Flyingantfarm

Flying Ant bring big smiles and so much fun

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Today these boys experienced for the first time what we all love when things start humming.

big smiles and now they just want breeze. 13 year old and full of confidence I’m guessing they will talking about this day for years.

the Opti is now a long lost memory.

looking forward to more Flying Ant racing

new Carbon mast, sails and a little innovation. 

 

 

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The Flying Ant has had a wonderful facelift recently with the new rig and simplified deck layout .... seems to fit in beautifully as a boat for Optikids to sail alongside their Optis and in a transition year as they start to think about their next youth boat - especially leading to the 29er or the Nacra 15 ...

Can't wait to see more of them popping out of the new mold ... and the older ones being refreshed!!

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I built and sailed FA25, it was a blast.

Dead right, these where the business back then, looks like a great project.

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From Successful Sailing d'Alpuget and Earl 1970

Flying Ant V2.jpg

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My dad stuffed one of these in the container coming back from the 1996 Little America's cup in Macrae and then instantly upgraded it with a big A-sail and cut down IC mainsail and trap. Total blast for me to screw around is as a kid. I'm pumped to see that the configuration has come to the same point in the class. It's a sweet half pint skiff for half pint sailors. From a composites perspective they're also childs play to build. It's a pity we were too conservative to adopt them on something similar in the states back when they going through their first round of growth in Australia.

DRC

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On 1/17/2019 at 4:13 PM, Dart96 said:

From Successful Sailing d'Alpuget and Earl 1970

Flying Ant V2.jpg

 

 

Is the hoop at the end of the boom just there for pole storage?

 

 

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John Spencer design from the 1960s or maybe earlier.

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It would have been 60s. I believe John Spencer originally designed the Ant as a trainer for the larger Cherubs. They had wooden spars and used P class main sails as they could be purchased cheaply second hand. I think the Aussies quickly hotted up the rig and deck layout and added a trapeze. Probably why it has lasted in Aus and not here, the class was pretty much dead here by end of 70s if not earlier as most kids were pushed into single handed boats.

Nice to see Flying Ants back home in NZ. FA130 was my first boat.

 

 

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Cracking boats that produced arguably more top level skiff designers and sailors than any other in Aus that were carelessly squeezed aside by wealthier skiff club and YA nurtured types with false aspirations. Regular National championship entry numbers in the 40+ Region with strength in more than one or two states was something back through the 70s, 80s and into the 90s that other junior classes apart from the popular Sabot found hard to match.

Great work Adam Beashel and others involved for lighting the flame and giving kids a reason to want to go sailing for fun again.

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Kids from the age of 9 enjoying fast challenging boats. 

Pic taken today at the Nationals at Lake Illawarra, one hour south of Sydney, courtesy of the NSW Flying Ant Assoc FB page.

87CF0B79-48B0-4213-88AB-315C06A9D0CB.png

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On 1/17/2019 at 10:03 PM, Dave Clark said:

My dad stuffed one of these in the container coming back from the 1996 Little America's cup in Macrae and then instantly upgraded it with a big A-sail and cut down IC mainsail and trap. Total blast for me to screw around is as a kid. I'm pumped to see that the configuration has come to the same point in the class. It's a sweet half pint skiff for half pint sailors. From a composites perspective they're also childs play to build. It's a pity we were too conservative to adopt them on something similar in the states back when they going through their first round of growth in Australia.

DRC

Damnable Opti people.  Mean trick on the kids. Stock Laser people too.  This IS the 21st Century for all of us.  

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25 minutes ago, dacarls said:

Damnable Opti people.  Mean trick on the kids. Stock Laser people too.  This IS the 21st Century for all of us.  

Yeah there's a streak of Luddite in 'em. Shame really.

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On 1/19/2019 at 12:04 PM, Dex Sawash said:

 

Is the hoop at the end of the boom just there for pole storage?

 

Yup.

