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IOM Nationals."what do you want"?


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You may be aware of the that it was not possible to find a club to host and run the IOM nationals?

This has meant that as MYA Racing Officer I have had to look at other alternatives for the event by working with members offering a solution. The IOM Nationals will go ahead in August as usual at Datchet Water near Heathrow Airport subject to a few formalities being ironed out.

Now this has bought up a number of conversations and emails from members and clubs suggesting what the Nationals should offer, when it should be run, entry size, cost of entry and what you would expect to make a good event. One thing that needs to be kept in mind is that if the event is not held at an established club then there is a price to pay for running the event with all the equipment and personal having to be bought in.

I would like to ask you my own question. "What would you call value for money, if the event entry was raised to say £50"?

I am proposing to start a review of the event in the new year and would value "your" input as a member of the MYA telling me and the MYA Council what you want from this premier event. I am happy for any subject to be discussed as long as it is to do with the IOM Nationals.

It would be very good to hear from the quieter people that may not want to comment on the forum. If you would like to contact me by email then please use the following email address:

racing-officer@mya-uk.org.uk.

Thank you for participating in this topic

Graham Allen

MYA-Racing-Officer

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Hi Graham,

I know that there are regulations about the technical aspect of the nationals, but is there anything in the constitution about what is to be provided and what is expected of a host club?

My understanding is that hosting the Nationals was perceived as being a privilege and clubs would put their request to host the nationals in to the Council. Somehow, this seems to have been tipped on it's head and it's now seen as a duty or chore to host the IOM nationals. Why is this? Is it the aggro, organisation or return, personally i feel it is a combination of these which stops people sticking their hands up, in an ideal world we would all give up our time to support our hobby and commit to the workload for the cause but i think that people view their hobbies differently nowadays, dipping in and out as their lives permit and maybe to have this lifestyle they are willing to pay?

For what it's worth i would put the cost of the Nationals up, as long as:

1. The weekend was value for money.

2. The host club were allowed to get some reward from it- Profit

3. The sailing was good.

That's my two penneth..

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The problem as I see it is the Nationals is a major event where a lot of work is required to undertake to achieve a successful and enjoyable outcome. Most clubs I am sure would host this event however they are worried of the potential negative outcome for whatever reason and therefore don't even put their club forward.

I have talked to a number of clubs who have said the same don't want the hassle and would prefer not to do it for that reason even if we were just using their lake organise the event and also put a race team together for them they just shy away from the suggestion.

Perhaps an event pack would help educate those clubs of the process of a National event?

I have entered a few events abroad and the average entry fee is far higher (double) then what we current pay so increasing the fee could be a way forward especially if the host club is on for a reasonable return for the effort.

If the event entry fee is increased then a return has to be shown to the skippers in the way of

1) Tea, Coffee during the whole event

2) either a light snack lunch or an evening meal inc in the entry fee

3) good organisation and frequent sailing equals Value for money

Its a difficult situation we are faced with but there must be clubs out there other then Fleetwood and Two Islands

Sailterry

Terry Rensch

Chair MYA

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As a member of a club which recently hosted the IOM Nationals, with the help of a race team it is quite onerous on the host club and can reflect both good and bad aspects of the club, but the major question about the cost should be considered as a proportion of the total costs that competitors encur in attending an event of this nature, and in this respect £50 is a mere bagatelle, most Nationals attendees will spend more than this in transport to the event alone.

Mike Ewart

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We have all / or indeed most of us, watched and read the various postings over the past few months relating to the staging of the MYA IOM Nationals in August. We similarly have read posting each year by our MYA Racing Officer regarding improvement, streamlining organisation, making thing more attractive ....

It is difficulty to put to words, within the limitations of the Forum, expressing ones true views on this subject and the way in which it has and is indeed being handled and I note that most of you have similarly difficulties. I will confess to have spent some time composing this posting in order to make it as least confrontational, sarcastic and as easy to understand as possible in the hopes that sanity will be restored.

