Hopefully you have all replied to the online Club Survey – have you?? Well, actually, I don’t think you all have…..
I checked in with the Club Office after racing on Sunday. Usually the guidance is that surveys of this kind do well if they get a 3-5% response rate. This survey, the first I can remember in a decade, has almost a quarter of Club Members replying. So, for sure, the responses to the survey will gain significant credibility with Club Management.
Is there anything to be alarmed about?? Well, the Flying Fifteen fleet has had 17 responses – out of 135 replies….. For Pete’s sake, the so called “Cat Fleet” (which is just a menagerie of about 6 classes) has got 26 votes in and is the largest responding fleet. So, “COME ON!!!” The Survey is not restricted to helms or owners, so we should have two votes coming in per boat, so where are you all? If you have done yours, actively check that your sailing partner has also completed theirs – otherwise we might get what we do not wish for…..
It’s all very well being the strongest fleet in the club, but this is a survey of Members – distinctly different I suggest to “Members who Race Regularly”. Half the votes cast have come in from just 4 classes – the Cat Fleet (Menagerie) has 26 votes, Flying Fifteens have 17, then about 20 votes are spread over RS100 and Lasers. About 70 votes have come in from one-off classes – and reflect the very non-class nature of our Club. Yes – the Albacore has voted…!!! The Menagerie Handicap Fleets have the majority here and are in danger of setting the agenda. I’d suggest that we need to get of the order of 30 Flying Fifteen votes cast quickly before the survey ends – around double the votes we have already cast. So, come on Guys – get moving. The survey takes 3 minutes max to fill in – two votes per boat ASAP. The survey closes soon….
So what might we find happening not in the direction that we might think appropriate or encouraging Class Racing??
Try this to start…. (Double click on graphs to enlarge them for easier viewing)
Note the depth of responses on whether the Club should run pursuits and “special” courses on Sundays. I see this as an agenda against Fleets, actually. This is for people who normally have nobody to race against because of the Class of boat they decided to buy. …. Note that 10am starts also had their opinion tested….. Winter Training Talks also got a lot of support.
The strength of vote for Sunday afternoon racing is interesting as generally when it is offered by the race team on a Sunday, only tiny numbers turn out. However, what we must consider here is that the bulk of people replying to this survey hardly ever go out racing anyway. I don’t know how the Club can filter opinion for that hard fact – Datchet Race Numbers outside the number of members racing Flying Fifteens is decidedly flakey.
Next possible area which might surprise you, given that 95% of responses are not form keelboat sailors – the importance of Pontoons…
Interesting, eh? Important to our Planned Capex as a Club….
What needs upgrading in our Facilities.?? Possibly no surprises, but see what you think….
What about the important income generators??? For myself, I get a very strong feeling that the Club is set up not for the benefit of its members, but for the benefit of its Open Meeting Visitors. I am pretty heartily sick of being crammed into tiny race courses, having to fight for somewhere to park your boat (let alone cars), and queuing out the door for a plate of Chips…. But take a look at what the members who have voted think about Income Generators…
There’s an interesting degree of support for Class Association training though….
So – I think you get a sense that important opinions are being voiced here. The answers too are sufficiently complex that they can be spun by interest groups – so we had better be ready to spin ours too…. Vote NOW please – don’t put it off….