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JimBowie

Covid 2020: Death of a Class

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Bought the Megabyte in Feb 2020.  First race in Mar 2020.  Last race as well.  Months later I notice the class prez and secretary have both resigned and members got their boats for sale.  Is this the new normal?

 

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31 minutes ago, JimBowie said:

Bought the Megabyte in Feb 2020.  First race in Mar 2020.  Last race as well.  Months later I notice the class prez and secretary have both resigned and members got their boats for sale.  Is this the new normal?

 

Let's hope not.  

I am hearing a number of stories about how The Year of the Covid has actually stimulated more interest in sailing singlehanded classes. People reluctant to share boats with non-family members have gravitated to single-handed boats as a safer alternative. The RS Aero fleet at Cedar Point YC in Westport CT, for example, has had a year of strong growth, and broke the attendance record for RS Aero regattas in the north-east when they hosted the RS Aero Atlantic Coast Championship a few weeks ago.

But yes, a lot of regattas have been cancelled this year. Hope that doesn't lead to the death of any classes.

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Mixed AFAICT. Many headline regattas have been cancelled. Some groups/fleets aren't sailing. Other local groups/fleets have had a very active summer.

It's hard to predict, and unwise to judge IMHO. Some folks might be sporty but have health conditions, or a loved one who's vulnerable. And then, if you're fleet president, and have to deal with hardheaded folks who vociferously want this, or that, easy to see why I wouldn't want to be in that spot.

Edit: I'm curious to see how the Winter fares. Here in Miami it's a very active time, but all the statistics are pointing the wrong way right now.

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2 hours ago, martin 'hoff said:

Mixed AFAICT. Many headline regattas have been cancelled. Some groups/fleets aren't sailing. Other local groups/fleets have had a very active summer.

It's hard to predict, and unwise to judge IMHO. Some folks might be sporty but have health conditions, or a loved one who's vulnerable. And then, if you're fleet president, and have to deal with hardheaded folks who vociferously want this, or that, easy to see why I wouldn't want to be in that spot.

Edit: I'm curious to see how the Winter fares. Here in Miami it's a very active time, but all the statistics are pointing the wrong way right now.

Yes the winter series in the Melges 24 is way down.  One problem the organizers in Chucktown this past weekend were charging $550 for essentially a two day weekend regatta and of course no social events whatsoever.  Hardly excited to tow a boat 4000 miles for 7 races and only 9 other competitors and not a championship of any sort.  The Bacardi in Miami is looking likewise light.  Fortunately I secured a gig on an Etchells for the winter series that has a healthy 25 top competitors and the owner is picking up lodging.

Indeed attendance is off.  I've suggested to my club they investigate mixed double racing so we can get more boats on the water, smaller crew requirements and do it with the one you love.  So far...crickets....chirp...chirp....chirp....

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JimBowie, Sorry to hear of the dissolving interest in MegaByte racing. I had one about 6 years ago and loved it. Sadly, the boat did not gain any traction here in the Atlanta area. Seemed perfect. The good news is that you have as really sweet dinghy to sail and enjoy. 

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At the Park City Sailing Association we had a banner year with the Lasers.  Our average for the 18 night series was over twenty boats per night.  We only had 3-4 nights below twenty, it was unreal.  We believe it was a result of a few factors; people being at home and traveling for summer vacation less, a single handed boat being ideal for social distancing, and people having cabin fever and needing to get out of the house safely.  It's the same reason small powerboats were selling like hotcakes, SUPS and canoes had a banner year selling, as did bicycles.  Outdoor sports benefitted greatly.

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2 hours ago, WCB said:

At the Park City Sailing Association we had a banner year with the Lasers.  Our average for the 18 night series was over twenty boats per night.  We only had 3-4 nights below twenty, it was unreal.  We believe it was a result of a few factors; people being at home and traveling for summer vacation less, a single handed boat being ideal for social distancing, and people having cabin fever and needing to get out of the house safely.  It's the same reason small powerboats were selling like hotcakes, SUPS and canoes had a banner year selling, as did bicycles.  Outdoor sports benefitted greatly.

WCB's experience mirror ours.  We sold more boats than in any other year in our history... by a good margin.
That trend continues with boats already being pre-sold for Spring 2021.

I don't think we will know how organized YC racing and all that fared, but, all indications are that record numbers of people are out sailing small boats.
My experience is that this can only be good for fleet health and participation. Even if a lot of people have purchased boats to get on the water with their families/fun, it's just more people out there enjoying the water and with a potential to find a place like Park City Sailing Association and have fun with their members.

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Our club did not have an active double handed boat for years.  We started looking for one because of covid.   Six Melges 15s were delivered in July and 4 more were delivered in October.  None of them were purchased by the club.  Our laser fleet was very active too.  Bigger boats were limited to club racing and some boats elected not to sail at all.  Though I miss traveling and regattas the season was really fun and low key.  I hope that more participation in the 1 and 2 handed boats will inspire more people to move up into the bigger boats down the road.

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Interesting you look for double handers because of covid, better than 15 on a lead mind I suppose.

Our club sail only those who live together can sail together during covid, that was relaxed a bit after a couple of months. Lots of Lasers, OKs, Solos and Aeros out as a result.

I don't really understand the original post. Is it suggesting that people don't want to sail as a result of covid? Our club has more racing than ever, I think because alternative options were so limited. 