The subject ‘ What do you want ‘ is to me a little misleading and I believe all of the respondents seem to have missed the point entirely, this being:-

The MYA IOM Nationals WILL be staged at Datchet Water Sailing Club near Heathrow Airport. well actually at the end of the runway.

To clarify this sentence the word WILL means that there will not be any further debate or consultation , not that I am aware that there ever was regarding the venue.

I took the time to visit this club on Thursday this week and it is indeed a fine piece of water and has more than adequate facilities.

To be continued ---

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We have all / or indeed most of us, watched and read the various postings over the past few months relating to the staging of the MYA IOM Nationals in August. We similarly have read posting each year by our MYA Racing Officer regarding improvement, streamlining organisation, making thing more attractive ....

It is difficulty to put to words, within the limitations of the Forum, expressing ones true views on this subject and the way in which it has and is indeed being handled and I note that most of you have similarly difficulties. I will confess to have spent some time composing this posting in order to make it as least confrontational, sarcastic and as easy to understand as possible in the hopes that sanity will be restored.

The subject ‘ What do you want ‘ is to me a little misleading and I believe all of the respondents seem to have missed the point entirely, this being:-

The MYA IOM Nationals WILL be staged at Datchet Water Sailing Club near Heathrow Airport. well actually at the end of the runway.

To clarify this sentence the word WILL means that there will not be any further debate or consultation , not that I am aware that there ever was regarding the venue.

I took the time to visit this club on Thursday this week and it is indeed a fine piece of water and has more than adequate facilities.

To be continued ---

 

Hi Dave,

Very restrained post by your standards, hopefully it's a new leaf :)

There is little point in having debate about Datchet as this is the only option available short of no Nationals for 2014. Despite requests by Graham via the usual calendar route ( district councilors & class contacts) from early summer onwards there was no club that came forward to host the event. As you are aware this is nothing new and this is probably why Graham is attempting to open up a discussion that may help for 2015 onwards.

The current system and approach does not appear to be working and the class needs to work out why, and attempt to come up with a solution that works and is sustainable, something that from evidence is not going to be easy.

From my perspective i dont feel that upping the fee to say £50 is an issue, however where the money goes and what is expected for the fee is a tougher question, and maybe this is where we need to start, or is the 1st question to ask what is the priority to skippers entering?

Should we go to the same venue every year?

Should we only have "Tier 1" venues used for Nationals?

What makes a "Tier 1" venue?

Should we have a mix of venues?

Do we pay a race team?

Do we use ISAF judges?

Do we train MYAjudges?

Open entry, is it what we want?

Should there be a restriction to maximum number, say 50?

What would you think to paying £50?

What would you expect for this?

If a certain amount of the fee was guaranteed as "profit" to the host club, how much would you think appropriate and would this persuade more clubs to throw their hat in the ring?

Once the class has a blueprint for what it wants, then the MYA Race Officer can look at how he achieves what is wanted.

Plenty to think about but we do have to start somewhere, even if after the discussion we decide that what we have is the best we can do!

Darin

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Oh no Darin

Part 2 is yet to come.

Let’s call this Part 1 B

Your defence of the decision is to be commended, your dedication to the cause of MYA most commendable, but ….

As to this being the only option – I think not –

However wandering somewhat from the point- Which actually should be ‘ why the Nationals are to be staged in London, the sordid truth or if you will Who killed Cock Robin .’ And taking up the direction you steadfast are attempting to take this discussion. Let us address some of the point you raise.

I believe we have stayed so far from reality when we even raise the subject of co-opting RYA Nation Judges. Have we simply gone mad when the MYA magazine publishes an article where it is asserts that Protesting is a part of sailing.

Training MYA judges !! – to what end I must ask, whatever next.

I and I hope many other right thinking people will have no issue with simple reimbursement of reasonable expenses for Race Organisers. But it must be transparent and necessary. There is no justification to flying in a Finishing Line Judge from Eastbourne or Holland.

There is similarly no justification for importing a Measurer from Bristol or France.


