The Dabchick, our iconic South African designed sailing dinghy, will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2016. Our dream is to have a fleet of at least 60 Dabbies taking part in the 2016 Dabchick Youth Nationals. In order to achieve this, we are on a mission to grow the fleet.
After brainstorming various ways to achieve this it has become clear that we need to assemble a collection of Dabbies that can be used for training and development, and rented to young sailors on a short term basis, so that we can share the thrill of sailing this exhilarating craft and build the fleet.
There is no doubt that the boat sells itself – youngsters cannot resist the huge fun to be had sailing a Dabbie, plus there is the added dimension of the social side of the Dabbie class. The Dabbie kids are famous for sticking together, having fun and helping each other grow into better sailors by sharing tips, sometimes even during races!
We therefore have to find as many sailable Dabbies as we can, as quickly as possible, so we can use these boats for training and to promote this amazing craft. Around 3500 Dabbies have been built over the years and, since not all of them have sunk or become firewood, there must be plenty of them hanging from garage ceilings or in storage somewhere that can be brought back into regular use ahead of this milestone anniversary event for the class.
And this is where we need your assistance – please help us to locate any disused Dabbies that may be donated or purchased to help our cause and add to our pool of boats. We are trying to track down as many ’lost’ Dabbies as we can and are busy creating the definitive Dabbie database listing all known Dabbies.
If you don’t have a Dabbie to donate, but would like to contribute to the cause, we would welcome any monetary donations. Please contact the Treasurer, Barbara Sher (email@example.com) to obtain the Dabchick Association bank account details. We also invite donations from corporate sponsors. In return we will acknowledge your sponsorship by giving you advertising space on your own sponsored boats.
In the fullness of time we’d love to have a collection of reasonable-to-good boats that are properly housed and cared for and that can be used for training, travelling road-shows and open days. This can only help to grow our fleet and swell the numbers entering our sport.
If you talk to anyone involved with the development and training of our top sailors in South Africa, they will tell you that it is far easier for a sailor to get physically fit for hard, competitive sailing than to gain the hands-on racing experience necessary to excel at the highest levels in the sport.
These essential skills can only be truly honed in the cut and thrust of the start line and the thrill of the race, regardless of how many hours are spent in land training and theory sessions, studying rules and tactics. Learning to practically implement all this sailing theory in the heat of the moment and in the best possible way is an indispensable element in the development of any young sailor. Sailing in large fleets from an early age is an advantage that cannot be over-emphasised.
Logic further dictates that having a wide base of as many young sailors as possible must be a huge advantage in the quest for sailing talent. The wider this base, the better the chances that some truly great sailors will emerge to carry the torch for their country. Having to fight to the top of the pile against a large number of competitors breeds sailors who are far tougher than those who do not have the sheer weight of numbers to contend with, and a substantial Dabbie fleet would provide just the right cauldron in which this talent can be tempered and developed.
Please help us to get at least 60 boats on the water by 2016 – any assistance in this regard would be greatly appreciated! Contact Andy Hoyle – firstname.lastname@example.org