International 12 foot dinghy

donderdag 30 augustus 2012

Dutch championship 2012

Dutch champion 12foot dinghy 2012: Martijn van der Pol (42) and his father Bob van der Pol (80). The races were organized by sailing club the Braassemmermeer on 24, 25 and 26 august 2011. 47 teams have inscribed: 46 Dutch and 1 German: Reinhard Schroeder.

The Dutch championship is open, which means that a foreigner can become Dutch champion. Reinhard did it the Italian way, he sailed all races on his own and won the single-handed cup. A lot of helmsmen had heard the weather forecast: heavy winds even up to 35 knots in showers and most of them decided to sail the dinghy with two persons. The dinghies got finally 26 knots in their 9,5m2 sail and because Dutch dinghies are classic and heavy they can handle it. Well, almost all of them! It happens of course that some dinghies capsized.

The first day there was no stable wind at all. Seven times the committee tried to make a valid start, but after a short time the races were always abandoned, because of a lack of wind. The second day four races were sailed and every time Martijn van der Pol was number one. An excellent result and the base for his final victory.
On the next day Pieter Bleeker / Geja van Ommen were in a good shape and won the last two races, also in heavy wind conditions.
It was not enough to give them the second place overall: Jeroen de Groot / Damy Jansen are sailing always consistant and ended at number two, just ahead of Pieter.
The dinghy of Jeroen has number NED368 and was build in 1935. A real classic! Pieter's brother Wim Bleeker was sailing with his son Marcel Bleeker and ended at number four. Erik van der Meer and his wife Jacqueline Bijder were number five.

After four races the fleet was split into a gold and a silver group. The silver group was won by Jan Bart and Blanche Lucas. A former world champion in the Solo class. On the first day they capsized, their mast hitting the head of another dinghy sailor Bert Bos. Fortunately no damage to persons or boats.

Results Dutch championship
gold fleet
silver fleet

Beautiful pictures taken by Wietske van Soest
picasa pictures

Anjo Klinkenberg and Erna Halbesma in action

Jeroen de Groot / Damy Jansen second in dinghy NED368, build in 1935

Dutch champion 2012 Martijn and Bob van der Pol in action. All pictures taken by Wietske van Soest

dinsdag 28 augustus 2012

Dinghy vision of Romain Berard (France)

Geja and me have met Romain Berard and Jack Salingarde at Lac des Settons, France. Nice people. We share the same hobby. Sailing in 12footdinghies. There is a lot of discussion worldwide about the course of the dinghy: Wood classic, Wood modern or Plastic modern. I have asked Romain about the three options of Reinhard Schroeder. This is his answer

Dear Pieter,

Regarding your question, if purity and equality is the goal to reach, the 3rd option should be chosen in my opinion. Boats with a lot of tuning possibilities could maybe find a way to block them before the race starts and thus become "traditional legal' (I don't know if this is feasible, I never saw a modern wooden dinghy. I bought an old boat and do not seek to make it more complex than it is. If I wanted speed, I would have bought a catamaran or even a jetski !

Same feeling when I did archery and stayed away from compound bows, with their pulleys, cams, aiming devices, releasing devices, etc. I went for historic bows, whether early 20th century, medieval or prehistoric.

A fourth solution would eventually be to give a different handicap to different types of dinghies just like in "interseries" races. It would take a few years and a few races but then an honest set of handicap figures would come out and fairness would return.

I'm not a real racer (even if I was thrilled to beat a Vaurien 4 times in Les Settons on Saturday and Sunday !) but I would not like to be beaten due to sailing a different type of boat only.

You know what? In the french sailing federation ratings, a Dinghy 12 is supposed to be slower than a Vaurien:

Code/Group/Name/Crew number/Rating/Race duration Factor
VAU.....D2......VAURIEN.........2.......1200....0.8333 2.5

And in a second email Romain wrote me:

To sum up my thoughts, as merging the fleets by deciding a new international specification seems impossible, I would be in favour of giving ratings to dinghys with the classes you mentionned: Dutch (always traditional), Italian tuned wooden boats, even plastic if necessary.

