Finn nationals

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neil
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Re: Finn nationals

Post by neil » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:19 am

A personal opinion, and one that many will probably disagree with

When a number of us starting putting old Finns back on the water, it was just that - get a Finn for a few £100s and go sailing. We got quite a few boats on the water, think we got to about 7 Finns just at Roadford, a few had both classic boats and newish boats. We had a collection of hulls. rigs. sails and spares that were passed on to new comers in order to get old boats back on the water. It was very much a grassroots thing, just to get some old boats sailing and it seemed to be working.

I have to mention the sterling work of Graham Brookes and Alan Williams in driving this, getting boats out of gardens, finding owners for them. Without Graham and Alan the classic Finns would not have happened.

The turning point, in my opinion, was when the arms race started. Restoring old boats to latest Devoti spec, putting carbon rigs on old boats. The Classic fleet instantly fragmented, why would you sail on old boat with a tin rig when there's others with carbon? This formed a hierarchy, it felt like this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2k1iRD2f-c

We originally set up the Classic Finn site to support the classic fleet, but the BFA informed me that they were going to take over the content and I was encouraged to shut the site down as the BFA wanted all Finn information in one place, specifically I was informed the BFA wanted the forum content. Despite many emails, arranging for content to be downloaded, nothing happened. The BFA site states that only 3% of the UK fleet are classic, 12% of classic with carbon. There's a lot more old Finns out there, they are just not part of the BFA.

If you run a Classic Finn Nationals, then you'll have to run it via the BFA. expect those with deep pockets bring the shiny stuff and carbon along with boats on equal terms with a scruffy Taylor. Just bring the Finns to a CVRDA event, use the CVRDA handicaps, just a separate prize for the Finns.
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chris
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Re: Finn nationals

Post by chris » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:59 am

What you have described, Neil, sounds so similar to the MROA Merlin vintage wing. AN arms race will soon put some people off. As you say sailing with CVRDA solves that
, but I don't know what the best solution is.

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Re: Finn nationals

Post by davidh » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:59 pm

I was at Bosham a fortnight ago and spent some time looking at another glorious restoration of Finn - complete with Alloy mast and dacron sail. A superb Taylor (or was it a Vanguard......) that someone has put a lot of time into. But it isn't just the Finns, as anyone who has seen the Stockholm Sprite that appears at the classic moth events - well worthy of a concours prize anywhere.

In an era when all offwhite/light grey frp boats seem to be becoming the norm, it is lovely to see the woodies on display and Bosham is doing its part to promote the furtherance of 'quality classics'. Of course this may not be to everyone's taste, but then neither is the floating shed approach to classics. As one who spends his time looking at classic dinghy sailing and then writing about it, there are signs that the whole scene is developing and maturing.

Back to the Merlins - at Bosham we had both carboned up 1950s Holt boats racing alongside alloy masted 1970s wide boys - if you get the PYs right then they can all have a good time BUT - let's be honest, this is not, nor do I think it will ever be, 'championship racing'.. But isn't that a good thing, maybe that is one of the strengths of the classic offering!

D
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PeterV
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Re: Finn nationals

Post by PeterV » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:26 pm

The BFA are now encouraging classic Finns, I think that's a good thing.
There isn't really any arms race. Two Faireys that I know have been modernised, one of which is Keith's K60 which races in the CVRDA happily. Two Faireys have recently been restored to a very high standard and done very well in the BFA fleet, with ther owners using their carbon rig from their other boat.
There is quite a short supply of Needlespar Finn masts, so those with a modern boat as well see little point in trying to find one with the added difficulty of finding a suitable sail to match, when they already have a suitable rig. This is very different from what's happened in the Merlin fleet.
I think there's another problem. If those who take the time and trouble to sort out their boats, smarten them up and set a good rig get to feel that this isn't in the spirit of the CVRDA, then the CVRDA will become the reserve of those who take pleasure in sailing tatty boats badly, and I don't think that's a good message at all.

P.S. John Tremletts Finn at Bosham is a Warwick, a sister to the Warwick of David Harker's.
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Nessa
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Re: Finn nationals

Post by Nessa » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:34 pm

I picked up my boat today and I'm really pleased, it looks very smart. It is number 469 built in 1979 by Peter Taylor, first owner John Doerr, measured by Charles Currey.

The chap who sold it to me sailed it with a Needlespar mast and boom plus a Dacron sail. He changed the centreboard but that's pretty much it. He still has a much older boat plus a black mast. He also gave me the original black centreboard.

Bringing it to Banbury tomorrow, but not optimistic about the wind strength.
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Re: Finn nationals

Post by jpa_wfsc » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:56 pm

Well Nessa, we must get my 468 up against your 469, from the same mould, some day! I have no paperwork with mine at all - when I first got it it had been sat literally in a compost heap for a few years. There was an ants nest in the boom (they had filled it up with mud).. and the double floor had a lot of rated down leaves trapped in it. That all washed out eventually. Anyhow, its still working!. I hasten to add - this was when I first got 468, not as I collected from Allan a few weeks ago!!! It went to Allan for a while, where it got much improved (even got some varnish on the wood rubbing strip), and now back to me, where I am sure it will stay till I can not sail it any more.

It remains in 'oily rag' condition.. and probably will do so as I enjoy sailing it too much to spend months in a garage being refinished. .

