National 12

General Boards => General National 12 chat => Topic started by: grazz on April 13, 2020, 09:46:10 PM

Title: Burton Cup format
Post by: grazz on April 13, 2020, 09:46:10 PM
After three failed attempts to complete the Burton Cup (due to light winds) at Pevensey Bay last year, the Committee was asked at the AGM to consider changes to the Burton Cup format for 2020. The Burton Cup has traditionally been a long distance race held on the open sea of at least 12 miles, being four laps and often, but not always, around a triangular course. However, since the "week" is now eight races run over four days, it's become increasingly difficult to accommodate this format within a four day event.

The key challenges with the current format are:

1. the differing speeds of boats in the fleet and the use of a triangular course mean that large gaps can develop between boats during the race;
2. the duration of the race means that it is difficult to add in additional races on that day if any are lost due to adverse weather;
3. if the course is shortened, it ceases to be the Burton Cup race, and the Burton Cup then has to be sailed for on a subsequent day, which causes difficulties for the race committee in trying to complete the remaining scheduled races

The intention of the format change is to retain the special character of the Burton Cup as a premier long distance race but to make it more enjoyable by increasing the chances of most boats having close racing and being able to finish, encouraging older boats to take part as well as giving the race committee more flexibility. The Committee has therefore decided that for 2020 the Burton Cup race will continue to be a long distance race, but will finish on the leg that the leader is on after 2 hours have expired (the average length of races at Burton Week is 50 minutes-1 hour). While it will be scheduled as the only race of the day, with the shorter race duration it will be more realistic to add additional races on that day if necessary. There will not be a minimum leg length (although there will be a minimum number of legs) or a requirement that the course is necessarily triangular, but the guidance given to the race officer will be that the course should be longer than the regular races.

The committee appreciates that the Burton Cup holds a special place in the history of the class, so any thoughts or feedback are welcome.
Title: Re: Burton Cup format
Post by: johnk on April 14, 2020, 03:43:40 PM
What does the Deed of Gift say? This may need to be amended.
Title: Re: Burton Cup format
Post by: John M on April 14, 2020, 05:56:50 PM
If anyone can find the deed of gift / clarify that one ever existed then that would be a start!

My understanding of the history is that the Burton Cup was the long race of Burton Week.  Back then all courses were triangles and a normal race 3 laps and the Burton Cup therefore 4 laps.

Normal races have changed over the years.  But the Burton Cup has remained the extended original normal race.

As a result I understand that these revisions are entirely within the spirit of the intention of the race.  I think they represent a significant improvement although I would still like to sail a 2 hr 15 minute race in cracking conditions and not get stopped a little early just because of the clock.

Looking forward to Shoreham!
Title: Re: Burton Cup format
Post by: grazz on April 14, 2020, 10:41:37 PM
The NTOA committee has no record of a deed of gift attached to the Burton Cup, unless anyone out there can find a copy to prove us wrong!

Extensive research by Michael Brookman (including yearbooks, handbooks, sailing instructions etc) shows that while the race has always been long distance and held on the sea, the actual distance, the distance per round of the course and the shape of the course has varied over time, settling down to its current format of around 12 miles in length and 4 laps of a triangular course some time in the 1950s. The start and finish configuration has also varied, with the start sometimes being laid to leeward of the leeward mark, or the finish being a beat either near the windward mark or a short beat just past the leeward mark.   
Title: Re: Burton Cup format
Post by: johnk on April 15, 2020, 02:10:55 PM
Maybe the RYA has the old YRA records that contain the details. Robin Steavenson in his book "The National Twelves" states that the class rules were created for the YRA and implies that the early events were run by the YRA whose chairman was Sir William Burton. It might be worth asking the RYA if they do have any details.

This should not stop NTOA trying to change the format of the Burton Cup race but we should try to avoid any legal issues.

Title: Re: Burton Cup format
Post by: paul turner on April 18, 2020, 08:27:53 AM
As one who has been lapped on various occasions in my assorted vintage boats at several Burton's in the past I think that the above proposal is very sensible and I support it. And, if the C19 situation allows us to sail the Champs this year, I will try to get down to sail the Burton to fly the clinker flag. Px