Merlin Week waiting list

02/11/2016 01:31:37
Graham Cranford Smith
Dear Teams. 

We are astonished at the take up for Merlin Week.  

We are also VERY sorry that there is so much unfulfilled demand. We will see if anything can be done but my guess is, we are stuck with the 120 boat limit. 

To those of you on the waiting list my strong advice is not to panic. The waiting list last year was nearly as long as this. But over time it dissolved as Mike Calvert will testify. In the end 119 boats raced, with one spare place we could not fill.  

In short, those who wanted to sail, sailed.  

Meantime thank you to everyone for supporting Merlin Week. I am grateful to Dan for his suggestion. Any others please email me at [email protected] 

I am pushed at work so bear with me please.  

Best. Graham Cranford Smith.  

02/11/2016 07:01:09
Morning Graham
Would it not be possible to run 6x24 instead of 4x30 flights and run 3 races a day. Looking at the timing overall, should be possible and cover the options in the future as it is probably only going to get increased demand. The only problem will be matching the flights and meeting of the seeds over the week, but would also tighten up the results with slightly smaller fleets. Just a thought

02/11/2016 07:59:10
I guess one of the most annoying things is that we know people will drop out - causing uncertainty for those on the waiting list. It's not clear to me who these people are or why they eventually can't be there. Some people will have very genuine reasons for pulling out - some, I'm sure, are speculative entries right now.  Perhaps there should be a bigger penalty if you forgo your spot?
Maybe that you can only apply for a waiting list spot next year?

I personally like to race in as big a fleet as possible and wouldn't want shorter races but maybe 3 a day could be squeezed in. 

02/11/2016 08:41:15
I guess one of the most annoying things is that we know people will drop out - causing uncertainty for those on the waiting list. It's not clear to me who these people are or why they eventually can't be there. Some people will have very genuine reasons for pulling out - some, I'm sure, are speculative entries right now.  Perhaps there should be a bigger penalty if you forgo your spot?
Maybe that you can only apply for a waiting list spot next year?

I personally like to race in as big a fleet as possible and wouldn't want shorter races but maybe 3 a day could be squeezed in. 

02/11/2016 10:16:51
Dave C
I don’t think anyone seriously anticipated that sort of response. We should however look at this as a very positive thing, that over 150 people want to race their Merlin Rockets at this event is incredible! Every other dinghy class in the country must be dying of envy!
Having said that and having read Dan’s comments we must have sympathy and compassion for those who have missed out, especially if they have already booked accommodation. In my view a ballot is not necessarily fair, we booked our accommodation many weeks ago as we are certain of attending, if there was any likelihood of a ballot I would not have done that in advance and would have waited to be sure of a place first.
Perhaps the best and fairest solution for 2017 is to accept all the entries and then decide nearer the time if 4 flights/two races per day or additional flights/races are required? We know from Graham’s comments that a good number will drop out. In future years a system to discourage speculative entries might be helpful, £20 is not much of a deterrent.
Dave C

02/11/2016 11:00:41
the 3 flights would work and the races need not be shorter with the first start at 1030. It would close the overall up and make the dynamics even more interesting come the last day
If people withdraw a 50% penalty should suffice to discourage the speculators. At the end of the day £75 is not a lot in the scheme of things
Lets see what Graham comes up with as imagine there are still some out there that would like to attend but have been discouraged by the length of the waiting list

02/11/2016 11:22:54
Rob Hatley
Can anyone please point me at the page showing the confirmed entries and the waiting list ?  Many thanks.

02/11/2016 11:34:22
Rob please see link in the main thread on the forum

02/11/2016 11:35:09
Ian Mackenzie
You should find the entries here

02/11/2016 12:08:35
Graham Cranford Smith
Thanks for this everyone. We have a planning meeting fixed and we will circulate the outcome of that as soon as we can. 

That said, I can foreshadow that a retrospective draw is not likely to be in the offing, based on early soundings with the committee. 

We are also reluctant to alter the flight system and start line location.  Spectating starts is a key feature of the week. 

We agree; speculative entries may be an issue. For any that might be in that category please can we ask you to search your conscience? 

The position will be clearer after Friday when the deadline for payment passes.  We will update then. We may well review the entry fee refund policy (with advance notice) in order to focus minds. 

If you are on the waiting list I repeat, all is not lost based on last year's experience. 

Meantime, lest there be doubt about the health of the Merlin Rocket class look no further than here. 


Please bear with us. Last year, all those who hung in, raced. 

Best.  Graham. 

02/11/2016 12:23:42
Clare Dowding
Just to add to this if you are on the waiting list please do not send us any payment until we know we have a place for you. 
Also please see my other message on the forum...I am looking for Hatley - sail number 3545 I have no contact details for you.  Please message [email protected]  many thanks 

02/11/2016 13:01:52

I would suggest letting those who have qualified for the Silver Tiller apply a week before opening up entry to all. This would have several positive affects; increased participation at Silver Tiller events and giving priority to those who are the keenest to participate in Salcombe week.

Just a thought.

02/11/2016 13:04:29
For those who have made payment online already, will the club be emailing confirmation before the Friday deadline so we know it was received? Thanks

02/11/2016 13:26:49
Julian Parry
Great idea James

02/11/2016 13:57:50
That is certainly an interesting proposal. Usually 25-35 boats qualify for the ST, which is about 20-25% of the total Salcombe entry.

02/11/2016 14:15:55
Interesting thread.  I agree it seems silly is someone as renowned as Dan Alsop can't get on the list.  Perhaps we should have a look at granting 'priority rights' to certain groups (e.g. past Salcombe Week / National winners etc) and the remaining places are filled by lottery?  If we can find a way for more folk to play by having more flights/races then all to the good.  Would it also be worth canvassing opinion on having a separate 'beginners and intermediates' holiday week somewhere for people to develop the skill necessary to actually compete at Salcombe !?  

