A few observations from this change of boat from Jason:
- Going from one IRC rating boat to another, but is the new boat a better IRC rating boat?
- SYC buying up the Royals boats to improve their chances of winning the Association cup
- This A31 is exceptionally well looked after and has a near new set of sails, always stored on the hardstand, new carbon rig to improve mast stiffness
- Jason must prefer the tiller over a wheel
- Still need to beat the Adams 10s on IRC which was difficult based on the results of the previous owner
- More workable cockpit compared to the B35
With respect, few at SYC have any interest in the Association Cup at all and I doubt Jason had that in mind when he decided to purchase what is a superbly prepared and equipped yacht that he can race hard but still have a bit of fun on with his family and mates. Tons lighter than his last ride, it has to be more fun to sail!
Adams Tens still need to be well sailed to beat the A31 but If cockpit space was the determining factor, then he couldn't have gone past an A10. A10s are fun, fast and relatively cheap boats and yes, some of them (by no means all A10s) have proved to be hugely successful under IRC & AMS ratings but if that's what we all have to sail to win in IRC/AMS then you can shove those rules where the sun don't shine.
Do SYC members have any interest in results of the Range Series or Geelong either? Clearly not because they insist that their Club run events in competition with these major Victorian keelboat events, even though one of their own Club's sponsors is the series sponsor of the Range Series. Running the Sydney 38 and J24 State Titles in competition with the Association Cup was a curious decision given that the Association Cup had been in the calendar for eleven months.
Clubs go through transition and clearly, with some decent AMS boats, Brighton could have won the trophy. Out of interest, Adams 10's while being members of winning teams, have not generally won the RJ Green Trophy for the IRC Champion boat.
The measure of success for the Association Cup is not having fourteen teams entered - there aren't fourteen keelboat Clubs in Victoria. A fourteen team entry list would require a lot of boats to be borrowed or sailed under the burgee of another Club which I don't think is going to happen. That's my personal commentary on the Association Cup to differentiate that event from the core discussion here.
Adams 10's cop a lot of criticism - I don't see much evidence of poorly sailed Adams 10's winning many races. They are a cheap introduction to measurement system racing, as was the Borresen. Hopefully owners get a taste of IRC racing and then choose to upgrade into a larger boat. For the same coin as an Adams 10 I would pick a Shaw 650 or the cheaper Viper or Vx One all day every day. I hope that some of the displaced TP52 crew put their hand in their own pocket and get into sports boat racing.
I think that the Adams 10 criticism is quite disrespectful to guys like Josh and Al Shears who are incredibly talented sailors. When they are not on board the two respective boats, their level drops quite considerably.
So yes, you are correct that the well campaigned Adams 10's have been very successful under IRC and AMS but the "unbeatable" tag should only serve as motivation for others to knock them off their pedestal as our team has attempted to do over the past seven seasons. Racing against those guys really spurred us on to work harder.
Not defending SYCs actions for one moment, running S38s and J24 tiles against the Assoc Cup was wrong no matter how little regard SYC sailors may have for that much diminished event.
SYC offered Club racing on Range days for those who didn't want to commit to a major series or just weren't interested in travelling some distance across the bay to go racing. It started out a few years ago as a low key option with only a few boats racing but has since proved attractive enough to a lot more boats so that they now outnumber SYCs Range competitors. Maybe the endlessly repetitive nature of the Range series needs a revamp to again attract sailors in the numbers it once enjoyed? Or just maybe IRC and AMS doesn't float their boats anymore? On a positive note, at least they are still sailing and not leaving their boats growing barnacles on the yacht club marina.
No disrespect intended re Josh, Al and the other excellent sailors on the top A10s; those guys would shine on any boat and its plain to see that their presence or absence makes a notable difference to the performance of their respective yachts.
Bringing it back to the thread title, With both Calms gone, Shogun on the market in Sydney, Goldie gone to Europe, Dolly tucked up in her bed and Scarlet on her world tour you would think there would be busloads of crew looking for rides. Not so, from what I hear around the traps. Oh well, it was a nice ride while it lasted.
Re scheduling of the Association Cup, I think you will find that the S/38 and J24 state titles have been run at this time for several years, so it was perhaps an omission by the organisers of the Association Cup to identify conflicting events and work together with that organising authority earlier? As the majority of S/38's are at SYC, then isn't it SYC that would have been most impacted by the clash, but I have not heard any negative comments around SYC about that clash. Also agree with Don's comments that as an invite-only event, the Association Cup only impacts a few boats, so clubs should be able to schedule events as their members demand. As someone who has been honoured to be selected to participate in the Association Cup several times, I too fear for its future, but don't see any simple solution. I think there is a place in the local competition for a Team-based, inter-club event. Perhaps it is up to each club to better promote the event to their members?
As for the comments about SYC scheduling events "in competition with" the Club Maine Series, I don't see the events in competition at all. One is a boat-start, laid marks event scored on measurement and performance handicap, the other is a local fixed marks, tower start event scored on performance only. If the SYC members are saying that they don't want to participate in the CMS, and prefer a local-club format it would be inappropriate for the Club to ignore its members. Same thing with Geelong... SYC (and other club's) members have asked for a local, club-based alternative because they simply don't want to go to Geelong. Again, a local afternoon, fixed marks, tower start event is hardly in the same league as the Geelong regatta.
At the end of the day, Clubs need to schedule events that meet the demands of their members... to try to influence members in another direction is a risk to our sport.
As for the Adams 10 comments... well-designed, well-maintained and well-sailed boats win races.