What would you like to see in DB Week?

The Committee is well aware that although the average attendance since 2000 has been 22 boats with the last two years being 26 & 27 the current format of our annual week is not to everyone’s taste and we need to review the format in order to maintain let alone increase attendance.

Before launching a formal survey of members we would like to encourage you to make any relevant comment as to how you are thinking. To do this you just have to enter your name and email with your comment using the form below.

To encourage this here are some thoughts from committee members.

9 thoughts on “What would you like to see in DB Week?

  1. David Cake

    Regarding the ideas for a survey of members, I will kick off the areas I feel are of priority regarding dayboat week and what we would like to know from the fleet. Please edit or add to the following:

    1. Would a shorter event be of interest. For example a 3 day event with a similar amount of races.

    The suggestion is that a whole week can be expensive and difficult to arrange with time off work and family commitments. However we do realise a large proportion of the fleet like dayboat week because it is a whole week of holiday & socialising. However a shorter event can always be just part of a longer overall social week with the competitive racing over the first 3 days and other events arranged over a longer period. An example would be the five points races on Saturday Sunday Monday (we already have a mid week prize giving), then the Long Distance, Pursuit race, Opportunity Race(s) and cruising slots on Tuesday Wednesday Thursday. Of course the points races should still take priority and if necessary can be scheduled later in the week depending on weather.

    2. Would you be interested in more races. Possibly through a higher number of shorter races (no overall increase in time on the water) or an extra points race in the week.

    Many fleets now have 6 races in a weekend. Whilst that is not probably conducive to our class nor practical in the current locations we sail that are so tidal, it does make us look rather old fashioned (not necessarily a bad thing!). However dayboat racing is not high speed or high risk and therefore once the first couple of laps are done there tends to be a status quo which means little changes at the front and perhaps only minor changes throughout the fleet with the tail enders getting more and more despondent about the gaps opening up in front of them and little opportunity to catch up. Therefore it might be an idea to reduce the overall length of the races to give more opportunity for extra races.

    3. Would you be interested in more opportunities for time on the water either through more racing or other sailing “events”.

    Similar to no.2 but keeping current format and finding out if members would like more of the same. We tend to have afternoons off etc which some enjoy (need) but some find frustrating when its their main sailing week of the year and they came to sail.

    Other thoughts

    I’ve tried to do some “market research” looking at similar classes, and interestingly the Albacores had their Nationals at Parkstone YC over the bank holiday weekend in August with 5 races (some cancellations) and 36 boats. In 2012 they were in Torbay again over a long weekend with 7 races (42 boats). Of course it is naturally a larger fleet but interesting comparison nonetheless. Also some ideas for venues considering where they have sailed. The GP14s are in Barbados next year by the way! 11 races over the week. The UK Nationals are in Brixham.

  2. John Lokier

    1. Would a shorter event be of interest? For example a 3 day event with a similar amount of races.

    We need to be clear whether this is a 3 day event to replace Dayboat week, a 3 day event in addition to Dayboat Week, or a combination. The question suggests a “shorter event” but then goes on to explain that it could be a 6 day event. Perhaps there should be a question for all three possible events?
    If it is a combination as described, then the questionnaire needs to take account of the following:

    Would there be two entry fees, one for those wishing to enter the 3 day event (and then leave), and those wanting to enter the 6 day event.
    For those entering the 6 day event, arrival would need to be on Friday, thereby reducing accommodation options by excluding any Sat-Sat lettings.
    Points races cannot be rescheduled for later in the week as some of the 3 day eventers will have left.
    We’d need to visit the reasons for awarding cups/trophies as although some can be allocated to the 3 event, some span the whole 6 day event, so would we allocate cups to the first 3 days and others to the second 3 days?

    2. Would you be interested in more races. Possibly through a higher number of shorter races (no overall increase in time on the water) or an extra points race in the week.

    This question asks two questions think it needs to be split, one for higher number of shorter races, and one for an extra points race.
    I’d say it makes us look different rather than old fashioned.

    3. Would you be interested in more opportunities for time on the water either through more racing or other sailing “events”.