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On 1/18/2019 at 7:13 AM, Dart96 said:

From Successful Sailing d'Alpuget and Earl 1970

Flying Ant V2.jpg

 

That is fascinating... used to sail SQS Me IV at Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Sydney with a school mate roughly late 79 or so?

Still have a trophy somewhere for club championship win.

 

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Complimentary sizes and ages to the Optis, plus a year ... so 15 and under I think is the proposed new class age range ...

Our Club is looking at them very closely with a view to bringing the 10-14 year olds in alongside their Opti racing ambtions ... and before the 9er transition begins, which will hopefully be hastened by the time in the Flying Ant!!

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22 hours ago, Stanno said:

Complimentary sizes and ages to the Optis, plus a year ... so 15 and under I think is the proposed new class age range ...

Our Club is looking at them very closely with a view to bringing the 10-14 year olds in alongside their Opti racing ambtions ... and before the 9er transition begins, which will hopefully be hastened by the time in the Flying Ant!!

Sounds like a great plan.  The sooner you can get kids out of displacement boats the better.

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On 1/21/2019 at 3:26 AM, dacarls said:

Damnable Opti people.  Mean trick on the kids. Stock Laser people too.  This IS the 21st Century for all of us.  

No it's not. The Ant is a great boat but has been down to about 10-boat fleets at the national titles. A class that is almost dead but for one state and one club in another state is not "the 21st century for all of us".

If you actually comprehended the thinking behind the new Ant, you would realise that he has been looking around at what it really happening in the 21st century, and it's more oriented towards Laser-style boats. The theme is accessibility and simplicity, NOT going faster. The Ant is actually slower than the Feva and Flying 11, for example.

The last thing the sport needs is people like you, who sail nice boats that very few people want to sail, sneering and slinging shit at the boats that the sport needs to survive. The fact is that the many of the skiffs other fast sailing classes are shrinking, and the slit-shinging from people like you is probably a major reason. 

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On 1/21/2019 at 3:52 AM, martin.langhoff said:

 

Yeah there's a streak of Luddite in 'em. Shame really.

There's a major streak of arrogance in people like you and darcarls that's even worse. Who the hell do you think you are, to declare what other people must sail if they are to avoid your sneers?  Have you ever considered that your own tastes, preferences and situation are merely personal preferences and not the line by which others must choose what they sail? The Laser fleet includes plenty of people with experience in development classes that go much faster than your UFO, and the Opti fleet includes people like the younger Beashos. How could someone like you have the gall to call such people "Luddites" just because they also like simple, popular craft?

The silliness of your attitude is that while one Beasho was showing off the lovely new Ant this weekend, other Beashos were racing in "luddite' classes or showing off the skills they learned in them. Luckily, the Beashos are much more open-minded than you are, and Adams's work should save this great little class.

 

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32 minutes ago, SCARECROW said:

Sounds like a great plan.  The sooner you can get kids out of displacement boats the better.

Yes, or they may grow up and sail like Tom Slingsby or Ben Ainslie.

 

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Hey! Well Luddites went and literally torched the new stuff. So, although I threw the comment offhand, I meant it about folks who complain about new craft, or block them.

When new classes for kids are discussed or proposed, they'll talk about how changing things away from the opti would be a mistake. When they see my son they insist he should be doing opti.

If you are happy with an opti or a sunfish, that's great! And I'm not one to tell you otherwise. I might say, hey try this boat, hop on for a ride, just to share my enthusiasm with some toy but no opinion on what you should do.

Am I happy with my toys, yes. I do think that opti kids would benefit from exposure to faster boats?, yes for some of them, with good support and coaching, etc.

And I do hope that folks emotionally invested in optis don't block it.

It's nice to picture a world where kids get going on optis or open bics and at some point have a chance at more challenging boat.

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42 minutes ago, Curious said:

Yes, or they may grow up and sail like Tom Slingsby or Ben Ainslie.

