Wednesday, December 08, 2021
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Competition Vs Fun?

BoatBrenton1 April 2021

For years Radio Sailing been torn between two schools of thought, Competition Vs Fun.  This has been discussed as if they were somehow opposites, as if you are too competitive, apply the rules too seriously, that the fun in the sport disappears somehow.  I have never subscribed to this but plenty do, clubs have fractured over it, class and club cultures differ on this.  From time to time the subject comes up again but ends up back in the too hard basket.

Then just last week I spotted Brenton, the head of the QRYA Marketing Department in our ground floor cafeteria.  His Italian suit and expensive haircut consumed but a small chunk of his six-figure salary.  I tried to get away but he came over to my table and said he said he was coming to see me anyway.  Someone should tell him that no one wears After Shave any more.

Yet again he wanted to talk about the two different groups we have in our membership, being those who want to compete at the highest level possible, to win, and those who say they just want to have fun.  Yet again he pointed out that most sailors do not compete above Club Level and we should think about that, how best to engage them. 

"So?" I knew I had to ask the rhetorical question, he won't let this go after all.  "Remind me, what's the difference betweenBrenton competing and just 'Having Fun'?"

"Well" he said, "just don't take it so seriously, don't argue, just, you know ... have fun!  We have covered this before, Jeeeezus why is this so hard?"

"Because you have never told me which Racing Rules of Sailing we need to ignore to have fun."

"Who said anything about ignoring rules?  That's just ridiculous!  Who said that?"  he said shrugging and looking around for the culprit  "You don't have to ignore the damn RRS, just don't take them so seriously!"

I nodded.  So you see, there is the problem right there, in the cold light of day, yet again.  No one can define the 'Rules of Fun'.   They must be different from following the Sailing Rules though, or we would not be having the discussion.

There is nothing more 'fun killing' than someone not doing a turn when they fouled you, then not long after, expect you to do one for a similar offence.  If no one does penalties it rapidly becomes a 'dodgem cars' event, a contact sport with some expensive and fragile kit. 

BoatcrashsmallBut if you have to do a turn, that could cost you a few places and most  likely change your behaviour next race.  Maybe you will duck them next time, or tack early.  Just losing one place is better than four right?  'No penalties', means that it is worth trying to cross that starboard tacker again because you 'may' just make it and nothing happens if you fail right?

The best RC sailing experiences I have had have been when everyone respected the rules and did any penalties they accrued without argument.  It can happen.  So whether we all have fun or not depends on the willingness of each sailor to do their penalties that inevitably are required.  The RRS expects you to take a penalty when you break a rule, there is no requirement for the other guy to 'call' you.  But if you do not do a penalty voluntarily, then he can protest you for that. 

Till someone can provide a definition of fun sailing, I will continue to assume that anyone who uses the term 'just have fun', just does not want someone asking them to do a penalty.  If you do ask them to, they can claim that you are the problem, the Fun Police. "We are not playing for sheep stations mate, calm down!"   Mmmm ... but ... but ... aren't those who refuse to do a penalty the prob ... ah never mind.

"I put it to you Brenton, that none of the Rules should be dropped or ignored.  I put it to you that what is required to have fun is for sailors who know that they have broken a rule, crossed the line early, made contact with a mark, made a starboard tacker take avoiding action, failed to keep clear ... to just do their penalty without even being asked!   The rules exist so that everyone knows how to behave, to make sailing FUN!"

He just slowly shook his head and annoyingly realigned his club cuff-links while glancing at my polo shirt.

I got the lift back to the 9th floor and asked my PA to add Brenton's name to the list for the next months RRS training course and to make sure he goes.  Don't think he gets the rules.


Ron Fawcett



Are You Affiliated?

JamesCook25 March 2021

Sometimes here on the dizzy heights of the 9th floor of QRYA Headquarters we get requests from clubs hosting events to check the list of entrants to see if they are all affiliated.  Well, this association has invested heavily to ensure that event organisers can do that themselves.

Some years ago, a simple, foolproof solution was devised that needs no internet connection and can be used anywhere, any time to verify that an entrant is covered by the Public Liability Insurance provided by his/her membership of an affiliated club.  It is called a QRYA Membership card.

Now this piece of plastic is issued every year to every person affiliated in Queensland.  It can be stored in your wallet or with your boat registration document.  You can take a picture and store it on your phone too, but the bottom line is that there is no excuse for a sailor entering an event not to be able to prove that they have insurance cover.

For those who may be in the "too kool for skool" class on this and you think that everyone knows who you are, I can tell you that well known sailors have entered Championship events while not being a member of any club for several years.  People like this compete in multiple QRYA events and at their club and not one person bothered to check (except us snoops).  One of them finished near the pointy end of a Championship.  Not sure about you, but I expect most sailors would think this is not good enough and regatta organisers are exposed to risk they thought they were covered for.  It is the responsibility of each Race Committee to check, not the QRYA.JamesCook life

This coming year the cards will be produced and distributed as soon as each club completes the annual renewals, beginning early April.  This year they have a scale on the bottom edge for those who want to measure their boat tune and have lost their really hard to read stainless rulers, or left it on the bench.  The rest who don't measure can just continue to say "I set it up the same way but it's just not the same today".

This year also, we have produced 'Life Fellow' (Life Membership) cards for each of those holding that honour.  These cards have no end date as the award does not and each will have received one by the time this is published.  The Honour Board on the website lists the recipients.

Thank you to Ian Lobley for the card design, Life Fellow card concept and production to come, and to Ian Smith of the Brisbane Club for the ruler idea.  We thought the ruler was rubbish a few years ago (probably just because it was not our idea) but finally thought it had merit and here it is.

