Within the sailing scene it's easy to focus on the coolest, most innovative and fastest classes around the world. Hidden all around the world we also find many traditional sailing classes which have been there for years and years; the Olympiajol, Snipe, Lightning, Etchells, Twelve Foot Dinghies. Did you know the Twelve Foot Dinghy was the first one-design racing dinghy to achieve international recognition and was an Olympic class in the 1920s?
We think these classes are the real treasures of the sailing scene and deserve more recognition. For this reason Magic Marine started a program called the 'hidden class connection'. The French Vaurien, the Dutch Olympiajol class and the Australian Wooden Boat Festival are already part of this program. And there's room for more.
More visibility for hidden classes
In the early days of sailing beautiful boats were designed all around the world. Some boats are only well known in a certain country, or even a certain region within that country. In these so called 'hidden classes' we encountered a lot of love for the sailing sport and loyalty from the sailors towards their class. The main goal of the 'hidden class connection' is to give some extra support to these hidden classes. We can provide them with a network, not only for technical sailing gear, but also for logistics and support them in there challenge to gain more visibility to keep the class attractive and alive.
Connecting the hidden classes
Joining the hidden class connection means getting connected with a Magic Marine store nearby the home base of the class. The stores provide the class with information about team gear and technical products and make sure they can order with discount. The shop will serve as their contact person for all questions throughout the season. The Dutch Olympiajol Class Organisation is one of the hidden classes connected by the Magic Marine program.
Magic Marine network
Alongside the support on product level the class has the opportunity to use the Magic Marine network. Classes can be connected with each other to exchange information and share needs or logistics. The role of Magic Marine onthis part is that they also can borrow event materials and can compete with the other classes for bigger prices at the end of the season.
The Australian Wooden Boat Festival
The Australian Wooden Boat Festival is an exciting celebration of it's nation’s rich maritime culture. The festival plays an important role in gaining visibility for hidden classes around the world. At this edition of the popular festival, that attracts over 200,000 visitors, the Netherlands are the guest of honour. “We have brought over some typical Dutch classes to show to the public, like traditional tjotters, the Regenboog, Twelve Foot Dinghies and 16m2,” says Karen Meirik, associate producer of the festival.
The International Twelve Foot Dinghy is a good example of a 'hidden class'. It was designed by George Cockshott, an amateur boat designer from Southport, over a century ago. It became the first one-design racing dinghy to achieve international recognition and was an Olympic class in the 1920s. Besides the Netherlands, it is popular in Italy, Turkey, Japan, Switzerland, France, Germany and Lithuania. The two Dutch dinghies were built in 1923 and 1939. Their owners want to raise interest in their historic class in Tasmania, where there is a lot of appreciation for Wooden Boat culture.
Want to get connected?
Class organisations of 'hidden classes' can apply to join the 'hidden class connection' program. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with information about the class, boat type, amount of members and in which countries the class is sailing and where the home base of the class organisation is. If you're sailing in a hidden class, get your class organisation to send us an email with all these details.