 

Who gives a shit how good a sailor they become, as long as they keep sailing and they're more likely do do that on a fun boat.

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Okay, Scarecrow, but if kids were more likely to keep sailing on a "fun boat" then why are there so few of them at the old Ant strongholds like WYC, PYC and TASC?  The NSW and Vic clubs that put kids in Ants don't have many older sailors. Go to Toronto on Lake Mac and the honour boards and locals tell a sad tale where fun development classes like NSs, MGs, Cherubs, and Javelins have vanished and only two active Ants are left. 

Most people who keep on sailing do it in boats like Sabres, Lasers, Lightnings, Solos and Beneteaus so it seems that they aren't actually more likely to keep sailing if they move out of "displacement" boats.  Yep, this new Ant is going to revitalise the class and that's great - but it's working because Beasho has taken on board the message from the classes kids, teens and adults are actually sailing, and most of them are the simple slow ones.

 

 

 

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Can we move the shit slinging about what would keep kids in sailing somewhere else?

This thread started about an awesome class revival on cool little boats.. let's keep it that way, eh?

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There are two or three Ants at Mannering Park ASC. One has a carbon mast, the other out last sat had a Needlespar, I remember them from the 70s.

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Reviving any old class usually works for only a short time. Its great to dig out a batch old hulls and spend a moderate amount on new gear, but as soon as the reasonble cheap hulls run out, some keen parent goes and spends the $K10 to $K15 needed to make a brand new boat with all the latest gear and flash sails, then the other parents will back off, the other kids will get disenchanted and the numbers will plumet. Sorry story often repeated, and I do not have the solution.

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21 minutes ago, Phil S said:

Reviving any old class usually works for only a short time. Its great to dig out a batch old hulls and spend a moderate amount on new gear, but as soon as the reasonble cheap hulls run out, some keen parent goes and spends the $K10 to $K15 needed to make a brand new boat with all the latest gear and flash sails, then the other parents will back off, the other kids will get disenchanted and the numbers will plumet. Sorry story often repeated, and I do not have the solution.

I heard of a club in the UK where the Solo fleet put a maximum spend on the boat for club racing. This kept the arms race under control and enhanced participation. Maybe this would work for the FA's. Of course it isn't that helpful for the local builder, so perhaps you could handicap the new boats differently. By the sound of things, there are enough old FA's kicking around that a nice fleet of rehabs could be built.

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Word is that there are plenty of parents interested in the new Ant, which is not intended to make old ones obsolete.

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23 hours ago, Phil S said:

Reviving any old class usually works for only a short time. Its great to dig out a batch old hulls and spend a moderate amount on new gear, but as soon as the reasonble cheap hulls run out, some keen parent goes and spends the $K10 to $K15 needed to make a brand new boat with all the latest gear and flash sails, then the other parents will back off, the other kids will get disenchanted and the numbers will plumet. Sorry story often repeated, and I do not have the solution.

Maybe a bold dinghy class needs to take the Finnish grass-roots rally scene approach...

Cars are entered in a class - based on nominal dollar value ($1k, $2k etc). If someone makes you an offer of that amount after an event, it must be sold at that price.

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8 hours ago, duncan (the other one) said:

Cars are entered in a class - based on nominal dollar value ($1k, $2k etc). If someone makes you an offer of that amount after an event, it must be sold at that price.

That's a great strategy! Love it. 

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On 1/31/2019 at 4:20 PM, duncan (the other one) said:

Maybe a bold dinghy class needs to take the Finnish grass-roots rally scene approach...

Cars are entered in a class - based on nominal dollar value ($1k, $2k etc). If someone makes you an offer of that amount after an event, it must be sold at that price.

So if your parents can buy a $10,000 boat and accept a $8000 loss if you win, you get a huge advantage over the kid whose parents can't afford to take a big loss each regatta and therefore can only buy a $2000 boat. The rich get more of an advantage.

