Number 131 / March 2002

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Published by the Open Canoe Sailing Group

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not a system of best three results, and discard of the others? This is a fairly common system in other places. It would be fairer on far distant members. It still means the more races you go to, the better you will probably increase results. I'd use the example of TyroneC, not myself. The 'playing field' is not flat for him! The cost between, say, attending three races and seven is enormous. It does raise the complicated issue of how to compare not-like races, for example with between 5 and 20 entrants. We could just say 25 points for winner down to whatever for last place - this encourages people to go to less well-attended events. If people do want to keep the present system, why not a one-off race, or series of races? The Loch Lomond event could suffice for this. My own sailing club has instituted menagerie races to get round Class racing - any old boat, and the 'top' people are not allowed to race, except as crew for less-experienced people.

What do you think?


What Is A Canoe Symposium? (SteveR)

Some members at the Winter Meet noticed the Canoe Symposium in November on this year's event calendar, and have enquired as to what it is. As I seem to have taken on the mantle of organising the OCSG contribution to the event, I will do my best to answer the question.

The Canoe Symposium is an annual event aimed exclusively at open canoeists. The last two events have been held in Scotland and Wales, so this year it is England's turn and YMCA Lakeside are hosting the event. The schedule has not been arranged yet, but it a reasonably safe bet that there will be slide shows, paddling on the lake and on the race course section of the River Leven, along with trade shows, live music (to open canoeists' taste) and drunken revelry.

As the event is being held at Lakeside it seemed like an ideal opportunity for the OCSG to show the rest of the UK's open canoeing world what we do. The best way to do this seemed to be to have a meet at South Camp at the same time as the Canoe Symposium goes on at North Camp. The meet will probably include a sailing race as a demonstration event and some kind of sailing and paddling race to encourage participation from the folks who are attending the Canoe Symposium. Attendance at the Canoe Symposium is fairly expensive, so I'm anticipating that OCSG members will want to turn up for the meet, but will not want to pay the block fee that would get them into the slide shows etc.

Hope that clears things up a bit.


New Horizons (JohnB)

Draft Proposal for the formation of Federation of European Canoe Sailors
• This would be a Federation of European National Canoe Sailing Clubs.
• Each National club would need to elect ONE member to act as its National Administrator.
• There would not be any officers, Chairman, Secretary etc., just an Administrator.
• Decisions would be made by mutual agreement among the members.
• It is unlikely that any funding would be needed for the first few years.

The purposes of the Federation would be:


To be a cohesive force keeping National clubs in touch with one another.


To provide a central point for the collection and dissemination of information. This could be done simply by a web site.


To be the organising body for European Class and race rules.


To be the coordinating and organising body for International and European cruising and racing meets.


To be an 'official' body to represent canoe sailors when approaching other organisations.

Wow! So there you go. This is either a complete waste of time or the opening of a new door of opportunity, so before you dismiss it out of hand just think of some of the advantages it could bring. Apart from the racing scene, which is obvious, there is also the possibility of having a contact or even a partner to cruise with in 'foreign' waters, which could save a lot of hassle and get you to the best places first time. We would also have the pleasure of entertaining European canoe sailors over here and showing them the delights of Loch Lomond, for instance.

As most of you will be aware, BernardO and I have been over to Roermond, in Holland, for a number of years and each time we return feeling that we have had a good time and have spent a pleasant time with some very nice people, as well as enjoying the sailing. Apart from the personal, there are other aspects that are worth considering. We would become a part of something larger; this would be good for our long-term stability and our national reputation, as well as broadening our outlook.

The future prospects are as bright now as they have ever been, it is just up to us to be confident enough to take advantage of them and to go out and make it happen.

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