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1 hour ago, European Bloke said:

I don't really understand the original post. Is it suggesting that people don't want to sail as a result of covid? Our club has more racing than ever, I think because alternative options were so limited. 

Definitely some people are deciding not to sail, their risk tolerance is lower than others' – perhaps because they have other risk factors. There is one fleet in my area that I'd love to sail with, but it's not sailing. The organizer has said he won't run a race until a vaccine is available and broadly applied. He has good reasons, which I respect and support. 

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10 hours ago, WestCoast said:

WCB's experience mirror ours.  We sold more boats than in any other year in our history... by a good margin.
That trend continues with boats already being pre-sold for Spring 2021.

I don't think we will know how organized YC racing and all that fared, but, all indications are that record numbers of people are out sailing small boats.
My experience is that this can only be good for fleet health and participation. Even if a lot of people have purchased boats to get on the water with their families/fun, it's just more people out there enjoying the water and with a potential to find a place like Park City Sailing Association and have fun with their members.

I'll add to this @WestCoast that last March/April our Board meetings were doom and gloom.  We were expecting to be 40-50% down on 2019 which was our best year ever for the Junior Program.  The result?  2020 was our best year ever by a long shot.  Many other camps couldn't find a way to keep kids safely distanced from each other and/or their insurance wouldn't cover it.  Gowrie group had our back on insurance.  We had to file a plan with the county and that was approved but the most important part was the boats.  Our parking lot was a vision of kids in a huge circle, well spaced, with masks on.  Temps were taken as kids arrived.  We bought ten new RS Teras from @WestCoast in hopes of phasing out our older Optimists but the space requirements forced us to keep our Optis so that we could do one kid per boat.  Now we have twenty five small single handed boats (yikes), a fleet of six 420s and five program Lasers.  We needed all of those boats and more.  With good planning and safety measures in place, there is no reason that junior programs can't operate.  Our team did a stellar job and it showed.  No kids got sick all season.  The season was amazing and we hope that we're able to repeat that for next year.

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4 hours ago, European Bloke said:

Interesting you look for double handers because of covid, better than 15 on a lead mind I suppose.

Our club sail only those who live together can sail together during covid, that was relaxed a bit after a couple of months. Lots of Lasers, OKs, Solos and Aeros out as a result.

I don't really understand the original post. Is it suggesting that people don't want to sail as a result of covid? Our club has more racing than ever, I think because alternative options were so limited. 

I think that the issue with the original post was the boat itself.  The megabyte is a cool boat but I don't think there's a single fleet anywhere in the US.  Am I correct about that?  The point is, it's a boat that lives primarily through regattas and so many regattas were cancelled.  As a result, a boat that exists in that format would effectively have no season.  It's probably not the only class that suffered as a result.  I watched a number of 505 events get cancelled.  The 5--0 has a number of active fleets but it's claim to fame is regattas and they struggled to keep events together but in the end were able to get a few events in.

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Thats the big difference on our side of the pond. Here you would be no problem finding a club that does yardstick racing . Yes the are clubs in the uk that only class race , but they are the minority. 

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7 hours ago, Fretz said:

Our club did not have an active double handed boat for years.  We started looking for one because of covid.   Six Melges 15s were delivered in July and 4 more were delivered in October.  None of them were purchased by the club.  Our laser fleet was very active too.  Bigger boats were limited to club racing and some boats elected not to sail at all.  Though I miss traveling and regattas the season was really fun and low key.  I hope that more participation in the 1 and 2 handed boats will inspire more people to move up into the bigger boats down the road.

Not to totally derail, but you should add some info into the Melges 15 thread (if you haven't already).
What weight range have they been racing with? Any consensus on the "place" they fill?
 

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Our laser fleet probably doubled this year, with a lot of boats coming out of the woodwork. Our annual NUMB event went from 10-15 to 40 boats.
More time home, meant more local racing.

Not going to lie, other than some adjustments at work, COVID summer was pretty ok. No weddings, no obligation family weekends, more folks racing at home, new YC calendar to try out without reprecussion, kids didn't need to travel every week (and are better off for it). Think it did a lot, for a lot of sailors. Now the "racers" may have a different opinion, but I sure had fun reconnecting with "sailing" rather than "racing". May have even bought the J22 another year and kept the J70 at bay. :D

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For us it's been a bust year on the I14. You just can't sail it with the wife or kids.

But the 29er, the OC1 canoe, the paddleboard have been used.

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Basically no sailing here in Germany during the lockdown (mainly April).

After that we actually sailed more than previous years due to less other commitments such as driving kids to soccer games.

As an ex-I14 owner my wife has got a different view on what "you can sail with the wife or kids" so following the "same household" rules did not restrict us as much as others.

We will go back to lockdown mode on Monday but the sailing season is over for the most part, anyway.

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On 10/28/2020 at 3:04 AM, tillerman said:

Let's hope not.  

I am hearing a number of stories about how The Year of the Covid has actually stimulated more interest in sailing singlehanded classes. People reluctant to share boats with non-family members have gravitated to single-handed boats as a safer alternative. The RS Aero fleet at Cedar Point YC in Westport CT, for example, has had a year of strong growth, and broke the attendance record for RS Aero regattas in the north-east when they hosted the RS Aero Atlantic Coast Championship a few weeks ago.

But yes, a lot of regattas have been cancelled this year. Hope that doesn't lead to the death of any classes.

The 420 class in western australia just got killed off there is 1 boat in wa that sails, it has always been dying since 2017 the worlds but covid i think killed it

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