International 12 foot dinghy

dinsdag 28 augustus 2012

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.