As you may know from last year's AGM there is a new initiative from UKFFA this year to provide additional support to 'grass-roots' Flying Fifteen sailors alongside the usual emphasis on the relatively small number of hot shots who do the big events.
As part of this we have created five (yes, count them, FIVE!) new publicity leaflets for the class which were first distributed at the dinghy show last month and are now being sent-out directly to 50+ clubs and fleet captains in order to be distributed at a local level.
Three of the leaflets promote the Lakeland, Northern and Southern Traveller series respectively, with each of these regional open meeting circuits being aimed specifically at club-level sailors and providing what is perhaps a less-daunting competitive experience than can sometimes be the case at the big National events.
Next we have the "Isn't it time you Flew a Fifteen?" leaflet, which deliberately targets sailors from other classes! We know the Flying Fifteen as a boat and as a class is widely admired by dinghy sailors generally, and in many cases is even seen as being "aspirational" in the same way that a Jaguar car is seen as being aspirational by drivers of more mundane brands. But, and again the Jaguar analogy holds true, all-too-often potential Flying Fifteen converts are held-back by their misconceptions about the class (difficult to launch / old man's boat / too powerful for lightweights etc etc) and the "Isn't it time you Flew a Fifteen" leaflet specifically aims to challenge these misconceptions and direct potential owners to UKFFA's Trial Sail programme established last year by Bobby Salmond.
The final leaflet on the other hand is aimed squarely at existing Flying Fifteen owners - but those who haven't yet joined UKFFA! Although we all know - at an intellectual level at least - that there's a strong class association behind every strong class, it can sometimes be difficult to make the case to club-level sailors why they should join and support their own class association. UKFFA's final leaflet is aimed at such sailors and gently points-out some of the direct benefits they would receive in return for their £35 membership subscription.
To conclude, we will be sending Publicity Packs to the fleet captain at every club listed on the UK Fleets page of this website, with each pack containing several copies (in a geographically-appropriate mix) of each leaflet, and we'd like each fleet captains to make the best use of them within their club as they can.
We'd also like to hear from anyone else who thinks they can make good use of one of the packs - so for example if your club isn't listed on the UK Fleet page but you have some Flying Fifteen sailors (or potential Flying Fifteen sailors!) please let us know as we'll add you to the mailing list too.
Finally, just a reminder of the "Flew a Fifteen" posters we also had printed for the dinghy show last month; these proved so popular that we had to arrange for a second batch to be printed after the show and these now grace the walls of various sailing clubs not just in the UK and Europe but as far afield as Canada! Although we're not proposing to get any more produced just yet I expect we will arrange for another batch to be printed at some point, and possibly with different photography and in other sizes - so do bear this in mind if you're looking for more Flying Fifteen publicity material for your club!