The Natural Growth of the J24 class, looking forward………..

Bruschetta VI is revitalised as Hugo's new boat

Those who have been sailing the J24 class in Australia over 20 years (yes unfortunately there are some), have seen three cycles of growth in the J24 class in Australia. These spikes in our numbers coincided each time with a pending World Championship.

Excluding the worlds in 1982, the first cycle was 1988, the second 1996 and third in 2006. The first two regattas saw our numbers increase by a minimum of 20 boats nationally, in 2006 we saw only a modest increase of about ten.
These World Cup Regatta’s whilst great for our class, created artificial growth, with class jumpers getting in to do a worlds then dumping their boats, often below market value and moving on.

This year we have seen a natural increase in J 24 sailing which I have never seen before.
The class in Victoria has grown by approximately six boats this season, with other boats also swapping owners as well. This growth is a result of a strong class with a dedicated team of owners and committee members, who have created a class structure that appeals to sailors, many who are interested in getting back into meaningful sailing. The competition is hot, high level, one design sailing at its best.
There are more potential owners out there, and space at SYC is an issue, however we also will run out of boats. We no longer have a builder, however I suggest the class start looking to the possibility of encouraging new and existing owners who may want to up-grade to look off shore. Our Dollar is super strong and in a weak international economy, I suggest some bargains may be had for those wishing to take the plunge. There are class associations overseas who would assist with information, and one only need look to the U.S. or Italy for a good yacht.
Alternatively, there are still some good J’s sitting around unused interstate, we should identify them and speak to our local boat builders about a information package to upgrade them to a competitive yacht that would appeal. We should know approximate costs so potential owners know how much to budget.
Our recent Victorian title, saw a influx of sailors from other classes. We had the current Victorian Laser champion sailing along with S80 Champions, SYC dinghy sailors and many others.
This new crop of sailors really liked what they saw and will come back again.
The point to all this back slapping is that the class needs to look forward to the next stage by appealing to the next generation and supplying them with competitive boats that are up to date and fast.
New owners look to the class for advise when making a purchase, and the class needs to be geared up to provide that information. Well done to those who have worked so hard to get this up to speed, lets help them keep it going.

3 thoughts on “The Natural Growth of the J24 class, looking forward………..”

  1. Simon
    Thanks for your wonderful words of wisdom. Yes it is great to see the J/24 fleet grow as much as it has in Victoria. We in NSW are quite jealous of what you have there in Victoria at present. Having new sailors from other classes enter the J/24 fleet is extremely encouraging. Reminds me of a couple blokes called Doug McGain and Sean kirkjean,who entered the J/24 class after sucessfully sailing lasers. What tends to happen is that as one state grows another state diminishes at the racing level. History is repeating itself. As for now enjoy the ride and look forward to more close racing.
    Tony Reynolds

  2. To Simon and Hugo,
    Thanks for the energy that you put into the class.
    The fleet is tight and competitive.
    The atmosphere is friendly.
    Great class to sail.
    Dan Flynn
    Crew on SSS

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