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How do I improve my child's chances of attending Cadet Week in 2024?

Certain groups in Cadet Week are frequently over subscribed, with more sailors than available spaces. These are typically the lake training, and sometimes the river training groups. River racing (MG) groups are unconstrained since we offer coached racing where there is no maximum limit on group sizes. Based on previous years, it is likely that around 10% of the cadets who wish to do cadet week will be unable to do so. 

To improve your child's chances of attending you can:

  • If they are not cadet members in their own right, then apply for membership as soon as possible (See 'My child is not a member' below).
  • Encourage them to attend as many of the BSC cadet training events as possible. See 'What criteria will be used' below.
  • Encourage them to practice sailing and racing regularly at the club, outside of formal training weekends. More able and experienced sailors are less likely to be in groups that are oversubscribed.
  • Volunteer during Cadet Week. We can't run the week without volunteers, so we will prioritise entry for cadets who have parents, guardians or relatives who are able to help. 
  • If you have the skills, consider becoming an RYA assistant instructor, dinghy instructor or racing coach. The more instructors we have, the more children we can train, so we will prioritise entry for cadets who have parents, guardians or relatives who are instructors at Cadet Week. Contact the cadet skipper for more information.
  • Buy a boat. We only have a limited number of club boats to hire. Having your own boat will improve your chances of getting a place.

Why did you introduce a new registration system in 2023?

In previous years, an overall cap on numbers has been used, with a ‘first come, first served’ policy on entering. Your odds of getting your child into Cadet Week have depended solely on whether you are aware of the registration opening, and near a computer at the appropriate time. It was very much like trying to get tickets for Glastonbury!

In the last couple of years we’ve moved to a system of separate registration for lake, river training, and MG groups. This makes it easier to manage the groups that have constrained capacity, but it is still ‘first come, first served’. We also have problems with people applying to the wrong category and having to be moved.

This new system seeks to establish a fairer and more transparent process which makes the best use of the available capacity, and will allow as many cadets as possible to enjoy the week without sacrificing the high quality of our training. It will also let people know as early as possible if they have a guaranteed place in cadet week, allowing them to plan family holidays and so on.

How will the new system work?

Registration will happen in two phases. The dates shown are for 2023, but they will be similar for 2024.

Phase one - registration: 15th May to 15th June

In this first phase cadets need to be registered, and pay their registration fee. At this stage they don’t have a guaranteed place, but without registering and paying they won’t be able to enter Cadet Week. The registration window will be four weeks long, and when you register will have no bearing on whether a place is available. Cadets who are not yet members will also need to apply for membership (see 'My child is not a member' below) at this stage.

After the final training weekend (8th and 9th June) we will allocate instructors to groups, and decide which cadets should go into which group. If a group is not full, then all cadets in that group will be selected. If a particular groups is oversubscribed, then cadets will either be selected, or put on a waiting list. The criteria for selection is given below. Cadets who have not paid their registration fee will not be considered for selection.

Phase two - selection: 19th June to 25th June

Cadets will be notified of their selection, or position on the relevant waiting list on the 19th June. At this stage it will be possible to withdraw from Cadet week and receive a full refund. This will move up other Cadets from any relevant waiting lists. Final places for cadet week need to be confirmed before the 26th June. After this point a full refund will not be possible as we will have committed expenditure based on expected numbers. Any cadets who have not made the final selection will then receive a full refund of their registration fee, eithier as a credit on their BSC account or as a bank transfer.

What criteria will be used if a particular group is oversubscribed?

In the event of a particular training group being over subscribed, we will use the following criteria to determine which cadets we would prioritize:

  • Cadets who have been members the longest (not the parents membership). All cadets who will be eight years old at the start of Cadet Week will be treated as if they have been members since the 1st September the previous year.
  • Cadets who have participated in other training events during the year: the more the better!
  • Cadets with parents, guardians or close relatives who are instructors and/or key volunteers for Cadet Week. Key volunteers are adult cadet committee members, plus the heads of the bridge, safety, ramp, and galley teams.
  • Siblings who have been selected in other groups.
  • Availability of parents, guardians or relatives as adult volunteers during the week. The more days you can volunteer for, the better. Please note that if parents volunteer to help, but are unavailable when required then this will be taken into consideration in allocating places at future events.
  • Boat ownership. We have a limited number of boats to hire, and having your own boat will help get you a place.

Although all of these will be taken into account there is no formal weighting of these criteria. As is the case now, the final decision will be made by the Cadet Skipper. And he is unbribable!

How does this affect new members?

Under this system relatively new members will be disadvantaged relative to existing members. However, you can still improve your chances of getting your child in, as the first section above explains. Specifically, we strongly suggest that new members join as soon as possible.

The earlier you join the club, then you will have a better chance of succeeding next year (due to the length of membership criteria). Your chances will also be improved considerably if your cadet does plenty of training weekends in 2024 before cadet week starts.

My child is not a member of the club

You cannot do cadet week unless you are a paid up cadet member of the club in your own right. It is not enough for your parents or grandparents to be members! In a change from previous years, cadets have to be in school year three to take part in cadet training, so they can join from January 1st in the year they will turn eight.

 If your cadet is already eight years old, or will turn eight before 1st September 2024, then they should join as soon as possible. If their parents are guardians are already members, it is unlikely your membership will be refused but this formality is still required. They should also attend as many training events as possible once they have become members. 

IMPORTANT: If your cadet membership fee is not paid for before the registration deadline, then you wil not be given a place in Cadet Week.

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