Nobody joining this thread has to admit to arrogance or stupidity – but it might not be a bad idea!
Our post mortem from last Saturday, here in Colwyn Bay/Llandudno, has produced the following tentative conclusions.
For race organisers
With the 20 x 20 vision of hindsight, the idea of making 22 April the World Day for the NZ Postal Classic was probably not a good one. For this I take responsibility. When Doug promoted his event in Buffalo, I kicked myself for not having thought of the idea and went out of my way to promote similar events elsewhere. I failed to appreciate initially that Doug’s timing was that of reliable ‘soft’ water in Buffalo. The consequence seems to have been that very few people did anything until the 22nd and that build programmes were allowed to slip.
On the other hand, people seem to have got together physically and to intend to do so again. They also mostly seem to have had a lot of fun. This is a big, big plus in itself.
I suggest that for the next event (autumn), competitors be positively encouraged to submit results as they happen, right from day 1 of the contest. Local clubs/groups should be encouraged to run events à la 22 April, but not all on the same day. The idea should be to keep interest up (and a target in sight) throughput the month. Colwyn Bay Model Yacht Club is contemplating running such an event in the autumn.
Most of our lot come from big-boat backgrounds. What we have learned is probably obvious to you model yacht gurus, but it came as a nasty shock to us.
Basically, model yachts need to be much better prepared than real ones. A minor failure on a full-size yacht can generally be sorted out quite quickly, given a determined crew, a tool-box and a sensible supply of spares (often just string and shackles). The same failure on a model will often leave it totally disabled or sailing happily and uncontrollably off towards Ireland.
Further, much greater attention needs to be paid to water-proofing. That slight deck weep of no consequence whatsoever on a 30-footer turns into a substantial, electrics-disabling volume of bilge water on a 12-incher.
I know that all these things are pretty obvious – but they largely escaped us. Maybe others can learn from our mistakes – or tell us about their own huffalump traps that we have somehow missed.