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Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th [Re: Team_Cat_Fever] #270722
03/26/14 06:17 PM
03/26/14 06:17 PM
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South Carolina
Jake Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever
Nobody has even mentioned that it is on easter weekend or the light conditions that generally prevail. That hampered my attendance lately. 3 days o' sailing is great but hadn't happened the last couple of times I was there, and it was a pretty long haul for me. The party and the people were always awesome and were the deciding factor of participation for me, when I did go. I truly hope they have a change of heart after a break and try again. 37 boats is a great entry list at most regattas, maybe just dial back on the expenditures until participation increases again.


I don't disagree - but the campground is a bit of a delima. It is a substantial cost and you need roughly 30 boats or more just to cover that alone...so without that, where do you house people? Would people still come without any food and BYOB parties? I tend to think that this would impact attendance as well.


Jake Kohl
-- Have You Seen This? --
Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th [Re: Jake] #270723
03/26/14 06:33 PM
03/26/14 06:33 PM
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Roanoke Island ,N.C.
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There were 37 boats in 10 days, so the campground would be covered. Byob ( I brought my own 1/2 the time anyway) and hot dogs/ hamburgers wouldn't change my opinion of the quality at all, as long as everybody got to hang out together. No campground would definitely be a deal-breaker as far as the social side of things goes. The late start for the website (10 days of registration)didn't help matters any either, I'm sure,as well as a conflict with the now cancelled(lack of attendance) A cat event on the outer banks. You also have to wonder if Mr. Ernie and Nigel aren't ready for a little break from the rigors of organizing and running it too. My guess is next year would be back to normal, if given the chance.


"I said, now, I said ,pay attention boy!"

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If a man is to be obsessed by something.... I suppose a boat is as good as anything... perhaps a bit better than most.
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Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th [Re: Jake] #270735
03/27/14 04:33 AM
03/27/14 04:33 AM
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Greenville SC
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Originally Posted by Jake


The question I have after this brief look, is that is the disappearance of the odd dead-boat-society boats a bad omen? Does this illuminate the lack of new sailors entering our sport? Does the gradual evolution of box rule boats, making older boat designs less competitive, choke the entry level purchase point that used to be a spring board for new sailors?



I have a couple thoughts on the dead boat society. I don't think the old boats are just the new people, I believe these are also some of the people that have been casually sailing one boat for the past 20 years. These are some of the people that only come out to a regatta once or twice a year. There are some regattas that really seem to draw this crowd out. For example Ship to Slip in Ocean Springs and Jaunas in FWB seem to have many drive a long ways with old boats. I do not know that makes these races so attractive to stand out from the others.

I do think there is less attention placed on the Open class in some of these regattas compared to the bigger fleets. I think that can only be expected though with the numbers we have had lately.

How many that start in the Open class fleets ever make it to the new boats? Is the jump to the new stuff over whelming? Does it discourage racing in general for these people?

I think a healthy open class can only be a good thing, so long as we also had fleets of the current boats.

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th [Re: Jake] #270736
03/27/14 04:41 AM
03/27/14 04:41 AM
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My 0.02:

A healthy open class is absolutely crucial because its the base of the pyramid that feeds the upper levels. No base, then eventually the whole thing crumbles.


Jeff R

H18, C2 USA1193
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Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th [Re: bacho] #270741
03/27/14 06:16 AM
03/27/14 06:16 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline OP
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Originally Posted by bacho
Originally Posted by Jake


The question I have after this brief look, is that is the disappearance of the odd dead-boat-society boats a bad omen? Does this illuminate the lack of new sailors entering our sport? Does the gradual evolution of box rule boats, making older boat designs less competitive, choke the entry level purchase point that used to be a spring board for new sailors?



I have a couple thoughts on the dead boat society. I don't think the old boats are just the new people, I believe these are also some of the people that have been casually sailing one boat for the past 20 years. These are some of the people that only come out to a regatta once or twice a year. There are some regattas that really seem to draw this crowd out. For example Ship to Slip in Ocean Springs and Jaunas in FWB seem to have many drive a long ways with old boats. I do not know that makes these races so attractive to stand out from the others.

I do think there is less attention placed on the Open class in some of these regattas compared to the bigger fleets. I think that can only be expected though with the numbers we have had lately.

