Topic : River Silver Tiller events

As The Norfolk weekend post was hijacked by this ,perhaps this deserves its own topic;surely the river clubs should share a rota of events,calmly taking turns to host thereby everyone gets a fair crack of the whip.Surely Tammy ,Minima, Cookham, U.Thames, Ranelagh, Hampton et al could communicate enough to divvy up say two river events between them every year and thereafter.After all the Thames is where it all started...

Posted: 30/07/2008 14:18:57
By: Ben 3634
Tammy and Hampton used to have alternate years and I beleive the same applied for Cookham & Upper Thames. This year not even one between all 4 :-(

Posted: 30/07/2008 14:52:04
By: RH
I well remember the year we got 49 Merlins to the Hampton open when I was class rep. The crowding on the start lines and in the changing rooms was amazing but I heard no complaints about either the organisation of the racing (though some did about the wind) or the catering. But the last time we had a Silver Tiller meeting Glen Truswell borrowed Restless IV 1222 with predictable results. River sailing is definitely part of our sport and focuses the mind on different things. On the occasions when I go sea/open water sailing and spend 20 minutes bobbing around miles from land while the race officer waits for the wind to settle I do think about the advantages of a river club.

Posted: 30/07/2008 15:13:36
By: Andrew M
Nice one Ben.  Totally agree with what you say.  However, from what their MR class captain Ben Marshall has told me on more than one occasion, Minima don't feel comfortable hosing a ST open meeting.  I tend to disagree with him, as I think the Thames Series racing at Minima has been challenging and enjoyable for the last few years.

Posted: 30/07/2008 15:17:58
By: Richard (3233)
Robert is right, until a couple of years ago we shared a silver tiller with UTSC, Tammy and Hampton shared, Ranelagh had the first of the season and Minima I don't think wanted one. Worked well.

I think in the other post Chris has missed the point a little in that sailing a restricted ST at Wembly or Midland is still a completly different ball game to the river. If the ST really is a diverse series there should be an equal amount of each event. There are a number of river boats from each club that travel the open meeting circuit and events that miss a home event.

I also understand where he is coming from with the two day events but again I think he missed the point. I, and I am sure many others, work the Saturdays and so simply can't do it. Which harks back to the original thread with a different event each day.

How's this for a fix? How about a River event on one day and then a coast event the next? That way the long haulers can stop half way and get two results in one weekend. We could also have several more events!

Posted: 30/07/2008 20:34:00
By: Jez3550
I think there is a rotational policy on the Thames ST already, but there are more clubs than there are places and it's impossible to please evryone. Richard commented in the other thread that there are 7 open, 7 sea and 6 restricted water events. Surely that is the way you want it for a fair and balanced series where you need to count one event from each catergory. This year is also one of the rare years where restriced water events are least in number.

Then you come to where events are in the country. If you want another two events on the river at least one is going to have to be taken away from someone else. It is very easy to end up with a full and varied ST programme based almost entirely in the south east of England, which is great for the 1/3 of the membership that live there, doable for us midlanders but for the guys who live north of Birmingham and west of Southampton - especially the way fuel prices are going (I can see us having as few as 12 ST events in the not terribly distant future the way things are heading but thats another thread!) - its a very expensive business and the likelihood is they just won't bother especially if they have good racing at their clubs.

The way around that is to have a midlands/north based restricted event on the same day. Committee don't like doing this, but it has been done before when we are especially keen to hang on to an event. Playing devils advocate i think it could work because people from the Midlands are unlikely to travel down to sail on the Thames anyway and the turnout from the local river clubs is more or less guaranteed, but is this kind of division what we want when we have the Thames circuit already in place?

Two day events. It is unfortunate if you work on a Saturday as most sea events are two day because its a long way for most people as i said in the other thread. Weymouth was a one sunday job this year but i think that was it (Blackpool was a saturday?). The question is Jeremy, would you travel to Blackpool or Weymouth to sail on just the Sunday?

Thats why they are two days. What you suggested happened this year with Bolton and Blackpool, and it does work but they do have potential to be expensive weekends unless you have friends in the area or club members can accommodate you.

Posted: 31/07/2008 09:09:47
By: Chris M
If there is a ST rotational policy on the Thames already, it needs a fairer application.  My original idea included Trent Valley SC in the Midlands with a rotational policy across Trent Valley, Ranelagh, Tamesis, Hampton, Cookham and Upper Thames. Of these six river clubs, two would receive ST status each year.