We could even compute a better handicap bonus to boats crewed by 2 compared to single crew. That way, there would be no need to leave people on shore even if the Beaufort is low (and a leaking hull like mine could be bailed and still have a chance to win).

There could be thus "interserie" international races on an equal footing. Local races would still be one-class.

It would give something like this (numbers are fictitious) to multiply the races duration with:

1 Crew 2 crews
Dutch specs 1,0 0,9
Italian specs wood 1,1 1,0
Modern D 12 1,2 1,1

I realize that the tactics would be quite different for an interserie race compared to one class, as the main goal (between different classes) would be to go as fast as possible instead of just being ahead of the next boat.

But I'm not a real tactician, so I could live with that !


Dinghy vision of Roland Bouwkamp (Turkey)

Dear All,

I have figured out - by now- that Luzern was a heavy event. For the sake of the discussion of the future of the 12 foot dinghy.
Of course I am not surprised. Slovenia was the eye-opener for me.

The difference between the dinghies -in order to be in one class- is too big and born out of different reasons.
For all discussion purposes I leave the complete polyester dinghies out of discussion. I see them either as Race monsters for people who want to own a formalua 1 car, OR ( and in my opinion realistic..) as a training boat to come back at sailing schools etc.

However I have to agree that even the creation of a wooden Dinghy Cup (as tried by La Scala and you guys) is not the answer. The difference in wooden dinghies is even too big. The italians are willing to go faster and change the design and origin of the boat. So far, the Dutch -stubbern as they are- have resisted all and any attempt to modernize the boat. The excuse: the legacy of George Cockshott. Right or wrong?? They do preserve the spirit and a 100 year old design. And that would have my preference.

Sitting on the shores of Portoroz and seeing that starting field I could not make out the difference between a polyester, a wooden or a pimped wooden dinghy. It was just a splendor to see this all. In that sense there is much to say for reinhards argument to have one start, but three classifications. The on-looker does not realize the difference from 10 meters distance….and that is the closest he will ever get.

I own a classic big sailboat, and I have changed that for my convenience. But the onlooker does not see that. The equipment to make my life easier is hidden and out of sight. A fridge or an electric winch does not change the boat, but it does increase my joy that I have from it. But it was not there in 1940…...

The Dinghy is -primarily- used for racing. Give the sailor something to work with. But do not change the look of the boat from 10 meters distance. And keep it within reason. From the mere sailing point of view the truth of how to equip a dinghy for a racer is somewhere between what the Italians now have and what the Dutch now have. A loose foot or an adjusted mast foot does not change the look of the boat from 10 meters distance, but it does give the sailor a lot of play, and makes racing challenging.

From a builders point of view: I am in trouble. The dutch market with their strict rules is too small. The swiss, german, french, turkish, croatian, slovenian market has not made up their mind. But I have felt that "new" customers tend to go for the italian dinghy. They have sailed everything in the world and now want a new -simple- challenge, but not without having all the means to explore their capacity as a sailor. And that is what the dinghy is all about: the sailor makes the difference, not his equipment.

I wish you strength and wisdom in your talks…….or just split up and everyone just goes back to its own little island….. But leaving it as it is now, with all these differences is NO OPTION at all, and demoralizing for all.

dinsdag 21 augustus 2012

Dinghy vision of Reinhard Schroeder (Germany)

in Luzern I discussed after the race with Francesca and Guiseppe the situation with the wooden dinghys.

I would like to tell you my opinion from the view of a race sailor who has
been sailing for half a year in the class.

I bought a new dinghy last winter in the Netherlands with a Dutch measurement.
The first races I have had in the Netherlands and I got the experience that
all boats - new or old - have more or less the same speed and it depends on
the sailor who will be in front.

Then I went to my first Cockshott Trophy in april in north of France.There I have had the same experience.

The next Cockshott in Italy, Portofino was quite different. The GRP-dinghys
where much faster and just “another class”. And there were wooden dinghys
which were in a lot of details pimped up, to get a better trimming of the rigg
and the sail under various wind and weather conditions and also much easier
for the sailor to do this trimming while he is hiking. The most of these pimped up
wooden boats where in front of the traditional dinghys because they have a must
higher speed potential.

