PRACC 2021

November 22, 2020 Comments off

You don’t need me to tell you what a difficult year 2020 has been not only in our personal lives but the changes it has brought to society in general, as that famous saying has it “it aint over yet”. Sailing RA class yachts is not exempt from that either. The MYA has been looking in depth at what would have been 2020’s national racing calendar and has come to the same conclusion as most of us. In that there were too many events in a fixed period if time. Also, now with all that’s going on the emphasis has got to be in building up club sailing. Along with other classes that have long established series we have been asked to see if the series can be slimmed down. In the view of Peter, Mike and myself we needed to discuss this with our members and the clubs that have supported us before we make any changes. However, given the current circumstances that has just not been possible. As a class we have seen diminishing numbers sailing in the PRACC series to the point where its hardly viable to hold an event. That indicates action needs to be taken to halt that trend and turn things around, the request from the MYA has just brought that change evermore to the fore. The PRACC Series has been going a long time and in a radio sailing world now dominated by other classes PRACC is the only real place that we can enjoy sailing these boats in a competitive environment. There are not many clubs that hold club events for A Class either so that opportunity to sail is further challenged and that can’t be good for the class. So that’s picture, what are we suggesting?

Let’s look the PRACC series. There are a couple of options to consider but the only way it can be slimmed down is for the number of events to be reduced, so if we are to retain the PRACC Series what we are suggesting is that instead of single day events as now, we have a 2 day weekend event with two races and that there are 4 events in the year, Southern, South Western, Midlands and North, plus the National. Because our skippers are spread about England, we are suggesting that there is an event in the South West, in the South, Midlands and North. The National in 2021 is at Manor Park in October. That gives 8 PRACC races and the National. We have to weave into this as well, the Vets Nat, MD, SW and ND Champs but these can be coupled into suitable weekend events. As they are on a full weekend it makes turning up more worthwhile but also allows some skippers to pitch in for a day if it suits them. The model is very similar to IOM and M Ranking events. 

The dates for your diaries are:-

Hampton Court on 17/18 April, 
Bournville on 26/27 June, inc MD Champ
Askern on 11/12 September
National at Manor Park on 9/10 October 
Poole on 23/24 October  

Now that leaves a few clubs that have been staunch supporters of the PRACC series like Gosport, Eastbourne, Fleetwood and Woodspring without an event and our intent is to rotate the venues around in subsequent year’s so everyone has a fair crack of the whip. So, what can be done in the meantime, well we suggest that those clubs that have regular RA racing that they treat one of those events as an Open or a District Championship. That gives an opportunity to those outside of your club to sample the delights of your hospitality and to keep RA sailing alive in the clubs. Both of which are very important to the health of the class. 
I know it sounds like we are imposing a significant change, but something has to move if we want the class to build and succeed. Please, do let us know if you have any better suggestions because we genuinely do want to hear from you. Its your enjoyment and your boats so please talk to us.  As we have said in previous notes to you, don’t forget the Classic Class is now part of the equation as well. I know that there are several on the go, so let’s see them on the water. In the next piece we will set down what we consider is defined as a Classic.

Please keep safe and hopefully see you soon

Bill Green
RA Class Captain

Categories: News

A Class Racing in 2020

July 15, 2020 Comments off

Fellow sailors, it has indeed been a very strange year so far and it is only very slowly getting better.  We now need to look at the way forward, which of necessity will be slow, first we need the A’s out on the water at your clubs, if you do not already do it organise regular A Class sailing and racing days, I don’t actually think we can run much in the way of large events for some time and to this end the intention is to cancel the A Class National Championships for 2020, these will now move to 2021 at Manor Park at a similar time of year, we also are intending to run all the events we had planned for 2020 in 2021 just adjusting the dates by the requisite day to cope with the calendar. I understand that the event planned for Rotherham can’t be held next year and I’ll be talking to Askern to see if they can help out. In addition, the remaining two PRACC events at Gosport and Poole are also cancelled. It is possible that dates held in calendar can be used for A class racing can be held. Should this be the case I will let you all know.

I feel that an explanation of this is required and as you probably suspect it is due mostly to the ongoing pandemic. The demographic of the model yachting fraternity puts the majority of us in the vulnerable zone, thus congregation in large groups, overnight stays in hotels, etc are not the ideal situation. In addition, the MYA has a requirement that National level events should be available to all skippers who wish to attend, the possibility of local lockdowns in the case of surges in infections could happen at any time with very little notice, thus necessitating cancellations, we cannot ask a club to go to the expense and hard work of organising an event at this level, only to have to cancel at short notice.

The events, ie:- open meetings, we have in the calendar for the rest of the year are totally depending upon the regulations in force at the time of the meeting. I, for one, am sure I will go to meetings if I’m able and allowed to go but I will not be staying overnight and until things change and will not be walking up and down lakesides in a group of skippers. We at Bournville, like many other clubs, have developed the art of social sailing from a chair and it looks like that this is the way it will be for some time.

As you will appreciate this decision has not been taken lightly and I do realise this news is probably not that welcome in some quarters but I’m sure with some thought on the matter you will agree with our feelings and agree that this is the only safe way forward. Hopefully 2021 will be back to some form of normality and we can get back to sailing these superb yachts. If you look at this positively it gives those of you planning to join us in the Classic A Class fleet longer time to get them fettled up in the racing shape. Please take look at the International A Class and the MYA Downwind Facebook pages and you will find some interesting A Class things going on across the world.