This year there are 12 events at five estuary/sea based venues and seven sea venues. The remaining nine events are spread across two 'open' classed reservoirs (Rutland and Blithfield), six restricted reservoir/lake venues and one river venue. As a compromise, why not increase the river contingent by one? I don't see why this should mean taking ST status away from someone else. There are 21 ST events this year. It doesn't seem impossible to have 22, especially if you follow Chris's idea to have a Midlands/North based restricted event on the same day as a Thames based ST event.

Posted: 31/07/2008 10:17:10
By: Richard (3233)
Those with long memories will recall the Saffery-Cooper - Judah duels (see library.)because of different venues on the same day. I would say do not go there!
What would make sense would be a truly joined up fixtures list where boats could be safely left in a general area, (South Coast, London and Thames Valley, Midlands, North.) such as he 60's When for instance Bolton,Hollingworth and Leigh were on consecutive weekends their hospitality was legion and they even moved boats for us!
Two day regattas by all means but only one day for the Silver Tiller Points, I think.
Wembley and Tamesis were also synchronized with the RTYC Autumn Trophy at Ranelagh which was not Silver Tiller but was the weekend of the AGM and the Dinner Dance.
If the credit crunch is really going to hit, (Fuel prices are currently falling and retail pressure may drive it lower.), anything to make Regattas, anywhere in any class more affordable has to a be a good thing, many clubs (Not necessarily MR Clubs.) see Open Regattas as a way to make substantial profits, one well known very far flung West Country Club even puts its bar prices UP for a Championship!
In the late 60's there was an attempt at a fewer bigger events Trophy called the Golden Touch - I won it in 1969.) It was not however considered a success and got re-awarded for something else I think.

Posted: 31/07/2008 10:51:29
By: Ancient Geek
Sounds good Rich,I don't think we should have two events on the same day,but your take on this sounds very reasonable to me...

Posted: 31/07/2008 15:17:14
By: Ben3634
Agreed, as AG points out, it created its own problems in the past.

Any thoughts from the Committee on what would be the best way for the respective clubs to move the idea forward, assuming they and the Committee are in agreement?

Posted: 31/07/2008 16:05:43
By: Richard (3233)
Richard's mention about Minima is actually a personal point of view, willingly expressed to him expressed to him, not a Club one. I am fully aware of the pressures/compromises involved and don't see Minima in that 'pecking order'. But I am very surprised not see either Hampton or Tammy. On my travels with the 'Vintage fleet' I would have thought a large, reliable home fleet is a necessary starter these days!!
Andrew, I also remember your 49 entry - how many travelled less than 10 miles?

Posted: 31/07/2008 19:38:17
By: Ben 2529
Ben & co, well done for bringing this up! I agree with your points above and feel that there seems to be an unfair move a foot to push the sailing to open water/sea events and reduce the number of Silver Tiller events available for river clubs. 

In recent years, this situation has resulted in the river clubs squabbling for Silver Tiller status. This is not what we’re about and from first hand experience, it’s a pain in the a*se trying to do battle for an ST event every time. So, I’m in favour of the idea that the river clubs should have a set amount of Silver Tillers and these be divided on a rotational basis. I don’t think it would be unreasonable for river clubs to have at least 3 STs a year (that’s a 7th of the events) as after all and previously pointed out; it is where it all began!

I feel that the classification of what is restricted verses what is open is somewhat to blame in that it has allowed clubs with larger areas of water to encroach on the restricted water event numbers. For example, I think if you have seen the stretch of river at Minima, you would be hard pushed to call Shustoke or Wembley restricted…

The other advantage of having less of a bias towards open water and the sea is that it means more of the boats in the fleet are competitive. There is no doubt that a new boat will always be more competitive on the sea. This isn’t necessarily true on the river and may somewhat stem the current ‘arms race’ that has been fought over in other threads.

Posted: 01/08/2008 17:04:03
By: Tim
Chris, I still think you are missing the point a little. The likes of Wembly are classed as restricted water. They are not on a River and therefore is still a different type of sailing. This about the fact that the ST does not have River Sailing anymore and the River clubs suffer for it.

And in answer to your question, Yes I would and have travelled to the likes of Weymouth for one day and would continue to do so. I would rather get up early and drive for 2/3 hours than have to pay for a B&B!!

Posted: 01/08/2008 19:08:05
By: Jez3550
There are two points I seem to be missing one but other is being missed by the river yotters. 