The same experience I have had at the World Cup in Portorose and also end of
July in Luzern. I get frustrated …

For me there are 3 types of 12 foot dinghys with different speed potential
· GRP dinghys
· Pimped up wooden dinghys
· Traditional wooden dinghys
Racing together with one ranking for all is not fair.

So from my point of view to travel to a Cockshoot Trophy might be nice from
the “event side” but isn’t from the sportive side. It is the same with the
two “types” of wooden boats in one ranking for example at the World Cup
or in Luzern.

I see three ways to solve the problem.

First way:
· We can have the same event with the 3 types.
This is important for the class, for the organization,
the clubs and the sponsors.
· We can have also one start for all (or 2 or 3 starts)
· But we need 3 separate rankings for the results
I think this is the easiest way to have a fair competition and nothing must change.
The only what we have are 3 result

The second way is to harmonise the wooden boats. I appreciate the work of
Francesca, Lorenzo, Steve and Pieter. Up to now I see no results and I think
it will be some years more until they will have a solution which must also be
aceptet by the owners to pimp up or rebuilt there dinghys.

And the third way is - if the above proposals would not work – to organize
for 2013 an international serie for traditional wooden dinghys. The chance for
this is might be quite good. In France there are only traditional wooden dinghys,
the same in the Netherlands, England, Litauen and about 80% in Switzerland.
And the 4 German wooden dinghys are traditional ones. This new serie could
be a step between the harmonizing – second way.

I prefer the first way: It is very simple and I don’t know what will be against it.
If there will be no decision about this “problem” of the wooden dinghys the
international series might loose there attractiveness on the sportive side
and will have lesser international participants and every country will do his
own thing. This would be a pity for the class and may be also for the sponsors.

So my request to you as an “official” is to find a solution for 2013.
What will be in your view the best way for the next year?

Just another aspect:
- Francesca tell me that the wooden dinghys should go “with the time” and
pimping would be ok. I don’t agree. When one decided to buy a modern and
fast single handed dinghy he buy a Musto Skiff, a D-one or may be a Finn dinghy
- or a GRP 12 foot dinghy. The very special at our 12 foot wooden dinghys is that
we we sailed more or less the same like at the Olympics 1920 and 1928 and that
is what make the wooden dingy so unique in our actual world of carbon and mylar
and brings that bright lights in the ears of sailors … But there are different opinions

to this and it is ok. In the first way everyone can go his own way.

Dinghy vision of Fred Udo

Ninety years ago, our dinghy was a truly international Olympic class.
There are still traces of this from that period: The dinghy was sailed in the Netherlands, Japan, Italy and Germany ever since. There were some contacts between the different fleets, but that was incidental (Dutch in Italy and Japanese participation in what the late Pim Reimering called the "International Friendship Regatta" (Pentecost). The last ten years, contacts were intensified and we read in the Bulletin how a wonderful holiday result from an expedition to an Italian race.
A milestone in this development was a meeting of about 20 sailors in the Jolanda hotel in Italy, where after a day on the water and the consumption of many bottles of wine they agreed that this should happen more often.
I leave to the reader to decide if the agreement was about the sailing or the bottles of wine.
The "Jolanda Protocol" was born, as can be found on the site of Steve Crook.
Here I quote only the introduction of the Protocol ::
"For the first time in the history of the 12-Foot Dinghy One Design Class, fleet representatives from seven countries met to discuss with the following important topics of mutual interest:
• 1. How to Promote, Develop and organize international activity.
• 2. How boats from different countries can compete on an equal footing.
• 3. Can the class regain its international ISAF status?

