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Gareth Martel

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About Gareth Martel

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  1. Gareth  Martel

    An Important Class Message

    Hi all, Id like to start first of all by adding my thanks to both Joe and Martin for the years of service to the class, and what I have considered to be an excellent job. And welcome back of course to Chris! A few thoughts from me- 1. Publicity etc- this was discussed at the AGM, and I think that the objective of increasing the classes visibility is a great one. How this is done is of course a little more difficult. The most basic thing for me that the class could do is to make sure that there are photos! A professional photographer at all the big events would be a great thing, and might well cost the class very little, with an arrangement that the association is provided some for promotional purposes, and the rest of us can buy as we desire. I realised the other day that I don't have a single decent photo of So sailing, and Im sure that enough of us would want to buy photos, so that all the class would likely have to do is guarantee a minimum of orders. Worst case we use a few of the surplus pounds in the bank. How we get those photos out there is of course the next thing, but it gives us something to try to show the exciting racing we have. I had difficulty with getting crew for the nationals, and had three different people as my 4th at the nationals, all new to sonata racing, but experienced racers. All three were shocked by how fantastic the racing was. We need to spread the word. 2. The class owned boat- I accept that this may be a silly idea, but I wonder could we use this as a way of promoting the class to some younger sailors? Run a competition of some sort with the youth sailors in the region of the nationals, the prize is a sonata ready to race for them at the nationals?? Liase with the local class to see how this competition might be done. Maybe even run it at a boat show?? Im not sure the boat is up to a nationals at present, however between us all Im sure we have enough kit in the garage etc that we could give up to turn it into a boat which could reasonably compete. For example could happily donate a no1. By turning it into a competition, could this produce enough interest? Im not sure, but could at least get another boat on the start line, could even get another crew into the class. The boats are so very cheap now that a youth crew could buy and run a Sonata for less than a laser, the key is to get them interested (and make sure they know that its not expensive to run) 3.The travelling bursary- Im a big fan of this. I actually believe that it may make the difference between travelling and not for some crews, and if it does add even a couple of boats at the events then it is worth it. Ultimately it is (in my opinion) the racing side of the class which represents the more active side of class activities, and this should be supported. I should add that just because it is there members don't need to claim it. I chose not to this year as I was only an hour up the road, cranes were included and I stayed on board, so was a cheap event. Lining events close to each other may help increase entries also, for example should the nationals be near the southerns, and it possible to drive to one, leave the boat for the other, then drive back, that would be of interest, although logistics of course are often difficult. 4. Definitely keen for t-shirts/polo shirts etc, after all its free advertising, especially if we could personalise to our own boats. Many of us already do this. Would like to see the return of battle flags also. Maybe large stickers for your car/trailer?? 5. I don't believe that there is a need for any sort of reduction in membership fees. £25 is a very reasonable price, and I suspect an early bird discount of £10 would lead to a significant reduction in income, and the income should be protected to use to promote the class. An annual direct debit however (perhaps with a small reduction incentive to maybe £20 ) would be a massive improvement. I didn't race last year annoyingly, so never thought to join the class, though would have happily. I would sign up for a renewing direct debit in a flash. Paypal should be an option to (at the higher price), the process of joining should be as easy and simple as possible. People don't like digging out code cards for bank transfers or bothering to send cheques. As a small aside I don't think "if you race a Sonata type boat in any race at all where your status/handicap is based on your boat conforming to the Class Rules and are not an NSA member, your boat is NOT a Sonata" is the way our class should be putting our case to potential new members, nor am I sure that it is accurate if you are racing off handicap (IRC or other). Rather we should be saying that theres lots of us out here with a good active community, and benefits to being a part of it. 6. Finally with regards to events, I see the benefit to the week long nationals, and the four day event. I was thinking about this at length and actually I am not sure which will produce more entries, or even I prefer. I remember the last time I raced a sonata on the lakes (cant recall which one) we raced 4 races a day, and it was great. So lots of races per day is definitely my preference. I agree absolutely no reason to not allow 2 handed boats. The rules could easily simply be simplified to allow any number of crew, but that number not to change over the event (to prevent changing for conditions) Anyway, thats a few thoughts from me from my perspective. I suppose I am in a slightly odd situation where I am not part of a fleet anywhere, somewhat of a nomad! Its the standard of the events, and the people who attend them that make it worth having the boat even though it spends most of her time on the trailer, because it is worth it when I can get together with all of you! Gareth So 8217N
  2. Gareth  Martel

    IYE Mast Foot

    Nightmare. Yeah, that definitely can not be fixed. Easiest fix would be if anyone has an old bent/broken IYE mast they might give/sell you the foot from. Try the Sonata Facebook group and also the West Coast Snottas Facebook group, might find someone there.
  3. As Murray says I don't think that either will clash with WHYW. I must say that I am disappointed that the 4 day event seems to be becoming the norm now. It certainly is less enticing to travel the length of the country for 4 days racing than when it was for a week. After all, for example a regatta run thursday to sunday requires at least the wednesday and the monday off of work, so one more day of annual leave opens up the full week for racing. I suspect that clubs are resistant to the idea of a week long regatta, and it may be that sailors are increasingly less keen on it also. It is a very expensive prospect to tow the boat that far for four days racing. The Strangford class managed to raise enough for a £400 travel rebate for visiting boats. Its no coincidence that they managed more boats than this year despite the fact that a ferry trip was involved. It would be great to see some more of this. The other thing that is a factor for travelling boats is that it is often a little difficult for folk to take a little bit of time off in two separate weeks, particularly in the height of kids holidays, when many colleagues will have booked weeks off over monday to friday, and with the event finishing on a sunday, that is unfortunately necessary. I would have thought that for the same reason a thurs- sunday event may well suit local boats better than a fri-mon possibly? I am pleased that the class is considering other big events this time around, as Dave may feel that he ran a very successful event and "took it on the chin" but several of us were very disappointed that his club chose to run the event over the biggest yachting event of the year in the North, despite several appeals against this, and effectively made sure that Northern boats were not able to compete. Numbers travelling from other ends of the country may be small as Dave says, however it is the responsibility of the organising club and the class as a whole to encourage boats to travel, otherwise it simply isn't a national championship. In any case, allowing for the unexpected events that could happen in the next 2 years, we will be planning to attend for either of those dates. Theres a bit of renewed enthusiasm up north at present, and with a bit of enticing I think there could be a few others who would join us!
  4. Gareth  Martel

