A brief explanation
The Model Yachting Association (MYA) via its constitution and affiliations is recognised as the National Class Association (NCA) for the IRSA Classes and the National Classes, and as the governing body for radio and free sailing in the UK. This requires the MYA to collect and collate certain information as well as work to the benefit of each of these classes.
The MYA has done this for a long time, but over the years the Council has struggled to balance equality of time and resource with the demands of the classes and other parts of running the sport; this approach also creates conflicts when trying to promote one class over another and does not acknowledge that the volunteers who step up to the council may have a favourite class in which they are more willing and able to give assistance to.
This was probably highlighted by the introduction of the DF racing classes, where the members were embracing the boats, but the MYA was caught as the NCA for existing classes with a conflict of interest. Our members were keen on a new design, but the constitution states that we are to act as the class association for a number of classes.
How can the MYA act in the interests of it’s members by promoting all classes of radio and free sailing yachts, yet stand its ground and promote the benefits as the NCA for only a few?
The council discussed the options, and decided that the best solution would be to stay as the NCA for the classes it already works with, but give these classes freedom to promote their own class, using the enthusiasm and passion of the class owners whilst assisting this enthusiasts by retaining the requirements of an NCA to collate certain information.
We agreed that these enthusiasts would be called the Class Owners Groups – COGs.
The significant advantage to the classes and their owners is that each COG only has to think of its own promotion and activities and those who are involved with the COG do not have to be part of the MYA Council and associated workings. If you are passionate about the Six Metre class, you are free to say this, free to tell people how great you think the class is, and as long as you don’t disparage other classes tell people why they should be sailing Six Metres over the X,Y or Z class.
Not only do we hope that this encourages more people to be involved in their class activity, and this may be more than one class, but it also frees the MYA Councils resource to do what its core role should be, in telling everyone to come and have a go at Radio or Free Sailing, whichever class or discipline a newcomer may chose.
How will this work?
The principle of a COG is that the class owners will be able to draw on the experience and enthusiasm of their class owners to promote the class and help steer the direction of any future developments, whilst knowing that it has the resource and assistance of the MYA behind it to offer help and advice when required.
What help and advice offered and required will vary from class to class as some, like, the IOM have their own International Class Association (IOMICA) and may not need much more than a platform to promote their activities and the MYA structure of measurers and certification. Other classes may need specific technical advice and assistance with their class rules or help with promoting their class, which again will be freely available from the MYA officers. Each class will therefore have an agreement that is geared towards their own needs and wants.
The MYA will assist in these agreements to ensure that they are fair and have the necessary clauses to give class owners freedom to grow their class, but also include a route back to the MYA should the owners have any concerns with the overall direction.
The MYA council will always support its members, classes and sport of Radio and Free Sailing, but hopefully the sport will become supported to a level that will allow the classes to form their own NCA’s and the MYA can further support these.
Contact the Class Captains Here