Catsailor.com

Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th

Posted By: Jake

Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/21/14 03:06 PM

Spring Fever is right around the corner! Sailing on Lake Hartwell (at full pond!) with a campground all on our own. Catered and hosted parties! The event is later this year (due to Easter holiday scheduling) so the opportunity for terrific weather is even better.

PLEASE pre-register...they need to plan as there are considerable costs and logistics related to the campground, food, sponsors, and event support.

Pre-registration can be made here:
http://www.twinhulls.com/springfever2014/index.html


Please feel free to contact me and let me know if you have any questions or need more information.
Posted By: bacho

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/24/14 10:27 AM

If anyone has any interest in Spring Fever, please pre-register TODAY! Let's not let this race die!

Quote
As many of you know, it takes a tremendous effort and substantial funds to put on the type of regatta you've come to expect when you attend Spring Fever each year.

I am sorry to inform you that unless we have received 50 preregistered boats by midnight, Monday, March 24, we cannot afford to hold this regatta and the great times we've all looked forward to all these years will have ended.

There are far too many of you to thank individually for all that you contributed to the success of this regatta over the last sixteen years but please accept this sincere thank you from Nigel and myself for all your efforts.

Notice of Cancellation, if necessary, will be posted on the website at: http://TwinHulls.com/springfever2014/ on Tuesday, March 25th.

It is our intent to keep the website up with all of the previous years photos for at least a year. Come visit often.

......Mr.Ernie
X-Spring Fever Coordinator

Posted By: Jake

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 01:19 AM

sorry sailors and sailettes. Spring Fever has been cancelled for 2014.
Posted By: Karl_Brogger

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 02:41 AM

Wow.
Posted By: David Ingram

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 10:25 AM

Bummer! We really enjoyed this regatta and the location. A big thank you to those that volunteered your time so we could go sailing. I will miss this one.

Now tell me more about the other regattas in the area.
Posted By: Jake

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 12:20 PM

Originally Posted by David Ingram
Bummer! We really enjoyed this regatta and the location. A big thank you to those that volunteered your time so we could go sailing. I will miss this one.

Now tell me more about the other regattas in the area.


www.emsa-sailing.org has them all! (go to the schedule page)

Of the events on there, the most significant one we have on the 2014 schedule is the Outback Cup in Columbia, SC. It's also a monohull regatta but we get our own course. The food is provided by Outback and, man, they are serious about it.

The other regattas are our normal local events. I'm a bit biased with Keowee since it's my home club, but it's one of the prettiest lakes around. We have Bare What you Dare coming up on May 10th which is a multihull only regatta.
Posted By: waterbug_wpb

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 01:05 PM

Originally Posted by Jake
We have Bare What you Dare coming up on May 10th which is a multihull only regatta.


good heavens I can only imagine the swordfest
Posted By: brucat

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 02:05 PM

That's a big bummer about Spring Fever. Hard to believe such a perrenial favorite is cancelled.

If you ever need a PRO for the Outback Cup, let me know!

Mike
Posted By: mikekrantz

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 02:06 PM

Cinco De May Regatta on Lake Lanier - May 3/4

A good time will be had by all...
Posted By: Jake

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 02:12 PM

Originally Posted by waterbug_wpb
Originally Posted by Jake
We have Bare What you Dare coming up on May 10th which is a multihull only regatta.


good heavens I can only imagine the swordfest


It's not quite as tilted as you would think.
Posted By: brucat

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 02:16 PM

You should see a Melges party...

Mike
Posted By: Team_Cat_Fever

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 02:57 PM

For A cats there is a race at the same venue as NAs (outer banks) on Easter weekend. Check the USACA event calendar.
Posted By: Mark Schneider

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 05:26 PM

Wow....it is crystal clear that the south was terribly over scheduled.

an A class event in NC same weekend.
Pensocola Midwinters Cancelled and now could be rising from the dead.
Several inland lake regattas about this time frame..
All competing for an ever smaller number of racers time and money...

I believe the Mr Ernie and the Spring Fever team are to be applauded... They pulled the plug at the right time. They have their standards for what the Spring Fever regatta was about, They always delivered on what they promised and I acknowledge their integrity in holding to their vision.

