Classic Series Is it viable? topic

Will Loy posted this 10 October 2019

I have started a new string as the survey results string is now too long to read easily (the text is sitting onto of other text).

At the peril of being forever banished from the Solo fraternity could I suggest now would be a good time to launch a 'Classic' series, running along the same lines as the successful Super Series. Piggy backing onto cherry picked events with a separate start for the modern interpretation. While there is argument that the older generation of largely wooden Solos are still competitive on their day when the right conditions, positioning of the moon, personal well being all align, the REALITY is that from the birth of the first FRP version, wooden hulls became uncompetitive. True, I and others have had our moments of glory but on average, the modern deal accelerates quicker, whether out of a tack or in a gust. It is just simple physics with the weight centralised. There are a huge amount of wooden Solos that race at club level and are happy to stay there but also there is no attraction to venture further afield. I believe a separate start would provide a level playing field for those wanting to get into the class with limited budget and race COMPETITIVELY.

against other Solos.

Last Edited 10 October 2019

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Ian McDonald posted this 10 October 2019

I think the greatest advantage of a Classic series would be to confirm that the Solo association see the older boats as an important part of the class.

I will be totally open in saying that after years on the circuit, and having " escaped" from work,my days of travelling country wide are over. But certainly to support the idea I would look forward to sailing in a couple each year.

I dont think we need the separate start. It would add extra work for the race team . Will is right in saying we are slightly slower, but beating the odd frp boat ( having saved £6k) is a pleasure we can retain all by starting together.

I think the cost of a few Classic prizes will come back tenfold in Assoc members retained. How would our excellent magazine editor feel about some classic stuff being included?

Will Loy posted this 10 October 2019

I believe a few of the perceived reasons for those with older 'less competitive' craft attending include,

Not interested in travelling these days

I will not be competitive against the modern Solo

I don't feel confident enough to mix it with the big boys

I cannot afford 4k + to get on the water

Therefore, a separate start would provide close one design racing for the classic category

Remove the more cut and thrust element of a combined start, fewer on the start line will aid this too.

Provide an organised platform within the umbrella of an NSCA series.

I would suggest an online entry system with a cut off date so if there is a sufficient take up, say to start with 6 Solos, then a separate start will be implemented.

Last Edited 10 October 2019

Will Loy posted this 10 October 2019

Of course if you feel lucky you can opt to race in the modern criteria

Ian McDonald posted this 10 October 2019

You are right Will. Having a cutoff at six boats avoids my concern of incurring extra work for the race team for very few boats.

And I think that a separate start might get newcomers using it as an entry to the main fleet. And encouraging people who perhaps have not done Opens for a while. A 60 boat start is a daunting place to return!

Ian McDonald posted this 01 November 2019

Would any of the area organisers be ok with a Classic prize as part of the area series opens? No separate start of course, just chance of being mentioned in the results . And assuming a Classic is anything wooden or built before the first frp Winder?

Julian Wigmore posted this 07 November 2019

Some of us are lucky enough to have a later wooden Solo, I think all wooden solos should form part of the classic fleet. I certainly would like to attend a few meetings if there were to be a classic fleet start.

David Goudie posted this 19 November 2019

Having an 1996 Gosling wooden Solo in excellent condition, I am slightly disappointed, every time I sail, to see the chunk that was taken out of the gunnel, which happened near the back of the fleet at an Open meeting last year. I having acknowledged an infringement at a mark, it seemed necessary for the other party to enforce his opinion with the side of his boat, with plenty of room outside. Far too aggressive for the back third of the fleet and quite unnecessary. I would never take my already outclassed Solo to an Open meeting again, but would certainly attend any Classic events that fitted with my other commitments. A separate start would be a must for me. While I'm quite happy to throw a tack at the last minute under the bow of an incoming on Starboard, I will do everything I can to avoid a collision as, of course, is generally required in the rules. I have been known to make a mistake, but have never collided on purpose.

Ian McDonald posted this 19 November 2019

Having an 1996 Gosling wooden Solo in excellent condition, I am slightly disappointed, every time I sail, to see the chunk that was taken out of the gunnel, which happened near the back of the fleet at an Open meeting last year. I having acknowledged an infringement at a mark, it seemed necessary for the other party to enforce his opinion with the side of his boat, with plenty of room outside. Far too aggressive for the back third of the fleet and quite unnecessary. I would never take my already outclassed Solo to an Open meeting again, but would certainly attend any Classic events that fitted with my other commitments. A separate start would be a must for me. While I'm quite happy to throw a tack at the last minute under the bow of an incoming on Starboard, I will do everything I can to avoid a collision as, of course, is generally required in the rules. I have been known to make a mistake, but have never collided on purpose.

Sorry you had a bad experience David. I share your frustration when knocking bits off a wonderful piece of furniture hurts more than a gelcoat scuff. I find Solo sailors a friendly bunch and I dont think the owners of new frp boats are normally any less likely to comply with the rules and keep their boats unmarked. I hope we will meet at some separate start Classic events And your Gosling is way more competitive than you think! And prettier!

Last Edited 20 November 2019

Ian McDonald posted this 05 January 2020

Mention must be made of Leigh on Sea sailing club. They have a rule for club sailing Solos must be number 4000 or earlier. So new sailors can join the fleet at a very low price and also have access to advice from other experienced boat maintainers. The £5000 plus saved buys a big pile of paint and brushes !

It would be good for other clubs to follow their lead. At Blithfield we welcome all Solo but give an enhanced PY to boats of 3999 or older and sail together.

Any other clubs doing something similar? Every wooden boat kept afloat is another Association member!

Ian McDonald posted this 22 January 2020

Thank you to the Association and all involved in getting the Classic series rolling for this year.

We wooden and older boat owners need to get out to some of these events as a thank you for all the effort that has been put in.

I have bought a new undercover and spare wheel, so no excuse!

Michael Hall posted this 29 January 2020

Thanks to the association for putting together the classic series I am planning to attend at least a couple of events to qualify.

Last Edited 29 January 2020

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