The generosity of Dragon sailors.

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Mickey Lake
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:18 am
Location: Spanish Fort, Alabama, USA

The generosity of Dragon sailors.

Post by Mickey Lake » Tue Sep 18, 2007 1:57 pm

Awhile back some of us were talking about different ways that people could help a developing fleet. One of things that was mentioned was that sometimes people that buy older boats wind up with sails that are less than competitive and in many cases almost unuseable.

Here in the US we have many older Dragons being rounded up, worked on, and one day soon they'll be raced. Most of these boats have no sails at all or sails that you wouldn't use unless you had to. One way to help these owners hit the water a lot faster is to help find them decent sails that they can use, and to that end the fleet in Burnham-on-Crouch in the UK initiated a program of donated sails to be shipped here to the US for distribution among the guys that can put them to the best use. It began with the nice folks in Burnham, but it has now spread, and I am getting responses from the fleet in Cowes, and most recently from Vancouver.

The generosity behind these offers is striking to me. It's not really the material aspect so much as the offer of help, and of sharing, that seems to me to be the important part of this movement. It is important to me, to many of us here, that our friends are willing to help. It represents a whole lot more to me than just putting some sails in a box for shipment (although that is certainly appreciated by the people who will wind up with the sails). It represents the fact that there are people out there in the world who care that we are involved and that we grow, and that we are participating in the grand scheme of the class itself.

To those of you out there who have offered help and encouragement, I give you my thanks. With your help and some hard work on our part we will grow this class in North America. I do not expect it to be something that happens over night, but a slow and gradual build up of our numbers. It will happen, though. We are not going to dissappear. Quite the opposite. But what about other fleets in other countries that might appreciate the same level of help? What about a young sailor in your own home fleet that is trying to put a low cost program together because they love the boat more than their budget really allows?

We haven't talked about class development on the forum for awhile, and usually when we do the focus is on bigger things than a few used sails. Maybe that should be where we start? Maybe just trying to help someone who is starting out is a good way to spread goodwill and get things rolling? Find some young sailor and fit them into that 10K euro hull, and make sure that you make them welcome from the first day? Help them tune their rig. Buy them a beer after the first race and discuss how the day went.

Once again, to everyone who has offered a hand to us here in the US, thank you. It is appreciated. We will remember. We will do our best to do the same for another fleet whenever we can.

Mickey Lake
AIDA National Secretary
A disciple of the Norse God of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker.

Mickey Lake
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:18 am
Location: Spanish Fort, Alabama, USA

Re: The generosity of Dragon sailors.

Post by Mickey Lake » Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:40 pm

Just a quick update on how this project has progressed in the last few months. I got a note the other day from my friend Tim in Burnham-on-Crouch stating that the Burnham fleet had accumulated 40 sails (!) and a pair of winches for shipment to the Dragon sailors of North America. This level of generosity is astonishing and quite frankly caught us off guard. That's a lot of sails!

The sails are being shipped to a company on the east coast of the US, and we are working on a way to get them shipped to Seattle where we have a couple of people who will work as volunteers in distributing them to where they can do the most good. By the spring regatta season a lot of our older boats will have upgraded sails, and best of all, we should be able to get everyone more equal on the race course, which should encourage some of the guys who have been using lesser equipment and make the racing a whole lot more fun for everyone.

I still can't express my thanks enough to Tim and all of the good people in Burnham. Not so much for the sails themselves, but for the spirit of caring enough to do it. This is what lies at the heart of a great class. These are the kinds of things that will attract new sailors to our fleets.

In the course of all of this I have been contacted by the US editor of 'Classic Boat' magazine and they wish to write all of this up as a human interest story. That in itself will draw even more interest in our efforts to grow the Dragon fleets of North America. From a tiny acorn does a mighty oak grow. One good deed leads to another, and another. Thanks so much to the Burnham fleet, to Tim, and to all of our friends who have shown support for the North America Dragon fleet. It does matter.

Mickey Lake
AIDA National Secretary
A disciple of the Norse God of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker.

trw999
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:10 pm
Location: England

Re: The generosity of Dragon sailors.

Post by trw999 » Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:11 am

Mickey

A nice posting and thank you. I must point out that in the end, we managed to collect sails not only from the Burnham fleet, but also from Cowes, the Medway and Aldeburgh fleets too.

It is good to think of all those sails that lay around in our garages, sheds or trailers can now enjoy a second life and benefit more Dragon sailors. There is a real mix of makes from all over Europe, probably more genoas than mains, even a few spinnakers, plus of course, a set of Dragon winches, which hopefully will complete someones beautiful restoration.

As you say in the States .... enjoy!

Tim

Mickey Lake
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:18 am
Location: Spanish Fort, Alabama, USA

Re: The generosity of Dragon sailors.

Post by Mickey Lake » Thu Jan 31, 2008 5:32 am

Tim, thank you for clarifying that, and thank you very much to all of the kind sailors in the UK who collected and donated sails for our use here in North America. Your kindness and generosity is greatly appreciated.

Mickey Lake
AIDA National Secretary
A disciple of the Norse God of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker.

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