So when you get your card from your club secretary, store it safely, take a phone photo in case you lose it and be prepared to produce it to prove your affiliation.  It will work anywhere in Australia.  If you don't renew your club membership on time you will not get one on time.  For regatta organisers, ask entrants for proof of affiliation at the registration desk and you too are covered.

Ron Fawcett



David Black Milestone


DBFaceandcard16 March 2021

Everyone in Queensland Radio Yachting knows who David Black is.  Those who have come to this sport in the last few years most likely see him as a scorer, others who have been around for longer also know him as a previous QRYA office-bearer, at least in the Secretary/Treasurer or President roles, others who have been around even longer remember him from the Queensland Model Boat Association days in the 1980's or even before.

For his services David belongs to an elite very small group of  'Life Fellows' or Life Members of the State Association.  The list appears on the Honour Board on the QRYA website.

David recently celebrated a milestone birthday and to recognise the event the Association issued the first 'Life Fellow' card.  QRYA cards are issued for one year traditionally ending 31st May, however the recognition of Life Fellow has no end date.

At David's birthday, the QRYA Treasurer Ian Lobley presented David with a card on behalf of the Radio Yachting community of Queensland, and his new card.

The rarest commodity in our sport is the volunteer.  For many years David has given his time and personally invested significant resources to score sailing events all overDBworking Queensland.  For those of us who travel to events, we know that most of the cost has nothing to do with the entry fees, it is in the cost of travel and accommodation.  We are lucky that David sees his scoring duties as a hobby.  So David belongs to a very rare breed of volunteer who not only provided their time, but actually their own resources as well.

Please join us to wish David all the best for his next decade and to thank him for on-going incredible contribution he has made to Radio Sailing in Queensland.

The Editor


DF65 Interclub Series R1, March 6, 2021, Springfield Lakes

Rnd1Sailors 1 Small8 March 2021
Well, the racing year is off to a flying start with the first of the inter-club series held at Springfield Lakes on Saturday, in what can only be called fairly good condition for our venue. The winds were reasonably good most of the day from the East to South East, with some variation in strength and direction, but that’s Springfield.
It was great to have a fleet of 20 boats on the lake again, a bit like old times, and hopefully a sign of the future. We were particularly pleased to not only have 7 skippers from PRYC but 2 from our new friends from Raby Bay, and with a volunteer from SLMM in Ian Gordon to make up the necessary 3 man club team. The rest of the fleet was from SLMM.
Rnd1Ron Pic 2As we have all come to realise, and John Heard made these remarks, these events only have success due to the willingness of the volunteers that help run the events. So, thanks to Ian Ashe for his RO duties today, he did a fine job. Thanks also to David Black for his tireless efforts in scoring the event with the assistance of Shelley Heard and Norm Gough calling the finish positions. Ian Geary  was manning the rescue Kayak and had a couple of calls for help, apart from altering the course marks prior to the start of the day. Also a big thank you to Ipswich City Council for supplying the portable toilet for the day and Marty Wallace for liaising with the council and playing a major part in this happening.
Mike Jefferys was in his usual good form, but as John Heard said in his closing remarks, the pack is improving and is after Mike. I am sure Mike will make it a tough as possible. There were 5 others that had wins, John Heard (2), Scott Rudd (2), Marty Wallace (3), John Daley (1) and Bob McKinnon (1). Well done guys.
First 3 positions: Mike Jefferys 28 points, Scott Rudd 60, Ian Robertson 72.
By Ian Robertson 
Results HERE



What happened to the A Class?

AclassFleet7 March 2021

In January 2021, the A Class was quietly removed from the list of State Sanctioned Classes here in Queensland.  There was no fanfare about it, why draw attention to something no one wanted to see happen.  Now it is time to talk about what actually happened and why. 

The rules for recognising classes in States and National level are set by the ARYA By-laws;


Since 2019 the relevant section says;

1.3 State Sanctioned Class – to be eligible and remain eligible for recognition as a State Sanctioned Class:

i) six or more yachts must be raced regularly, in an organised manner by a Club affiliated with the ARYA.

'Regularly' could be a few times a year, but regularly, by a club and at least six of them.  The count was zero club events that complied.  For at least the last three to four years the only time six or more A Class boats appeared was for each of the three Championship events the QRYA scheduled each year.  Championships should be a result of qualifying to do so, not the only time they sail.

The QRYA drew this to the attention of the key A Class stakeholders and accepted the appointment of a Class Coordinator two years ago, but no regular sailing happened.  That effectively demonstrated that the future of any yacht class is in the hands of the owners themselves, not the administrators.   It's boats on the water that count, not sending emails.  So the State Association had a choice, to finally apply the rules we are there to administer, or continue to ignore them.  We chose to apply them.  Is that even a choice really?

I recall seeing the A Class for the first time while volunteering at a championship event at Newport QLD and was very impressed.  I saw a little flag on each backstay and asked what that was for.  I had a couple of A Class owners respond at the same time to tell me that it was the 'Owner's Flag', it was a Class Rule!  They glanced at each other sideways.  But I was impressed that every single yacht there complied, they respected the rules.  There are also rules that this State has to follow as a member of the National Association.

Understandably, A Class owners are still well less than impressed after being left with no Championship events to get the boats out of the shed for, and no regular class sailing to fall back on.  But that wake-up call has had an effect that other discussions have not.  The Lake Samsonvale club has now scheduled club events intended to get the class back on the State radar.  Meanwhile the boats can sail anywhere they want to including National Championships, they just do not appear on the State Calendar.

We commend the Lake Samsonvale club's actions and wish them every success in getting to these graceful classic yachts once again appearing on the State list of Sanctioned Classes.

Secretary QRYA


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