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Big Fleet Regattas - Chicken and Egg

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davidyacht View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 19 at 9:44am
Not sure that the Merlins are claiming above others, though individuals might do this in bar talk ... something that comes as part of the Merlin package. 

I have no interest in the class bar the odd OOD duty, but without doubt this is where that talent lies week in week out in the UK.  I would suggest that the RS200’s and Solos are also hotspots of talent amongst the adult classes.  Without doubt there are International Classes which attract very good sailors, but I am not sure that these fit the bill for many, because of the international travel required in order to find the competition.  At the moment the OK looks like an interesting prospect that straddles the UK/Continental divide.  

One could conclude from this list that all of the mentioned classes have their PR heads very much together.

The other thing that is very apparent when looking from the outside in, is that the class has lots of younger people sailing and working their way through ... plenty with small children, encouraging in a sport of an aging demographic.

Going back to the OP, I think that he/she should take comfort that he/she is sailing in one of the hottest fleets in the UK which has a great depth of talent ... there is no shame in finishing down the pan at a Merlin nationals!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RS400atC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 19 at 9:47am
Originally posted by 2547

There is no doubt the Meerlin is a strong fleet but to claim that above others seems a bit desperate. It shows a little bit of arrogance and does them no favours. 

The strongest two handed non Olympic is probably the 505, followed by the Snipe or Tasar. Not that deep in the UK where National classes exist but these are proper international classes. 

Great boat the 505, but where in the world can you get a 30 boat 505 open meeting every weekend in the season? Or the equivalent of Salcombe?
The 'greatness' of some classes is not just about the standard of the top 20 in their Nationals.

I can't see too much wrong in people saying their team/club/class/boat is the greatest, it's just their opinion. Take it or leave it.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 2547 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 19 at 5:29pm
Sometimes quality trumps quantity. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PeterG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 19 at 6:14pm
Originally posted by 2547

Sometimes quality trumps quantity. 

Sometimes, but then sometimes quantity is quality - or at least a large part of it. Truth is both are important, or why are we talking here about big fleets?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DiscoBall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 19 at 7:27pm
Interesting that despite the apparent influx into the Merlins in the last few years the championships attendance has stayed pretty constant. So is it really that Salcombe is the class USP and if anything racing with the big boys (and girls) at the champs isn't that much of a draw, maybe even a turnoff?

Merlin Salcombe is a quirky combination - the 'one-design development' (ok 'restricted') class successfully holding one of the UKs biggest class events on an estuary that's completely unsuited to big fleet sailing (or sailing at all really...  Wink ) for year after year. Proof that human beings are fundamentally irrational.

I guess for the Surrey\Midlands Merlins Salcombe is like puddle sailing, with more ice-cream parlours... 

 
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2547 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 2547 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 19 at 7:42pm
Never understood to pull of Salcombe, random venue. Maybe that’s the pull, always in with a chance. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DiscoBall Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 19 at 8:03pm
Given the premium on boathandling at Salcombe I think you have a better chance of a random win banging the corner at a champs! 

It's definitely a marmite place and only the Merlins, 12s and Solos seem to have a long term attachment to the place. The other classes in the regatta weeks seem to change quite frequently. 

It was nice to have the experience of Merlin Week last year but I suspect it's the was the last time I'll sail there.

Edited by DiscoBall - 26 Aug 19 at 8:14pm
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davidyacht View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 19 at 8:18pm
Salcombe works best for “beat and running” boats, hence Merlins, N12s, Solos and Salcombe Yawls.  I have sailed here for 45 years, and it is fair to say that some very good sailors have turned up, done a regatta and vowed never to return, however it can become addictive when you begin to think you have worked it out, you have to come back and have another go ...

I suspect that I have done at least 1,000 races here, and I am quite sure that no two have ever been the same ... different combinations of wind strength, direction, tide direction, tide strength, state of the tide, courses, number of non-racing boats, moored boats and so on ... to me this is the attraction and why I never tire of it.

Also, a race is never over until it’s over.

So in my book, very different from the predictability and science of a championship race ... though I have enjoyed a few of them too.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote AndrewM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 19 at 7:26pm
I've not posted on here in ages but I have to reply to this thread.
I was at the Merlin championships this year, I finished 60th out of the 65 in my 22 year old boat.  We had hoped we might get in the 50's but we did come away with a trophy  Smile and we had 8 fantastic races in which we had consistent competition from other boats of a similar age.  It is in the mindset.  If you attend an event with 60+ entrants then only maybe 20 of them at the most are in with a shout for a top finish, so why is everyone else there?  It's not just for the social I can tell you.  Also I still enjoy sailing with the Merlins despite being well down the fleet.  I could change to a boat where the competition is not stacked with top sailors with a new set of sails for a big regatta, but hey, I enjoy sailing the boat and I've never felt less than completely welcome in the class.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Sep 19 at 8:10pm
There's only one thing that Merlin Sailors are known to be good at above others... breaking the bar bill record most years at Salcombe, they do know how to drink and that's a fact.


Edited by iGRF - 15 Sep 19 at 8:14pm
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