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ISAF Women’s Skiff Evaluation - Stop press...

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RS400atC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RS400atC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 12 at 4:32pm
Originally posted by r2d2

....
OK, I guess that's a reasonable argument, in a narrow sort of a way, but isn't there another womes water based sport or class that's more popular and building rather than dying out like the leadmines?

I would think that 'skiff' sailing for women is growing very well compared to most other aspects of female sailing.
I base this solely on the fact that there seem to be a number of girls sailing 29ers now, not so long ago there were none. There are a good number of girls who have done a significant amount of sailing in other trapeze asymetric classes too.
I think the skiff will work very well, creating a path from rotobath to 29er to Olympic skiff for the best sailors, and a great choice of alternatives beyond the 29er for the merely 'good' sailors.
It parallels the Mirror/Cadet? to 420 to 470 path for symetric boats.
There are other feeder classes than the 29er, e.g. the RS500 in a few countries.

I think the presence of the womens skiff will also boost skiff sailing in general, focussing more people towards the 49er and also 'lesser' boats like the RS800.

I can't see any other branch of sailing with such potential for growth. Model yachts perhaps?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bootscooter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 12 at 4:42pm
A self-fulfilling prophesy perhaps?
 
Yes, there's lots of 2-girl teams out sailing 29ers right now, but if there wasn't an All-Girl skiff on the Olympic horizon, how many would there be?
 
Just see how many "new" mixed sex catamaran teams appear in the next couple of years in Spitfires (and by that I mean Squad types) - I know there's always been plenty in cats (I've been there myself), so at least this is tapping (or highlighting) an already active market.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 12 at 5:08pm
Originally posted by tickler

I have never seen 2  ladies in a skiff

Its always dangerous to get into what ifs, but I see many more all female sailing teams than I used to. I first noticed it starting to happen a few years ago sharing an event with Larks, but we have all female teams in RS200s at my club, and doubtless you can all think of other classes. So over my life sailing I think there's a definite upward trend. Is the presence of all female teams in the Olympics a factor? Who knows, but it certainly could be. The time scale suggests that increased participation by all female teams was led by the Olympics, rather than the Olympics following, but I can think of no way to be sure.

The trouble with extrapolating to skiffs is that it seems to me that in general far fewer people of either sex are sailing higher performance boats anyway, so numbers of women are bound to be dropping. I don't think its a bad thing if, in this respect, ISAFs Olympic event choice leads the sport rather than follow. I *like* having women round the Sailing Club so I reckon, all else being equal, anything encouraging increased female participation is a good thing.

However from here we get into the same old argument about what the disciplines should be in the games, and I can't make all the events I think should be in the games match to the number of medals available so I try not to comment.

Not long ago the IOC was determinedly against mixed doubles events. Currently it seems they are in favour. Maybe that will change again in future - who knows.

Edited by JimC - 01 May 12 at 5:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ham4sand Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 12 at 5:55pm
Originally posted by olly_love

the hull weight of the 49er is only 70kgs?
im assuming all up weight of about 130 which isnt that much tbh considering its nearly 16ft long and 3m wide,

is the mast made of wrought iron :O
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Richard20Sailing Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 12 at 6:34pm
I can confirm that the girls skiff concept has taken off and will feed club sailors back into clubs. My daughter would have given up sailing if it was not for the brilliant sailing experience of the 29er. She wanted speed and a good bunch of people to sail with. The topper squads and the club sailing was not hitting the mark. She is now learning and pushing to get better with the 29er opens and training. Like most of the kids on this roll she will not make the Olympics. However she now does her self credit when she goes club racing. She now sails 4-5 x a week at our club in 29ers (x2-3), lasers training and Yacht racing.
 Unfortunately I have agreed to get up at 0530 on Saturday and travel 180 miles for a 29er open this week end. Heavy investment but worth it as she is now a good sailor who enjoys her sailing.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote tickler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 12 at 6:42pm
OK, those of you who are better informed than I am have convinced me. Come on the girls!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RS400atC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 12 at 6:52pm
Originally posted by JimC

....

The trouble with extrapolating to skiffs is that it seems to me that in general far fewer people of either sex are sailing higher performance boats anyway, ......



I'm not sure that's actually true.
Are you talking absolute numbers or percentages of sailors? UK or worldwide?
Of course it depends on whay you call 'high performance' and what two time frames  you are comparing.

Things do not progress in straight lines or smooth curves. We may be in a bit of a dip caused by the burn-out of the first generation SMODs, that may mean it's into slow decline, or it may mean the time is ripe for some new designs. Not everyone is going to give up bowsprits and buy a Merlin Rocket.
25 years ago, would people have considered a modern merlin 'high performance'?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote craiggo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 12 at 7:48pm
Originally posted by alstorer

Have we all seen the missive from the designer of the Rebel, Derek Clark, posted on the front page of Sailing Anarchy?
The evaluation event for the Olympic Women’s Two Person Skiff was held between 17th and 25th March in Santander, Spain. A key part of that event was to be the feedback from the invited MNA sailors. This note sets out concerns about how effective that feedback was and whether therefore that evaluation process will identify the boat which best satisfies the criteria identified by ISAF specified in its Request for Proposal.

