Of Sponsors and CT paddlers

7 years 2 months ago #22454 by stretchstruwig
Up here in Richardsbay we seem to be having the same dwindling in number of paddlers! our biggest problem is cost, as we need to travel to Durban - 2hrs away -to do a ski race ! we have started our own pre-winter series, which is also locally sponsored but i think the sponsors are not getting their monies worth !
Have taken a feather outa the cap from the Durban(wall&back) and CT(seadog) friday night races and created our own now ! Just a simple pitch and padle - no entry fees - no prize money - after five races yu get a (sponsored - My GAS) vest ! -which includes SUP's
Only way we are going to grow is to encourage some new young blood into the sport !!For all the old bullets out there - grab a youngster and take them for a paddle in a double and get them hooked !!

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7 years 2 months ago #22456 by epic5253
In my opinion we need to get the "social paddlers" involved somehow... Perhaps have a Hardcore / Professional category, for which all paddlers should be registered by this and that association and a Social category where you can just join in without the affiliation fees. Hardcore / Professional category have ranking prizes and social category could have lucky draws... also make social category cheaper to enter. That way we could get the social guys involved and as they progress they would want to be more competitive and join the hardcore racing category... anyway.. that's my thoughts on this.
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7 years 2 months ago #22460 by ianblack

In my opinion we need to get the "social paddlers" involved somehow... Perhaps have a Hardcore / Professional category, for which all paddlers should be registered by this and that association and a Social category where you can just join in without the affiliation fees. Hardcore / Professional category have ranking prizes and social category could have lucky draws... also make social category cheaper to enter. That way we could get the social guys involved and as they progress they would want to be more competitive and join the hardcore racing category... anyway.. that's my thoughts on this.


The grading system previously used eliminated the need to separate the "hardcore/professionals" from social paddlers. if you enter an event, whether it's R20 or R100, and whether you like to admit it or not, you're going to race the guy next to you. it may be for 1st, but it may also be to not be last...

This is where the grading system, with grade prizes, was excellent. The guys deemed E grade would aspire to become D grade etc. The only way to do this was to pitch up each week and beat your best.

It's fascinating that we are having discussions as to what we can do that is new, when it appears that everything that used to work has been removed from the picture?
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7 years 2 months ago - 7 years 2 months ago #22461 by Ric
Replied by Ric on topic Of Sponsors and CT paddlers

This is where the grading system, with grade prizes, was excellent. The guys deemed E grade would aspire to become D grade etc.


Exactly! I still remember my best race being 20 seconds off "B" grade, it was a major thing for me. That said, I spent most of my time in "D", with the really good days promoted up to "C".

It made a big difference at the recent Clifton race to realise that I didn't come anywhere in any category or grade. I was just one of the many back-mid-packers.


Perhaps have a Hardcore / Professional category, for which all paddlers should be registered by this and that association and a Social category where you can just join in without the affiliation fees.


Ryno, as you know, the Short Course races don't require affiliation.

But more importantly, SeaDog has just introduced a "short boats" category aiming to separate the pros from the socials. Of course it is being cleaned up by the lifesavers in their spec skis, but its still nice for some of the social paddlers to come 10th (in category) rather than 40th/50th/60th...
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7 years 2 months ago #22464 by zamalek
Replied by zamalek on topic Of Sponsors and CT paddlers
Maybe we need to look at surfski the same as for example surfing. When surfing started to become recognised as a mainstream sport and not a bunch of "goofies in a kombi",competitions sprung up all over the show,with highlight in Durban being the Gunston 500.Today there are probably more compo's but relative to the number of surfers,very few.How many surfers compete?Maybe 1%?

Surfski racing with its lifesaving background (read competition based) through the Winter series,etc suddenly experienced a boom approx 15 years ago and like any new sport we all competed to meet, greet,learn,etc.Today and as a sponsor & paddler of at least 80% of the initial Winter Series races,taking 8 - 10 of our winter Sundays from 7.00am - 1.30pm to paddle for 1 hour is no longer an option.And for me that is why Barry's Friday races are great.Pitch,paddle,suck on a beer and go home.Scottburgh to Brighton,Cape Point,etc will always have their place.Another full bunch of Sunday's - not so sure.