How many that start in the Open class fleets ever make it to the new boats? Is the jump to the new stuff over whelming? Does it discourage racing in general for these people?

I think a healthy open class can only be a good thing, so long as we also had fleets of the current boats.


That is a great question...and one that the Spring Fever data can answer (at least for the case of Spring Fever). Keep them coming. I know that in my case, I was an open class Spring Fever sailor that migrated to the bigger classes first with a 5.2 and then a Nacra 6.0NA and then a Nacra 20. There's no way I would have started in this sport if I had to buy a $7,000 boat to get started. I'll see how many sailors made the transition...but I bet it's not that many.


Jake Kohl
Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th [Re: Jake] #270754
03/27/14 10:13 AM
03/27/14 10:13 AM
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Naples, FL
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If, as Jake and others speculate, dead-boat societies are one of the keys to building OD or box-rule fleets, does your regatta do a good job at welcoming these dead boat societies?

As the PHRF fleet starts get smaller, perhaps they don't feel as "included" as the one-design fleet starts?

I think there were a few events where the N20 and N6.0 went boat/boat with the 18s (back when DPNs weren't that different). Can your regatta afford that "luxury" for some dead-boaters with reasonably similar DPNs?

Is it that essential in a non-crucial regatta (like a NA's or World thing) to have PHRF "quarantined" to their own start? Are they that much worse than a noob in your one-design start?

I know keeping start/finish time for PHRF is a drag (maybe we can figure out how to use those RFIDs that I see runners have in big events), and lumping them in with OD fleet might hurt since you may have to keep time on everyone, but would the effort draw more sailors out?

Conversely, are dead-boat sailors more interested in sailing than racing? Are dead-boaters at your regatta to win pickle dishes or do they appear more interested in the social aspect of the event?

Would they be more enticed with distance/adventure style formats than buoy?

I see there are several (relatively) well attended regattas in my area that consist of a hodgepodge of craft (mono, multi, and WTF). One is a fundraiser, so that makes a bit of sense. The other is basically an excuse for everyone to get out on the water for a day.

I think the class winners get a coconut or something, and given the number of classes (oldest, best dressed, etc) I suspect that everyone gets to win something.

The local Opti fleet has a "random" winner where they pick a number out of the hat (not including numbers 1,2, or 3) and post it on the course board at the prep flag. So if "4" is posted, whomever finishes 4th wins that award. And then everyone bunches up near the finish to hit that number... This worked out especially well when the adults had to sail the Optis smile

I think I saw about 5 boats in a glob all pushing and shoving each other (one was backwards) and it seemed like everyone was having a little too much fun on that one... But any time you put adults in an Opti, the results are pretty hilarious

Jake, can you make a DBS logo for F-24m2? I think I'd like a shirt or two... smile


Jay

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th [Re: Jake] #270762
03/27/14 10:50 AM
03/27/14 10:50 AM
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I think there are lots of good thoughts here.

We have to be careful not to think about any class (including open class) as a "feeder" group, and being interested in them only as such. This mentality can have several detrimental effects:

1. This approach does not result in growth, if you're only stealing sailors from within the existing pot. Focus your efforts on bringing new people in, and don't pull so hard from strong classes already at your events (e.g. pulling H16 sailors to F18).

2. If one class is successful at pulling sailors from the other classes, the net sum can be less overall sailors, because you may drop the other classes below the critical mass where it's fun for those remaining in those classes to continue racing. Thus creating more dead boat classes (e.g. pulling TheMightyHobie18 sailors to F18).

3. If you're creating events and inviting classes, you have to work hard to make sure none of them feel like the red-headed stepchild.

[In the examples listed above, I am not singling out F18s as the bad guys, or defending the Hobie classes above all others. Those are just classes that are convenient for the discussion (everyone is familiar with them).]

Someone mentioned PHRF. In most areas, our "serious" beach cat sailors have moved to one-design. Maybe we should take the lead of PHRF events and start calling the remaining open classes the "Cruising" class. Give them the option of different/weird courses (mini distance races, etc.) so they have a good time without feeling trivialized or in the way.

Mike

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th [Re: brucat] #270766
03/27/14 11:19 AM
03/27/14 11:19 AM
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I like the "cruising" vs. PHRF or "open" class thought... I see that a lot on the mono fleets (cruising A/spin, cruising B/JAMO)

The one event I see here is something like that... A cruising fleet all sails up to a spot, where (some) join a racing fleet for a day or two of buoys, and then there is a cruise/race back.

