To All UK A Class Skippers
You don’t need me to tell you what a difficult year 2020 has been not only in our personal lives but the changes it has brought to society in general, as that famous saying has it “it aint over yet”. Sailing RA class yachts is not exempt from that either. The MYA has been looking in depth at what would have been 2020’s national racing calendar and has come to the same conclusion as most of us. In that there were too many events in a fixed period if time. Also, now with all that’s going on the emphasis has got to be in building up club sailing. Along with other classes that have long established series we have been asked to see if the series can be slimmed down. In the view of Peter, Mike and myself we needed to discuss this with our members and the clubs that have supported us before we make any changes. However, given the current circumstances that has just not been possible. As a class we have seen diminishing numbers sailing in the PRACC series to the point where its hardly viable to hold an event. That indicates action needs to be taken to halt that trend and turn things around, the request from the MYA has just brought that change evermore to the fore. The PRACC Series has been going a long time and in a radio sailing world now dominated by other classes PRACC is the only real place that we can enjoy sailing these boats in a competitive environment. There are not many clubs that hold club events for A Class either so that opportunity to sail is further challenged and that can’t be good for the class. So that’s picture, what are we suggesting?
Let’s look the PRACC series. There are a couple of options to consider but the only way it can be slimmed down is for the number of events to be reduced, so if we are to retain the PRACC Series what we are suggesting is that instead of single day events as now, we have a 2 day weekend event with two races and that there are 4 events in the year, Southern, South Western, Midlands and North, plus the National. Because our skippers are spread about England, we are suggesting that there is an event in the South West, in the South, Midlands and North. The National in 2021 is at Manor Park in October. That gives 8 PRACC races and the National. We have to weave into this as well, the Vets Nat, MD, SW and ND Champs but these can be coupled into suitable weekend events. As they are on a full weekend it makes turning up more worthwhile but also allows some skippers to pitch in for a day if it suits them. The model is very similar to IOM and M Ranking events.
The dates for your diaries are:-
Hampton Court on 17/18 April,
Bournville on 26/27 June, inc MD Champ
Askern on 4/5 September inc Vets Championship
National at Manor Park on 9/10 October
Poole on 23/24 October
Now that leaves a few clubs that have been staunch supporters of the PRACC series like Gosport, Eastbourne, Fleetwood and Woodspring without an event and our intent is to rotate the venues around in subsequent year’s so everyone has a fair crack of the whip. So, what can be done in the meantime, well we suggest that those clubs that have regular RA racing that they treat one of those events as an Open or a District Championship. That gives an opportunity to those outside of your club to sample the delights of your hospitality and to keep RA sailing alive in the clubs. Both of which are very important to the health of the class.
I know it sounds like we are imposing a significant change, but something has to move if we want the class to build and succeed. Please, do let us know if you have any better suggestions because we genuinely do want to hear from you. Its your enjoyment and your boats so please talk to us. As we have said in previous notes to you, don’t forget the Classic Class is now part of the equation as well. I know that there are several on the go, so let’s see them on the water. In the next piece we will set down what we consider is defined as a Classic.
The forum discussion can be found here
Please keep safe and hopefully see you soon
RA Class Captain