  3. Bob Davis

    Need to be careful (very) in framing the questions. Questionnaire design is very scientific! I can only claim limited knowledge but I think we need an ‘open’ questionnaire (aimed not just at DB week ‘racers’ but also at others who attend or might attend an ‘Event’) which extracts the key information about what current DB Week regulars want and what would make it more appealing to those who do not attend (regularly or at all). The questions need to cover the issues of venue, timing, number and lengthy of races, availability (or not) of social activities etc etc. But it is perhaps a mistake to suggest at this stage specific options (such as a 3 day weekend event) because these raise further issues (as you have identified) which will tend to make it difficult for members to give useful answers unless qualified by “it depends…” or “how would this work?”

    What we really need to know is whether there is a case for changing our DB Week format to attract more members to our annual event, and what the general direction of these changes should be. We could then float more detailed proposals. We could take the view that we can attract 20-25 boats and everybody seems happy with the arrangements. But that is not a good reason to decide to leave things as they are – standing still often means drifting backwards. So there is certainly a case for canvassing members’ views and I think it is likely that some changes will emerge. A healthy debate, anyway.

  4. Barry Colgate

    The Committee’s question raises a number of interesting issues.
    Firstly, a couple of over-riding points
    1. I suspect many members do not regularly view the website, and therefore will not see what has been posted. Would it not be better to do a round-robin email questionnaire?
    2. We have one major problem as an Association – there are no boats in the ‘gene pool’, and so in general it is difficult to increase membership nos.
    We need to devise ways of making it easier to get more new boats which, in turn, increases the ‘gene pool’.
    Two thoughts:
    * Would members be willing to help rig a new boat to save on those costs?
    * Rather than go to the Dinghy Show, use that money to help subsidise a new boat

    Turning to Day Boat weeks my thoughts are:
    • I see no point in trailing a long way for a short 3 day event. Members commit for the week. Also trying to get short term lettings at that time could well be problematical;
    • I go to sail – against boats of the same class and to enjoy the social side. So less sailing would not get my vote;
    • I would certainly favour more races, shorter but interesting. I agree with David that after a while the ‘scene has been set’ so why not two races of 45/60 minutes each, rather than one two hour race;
    • Should we continue the long distance race? If you look at the numbers it’s not very popular compared to the points races;
    • Previous DB Weeks have tended to be expensive because they have been held during school holidays. I am glad we are trying to move away from that;
    • Are members put off by tidal racing? Personally I think the best DB Weeks have been Fishguard, followed by Castle Cove and Torquay. Should we not aim for more open water DB Weeks which in turn might attract more entrants?
    • The Committee should fix DB Week dates for several years hence, and the venue bookings.
    Then the three main DB clubs should be encouraged not to have any points racing in their respective calendars over that week which involve YWDBs which, in turn, should encourage more club members as they would not be missing out locally.

    More generally, a conundrum. Bosham now has some 21 Day Boats but by and large cannot get more than 50% on the water for standard club racing, and I think Poole is the same. Is this the same problem for DB Weeks? Maybe we have to accept people are far busier and that for some sailing is not the highest priority.

    1. David Cake

      Good Points Barry and I will circulate the link to this discussion on Facebook so more are aware. This is just a precursor to a member wide survey. We want everyone to have a say.

      Regarding club racing during dayboat week, we took the decision at Poole a few years ago to allow anyone attending DB week to score average points in the races they miss. This seemed to help and may be copied. Of course there are some at Poole that won’t travel so wouldn’t like the club racing to stop. But possibly a more practical idea at other clubs.

      Your point on tidal racing is very interesting and not one we raised directly.

      I certainly think fixing for the future would be useful although we will have to see how practical that is with some clubs. The only danger being that some might say I’ll miss this year because I’ll definitely do X next year.

      I don’t have an answer to the gene pool. As an association rather than a manufacturer with stock on hand and a marketing dept. it is difficult conundrum but more ideas will only help.

