Silver Tiller Discussion.
Hi John, The ST and it’s rules are written in the year book. Briefly it’s 1 event of each discipline to count, plus any two others (sea, Open, restricted). It just so happens that I’m in the middle of working on a G/S/B series with prizes and if we as class can make this work and how to. As for the winter, there are so many options for handicap racing including the SailJuice, Snowflake etc that I don’t think there’s want or need for another seperate series. All in hand, bear with me.
Sounds good so can we have your thoughts on the team element, and prizes please. Can I point out the year book appears to arrive in the middle of the season re explanation. Can we try and use this thread to help the class decided what it would like everyones opinion is greatly received.
I personally don’t think that a team series would work as nobody can commit to the Silver Tiller events too far ahead of schedule. I think I speak for any of the experienced Merlin sailors that you and anyone could ask me anything in the boatpark or bar, even ring, email or message me. I think the yearbook was “late” this year due to the massive work that had to go in to comply with GDPR. This is not a normal occurrence. I’m always open to suggestions, as are all of the committee but don’t be offended if we’ve already discussed it at great length.
Chris your bang on about the club thing . What I find interesting is the amount of boats that are at clubs we have St at that do not sail in them. Just ask Ben at Parkstone about how many did not come out to play. A lot of what I am suggesting is about getting people to come out and support there local club. Im going to suggest that some of them are not keen to sail around at the back in an St so stay away. Shorly we need to work on enthusing these people to come and have a go in there local St and have a chance in there own fleet, then they might sail the boat a bit more in club races and as you explained so well has many benefits. FM a team can be optional but a good prize would insensitive it. Strangely instead of the good guys looking at this as a chore you can see that by helping the slower guys get better the whole fleet gets better and it comes back to helping the grass roots. I'm not saying I think a thee person team is going to do all the events . What are your thoughts ?
I don’t think anyone would see it as a chore as part of a team but why stick to just your G/S/B Team when you can pick the brains of anyone in the bar that evening? Typically sailmakers and their jockeys are keen to aid and give advice. I do see the ST as not being broken so don’t try to fix it. Instead, I think we should tweak it. Since taking on the role of Fixtures, I’ve introduced new venues to the circuit and am already organising G/S/B. Without looking to change too much in one go, let’s build it up progressionally. Separately, Christian Birrel has been assigned as the new Training Representative to reintroduce training weekends.
I I'm not sure I have made my point very well. Imagine your first day at a new school it all looked very daunting but you could not run away and we're stuck there so you were forced to make friends and in the end it was far less scary than you thought it was going to be. Now imagine that you're a grown up and it's your first time that an open event it probably looks quite the similar to that first day at a new School, but this time if you don't do well or don't have a good time you don't have to ever go back again because you're a grown up. My point is not that people in the class are not helpful and forthcoming , we have found they are very much , it's but in my experience most people don't like to ask. So my question was can we do something differently to keep those people and help them have a great time in turn helping to rebuild club level sailing. None of this was about the committee this was about trying to establish if it was possible to do something a little better it might be in might not be!
pretty good analogy @john.
I do get your point but think the ST isn’t quite the right place for a more one on one or coaching approach. Quite often there just isn’t the time after driving 3 hours to get racing in such a competitive fleet, unless in the bar afterwards. Instead, I think that club sailing with other Merlins is the best way to learn the ropes. A lot less travelling and far less daunting on the race course. I think this is more of a training issue and hopefully now that we have Christian onboard we can look to address this with a MROA training weekend and from what Sophie has already requsested; guest coaching weekends at clubs. The committee are looking into this, as ever.
I'm a new member this year and attended two ST events. Both very different experiences. Aldeburgh at the start of the year was great, made to feel very welcome, chatted to most people and enjoyed some good racing. Parkstone felt very different. I felt a bit unwelcome I'm my wooden boat and the only person I got talking to that I hadn't met before was John Turner. If that had been my first experience of the fleet I wouldn't be back. I can highly recommend some sort of buddy system. Not only does it force introductions but it helps share knowledge and support the back of the fleet. I understand what's been written above and I'm sure I could of asked advice from anyone over the parkstone event but it's not always that easy when everyone is beavering away on their boat and your not really sure who is who. Having a "buddy" to turn to would have been excellent. Even if they didn't know the answer I'm sure they couldn't point you in the direction of someone that did. With regard to the ST not being the place I have to disagree..... If you're not going to encourage people at these events what hope do you have of retaining them? I drove 4 hours to get down there because everyone says come to events and everyone will help. That really wasn't the case and like I said earlier, if that had been my first impression of the class my boat would stay at my club with two others and we'd carry on our blind leading the blind learning curve.
Scam/Matt, are you the same person or is this two seperate complaints against Parkstone? What club do you sail at and where are you based? Either way, I do appreciate feedback and this can be relayed back to clubs, in the case Parkstone. I’m disappointed if this puts you off of any other events as they are independent events and not how they all are. The large boat park and club house doesn’t actually help Parkstone for this, the smaller clubs are always more intimate and easier to be more welcoming. I said “Not quite the right place” and do personally actively encourage people to ask me anything at events. I’ve written this in the class magazines. I don’t think a buddy system would work for a one day event and as I said earlier, it’s quite hard to get the same buddies at the same ST’s throughout the year so not great. The Nationals and Salcombe Week however would be great for a buddy system! Maybe more “Gold” sailors need to openly say “Ask me anything”. I for one, am one of those. I’d rather it was natural conversation of mutual interest rather than a forced pairing over a very short event.
I’ve just come off the phone with John after a good discussion as to where we go following these comments. I’ll look into putting a spread together for the Winter magazine acting as an “Ice Breaker” which introduces the membership to those “Gold” sailors that are on the circuit and looking to help those that want it. This may also include a contact such as a phone number or email address so that even away from events, these people are contactable and there to help. This also acts as a friendly face to meet at ST’s.
Hi Mr Fixtures my name is Simon Scammell (3543) (Scam for short, or have met me in the bar),not the same person and no complaints from me per se about parkstone or the PYC event, it was a little like the 5tonner events of old when semi professsional everyone doing their thang, heads in boats sorting, we have all been there, admittedly we did go to the downstairs bar when the 'band' started so we could talk easier (that was definitley a mistake on our part!), great club great sailing and i'm determined to get to a few more st's next year. family and work aside.
Definitely different people. And in different boats. And not a complaint about Parkstone. Not really a complaint at all, just discussion about how it felt as a newbie in the fleet. I think Scam sums it up pretty well.
Hi Chris, I understand the sentiments off what you said. In terms of this club versus that club, I'm not sure there's much difference in the grand scheme of things. I felt that Ben and Co from parkstone were approachable (as we anyone else when approached). The difference? Fran made a point of coming over and introducing herself, a great opener to a newbie to the circuit. We were all busy rigging ( we might have got boats there on Friday... But have you tried Adnams?) Buddy system... The fireflies after registration or the first race draw top half of results and buddy them to lower half. Every event. So always have someone looking to say hello and encourage, which is what opens are about? Getting people to join in, if the fleet are encouraged to find their buddy in the dinghy park, minimum you'll take a beer after sailing to talk the days racing through? The 5tonners had some shit system that meant the buddy system was quickly organised i.e not too onerous . The point of John's original post was how to keep the newbie coming? How to encourage the newbie at at events to turn up to the next one.