    deck hardware for sale

    John, I'm trying to get my hands on an anchor fairlead for the bow of So. Would you be able to sell me hers? Gareth
  5. Gareth  Martel

    West Highland Week- any tips?

    After being gutted to miss Scottish Series this year (some selfish relatives with awful timing for a wedding) we are going to venture into the unknown and have a go at west highland week. Has anyone on here done it on a Sonata before? any tips? I have had a look through the CYCA handicapping, it seems that they consider a sonata to be a rocket ship, for example giving a Contessa 27 nearly 4 minutes in the hour!? Has anyone raced a sonata on CYCA before, is it realistic to do well or should we stock up well with beer and have a social trip (the crews favourite option (actually thats their favourite option at all events!)). We will of course be staying on board so any shore or racing tips will be well received! Where would you recommend to berth in Oban? We intend on squeezing in somewhere on the pontoon in Tobermory, we wont have a tender! Cheers Gareth
  6. Hi all, gutted to not be at the nationals, that was an impressive turnout! I was sure I had read the plans for the Northerns this year, but can't now find it anywhere, what's the craic?
  7. Gareth  Martel

    Scottish series 2012

    Good job Mark, was thinking of sending something similiar. I will drop them an email also to lend support to yours. Certainly seems daft for them to expect one design boats to go out and buy a load of kit they dont need, particularly since these are the people who are supporting the event! Think Chris has the right idea, we can inspect each other and it will all be fine. Also thought I would mention in my email that I am a bit dissapointed they have dropped us to 2 races for saturday, when all others are doing three. Heres hoping the wind forcast comes up or the pasage races on fri + sunday are going to be awfully long for us at the slower end of the handicap! Gareth (also will ask around Mark, see if I know anyone who might be able to crew for you)
  8. Gareth  Martel

    Scottish series 2012

    That's our entry done and dusted, now just have to get the boat back from getting her new look and try to work out what we broke at the Northerns last November! Mark are you still looking good to enter? Deadline is this Friday I think
  9. Gareth  Martel

    Replacement Bow Fitting

    Umm, so despite new ownership, and in fact a facelift, So.. Still has a split anchor fairlead. Anyone now know where to get a replacement? Anyone know of a terminally ill sonata with bits for sale?
  10. Gareth  Martel

    Engine swap anyone?

    On sorting the boat for the season I had a wee thought about our engine. We are currently using a 4hp four stroke, good running nick, reliable engine. (long shaft obviously!). Ideally I would like a 3.5 2 stroke long shaft, primarily because it's lighter, and will just about push the boat. We race, and don't really cruise. Anyone find themselves in the egress situation, and fancy an engine swap? I'm definitely not interested in buying an engine, after all the one I have does the job, but if you might be interested in a bit more power, give me a shout
  11. Gareth  Martel

    Scottish series 2012

    Great news, well that makes a minimum of three of us, and hopefully more! Is there not an argument (for next year perhaps) of including this as the Scottish champs? I see the SB3 are doing this, and would certainly raise the profile, perhaps encouraging more to travel! We are just finalising our preparations, boat is off tomorrow morning to receive her makeover, and we are really looking forward to getting to Tarbert. Any sign of anyone else jointing us?
  12. Gareth  Martel

    Members Only Forum

    I'm afraid I can only agree with this. I would be amazed if the forum has ever been this quiet since it's creation. I thought it was the winter thing, but now with the season kicking off this is when I would have expected more discussion! Its fair enough to have a dedicated section for 'sensitive matters' which is limited to members, but the rest has to be reopened in my opinion. I remember reading it before buying my first sonata, and the depth of support and interest really encouraged me into the class. This needs to be changed at the AGM if it cant be before, although to be honest this wasn't voted on, so I don't see why it can't just be reversed.
  13. Gareth  Martel

    Scottish series 2012

    Hi all, Quiet on the forum these days, hopefully that is just the off season! So, what is everyones thoughts on Scottish series this year? I know numbers were down last year but surely this is one we do not want to give up on? Great racing, get to meet up with other classes, the social scene is excellent, it's definitely up there with the nationals as our favourite events of the year. Add in to that it's over a bank holiday this year, and entry fee has been reduced. So.., is sitting in the driveway over here in Northern Ireland (still waiting for her promised paint job!) so it's a bit of effort for us to get there but we have had a chat as a team and if there's commitment from others to go, we will be there! So come on guys, who is going to join us?? Gareth
  14. Gareth  Martel

    Goacher Main

    Is it 1998 or 2008? If 2008 may be interested
  15. Gareth  Martel

    Painting the hull

    That's a definite, crew organised, beer money saved, I'm good to go!