INTERNATIONAL 5O5 ASSOCIATION
Needless to say the past season is one most of us will probably want to forget. Almost all National Championship’s had to be cancelled, the Euro Cup event at Cannes and Hayling Island were also cancelled as was our World Championship that was to be held in Torekov, Sweden.
On the positive side, both Kiel week and the Euro Cup event in Garda were only postponed and were eventually held. Results are on the website
On behalf of all the members I’d like to thank the Swedish 5O5 Association and Bastad Sailing for the efforts organising the Worlds in Torekov. I know everyone was bitterly disappointed not to be able to have the event and we all look forward to future events in Sweden.
In regard to future events, the usual Euro Cup events are scheduled as usual. Leg 1 in 2021 will be at Cavalaire instead of Cannes at Easter, Garda in May, Kiel in June and Hayling Island in late September. The dates are posted on then website at https://www.int505.org/euro-cup/.
The World Championship in 2021 is still scheduled for October 27th – November 5th 2021. Preregistration and a presentation is online at https://www.int505.org/2021-world-championship-bermuda/ Keep an eye on the website (int505.org) or social media (facebook, twiiter & Instragram) for more details as they become available.
The 2021 European Championship is also scheduled for 16th-20th July 2021 at Weymouth. (https://www.int505.org/2021-european-championship-weymouth/).
We have a proposal for the World Championship in 2022 in Cork, Ireland. Since this is the only proposal we have it is likely to be confirmed once the contractual detail has been agreed.
Whilst we all hope Covid doesn’t interfere with the 2021 schedule, changes may be unavoidable. Any changes will be posted as soon as they are known.
International racing has been limited but there has still been quite a lot of activity at local levels. The Scandinavian countries and some states in Australia have been doing a superb job of maintaining momentum, racing and encouraging new people to sail the boats. I would love to hear from other countries who are having success getting on the water and encouraging new members. Local stories are often of interest internationally and can be posted on the international channels if people wish to write short stories, provide video or photos etc.
In other news:
- Work is slowly progressing on updating the website to include;
- Better access to the events calander so countries and regions can post their own event details.
- Member registration and payment of membership fees.
- A user second hand boat listing. In the meantime there is a basic second hand boat listing on the website which members can use if they wish to sell or buy boats located in other countries. If you post your boat for sale on your national 5O5 website or any other website, a link can be put on the int505.org site if you request it. https://www.int505.org/boats-for-sale/
- Availability of second hand boats. Having a good pool of second hand boats is essential for the health of the Class. It is also important that boats can be bought and sold across borders. Being a global boat, the 5O5 needs a reasonable global market place to more easily buy and sell new and used boats around the world. The Class has traditionally relied on containers going to and from World Championship for boats to be bought and sold between countries.
Unfortunately containers have not been moving to Worlds recently due primarily to the number of US, SA and Aus people who have boats in Europe. While this is a good thing, it is also a problem for the Class. Without container movement people can’t buy boats overseas. New or used. The lack of container movement also results in insufficient numbers of sailors who do want to ship boats to World Championships to make the container cost per boat affordable. This happened for the Worlds in Poland and was going to also be the case for the Swedish worlds. I see this as an existential issue for the Class. If we don’t move containers between continents fewer people can attend World Championships and new or used boats will be hard to find.
The solution being worked on for now includes:
- Building a fleet of available boats for sale and or for charter. Some Nationals associations have had a lot of success with Class owned boats. It enables sailors to try out the boat, it can be chartered and it ‘creates’ a boat for purchase. If the boat is sold the Class buys another one which creates a market for people to sell their boat and upgrade.
This model should be applicable to the International Association as well. I would like to see the International Class own a number of boats. With sufficient donations and sponsorship we should be able to have 10-12 boats. This would mean boats available for sale and for charter. The Class would have to move them to Worlds and then onto subsequent worlds. This will also go some way to keeping the per-boat container cost down for others who wish to ship their boat to a worlds.
The cost to the Association should only be the devaluation of the boat between buying them and selling them. The objective is to recover most of this from charter fees and subsidised maintenance, sails, etc. Boats purchased can include new boats which also supports the suppliers. In short the Association would create ‘liquidity’ in the boat market internationally, facilitate buying and selling and access for newcomers or sailors from other classes to join the fun.
Of course, like everything, money is required and this will have to come from running international events, donations, sponsorship and other improved revenue streams to the Association.
- Instead of only relying on container movement when there is a Worlds we should use containers that are shipping anyway. Eg suppliers, the Olympic teams, other Classes etc. For example 3 boats (one new) are being shipped from Ovington in the UK to Sydney in a container that was coming with OK dinghies and other supplies to a reseller here in Sydney. 3 boats that would not have otherwise been available. One has been sold. One is on the market and one will be on charter for the season. The aim is to ship them to Bermuda and then on to Europe for the 2022 season. The International Class should have at least 3 good boats available for charter in Bermuda. I know of at least 3 National associations that also have boats they can add to that list.
- Class Promotion. Despite the pandemic, there have been some wonderful efforts by some countries or regions to promote the Class, encourage new and existing sailors and grow participation. Sweden, Poland, Queensland and Western Australia to name those I know about are very active and building good fleets. Whilst promoting the Class and building fleets is most successful at regional or national level, the international association may be able to help by facilitating the sharing of successful ideas. Where local fleets can write stories about what they are doing, the internati