Aluminum mast and plate runner fleet at WC and NA's

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Looking for some discussion on the subject topic.  Perhaps this gets some of the club racers on tight budgets on the course.  We all have these guys and gals at our local clubs.

Some thought starters that have been discussed:

Pure plate runners and aluminum mast fleet - no exceptions.
Do we have mini qualifiers or not?   Keep the fleet independent from the GC fleets?
No racer with a raking of xx or lower allowed in fleet (not sure what the rank should be)
Maybe only allow (3) runners for the entire regatta.
Maybe 2 laps instead of 3. Or a shorter course. Those old spars are tough on their skippers.

Lets hear it

DN 805:
For sure we need to encourage newbies.  We need to identify the best ways to accomplish this. 

For several years there has been an aluminum mast/plate runner prize at the Western Regional and, unfortunately, only one or two competitors.

 Ice time at the championship is always at a premium, the Gold Fleet seems to frequently be denied an opportunity to race on the opening day because of the time used for the qualifiers.   Encouraging participation of those with aluminum mast/plate runners is a worthy goal so they are introduced to the 'gang'  and have the opportunity to witness top notch competition.  But do we have the ice time available to accommodate them in a separate start?  Would a division in the bronze fleet be a scheme to  introduce the program?  Or should the emphasis be at the fleet and regional level?

Could  each regional Rear Commodore be asked to have aluminum mast/plate runner prizes at the regionals, perhaps the Class could provide the prizes?  Or schedule a day for a sailing and tuning clinic, followed by pizza and beer?  Have a runner sharpening/alignment session?    Have a mentoring program, such as there will be at the Ice Opti NAs?    These intiatives would require a strong promotion effort.

A starting point might be to learn from the owners of alumnum masts and plate runners what it will take to get them involved.   Is the travel commitment a problem for them?   Are they concerned they don't have the necessary sailing and racing skills?  Are they interested in competing against others with like equipment?    Are they interested in becoming involved in racing?

 Not everyone reads this forum.  If you can establish the format for a brief questionaire,   I have over 300 names on our swap meet email list and would be happy to forward a questionaire to the list.

All swap meets have raffles. Grand prize = a session with a champion in your class of boat?

DN 805

Geoff Sobering:
I like anything to help get new people involved in the class.
I especially like Jane's suggestion of a separate tuning-day/mentoring program at the regional regattas; it's tough to concentrate on racing well and helping someone else. I would be happy to sign up for that.

A couple of quick thoughts:
We already have the "bart rule"; would that do the job of keeping race times in check for slower boats?I agree a separate start (esp. and the NAs and WC) is not feasible given time constraints. A division within the Bronze fleet is seems like a good compromise.I don't remember trophies limited to aluminum masts (?) but there have been plate-runner trophies in many of the recent regattas.

I see alot of folks reading this post but only a few responses.  Lets hear your opinions...good or bad.

After lots of discussion about the plate runner/aluminum mast type fleet,  I have a few more options to toss into the mix.  Most of this was ideas and thoughts of others at the TIYC meeting and the GLIYC swap meet over the weekend.  Thanks for the discussions.

1.  One option is a plate runner fleet and forget about the aluminum mast.  Thought is that there are many composite masts out there to use but the newer younger sailors do not have the runner collection like the rest of the fleet.

2.  Another option is to use the 5 step rule at the start of the race.  Basically the skipper is limited to a certain number of steps before he jumps in the boat.  Or maybe its policed by a distance and not steps since stride length varies.  This benefits our aging or slightly handicapped skippers.

3.  Should a fleet like this be trialed at the regional level first and not the NA or Worlds level?

Lets hear your ideas.  Don't complain if you don't speak up!

DN 5449:
you wanted some input here is my 2 cents
First off not real interested in just plate runner fleet.More interested in limiting the # of runners.
As far as the 5 step rule I again am taking a pass.Two things,first it would be very hard to police (especially in a big fleet).Secound is fitness should be rewarded.It is a little equalizer between youth and entusiasim,and experience and equipment.


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