Commentary: What will be different about 2014?

Published on December 9th, 2013

Those involved with planning events for 2014 have been handed over the files from this year’s organizers, and are now tooling up to fulfill their responsibilities. Hopefully, among the questions they ask is “What can be done to increase participation.”

This question drew thoughtful response from Royal Southern Yacht Club in the UK, selected as the 2013 Yachts & Yachting Club of the Year, which sought to reverse the general decline across the Solent in race entry numbers this season.

“We worked hard to provide greater variety of courses matched to the preferences of boat owners. We also marketed our events more professionally both in pre-race advertising and in post-race press reports and photography.” – Chairman of Race Management, Philip Gage IJ NRO

“Our colleagues running the shore side worked hard to create really enjoyable event parties with great atmosphere, open to all entrants, whether members or not. We’ve seen lots more young people staying on after sailing and it all adds up to a package that people want to be part of. It’s another reason why the Club’s membership has grown by 9% this year.” – Colin Hall, 2013 Sailing Committee Chairman

When asked what attracted top competitors to race at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, National Race Officer, Stuart Childerley, emphasized that, first and foremost it’s the quality of race management, supported by the generous welcome the competitors experience both afloat and ashore.

“The Club’s schedule creates a huge workload for the race management teams who are all volunteers. We are currently working with our colleagues at Hamble River and Warsash, on a training and development programme for all race officers, to increase our capacity and ensure that the Royal Southern continues to provide the best race management in the Solent,” explained Childerley.

Do your sailing events and/or host clubs need any re-tooling for 2014?

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