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Adoo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Adoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Olympic Classes
    Posted: 08 Apr 04 at 11:02pm

(Yes yes, I know there are Olympic classes that are not dinghys, but where else should I put this??)

Andrew Hurst, in his editorial in the May issue of Seahorse says, of Olympic sailing;

".... The first thing to do is to trim the show..... Pare it down and modern small-boat sailing has few discilines: solo, skiff-dinghy, multihull, windsurfing and keelboat. That is five. It is no longer about what is desirable, split-gender classes wherever possible, for example. We surely no longer need one popular and one unpopular keelboat and three solo dinghys..."

Remember that you may have never seen a Star actually sailing, but he describes it as a "popular" keelboat because he has one.

So what do we think? Do we want everything to change? A full olympic team is 18 sailors (correct me if I'm wrong) currently, plus all of the support staff, reserves / training partners. Is sailing worthy of such a huge chunk of olympic space - would we prefer to have more track and field athletes, weight lifters, boxers, and fewer sailors? Is there a way that sailing can be made more televisual?

What should be dropped? Should anything be dropped? Remember that what is popular in the UK might not be popular anywhere else - is global appeal necessary, or classes that test the sailors fully - technical boats, or spectacular whizz bang machines? Is there a class that men and women can compete equally in?

Your thoughts, ladies and gentlemen, pleae

Better to be overpowered in the gusts than underpowered in the lulls!
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Haggis View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Haggis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 04 at 11:43pm

Ah Adoo you fercker written after being at the pub then?

A lot of bollocks if you ask me

Will take a more sober look when at work on Tuesday

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Post Options Post Options   Quote canadalaser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Apr 04 at 3:39pm

A couple of points have to be made.

1. A full olympic team is one in which a nation has a boat in every class... that is not the case for some nations. You cannot just assume that everyone is going to have the funding, and amount of talent and time (not to mention weather) in their region that will allow them to even get to the olympics. So think about that when you consider a full racing team.

2. A diminshing number of sailors would not directly result in more participants in other areas of the olympics. It would just mean that there are less classes involved in the olympics.

3. There is no way to be completely global and have everyone agree... different boats originated in different places and different boats are more popular in different places. So, if you tried to scrap the 470, i'm sure that the french would have something to say about that, but the americans might not be so passionate about keeping it in.

4. One advantage of cutting classes is that better sailors are grouped together in less classes, making it more exciting.

5. As for women in the sport, i think that sailing is one of the sports where women are on a mostly equal footing, because the sport requires more than just plain muscle, and women can think just as well as their male counterparts. Plus, having watched women beat men continuously both at the local yacht club and at regattas, i'd say the gender issue is not as big as people make it.

6. When we say "do we want everything to change?" What are we thinking? Everything is going to change regardless of whether or not we want it to. It is how we manage change and make sure that it is for the best, as opposed to trying to stop change. He who resists change gets left behind. Or looks like George Bush, you pick.

7. I have seen a star sail (one of the top star sailors in Canada is a member of my yacht club) and they are incredibly popular because they remain one of the true physical and mental tests on a sailor. The competition is cut-throat and the boats last forever. They tried taking them out and it didn't work.

I think that it would work best with a double-handed skiff (changes with technology), windsurfer, star, laser, tornado (open to change, again), and a finn, and possibly a light-weight boat.

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sjm. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sjm. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Apr 04 at 10:06pm

Hi, on the subject of olympic classes, can anyone advise why the 470 is not a popular  UK club class? It appears that if dropped from the olympics they would dissapear. Available at second hand prices from reasonable to knock down cheap, with ex-race spars sails and even hulls available at reasonable price, what is is about this class that doesnt appeal to the UK club racer?

As I wanted a GRP boat for ease of maintenance and my local club is all handicap, not having two boats the same, I recently bought an old(very old) but good nick and dirt cheap one. Being in a handicap fleet whatever I bought it doesnt matter so much, so this was a cheap option for a planing/spinnaker/trapeze boat, but I'm dissapointed not to see an open circuit except for the likes of serious contenders for the europeans or olympics.

I'd be interested to hear views on the class.

regards,

Si.

 

 

 

 

Si
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Jon Emmett View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jon Emmett Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Apr 04 at 3:45pm

Si,

 

Sounds like the boat you are looking for is a Fireball.

