Slalom - Sailors meeting

11 November 2013

At the last event of the season a "sailors meeting" was held to discuss good/bad points from this year, and things to do differently next year.

The following is essentially my notes with some editing to try and make sense of the wide-ranging discussion. If you think I got anything wrong or missed something (which is very possible) please do get in touch. Apologies if I didn't get your name.

For any further comments or points, please do leave them in the forum.

-Alastair (UKWA web)


BSA

Q. What's the status of the BSA? It is noticeable that the website is out of date.

[Editors note: The British Slalom Association is run by windsurfing trade representatives, in association with the UKWA, who award the UK Titles. The the UKWA  run the events from a administration, racing & safety point of view.]

Bob (UKWA Chairman): I was hoping the trade sreponsors would be here so we could start putting a calendar together, but we'll have to do that over email. Trade sponsors under-write one or two events each, there is no pool of yearly funds for web site or other organisational aspects. There isn't investment into the tour overall, just per-event.

Jim (Puravida): Could we do something similar to the BWA, have a per/year fee as well?

Allan Cross: Let's tackle it ourselves, make it more of a social media thing: could be 10 people here, promoting the tour themselves, i.e. team riders and UKWA members.

Brian (via someone): In flukey winds, we could do some rigging & start sessions. Initially brands were going to organise that, but it fell-off.

Kevin Greenslade: In the past we have done the odd write-up. But we need a format to follow, what it's supposed to have.

Bob: Initially sponsors of the event would do the write up etc.

Jim: On the wave tour the judges tally the scores, gets on the boards website quickly. We should do something similar

Another commenter: A lot of the exposure is pro-fleet oriented, need amateur/master blaster representation as well.
Dave Strudwick volunteered to be am rep & Melanie Vasseur masterblaster rep. 

Alastair (UKWA website): Does it make sense to the sailors to have a separate website for slalom?

Several commenters: Not really, it's confusing

Actions

  • Alastair: Brand slalom section more as the BSA.
  • Alastair: Catch up with Kevin & James about the website side of things, get more people involved, and ensure several people are admins on the BSA Facebook / twitter accounts.
  • Alastair: Add the BSA twitter feed to the slalom/BSA page for next season.

[NB: I think we'll also need to adjust a few other things like mailing lists to be more discipline-focused. It's about halfway there, but I'll need to finish that.]

Boats

Q. Three boats issue:

James Dinsmore: We've seen how difficult it is with off-shore winds, and having to do lots of rescues. Racing gets very disrupted. We'd be prepared to pay a bit more for a 3rd boat. Having a 3rd boat would also allow recalls at first mark. People could see why sometimes racing got delayed, I'd have no hesitation in telling people why we are putting up the fee and they would see the difference.

Jim: Can vary by venues, could get boats from a local place in some cases.

Actions:

  • Bob: The boat crew are also very aware of this and would like another boat at events, it is something we will find a way to do for next year. It may cause a small price increase, but only in the region of £5/10.

Format

Q. How about a change of format, an end of year open?

James Dinsmore: Maybe make the last event an open-type event, where we all go into the same draw (Pro and Amateur). E.g. the french go into a 50 man draw, go through rounds, 12 in each heat, top 4 go through, rest are knocked out. Racing against everyone.

Other commenters:

  • Party at last event, with Friday-Sat, party sat night?
  • Perhaps have a full-fleet race at the end of the day? Non-counting race, but something to finish the event. Need to say upfront that's something we do. Limited by boats at the start.
  • Last event of the year: We could have a Saturday-only that counts towards the series, with prize giving Saturday night. Spot prizes for fun competition on the sunday.
    Not sure about this, someone needs to put together a proposal.

Action:

  • ?: Unsure how the results would work for an open event, so someone will need to put a proposal together before beginning of the season.
  • ?: The Saturday-only suggestion is almost the opposite, it seems a decent proposal is needed for this.

Q. Can we raise the Master's age to 40?

No one minded that, agreed.

Action:

  • Alastair: to work out if we can have different master's ages for slalom compared to everything else!

Q. Scoring system:

James: At No-wind events, we need a different method of attendance points. Should score to the fleet size rather than a mid-fleet position.

Micheal George: People who enter currently get a mid-fleet position, which people then count if they are bottom half of the fleet. People who don't enter should get whole year fleet position.

Tim Gibson: FW system is possible, but more complex. If you don't turn up you get series total (people entered). BUT, each race counts as it's own, so this year we got almost 30 races.

Micheal George: I could run the scenarios? Put this years data into both.

Other commenter (Amateur?): It is easier (for amateurs) to be able to plan ahead if you know how many discard there are, which is preferable.

Ross Williams: PWA have 4 events 1 discard, 6 events 2. But, PWA don't have or need attendance points.
[Note: The pro fleet lost a discard this year because we didn't have 7 events.]

Bob: Not keen on per-race scoring, the same racing amount of racing could gets a different amount of scoring depending on whether you have heats. For example, if it's very windy and only 12 amateurs enter each 'heat', it could be all finals. You would score a lot more over a weekend than when you have two heats and a final.

Actions

  • Attendance points: Agreed with scoring fleet size rather than average score. (That means series fleet size for people that don't attend, which is usually much greater.)
  • Discards. Current system is reasonable. 2 discards from 7, 1 from 6 fine. 2 discards for the amateurs.
  • Scoring by race instead of event: Not agreed, it may not encourage attendance as well.

On the water

Q Could the finish boat put up flag when people went past to know who's going to be in the loser final?

Good idea, will do that next year.

Q. Could the start boat "Shout-down from 10" for each flag-change, e.g. for the 2 minute.

Seems reasonable, will check with the boat crew.

Q. Could we have the winners final first?

Commenter: After heats have the pro winners final, then amateur winners final, then loser finals. Makes getting a round in more likely.

Q What about "no-rules" for the pro fleet?

Ross: Someone (on the PWA) who's skill level wasn't quite there got a fine as he couldn't avoid well enough. Not sure that it's appropriate at the national level.

Q. Could we get a camera on the finish line? Perhaps start boat to?

Can we get some volunteers for that? I.e. people willing to lend a go-pro or similar camera.

Miscellaneous

Q. Can we have day tickets?

Bob: We will try do that, there is some reluctance to allow people to use the weather forecast to avoid a day, it would have to be pre-entry only.

Action:

  • Alastair: Try and arrange day-ticket for next year.

[NB: I think we'll need to put the pre-entry window back to the previous weekend, rather than Monday night.]

Q. Could we have some beginner gear on hand for the non-competitors to try?

Comment: A bit like NWF? - That aspect would be trade dependant, it would be great if some of them put on demo-days at events.

Q. Please try and avoid the big student events.

Bob: We'll try, it is very hard though, you do have to clash with something. Could anyone be essentially the student rep? I.e. get in touch with the SWA?


That's it! Any comments on the forum please...