Say we follow Tim's argument and we want 3 ST meetings on the Thames. That means we want 2 events more than we have already plus the one already on the river. Add to those 3 Wembley, Brightlingsea, Whitstable, Shoreham, Hayling and Chichester. That would give you 9 out of 22 events in the south eastish of England. If we get Thorpe Bay and a Maylandsea/Blackwater event (Very good venues both) back thats 11 out of 24 based on this years calender (I don't think i've missed any) WITHOUT displacing any of the current events which would have to happen unless we doubled up with events on the same day, something not genrally considered desirable.

This is going to invole a hell of lot of miles to get a decent result if you don't live in the south midlands or south east of the country. Made worse of course if you have to lose one or two out of Midland, Shustoke, Hollingworth (Heresy!!) or Bolton to accommodate the extra Thames meeting and maintain the balance of event catergoriesfor a fair circuit.

As for the weymouth comment, Jez clearly has more stamina than me! If there is more than 2 hours driving involved i think i'd really want to make a weekend of it, but if needs must you'll do what it takes.

Posted: 01/08/2008 21:37:24
By: Chris M
Sorry, I didn't actually mean that the Thames is the only place for river sailing. Trent Valley for example is a fantastic club and I'm sure there are other river clubs around the country. Despite there being a high density of Merlin sailors in the south east, I think that one or two Thames STs would be reasonable considering the number of clubs on it, but the rest should be else where.

My other point was that some of the other current 'restricted' events are on relatively open water and maybe should be classified as such in order to make room in the calender for properly restricted sailing. I think this could increase the age range of boats competon the circuit.

Posted: 01/08/2008 22:01:33
By: Tim
Sorry, I didn't actually mean that the Thames is the only place for river sailing. Trent Valley is a fantastic club and there are other river clubs around the country. Despite there being a high density of Merlin sailors in the south east, I think that one or two Thames STs would be reasonable considering the number of clubs on it, but the rest should be else where.

I also thought some current 'restricted' events are on relatively open water and maybe should be classified as such in order to make room in the calender for properly restricted sailing. I think this could increase the age range of boats competing at Silver Tillers.

Posted: 01/08/2008 22:09:36
By: Tim
Thought I'd managed to delete that first time round!

Posted: 01/08/2008 22:11:20
By: Tim
Further to what Tim has been saying and in response to Chris M's arguments against having 3 river ST events, my argument is to have TWO river ST events annually on a rotational basis shared between five Thames clubs and Trent Valley.  This system isn't new as previous posts have pointed out that, for example, Hampton/Tamesis and Upper Thames/Cookham Reach used to swap ST status with each other every year.

I'm not sure where the need to double up events comes from if we increase the ST calendar by one (or even two) river venues. This year only one of the non-ST river events (that we are asking to be considered for ST status) clashes with a ST event - Upper Thames on the 4/5th October which coincides with Hollingworth. In the year that Upper Thames qualifies for ST status, it could be moved to say the end of October to avoid any clash. The others - Cookham Reach 11th May, Trent Valley 1st June, Hampton 14th September, Tamesis 12th October and Ranelagh 30th November all stand alone. You could easily add one of these on a rotational basis into the ST calendar. The space exists as they're already scheduled, albeit as Thames Series/Midlands Circuit events.

Posted: 02/08/2008 07:43:04
By: Richard (3233)
I think Trent fall into the same catergory as Minima in that they don't want an ST meeting. It certainly wouldn't get the same support as the Thames meetings do unless the Thames boys travelled to it becasue the local fleet isn't as big and there are no other Melrin river clubs nearby. You'd get 15-20 boats at a guess.

Posted: 02/08/2008 08:44:12
By: Chris M
I am sure Minima would want an ST, I would very much like to see an ST there. My personal opinion being that I just don't see it happening.

Posted: 02/08/2008 08:57:12
By: Ben 2529
Sorry Ben, I misunderstood what you said to me.  Although you personally don't see Minima getting a ST, I think the past few years have vindicated the club as a worthwhile venue for such status.

If, however, you are right and Minima doesn't receive ST status and Trent Valley, as Chris points out, doesn't want it, then the rotational system between five Thames clubs just means each club having a ST more frequently. However, I'd argue that 15-20 entries for Trent Valley (as Chris estimates) isn't a bad turnout. Midland SC got 21 entries at the end of March and Blackpool & Fleetwood got 14 in June. The 2.5 hour journey up the M1 from SW London to Nottingham isn't excessive either.