That being said,the actual surfski community is bigger than ever but like surfing way more social.Pay,wait,paddle flat water in Durban Bay or hook up with the buddies drop a car and downwind - a no brainer.Will I continue to sponsor after all is said?Most definitely Yes.There always will be a place for competition,maybe just not quite at the level of past,but what a great way to start your weekend.
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7 years 2 months ago #22465 by robin.mousley
Ok, so here's a comment from someone who has been involved for many years:

"I been involved in Surfski paddling since there were only 50 ski's in Cape Town and racing since 1995...so its almost 20 years now... I have also been an event organiser... So I am pretty involved in paddling. (not that you need my pedigree, but I am trying to emphasise that i have thought about this long and hard)

The reason Surfski paddling is dying in Cape Town (and is is sadly) is because of WP/CSA. I saw an email that was sent out this morning about how WP can no longer sanction any surfski event because there are un-registered paddlers racing etc etc. There are valid points made, but the attitude STINKS!

To do a Fun race/ Time Trial or be a social paddler according to WP you need a CSA number and WP registration which costs you a package...

Club subs are roughly R1000 and then WP fees for the year are another R900 or so. So to be a social paddler, get involved, be a weekend warrior you have to fork out R2000 for N.O.T.H.I.N.G. ! The end user (paddler) sees NO benefit in joining WP. ZERO.

Yes, to do cycling races it costs you, but no one is stopping you from riding your bike around the Peninsula, or doing a running time trial at the local running club? Why does CSA/WP make it so damn difficult. You have to fill in forms and you HAVE to join a club which is madness. The downwind weekend warrior has his ski on his roof and goes literally where the wind blows.

I can tell you that 99% of why Surfski paddling is dying is because of WP/CSA and the unnecessary financial strain it adds to paddling.

Besides making you feel like a criminal 90% of the time, its a rip off, there is no reason to join (in the opinion of the Joe Public paddler) and climbing over the red tape and rules is more exercise than the event you are trying to take part in.

Life is expensive, driving around the Peninsula to paddle is expensive, but adding an unnecessary R2000 to the bill is the killer."


So - that's a pretty strong opinion. What do other folks feel about the costs and hassle of belonging to CSA?

Which reminds me - I need to get my own renewal done! It used to be so easy back 10 years ago when the WCCU people used to come down to the series registration and you could do it all in one go. Now you have to find a club, email, pay, email, it's not not an unworkable situation but it is a hassle.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...
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7 years 2 months ago #22467 by Ric
Replied by Ric on topic Of Sponsors and CT paddlers

"To do a Fun race/ Time Trial or be a social paddler according to WP you need a CSA number and WP registration which costs you a package..."


Rob, not your words, but do you know if the sub-10km exemption for membership still applies?

I know in the past you could race up to, but not over, 10km without being CSA registered. That's what made the Short Course events so easy to enter.

From what your colleague is saying, it seems that this may no longer be the case. If so, I can see a world of trouble coming.

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7 years 2 months ago #22469 by CoastPop
Robin, I think your comment about WP/CSA and meeting their requirements is a very large part of the problem for many Surfskiers, but this is not the only problem. I have never and will never pay that fee. I must admit that at one stage I did consider moving up from the short course and try my hand at the long course, I would probably come last, but that is ok, but the cost (on principle) put me off. I do feel that if all the organisers of the numerous events, training, racing, social around the peninsula could get together and brainstorm a solution (as suggested by Barry), they may just come up with an answer. Barry's comment on the geographical situation in the Cape is a problem and perhaps we could split into 2 areas, North & South, have events that are more local for folk and perhaps meet up at a few special joint events between the 2 areas. Fyi - last Thursday when the V&A event took place, the Oceana Thu race still took place - 2 events within about 1km of each other! I do not know if the Oceana paddlers were even aware of the event at the V&A.

I also still feel that to join forces with other ocean paddlers could be a good idea.