This is model Boat sailing – disguise it as you may, do not however delude yourself that it is anything more than model boat sailing no matter how much you paid for your boat.

More to come in Part 1C

Thank you for reading my ramblings. I promise I will get back on point soon.

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We raced with 14 IOM's today at Falmouth and had a discussion over lunchtime on the subject of the Nationals and the following emerged.

Three days is fine.

A Championship should be 16/24 races.

Day1 and 2 say 8 races and Day3 6 races or so , to allow for early finish, course changes, protests etc.

24 heats should be possible in a day, which means with 3 fleets everyone gets at least 8 races in a day and most will get 10/12 with promotion etc.

Plenty of sailing and not too much hanging about, for the 50 or so Competitors

With the host club only having to provide facilities for 50 boats, car parking, loos etc. more may put their names forward.

The problem that remains is the popularity of the event and how to select the competitors, the following was one such system, there are many more for consideration.

The top 15 Skippers in the Ranking at the end of the year Pre Qualify

The top 10 Skippers in the previous years National Pre Qualify

Each District Selects up to 3 named Skippers to Pre Qualify ( Selection by Ballot or by Competition)

This should give 18 or so top Skippers and 18 from the Districts say 36, this will leave about 14 open places to be filled.

As in the Open golf there are qualifying events, then a 2 Day Event held in April / May for the remaining places and reserves, if any of the Pre Qualified Skippers has not confirmed their entry, is probably better than a ballot.

Having put the World to right, It was back to the sailing!!!!

Peter

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David

I did not want to debate the IOM Nationals at Datchet Water as it has already been decided to host it there. The point of the post was to ask what would members want for the "future". I read your post with interest as there is always different way of looking at things and everyone's points are applicable. I would be interested in your ideas on how "you" would organize the IOM nationals.

Peter

The idea of having qualifying events or selection from district events has already been suggested and its merits will be discussed in the future, however I would like to ask you to think what the event is. Yes, it is the event to crown the top skipper at that event, yes it is also a ranking event allowing top skippers points for selection to international events. However, don't forget the majority of skippers that enter not to win the event but to sail against other equally skilled skippers at a well run event and have the chance to socialise. Meeting others, learning new things from other skippers.

The idea behind this post is to see what ideas members have so they can be used when council starts to discuss the matter in the future.

Thank you for your posts

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Graham,

I am quite certain you did not wish to debate this just as I am quite certain that the question posed ‘ What do you want ’ does not in fact require any answer.

I and I am sure others are now quit accustomed to posting of this nature this time of year from you or is it the MYA Racing Officer or Secretary . What was it last year ??? … Fleet are getting smaller and less inters … should we … lower the cost of travel ... What changes were made ?

Is it not reasonable to suppose that by now the MYA Racing Officer should or does know the answer. Might one suggest that this seemingly illusive answer has not fundamentally unchanged from the inception of the MYA. One might be convinced that you are genuinely interested obtaining a representative response you would have drafted a simple questionnaire and e-mailed it to last year’s competitors rather than some sort empty attempt at consultation.

You ask how should one organise any event - does one really need to state the obvious, it is called having a plan:-

There are 8 hour between 10:00 and 18:00 = 480 minutes

If a heat takes 20 Min = 17 sailing 2 starting 1 clearing then you can sail 24 heats maximum a day as peter has stated.

If you have 5 fleets then each sail 5 races a day maximum. Two and a half days = 12 to 13 heats in total.

So nice long start line – plenty of bias – set a triangle on the first leg to keep the reaching boats out of the middle of the pond where the beating boats are if one can.

Then you can run 20 boats on the start line.

Get the next fleet on the water as the last heat finishes – the stat line is at the other end of the course. Stop checking boats on the water – if you miss your start – tough. If you sail in the wrong heat – tough.

As I had predicted someone would propose using RYC Judges as I had predicted that someone would propose a entry qualification to the IOM Nations and restrict it to the top 20.