The people who want a boat that will last also lose out to those who build something that falls apart on its first season.The kids whose parents are boatbuilders will also get an edge. 

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22 minutes ago, Curious said:

So if your parents can buy a $10,000 boat and accept a $8000 loss if you win, you get a huge advantage over the kid whose parents can't afford to take a big loss each regatta and therefore can only buy a $2000 boat. The rich get more of an advantage.

The people who want a boat that will last also lose out to those who build something that falls apart on its first season.The kids whose parents are boatbuilders will also get an edge. 

That's a strange world you live in.

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I live in the same one you live in - where some parents spend about $10,000 + on a faster Sabot; one where parents turn up to Opti regattas with $45,000 RIBS. It's the one where parents whose kid didn't make the Opti team sued the association in 2006.

That's what happens in some of the real junior classes. Why give more of an advantage to the people who are prepared to lose money to give their kids an advantage?

 

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13 hours ago, Curious said:

So if your parents can buy a $10,000 boat and accept a $8000 loss if you win, you get a huge advantage over the kid whose parents can't afford to take a big loss each regatta and therefore can only buy a $2000 boat. The rich get more of an advantage.

The people who want a boat that will last also lose out to those who build something that falls apart on its first season.The kids whose parents are boatbuilders will also get an edge. 

As someone who has owned and raced a few “$2000 boats” in my life, I really don’t the see downside. Yes, I might lose to some of the folks with better boats, but’s that’s the status quo in sailing. However, if I can buy my wealthy competitor’s boat for $2000 at the end of the event and then sell it on the open market for an $8000 profit, I would be making money hand over fist at every regatta I sail even after accounting for expenses. Maybe my competitors decide to stop pissing money away and we have fair race in level boats. Or maybe they keep pissing it away, and I become vastly wealthy sailing dinghy regattas and never working (the preferable option in my mind). What’s the downside here?

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12 hours ago, Curious said:

I live in the same one you live in - where some parents spend about $10,000 + on a faster Sabot; one where parents turn up to Opti regattas with $45,000 RIBS. It's the one where parents whose kid didn't make the Opti team sued the association in 2006.

That's what happens in some of the real junior classes. Why give more of an advantage to the people who are prepared to lose money to give their kids an advantage?

 

those sorts of people may spend ridiculous amounts on boats like Sabot's, but I can't see even them tossing that boat away after one regatta.

If they do, then all power to them.  This is how it then plays out:

Lets say the Sabot falls in the "$1k" bucket (as it probably should).  If (as you propose), there are a bunch of helicopter parents willing to drop $10k on this class, then at every event, there are a bunch of $10k boats available to the rest of the fleet for $1k after the event. They (obviously) get snapped up, as the rules say they must be made available for sale at that price.

After a few rounds, everyone has top of the line boats that cost them $1k.

Where's the problem?

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The problem is that it doesn't work.

For a start, how do you work out who gets to bid?  If you leave it open, parent A can just "sell" their boat to parent B, and parent B buys parent A's boat. They then swap boats back. How do you stop that?

If everyone gets to bid and you draw the winner out of a hat, then you will get what happened in dirt bike racing - bunches of people (in that case pro teams but in FAs it could well be state teams) all putting in a bid and giving the boat back if they won. And what happened in dirt bike racing is that the bid process became hard fought - and that's a big burden on amateur race or class officials.

What happens if you get a used boat that, like our FAs, is cheap but loved, polished and maintained? Why should a kid who loves his old boat get it sold from underneath him? 

What about the practical aspects? One of my old ODs is 40 years old and still very competitive. If I raced it in a claiming race under a realistic price arrangement it may well be bought - fuck that, I love the boat and I want to keep it. I don't want to pocket some cash and then have to spend weeks searching for another boat. Last time I bought a racing boat it was a four-day drive to pick it up - why the fuck would someone want to lose days from work to replace a boat they loved which they lost under a claiming rule?

