Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lasers Rule

Here is the list of the top twenty five one-design classes in North America as compiled by "RogerJolly" and posted originally on Sailing Anarchy, from which I have shamelessly stolen it. The ranking is based on the number of boats competing in each class North American or National Championships averaged over the last three years. Junior classes and ice boats are specifically excluded.

Rank) Class:2007-2008-2009--3yr Av

1) Laser Radial:111(MA)-88 (CA)-121 (NY)--106.67
2) Laser:87 (MA)-77 (CA)-97 (NY)--87.00
3) Flying Scot:101 (VA)-69 (NJ)-74 (WI)--81.33
4) Lightning:80 (MD)-97 (RI)-65 (NY)--80.67
5) MC scow:88 (MI)-69 (WI)-51 (OK)--69.33
6) Thistle:64 (OR)-59 (FL)-83 (CT)--68.67
7) Sunfish:55 (AL)-52 (PA)-76 (SC)--61.00
8) C scow:48 (GA)-59 (WI)-71 (WI)--59.33
9) 29er:63 (ONT)-65 (ONT)-41 (ONT)--56.33
10) E scow:50 (SC)-71 (NY)-46 (WI)--55.67
11) J/22:68 (OH)-NA-37 (TX)--54.67
12) Hobie 16:50 (CA)-56 (IA)-54 (ONT)--53.33
13) Vanguard 15:29 (CA)-77 (NY)-45 (NY)--50.33
14) Butterfly:55 (MI)-54 (MI)-38 (MI)--49.00
15) Lido 14:52 (CA)-43 (OR)-47 (CA)--47.33
16) Albacore:51 (MD)-39 (ON)-50 (ONT)--46.67
17) Snipe:63 (CO)-31 (MA)-44 (FL)--46.00
18) Inter Club:45 (MD)-35 (NJ)-55 (NY)--45.00
19) J/105:69(MD)-36 (CA)-29 (NY)--44.67
20) J/24:34 (FL)-54 (NY)-44 (MX) --44.00
21) 505:30 (MD)-31 (OR)-69 (CA)--43.33
22) Star:49 (BC)-30 (MI)-47 (CT)--42.00
23) Melges 24:52 (MI)-49 (MD)-21 (CA)--40.67
24) Interlake:50 (OH)-33 (OH)-31 (MI) --38.00
24) Y flyer:39 (IL)-49 (GA)-26 (IN)--38.00

Any comments? Surprises? Omissions?


Joe said...

A lot of old sailing classes.

Andrew said...

Probably too many Optimists to even count. :)

Pat said...

Sometimes there's a big gap between the "elite" level of a class and the ordinary boat owner, many or most of whom don't even bother to join the class association. Many classes cost over a $100 to join and don't offer much to the casual ordinary joe member, unfortunately.

With this disconnect, it can be hard to determine whether the number of boats participating at elite events has more than an at best shaky connection with what's happening around the country.

Also, boats does not equal participants. Obviously bigger boats need more crew, but some boats are more amenable to sharing sailing. How likely are you to take the wife, kids, their friends, and a bunch of old farts out on your Star or some other highly demanding or uncomfortable boat?

If you compare the membership in class associations to the number of boats built, you'll likely find that many classes enroll a tiny fraction of their boats. Why is this? Are most of the boats sunk or rotted away or do the classes just do a lousy job of reaching out?

I would like to see some sort of measure of how widespread a class is; for example, in how many places did the class have regattas in a given year?

If a class claims to be one of the biggies but only had a few sanctioned events beyond its NA's or Worlds, I'm not very impressed. Especially if none of them happened within a thousand miles of where I live.

But if there were class events in say 15 countries and half the US states and say a hundred venues here there and everywhere, now I'll take notice and applaud.

Ralph Stocek said...

That list omitted my racing class, the Shark. It is a 24' keelboat and at our 2009 World Championship at Niagara on the Lake, Lake Ontario, we had 63 boats. The Shark is officially recognized by ISAF as a Classic, and is also raced in Europe.

Tillerman said...

Ralph. RogerJolly didn't count Worlds in his analysis as it is a North American survey. He had the Shark with a 3 year average of 31.67 the average of the last 3 Canadian Championships, so no quite in the top 25.

Tillerman said...

Pat, I'm pretty sure the Laser would pass your test of class regattas in at least 15 countries and 25 US states. One day I might try and count them up and write up a blog post on it.

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