A bit of a laugh really if you think about it – particularly as but six months ago my proposal of introducing a B National Event was ridiculed and this is precisely what you say is to be discussed.

This all begs the question following on from my post of yesterday:-

1/ By the phrase ‘ under discussion, and ‘will be discussed’ precisely what do you mean. Our club and to our knowledge our district has not been party to any discussion.

2/ Are a few over competitive, overzealous model boat sailors in conjunction will administrators with delusions of grandeur totally sullying a good pastime for the rest of us mere mortals banging around in the E, D, and getting very excited when we hit the C fleet.

If this elite group want to have all that bosh then by all means go off and have a Race of Champions and restrict the entry to ‘ by invitation only. Employ a Profession Race Officer; Judge, have a banquet for the in-crowd. Oh I forgive me that fizzled out from lack of interest from the Champions I understand.

I would suggest that you leave well alone - thus far it seem to me that the only thing one has managed to do is to intimidate good and willing organisers and potentially good and willing race officers to the point they now believe that they are not good enough to run or officiate at an IOM National Event and to convince clubs that that want nothing to do with IOM Nationals.

Might one suggest the MYA embark upon a bridge building exercise and rally some support from the clubs before anything else and make a conscious effort to lay of the bling.

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Is it not reasonable to suppose that by now the MYA Racing Officer should or does know the answer. Might one suggest that this seemingly illusive answer has not fundamentally unchanged from the inception of the MYA.

 

 

The answer to this is yes the MYA does know how to deal with this, they ask for clubs to host and organise the events as always. In 2012, the MYA race Officer and Vice Chairman proposed their own club, 2013 there were no offers, and for 2014 there were no offers. This was the same for the RA Nationals in 2014 and the Marblehead Nationals in 2014, although both of these were taken up by clubs after they were approached directly.

 

You ask how should one organise any event - does one really need to state the obvious, it is called having a plan:-

 

Great we have a plan; who implement's it if there is no race team or water to sail on?

 

1/ By the phrase ‘ under discussion, and ‘will be discussed’ precisely what do you mean. Our club and to our knowledge our district has not been party to any discussion.

 

The MYA Race Officer sent out a request to all districts in early summer, along with reminders, and then made a request via the website- still no takers

 

If this elite group want to have all that bosh then by all means go off and have a Race of Champions and restrict the entry to ‘ by invitation only.

 

This "elite group" and the skippers at the very top of the sport are the ones who are most openly against pre qualification and are adamant that the events are kept as Open, sticking to the traditional approach.

 

I would suggest that you leave well alone - thus far it seem to me that the only thing one has managed to do is to intimidate good and willing organisers and potentially good and willing race officers to the point they now believe that they are not good enough to run or officiate at an IOM National Event and to convince clubs that that want nothing to do with IOM Nationals.

 

I am sure that the MYA race officer (who ever it may be) would love to leave it alone, presenting to the council in early autumn a list of proposals from clubs willing to host the event and then sit back waiting for the glory! and this comes back to the nub of the problem, clubs are not offering their services, why?

The SW were approached and they declined, the Eastern district declined, the Met & Southern are hosting an IOM ranking, as are the Scottish and the Midlands and the Northern District held it last year. Both the Midland and Northern Districts have offered waters but no race team. There has to be a reason for this but no one seems to say why they don't put themselves forward?

With the exception of the use of electronic media to promote and report the events, i see no more rules and regs now than when i started attending 5 years ago, so why dont people want to get involved? That is the question.

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It seems to me that what is required from nationals is good sailing and good organisation, the good sailing comes via the venue the good organisation comes with practice.

My local club has considered applying to run a nationals and or other major event, we have a reasonable venue and would be prepared to put the effort in, but, and it a big but, at the time of year a nationals would be staged the water level is likely to be lowered, and more importantly the weed would be rife, making a commitment to run the event within the club immpossible.

So the first requirement is a suitable venue that is reliably weed free, the organisation could then be drafted in, I am sure that within the sport the are a number of broad shouldered, rhino skinned individuals who might be persuaded to assist.

