Silver Tiller thoughts

05/04/2017 20:37:05
Hi everyone,

I'll be at Salcombe this weekend and would like to invite anyone to approach me in person to discuss all things Silver Tiller related. Past, present and where we can take it in the years to come. You can catch me at any event actually!

What entices you or puts you off attending?
Where would you like to race?
What sort of race formats should we ask for?

The ST is great but with a little tweaking, could be even better!

My current thoughts are to firstly have ST's at clubs with home fleets amongst other things.

Some people have asked for more Northern ST's, even a Scottish ST and I'd love to book these in but need the Northern events that are already on the fixtures to be well attended to make it not only worthwhile for us as a class but also for the clubs that have the expense of putting on said events. Phwllheli in particular promises to be a great ST and warmup for the Nationals!

Why not go to a club that you've never been to before? You might just be pleasently surprised! I can recommend Stacross Yacht Club for a great May break away and quality racing!

06/04/2017 08:59:20
Barnsie
Starcross, if doing and weather good, recommend camping at the club, but due to the low bridge under the railway, camper vans, will have to park the other side of the railway which runs close to the club (see the opening sequence of Coast on the BBC and the bit where the train runs along the river Exe is Starcross). Road can be occasionally noisy but is a lane. Great club and have had some great times there over the years. We're booked in
 

06/04/2017 08:59:24
Barnsie
Starcross, if doing and weather good, recommend camping at the club, but due to the low bridge under the railway, camper vans, will have to park the other side of the railway which runs close to the club (see the opening sequence of Coast on the BBC and the bit where the train runs along the river Exe is Starcross). Road can be occasionally noisy but is a lane. Great club and have had some great times there over the years. We're booked in
 

06/04/2017 09:00:30
DaveC
Hi Ollie, A small thing but this year all the sea events are 2-days with both days to count for ST, In the past one or two sea events with the Sunday only counting for ST (but still 2-day event) meant that anyone could qualify without having to do both days with the added cost of an overnight... Some folk struggle to do a whole week-end. regards, Dave

06/04/2017 10:51:25
Stuart Bates
Hi Ollie,
 
As one of the Northern Merlin Sailors, though I haven't done the circuit for a few years, due to work and family commitments, I would say that not having the Northern/Scottish events is a way to discourage sailors in those areas from joining in the class on an active basis.  I would suggest, due to the number of fixtures that have to be fitted in, that some events are scheduled on the same day/weekend, where there is a large distance between them, ie south coast & scotland, to encourage class participation across the country.
 
The reduction in traveling time to events is likely to increase participation overall (look at the midland circuit for examples of this). 

06/04/2017 12:14:13
Martin Smith
Ollie and other committee members will tell you that I am always banging the Northern venue drum at committee meetings and basically every time I meet Ollie, to be fair to Ollie it is a very difficult role to produce the fixture list.
That's why we do need Midlander's and Northerners and Merlin Sailors from the rest of the country to support the ST at Pwlheli in May, a good turn out would add justification to my argument and incessant nagging of the committee for more Northern events. I do also note the point about the sea events being two days, from my perspective this is not good and I no others also struggle for the time for such a commitment. 
I believe that a Northern version of the two events in one weekend that Hayling Island have previously hosted would be a good start to getting more Northern Merlin sailors back out onto the circuit.
A sea event on the Saturday and a restricted / open event nearby on the Sunday would in my opinion be a good starting point, can any club reps with a couple of home Merlin's offer such an event for 2018 in the North of England?? 
This would enable ST qualification with out having to travel further south than Birmingham assuming Hollingworth, Blithfield and Midland sailing clubs host ST events in 2018.
 

06/04/2017 14:47:23
Chris Rathbone

As Martin says, Ollie has a really tough job putting the schedule together. And not without difficulties in getting the geographic balance right. As I recall, the Silver Tiller has been won in the distant past without the winner venturing south (as I'm sure has happened in reverse). Shame there isn't a way of getting bonus points by including certain major events.

