Recently , there has been a lot of discussion concerning these concepts.
My definitions are a bit different than what I have seen posted around and discussed, and I have mentioned this before, but I’ll repeat it and the reasons why.
My definition of a “fun” race is one that’s more spontaneous, between friends, and most important – not publicized, announced thru groups such as SLSA, and yacht club notices, and not sanctioned by a particular club or group. In other words, not really open to the public. Sure, if people are hanging around a race line and want to join in, why not? If this is all the case, do what ever you want. Play bumper boats if that’s whats wanted, who cares?
Any other sort of race, such as those announced in groups, on calendars and such, thereby held with the intent of wanting the general public to come and join, by their very nature should not be considered “fun” races. Additionally, this sort of race should have the effort put into them to make them a “fun event’. That has to include enforcement of rules. To what level and what rules that will be enforced, the courses and weather conditions, should all be included in the announcement of the races. And again very important, enough non participating RD’s to properly conduct the event. For my opinion, I’d rather have far less events, but much better quality. That’s what makes a “fun event”.
What’s interesting to me was when I first brought up the subject of RD’s not participating, and the need to be more RD’s on a lot of races, many of the known RD’s disagreed. Yet now, more and more are posting – complaining that they can’t enforce rules or look for cheating. They seem to blame the participants. To me, that seems to be shifting the blame.
The fact that these basics are not done, or criticized and ignored, is what leads to problems and complaints. In a general public call race, all skill levels of people can come. Some don’t know the rules, some don’t know the nuances of the rules, some know them and do their best to follow them, and some just plain disregard proper behavior.
This alone is a recipe for problems to occur.
That’s what happens to any human endeavor when there is grey area to maneuver in. As a Promoter, when you take a couple of additional minutes to take care of the basics; close up the grey areas and problems, complaints and people’s frustrations are reduced considerably.
The fix is easy and takes little time.