Merlin Championships - Views Sought

30/08/2013 13:36:09
Frances Gifford
Hi All,

We are keen to know all merlin sailors' views on all aspects of the National Championships. This short survey has been compiled to try to understand what the membership want and how we can make the champs as successful, enjoyable and attractive to attend as possible.

Please complete it whether you are a champs attendee or not, and please do make use of the comments boxes.

It really won't take long.

Thanks to Sophie and William for compiling and organising the survey.

30/08/2013 17:56:31
Olly Turner
I think Tenby was great this year, as was Salcombe Week. A combined entry of 185 boats is amazing, it easily puts Merlin Rockets at the top of the UK sailing scene. I honestly don't think we need to make too many changes, just fine tuning.

If anything, just add Doombar!! :)

02/09/2013 13:04:02
william warren

02/09/2013 13:56:08
RH .
Unfortunately Salcombe week has come forward a week this year to 6th July which makes it very difficult for sailors with school age children to attend. 
I very much doubt we will be able to come and I am sure we will not be the only family affected. That week forward makes all the difference and clashes with end of year exams etc. so reaching 120 next year may not be possible.

02/09/2013 15:27:26
It was in term this year - our boys term ended the following Wednesday.  That was part of the attraction for us as we could leave the boys behind with Grandparents and have a holiday with our mates!  The earlier week suits us better so I guess it can work differently for different people.

02/09/2013 16:15:30
If Salcombe's too early for you next year, can we persuade you to come and join us at Looe for the Nationals 10th-16th Aug. No school holiday problem then and lots of plans afoot for a family-friendly Nats.

02/09/2013 16:16:36
Open to all the fleets ideas and suggestions, please fill in the survey.

03/09/2013 07:04:44
The first planning meeting in Looe for next years Nats will be in mid Oct. Please give us your feedback so that I can go armed with ideas for next year.

03/09/2013 15:21:36
Are there any plans to encourage some of the older boats along to the Nats? I quite fancy having a go in my Smokers but don't fancy sailing round on my own!!!

03/09/2013 17:17:59
There are indeed and it would be really helpful if owners of older Merlins could indicate both their interest in joining in at the Nats and the level of racing that they would enjoy. Either email me or fill in Will and Sophie's survey. For instance, would you enjoy a separate start, championship course minus 1 lap, 2 Discards vice 1? What would make it a good "Senior Boats" champs for you?

03/09/2013 21:05:14
Ben 3634
Done.Mama do the bump(!)

04/09/2013 09:38:23
Steve Watson
Having done the Welli Nats some years ago in an old ally rigged NSM4 I can say that its quite lonely at the end of the race.  The buoys, being used as reference points for wind shifts get taken away, and the rescue boats desert.  The race is longer for you because you (me) are inherently slower. The boats are harder too!
I would advocate a shorter race and somehow adjust to a corrected time.

04/09/2013 10:05:06
As this year's tail end charlie I quite take the point. However, as mentioned previously, the Tenby figures show that the fleet spread per race was, on average, only 22 mins. Yes, we only finished 2 races, retired early in 1 (conditions too heavy for us)and sat out 3 (my back decided to give up on me)but it was terrific to be on a start line with world class sailors and set ourselves the challenge of improving our sailing. The tail-enders were not lapped in any of the races and places were still eagerly contested at all levels. We certainly always felt in the hunt against our peers. Total time on the water is an issue and the simplest solution will be to finish "Classic" boats a lap early. Safety cover is an absolute MUST. Tenby were excellent even ensuring that a cover boat was provided to shepherd race withdrawal ashore. This will be high on my agenda when putting forward the case for a Bronze and Classic fleet classification. I would like to see at least 15 "Classic" boats at Looe. They will be very welcome and we want to make sure they have a great on and off water experience.

04/09/2013 10:16:46
Mark B
Duly completed. 

Will and Sophie did an excellent job at Tenby. Daily prizes was a work of genius in keeping the fleet together in the evenings!


04/09/2013 10:54:20
David Child
Steve, makes a very valid point, the last boat is as important as the first without all the competitors there would be no race, to alter the buoys etc., before the final finisher is at best discourteous and I submit if protested could result in a null and void race. 
Some years ago I won a famous appeal on the basis that fair sailing applied to the race committee as much as the competitors!
Classes need a decent sized fleet at Championships and everybody should be encouraged to attend a serious race week in open water.

04/09/2013 11:15:02
Andrew M
Looe is a great venue and if I do not go next year it will be because of pressure from the non-sailing family to do something involving them!

Championships sailing is less family-friendly than Salcombe, the time spent on the water is not predictable because of waiting for wind to settle, restarts &c. But I have enjoyed my time at the back third of the fleet over the years & there have always been boats to sail against. I would myself still do the full course, it's a challenge and if you are still up to hiking hard up the 5th beat you can pick up significant places. However, a big course in a choppy sea is pretty tough on older boats and I doubt we will ever get a big contingent of the NSM 1-4 fleet to come out and play, which is a shame, because it's a great experience & the social side has always been 1st class.

05/09/2013 09:16:53
Please see the "Nationals Racing" thread if you still need inspiration to complete Will and Sophie's questionnaire. Andrew, I hope that we can persuade you and your family to join us at Looe next year. I am certainly keen to broaden the nationals appeal both on and off the water whilst retaining tradition and a a true challenge for our champions.

10/09/2013 08:49:57
Nearly 100 responses so far and we will be collating results next week so if you haven't done the survey yet, now is the time.

Many thanks
11/09/2013 15:29:15
Please keep the surveys coming. The more input the better


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