So, lots of ideas and opinions, but who is prepared to step up to the plate and start the ball rolling to try and sort this out? Who is passionate enough about this being successful?

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7 years 2 months ago - 7 years 2 months ago #22470 by robin.mousley

Rob, not your words, but do you know if the sub-10km exemption for membership still applies?


Yes it does, but the way it works is this:

SAMSA (aka The South African Maritime Safety Authority) rules (ie the law) says that small craft our size (ie > 6m) have to have all kinds of safety equipment like radios, anchors, tow-ropes, etc.

CSA have an agreement - a "self regulated license" with SAMSA that allows them (CSA) to set their own safety rules. This agreement used not to include surfski - but it does now, and I'm told that the surfski safety regulations are in the last stages of being approved by SAMSA.

So far so good - because of CSA (and other folks who fought this fight in the past) we don't have to comply with inappropriate safety regulations. Any race that falls under CSA is also covered by the "self regulated license"; any race that doesn't fall under CSA would have to apply for their own license from SAMSA.

The other thing that CSA brings is third party liability insurance. This is of huge concern to race organisers.

When a race organiser applies to Cape Town City, for example, to hold an event, they have to have safety plans and insurance and all that jazz sorted in order to get a license for the event.

So there's a powerful incentive for race organisers to work under the CSA umbrella. But this means that the paddlers who want to do races, need to belong to CSA.

Back to the <10km exemption. The intention of the rule was that paddlers ought to be able to "have a go" at racing without incurring the costs of belonging to CSA. The process is that when you register at a race without a CSA number, you're given a temporary number - a temporary license as it were. The limit on this is three races. Strictly speaking, if you do more than 3 races of any kind, you have to belong to CSA.

So it seems to me that because the world has changed, and municipalities and the government have tightened up regulations of all kinds, it is imperative for race organisers, that they comply with the regulations. This is just life in the 21st century!

That doesn't mean, however, that the costs should be so high.

And what that translates to, I think, is that surfski as a community needs to find ways to work with CSA/WCCU to bring the costs down.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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7 years 2 months ago - 7 years 2 months ago #22471 by Ric
Replied by Ric on topic Of Sponsors and CT paddlers

Back to the <10km exemption. The intention of the rule was that paddlers ought to be able to "have a go" at racing without incurring the costs of belonging to CSA. The process is that when you register at a race without a CSA number, you're given a temporary number - a temporary license as it were. The limit on this is three races. Strictly speaking, if you do more than 3 races of any kind, you have to belong to CSA.


Sadly, I don't see you mentioning anything about the <10km races in your answer.

So say good bye to all the various Tuesday night dices - Hout Bay, PCC etc.
& SeaDog, thanks for playing.
& Down Wind Dash - it was real...

This is really very serious - basically all the smaller events are doomed. CSA high provincial union fees are literally going to kill the sport.

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7 years 2 months ago #22472 by Ric
Replied by Ric on topic Of Sponsors and CT paddlers

SAMSA (aka The South African Maritime Safety Authority) rules (ie the law) says that small craft our size (ie > 6m) have to have all kinds of safety equipment like radios, anchors, tow-ropes, etc.


Incidentally, any idea about craft <6m in length?

Can this whole thing mean a huge shift to spec skis, Elite Sparks and beginner boats?

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7 years 2 months ago #22474 by robin.mousley

Incidentally, any idea about craft <6m in length?


Don't quote me on 6m, more accurate to say boats of a similar length to surfskis...

CSA is literally going to kill the sport.


I don't think that's quite fair; it's more like SAMSA will kill the sport! CSA is working hard to make a workable solution with SAMSA.

I think it's up to us to go to WCCU and negotiate a more reasonable cost and process. I don't think there's any question but that races need the safety and security of belonging to CSA/WCCU. But cost needs to be minimal and it must be extremely easy to sign up!

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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7 years 2 months ago - 7 years 2 months ago #22475 by Ric
Replied by Ric on topic Of Sponsors and CT paddlers
OK, perhaps not - I'm just in shock really - but it is up to CSA WCCU how much they make us pay, so they must bear some responsibility.

