Well versed Peter, I guess we are one of the boats that should be but aren't sailing.
Our reasons are family ones but we still have an affection for the VS and the
great people who sail them. That's where the class's strength is ...and in a
weird way, to a point, it's weakness also. The demographic seems to be either
empty nesters with plenty of money and freedom to take time away, or for a
glorious couple of years at a time we'll get an injection of youngsters that
discover the class, enjoy it but can't fit in with the older crowd...as willing
as all parties may be. Because the numbers are so small, the racing gets boring
after a while as week in week out it's the same comers doing the same things
with a similar result.
I can definately say that we dropped the VS last year because the ntionals were in
KI. That's no secret, we were happy for the others to do what they wanted, and
we made it clear at meetings that we would not be able to afford to do the trip,
find baby sitters etc. and with our youngsters becoming more alive to the world,
it's selfish for us to fob them off to others to sit around waiting for the days
racing to end...for a week or so, and then have nothing left in the kitty to
give them a good holiday. That's our story, everyone has a different one, but I
wonder if we'd stayed "in" with a nationals locally, whether I would have upped
the ante and made a new rig, cleaned up the boat and had a red hot go, which may
have grabbed us for this year. Having experienced cruising with the kids on the
Careel, and relaxing the constant asking for favours of baby sitters every
week, the whole exersize of running the VS seems "too hard" and not rewarding
enough. I get to keep contact with the crowd by popping in at Teralba which is
nice. The funny thing is, I had the chance to sail Pete Williams NS14 in the
state titles last year, and depite not having a spinnaker and having to lean
hard etc. I had an adrenalin filled week of dog eat dog racing against 70+ other
boats usually 20 of which at any time in the race could not fart without me
hearing it...which is where the NS14 gets it's fleet filling ability from.
Excitement in numbers, racing. Sorry, but bucket loads of money to sail a
"nationals" against 5 or 6 legit boats and a few other trumped up ones doesn't
do it for me. We have travelled all over the country competing in NS14's because
of the fleet numbers and quality of the racing. In the case of the VS I'd
rather save my money for a holiday with the kids than do an interstate nationals
with boats I can race at Teralba every week. That said, We love our VS and enjoy
seeing others use it when we can't ( or can't sell it ) - and cutting it up
would be a tragedy!
all, Mick the rambler.