Skandia Team GBR

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Open Meeting Vs. Club Racing

My Dilemma.... I love racing, I love socialising after racing, I love competition, I love doing well... but I don't sail an Ent anymore, I sail a Miracle with my kids...

Option 1

Do I jump into the deep-end with my 8 year old son/crew and go to a load of Miracle Open Meetings in the UK, hardly any of them local...mostly in northern England and mostly a couple of hours away... not that many of them (compared to the Ents) and all seemingly on bad dates for the family!

Option 2

Do I sail regularly at Draycote Water...Great club, great water, less than 10 mins from my house, racing whenever we get the chance be that a Wednesday evening, or any of the  races on a Sunday or just out for fun on a Saturday afternoon, or maybe go for one of the Pursuit races on the Bank Holidays...


It's a bit of a challenge getting the right balance between what I like:

  • Open Meetings
  • Competition
  • Hard racing etc

..and what my keen, young, novice crew/son wants and needs:

  • Sailing for the sake of sailing
  • fun
  • confidence building
  • learning...

So, lets think about it... at an Open Meeting you get to race against a range of sailing abilities... we both learn about racing Miracles...he learns about tactics (and how arsey his dad can be on the race-course!).... good stuff

Racing at Draycote we get to sail against last years National Champion, his brother and a decent number of other part-time Miracle sailors who are bloody good yachters in other classes....

So, I *think* but welcome the opinions of the masses....

Focus on time on the water at Draycote, get the boat sorted (new boom, rudder, re-vamp the control-lines etc)... get the on the water practice in, build the confidence up in my son's sailing abilities, his sailing knowledge etc... plan to do an event or two closer to the Nationals in Brixham later this year, maybe they'll be a few pop up in the Midlands...

Then in 2009 we'll be ready to hit the Racing Event scene properly...!

Tight Squeeze

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Anonymous said...

I'd say focus on club racing this year, build up your son's confidence and skills. Maybe do one or two open events close to home. And then see how he responds before you decided whether to go on the circuit with him.

You've had many years of national level competition. And you will have many more with or without your sons as crew.

But the times you spend sailing with your kids can only probably happen now and in the next few years. They will grow up faster than you can imagine and pretty soon they will be teenagers and want to be chasing girls or racing motorbikes or playing guitar in some band instead of crewing for Dad. So focus on what your kids enjoy and on their development as sailors while you can. These next few years are special.

Tim Coleman said...

I agree with Tillerman. Your son may well enjoy doing the odd open meeting but if your not careful he may end up feeling that He is your crew first and son second.
Being a good parent is infinetly more important than being first at racing a small boat around a collection of plastic bouys.
Of course if you can do both then 'life is good', to coin a phrase.

Edd said...

I don't know if there are any Cadets or Oppies at Draycote, but perhaps you can look at whether your son might be interested in doing that type of sailing too?

I agree with the previous commenters and definitely think you need to keep it fun for him