2005 - TAUK Report to WTC

Report to 2005 World Council Meeting

UK Position Statement

Thanks to John Lawton for making this statement to you and apologies for the lack of competitors from the UK. This is something I personally will be looking to address over the next few years if elected in August.

35 boats attended the 2004 National championships held in Mounts Bay. Steve Birbeck from Babbacombe SC won with a healthy points margin. This was the largest turnout in 5 years

Membership currently stands at 66 this is considerably down in the last few years and represents a major concern for everyone associated with the Tasar in the UK.

Very few boats are travelling to open meetings and there is little obvious enthusiasm other than at Babbacombe and Whitstable Sailing Clubs, though at the latter, numbers sailing are down on last year. Several members at Whitstable have purchased new Merlin Rockets at a multiple of the Tasar list price. The 2005 Nationals at Whitstable in August should see a flurry of activity but keeping them in the class will be a challenge for the fleet captain. Other strongholds of the Tasar notable Queen Mary and Wimbleball have seen numbers declining in the last few years as their members have grown older.

I have recently taken the role of Acting chairman and am busy putting together a 'radical' series of proposals with the committee for the August AGM aimed at increasing membership and the visibility of the Tasar in the UK. We believe there are 2-300 Tasars sailing in the UK and Europe.

One proposal being considered is the abandonment of membership fees as this has become a tax on attendance at championships. In most members minds there is no other reason to pay. We are strong enough financially to do this for at least a year while we look at alternative ways to generate income. One that we are considering would be a levy on new boats and sails. This would not need to be very high, say £25 on a boat and £10 on a sail. We would be interested in any comments you have on this.

Personally I am very excited about recent events in the Tasar class, both Internationally and in Europe and am busy communicating this to every Tasar sailor I can. My experience in Japan has shown what can be achieved with a simple formula of sailing, more sailing, a lot of beer and a group of people who want to improve together.

1. Franks and Julian's fantastic work on a new rig offers the class a chance to step out of the shadows of the 70's and be reborn as a modern looking class. Everyone I have spoken to is enthusiastic and waiting for the order book to open. Give us the max, if the vang wrap is fast we want it. The UK is almost certain to vote YES. To vote NO would see the class move to an even lower profile.

2. The UK has suffered for many years problems of supply of boats, parts and sails. The new agent Mandy Stock is actively changing the way they are supplied and soon we will have the best available boats to offer and hopefully the dominance of cheap old boats will be broken by the availability of fast well equipped new boats with the new rig from Starboard Products. This should not be seen as critism of the previous agent Mary Brewer but exploitation of the impetus the 'New sails' will give to a new boat decision. This will make the import of boats by the container load viable for the first time though still at great risk for the Agent. 10 new boats in January I am excited!

World matters
The UK has always been concerned about the one design nature of the Tasar and hope that the opportunity of the new rigs will be used to move to a single source for boats, sails and spars and achieve the level of equality that should be in place.

Please could we move to a system of next sail or foil goes to the next order preventing the practice of equipment selection that has been available in the past.

On behalf of the UK association we would like to thank all the officers of the world association for their work in the last two years and in particular Frank for his perseverance despite of the rejection he experienced with the Tasar 2 project towards making the Tasar an attractive boat for the next ten years.

Tim Knight
Acting Chairman UK