Hi Pietro and Carol,
After reading the words from Alejandro Fresneda (I totally agree with him and I think that he is an expert voice) I would like to extend the discussion.
Open European Championship: (read more about opening the Europeans)
I feel that the European SCIRA and Europe National Secretaries are worried about clubs not about sailors. The Deed of Gift modifications seem to be on the side of clubs, leaving apart sailors. The modifications delete all wording about participants’ benefits (for example, free accommodation for one crew from each European country) and, for the first time, grant accommodations for Jury, Chief measurer, Scira Representative and Executive Director.
The modification also increases the Entry Fee (from 200€ to 250€).
The Snipe Class is a big family where top sailors represent maybe 10%. But what about the other 90% that never compete in a World or Continental Championship? Have they the right to be heard? The answer is yes, but the link was broken and their opinion never was asked. I´m talking about this point because it seems that the opinions of the top sailors matter more than the rest, and I think this is a mistake. We have to look for a new way to contact with all the sailors.
The matter that causes this letter: International Events (European Championship).
We have two opposite interests that are in conflict.
One side: Competitors
Other side: Clubs
What competitors want
– A club expectant with the Championship
– A club that offers facilities to competitors.
– A good level championship for participants, officials and jury members.
– Social events to talk with other competitors about races, class, any other thing; it is not necessary a formal dinner every evening; a BBQ or something similar would be enough.
– Help from the club to organize the logistics (airport pick up, hotels, etc).
What a club wants
– High participation
– Low cost
We need to find a balance between competitors and clubs, and this is the great mistake of the modifications of the Deed of Gift, where only clubs benefit.
Competitors don´t mind paying an Entry Fee (200€-250€) if they have something in return, you can be sure of this. But if competitors pay and they don´t have anything from the club they will feel disappointed and owing to this fact, even if the best officials and jury members are on water, the Championship will be a failure. And this occurs because 85% of snipe sailors are “Serious fun”.
We have to be aware that the conditions for competitors, most of times, are against club interest. For example: more social events (condition for competitors) mean more cost for the club (club interest). So that´s why we need to find the balance between them.
Imagine an Open International Event (Continental or World).
Imagine than this Open International Event is held by any club of USA, Brazil, Spain or Italy.
It will assume an increase of participation (club interest) because all of the boats from this club or country will participate, but there won´t be boats for charter in the club/country holding the Championship. This will increase the price for renting a boat and reduce the participation again (low offer increases the price) (competitors interest).
In those points are where we need to work to find a balance. Maybe, the club holding the Championship can not present more than 3 boats to this Championship (brain storming, pay no attention).
One solution could be two or more different entry fees (I used this approach for the Master European and Ladies World and it worked really well).
Reduced Entry Fee: 150€
Extended Entry Fee: 450€ including accommodation
The competitor will choose one of them.
For clubs it is easy to arrange with any hotels near the club good price for competitors and it doesn´t need to be special or have any cost for the club. It makes it easy for competitors to book accommodation through the club.
The modifications approved maybe will solve the problem at a short term but will not solve the problem over the long/intermediate term.
Another solution to promote, not at a short term but over the long term, the Class:
What about a 50% off Entry Fee for European Championship for those crews whose skipper, crew or both are Juniors or Women?
I think that we must be focused on increasing the participation instead of increasing the European participation.
What about those countries that since 2008 don´t attend the Europeans? Why? Has somebody write an email or phoned the National Secretaries to know the reasons? Is anyone worried about helping them to attend the next Europeans in 2014?
What about to change the dates for European Championship? From August to November or December, when hotels and flights maybe are cheaper?
What about if the Deed of Gift is not modified and the club holding the European has the right to invite (wild card) 5 – 10 crews from any country?
The damage that an Open European Championship can produce in the Nationals Championships is bigger than the benefit we could obtain in European Championship. We must not forget that the future of the Class lies in the fleets and in the domestic work inside the countries, every weekend, every year.
As you can see, there are several areas to work on before changing the Deed of Gift.
About rules, I will write another post.