Keep Safe

Bill Green

RA Class Captain.

Categories: News

Updates on PRACC 2020

June 1, 2020 Comments off

A Class PRACC and Midland District A, Bournville 7/8 August 2020

Bournville have advised us that due to a very heavy weed and algae growth it is highly unlikely that the event could take place. Add into the equation the current restrictions for Covid19 and its clear that, unfortunately the event is going to have to be cancelled. 

A Class PRACC 2020 Series

So many of the PRACC events have been lost to the understandable restrictions for Covid 19 that there are insufficient events to make the series meaningful so we have taken the hard decision to cancel the series for 2020. However, when we do return to competition, hopefully, later in the year if the host clubs are willing that the events for the A Class take place and we can once more enjoy sailing these cracking boats. We also have the chance for us to meet up again and enjoy one another’s company so let’s make the most of it. Don’t forget we brought into play the Classic Class so it will be good to see what gets dragged out of the shed to come out and play. If you take a look at either the Wooden R/C and Model Boats or the International A Class pages on Facebook you can see what Mike and myself have been up to along with several others.

A Class PRACC Series 2021

It would be fair to say that there is a lot of thought going on within MYA and the Districts as to what to do with the events for 2021, What we would like to do is to take the 2020 PRACC calendar and reuse for 2021 with the same respective dates and venues. That of course assumes that the host clubs are willing for that to happen, if the clubs are happy for that to happen then that’s 2021 sorted. If the clubs are not happy with that can they contact anyone of Peter, Mike or myself and we can agree any changes with you. 

On a final note I’d love to be letting you know all sorts of good A Class things but I’m afraid the current circumstances are not conducive of that. On a positive note there’s the National at Manor Park in October to look forward to as well as the seasons finale’s at Gosport and Poole. All of which are still on as we write this, obviously things may change and we will keep you posted. 

To all of you, keep well and see you soon. 

Bill Green

A Class Captain

Categories: News

PRACC 1 Postponed

March 15, 2020 Comments off

Hampton Court have decided to postpone the first PRACC event of the seanson, that was due to take place on the 22nd March, until later in the year.

Categories: News

New Year Message from the A Class captains.

January 1, 2020 Comments off

2020 is Here

Yep 2020 is here, another year and the beginning of another decade. So apart from being 2020 what the vision, if you’ll pardon the pun, to what’s new, what’s happening and, Heavens to Betsy, what’s changing.

Let’s take it from the top, the A class has not one but two Class Captains, Mike Ewart and Bill Green. If you haven’t already met either one you soon will. Mike is the one with the beard and hair the other has minimal amounts of either. Fairly easy to distinguish. Both have been around radio sailing for more years than you can shake a stick at and both have the A and 6m Classes to heart. Why two? I hear you ask, that’s very easy to answer Mike and Bill have worked together to make something of the 6m class and propose doing similar things for the A. That is not to take anything away from Bob Conner, he did a cracking job for far longer than he was supposed to, the Class is richer for his work and we all owe him a huge debt of gratitude. Thanks Bob. The PRACC series dates for 2020 are all set and can be found here, we have also shown the National and District Championships and there is an event coming to a lake near you.

Well that deals with what’s happening and parts of what’s new, so what’s the other bit?. One of the things about the PRACC series was that it didn’t consider what happens to the older boats. Most of them gather dust, are not sailed  and look a bit past there sell by dates. Glories of a yester year. Not anymore, no more excuses, a Classic Class is introduced into all the A class events to get those boats out of the loft, the shed or the dark. You no longer need the latest thing in carbon to compete, there are some beautiful A boats built in natures Hi Tech material that need a bit of TLC and a touch of bringing up to date. Now’s the time to do it. Whats a Classic? that’s simple its  design that is no longer competitive with the current premier fleet, it can be an Argo, a Sweet 6, a Priviteer, a John Lewis design etc. If you are not certain ask either Mike or Bill. Its not all about speed is about the history l, the tradition, the grace of the class and we will talk more of the tradition later.

OK the bit that’s left to mention is what’s changing. The class is seeking formal recognition as a Class Owners Group (COG) under the auspices of the MYA. Its not a big leap at all, it’s another step in the proposed changes to the MYA where the running of the classes is being devolved to the classes. In todays age that is the right thing to do. You may have seen the changes to the MYA Constitution and the COG’s are a fundamental part of that. Here is not the place to discuss that except to say that we believe is the right way to go for the class. A similar move has been made on behalf of the 6m Class.

There was mention of history and tradition, so there is little something for you to think about. In 2023 the A Class is 100 years old, yes that’s right, 100 years. That is something to celebrate and we have started to think seriously about it. Nothing is concrete yet and we need your thoughts about about what, where and how, so don’t be shy let us know because we certainly will be asking the question through out this year. Several suggestions have already been made and the feelers are out and about. Talk to us.

Heres to an interesting and challenging 2020 and see you on the water.

Mike Ewart and Bill Green

A Class Captains

Categories: News