The Teralba weekend was good fun. Measurement Solutions had some flashes of something good on both days, sneaking into third and fourth then dropped back. Looking forward to the day where we can keep our act together for the whole race and get a result. Will keep trying.
As a life member and long-time dabbler in VS sailing I wanted to share some thinking on moving forward in the VS world. Just trying to be constructive here. I am a little concerned about VS numbers that seem to be dwindling.
As we know we don’t buy a VS, or any class of boat, as an investment for return. Rather it’s a life style decision that we invest in. However the this year we have seen emails with boats threatened to be chopped up and another sold on E-bay . This is a concern and something we need to reverse. Other members who participated in the class at a high level (new mainsail changes and pretty vocal about things (in a positive sense I mean) etc) also gone. It just happens all the time. So I think the class needs to have a real good look at why people do sail a VS and then stop sailing and what we can do to be attractive as a sporting activity to more people and more often.
The class as we know is brilliant both on and off the water. People new to the class were blown away by the troops rallying around to rig Bobs boat on Saturday because of a late arrival, and the same thing happened with Mick Turton’s boat at Yarra Bay. So where has everyone gone?
I expressed concern over the nationals at Kangaroo Island . I know those who travelled had a great time and I am sure the sailing was good fun however it pretty much took a marquee event out of the calendar for 2 years (between nationals) for the majority, me included. As I said back then 2 years is a long time and lots of things happen over that period. Keeping in touch and networking is vital if the class is going to prevail.
I wonder if travelling interstate is an ‘’it would be nice’’ event for the class and on the wish list at some time in the future. With the class struggling wouldn’t it be better to keep the Nationals closer to home and keep numbers sailing. I spoke to Bob about Gosford on the weekend and you might recall we looked at Saratoga as a possibility. These are locations where you can take a week off and the family can readily travel and the location is great for a holiday and sailing. Maybe it keeps numbers together.
Seems that these days there are so many distractions that it’s tough to compete. You simply can’t twist arms to force people to sail. They have to want to sail. We haven’t built boats for a number of years. Johns boat is brilliant but I don’t see the average punter like me attempting to build a boat like Firestorm. The original plan was to supply a hull and deck mould that made the boat easy to build, look the same and standard to rig. I wonder if we need to get back to basics.
Newcastle (I believe) is a tremendous growth potential for the class. The area is pretty affluent, the lifestyle is great and the market is more captive than Sydney. Lots of clubs dot the lake. I think if we can make the boat easier to get into and people know that investing 17K in a new boat is worthwhile then I think we will be in better shape. Otherwise we will be in a position where the same boats continue to be re jigged and eventually they get too old and soft can’t then sold and lost forever to the class. No new boats being built. Older sailors like me and others eventually stop sailing and it’s not pretty.
Anyway just some commentary on how I see it as a long term player in VS sailing.