Sailing at Clapham on the 4th September.

September 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Posted in News | Leave a comment

A miserable day weatherwise at Clapham, a fine drizzle turning into a downpour later on in the morning.
Members were slow in arriving, put off by the weather no doubt, and the morning srarted with a general chat in the Clubhouse.
It seems clear that there are, broadly, two types of model yachtsman. There are those who have the skill to build their own boats and get pleasure from sailing them. The problem here is, unless they are talented designers as well as builders they have to rely on published designs to build from, and that raises the further problem that those designs are likely to have become outdated by later designs which have not been released for publication. If such later designs have proved successful the designer is likely to keep them to himself untill overtaken by even later designs, or only allow them to be moulded under licence.
There has been a recent exception to this course of events in that one of our Club members, Mark Dicks, himself a noted designer, released his own very successful design, Triple Crown, almost as soon as it proved itself successful. The home builder then is almost allways trying to catch up with the latest, and hopefully faster, design and unless he is prepared to constantly update his building programme he will allways at a disadvantage.
The other type of model yachtsmen are those who do not possess the skill, or do not have the inclination, to build a boat and have no option but to buy one. The guiding factor here is, how much do they want to spend? It is not unreasonable to expect a buyer would want to get the most successful design he can, and it is also not unreasonable to expect that the most successful designs command the highest prices, so it all comes down to how much the buyer wants to, or is prepared to, spend. Does he want to sail a resasonably competetive boat, or does he want to win at any price?
This type of “cheque book” competion is not confined to the model yachting world by any means, all sports suffer from it. In my own other pastime of air pistol shooting I rely on a standard underlever pneumatic pistol, others choose to spend more on CO2 gas powered pistols with electronic triggers that release at the slightest touch. Given equal marksmanship there is likely to be an advantage using the more sophisticated pistol.
How do other Clubs deal with this different approach in their own sport? In our own Club there appears to be split appearing amoung members where some members who build their own boats will not sail against those who chose to buy their boats for one reason or another. They feel there is an unfair advantage to the latter, although my own feeling is that helmsmanship must play a big part. I sail because I enjoy sailing in competion, of course I hope to win but that cannot be the sole object otherwise all the fun, enjoyment and excitement goes out of the sport and I would not sail at all!
I feel we cannot be the only Club that has experienced this phenomenon and would welcome comment from any reader of this blog, from our own or any other Club, on how we might deal with the problem.
Right, having got that off my chest I can deal with the report on the sailing itself.
In spite of the foul weather a few brave souls did venture out into the cold and wet, including Hugh who gave me these details. Only a few races were run and the details are as follows.
Race 1. Leslie, Grant, John
Race 2. Leslie, John, Grant
Race 3. Leslie, John
Race 4. John, Grant
It would appear from the details I was given that some skippers dropped out from the later races.
It turned out to be an informative meeting one way and another, I can only hope some good comes out of it. Derek.


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