In previous posts I mentioned that I had started to survey the RG65 Nations so that I could get a better understanding of how the RG65 class is established around the world and how the Nations run and manage the class.
I asked the 18 nations that we have contact details for and so far 14 have replied. This is a fantastic response rate and I would like to thank all of you who took the time to reply and share so much information with me. If you have not yet replied, please do so when you can.
I won’t go into too much detail but I think that it is worth me sharing some basic insights with you, and please fee free to add your own comments to this. The more information that I have the better I can direct how we move forwards.
The first part that I gathered information on what how big the class was in each region. It is always difficult to get accurate figures on because boats come an go. Just because someone built and sailed a boat 5 years ago does not men that that boat still exists. So much of this information is a “gut feel” and we cannot expect more. Fredo shared with me that around 1,000 kits for an RG65 were sold in Argentina, but we know that only a fraction of these ever made it to the water.
National Class Sizes
The responses from the 14 Nations show that on average there are 104 boats per nation, with a maximum of 300 and a minimum of 1. This is quite a wide spread as I am sure you will agree.
Number of actively raced Boats
Of those Boats that exist, how many are “actively used”. Here we see the the range from 0% to 100%, and this equates to an average of 30 boats per nation that are active. The largest being the UK with 125 and France with 90, Germany 60 and so on. It would be great if we could, by raising the profile of the RG65 class, get these numbers up significantly.
I followed on with some questions about National Championships in the countries. Here we see that 6 Nations hold a National every year, 2 Occasionally and a further 5 plan to start holding National Championships. Of the 8 Nations that currently hold events, the average number of entries is 24, ranging from 10 (USA) to 35 (UK)
When asked whether a Class Association existed in the country, 9 Nations confirmed that they had some sort of class association, and of those 5 were recognised by their National radio sailing authority.
Asked what “Sailing Authority” the class sails under, 6 sail under World Sailing, 1 under NAVIGA, 5 under “Other” (I still ned to dig a bit more what Other is), and 1 indicated that they Don’t Know.
The last area that I surveyed was about the future. How they felt a future ICA Constitution and Class Rules should look like, and the results from these are much as I expected.
50% of the respondents indicated that they would like the Constitution to fall under the World Sailing umbrella, 14% do not mind, and 36% would like to it be totally independent. This needs further exploration and I will enter into some direct discussion with the nations to decide the best way forward.
The alignment of the Class Rules to a Sailing Authority was exactly the same as the Constitution, 50% World Sailing and 36% independent. But what is overwhelmingly clear is that everyone wants the Rules to remain fundamentally as they are. By that I understand the view to be that the boat length, mast height, sail area and self certification concepts should not change.
Well I don’t really have a clear conclusion yet. I will engage with some of the National Representatives who have not given clear views one way or another so that I can get a better understanding of what direction we should follow, and I will try to complete this within a week or 2, whereafter I will come back with some proposals.
Thanks you for your patience as we go through this process. I need to understand fully what the Class wants before I start to propose any changes, and as you can see from the results above, there are some very differing views. In the end we will need to find a solution that works for the majority.
Please keep your opinions flowing. It is Your class.
One thought on “National Insights”
Hi there! I could see a future with the best of both worlds… It is hard to fit the flexibility and room for development (and for novel builders) within a strict set of rules, and what makes it more rigid is the adhesion to ERS and including ERS definitions while defining the set of rules.
This in my opinion is the attraction that RG65 development enthusiasts do not want to give up. Designing a two boomed mainsail, a gaff sail, a two mast rig or a 50cm long keel are options we would not want to resign because those are options you can play with and you get excited about how will they compare to the fleet.
Unexperienced builders may fall in so many tricks that ERS would pose as building a rigid vang, adding unidentified or unnecesary rigging or parts that may not comply with an ERS definition rendering an enthusiast turning frustrated by complex wording in a paper. We need those novel builders and we need to make it easier for them too.
Many sailors are attracted to the class because its Rules are easy to comply with, so they just build a boat and start sailing and improving. I started just like that.
On the other side, I see a benefit for the class to have a better wording for its rules With less loopholes and not have a discussion weather a National, Regional or World championship is valid or not because the class rules are accepted by WS.
I see the opportunity to get the best of both worlds, lets just go for it.