2009 NZ Postal classic


Well, the end is near. Finally got IC set and Footy FF-2 “Goldfoot” on the lake today. Posted 3 times this AM, some wind and lots of big motor boats and waves as there is a 3/4 mile fetch. Will post times at sunset.

The racing period is over,My thanks to those who competed in this novel form of model yacht racing.

Results 2009 NZL postal classic

1st Bill Hagerup USA razor 3 3 min 48 sec
2nd Frank Thorley USA FF-2 4min 03 sec
3rd Gary Sanderson GBR Mongoose 4min 09sec
4th Chris Huntington USA FF-2 5min 48 sec
5th Steve Huntington USA FF-2 5min 55sec

There was only the 5 entries,in this the 3rd year of the event I consider this a dismal failure,obviously this style of racing is not what anyone wants.At this point I wouldn’t bother trying to promote these races anymore.


Hi Brett,

Please don’t be discouraged about participation this year. There were some competing events and there are many new Footy skippers (like our group in the Pacific Northwest of US) who are just getting organized. We managed to get a Footy Internet Course constructed (mid July) but were just not able to get enough folks together to have time trials (some are still completing their Footys). We still plan to run time trials and will compare our results to the results of past Postal Classics even though our results will be unofficial. The NZ Postal Classic is such a great idea and so useful for newbie sailors. And it provides an opportunity for isolated Footy sailors to still be a part of the Footy community. We WILL have a contingent competing next year and would be happy to assist you in any way to keep this fine idea alive. Thanks for all you have done to provide these annual events.

Susan Van Syckel

Hi Brett,

We are sorry to hear that you feel this way about the postal event. We think that you are very mistaken in your assumptions. It would appear that there are a number of original Footy people who now have competition events to attend. For them the Internet idea is no longer needed. By the law of averages it is most likely that there are many times more people like ourselves that are isolated in Footydom. We actually intended to try for the postal event but didn’t really receive any encouragement to do so. We made a course and achieved 4:22 and 4:25 each but couldn’t meet your verification requirement because we are sailing in isolation. We also weren’t happy with our results as the course was more of a problem than our sailing. We have only used the course twice and snagged it once and had to cut it to retrieve it. Our efforts with the course so far have meant minimal sailing time versus mucking around time. Perhaps a better idea would be a continuous event where people can post their best time. We would love to see other Footys and sail against them but do not ever expect to do so. Therefore for isolated sailors, like ourselves, the Internet idea remains the only yardstick to aim for. We think that you have seriously underestimated the importance of the event.

Peter & Clare

I am in total agreement. Our group has 4 people, 3 of whom are Footy owners, and so far I am the only ‘traveller’, to another club two hours away, and they sail Footys only for one hour or so, in the evening.
Please continue the Postal Classic, and make it year round.
One aspect that needs to be considered, is that winds in mid-Continent sailing areas tend to be light and erratic during our summers, with better winds in spring and late fall (autumn). The present record Footy times are such that I suspect good and steady winds are required to achieve them. (That was the reason for my comment about 3min 18secs—"Gaaah!!!)
I sympathize about the difficulty of deploying the Footy course—we tow ours out behind a Soling 1M.

perhaps some else will pick up the ball…

Brett and all you other Footy skippers - Footy-Seniors of Portland Oregon would echo the desire to continue the Footy Internet Classic (See Susan’s post above). We built a course but failed to meet the July time frame. Let me suggest that you run the classic all year round on a quarterly basis. One month out of the quarter you could delegate to one person or group the responsibility for tallying and posting the scores for every one. Footy-Seniors would be willing to serve the Spring Quarter of 2010. We believe that this form of racing, lacking a large fleet to compete against, is the only way we can improve on our skill as skippers. If you choose to go this way this will give me four months out of the year to sail against the best - what more could I ask for.

Visit http://footy-seniors.com to learn more.

These guys have said it all Brett. I am, as we speak, referring Yeo Yam Teck (Sciflyer66 on Youtube), a guy I have just discovered in Singapore, to your site with last years times & this thread, saying that the internet course is the one “constant” footy sailors have to gauge how efficient (fast) their new creations are. I have found myself that testing a new boat or modifications to an existing boat is hopeless unless sailed against another boat of known pedigree. This is seldom possible, particularly if you live in isolation. The internet course is the one thing that pulls all of footydom together. I have often thought how good it would be if there was a monthly/quarterly league just as Peter & Clare mentioned, that way no matter where you live in the world, there is always a race coming up. Even better, when that race is scheduled for the one free day you have that month. Seriously mate, It will be a great loss if this race was abandoned instead of expanded.

Oh, and Frank. To come third by 6 seconds hurts man. I will be looking for you at next years nationals in Florida. (God willing) I’ll buy you a drink then.

Pete & Clare. Congrats on those very respectable times for first time boats that are only, what, six months old? Good job!!!


Hi Gary

Here is a little info on my time. The timer started as I passed the leeward mark to windward. Steve was on the timer as I approached the leeward mark the third time on a run and as I tried to round up, I hit the mark and it jamed between sail & hull stopping the boat dead. Steve said, should I stop the clock now? I said No, I have to pass the mark so the boat is in the same position as when we started the clock. Steve said I lost 5 to 10 seconds as the boat eased back away from the mark and finally passed the mark to finish. It sure doesn’t take much to stop a Footy. We were also dodging floating weeds as this was on a big lake with speedboats. This required multiple attempts to get 3 laps weed free…

I believe that the timing should simply be on the honor system. If someone wants to win so bad that they cheat, so be it. It doesn’t bother me. I believe most everyone probably feels the same way. Keeping it this way should help participation increase.

Here are the 3 times I posted on the last day:

Chris Huntington is my 12 year old Grandson (13 at end of August), so I assume he may be the top Junior. All times were set with newest boat, GoldFoot (007).

Thanks for the story Frank. It’s nice to hear about others experiences & a comfort to know that I am not the only one who suffers “eventful” outings. So many times I get to the end of the three laps & think it could have been better, if only……. In light of that, aren’t you glad it wasn’t me that beat you by 6 seconds.

Well done to Chris. It’s a record he can be proud of, at least until next time, when he will hopefully improve it.

I agree with you about the honour system. There is no victory in being dishonest. I want to be able to sleep at night.


I just got an advance copy of an article about Footys that will appear soon in a Chinese modelling magazine. The article includes instructions for building an Internet Course…so it’s far from dead, Brett.

I also suspect, having been guilty of this myself, that some people are sailing the course, but get times that they know are not competitive and don’t report them.

This year I was lucky to be in the UK with Gary, so I got better wind than I probably would have had back home.