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Very Good reply Alf. The Iom nationals has been fixed to August as it gives everyone the knowledge that the event will be the same every year. With the weed problems we now have perhaps earlier in the year would be better. In its current form it would need to be a bank holiday due to the size of the event.

Nothing is set in stone. Thats why l would like to hear peoples thoughts.

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The first posting from a ‘Newbee’:-

I have recently joined the sport of model yachting and having attended the last two Nationals, I have the following observations:-

i) As in all levels of sailing, all (but the deluded) who travel to the Nationals know that only a very few will win, but the rest go for:-


a) well organised event and competitive sailing against our peers, hopefully measuring our improvement year on year

b) the opportunity to sail against the very best with a hope of glimmer of the limelight – (ie a rare promotion to the B fleet)

c) and ‘the social’

- this what we remember.

The weather is out of our control and maybe unfavourable, but there is stuff we can control, ie the racing organisation and 'the social', which both should be memorable as this is what brings us back year after year.

The social part of the event is equally important for the partners of the sailors without which, many wouldn’t (couldn't) be there!!

ii) Limited National Entry Level

The suggestion in a previous post, to limit the attendees would be a retrograde step.

This should be ‘The Open’ of IOM sailing, the entries for the Europeans and World Championship already have a seeding & selection process. Rather than make the Nationals restricted and elitist, we should be taking the opposite view and do everything we can to make the Nationals more inclusive, bigger and better.

The greater number of competitors, leads to more entry fees, (possibly more sponsorship) with more revenue to the organising club, which should lead to a better organised event and allowing the event to grow.

The Committee’s proposal for next year’s entry (to restrictive overseas entry for a limited period) is a positive step and should enable/encourage all those UK Nationals who wish to attend ‘The Nationals’.

Improved promotion could also lead to a greater take up of the clubs sailors, who wouldn’t normally think of attending.

iii) Nationals Location.

Locating the Nationals with adjacent accommodation and facilities (for sailors and non sailors alike) makes organising ‘Après’ Sailing Social activities easier to organise, otherwise people naturally disperse after the day’s event.

In this respect, the Two Island venue scored highly and being centrally located also made traveling reasonable for all.

Other than a change of ‘scenery’, holding the Nationals at the same venue year on year, should not be ruled out of hand. If the event becomes more popular (and profitable) to host, then it makes sense to spread it around to those Districts & clubs who wish to be considered.

iv) Entry Fee Increase & Race Organisation

An increase to the entry fee may encourage more clubs to offer their time and facilities, if they see that there is a reasonable return/profit to their club for their effort. Compared to accommodation and travel expenses, an entry fee of £50 would be good value.

The well organised Fleetwood Nationals, showed that the Nationals can be run efficiently with a relatively small, but experienced team.

Although I am not sure of the current arrangements, an increase in the entrance fee should reward the Race Officers, who give up their spare time/holidays, so others can compete.

v) Any Other Business

a) To allow the racing to progress at a quicker pace, I would suggest that (for each heat) after the first General Recall, that the subsequent start is a ‘Black Flag’ race. If this succeeds in keeping the competitors 'honest' at the start, then a larger heat participation could be considered (20?) This may also require more line observers.

b) I would suggest that a small questionnaire is issued to the members, so rather than getting random responses (such as this) the responses can be measured, published and acted upon.

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Dave B

Some good comments. Thank you

Peter Sp

Thanks for you post. The reason is, as you put in your post "half" are retired, however the others are not and would have to take annual holidays to sail if mid week. The reason for a bank holiday is that it has 3 days of racing so a good amount of races can be run. It also allows working members to attend without having to take holidays that they may want to use for family use at another time of the year.

