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Last Post 19 Jun 2015 02:59 PM by Deleted User
Should the Association only allow the Association's own Championships as Open Meetings?
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F15 PublicityUser is Offline
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02 Jun 2015 04:50 PM
    I have been to a few open events over the last year or two and when they are not Association Championship events they tend (with one or two exceptions such as Grafham) to be poorly attended by visitors.

    In discussion with other classes, some only publicise (read - allow) official Association Open Meetings. Is this a road for UKFFA to travel or is wider experience that clubs are happy with the number of visitors they get to Open Meetings.

    "The Pres"
    UKFFA Webmaster (Simon Thompson - GBR4044)
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    Deleted UserUser is Offline
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    03 Jun 2015 10:42 AM
    We had only 2 visitors at Chew this year (you were one Simon!) - and no, I wouldn't say as a Club we were happy with that. In fact it was raised in a committee meeting just yesterday evening.

    I don't know about not allowing clubs to run meetings, but I'd be interested in ideas for encouraging more people to travel. The events I've travelled to this year (Datchet and Grafham) have had great racing and a high standard of competition, but that's also the case for club racing at many locations, and I suspect a lot of people feel it's unnecessary to travel if they can get a good day's racing at home.

    Yes the regional championship events get a better turnout, and an open meeting series can help too - we have a bit of this in the Fifteens but do other classes do it better? The Merlin Silver Tiller for example, and the Fireballs used to have (still do?) the Golden Dolphin series.

    As a lake sailor at home, the other thing that would encourage me to travel is an open meeting on the sea - but there aren't many coastal clubs with FF fleets.

    Bill.
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    Mike PearceUser is Offline
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    04 Jun 2015 05:54 PM
    I would be interested to know why people tend not to travel anymore. Perhaps people lost the habit during the recession? Well, the government keeps saying the recovery is already here so maybe we'll see an increase as time goes on!
    ----------------------------- Mike Pearce Chew Valley Lake SC ------------------------------
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    justin waplesUser is Offline
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    19 Jun 2015 10:25 AM
    reading Mike's comments, was the Club happy....

    some thoughts......

    You could read it as 9 visiting Clubs travelling as far as Parkstone and Windermere as a real positive, in fact the most number of visiting Clubs for any event hosted so far, but a total of 14 boats for a Southern Championships was desperately disappointing. (Add in no home fleet to bolster numbers, and the figure would be the same as other Championships). Did it stop those attending have a good time on and of the water no!!!.
    Everything was laid on, from free coffee & bacon rolls, to free sponsors polo tops, to free beer off the water, supper at the Club, and a high tea at prize giving,

    The actual quality of the fleet that attended was top drawer, indeed most would achieve top 20 in the Nationals, and we had past and present National, European and World Champions present.

    maybe it was the venue? ...comments such as can't get a beat in a certain wind direction come to light...oh, what a lack of knowledge of the venue is a dangerous thing! or I don't like sailing on rivers.....interesting thought, but surely that depends on the size of 'said' river!

    Distance from a home Club can be a factor, but that does lead to sailing amongst your own fleet, and that does not lead to a long term good health of the Class, it does not take long before the natural pecking order to happen at Club level, and the natural drift there after. Sailing should be fun, and sailing against different people is another great park of the 'chess' game.

    The Northern's at Windermere was a great event, despite the very obvious lack of named travellers, the racing was tight, interesting and fun, both on and off the water.

    So the answer, and it's not rocket science.....as a class we must and have to put more in to get more out, those hosting (and the Club volunteers themselves) Open meetings/Championships put a not inconsiderable time into arranging the events, and ignore windguru, which has to be the biggest killer of many w/e sailing...and how often do we hear, didn't turn out as forecast!

    In short, will Burnham host another event, yes, as I and the Club know the venue works both on the water and off socially (there's a reason the Endeavour Trophy (the national championship winners of every dinghy class Event) is hosted here every year, and the Dragons regularly hosted Championships too.

    ********************
    So for 2016 make it a year for trying something different, and support those who support you!

    Justin Waples
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    Deleted UserUser is Offline
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    19 Jun 2015 02:59 PM
    A great post Justin.

    In the end any association is simply a combination of the individuals involved whom we hope share our ideas.

    Perhaps the message is to ask at a club level why people do not wish to travel (any more?). Are we just running out of competitive people sailing FFs with the time and money to go and test themselves against the best?

    I work at getting the next 2-3 boats at Draycote to travel to at least one event a year but even that seems to be too much. We are dying as a class there (along with the club as well perhaps) as people become less willing to commit to a) sailing regularly and b) with AN Other as a crew/helm.

    Lasers are coming back into fashion at our club and Solo's seem to put out the biggest fleet.

    We can do so much but if the tide is against us it will not have much impact.

    However the good news is perhaps that after a great trough of interest I heard on Midlands News yesterday that Golf is becoming favoured again.

    Perhaps we just have to hang on in there and be ready for the surge (I hope).

    Simon Thompson FF3950 UKFFA President 2014-16
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