How many times each season should anyone have to sell and then replace their boat?  How many times do you expect them to search ads, inspect boats, pick them up and then (if they are a top sailor who wins on older gear) having them bought again?

What about my old OD boat that needs a frame replacement. Why would I spend the time doing that if someone could force me to sell a boat I love next regatta?

How good is a rule that encourages people to ensure their boats are liable to fall apart and look like shit, so no one wants to buy them?

Another OD I had was a fast old hull I found under a house. I spent time finding it - why should I have lost that benefit under a claiming rule? I know how to fuck that hull up so it would still go but look like shit and have a significant structural issue that would not slow it down but would stop people buying it. How is encouraging that sort of thing a good idea?

What happens to my local racing if my boat is bought at the national under a claiming rule, and I can't get another before the next championship or my local regatta?

What happens about the kid I'm coaching, whose parents don't have enough spare cash to be able to hand over a cheque or cash on the spot, as required by claiming rules?

There's a reason that claiming rules were abandoned in dirt bikes, Superbikes and F28 cat racing  and have never been really used in Lemons racing - it's cause they are complicated in action. They do seem to work in some motor racing classes but there are also complaints that some people race less often than they could to stop their gear being claimed. I know I'd do that.

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14 minutes ago, Curious said:

The problem is that it doesn't work.

For a start, how do you work out who gets to bid?  If you leave it open, parent A can just "sell" their boat to parent B, and parent B buys parent A's boat. They then swap boats back. How do you stop that?

If everyone gets to bid and you draw the winner out of a hat, then you will get what happened in dirt bike racing - bunches of people (in that case pro teams but in FAs it could well be state teams) all putting in a bid and giving the boat back if they won. And what happened in dirt bike racing is that the bid process became hard fought - and that's a big burden on amateur race or class officials.

What happens if you get a used boat that, like our FAs, is cheap but loved, polished and maintained? Why should a kid who loves his old boat get it sold from underneath him? 

What about the practical aspects? One of my old ODs is 40 years old and still very competitive. If I raced it in a claiming race under a realistic price arrangement it may well be bought - fuck that, I love the boat and I want to keep it. I don't want to pocket some cash and then have to spend weeks searching for another boat. Last time I bought a racing boat it was a four-day drive to pick it up - why the fuck would someone want to lose days from work to replace a boat they loved which they lost under a claiming rule?

How many times each season should anyone have to sell and then replace their boat?  How many times do you expect them to search ads, inspect boats, pick them up and then (if they are a top sailor who wins on older gear) having them bought again?

What about my old OD boat that needs a frame replacement. Why would I spend the time doing that if someone could force me to sell a boat I love next regatta?

How good is a rule that encourages people to ensure their boats are liable to fall apart and look like shit, so no one wants to buy them?

Another OD I had was a fast old hull I found under a house. I spent time finding it - why should I have lost that benefit under a claiming rule? I know how to fuck that hull up so it would still go but look like shit and have a significant structural issue that would not slow it down but would stop people buying it. How is encouraging that sort of thing a good idea?

What happens to my local racing if my boat is bought at the national under a claiming rule, and I can't get another before the next championship or my local regatta?

What happens about the kid I'm coaching, whose parents don't have enough spare cash to be able to hand over a cheque or cash on the spot, as required by claiming rules?

There's a reason that claiming rules were abandoned in dirt bikes, Superbikes and F28 cat racing  and have never been really used in Lemons racing - it's cause they are complicated in action. They do seem to work in some motor racing classes but there are also complaints that some people race less often than they could to stop their gear being claimed. I know I'd do that.

ok - so there are many reasons it may not work - better keep doing what we're doing and kill off classes like the Sabot.

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Or do what Adam and other people are doing and fix the big problems with realistic solutions.

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You can only buy the boat that finishes immediately ahead of you (that's how most of the motorsport "claimer rule" classes work).

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