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Looks like this might need to be looked at from the other end if a return to clubs offering to run the nationals is the desired result. What competitors want looks like slick organisation, lots of races, event open to all, good social side and more. Most clubs I suspect run weekly racing for maybe 10 - 20 boats, stretching their resources to cope with a few more at a regional event. How many are going to put themselves forward for the undefined want list for 80+ boats? Perhaps we need to ask what can clubs do and then work out what kind of nationals can be offered, could be very different every year. If no-one is prepared to offer anything maybe concerned about not meeting or exceeding the wants of competitors and standards set by previous events then the only option looks like maybe a fixed or non club location who might be prepared to offer facilities for profit from fees.

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Can we please stop going round in circles on this subject, we all know what we want from our Nats

Good venue / Well run/ well attended/ Plenty of races/No Hassle/ good social activity.

I think the event is now too big for the average club to cope with 70+ overseas visitors.

Its time to put the event onto a semi proffesional basis ,Get a team together and pay expenses and pay for the venue.

The MYA will have at least £3.500 in the pot to cover race team/venue/ Kit/ prizes. 70x50.

Thats my 2pence worth for what its worth. Now lets stop the clock and let the MYA get on with task, remember guys they are all vollenteers and its due to them we have such very strong and well run ASSOCIATION.

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Hi Graham,

I took part in the French IOM nationals last month, and paid 90 euros. For my money I received various goodies which included a mast from PG, and a T shirt with my boat number on it. lunches were free, and also a ticket for the championship dinner.

The race officer and umpires were all shipped in, and were supported by members of the host club. The whole event was regimented and well run. 90 euros is a lot of money, but I feel I got real value for my money.

Maybe more clubs would come forward to host the nationals if the race management team were shipped in.

I for one would be happy to pay more if it made for a good event.

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Hi Nigel

you make some very good points on cost value for money etc. I have spoken to a number of clubs for hosting rankings and nationals for both IOM & RM, offering everything required all we needed was their lake, management, advertising, administration and race team just parachute them into a venue and race however no takers. Usual responses were not this time but maybe in the future.

Emails were sent out via districts, notification were posted on the web site but again no one came forward other then two islands and Fleetwood, both were prepared for us to use their lake but everything else has to be provided. We lost two island for next year but Fleetwood is still on the reserve list.

Its a difficult situation that we are facedwith unless we take the bull by the horns and stipulate to clubs "you will host the nationals etc" then we are left with the professional way forward looks like the answer for venue and race team but if we want clubs to be the central Theam of the MYA then something needs to radically change.

Terry Rensch

Chair MYA

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John Cleave, Mick Chaimberlin & I attended the Spanish IOM Nationals in Almeria recently.

We paid 50 Euros, for which we had the use of a fabulous sailing club, a Gillet with regatta and sailing club logo's printed on, unlimited beer, sangria, & bottled water at the race site, packed lunched and a cocktail party with lots of very nice food, beer & wine on the first night after racing.

We also got about 18 good 3 lap races each in 25 degrees of Mediteranian sun!!

Beat that!

Derek

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Looking outside the box on this one so bear with me.

Wherever the nationals are held there are always competitors who seem to grumble about either location or organisation or the fact that the breeze never came from the favoured direction. There are also those who have an advantage because it is their home water and they know about the stream that flows into the pond just by the finish to give you a lift etc etc.

Why not neutralise all of this and find a suitable venue (such as has been done for 2014) and hold all the MYA class nationals there. The water is only sailed during nationals and it is a venue that is new to competitors and needs to be learnt. Race teams etc can be drafted in as required but any venue is probably chosen because it has a number of good facilities at or around it.

Don't shoot me down on this one, it is only a suggestion but without willing clubs coming forward to host events it seems like a logical one. 8-)

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Tim Long has made a very valid suggestion. I make another.

How about approaching the Large Estates with big visitor attracting houses. They nearly all have large lakes and somehow mange to keep the weed free. Pick your County. Always good access, parking, catering etc. It could work two ways. happy sailors, very little prior knowledge benefit. AND, new interest to the sport.

