Friday, December 20, 2013


There is a funny thing to be said about knowing when your club or your class is on the upswing. You know when it is? It is growing when members are buying and maintaining their equipment so as to be competitive with their competition. It sounds funny maybe far fetched, however it is true. Just think about it. When complacency sets into your club, your fleet or your class what is the first thing you notice? Do all the boats look a little older then normal, does the group look the same, are the same people showing up? Well that is the definition of an organization that is stale or just hanging on.

Successful groups or classes are the ones where quite honestly the members are engaged, they are excited, they are competitive. All these concepts drive the marketing bus of that class , that club or that fleet. Though we all want to stay competitive for the best value, generally for most, it is for the least they have to spend. Though it is great for your wallet it does not necessarily help your friends, your competitors or your class or club. People that are engaged in that moment draw more energy into ice boating, it creates a cycle which draws in others.

A short while back the Renegades had that energy. They were building like crazy, new boats new projects. Lots and lots of sails purchased. They were the first group looking to get out on the ice.
They had it, they had that energy. Honestly people were driving it, then it tapered off. Things became complacent. All of a sudden boats start showing up for sale, more then usual. Is it a bad thing is it a turnover perhaps? Or did people just slide into being complacent? They still have a bunch of boats but where is the "IT".

Currently the Nites are seeing an upswing again. The Nite class has always kind of been this group that does their own thing, kind of involved in the scene but to the outsiders kind of aloof. Once you get involved they are a great group but you have to jump into the circle so to speak. What is really interesting though is that people are starting to talk about improving their programs. Go figure the really tight fist ed are opening the wallet. This is really a group that every five or six years might buy a sail but theirs has to be really beat up to do so. They are a "Things are good but I really do not need to go nuts to go faster", type of guys.

Well things are a changing or at least for the moment. People are putting their money down and it in turn is creating the energy. For a while the fast guys have been standing pat, the envelope may now have been pushed knowing that the front of the fleet is ponying up. Take for instance Terry Erwin, past National Champion, builds his own equipment, a front of the fleet sailor. Hmmm he just jumped his game with the addition of one of the Mattison Nite masts. Missing link? Perhaps. Or is he elevating the rest of the fleet? Is the Norton building program part of it, maybe or maybe not. The real results will become apparent as the season progresses.

People are buying up used Nites, more are coming out of the woodwork. The class got a publication out prior to the season. People are excited, new boats are being built. Others are rethinking their equipment. This is "IT".

You can not leave out the DN's either. Lots of Madison stuff going on. They are working on "IT" as well.

Push yourself to jump on the bandwagon, because when it is rolling that is when it is the most fun.

1 comment:

  1. 12/22--how about an ice report...