IMO, the SPORT is far better off when we kill of an event BEFORE you piss off the volunteers putting it on....

All that is left to say is Thank you for hosting a signature regatta for these many years.
Posted By: Jake

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 05:35 PM

Originally Posted by Mark Schneider
Wow....it is crystal clear that the south was terribly over scheduled.

an A class event in NC same weekend.
Pensocola Midwinters Cancelled and now could be rising from the dead.
Several inland lake regattas about this time frame..
All competing for an ever smaller number of racers time and money...

I believe the Mr Ernie and the Spring Fever team are to be applauded... They pulled the plug at the right time. They have their standards for what the Spring Fever regatta was about, They always delivered on what they promised and I acknowledge their integrity in holding to their vision.

IMO, the SPORT is far better off when we kill of an event BEFORE you piss off the volunteers putting it on....

All that is left to say is Thank you for hosting a signature regatta for these many years.


Mark,

I don't know that it's as simple as over scheduling. The A-cat event did have some impact and the Nacra 17's have something going on in Europe that took away a few teams. That still doesn't explain the many other boats and classes that have attended Spring Fever in the past. I'm a little surprised that attendance dropped off like it did and would be interested to hear from people that have attended in the past but weren't going this year. As far as I know, there wasn't an F18 conflict but there wasn't even a handful signed up that weren't local. I'm baffled.

I do agree with your last statements, though. They knew when to pull the plug. Not only did the event need to have a minimum number of entries to justify the expenses related to the campground and other costs, major sponsors like Zhik, Honey Baked Ham, Subway, etc. need to have that exposure or they'll soon realize they're not getting their money's worth and they'll be lost forever. That was one of the many factors that lead to the cancellation. I know from direct involvement that Ernie and Nigel put an incredible amount of time and energy (and money) into the event to make it what it was. Hopefully it will be back.
Posted By: brucat

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 06:30 PM

Interestingly, at the US Sailing BOD teleconference last night, it was noted that attendance at certain events over the past winter has been sharply down, even in some classes that made big gains recently.

So, we're not alone, not that we should be OK with this, but we aware that there may be larger factors at play.

I know that this has been mentioned before on a smaller scale (individual events), but what would be the harm in coming up with regional two-year schedules? Take the full set of regattas for a region, and divide it in half. Run one half on the odd years, the other half on the evens. No one has to lose an event, their lives are easier because they don't have to host every year, they get two years to plan and raise funds, etc.

Blockbuster events like Madcatter could be run annually if desired.

I know, too simple...

Mike
Posted By: Isotope235

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 06:33 PM

The Easter A Cat regatta in Manteo has just ben cancelled too.

Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever
For A cats there is a race at the same venue as NAs (outer banks) on Easter weekend. Check the USACA event calendar.
Posted By: Jake

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 07:03 PM

Originally Posted by Isotope42
The Easter A Cat regatta in Manteo has just ben cancelled too.

Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever
For A cats there is a race at the same venue as NAs (outer banks) on Easter weekend. Check the USACA event calendar.


Wow!? What in the world is going on?

A few years ago we (EMSA) decided to whittle down our official regattas and try to consolidate attendance to a select few events. It was a worthwhile exercise but it had very little impact. We also tried to make sure we spread out events throughout the year and rearranged our schedule...same thing. Not much positive impact. I've got some other things we're trying this year mostly around trying to communicate in a lot of different channels and passing out EMSA schedule cards (business cards) to all of our members so they can leave these with the random catamarans they see in the area (actually, nobody yet knows I'm working on getting these made right now).
Posted By: Jake

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 07:07 PM

What was the reason that the Pensacola Midwinters didn't happen? Same thing? Low attendance?
Posted By: Jake

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 07:09 PM

Originally Posted by brucat
Interestingly, at the US Sailing BOD teleconference last night, it was noted that attendance at certain events over the past winter has been sharply down, even in some classes that made big gains recently.

So, we're not alone, not that we should be OK with this, but we aware that there may be larger factors at play.