Point is - at the moment, every dice paddler, SeaDog paddler, DWD paddler is expected to cough up an extra R1000 - R2000.

With that price tag, paddler numbers at these smaller events will plummet. So sponsorship will disappear.

Eish!

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7 years 2 months ago #22476 by CoastPop
I wonder if same apply to SUPs? and other similar craft. And, if we go for a social paddle, would SAMSA expect us to carry anchors, etc etc - this should be a whole heap of fun. Can't wait to see what they come up with. Sometimes I despair that these regulations are devised by folk that do not understand the practicalities of what they are proposing. Just another thought - the spate of surfski rescues lately does not help our cause, but that is another topic in itself.

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7 years 2 months ago #22477 by Davidw
Replied by Davidw on topic Of Sponsors and CT paddlers
Work and travelling (from Langebaan) prevent me from attending most races but there are probably 2-3 surfski races a year that I would like to do.
But I am not prepared to pay the WCCU fees to do so. It adds about R300 per race. So I and most of my paddling buddies simply don’t register and don’t race. What is needed is a reasonable temporary per race membership fee.

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7 years 2 months ago #22478 by epic5253
I found this from SAMSA when I started Sea Kayaking back in the day:

Kayak must be over 3 metres in length to go to sea (beyond the backline)
Kayak must have minimum 30% buoyancy
You must wear an approved PFD (personal flotation device)
Carry a 10 metre rope. (tow rope)
Pencil flares (not out of date)
Bailing device (bucket or collapsible bucket) You can use your tackle box or a sponge
You must have 750ml drinking water.
You must not exceed 1.85km from land (1nautical mile)
You can launch anywhere except if the launch site is restricted by Port Authority, Private owner, Parks Board, or Municipality for which you may be asked to pay a fee

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7 years 2 months ago #22480 by jagter
Replied by jagter on topic Of Sponsors and CT paddlers
I'm in the Eastern Cape and Pay R420 per year. That includes club fees and CSA affiliation. And then an extra R200 per year to store my ski.

Not a bad deal I reckon. Looks the the WCCU is way more expensive for some reason.

I've noticed though that the average paddler isn't scratching for pennies. You just have to look around the parking lot at a race and estimate the value of the average vehicle standing there.

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7 years 2 months ago #22481 by CoastPop
How well attended are the various Cape Town events?

How many surfskis at the last event for:

Downwind Dash Milnerton - 32 Surfskis, 31 SUPs
Hout Bay series?
Oceana series?
Seadog?
Cape Town Surfski series:
1st Race - cancelled, absolute gale
2nd Race - 58 Long, 7 Short
3rd Race - 54 Long, 9 Short
4th Race - 30 Long, 7 Short (Langebaan over 100km outside CT)

Are all long course participants CSA / WPCU members and members of a club. If so, not bad income for no return

Cellphone Groups that I am part of

SUP Downwind - WeChat 56 members
Surfski Downwind (was FHBSC Surfski in off season) - WhatsApp 42 members
Surfski School Regulars - 34 WhatsApp members
Milnerton - 14 WhatsApp (just started)

Btw, I just noticed that WhatsApp group has been increased from 50 to 100 members, probably because of WeChat offering 100 and groups have been moving to WeChat once 50 limit was reached on WhatsApp

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7 years 2 months ago #22482 by robin.mousley
Ok, so I just initiated the process of renewing my WCCU membership. The costs are:

R150 annual fee to the Cape Town Surfski Club (aka Fish Hoek Beach Sailing Club) as a country member i.e. special deal since I don't actually use the club.

R500 fee to WCCU for 6 months membership, takes me through to the end of March 2015.

Total: R650 for a half year. That covers me for the summer racing season.

(If I wanted a full year WCCU membership, that's R1000, if I belonged to a club like the PCC as a full member, that's also R1000.)

So it's interesting that jagter pays R420 for the full year for both club AND CSA affiliation!

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...
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7 years 2 months ago - 7 years 2 months ago #22483 by epic5253
HoutBay Tuesday Series - 35 long 13 short
SeaDog 72

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