interesting disqualification"

...or something similar.
Michael Brigg

User avatar
Ed
Site Admin
Posts: 3474
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:11 pm
Location: Plymouth
Contact:

Re: And the last shall be first

Post by Ed » Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:42 pm

disqualification?

now that would be a thing.

eib
Ed Bremner
CVRDA


Jollyboat J3
Firefly F2942
IC GBR314 ex S51 - 1970 Slurp
MR 638 - Please come and take it away
Phelps Scull
Bathurst Whiff - looking for someone to love it

User avatar
jpa_wfsc
Posts: 1186
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 9:52 pm
Location: Oxford (Work) Coteswold Water Park (Sailing)

Re: And the last shall be first

Post by jpa_wfsc » Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:58 pm

Ed - I really like your approach and hope that cvrda can be more like that (again).

In the three or four events that I have got to - that kind of attitude has been quite prominent in the dinghy park and on the water - but not necessarily reflected in the prize giving. The Concourse d'elegance is also a good example of the kind of thing that you are addressing. Could we even contemplate a similar ribbon system for 'Best Helm' and 'Best Crew' (and award race results to the boats as you say, not to the sailors). Then the ribbons would celebrate the fastest sailors - they do deserve recognition.

Finally - If a boat was sailed by a non-top-end crew, then should the handicap be adjusted to make it fair for the boat?
j./

National 12 "Spider" 2523
Finn K468 'Captain Scarlet'

British Moth, 630, early 60's 'Pisces'

!!!! Not CVRDA !!!!
Comet Trio - something always ready to sail.

User avatar
Ed
Site Admin
Posts: 3474
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:11 pm
Location: Plymouth
Contact:

Re: And the last shall be first

Post by Ed » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:06 am

Finally - If a boat was sailed by a non-top-end crew, then should the handicap be adjusted to make it fair for the boat?
Well, it is either right for the 'boat' or the 'crew'.....

we have always tried to only give 'boat' handicaps and never 'personal handicaps'....but it isn't always easy.

If one boat is much faster than a 'similar' boat....is this down to helm or boat? As much as we can we do 'try' to put similar boats on similar handicaps, but often better helms sail better prepared boats and it gets very confusing.

There is also the question of how much the PY is altered due to 'preparation' rather than 'modernisation'. There is certainly an argument that an owner should benefit from good preparation of their boat....but be penalised by overt modernisation. But this 'can' go against the simple goal of trying to provide handicaps that provide good racing for the whole fleet.

eib
Ed Bremner
CVRDA


Jollyboat J3
Firefly F2942
IC GBR314 ex S51 - 1970 Slurp
MR 638 - Please come and take it away
Phelps Scull
Bathurst Whiff - looking for someone to love it

Post Reply