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Guest John Toner

I am absolutely dumbfounded that the UK would have a problem finding a club to run "JUST" the IOM Nationals considering the number clubs and the number of RC sailors registered. Have a look at the VRYA (Australia) site. Here is a State organisation with about 100 members, not all in Melbourne, and going to run the Australian Championships for the RA, R10r, Marblehead and IOM classes over 13 days at a location that does not have a clubhouse, so it will be marquees up and down each day. Entry fee for the IOMs is AU$75 which includes the Presentation meal. Lunch is also provided each day and cold drinks are provided for a coin donation from the competitor, sunscreen is free! Granted each State only has to do it once every five years but it is still a huge task. Shame on you Pommie sailors!!

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Lets be honest about this, there is only one issue with the UK IOM Nats and that is lack of an organising team.

Venues are not a problem, there are many. Not possibly all MYA clubs, but then that does not matter. Bournville have and are using nearby sailing club waters for ranking events, so not having the right water is no excuse.

Numbers also are apparently not an issue. Whilst people would ideally like more races, there seem to be no shortage of skippers willing to sign on for three days with potentially only 5-6 races a day. It would seem the draw of the event goes beyond just the actual races.

So the main issue is having a team to run the event.

Make no mistake with 80+ boats it is a major task for anyone to take on and there are a limited number of people who are able and willing to do it. Most of these have done their share in the last 2-3 years and are now saying enough is enough.

If no one steps up, potentially you have to hire a team and this is when the game changes.

But without volunteers this may be the only way forward ??

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First let me state there is no way that I will be entering the 2014 Nationals at it's current venue as I could not justify the expense of London accommodation, travelling, catering + entry. I love my sailing (at the back of most fleets) but cannot justify spending on one event more than my yacht cost, I'd also rather spend that sort of cash on an overseas event where my wife would like to go for a holiday. Malta or Spain initially spring to mind but would need further investigation.

But on to the Nationals, I don't believe there are many if any individual clubs who could take on the organizing of the event as most will have willing bodies but not the experience or skill sets required to run an event with 80 + yachts. This being the case it seems to come down to the regions to pool resources of their clubs to run the Nationals. From assisting in organizing national car shows the venue needs to be in a central location not a corner of the country to keep traveling to reasonable distances for skippers from all points of the country, also the area this falls into deals can normally be struck with hotels to provide accommodation at reduced rates. The bank holiday also is possibly the wrong time to hold the event if you want to minimize cost to skippers & even family squabbles over attendance. I am one of the working skippers & would prefer to avoid these bank holidays even though it would require me to book a holiday as there are pulls to do other things generally family related over these weekends.

As to the water it does not have to be a club home water, but if one is suitable why not, if skippers believe this gives an advantage to the home skippers it may give incentive to those who think that to persuade their secretary to volunteer their home water for a future event.

There does not appear to me to be a way of interested sailors to gain the skills needed to run such events. It is understandable that enthusiastic volunteers will not put themselves under pressure to run an event when they will get crucified if the event does not run like clockwork. Also how many of these wiling bodies would know how to run a protest committee especially if it is prominent Skippers with many years experience & titles behind them arguing their case (I have never seen a protest committee held). Some form of training scheme needs to be implemented to expand the numbers capable/confident enough to take charge of larger scale events. If this training exists it needs to be publicized better as I've been sailing a couple of years & not seen anything.

Sorry to have rambled on Eric

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'enthusiastic volunteers will not put themselves under pressure to run an event when they will get crucified'

"Some form of training scheme needs to be implemented to expand the numbers capable/confident enough to take charge of larger scale events"

I think Eric has some good points here and it may be something to look at. I suspect a lot of people don't have the confidence to head up a National Championship event.

However, the PRO is only one man in a large team and whilst the main attribute he must have is "rhino skin" there are plenty of other roles that don't demand sticking your head above the parapet.

People probably may not appreciate that a major proportion of the work in staging a Nationals goes on before the event and only requires people to give up their free time. Even during the event most of the roles only require willing volunteers rather than masses of experience.If we proposed a seminar it might reveal the potential resource pool we have within the MYA and give members the confidence that with a suitable PRO the task is not as difficult as it may seem. You still need someone to head up the project though which is potentially what is lacking.