I know that this has been mentioned before on a smaller scale (individual events), but what would be the harm in coming up with regional two-year schedules? Take the full set of regattas for a region, and divide it in half. Run one half on the odd years, the other half on the evens. No one has to lose an event, their lives are easier because they don't have to host every year, they get two years to plan and raise funds, etc.

Blockbuster events like Madcatter could be run annually if desired.

I know, too simple...

Mike


There's no harm in that but will it accomplish anything? I'm not convinced. It's not like there are people that we see only occasionally at our regattas. Competitors tend to either be one of us at everything or not at all.
Posted By: tshan

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 07:30 PM

Did/does a long winter effect attendance?

Too bad about the SailNC A Cat event. I was looking forward to visiting them and the Gunboat shop.
Posted By: catandahalf

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 07:46 PM

Our Midwinter Championship has declined since the days of forty to fifty boats, largely due to the lack of F 18s in the area, and a total lack of marketing. Mark's theory of over saturation has played a large role as well as clumsy race management.

I never made SF, but my son has sailed in it, and we know it was presented in pride by hard working lovers of sailing.

I attended the Buzzelli this past year, and was very discouraged by the race committee. I served on the first day as mark set officer for the F 18s, Roberts 27 & 30, F 16s and Wetas. At times all designs were represented on the offset leg. I was very frustrated by the boat operator, who did not acknowledge my requests to re - set the offset mark as the wind backed, which resulted in the boats having to "pass" the weather mark to lay the offset. When we set the first weather mark and offset, the Race Officer radioed us and asked which side of the weather mark had we placed the offset. He did not know me, but evidently, he knew the boat operator. We were almost hit three times during the day because he was busy on his notepad and drifting down on the starting line. I was glad to get off the boat. There was no wind for Sunday.

Sometimes the big shows ashore can not save a reputation for very long.

Spring Fever managed to balance all the components into a very nice product for years. My guess is, if we wish hard enough for it next year, the good will fairy will return with his magic.

Meanwhile, as we speak, the International Sunfish Midwinters, at Pensacola Yacht Club, is under siege by the sailors. The RComm shortened race six incorrectly and the lead boat "finished" third or fourth. He filed on time yesterday and was awarded points equal to First Place. This morning the other sailors are filling the protest box with similar requests. There are four Italian sailors in the fleet, and one of them is the Class President.

I almost had to serve on the Protest Committee (lack of certified judges), but since I was the Safety Officer the judge - in - chage wished to select a couple judges from out of town to hear the case this afternoon. Racing today was canceled due to a fresh cold front rolling through with a base of nineteen knots and gusts to thirty.

Saturation, poor management, and poor marketing are general causes. In the case of a top shelf event, average - age may becoming a factor. Coaching prior to a quality event is the newest fad that attracts sailors.
Posted By: waterbug_wpb

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 09:49 PM

Originally Posted by catandahalf

Spring Fever managed to balance all the components into a very nice product for years. My guess is, if we wish hard enough for it next year, the good will fairy will return with his magic.


My guess would be "if you show up (as in pre-register)they will build it"

And if no one was able to show for Spring Fever, what would make you think they'd show up for the resurrected Pensacola race? Does venue make that much of a difference?

And, if the regatta organizers combined the race with non-sailing activities (which were marketed separately to whatever demographic the activities were designed for), would it potentially draw more sailors?

For instance, if Sarasota had a mid-winter or regional regatta when there was a large boat show or music festival nearby, would that give you more reason to sail there knowing you'd be out in front of a potentially larger spectator group?

Or would you be more likely to attend since your non-sailing partners/family would have something to do while you were out on the water all day?
Posted By: brucat

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 11:19 PM

Jake, maybe absence makes the heart grow fonder, and maybe just walking through the process of planning an alternating schedule will get people to bring their boats out, for fear of losing their event. May not help if the numbers are as low as you describe, but losing Spring Fever is a pretty big clue that a change is in order.

Bert, clinics are not a new fad, at least not for Hobie Cat racers. The Guest Expert Program has been chugging happily along for at least the past 15 years. Matt will know exactly...

