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Courses for Open Meetings

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Poll Question: Which courses do you prefer at opens? Please read the comments first.
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
8 [22.22%]
12 [33.33%]
2 [5.56%]
14 [38.89%]
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Medway Maniac View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Medway Maniac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Courses for Open Meetings
    Posted: 03 Apr 13 at 12:11pm
Suspect I'm in for a bashing on this one, but here goes.

When I've attended 3k opens and been presented exclusively with windward-leeward courses, I've been bored witless by the end of a weekend.  I've not been alone in wishing there had been some challenging kite reaches - laying a mark with the kite up is after all a skill that's important in everyday sailing but largely untested on ww-lw.

Even worse in a 2k, where you need to head up with that little kite to get any exciting blasting, and yet they trudge eternally up and down ww-lw courses, mostly soaking the runs. Tedious sailing even if pundits would argue that the racing is more tactical.  A limited set of tactics, however.

Again, in the Wayfarer, we've attended lovely venues like Poole and Falmouth that are just crying out for geographical courses that test your ability to interpret the topology and tides. But what do we get? Eternal triangles just like the last open and the one before that.  It's like they try to convert every venue into Grafham.  A reason given is that they want to avoid locals having an advantage, but in my experience that is a very over-rated commodity - it is rarely the locals who come out on top; often they are blinkered (self included) by what 'it's usually like'.

What prompted this thread was sight of this:

Locals sailing out of Lymington.  When we had a Nats there (at the other club), we missed out on the great sailing in the river and were obliged to sail forever to get to and from some very indifferent sausage triangles out in the Solent miles from any shore references (nice bits).

So what I'd like to establish is, am I the only person who when they visit other venues would like to sail the courses that the locals normally sail?.  My reasoning is that they will have evolved the best courses for their local environment, and when I go there I want to have best sail on offer.  If that involves complex navigation like inside Poole Harbour, great - it is something new and invariably not impossible to pick up fairly quickly.  If it involves occasionally losing out to the local hot shot because he knows of a back-eddy, fine, a small price to pay for an interesting sail and something learned. Moreover, one reason for travelling is, for me, a desire to experience something different to what I normally do; I don't get that if i'm stuck in the middle of nowhere in particular traipsing round the usual laps.

Right, got that of my chest.  Please vote away.
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Rupert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 13 at 12:16pm
I am with you all the way on this. Interesting courses, and variety.Difficult to vote, though, as there is a place for all of the above.


Edited by Rupert - 03 Apr 13 at 12:17pm
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Van Mentz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Van Mentz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 13 at 1:25pm
You are not in for a bashing - not from me anyway - I am with you shoulder to shoulder.
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rogerd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 13 at 1:33pm
and me. Some of my most enjoyable sails have been round the cans. As you say triangles, sausages etc become very boring.
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RichTea View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RichTea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 13 at 1:56pm
I prefer sailing round the cans. It means there is a chance of a reach, bit of downwind and upwind with bits in between. 

With the Laser I remember going to Frensham sailing around their cans. Great race and once you learn the course it is all level pegging.


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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 13 at 2:23pm
In an ideal world I think the changes ought to be rung a bit, but there are also the practical problems.

I really dislike courses based round the local navigation marks or whatever, because that does give something of a premium in knowing where SE Winner (or whatever) is, especially in places where they move around!

The trouble is if you are laying marks then the more complex the course then the longer course changes take, and that's good racing time lost unless you expect the race team to be out there moving marks while the competitors are having their lunch. I remember doing an event where an astonishingly organised race team set a l/h course for one fleet and a r/h course for the other with gates and goodness knows what. It involved about a dozen marks... Like I say, a super feat of organisation to get those courses out at all, but a big windshift was a nightmare waiting for it all to be reset.

Personally I think quadrilaterals are a pretty good compromise, but I think race teams should attempt to ring the changes... Doesn't take that much longer to change the angle of one of the reaches than it does to just reset the run for where the wind is now - well, not if you have a good crew on the boat. If they are some of your most willing but least experienced volunteers maybe you're just happy to get the run square at all...
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Neptune View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Neptune Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 13 at 3:21pm
There is much to be said about how good a trapezoid course is as you get little of everything on each lap.
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iGRF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote iGRF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 13 at 3:51pm
You'd have to be pretty damned good to go and trade blows with those banjo players and their fixed marks up on the medway.

And my brain bleeds every week looking at the course board with it 4S   7P 5S 3P etc I hate having to write stuff on masking tape and stick it on my dry suit sleeve for it to wash off at the first mark rounding.

So If it's a serious event then a triangle sausage gives everything, reaches, windward leeward and in any given location other than geographic influences which a good sailor would spot anyway, no advantage to locals.

I don't like windward leeward nor do I like box courses with attempted tight reach that inevitably becomes a fetch with no option but to queue one behind the other. And P courses suck, we used to run triangle sausage with a three bouy in out gybe at the corners which made for interesting corner roundings and calls for water.

I hate starboard hand courses like we had at the FOM nothing worse than laying the mark on Port not quite clear ahead for some bunch of Finn muppets to flip you round whilst they sail on to overstand the other side as well..About the only word they can enunciate in their brandy&babychammed stupor is StaaaarrrrBoooooored.
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pondmonkey View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pondmonkey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 13 at 3:55pm
W/L - all part of the illusion that asymmetric sailing is superior, when in truth, it's nice as part of a variation on courses, but in isolation it soon becomes tedious.
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vscott View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote vscott Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 13 at 4:50pm
You need to do some of the unusual events like Birkett or Kielder Dam to Dam (coming up the first May bank holiday ) because you have to go round the corners of the lakes.

I also really enjoy topgraphical courses, even in unknown venues, because it is such a different set of challenges. Burnham on Crouch, Blithfield, Coniston - all full of variety

Edited by vscott - 03 Apr 13 at 4:51pm
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