The language is somewhat exaggerated:
a. There exists no "12 foot dinghy one design class"
b. "Fleet representatives "is a fancy word for participants in a sailing event.
This tendency to use exaggerated language often shows up in texts on international affairs around the dinghy.
Point 1 is only useful if many sailors are willing to travel thousands of miles to go for a holiday with the boat. The competition just can never be a reason in itself, because the boats in different fleets are too diverse to speak of serious races. Point 2 deals just about that.
Point 1 in itself is harmless and has led to the international website which is an excellent source of information about the activities elsewhere. Partly due to this there are now 22 boats in France and that the undersigned has spent already three holidays with the boat in France. The competitions are not of a high standard, but Emmy and I have acquired a lot of friends there. This is a personal experience, but which is now open for everyone thanks to point 1.

Point 2 is the major stumbling block.
It is one thing to enjoy a holiday abroad, but as last week appeared in Luzern, it is another matter to give up established traditions for an international standard of our beloved boat. This holds both for the Dutch and the Italians. Unfortunately we are not talking about the same boat with the same traditions.
A good example is the boat speed at light wheather:
Tom Reyers was the best Dutchman in Luzern with a 16 th place, but he sailed in a borrowed Italian boat.

The arguments of the Italians are strong;
By modern developments the boat appeals to young people.
In Italy many new boats are built in both plastic and wood. Recently, a series of 10 beautiful wooden boats was built on the famous yard of Ernesto Riva. The hull is virtually identical to the Dutch boats, but the equipment and the rig comes from another world than ours. Here I give some examples:

A solar panel to drive an electric bilge pump.
A rudder having half the weight of ours.
An installation to adjust the main halyard during the sailing.
Adjustment of the lower and upper-body of the sail from the cockpit

The fantasy in Italy is not restricted and that leads to many unexpected solutions.
Compare this with the tight Dutch rules, where even a main sheet block with clamp is forbidden and for years even the vane on the mast was not accepted by our rules. There is one Italian feature, which is accepted by all Dutch nationals as soon as they cross the border: the loose footed sail.

In Luzern, thes two traditions collided head on.
Pieter Bleeker, who for years has promoted the international contacts, was confronted with the fact that the Italians stuck to their pimped rigs wanting no change. Pieter thought that compromises were possible, including concessions from the Dutch side, but apart from the question whether the members of the Dutch jollen club ever would accept any concessions, this was taboo for the Italians.
Exit point 2.

The short answer to point 3 is NO.
When one digs somewhat deeper in the ISAF rules for founding a new international class, one realizes immediately that this is not feasible for us.
After this three points the protocol continues with a page full of text with good intentions, but in light of the above it is clear that the rest of the "Jolanda Protocol" in practice had not much impact. A triumvirate has been created consisting of Pieter Bleeker, Steve Crook and Renzo Santini.
These three extremely sympathetic gentlemen have the best intentions and we find that all fine as long as they are not interfering with the national class rules..
The increased international contacts are very good for the class, but negative effects are arising from the ambitions to create true international competition, because real competition implies standardisation of the boats.
It is not realistic to create match series with dozens of awards, while the differences in the boats make a real competition impossible. The Cockshott Trophy is a good example.
It is unfortunate that a well intentioned gesture by the family of the creator of the class degenerates into a point of contention between the different fleets.
According to the Italians, the Cockshott Trophy contests are open to wooden and plastic dinghies, so our Pentecostal event disappeared from the agenda, because our races are only open to wooden boats.
An idea to upgrade the competitions in France by upgrading the Aillette event to a Cockshott Trophy event has failed miserably. However, the Dutch and French participants in the contests in L'Aillette have not missed the trophy at all.

It could be inferred from these problems, that it is the antagonism between the wood and plastic, which ruined the discussions. That is not so, because Luzern was an event only open to wooden boats.
There is now a new Trophy only for wooden boats: The 'Classic 12' Dinghy International Series. I was awarded the second prize in the Vintage Class. It is outside the scope of this article to explain why I received this price.
This 'Classic 12' Dinghy International Series "is as meaningless as the Cockshott Trophy as long as a" 12 foot one design dinghy class "does not exist.

Politics is the art of the possible and it seems to me necessary to evaluate the feasibility and the meaning of the various initiatives seriously before implementing them. Unintentional effects can make that good intentions have disastrous consequences.
Monnickendam, 6 August 2012.