Mike
Posted By: MASantorelli

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/25/14 11:29 PM

Ocean Springs Yacht Club has an open invitation to F18's April 4, 5, 6 for 3 days of bouy racing....come on down.
Posted By: Jake

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/26/14 06:05 PM

Originally Posted by xanderwess from another thread
Regatta attendance is down, events are being cancelled due to financial constraints, people are getting upset about it, I read of people complaining of having to do MAJOR travel to race and yet we still only have 2 F-18 signed up for the Ocean Springs event for April IN THE SOUTH. What can we do to make this regatta work for you guys??


I've been dissecting Spring Fever attendance data for the last 12 years and have come to the following conclusions. This is a very complex problem and there is more than one issue that is leading to the decline. These are facts that have come out of the data I'm working through and it's early...Having access to this registration data over such a long period is really interesting and I'm seeing patterns emerge. I probably wouldn't have been able to make these conclusions without the data, but they make sense with observations in hindsight.

1) This one surprised me: Out of the top 10 overall attending boat classes in that 12 year span (based on pre-registrations), 60% of them are no longer being manufactured and the classes have all but died off. Nacra 20 (78), Hobie 18 (75), Hobie 17 (62), Mystere 4.3 (51), Hobie 20 (34), and Nacra 17 the old one (33). It should be no surprise that the other boats that round out the top 10 preregistrations in the last 12 years are F18 (181), Hobie 16 (160), A-Cat (117), and F16 (69).

2) the Hobie 16 pre-registrations peaked at 28 in 2002 but didn't muster more than 7 in each of the last three years.

3) There has been a steady decline in the Open, miscellaneous boats to the point that there really haven't been any to count in the last few years. I'm talking about the odd dead-boat-society Nacras, Prindles, etc.

4) F16 registrations have been pretty steady over the last 5 years - including being only slightly down this year.

5) A-cat pre-registrations have been increasing (except for one year) since 2007 but the bottom fell out in 2014. They peaked at 25 last year but only got 10 to sign up for this year (and several of those were coerced).

6) F18 registrations have been fluctuating at around 16 entries since 2004 but the bottom also fell out in 2014 with only 7.


In summary for the Spring Fever situation, the box rule classes were clearly taking over and the odd-ball boats were no longer showing up. There are a lot of factors for this from event promotion and larger sport wide influences.

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? If this is the case, should we be trying to attract sailors from other active sailing classes to multihulls?...so, yeah...lots of questions.

I'm starting to put together some data on what sailors migrated to other classes and how many sailors just quit coming and I'm shifting my data source to race results (actual attendees) instead of pre-registrations (pre-regs were easier to extract from the website). It will be a little while before I have this together but I'll put together a report with graphs.
Posted By: Timbo

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/26/14 06:59 PM

I'm thinking that like everything else in life, it comes down to one or two things;

1. Time

2. Money

3. Both
Posted By: Jake

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/26/14 07:02 PM

Originally Posted by Timbo
I'm thinking that like everything else in life, it comes down to one or two things;

1. Time

2. Money

3. Both


Well, hell. You could have saved me three hours of work.
Posted By: bacho

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/26/14 07:28 PM

I would like to see if Lake Hartwell lake levels relate to attendance. The past several years there have not been great, and I could see that being a factor leaving less desirable memories of the lake.
Posted By: Jake

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/26/14 07:37 PM

Originally Posted by bacho
I would like to see if Lake Hartwell lake levels relate to attendance. The past several years there have not been great, and I could see that being a factor leaving less desirable memories of the lake.


If you can find the April lake levels since 2002, send them to me. I'll align them and see if there is any correlation.
Posted By: brucat

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/26/14 07:39 PM

Originally Posted by Jake
Originally Posted by Timbo
I'm thinking that like everything else in life, it comes down to one or two things;

1. Time

2. Money

3. Both


Well, hell. You could have saved me three hours of work.


Jake, I encourage you (and anyone else willing to take a hard look at their data) to prepare graphs and crunch conclusions. I think this can shed some valuable light that can help across classes and areas.

If the conclusions truly lead to the simple reality of time and money, I stand by my prior recommendation. Have fewer regattas per year to pull our time/cash resources; but instead of throwing events away forever, rotate them over two years rather than one.

