Many of you may or may not be aware of the RYA’s recent approval of a proposal to amend the current Class classifications in particular non canopy 3C boats, that no longer qualify for Class 3C (due to the UIM canopy ruling) have an alternative British status platform on which to race.
Also within the proposal it was sought to widen the criteria for entry qualification for 4 alternative classes so that it would included as many boats as possible that might currently exist.
To that end the proposal was for 4 British CLUB Classes, that have British Championship status, and these are..... up to 115hp - F3, up to 200hp - F2, up to 350hp - F1 and Unlimited. Class 3B, 3C and V24 will still exist, and these boats will race alongside the British CLUB Class boats, and points will be awarded accordingly, as for National racing.
As stated above these proposals have been accepted by the RYA and for the 2012 season will be adopted. There will be 6 Races that constitute the British CLUB Championship, and at the moment these events are..... TORQUAY, POOLE, LITTLEHAMPTON, FOLKSTONE, WEYMOUTH and LYMINGTON.
This list is however possibly subject to a change in that COWES may take over from LITTLEHAMPTON as one of the events we hope, if they choose to do so, but we will confirm this as soon as possible, and once final decisions have been made.
We accept that there might be a few teething troubles as we go through the first season, but would ask people to please bear with it, and to remember that the main aim here is to provide as much racing as possible, to as many boats as possible, on a level a platform as possible. Without these amendments to the classes we must remember that with the exception of one boat (that is known of) in the UK , ALL other 3C boats would have been rendered useless as they do not have canopies, so unfortunately changes to the class structure were imperative. It was also seen as an opportunity to encourage new blood into the sport, with a less stringent set of criteria for Class qualification, which allowes as many existing boats as possible to get involved in British Class Racing, and so perhaps there is a silver lining to the cloud we currently find ourselves under.
We also understand that immediately people will say, well what about this boat or engine, or what about that boat or engine and that people will have reservations. The point is it's trying to have a simple set of rules, which everybody can understand including the public, and that makes the racing as fair as possible. What we would ask therefore, is that everybody gets behind this re-classification, gives it a go, and then we can look at fine tuning it in the 2013 season if required for aspects that might not quite have worked correctly.
One main question that has come up to us already is about boats with 150hp engines on them, and the simple answer is perhaps just to say that they fall into the up to 200hp - F2 Class. As we all know, on its day, and in the right conditions a well sorted 19ft with a 150hp can beat a 21ft with a 200hp on it, and this has indeed happened. Look at the SEPA Folkestone 2011 event for instance, where 130hp OCR boats beat 200hp 3C boats. This therefore is perhaps a valid solution to the issue.
However as time has gone on we have begun to think that this is perhaps too simplistic an answer, and we are wondering if an additional class of 150hp might have some merit, and so we are asking for your comments on this subject.
Firstly we want to make it clear that we in no way want to detract from any other Class of racing that exists elsewhere, that has a similar HP limit, such as P1ss 150 (Honda 150 as was), UKFF 150 Class or OCR 130 etc etc.
IF !! it is felt that having a separate 150hp British CLUB Class would damage these other existing classes, then our position will be not to even try to adopt it. We are trying to promote the sport as a whole, not just an en vogue Class, and so anything that does not benefit powerboat racing in general is not something that we want to be involved in.
However if the consensus of opinion out there was that it would be good for the sport as a whole, and we think that it might be, then we would consider taking it forward to the regulatory body and proposing it as a separate British (sub) Class for the 2013 season.
On the big assumption that the additional Class has merit and on the even bigger assumption that there is an immediate interest in this additional sub Class then we would try to accelerate the process.
For the 2012 season it should be possible to run a separate sub Class, but without British status, subject to a minimum entry level of say 5 boats, but that said if enough boats entered and competed, and the Class took off we might possibly be able to retrospectively apply for British status for the 2012 season. It will of course all depend on the level of interest and at the end of the day, who actually gets off their butts and enters the events.
We would in summary therefore like to propose the above.
Firstly we do not want to start off yet another argument / slanging match on a forum or social networking site, but would prefer to use say Boatmad for its best purpose, and that is to get information out there.
Having issued this statement, we would like anybody with any interest and or constructive comments, suggestions or ideas, to send them via e-mail to either one of two ORDA committee members. These being Mark Brewster who’s e-mail address is email@example.com
, or Neil Jackson who’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
We then intend to collate the comments, and publish a summary of those comments here on Boatmad for everybody to see how and why we came to the final conclusion regarding this possible additional Class structure for the 2012 season.
Please do feel free to make comment to us via e-mail, no matter how minor you may consider the point to be, and please be assured that we are simply doing this for reasons that we consider to be vital to the survival of the sport that we all love.
Mark Brewster and Neil Jackson
For and behalf of the ORDA committee.