Yes, I agree that this year was a one off and were it not for the generosity of yourself and a few others the event would not have gone ahead. But, as you say, this shouldn't be the way things are done. I am sure that the majority of people attending are more than happy to contribute to the costs and it's really a case of harnessing that willingness. I also take your point about needing at least some of the finance 'up front' to relieve financial pressure on the organisers. There is a donation mechanism on Mayhem and while I am not certain whether I will be able to attend next year at this stage, I would still be very happy to make an upfront donation on the assumption that I will come. Others may prefer to make a donation on the day which might entail dipping into any financial 'reserves' Mayhem might have. While Martin has been very generous in the past in providing free drinks etc. I don't think it at all unreasonable that people should pay for these at a minimum of cost price. As Bill says, it's no great hardship to drop maybe 50p or £1 in the box and any surplus will go to help fund the event. I don't know what the situation is with the traders but I would hope they are prepared to make their own voluntary donations if it is not possible to charge them a small sum directly because of park regulations etc. As I say, I don't know what the actual 'balance sheet' for the event is but given the number of attendees, traders and the work put in by volunteers I would imagine that the baseline cost could be covered without anyone having to dig too deep in their pockets. I don't think we should have a fixed entry fee as some people are in a better position to contribute than others so just a suggested average sum could be mentioned.
Yes, I agree with you that the event should be fun and I am not suggesting that it should be unduly regimented. However, when you have made a 260 mile round trip and been unable to run your own boats for fear of them being damaged or sunk it is not quite so much fun. I visited on the Saturday this year and witnessed quite a number of collisions due to careless driving, any one of which would have wiped out my boats completely. I am simply suggesting that we introduce a few common sense measures to ensure that everyone enjoys the day bearing in mind that the nature of Mayhem offers the opportunity to see a very wide variety of models in action as opposed to sitting on a stand in an exhibition. Giving the smaller, slower, more vulnerable boats their own space at the normally less used end of the lake would be one. I think the timetable tried in the past was probably too detailed but it should be quite possible to identify just a few blocks of time, (say 30-45 minutes) between the free sailing sessions for specific sessions for categories such as sailing boats, straight runners, a warship parade, Springers etc. Some of these models could also participate in the free sailing sessions as well if the owners are happy to do do so. With regard to people 'not being ready' then I suggest they need to be a bit better organised! Phil Abbott doesn't seem to have a problem with this and he runs steamers. Also, I doubt if that would be an acceptable excuse in your normal racing programme!
More and more people now have 2.4Ghz radios but active frequency control is still needed as otherwise there is a tenedency for people to walk off with the peg and hog the frequency. OK, you can find them and ask for a go yourself but it is better if people simply book say half hour slots and only continue running by agreement with frequency control if the next slot is empty.
I am not going to comment on the ban on IC as I have heard several different versions of the reasons for this.