Mike
Posted By: Timbo

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/26/14 07:41 PM

Well, I just put $75 worth of gas into my kid's car, and that only brought it up to 3/4 full.

Light airplane flying is going through the same problems as sailing, only to a greater extent, because flying is even more expensive than sailing. Av Gas is over $5/gallon in most places.

A one hour flying lesson at my local airport will set you back $150-175, depending if you want the C152 or the C172. "Little" airplanes have gone way up in price too, from about $50K 10 years ago, to $150K now.

My local airport is down to only two airplanes for lessons, and one instructor, when 10 years ago he employed 4 instructors and had 6 airplanes for rent.

The kids I see today, hanging out with my 4 kids, are not interested in doing anything out doors at all. Not flying, not sailing, not bike riding, camping, none of the stuff we did as kids.

Why?

I blame Al Gore for inventing the internet.

Kids today can sit indoors on Facebook, or twitter, texting, or watching You Tube vids, or comedy central TV, anything where all they have to do is sit and click to be entertained.

Why leave the house and sweat and get dirty, when you can sit in the house and eat and watch TV?

Now take a look at an 'expensive and hard to learn' sport like flying or sailing. There just aren't too many kids or parents who can afford to do either anymore, especially if you are putting them through college. College costs are out of control, been going up 10% a year for the past 6 years I've been paying.

Seen what a new F18 goes for?

Any wonder why the Hobie 16's and Laser's are still the most popular classes? It's about all anyone can afford to race any more.
Posted By: tback

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/26/14 07:56 PM

Originally Posted by Timbo

Any wonder why the Hobie 16's and Laser's are still the most popular classes? It's about all anyone can afford to race any more.

Maybe Tim is onto the answer ... forgo these fast expensive cats and have everyone purchase Hobie 16's for a truely 1-Design Regatta (full circle).

Or better let's not do Skipper / Crew racing, I'm favoring the Hobie Wave...cheap and indestructible.


Posted By: Timbo

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/26/14 08:26 PM

Get two, one for you and one for Kris, then you can train/race against each other as well.

Remember the debates we used to have here 10 years ago, One Design v. Formula Racing?

The chief arguments were; racing One Design put you at the mercy of the manufactures who gouged you on the sails and your boat might become antiquated as others moved on to faster boats, vs. the flexibility to shop for sails, parts, etc. and the escalating arms race with the F classes.

It seems the F classes have created more dead boats however, as the top racers jump on a new design every year. Look at the A cats and the issues they are going to have with foiling.

Who's next?

Foiling F boats?

What will that do to the cost of a new boat?
Posted By: waterbug_wpb

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/26/14 08:53 PM

you can use some boats for more than racing, you know... Just sayin'see next post - I'd venture that those "dead" boat societies might be sailing but not racing

I've cruised this boat almost as much as I've raced previous boats (we'll exclude the "dark years" from 2007-2012 when toddlers ruled the roost).

Noodling around on the boat for a day with the family appears to be much cheaper than traveling to regattas (fuel, lodging, entry fee, damage, crew costs, etc). And I don't bring my "game face" which tends to scare off other potential crew...

There's also 4-5 other boats in my class nearby which might actually be willing to join a group sail. (I took your advice and looked for similar boats in my area when making my selection)

Sure, I miss all the group hugs with you little rays of sunshine at some of the regattas (poker night at Eustis, Mug race dinner, T-winds pizza shop, Hiram's debautchery, etc), but is sure is easy dropping this thing in the water for an afternoon vs. all that goes in to racing.

Posted By: Mark Schneider

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/26/14 08:55 PM

Did you guys read Jakes Point....

The time and money answers are pointless because there is nothing that can be done about them.. unless you can make time or print money and give it away to cat racers.

Jake observed....

The entry level racer on older ex race boats stopped showing up. Why?

They did not see the light and purchase a current race boat joining the fleets of H16s, F18s, A class and F16s, Why?

Why did half the A Class fleet at Ilsamorado compete in the short version of the regatta... Why was Lake Hopatcong the largest turnout for A class in 2013...trumping the west coast NAs and the big East coast mid winter events.