Did you find the copy of 'Finnatics' that I put up on the Facebook page? Fascinating reading, much of the material on sailing and tuning technique is of the same era as our two boats.

As for racing with the BFA - I probably never will, as the £50 per year membership cost is just too high.
j./

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

!!!! Not CVRDA !!!!
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Re: Finn nationals

Post by cweed » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:44 pm

Some of the above comments are a little depressing...............

Neils comment about the BFA running a Classic Finn Nationals voiced what I'd been wondering ....... I'd agree with JPA that I'd not pay a sub to BFA to participate; Roll on a CVRDA event! and I'd also like to say Peter V says there isn't an arms race but two Faireys using carbon rigs have done very well in BFA events!

As one who owns several tatty boats, (including a Pearson Finn) which are largely in original condition, I don't knowingly sail them badly.................

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azimuth
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Re: Finn nationals

Post by azimuth » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:08 am

Well I actually think we're in a pretty good place at the moment.

We have new people aquiring and joining in with sailing classic Finns (welcome Nessa, Jpa and Cweed!)

We have two class associations wanting to encourage us and offering events we can join in with (join one or both - take your pick!).

I don't think there's an arms race problem, the BFA offering prizes for two categories of classic boat solves that at those events. At CVRDA handicaps get tweaked if needed - I think this works and although I sail my classic with a tin rig and white sail (my boat was updated in 1980 long before carbon rigs!) I wouldn't want those who only have a modern rig to be stopped from joining in. We don't actually see carbon rigs at CVRDA very often but the supply of 2nd hand needlespar masts and Dacron sails is very limited!

I would try to support BFA classic events (althought there's always the temptation to take the pata instead), I'm a member anyway but I can see why others aren't keen.

I sail at most cvrda events and am looking forward to seeing increasing numbers of Finns at these next year.
Keith.

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azimuth
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Re: Finn nationals

Post by azimuth » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:29 am

Two other thoughts...

I very much agree with Neil's comments about the work of Alan and Graham (and all the early Roadford fleet) in getting classic finns going. I got into Finns when sailing at Roadford and Alan talked me into having a go in Graham's spare boat - graham then found a old boat for me to buy... many thanks to both!

I also think it's a shame the content of the classic finn site is no longer availible, I wouldn't mind if it was separate or incorporated into the BFA but it would be good to have it somewhere. Access to the boat register and the finn sailing manual were very useful. thanks to those who put it together in the first place.
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Re: Finn nationals

Post by ent228 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:35 am

The combination of Tatty and Badly sailed is not always correct. Elvstrom had a deliberately Tatty Finn so he could be sure of doing well in any boat.........Inclusivity is important.

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Re: Finn nationals

Post by Rupert » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:41 pm

Over the last couple of decades in the cvrda, we have regularly seen tatty boats sailed on a shoestring, boats beautifully restored to how they were when built, or even an idealised version of this, boats brought up to modern class racing spec, using carbon if allowed, and all these boats have had one thing in common. Owners who enjoy sailing and racing boats with character.

cvrda prizes have usually been at best valueless, and at worst a pain to actually have in the house, and more to the point, whilst the racing on the water is often competitive, most people at an event would be hard pressed to tell you who'd won. People looking for Sailing Adulation will be disappointed. An unusual or striking boat, however, will be much admired, and often it won't matter whether it is tatty, restored or modernised.

I hope we never reach the situation in the cvrda where either old wrecks or modernised machines are frowned upon.
Rupert

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Re: Finn nationals

Post by jpa_wfsc » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:34 pm

I think - if the cvrda events are always not affiliated to class series / events, might be wise. If I remember correctly, did we not once have an event at Whitefriars, which was on the Merlin Rocket calendar, and we had 1940's boats racing against 1970's boats updated with full on raking carbon/mylar rigs and (more to the point) just a few people taking it way too seriously?

Of course our racing is competitive, but we would (I hope) not be stressing out because the points were adding up to places on some other circuit with high stakes / rich prizes.
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.

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Nessa
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Re: Finn nationals

Post by Nessa » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:52 pm

If you want spares, is is the Dutch equivalent of eBay. Maybe not worth a special trip, but if you are going anyway....

https://www.marktplaats.nl/a/watersport ... e=lr&pos=1
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Re: Finn nationals

Post by Pat » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:14 pm

Nessa's Finn looked excellent on the water and she took 10th in her first race with it from a field of 21. I enjoyed watching her coming upwind with it, looking as if she'd been sailing it for years!
We always enjoy good racing against the Finns, having a similar handicap, so from a non-Finn point of view, keep combining classic Finns and CVRDA.
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Re: Finn nationals

Post by alan williams » Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:56 pm

I 've so far kept out of this but now I feel that I need to speak out. There was no interest at all from the BFA until Graham and I had built a good base for the Classic Finn. I feel very disappointed with what the BFA have done to this section, there is no change to their events to accommodate the slow old and knacked boats and sailors. I also see them as only being interested in the classics as a means of getting people to buy new boats. The original concept of the classic Finn group was to provide a cheap means for old unfit sailors to sail as badly as they like in a very Friendly manner. The whole ethos was to have FUN. Still will to run a CVRDA combined Classic Finn event, Classics only.
Alan

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