It's a public thread, and I've posted here before - just not in a while. If there's Viper activity in the world, I'll find it. ;-)
Entry fees: I don't want to throw stones. I've been an event chair many times before and each club has its own cost structure, and I don't know what Southern's cost structure is, though it is obviously a fantastic property with great staff and members. My understanding from talking to the event chairs for this one (who deserve a tip of the hat - Ricky and Harrison are among the youngest event chairs we've ever had for an event in Class history, and it's great that they stepped up to handle the load) is that they copied the entry fee from our most recent winter series at Sarasota Sailing Squadron, which last winter was in fact $175/event.
For traveling sailors, the entry fee is a drop in the bucket when you consider the cost of shipping your boat, storing your boat, flying to the event, getting housing, and if you so choose, being out on the town in one of the greatest cities in the country. A lot of foggy faces on Sunday morning that played a small role along with the weather in folks not sailing on Sunday.
Things I think we received for the entry fee:
- YachtScoring costs (not sure if these are fixed at $10/boat or something higher)
- Trophies (SYC bar tabs for top 3 teams plus additional trophies for overall series winners at the end). That was $225 worth of bar tab (granted, while a unique trophy, that also builds in some margin on the back end for SYC, but ask me if I care after my next Hurricane at the February event, and if folks ask nicely, maybe we'll use some of our bar tab winnings to share the love for others in the fleet post racing)
- Post-race keg - these always get up-charged by clubs. Larchmont likes to try to charge fleets $300 for a keg now - there's no way that's what it costs them, but it is what it is.
- RC costs (these vary by club - when I'd be an event chair at Larchmont YC, the RC would charge me $250-300 per day for my regatta budget for their costs for RC fuel, food and misc. wear and tear on their equipment)
- Regatta shirts (Ricky and Harrison say these are coming at the next event)
So the only difference between this and the SSS regattas so far is that SSS had a regatta meal post-racing on Saturday. However, SSS also had sponsorship for the winter series. Ricky and Harrison say the goal is to run this as a break-even event. I haven't asked them to open their books but it's likely that they are. Additionally, boat storage at SYC happens to be less than what SSS charged us last year (ssssshhhh).
Sometimes regatta chairs come to the Class to review NORs and budgets beforehand - but that is not the norm. It didn't happen here to my knowledge, and even if it did, I doubt we would have second guessed them, but I'm sure they'd discuss it with you if you wanted to see the books. I don't think they were trying to screw anyone over, but I understand if folks think that could have happened. It's always less expensive to run a regatta out of your backyard or if a Club wants to subsidize a regatta, but that isn't so common, and I'm thrilled to be able to have mast-up storage and racing at SYC to be able to practice for Worlds.
I wish the weather had cooperated on Sunday and that we didn't have to lose a race on Saturday due to a mark change error, but I also wish the airline hadn't lost my wife's ticket such that we had to sail 2-up on Saturday. We had a great time and we're looking forward to February (have other plans in January so we won't be able to compete then). Hopefully our new Viper will be Stateside by then so we can start getting it rigged and ready to go for Worlds and beyond.