Why is Madcatter the largest Hobie 16 regatta with 30 to 40 16s on the line?

Spring Fever had venue, party, price, time of year going for it... Proof they had 100 boat turnouts.... fighting it out with Mad catter for top regatta in the country. They always delivered on their part of the deal... What happened?
Posted By: waterbug_wpb

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/26/14 08:58 PM

Originally Posted by Timbo


Seen what a new F18 goes for?



About 1 year's tuition at a state college
Posted By: waterbug_wpb

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/26/14 09:13 PM

Originally Posted by brucat

If the conclusions truly lead to the simple reality of time and money, I stand by my prior recommendation. Have fewer regattas per year to pull our time/cash resources; but instead of throwing events away forever, rotate them over two years rather than one.

Mike


It could be argued that the total frequency of regattas tends to dilute the importance of each. So really stellar events like SF might get lost in the noise of NAs, Worlds, regional and local events.

Are you, the racer, experiencing some sort of burnout with the abundance of regatta options?

Are/Would you reciprocate attendance at a long distance regatta to those who traveled as far to attend "your" regatta?

How many regattas can you realistically plan to attend with your time/money budget? How do you prioritize them?

If you're drawn to an event primarily by who's attending, what are you doing to draw that "talent" to particular regattas? Can your dealer(s) help with that?

If you're drawn to a particular location or peri-regatta event, are you still just as motivated to attend this year as last?
Posted By: Andy Humphries

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/26/14 09:59 PM

I think money is a big part of it. Most of those sailing older boats are on them because they are more affordable. Their budgets are tighter and they are more sensitive to the cost of gas, entry fees and lodging. The economy has been tough on a lot of people. Many have lost jobs or have taken lower paying jobs.
As an example, I drive 7 hours or more each way to most regattas I attend. That's nearly $200 in gas. Then add entry fees of around $80 and lodging, which could easily be $250 (I'm usually able to stay with the few friends I have). Maybe we should make an effort to keep entry fees low and try to house out of town guests. Regattas with on site camping are very popular. Plus, it is fun to camp and hang out with the other sailors. Spring Fever has been popular because of the camping and the price break given to those driving 500 miles or more. Ocean Springs regattas are popular because of the on site camping among other reasons. Also, promotion is huge. If people expect a big turnout and everyone is talking it up, they are more likely to come.
Posted By: brucat

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/26/14 11:22 PM

You guys are asking all of the right questions, and making some excellent points. Keep it coming, this is very helpful.

Mike
Posted By: Team_Cat_Fever

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/26/14 11:25 PM

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.
Posted By: Jake

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/27/14 12:17 AM

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.
Posted By: Team_Cat_Fever

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/27/14 12:33 AM

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.
Posted By: bacho

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/27/14 10:33 AM

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.
Posted By: rehmbo

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/27/14 10:41 AM

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.
Posted By: Jake

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/27/14 12:16 PM

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.
Posted By: waterbug_wpb

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/27/14 04:13 PM

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
Posted By: brucat

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/27/14 04:50 PM

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
Posted By: waterbug_wpb

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/27/14 05:19 PM

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?
Posted By: Mark Schneider

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/27/14 08:01 PM

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.
Posted By: Jake

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/27/14 08:32 PM

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 picture image.png
Posted By: Mark Schneider

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/27/14 10:13 PM

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!
Posted By: abbman

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/28/14 07:55 PM

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)
Posted By: pgp

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/29/14 04:53 PM

"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.
Posted By: Isotope235

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/29/14 06:51 PM

Originally Posted by pgp
...knowledgeable folks who are competent and willing to repair catamarans.

www.intl-fiberglass.com
Posted By: pgp

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/29/14 07:07 PM

That's a start, now if you can point me to someone in Florida. Perhaps more than one.
Posted By: dave mosley

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/30/14 05:53 PM

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!
Posted By: ThunderMuffin

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/30/14 08:02 PM

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.
Posted By: Team_Cat_Fever

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/30/14 08:08 PM

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
Posted By: PTP

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/31/14 01:25 AM

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
Posted By: Jake

Re: Spring Fever - April 18 through 20th - 03/31/14 12:27 PM

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.
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