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Sabre Sailing Dinghy

Australia's most popular one design single handed class. The fun Single hander that is easy to sail but difficult to master.

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Following discussions at the Sabre AGM in January 2017, it was suggested that a survey of Sabre sailors in Australia be conducted to gain insights to help us to determine whether we should change the locations and/or the timing of our Sabre nationals to encourage greater participation. This arose bearing in mind the lower than expected attendance in the recent two Nationals in Hobart and Black Rock. Findings will not affect the next Nationals in 2017/18 in Perth.

Questionnaire emails were sent some 500 people who had shown an interest in receiving information about Sabre activities. We were pleased to receive 197 responses from Sabre owners, a good degree of interest. Responses showed that there was a core group of 34 people who participated in most Nationals, an additional 40 who did so only in their own state, 49 who rarely competed (perhaps only when the event was held at their club) and 74 (or 38%) who never competed. Many of the latter group preferred to sail Sabres in club races only or ‘just for fun’.

Although the situation can differ between event locations, it is likely that in most cases our current participation of 65 or so boats in nationals will be made up of most of the first group and some of the second. In order to get increased participation, the most popular response was to change the timing of the event to be in say mid-January, away from the Xmas New year family holiday period. In doing so, we need to be also mindful of national event times of other classes where children of Sabre parents participate. A change of location also scored well, with responses suggesting that we should seek family friendly, low cost places eg those with camping areas, cabins etc. However a high 50% would unlikely to be tempted to participate by any change to the event.

Some 40% of respondents mostly sail in their state championships.

Probably little of the above will come as startling insights to most Sabre sailors, however it does provide us with guidance and confidence in planning future Sabre nationals. We thank all those who participated and provided comments and look forward to their continuing participation and success in Sabre sailing.

As an interesting side issue of the survey, Sabre sailors were asked how they got into Sabre sailing. Their responses can be seen here.

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