The Lake Champlain Racing Conference met on 3/12 to finalize the 1998 sailboat racing series and deal with participation, advertising, and budgetary issues. The LCRC series for 1998 will be the Chiott Marine Challenge – 6/6; Royal Savage 6/20-20; Plattsburgh Mayor’s Cup 7/18; Valcour Race 7/19; Lake Champlain Race 8/7-9; Odziozo 8/29-30; and Commodore MacDonough 9/12 – with Awards on 10/9 possibly at the Lake Champlain Yacht Club’s new clubhouse.
The conference is struggling with dwindling participation and 1998 will see some changes to try and help boost this. The most significant is the creation of a jib and main(JAM) sail only class. Most LCRC events already include a JAM class but the LCRC hasn’t included them in the season long series until now.
There was plenty of discussion about race organizers allowing Category B advertising in LCRC events. Category B advertising would allow individual boats to display advertising on their hulls and sails in addition to any advertising that might be required by the event organizer. As it turns out, LCRC rules already allow event organizers to run Category B events if they choose to. A small wording change makes it clearer. It is anticipated that a majority of the LCRC races will be Category B, but individual Notices of Race and Sailing Instructions will be the final determination. Valcour sailing has had all of its racing in 97 Category B.
LCRC series participation has been declining over recent years for various reasons. Other larger but similar events around the country have been moving toward multiple one design classes. We’re not likely to see Mumm 30s and Corel 45s on Lake Champlain, but there was talk of introducing some dinghy classes like the JY/15 and Laser. It’ll be up to individual race organizers to introduce the extra classes and deal with the additional logistics of separate race courses and committees. The Plattsburgh Mayor’s Cup is the only LCRC event to date which has included small dinghies but not without difficulties. Delegates hope to see more events with dinghy classes so that the conference can make a Lake wide series out of it.
Another function that LCRC performs is the PHRF handicapping of boats across the Lake. Up to now this service has been free. The LCRC delegates voted to assess a small fee to race organizers that make use of it’s service and individual that apply for a rating outside of these organizations.
Finally, event sponsorship is something that LCRC has not engaged in itself but will be looking into in 1998.