Posted: 02/08/2008 09:59:53
By: Richard (3233)
Just as an idea, perhaps the likes of Ranelagh and Tamesis could combine, this happened for the recent Tideway race and was pretty successful.  There are many advantages a..) two meetings over the weekend (one of which would always be a ST)makes travelling worthwhile? b..) boats can be left over night at Tamesis, c..) plenty of accomodation available, d..) plus the chance of a good drink up in London Town.  

Who's up for it...?

Posted: 02/08/2008 10:11:19
By: Left Field
The ST plan is complex and until you've had a go at it it is a mystery.
At present venues; there are an abudance of restricted, enough opens and not enough sea. We have determined that 21 STs are enough along with several other favoured MR events. That is 7 of each. Within that, the policy is one River restricted event, therefore 6 others.

The policy of holding events only at MR clubs is tricky as several popular places may have lost out in the past. However, it is a consideration. Especially sea!!

Fuel costs will become an increasing issue and likely to become more important than entry costs etc. Hence, double weekends.

I certainly wish to have a national wide ST programme including Scotland and thus a centralising around the South is against that philosophy. Therefore, a limited number of River events as I cannot envisage a river event on the Mersey. And ive tried the Dee.

ST planning is commencing as we speak with Dave Lee being Master of ST.

Send in your bids I guess.


Posted: 02/08/2008 11:23:42
Just in case people haven't read the other thread started by our Chairman....

Chair, I can't see what you mean by saying there are too many restricted, enough open and not enough sea events.

This year's spread is:

Restricted (reservoir/broads) - 6
Restricted (river) - 1
Open (reservoir) - 2
Open (estuary/sea) - 5
Sea - 7

One river ST venue is not balanced in terms of the above. This year (Ranelagh) was only one race. If the Committee has decided that 21 events is the magic number, why not remove one restricted reservoir venue (say by including Wembley SC in the rotation with the five/six other river clubs), so as to keep the balance of restricted venues to seven?

Adding one Thames club into the loop is not centralising around the South. This year there are seven southeast events (five south coast and two Thames region), four southwest, seven midland and north and three east coast events. Perhaps we should stop thinking in terms of North/South and think more in terms of the actual regions.

In terms of sending in your bids, I'd like to submit that two clubs out of the following be considered for ST status next year - Hampton, Tamesis, Cookham, Upper Thames, Ranelagh, Wembley. With Wembley having had ST status every year for the last few years, perhaps they'd agree to forgo next year and let two other clubs have a go.

Leftfield's suggestion is very good and constructive. Probably best if the river clubs concerned liaise with each other and consult Dave Lee accordingly.

Posted: 02/08/2008 16:07:22
By: Richard (3233)
I agree with Richard's comment above entirely. 2 river club STs (that's less than one tenth of the events) allocated to the sort of sailing where class began is not unreasonable.

I think we have about the right number of sea events and a further move from restricted events to sea events is not needed, in fact by going to the coast, you are clearly increasing the distance travelled for non-locals which completely contradticts the fuel cost arguement (ie, if you want to reduce the average travel - hold events in the middle of the country...).

2 (though I think 3) river events would be fair. The balence is wrong on the non-river 'restricted' events. Maybe you could combine some resevoir/broads STs?

Posted: 04/08/2008 19:06:16
By: Tim
Tim, what is your email address?

Posted: 05/08/2008 12:27:18
By: Richard (3233)
Haven't we all missed the point some how? i.e. If there are 30 active members of each of the London River clubs, that is 90 sailors per week, to encourage to travel the S.T circuit.  Therefore if we give all these large clubs restricted S.T. status, members of that club may be encouraged to visit at least 4 other venues assuming they have the money for petrol.  Sounds a good idea to me as long as there are enough restricted spread through the rest of the country.  If all these Thames clubs are so keene to travel, lets encourage them.  I can think of lots who do already, well at least 4.....

Posted: 05/08/2008 18:24:56
By: Fizzy & Black
Good point.  However, the river clubs are not asking the committee to award all of them ST status all the time but on a fairly apportioned rotational basis.  Whatever your view on the amount of river sailors who do/don't attend the rest of the ST circuit, is it really justified having just one river venue in the calendar each year?  I don't think so.  Turning your argument on its head, perhaps more river club sailors would attend other ST events if their own clubs were more fairly represented on the ST calendar.

Posted: 05/08/2008 20:00:26
By: Richard (3233)


To Reply, please join/renew membership.

Owners Association

Developed & Supported by YorkSoft Ltd


Merlin Rocket Owners Association