IACA poll results analysed

Thanks you for entering your opinion in the IACA poll. We have now analysed the results, anonymized and formatted your comments for general consumption. First of all, here are some general observations from the results. Don't be upset if percentages do not add up to 100%. It's rounded, filtered and simplified to extract facts.

  • 372 answers
  • 99% males
  • 83% are members of a national association
  • 79% are over 40 years old, only 21% are under 40 years old
  • more than half the answers are from experienced sailors (5+ years in the class)
  • more than 3/4 have participated to a major event

From these numbers, we can deduce that some very qualified people have entered their opinion. I do not know the actual number of members world-wide, I think it's something in the range 900-1,000. Having 372 answers is great and as such, the poll is already a success.

Floating and flying issue

Please note I have not written "flying versus floating". This is a sterile debate that only cause anger and demotivation. We are here to sail together and have fun, and not to segregate anyone. So I ask everyone to leave personal matters behind and work together for the success of the class, by finding a compromise that will allow everyone to have his part of the fun cake.

With this aspect being clarified, let's see the numbers from the poll:

  • 53% of floating,
  • 43% of flying
  • only 23% of floating people have tried a flying boat
  • more than half of the floating aren't sure whether to buy a flying boat or not
  • one quarter of the floating want to buy a flying boat asap

About adding a "floating" category:

  • 52% yes
  • 38% no
  • 10% unsure

Participation to regattas/national associations is impacted for about 1/3 of voters

From these numbers, it's quite clear to me that we have to propose a solution to live together around the boat parks and on the water. How to achieve this is probably easiest done by slightly adapting the championship rules, but I'm quite certain some of us will end up being annoyed or even worse, angry. This is usual with any good compromise.

Championships organization

Again interesting and balanced numbers on the open vs closed championships:

  • 38% want open, with enough race areas to race at the same time
  • 36% want open, without any conditions on race areas
  • 16% prefer closed (e.g. to 100 boats, with contingents)
  • 10% have no strong opinion

So it seems clear 74% favor open championships. Still, I think that having a closed championship (80 - 100 sailors) with contingents per country from time to time would be good for the class. It would force selection, which is a big drive for motivation, training and hours on the water. I encourage all countries to come up with a bid for closed Europeans or Worlds. You have as much chance to win a bid for closed as you have to win a bid for an open championship. Small Is Beautiful !


I have kept information like boat type and country along with the comments to put them in perspective. The vast majority of comments are smart and well-thought. Still, we won't be able to satisfy everyone. But I value your ideas and suggestions!  From all the comments, I understand that we are tending towards something all like sailing together, but have distinct rankings. That is what is practiced with success in other classes.  See the comments here

$$$, Boys and Women

Beside keeping the unity of the class, I have these three questions in my head:

  • is there a way to keep costs under control ?
  • how do we motivate more women to participate ?
  • how do we get younger people into the class ?

The recent rise of costs caused by new high-tech gear, supplemental hardware on board and rapid evolution has certainly slowed down the adoption of our class by potential buyers or the purchase of a new boat by long-term members. The IACA hasn't got the magic bullet to solve this problem. However, the creation of a distinct ranking / classic division might help to keep older boats and sailors in the races.

For the young guns, the problem is most certainly a cost issue, that is clear and I'm not a magician. As for the women participation, we all need to motivate the sailing women we know, and put their feet on our boats. They can sail A-Cat and I address my call to all of you: we want more women. Show them respect and encourage them to sail with us !

Thanks again for your participation to the poll. We now continue our work and will let you know about our progress.

Kind regards,

Addendum on championships organization

My wording on closed championship is probably not appropriate and might give the impression that I would pursue some personal agenda, so I would like to correct and clarify this part.

The fact is - at least in Europe - we do not have many locations and clubs with infrastructure, boat and trailer parks, crews of volunteers, security boats, etc, ready to host large events. Besides, running a large championship requires collecting a financial budget that is beyond the possibilities of many small or medium clubs.

In the current economical situation, we can be very happy to have enthusiastic clubs submitting bids at all. It is clear to me that the vast majority of sailors prefer open championship, but if it happens in the future that the single bid we get is for a closed championship, we will be glad to accept it and be thankful to the people giving their time and effort to prepare and run it. Shortly said: "better closed than nothing".

I'm always happy to get your opinion and feedback. I hope I have clarified my thoughts and answered the concerns you may have had on this aspect. I wish you a nice winter with abundant snow and sun in the north, and fair winds for sailing for those living in the southern hemisphere.