The old Waveney & Oulton Broad and Lowestoft Silver Tiller weekend were a great way of getting people qualified for the series. Wish I could offer some constructive suggestion.
 


06/04/2017 20:56:10
Chris Martin
It goes without saying that i'd like to echo the comments about the difficulty of doing the fixtures. I think we have more national events than any other class and still somehow manage to squeeze in two local circuits and for the most part avoid clashes. No mean feat! Martin and Sel Shah also share this job with their bits and pieces on the Midland and Thames circuits.
 
I would also like to echo the sentiments about the Northern events. We have lost a number of good venues through lack of support and this has led to the Silver Tiller slowly but surely creeping south. Wherever events are, clubs will only run them if its worth their while and i think we've only had a second chance at Pwllheli because of the champs - lets give them a good turnout this time. W&OBYC are keen for us to return too, and i think there is appetite within the class to go - wouldn't RN&S make a fantastic venue for the ST Dinner?
 
Two day sea events - the clubs like to do two days for the most part, and historically the ST day has had no more takers than the non ST day and i think the idea finally got binned after the Whitstable ST where there were three good races on saturday that counted for nothing when the Sunday was canned due to no wind and was the ST day. This doesn't necessarily mean we shouldn't revisit the format IMO, but its important to remember why we arrived where we are :) 
 
I liked the double header events too, though some pairings work better than others. I think its important to retain the travers series ethos, but we - i think - want to make it easier for those out on a bit of limb to qualify.
 
Thats all from me, like Olly says we may want to tweak the ST slightly but its not that broken and we are in safe hands. Please keep the feedback coming. 

07/04/2017 13:45:27
Stuart Bates
As a thought about the events, would an e-mail about the events be something that could be used to update people on the class activities, along with reports from the previous events?  This may help those who are not sailing in clubs with regular fleets feel more a part of the Association.
 
Even if this was a Monthly/Bi-monthly thing it would help remind people of what is coming up, as not everyone keeps the fixture list to hand, or is a member of Facebook/Twitter.
 
I do appreciate all the work that the committee does to ensure a successful program over the year, thanks to you all.

07/04/2017 16:32:20
Olly Turner
The biggest problem I have with any ST is if there is a poor turnout and this affecting the ST series. Not so long ago the ST series was decided on a sea event (which was in the North) that only had 5 boats attend, despite a F3-4 and blue skies. Granted, a win is a win and you can only race against those that enter but I felt that this made a mockery of the series that year and I also felt sorry for the club that had more people running the event (committee boat, rescue boats etc) than had actually entered. 
Where are the Northern Merlin Rockets based now? Do we have Club fleets other than Hollingworth?

One day to count ST's-I agree with Chris that I've never seen that many extra people turn up for a single day ST over a weekend event and think that it's the main fleet who are there that potentially lose out most. Whitstable is a good example of this. 

Double Header Weekends-this is something that I looked into for this year but didn't come into fruition through various clubs being too busy to hold an event for us. Can anyone suggest club pairings for this?

I think the class website has ample information and updates about events to not need emails too. Y&Y post all our reports too which is a great form of advertising for the class. One thing I would like to see is reports written by those who raced rather than Club reports. These tend to be short, lacking detail and narrative. Can we introduce a rule of whoever places 3rd at the event also rights the report?


07/04/2017 16:56:02
Ross
I have metrics on turn outs for all events since 2009 if of interest

10/04/2017 09:58:58
DaveC
I have a lot of sympathy for Olly and the committee on this matter. A couple of years ago there was a lot of effort put in to run a classic silver tiller series as part of the actual silver tiller driven by owners of older boats who complained there wasn't anything for them. At the time I had a classic Merlin and thought that this was a good imitative which should be supported. Several people signed up to the idea and promised to attend nominated events but how many qualifiers were there at the end? .. One. Me!

So, we learnt that the "build it and they will come" approach doesn't work. Perhaps the northern boats should display their willingness to do a support a Silver Tiller event by arranging an Open meeting and putting it on the calendar, with good attendance I'm sure the committee will be pleased to include that event in future ST calendar.

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