  5. STeve and Annette Wilson

    As class ‘newbies’ with a boat still at Chris Somners (DB675), we would like to comment from experience of racing Albacores for 35+ years, being involved with their national committee quite a few of those years and being part of similar debate about nationals format over a long period.

    The traditional format of a week with 6 long races, one per day, was the norm for many years and got good attendances. The 3 day version was introduced initially as an experiment. It suited some but not others. Those who saw it as their annual holiday didn’t approve because they were at sea a long time and didn’t get family time. Those who travelled a long way were also unimpressed. Accommodation issues for a friday to sunday weekend lead to people camping, something which may not suit the DB fraternity (ok Bob and Kath Davis and maybe others have a camper van!).

    The three day format put us off completely and we stopped doing nationals. Not worth the hassle, maybe long drive, accommodation etc. Also a very long day at sea was too much. If it included a long sail out (e..g. from Parkstone out into the bay) then hanging about for wind to settle to allow a course to be set (twice of course – two long races) and then a long sail back in turned it into an endurance test.

    Term time didn’t work for the Albs, but in that fleet there were quite a few families with school age children. That maybe applies far less to the DB fleet.

    Yes we go the a nationals event mainly to race, but to enjoy it too. Its also a holiday and social event – we will have our daughter, son-in-law and twins aged two and a half with us in Salcombe.

    Think carefully before you change anything…..

    Steve and Annette

  6. Peter and Julie Drake

    Having invested in the building of a new YWDB last year and (we believe) our boat has been ‘the most sailed/raced’ Dayboat in the Association, we feel extremely disappointed that we have been excluded from attending the 2015 Dayboat Week as the committee have made a conscious decision to move the week to School Term Time, thereby excluding anyone associated with education: anyone of school age, teachers, and families of those at school.

    Although we have always understood that the Dayboat Class wishes and needs to encourage younger sailors and young families to take up Dayboat sailing in order to ensure the future of the Class, it seems therefore to be a huge mistake to hold the ‘Annual Event’, which is the highlight of the year, at a time when anyone of school age, their families or teachers simply cannot attend and compete – it is illegal to take children out of school during term time and schools are under increasing pressure from the government to report parents who may then and are being prosecuted!

    By virtue of the fact that those people are unable to attend the Dayboat Week, this also means that they are unable to attend the YWDB AGM to discuss this very matter and other matters which affects them very much, so at the AGM the full membership will not be present to put their views and listen to the views of others. This important aspect of a meeting (AGM), presenting and listening to different arguments is completely missing in an online survey.

    Although we and other affected families and teachers fully appreciate that accommodation costs are higher during school holiday times, attendees still have CHOICE over where they stay and what their budget for accommodation may be. However, youngsters/families/teachers simply have NO CHOICE as to whether they may attend or not !!

    We appreciate the dates for 2015 YWDB Week cannot be altered, but we hope that if it is in fact the wish of the Dayboat Class to encourage the younger generation, their families, teachers etc to participate in the class fully (including the Annual Event) then we trust that future Dayboat Weeks will be held during school holiday time – where the class can show the ‘outside world’ that the Dayboat Class is well supported through a wide age group of sailors and therefore hopefully encourage new members and their families to join. This subject was also discussed at the 2014 AGM but has not been given the same consideration as accommodation costs.

    It is important to remember that the 2014 Dayboat Week which was held in Rock (a very expensive place to stay) was generally considered to be very well attended.

  7. David Morrice

    We haven’t atttended ywdb for a couple of years now for various reasons, but we are still sailing away on our midlands pond. However, I must echo the last entry by the Drakes, as we are in the same situation re- term time. It is a shame because my kids are of an age that they an safely crew in the boat, and the chance to sail at sea is missed. On the other hand places such as Salcombe and Rock are very expensive at half term, so one can understand the rationale for the trial if most travelling members don’t have school age children. We went to the Saundersfoot open week and the Bala weekend last year so do travel quite a bit and all that entails. The ywdb week will be out of the question for us though in the current format. It is much more possible for us to take the kids off from a Friday and a Monday to make a long weekend (especially towards the end of terms).


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