 

Cheers Jon

 

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Haggis View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Haggis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Apr 04 at 6:26pm

Firstly
---------
Adoo i apologies for my first post after a hard day at work and a bottle of wine got the best of me.
I wrongly assumed that the Y&Y swear o'meter would counteract me at the time.
Obviously not programmed for the B word or the Irish F word.

Secondly
-------------
Agree with Jon that Si should get a Fireball.


As after being the 470 Class Sec for a number of years, i know all too well its problems.
The class suffers from a bad handicap compared to similar boats (eg Fireball) due to the way the PY system works as a long time a go a lot of good people sailed 470's at club level, (hence some good PY returns) but not many average, poorer sailors.
This was when there was a 'club deal' on for them to help encourage/introduce what in the late '70's was a new Olympic class.
This lead to the class gaining a handicap which has a Catch22 as you need to be good to sail to it effectively so discouraging more club sailors to take up the class at this time.
Where as other similar classes have a wide spectrum of ability sailing at club level so if 80% are not that good the remaining 20% receive the rewards of the PY returns made by them. 

This 'club deal' also created a lot of boats which where not built to the guidelines introduced in the early nighties to stop the stigma of 470's being SOFT boats. If you have no rules governing boat strength of course your going to save on laminate at the ends, hence the club bar chat of ' oh a 470 aren't they soft and don't last', not anymore. All it uses to take was looking at the aft buoyancy tanks for them to crack under the wait of spray.

Now you have a situation due to funding that there is a class of boat in the UK where the secondhand value is rock bottom, especially for sails (imagine how many suits a 470 campaigner goes through a year!) but there is no one to sail them as it has a handicap that discourages average club sailors.

Why sail a 470 and struggle to beat Fireballs etc on the handicap when you can fork out a bit more and have fleet sailing with which ever class is better rated at your local club. Though having sailed both a 470 is a lot nicer and roomier to be in. Just ask Mr Wade.

So you have it the dilemma of the 470 in the UK.!?

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sjm. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sjm. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Apr 04 at 7:33pm

Thanks, that was very informative. 

I can't get a Fireball yet guys, I only just got this boat! I'm not dissapointed with the actual boat and it fits my purpose for the time being, just a bit of wishful thinking re the class circuit really.Cant see any signs of cracking or weakness either.. I believe it was one of the first UK builds so maybe built before they were made softer at the ends (?) Perhaps I can persuade my clubs OOD to adjust my handicap!!

Anyway, thanks again for the advice and comments.

Regards

Si.

 

Si
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Gael View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Gael Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Apr 04 at 4:09pm
So back to the Olympic classes question, should the 470 go,
and what should replace it then?

Pick the right class and Olympic status shouldn't affect it...

Edited by Gael
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Jon Emmett View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jon Emmett Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Apr 04 at 4:40pm

If the 470 got replaced it would need to be replaced by light weight two person boat. In my humble option high performance... how about a 39er? (half way between 29er and 49er) could be mens and womens or even a mixed class...

 

Jon

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Adoo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Adoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Apr 04 at 7:10pm

One of the debates rging currently is between measurement / and licenced builder classes - yachts like europes and 470 need to be measured, while lasers and 49ers are built under licence.

Problem is that if you take a dagger board from one particular 49er builder, and try to put it into another boat, then it does not fit, yet both are legal 49ers. I'm sure that ISAF will want to avoid another situation like this.

Some classes have supplied equipment, and drawn out of a hat, the Laser was done this way in Sydney. Apparently some of the laser sails in Sydney were "shocking" - quite possibly altering the results. When the olympics is such an important point in a sailors carear, selecting differing equipment "out of a hat" is surely unnaceptable.  

Clearly ISAF have, for this event anyway, nailed their colours to the "measured" mast - there will be problems, predictably with the Ynglings, and probably with europes too... With the change of management due this autumn, and with the possibility of difficulty in the measurement tent in Athens, it could be that the new regime goes for all licenced builders, or supplied equipment.

Both Laser radial and Pico are trying for their boats to be used as womens single hander for 2008, in place of Europe - simple boats rather than technical - but is that what is best for sailing? A Europe sailor might need to employ a 'technical' to get the gear right, but does it make the Europe sailor better than a leaser R sailor?

 The Yngling too is under threat, even though its the first time they've been used. Anyone got an idea of what they could use as a replacement? SB3??? 

Can we keep this thread on olympic classes and not about fireballs?

Better to be overpowered in the gusts than underpowered in the lulls!
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