Background


In his Olympic commission report Phil Jones highlighted the requirements for the sailing events:


“The Olympic Games should be attractive to the youth of today, both from the point of view of participation and audience interest. Youth is excited by sailing fast, modern equipment. This is also the equipment that has the most spectator appeal. Our choices around Olympic equipment should reflect this”.


These aspirations were reflected in the Request for Proposal and in particular the criteria that the equipment should be “athletically challenging to the elite sailors of the world” and have “visual appeal for spectators, media and sailors”.


Evaluation Trials


On the 12th January 2012 on their website, ISAF issued invitations to their Member National Authorities (MNAs) for their national sailors to participate in the evaluation of the Women's Skiff and Mixed Multihull boats for the 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition. On that web page Dick Batt, Chairman of the Equipment Committee said: "The opportunity to offer our National Authorities' sailors participation in the evaluations is an important part of the process. The sailor feedback is invaluable in the final evaluation of the boats and we encourage MNAs to put forward sailors from around the world. The equipment evaluations will include analysis of many aspects of boat sailing characteristics that can only be established with suitable and experienced sailors handling the boats in varying conditions."


Concerns


However there are concerns that those involved in the testing were not all suitable or sufficiently experienced in twin trapeze skiff sailing to carry out this evaluation role and that no allowance for this was made in the evaluation process. The application form MNA’s were asked to complete for each of its candidate sailors included an experience section. We understand that unless the MNA had asked for more than two places all applications were accepted and none refused on the basis of experience.


However, observations during the testing (and raised at the time with those conducting the evaluation) were that the experience levels of more than half of the sailors attending the trials did not match Dick Batt’s requirement for suitable and experienced sailors. This was also reported in the Women’s Skiff and Mixed Multihull – Evaluation Process report published after the trials:


6. MNA Evaluation Sailors


“There was a wide range of experience and sailor’s ability at the evaluations. Some sailors were experienced in the boat types and some were less experienced”.


There were days when the manufacturer’s representatives were asked by the Evaluation panel to assist with sailing the boats because some of the sailors were not sufficiently experienced or skilled to do so in the weather and sea conditions. This experience spread prevented a proper evaluation of the criteria set by ISAF and in particular a boat that is “athletically challenging to the elite sailors of the world”.


We anticipate that the committee would agree that only elite sailors can decide what is challenging to them, it cannot be done by those far below that level. The Feedback questionnaire and associated analysis did not have a mechanism to take actual experience and skill into account. For example this means that the views of a sailor learning to twin trapeze were given equal weight to those with many years’ experience in the discipline.


We believe therefore that overall this had the effect of reducing the twin trapeze skiff “experience” of the group taken as a whole and therefore well below the elite level required or envisaged. It is natural (and logical) that the boats favoured by this mixed ability group were ones they were most comfortable with at the time they tested them, not the more challenging and demanding boats that an elite group would be able to sail.

It is clear from the Evaluation Panel Report that the feedback questionnaire completed by the MNA sailors formed a significant part of the Evaluation Panel’s decision making process. We are therefore concerned that the selection process will not identify and select a boat which will meet ISAF’s criteria.

Options


For ISAF to make its decision with the best possible information we suggest that it should obtain further data on whether the boats are athletically challenging to elite sailors and make further analysis of the two currently short listed boats to assess the following:


A) The effects of the rig development, weight reduction and any other changes to the RS900 upon its the sailing performance.


B) To establish the extent to which the FX’s optimum weight range compares with the 110kg to 130kg range set by the ISAF criteria.


We suggest that this assessment is widened to include all the boats submitted for Evaluation, and that the assessment includes trials of the boats crewed by twin trapeze skiff experts and observed by experts to assess just what the boats are capable of and what challenges they could present even to an elite and therefore Olympic level crew.



Seems that he's not happy... there is of course absolutely no chance of ISAF revising their decision.


I can fully understand the comments, and his view is pretty similar to mine. It really does seem to me that ISAF have missed the point by overly relying on the girls who were sent to the trials. Sure take their opinion but dont base all your decisions on it. Get some impartial and highly skilled sailors in skiffs to give their view as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 12 at 8:23pm
Originally posted by RS400atC


Are you talking absolute numbers or percentages of sailors? UK or worldwide?Of course it depends on whay you call 'high performance' and what two time frames  you are comparing.


Both worldwide and nationally, anything with a trapeze and almost any timeframe.

Thirty years ago there were two classes in the UK with wires that regularly got over 100 boats at a Nationals, today there are none.

Thirty years ago the most popular non Olympic boats with a wire were the Fireball and the 505, today its the same, but those classes are selling about half as many boats per year worldwide as they were just in the UK back then.

The mass market manufacturers have almost completely given up high performance boats, with RS the only one left, and when was the last time they launched a new trapeze boat? And wasn't that the RS500, which does not appear to be aimed at the faster end of the market.

Edited by JimC - 01 May 12 at 8:24pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Menace Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 12 at 9:16pm
FX sailing in big winds with girl team in the middle of the weight band category stipulated by ISAF; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCJAw2DUbyw&feature=youtu.be
 
A lot of the selection criteria will be based on the whole picture, ie quality of boat, supply chain and physical ability to deliver the boats. Reckon that's where the ARUP and Rebel may be falling down a lot in the eyes of ISAF. Not saying they can't, saying there is a lot more unknowns than going with the big boys where a proven and reputable supply chain exists, especially with Ovi / Mackay boats.
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