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Multiple-Starts Sequence

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deadrock View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote deadrock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Nov 14 at 2:32pm
At Oxford we have used a rolling '6:3:Go' sequence for several years and it works pretty well. The three-minutes between starts is enough for reluctant starters to get across the line without fouling the following start, and it gives the race team (which has probably never worked together before) enough time to sort any issues out between starts. The whole sequence of 4 starts is over in 15 minutes unless there are recalls. Recalls re-start at the end of the sequence. Boats are required to keep clear of the starting area from the Preparatory signal for the first fleet until the Preparatory signal for their fleet. For guidance the club's SIs can be found at http://www.oxfordsailingclub.com/sailing/racing/full-racing-rules , under STARTING.

Hope this provides a few ideas.
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marke View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote marke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Nov 14 at 3:22pm
Medway

At a start the OOD watches the line and he calls individual recall or GR - they have nothing else to do as the box is doing the sound and visual signals.  If recall is called then either the OOD or assistant  presses the orange strobe (individual) or red strobe (general recall) and makes a sound signal.  If its an individual recall the orange strobe goes off after a minute or when all OCS have returned. 

It uses coloured lights - so it can shorten course for individual starts - e.g. green light + flashing orange strobe is shorten course for the handicap fleet.

The sailing instructions allow us to revert to flags if the lights are not working - but I have only seen that happen once in all the time we have used it.  We really only use flag C to indicate a change of course.

One day we'll get around to integrating it with our PC based lap timer and results system - but for now the OOD just needs to remember to start the light/sound box at the same time as they click the "timer start" on the PC. 

If we were to build another one I would like an aural indication that a signal is coming up.

I have a picture of the control end of the box somewhere I'll see if I can dig it out and post it.

Mark

P.S we use the 6-3-0 system for nearly all of our races.  I think you need a 3 minute gap to allow a decent separation and to allow the starting fleet a clear run at the line.  Sometimes when doing junior training we have used 1 minute intervals and I just override the automated time signals and signal the lights and horns manually with the external controls.


Edited by marke - 03 Nov 14 at 3:26pm
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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 Posted: 03 Nov 14 at 10:56pm
Thanks marke, some useful pointers there.  With all the coloured lights, it certainly sounds like a cheerful system!

deadrock, I used to be a member of OSC, but can't remember a thing about the start procedure, which must mean it worked well!  I doubt it was computer-driven then though, unless the club used a ZX81!

That is very, er, concise amendment of R.26...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote marke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 14 at 12:20pm
The front panel of the control box.  Its about 600mm high - but would be a lot smaller if made today

lights control box

Edited by marke - 04 Nov 14 at 12:21pm
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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 Posted: 04 Nov 14 at 1:01pm
That looks great.  It actually enables you to do easily things that many of our part-time RO's would struggle to do at all, like abandon a race for a single fleet.

The only thing we'd need that I'm not seeing there (but may still be possible), is the option to change between 6-3-go and 5-4-1-go or even 3-2-1-go.

Also nice, on a Wednesday with few boats out, say, if it were possible for someone to set it going then shoot off to join the racing.  But now I'm trying to gild the lily...

Where do we send the cheque?  Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 14 at 1:27pm
Originally posted by Medway Maniac


Also nice, on a Wednesday with few boats out, say, if it were possible for someone to set it going then shoot off to join the racing.  But now I'm trying to gild the lily...




But who then finishes the race and takes the times?
Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446
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marke View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote marke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 14 at 1:40pm
Well for a wednesday night series everybody could record their own times when they sign off.  Better still - we have a PC based signon system - so you could have a reverse le mans finish.  As soon as you finish, you sail to the shore, chuck your crew out, who then runs to sign off - your finishing time is the time you signed off!

[Or how about huge QR codes on the sails with a high resolution videocam]

Actually there was one infamous occasion of a junior race where somebody started the race (i.e. pressed the green button) and I used a copy of our race timing software from home, getting the finish times using the club webcam.  Worked fine except when someone logged in and tried to command the webcam to look somewhere else!

[Medway - sorry this is one of a kind - but I'm sure any reasonable electronics contractor could knock one up (and include the option to set the start intervals - which ours doesn't have).  The horn button just sends a current to a (loud) air horn).  The lights are coloured - about 6" diameter and fairly standard items - and surprisingly they last for ages.  We have two lights for each colour set at a shallow angle to one another, to give a wider field of view (and also to provide some redundancy).


Edited by marke - 04 Nov 14 at 1:45pm
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marke View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote marke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Nov 14 at 1:51pm
Here is an idea - how about crowd sourcing a solution.  Find a handful of clubs who are interested and get a common spec sorted out (OK maybe that won't be entirely straightforward) and then go to a contractor to get several built at reasonable cost to you (and reasonable return to the contractor).

P.S would be nice if it had an API so that it could be configured from a PC - i.e our race programme automatically configures the race timing/results software - but would be nice if it could also automatuically configure the lights box as well.
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