As has been touched on before, if clubs/members are not stepping up to the plate then maybe the "rewards" from championing such an event do need to be more than just the satisfaction of having done your bit for the sport and fellow skippers.

A bit sad but possibly the case.

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"enthusiastic volunteers will not put themselves under pressure to run an event when they will get crucified"

Not sure that i have ever been to an event where the volunteers have been "crucified", there is a misconception amongst those that don't go to Nationals, Ranking or Open Meetings that they are cut throat carnage with everyone turning up rule book in hand ready for battle and the race team should have full battle gear and a lawyer on hand. This couldn't be further from the truth, yes it's competitive but the main reason that we attend is to meet up with friends, have some banter and enjoy a weekend sailing with like minded people. Yes, i have been to good events and bad events, good venues and bad venues but i have never heard the organisers being blamed, anyone who has been to a prize giving witnesses the applause given when the race team are thanked as we all accept that without them we cant go racing.

A good race team with experienced members can avoid some of the pitfalls but a good PRO usually works with their team to avoid these. Chris Harris did an exceptional job at Fleetwood this year with a small team and Peter Stollery, Graham Allen, Pete Moore, Pete Wiles and Ken Binks have all put on good Nationals in recent years with volunteers who have been enthusiastic but not necessarily experienced.

I would also add that there is much satisfaction to be gained from being part of a race team, yes it is hard work and yes you have to deal with lots of different "issues" but it's great fun. If nothing else it gives you a chance to observe even the best getting it wrong occasionally!

Dont let inexperience or lack of training be an excuse for not volunteering, it's good fun, you will enjoy it and the beers good... :)

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Those of us who spend our leisure time travelling around and enjoying the hospitality, know that every so often it is our turn to reciprocate.

in 2013 my wife & I enjoyed events at Woodspring, Guildford, Coalhouse Fort, Lincoln, Bourneville, Birkenhead, and we would have gone to Gosport for the RA nats had not the dredded weed stopped play.

I'm pleased that members of all those clubs came to Fleetwood and, I hope enjoyed our vane A & IOM nationals events.

"What goes around comes around"!!

So if you don't have the facilities borrow them!! and do your bit.

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Daren

I've not been to the number of events that you have & have never sailed in more than a Marblehead Ranking event, in that I must admit the behaviour of the skippers was better than most of the IOM events I've sailed in. I agree at the end of the event most attending skippers do thank the organisers, (I hope that after most of the races I have entered I have attempted to thank as many of the event assistants personally that I can find) however you then get rumbling's after some event's about courses set, length of races, timings of races & the number of races sailed. Therefore novice organiser's hearing this are put off volunteering to run events and this is only at regional level. Without the experience of those PRO's that you named you would need a really confident individual to put his hand up to run a national event, it would be easy to get bullied by someone waving a rule book to make a wrong decision. I hope the experienced skippers would not do anything like that cynically but in the heat of racing it is not unknown for tempers to flare.

As in my earlier post I do think the MYA need to have a scheme to educate potential race organisers & assistants as to what is involved in the planning & running of events. At my own club we do attempt to involve all the skippers in running events by nominating members in some form of rota to be PRO at trophy events. This still does not instil the confidence in most to run a district event let alone a National.

The other area that novice organisers need educating in are the racing rules as a lot of the instances were there is conflict between skippers is were a obscure rule/definition has been broken. Books are OK but sometimes difficult to understand interpretation, you only have to look at some of the debates on the old forum.

It would be nice to have an instant answer to this as most of the experienced guy's are now like the general membership in their more senior years. We need to find a way to recruit people into this sport when they are younger & likely to be more enthusiastic to not only improve their sailing skills but put something back by assisting/running events & eventually getting to a position where they can run the nationals. There is progression for skippers but nothing formal or informal for officials.

Just my thoughts from an aged novice skipper.

Eric

PS. We are not the only sport/hobby struggling to find volunteers to assist in organising.

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