I think last year it was to Ft. Myers, but maybe someone will organize one to the Charlotte Harbor regatta in Feb?


Jay

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th [Re: waterbug_wpb] #270775
03/27/14 02:01 PM
03/27/14 02:01 PM
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Annapolis, MD
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Don't forget that Spring Fever once upon a time scored the fleet in a couple of divisions on handicap. Jamie Diamond from OCRA helped the regatta team pull that off.. The regatta was holding steady with turnout at the time with about 90 to 100 boats on average ...

The next year, Nigel and Mr Ernie decided that the future would be one design fleets of whatever size... and they would combine starts. The idea was that a one design regatta coupled with a party would be sustainable and what racers wanted.

There was a public debate on cat sailor and private discussions as well.


crac.sailregattas.com
Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th [Re: Mark Schneider] #270783
03/27/14 02:32 PM
03/27/14 02:32 PM
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South Carolina
Jake Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Mark Schneider
Don't forget that Spring Fever once upon a time scored the fleet in a couple of divisions on handicap. Jamie Diamond from OCRA helped the regatta team pull that off.. The regatta was holding steady with turnout at the time with about 90 to 100 boats on average ...

The next year, Nigel and Mr Ernie decided that the future would be one design fleets of whatever size... and they would combine starts. The idea was that a one design regatta coupled with a party would be sustainable and what racers wanted.

There was a public debate on cat sailor and private discussions as well.


Mark,

2006 and 2007 were scored both by fleet and by high/low portsmouth. The decline in attendance had already started well before then. And, while, yes you can see fluctuations in attendance (actually, pre-registrations) around that time, I'm not sure anyone can point to that one fact and say "there's the problem". The fleets were scored both as individual classes and under Portsmouth with two score sheets. If memory serves me, there was considerable waiting between races because of the start sizes.

[Linked Image]


Attached Files
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Jake Kohl
Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th [Re: Jake] #270789
03/27/14 04:13 PM
03/27/14 04:13 PM
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Annapolis, MD
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Well, I would toss the inaugural event for the purpose of setting a trend line.. Nigel created the event and encouraged everyone to join their National Class association...He had a foot in both Hobie world an Performance world... plus a Tornado background. The politics at that time was dynamic and Nigel was a breath of fresh air. He got huge support as you can see. So what I see was steady participation with 80 pre registered and roughly 90 of so boats on the water year after year. I think the spike in 08 was the first F18 Southern Championship...I showed up that year expecting the previous format.... Oops. So, Pre Registration returns to the 80 ish level for a couple of years.

I would conclude that the two year PN experiment did not hurt participation in any way.

I would look at turnouts at the midwinter major east coast events and see what correlates with the last few years of decline. If its just overall drop in participation ... then some triage would be called for..... I am not sure triage would have killed off Spring Fever as the first event to go!

Last edited by Mark Schneider; 03/27/14 06:35 PM.

crac.sailregattas.com
Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th [Re: Jake] #270846
03/28/14 01:55 PM
03/28/14 01:55 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 160
North Carolina
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abbman Offline
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Iíll chime in on this thread. Iím one of the guys that has attended SF in the past, but has unfortunately not attended any regattas in the past 2-3 years. I miss it though, and I am really wanting to get involved again. I sailed a pieced together H16, but the hulls are from 86í (coleman year boat). I also always sailed solo, so I was typically in the open classes. Iím also not class legal, but have never been contested on that. I did more chasing than leading in most of the races I was in.

I really enjoyed SF and I was sad to see that it isnít going to be held this year. SF was my first ďrealĒ regatta, and I felt very welcomed as a newbie. People were very helpful to me both on and off the water. As others have said, it is by far one of the best put together regattas I had ever attended in the few years that I was relatively active. The race committee always did a great job, the sponsors were great, and it was always great to hang out with such a large group of sailors.

