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Multiple-Starts Sequence

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Post Options Post Options   Quote vscott Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 14 at 4:34pm
We have visited one club that uses the same class flag for all classes - very confusing if you have not got out for the start of the first class away.  We forgive them because of the beauty of the surroundings!

Why is it the preparatory flag that goes down at 1 minute to and not the class flag?  If it was the class flag then you would have a visual signal that you were in the last minute (only the prep flag) and the same number of flags to go up at the next manoeuvre.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote patj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 14 at 6:45pm
At BCYC we do 6-3-0 with class flag at 6, blue peter at first 3 along with next class flag then first class flag down at 0 and next class flag up.... so each class flag is up for 6 minutes and the blue peter stays up until the last Go. Hoots every 3 minutes.
Even a single handicap start is 6-3-0 and it is all written into the local procedures and SI and it seems to work. Classes needing a general recall go to the end of the sequence for their restart.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Medway Maniac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 14 at 7:26pm
Sounds like 6-3-0 is a goer for us then, especially as we have a line of boards with each of the class flags on, which can be concealed or revealed by a 90 degree drop of its own dedicated P flag board. Dropping the P flag board a further 90 reveals the P below the class flag.

We have already long-since amended our SI's to send the naughty class to the end of the queue.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote craiggo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 14 at 8:12pm
We have three starts, and use 5410. Don't recall having any real issues.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Medway Maniac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 14 at 8:22pm
Originally posted by craiggo

We have three starts, and use 5410. Don't recall having any real issues.

Then you don't have a 'Slow' fleet complaining about lack of racing time before the limit excludes them, and your race crews are immune from the overwhelming desire to converse.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote craiggo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 14 at 8:50pm
No we don't. Our first fleet to go is the fast handicap, then slow handicap then our cruisers/yachts. We had a few grumblings when we initially switched from 6,3,0 but after a couple of weeks it was like we'd always used 5,4,1,0. We only have a 3hr window to sail in so we are pretty constrained but it works for us. I can imagine that if you have 4 or 5 starts then it becomes a problem or loss of recalls.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 14 at 11:01pm
Originally posted by Rupert

Nope, they both came down on the gun, right or wrong. If there was another class starting 5 mins later, it was dipped. Can remember clearly, left hand on one flag, right on the other. Big pull. We also used to hoist the flags rolled so that a small tug would have them flying exactly on time. Most disappointed when I went to another club and they simply pulled them up on the hoot. That was the point for me where the noise started to mean more than the flag, whatever the rules say. 

I can't, of course speak for the practices at your club, but here's the rule:
 
RRS 1969 Rule 4 ( a )

... when classes are started at ten-minute intervals, the warning signal for each succeeding class shall be broken out or displayed at the starting signal of the preceding class, and

... at five-minute  intervals, the preparatory signal for the first class to staart shall be left flying or displayed until the last class has started ...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 14 at 11:17pm
Originally posted by vscott

We have visited one club that uses the same class flag for all classes - very confusing if you have not got out for the start of the first class away.  We forgive them because of the beauty of the surroundings!

Why is it the preparatory flag that goes down at 1 minute to and not the class flag?  If it was the class flag then you would have a visual signal that you were in the last minute (only the prep flag) and the same number of flags to go up at the next manoeuvre.

Under the old pre-1995 system, the starting signal was the lowering of both the Warning and Preparatory Signals (and if the I flag was used to invoke the One Minute Rule, it flew with the Preparatory Signal, but the One Minute period was signalled by lowering the I flag.

The effect of both the old and the current procedure is that the Class Flag, which is the warning signal remains on-display for the whole of the starting sequence for that class or division, thus:
  • while there may be ambiguity about  whether your are in the first or last minute;
  • there is no ambiguity about which class is in sequence (except at the friendly neigbouring club which you described).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Medway Maniac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Nov 14 at 11:16pm
Right, some feedback on this.

We were seduced by the apparent simplicity of the 3-2-1-go sequence, which merely replaces '5' and '4' by '3' and '2' respectively, and gave it a go at the start of our Frostbite Series today.  I acted as ARO for guinea-pig RO who is an experienced racer but only a twice-yearly RO; we run two-person race-box teams.

Once I'd convinced him that, yes, we really did sound a signal every minute, the procedure worked very smoothly, with me standing outside working the flag boards (and getting drenched) and him hooting away inside the race hut following the timer.

At the end of the refreshingly short sequence, however, we both had to admit that we were so committed to those tasks that we had not had the opportunity to survey the goings on around the start line, and in particular to distinguish between the boats which were starting and those which were preparing for the next start. That would not be such a problem except that in this series we run Long, Medium and Lapping courses, freely selectable by competitors, so that the starters in each cannot be distinguished by their class of boat or PY. Moreover, at WSC boats generally launch from the beach on the on-course side of the line, then sail to behind the line before their start, adding to the confusion.

Thus while it may be a goer at other clubs, especially if there are single-class fleets, it was too much for our two-man team to truly be on top of today.

So, subject to me preparing a set of amendments to the SI's, next week, we'll try the 6-3-go sequence, with the '3' of one class being the '6' of the next and so forth.  This should provide us with much more time to check what's happening on the water.  If anyone's club uses this and they can point me to a good set of SI's on the web, I'd be very grateful.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Nov 14 at 2:10am
Regardless of whether you go back to 6 minute sequence, AUTOMATE

Get one of these

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.paloaltophoto.starttimer

Run it on a cheapo Android tablet.

And/or get the club to splash for one of the various species of Auto-Hoot machines.

It's just dumb having humans watching clocks and pushing horn-switches.

And while you're at it, get a Go-Pro pointing down the start/finish line


Edited by Brass - 03 Nov 14 at 2:11am
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