This is surely an important part of the future of junior sailing! I believe the Bic will be more popular than the Opti in time. However, it would be better if it were 40 pounds lighter. The Feva is a great boat, but would not be appropriate for small lake sailing. I note that lots of the things the kids are doing are already parts of our traditional game-based program: standing on the bow ->balloon popping, four kids on the boat -> add a hand relay, capsize during a race -> balloon on upper spar, etc. These kids also ought to try frisbee, pirates, three length circle relay, sailball, etc. The kids have added stand-up sailing and other fun tricks. Adventure sailing has many facets and some good ones are shown in the video.
Looks good to me; wish I were a bit (actually, a few decades) younger and take the Bic/Feva path.The Laser 'path'(Opti/4.7/Radial/Full Rig)does seem boring by comparison unless you are very competitive. Most kids aren't and it seems that the sport of sailing will be well served by the Bic/Feva approach to youth sailing. And, two in a boat (Feva)will also help with the individual development of the young sailors.Wavedancer
There was an interesting article in Scuttlebutt a couple of days ago about an initiative in Australia addressing the issue of what young girls want from sailing.http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2016/02/23/optichicks-letting-girls-be-girls/I was sorry to hear how some boys treat girls in sailing...However, it did not leave the girls immune from some reasonably ordinary behaviour from some of the OptiBoys – three incidents that spring immediately to mind include a young girl being hit with a chunk of ice thrown by a boy, another girl being hit in the face and stung quite badly by a jelly fish thrown in her face, and a third very young sailor having her rudder damaged by a deliberate ramming of her boat by a boy in a roughhouse game of “tip”, forcing her retirement from the racing.“Unfortunately, these sorts of incidents have become all too common in Opti events,” noted event organiser Chris Stannage, “with girls regularly being sworn at, intimidated and, in one spectacular though unsolved mystery, hospitalised after a collision at the NSW Youth Championships.
To lessen the OptiBoys type of problem, one has to take into consideration that girls seem to have a stronger interest in the social aspects of the sport of sailing than boys. Normally beginner boys give up sailing double on our single-handed boats after the first two weeks of sailing camp, but the girls often like to sail double summer after summer until they are 13 or 14. Thus the Opti is not an ideal boat for girls. The BIC may be better. We have not tried it yet. Maybe a "super BIC" would be a beneficial addition to our offering. Interestingly at 14 or more, co-ed sailing seems to become popular even in single-handed boats. Wonder why?
HSC will have to raise its dues and training fees a bit to keep up with these programs. Our old Sunfish fleet doesn't look so hot anymore. We may also have to move to a more exotic site.
New Sunfish - $4220 - http://shopna.laserperformance.com/sunfish/New O'Pen Bic - $3300 - http://shop.bicsport.com/p/open-bic-complete-with-4-5m2-one-design-rig
Boys and girls having fun in the sun while learning new skills in a boat - it got me hooked 58 years ago. I assume today's fibreglass Bic will withstand more non-standard treatment than last century's plywood Sabot and better survive the antics in the Royal Hamilton video. Off topic, the Scuttlebut item is set in the waters of my last comment about harbour water density and "whilst". My Sunday race briefly intersected the Optis' armada and I wondered why any youngster would want to sail a boat even more outdated than our Lasers. MW
I think the little Tera is a fabulous boat of kids. The fact that they get up and plane really easily makes them exciting and inviting.Why give children a dead duck to sail like an Optimist which they out grow in 6 months when they can sail a boat like this which allows them to grow into the full range of sailing skills at an early stage.This type of boat and the 'fun' philosophy that is around it is just what's needed to stem the tide of kids moving away from sailing.BUT....... When the tide turns and they come back to sailing let's not as adults and parents make the scene so bloody stupidly competitive that we don't repeat as is happening now with Auckland NZs Optimist fleets a situation where every Optimist has a RIB support boat with parents yelling instruction and living vicariously through their kids - Junior sailing needs a lot less of this sort of crap. And let's not seduce them back with fun because all we really want is to force feed them the one trick pony of Olympic gold medal prospects - Having fun sailing and the confidence and self reliance that builds is reason enough. Good luck to the RS Tera, it has huge potential - but make it fun - cause fun is good!
Sailing is about fun. For adults and kids. If you're not having fun then why are you doing it? Adults don't need to race to have fun either. Life is too short to sail in "not fun" boats.