As great as Spring Fever is, it was a regatta that I increasingly ended up on the fence about. The biggest reason that would keep me home was travel cost vs. possible racing conditions. From where I live in Fayetteville, NC itís about 300 miles away. I realize others drive significantly further. In addition, the chance of there actually being wind there always seemed like a crapshoot. Of the days I have been at SF to race, I think I may have flown a hull once. I know of others that have also been on the fence in the past due to the wind issue. This may not be as big an issue for the A-cats and spin boats, but for the older non-spin/non-carbon fiber boats it can be. Both of these are out of the hands of the organizers though. The actual cost of the regatta was never an issue. For the entry fee, you get every penny worth in terms of venue and entertainment/food/drinks/seminars/etc. For me though, despite the venue and organized nature of SF, it made more sense to skip it and save up for other regattas that are closer with more predictable conditions. Iím not trying to diss SF in anyway, but for me, honestly, Iíve typically had more fun sailing in other regattas closer to the beach simply because there was wind.

I know the general concern here is a lack of attendance overall. I agree with most people that this is a very complicated issue. For me, my lack of attendance has been part life commitments, part monetary difficulty. There has been a lot going on since my last regatta, (Ya Gotta Regatta in Myrtle Beach) Iíve moved three times, gotten married (our second date was Duck Cup btw, I couldnít believe she agreed to go), changed my position at work, and had a slew of other family/friend commitments in between. I also have a transom repair hanging over my head due to my lack of repair knowledge that has kept me off the water, but that is a whole other issue. In some cases it has been a ďthis or the otherĒ kind of problem. Dropping anywhere from 2-5 hundred dollars for a regatta weekend just hasnít been terribly feasible lately. Sailing, recreational or competitive, is an inherently expensive sport. Even with a cheap boat like the 16, there is still the constant flow of money that goes into it to make upgrades, stay race-ready, and travel to sailing locations. I think this monetary problem has been exacerbated by the rapid advancement of catamarans in general. I would not be able to afford to buy a used f-18, a-cat, n-20, etc. let alone keep it race ready to a point to be competitive. So, I do think there could be a bit of a boat advancement issue involved as well. Why continue to go to regattas when there may or may not be boats to race against, knowing you canít afford to upgrade to what everyone else is sailing, let alone keep up with all the technological advancements? That being said, I would like to reiterate that I have never felt unwelcome at a regatta and I donít mind sailing Portsmouth against a mix-matched class. The majority of regattas I have attended have made every effort to make everyone welcome, and people like Jake and Todd (people passionate about growing the sport of sailing), to name a few, were one of the main reasons that I always felt welcome.

So, this is a long post without any real answers. But, I do think finances and boat advancement could have something to do with the lack of attendance at regattas and more specifically a continued stream of new sailors interested in racing. For what itís worth I do plan to get back onto the water this year now that life seems a little more stable. I hadnít planned to do SF, but I am very much considering making a solid effort to attend: Duck Cup, The Outback Cup, The Governorís Cup, The Version Distance Race in VA Beach, and Indian Summer at Lake Wacamaw (which Iíd like a little more info on)

Last edited by abbman; 03/28/14 03:27 PM.

James
1983 Hobie 16'
Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th [Re: Jake] #270864
03/29/14 10:53 AM
03/29/14 10:53 AM
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"lack of repair knowledge"

I suspect this is a minor but nagging problem. I have a friend who complained about this for a long time and finally left the sport (I'm sure there were other reasons and more important ones).

I need some work done on the Blade and after looking for over a year I've finally decided I'll have to do it myself, though I have no desire to do so.

So, while you folks are making lists I'd include a list of knowledgeable folks who are competent and willing to repair catamarans.


Pete Pollard
Blade 702

'When you have a lot of things to do, it's best to get your nap out of the way first.

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th [Re: pgp] #270865
03/29/14 12:51 PM
03/29/14 12:51 PM
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Hillsborough, NC USA
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Isotope235 Offline
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Originally Posted by pgp
...knowledgeable folks who are competent and willing to repair catamarans.

www.intl-fiberglass.com

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th [Re: Jake] #270866
03/29/14 01:07 PM
03/29/14 01:07 PM
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That's a start, now if you can point me to someone in Florida. Perhaps more than one.


Pete Pollard
Blade 702

'When you have a lot of things to do, it's best to get your nap out of the way first.

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th [Re: Jake] #270875
03/30/14 11:53 AM
03/30/14 11:53 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,249
Columbia South Carolina, USA
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We have to do something to sell the brand;
Noob regatta, experienced sailors come out and sail with newbies on day 1 on their boat, then day 2 they sail with you on an F18 etc. You could just put all the shiny hardware aware and sail their boat all weekend. Teach them to sail.
Have a Friday "learn to sail a cat clinic" at every regatta this year, seriously, make it a point to bring the FNG's sailing expertise up, and do it at every regatta.

