The RORC Rating Office and the RYA have recenly completed a countrywide tour of yacht clubs and marinas where the discussion has been based around getting more people into our sport. All of us see marinas full of boats of which only a handful can be seen on the water in evening races and weekend events throughout the year. A large number of these boats rarely seem to leave the marinas, and many don’t join the local yacht club or use their facilities, simply finding a good local pub, or bar attached to the marina office instead. Many have also never given racing a try. So the purpose of the seminars has been to try and understand where these potential fellow competitors are, and why they aren’t coming out to play.
I read with interest the editors piece in the copy of Seahorse that was the first piece of post through the front door in January. I sense the frustration in Andrew’s keyboard, and have both sympathy and some agreement. However, I think that is one of the biggest issues; no one seems to agree on the best event for that great trophy. We all have ideas, and all think they are the best solution, but they all vary. I agree with Andrew that you can’t create an event worthy of the Admiral’s Cup of old, it has to evolve. But where from? That is the area we all have different views on, and any event started with the intention of becoming the Admiral’s Cup in a few years is doomed from the start in my opinion. I believe that the event has to present itself as the obvious choice over time, not be created for that purpose.
In 2016 the Spinlock IRC Rating rule, administered by the RORC Rating Office and owned by RORC in partnership with UNCL in France, will be used to battle out no less than eleven regional and special championships around Great Britain and the Channel Islands, including the annual IRC National Championship.
This year’s regional venues stretch from Jersey in the Channel Islands to the Clyde in Scotland and from North Wales to Kent, providing a rich variety of racing and conditions. Specialist IRC Championships include the Small Boat Championship to be held in Weymouth and the Double Handed Championship organised by the Royal Southampton YC and RORC.
Most of the Championships are held over two to six days but the IRC Solent Championship offers racing over six weekends between May and October with different clubs, with the best four results to count. The Championship calendar for 2016 also boasts two brand new additions in Poole and Brighton, giving IRC sailors even more opportunities to join in and pit their skills against each other for the title of Champion!
Following on from the great success we are currently enjoying holding a series of regional seminars entitled "bringing more people to the sport", we have now added even more dates and venues. These now include Poole and Hamble. Please see below for more information and click on the PDF link for the full details of the dates/venues.
A series of winter seminars are being held around the UK, presented by James Dadd (RORC Rating Office Director) and a representative from the RYA Technical Department. Here is some feedback we have received so far...
"An excellent seminar that diffused any contentious issues that may otherwise have come up on handicaps by their approach. It set exactly the right tone for us, getting more people involved in racing and that it must be made fun! It most certainly made us all think about our approach to racing." - St Helier YC, Jersey.
"On behalf of us all thank you for taking timeout to include us in your nationwide series of seminars. It will only have done good and there were some faces from our club that I have not seen for months. We must now do something to get them racing again." - Blackpool & Fleetwood YC
Subjects for discussion include:
getting more people out racing
Single Event Ratings
misconceptions about IRC (dispelling those bar talk rumours!)
any other points of interest relevant to cruiser racing
EVERYONE is invited whether you race under IRC or not, including those who currently race NHC or other local handicap, so please tell your friends!
Venues: Already visited are Jersey, Torbay, Cardiff, Kip (Scotland), Blackpool and Pwllheli; STILL TO COME: Brighton, Ramsgate, London, Harwich, Poole and Hamble.