Association – Payments Made Easier for Members….!!

Payments made easier for members

Some if you may have noticed that there is now a Paypal facility for some of our services; currently the second hand listing and for new membership applications.  This has proved a really popular option and now all new member applications payments have been processed this way as well as second hand listings.  There are costs involved but as a not for profit members organisation we get a separate fee structure for using this facility and we feel that benefits outweigh the costs.  We will offer more facility to pay by this means in future, the next may well for membership renewals in April, though please ensure you are not already paying by Standing Order before using the facility.


Dinghy Show – Get in Free !!

….by Volunteering a shift on the FF Stand….!!!

We are again running a stand at the RYA Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace on the 1st and 2nd March.

We would really appreciate some volunteers to help run the stand on both Saturday and Sunday, the Sunday crew would need to help de-rig the stand.

We could also do with a little help for Friday to help us build up for part of the day.

If you can help please email the secretary at or use the contact page from the website.

Volunteers will get a free two day pass for the show which usually allows concessions at certain food outlets, you can also get in early and if you have an exhibitor pass entry to the show party on Sat night.



Does the Internet Damage Open Meeting Turnouts….!!

Do you find at  your Club that when breezes are light, or maybe above 15-20mph, members simply don’t turn out??  It certainly happens at our Club, though the FF teams generally show up regardless !! So often, great sailing is to be had on those very same days!!!

A while ago we wrote an item suggesting that easy access to accurate internet weather forecasts is what causes this.  You know the pattern:-

  1. wake up
  2. grab phone
  3. look at windguru. Inspired?
  4. snuggle back under duvet

Robert Pitts of Chew has suggested to us that this might also be a phenomenon that is suppressing Open Meeting turnouts.  What do you think??  Robert makes the suggestion that we could fix this in one easy step.  We only accept entries who pay the entrance fee online in advance – once you’ve paid you are committed – right?…..

BIFFA HQ has learned that the way to make this viable for us, is to have a paypal button online, so that people can easily use their credit cards that way.  Saves all the faff of remembering to register and pay on the day at the event, when so often one is short of time.  If a club website has no facility for online credit card payment, perhaps we should investigate using the BIFFA facility?? At the same time, advertising the event on the BIFFA website, publishing the results, Rankings  etc is all part of it.

Just about any other sporting events like ours do this already – marathons and cycling spring to mind. Plus there is all the planning spinoffs… How many are the caterers planning for?  Have we fenced off enough parking?  How big a course do we need? etc

A bit revolutionary…. What do you think??  Should we trial it for Regional Championships maybe??

Where to Buy or Sell a Flying Fifteen….??

Where’s best to buy or sell your Flying Fifteen??

Philip Tinsley just pointed me at Apollo Duck’s website where there were a good half dozen boats, including a fabulous ex-world champion boat from Ireland.  Apparently the deal there is that you get posted on the website free for 90 days, and then you pay £6-£7, I think.  Am not sure if that includes photos or not.  To advertise on our Association website costs a fiver – photos free.

Surely the issue for a seller is not actually how much an advert costs, but rather how many people look at the advert??  Once you realise that, you’d only ever post adverts on the FF Association website.  The website traffic to the for sale pages is simply stunning.  Since we launched the fabulous new website, we have consistently had around 6,000 page views per month to the ‘For Sale’ section of the website (around 20,000 views a month to the whole site).  A whole number of the adverts have been read more than 100 times in 30 days.  So, if you are selling a Flying Fifteen, why on earth would you put it anywhere else??  That includes our friends in Ireland who might want to try their chances here. Plus I think you can pay online by credit card now.

It would be good to get time to see what might make some ads more popular to visit than others.  Photos maybe??  I must say, the most obvious thing is asking price!!

Click here to see the ‘For Sale’ statistics from the BIFFA Website for 30 days to Nov 14th. See for yourself!

In-House Sail Certification – FF’s Led the Way….!!