02/11/2016 14:15:56
Martin Smith
James and everyone else.

That very idea was already being discussed between various committee members before yesterday's entry opened. 
Your Chairman and Vice Chair are looking at ways of increasing ST qualification as the number of qualifiers compared to entrants is relatively low. 
It is however Salcombe yacht clubs event, but, as I said the Chairman is already in discussion with the club.

02/11/2016 17:43:16
Chris Martin
All I can do is echo GCS's comments - I think the demand this year is unprecedented and, unfortunately, some "high profile" names have missed out - Dan is but one and i sympathise with them all.
With 150 applicants for 120 spaces it is a certainty that about 30 people will be disappointed whichever way the entries are accepted. There has to be a criteria and, in my opinion, the club will have to stick with what they published months ago else it would be unfair on those who have made the cut and paid their money. None of us expected the entries to fill in two hours but at the end of the day ALL of us knew that the entries opened Tuesday morning.
What I would do is urge anyone who has put an entry in and who finds for any reason finds that they can't attend PLEASE withdraw as soon as you know that this is the case. That way your entry can be taken by someone on the waiting list and they can sort out the "minor" details of accommodation etc, etc.
To those on the waiting list who fancy guaranteeing a weeks Merlin sailing, PLEASE come and join us at Pwllheli for the nationals. 2016's experience was one of my all time favourite nationals - I must admit that last time we were at Pwllheli the train crashing through my tent at 5:30 every morning and seemingly endless rain did not fill me with longing for a return. But the club has changed beyond recognition, we have a top race officer lined up and if Plas Heli can deliver what they have promised this will be a year not to miss. Hopefully the sun might also put in an appearance.

02/11/2016 18:19:08
Stuart Bates MR3615
As a competitor in the last 2 Salcombe Weeks (and a few other weeks back in the mists of my time) I feel that there is another potential option (though this would put more of an emphasis on Race Management).  I am not trying to insult anyone here, so apologies if this comes across wrong.
There are a number of people who would be classed as Bronze Fleet sailors (and be prepared to nominate themselves as such : criteria may need to be applied), one option would be for these sailors to have a second start a few minutes after the main start in either the morning or afternoon race.  They could then have a more social race on a shorter course.  I only suggest this in the knowledge that a few years ago SYC ran a lot more races during the week trying to accommodate more entries.  If a buddy system was in place for this then we would also encourage the improvement of these sailors, with prizes awarded on improvement/fun basis.  Young sailors in older boats could also be encouraged.
I do also like the option suggested by Julian Parry about Silver Tiller Entries, but this may have to be considered on a different timescale/previous year, due to Salcombe Week being in the middle of the calendar.  I wouldn't qualify in this bracket though, as work and other commitments preclude my involvements in many events. 

02/11/2016 23:40:43
Julian Harms 3518

My wife teaches and I have always felt rotten being at Salcombe having a great time while she has to work - especially as my best Salcombe result was with her crewing for me. That is the principal reason why I have not done it for the last two years and have gone to the Nationals instead.  I fully intend to return to Salcombe when the whole family can be there though.

I think any drive towards making Salcombe an elite event by offering places preferentially really misses the point - The venue always throws up curve ball results and the potential for good club sailors to get a great result in a race against the best competition is something that needs to be retained at all costs - it makes the event really special.  As a Bronze fleet sailor I also have no interest in racing in a separate fleet as suggested by some - let me fight for my position in the fleet - whatever it ends up beng. 
The suggestion of lots for selecting entries in over-subscribed years is equally (un) fair to all, and it seems a sensible move, but for the time being I shall consider other events in the school holidays which the family can all attend.
Salcombe Town Regatta anyone?

03/11/2016 08:57:48
Peter Male
Julian   -  Make it the SYC regatta and I'll be there.

03/11/2016 12:02:22
Julian Harms 3518
 Peter - You knew what I meant ;).  Could be hatching a plan here! 

03/11/2016 12:10:07
Julian Harms 3518
Hmm:  Same week as the Nationals - tricky choice ;)

03/11/2016 12:46:27
Graham Cranford Smith

In no way wishing to detract from the Merlin Nationals, Salcombe Regatta does indeed take place on

Sunday 13th – Friday 18th August - SYC Regatta

We would love to see an enhanced entry of Merlins for that week. Last year, the Merlin class consisted of just three of us. Three....we can accommodate up to twenty Merlins. Own start. Just in case, we will get an entry form on-line.

Graham. SYC.  

03/11/2016 15:14:53
Julian Harms 3518
Don't tell everyone, Graham.  I expect all available spaces are gone now and there's a waiting list...

03/11/2016 16:53:45
Andrew Mills
Only 20 Merlins for SYC regatta?  When do the entries open - I have already booked my accommodation and I don't want to be on the waiting list twice!

03/11/2016 17:39:58
Ian and most enjoyable Nationals that we can Mackenzie

Best wishes to all who want to join Salcombe for their Regatta Week. Have a great time.

As the Nationals Co-ordinator please can I assure you that we are working very hard to make Pwllheli an extremely welcoming Nationals for all of the fleet. I cannot confirm the final race and social programme yet but I can guarantee that Angela and I are working closely with your Committee, our hosts and Race Officer, Peter Saxton, to provide the best value and most enjoyable Nationals that we can. Pwllheli is a great place to sail too.

I hope to be able to give you all an idea of the programme by the end of this year.
Good luck wherever you sail  in 2017 but hope you will consider joining us at Pwllheli. 


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