Have more non-racing sailing weekends, invite other classes and non-sailors, no racing!

Many new people are intimidated by the new boats, and races that everyone has finished except the new guys will make some not want to come back. I know we have all been there, but now kids can just say screw it Im going to play video games!


The men were amazed, and said, "What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?" Matthew 8:27





Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th [Re: Jake] #270877
03/30/14 02:02 PM
03/30/14 02:02 PM
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Portland, Maine
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Quote
That's a start, now if you can point me to someone in Florida. Perhaps more than one.


Dude, you have a blade. You know who and where those are *built* right?

If you pick up the phone and call him, I'm sure he'll fix whatever it is that you need done.

Hell he did work for me and I didn't even OWN a blade.

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th [Re: ThunderMuffin] #270878
03/30/14 02:08 PM
03/30/14 02:08 PM
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Roanoke Island ,N.C.
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Originally Posted by Undecided
Quote
That's a start, now if you can point me to someone in Florida. Perhaps more than one.


Dude, you have a blade. You know who and where those are *built* right?

If you pick up the phone and call him, I'm sure he'll fix whatever it is that you need done.

Hell he did work for me and I didn't even OWN a blade.


+1


"I said, now, I said ,pay attention boy!"

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea
Isak Dinesen
If a man is to be obsessed by something.... I suppose a boat is as good as anything... perhaps a bit better than most.
E. B. White
Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th [Re: Jake] #270886
03/30/14 07:25 PM
03/30/14 07:25 PM
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PTP Offline
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Originally Posted by Jake
Originally Posted by Mark Schneider
Don't forget that Spring Fever once upon a time scored the fleet in a couple of divisions on handicap. Jamie Diamond from OCRA helped the regatta team pull that off.. The regatta was holding steady with turnout at the time with about 90 to 100 boats on average ...

The next year, Nigel and Mr Ernie decided that the future would be one design fleets of whatever size... and they would combine starts. The idea was that a one design regatta coupled with a party would be sustainable and what racers wanted.

There was a public debate on cat sailor and private discussions as well.


Mark,

2006 and 2007 were scored both by fleet and by high/low portsmouth. The decline in attendance had already started well before then. And, while, yes you can see fluctuations in attendance (actually, pre-registrations) around that time, I'm not sure anyone can point to that one fact and say "there's the problem". The fleets were scored both as individual classes and under Portsmouth with two score sheets. If memory serves me, there was considerable waiting between races because of the start sizes.

[Linked Image]



do you find the pre-reg numbers match (or consistently are a percentage of) the boats that actually show up?
Only did SF once and it was fun, but complicated for me... and there is nothing more painful to me than no wind

Last edited by PTP; 03/30/14 07:26 PM.
Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th [Re: PTP] #270892
03/31/14 06:27 AM
03/31/14 06:27 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline OP
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Originally Posted by PTP
Originally Posted by Jake
Originally Posted by Mark Schneider
Don't forget that Spring Fever once upon a time scored the fleet in a couple of divisions on handicap. Jamie Diamond from OCRA helped the regatta team pull that off.. The regatta was holding steady with turnout at the time with about 90 to 100 boats on average ...

The next year, Nigel and Mr Ernie decided that the future would be one design fleets of whatever size... and they would combine starts. The idea was that a one design regatta coupled with a party would be sustainable and what racers wanted.

There was a public debate on cat sailor and private discussions as well.


Mark,

2006 and 2007 were scored both by fleet and by high/low portsmouth. The decline in attendance had already started well before then. And, while, yes you can see fluctuations in attendance (actually, pre-registrations) around that time, I'm not sure anyone can point to that one fact and say "there's the problem". The fleets were scored both as individual classes and under Portsmouth with two score sheets. If memory serves me, there was considerable waiting between races because of the start sizes.

[Linked Image]



do you find the pre-reg numbers match (or consistently are a percentage of) the boats that actually show up?
Only did SF once and it was fun, but complicated for me... and there is nothing more painful to me than no wind


That's another good question and I will do that. As I have time, I'm working through the results...several years were just posted images and I'm having to key in that information. The others had different formats so its taking a little time.


Jake Kohl
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