So we think that in house sail measuring is a new thing – well think again; whilst perusing the early records of the class (for an old ff owner) I came across the following in the earliest year book I have, 1955.  Hence the use of the word perusing, as I would think that when one looks at records from this era perusing is the only word that can rightfully be used.

Anyhow back to the rules, the chosen sail maker was asked to complete an “undertaking” upon which he was asked to complete the serial numbers of the sails and stamp the sails with the said serial number, and sign the declaration that  sails conformed to the rules of the flying fifteen class.

This form then had to be sent together with the certificate of registration to the Hon Sec of the class  Frances Snary Esq (then at  180 Upper Richmond Road, Putney, now a building called Cambridge House according to street view)  for the appropriate endorsement to be added to the registration certificate.

So new idea ISAF?!?!   Well think again – the boys at the FF association were doing this in 1955!

Keith Jamieson

One Small Step for Man…….

visa mastercardHave you seen over on the BIFFA website, you can now make payments for memberships, for sale ads and anything else we can dream up that might be useful.

It’s going to make life an awful lot easier for everyone, don’t you think? Anyway, BIFFA HQ has worked very hard to make this work.  If you have any ideas or more useful content that might be available on a nominal pay-as-you-use basis, then leave a reply here on the blog.

What Makes a Good Championship Venue….??

FFNatsMon 180lrWe had forty teams turn out at the Weymouth Championships.  To be honest, given 2012 and the Olympics I was a little surprised.  We had 36 at Largs last year – it’s a long way to travel for some I know…  But forty at Weymouth – I am really surprised.  I’ve heard some say that the Monday to Friday annual leave absorption was a problem (a WPNSA restriction), but still….. We wont make the Y&Y “Big Fifty” Class Review at this rate!!

All this begs in my mind, what makes a good venue??  Lets set aside the week long versus long weekend format for a moment.  I don’t recall any problems with La Rochelle – which by the way, is a sailing centre not even a Club as such. They make a business out of running Championships in the main. Garda was very popular too.

Well, one key thing is the catering and “eating out” choices. In La Rochelle we were able to crawl from where our boat was parked (a necessity for some!) to a whole stack of restaurants and eat at a different place each night.  From memory, Garda has lots of choice in the vicinity too. Largs had a good buzz and the Club catered hard, but there wasn’t too much to choose from in the town.

Bidding for upcoming Regional, National and Europeans seems to be a topic at BIFFA HQ this week.  Both the eating arrangements/choices and date sequence are getting heavy consideration.

Buzz from the Association AGM….!

By all accounts, this year’s AGM was a pretty quiet affair.  There is still a school of thought that we should be pushing the “New Rig” proposals, but word from FFI is that the Australians are not at all keen.

Amongst that were two associated proposals – one that we might reduce the minimum weight a little and secondly that Mylar is allowed as a sailcloth.  On both these subjects when tested with Opinion Polls on the FF Blog in 2012 we got overwhelmingly “No” reactions.  So if they did get to a member vote, I feel most likely they would be rejected.

FFI Rule Change Proposals…..!!

Those FFI Rule Changes – what are they ???

We are asked to vote on six items – nothing too contentious this time.

1/ If you have won a World Championship Title (Steve , pay attention!!)  you can have a gold coloured insignia on your mainsail.  Our version of the yellow jersey – a nice idea, I reckon,

2 and 3/  You are allowed sail shape indicator stripes on your main and jib.  Another good idea (as I get older)

4/ FFI at its discretion may not require sails for measurement at Events if they were already measured under the new ISAF IHC system.  Very sensible….

5/ Tidying up definitions of “Officer” and “Executive” in the Constitution and clarifying what the Commodore does.

6/ Obliging National Associations to copy AGM Minutes to FFI.  Sensible.

So all easy – lets outvote New Zealand in 2013 !!

Click here for the full set of rule change proposals.

Click here for the ballot form

If you’ve run out of time, print the form, fill it in, scan the image and email it to the BIFFA Secretary.