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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Sep 21 at 1:53pm
Originally posted by eric_c

I believe it's been known for a Nationals to lose a day's racing, yet the little club just down the coast manages to run its evening races..

Sure, but there are different standards. I've often done club races in conditions I'd have thought unacceptable for a championship race. I'm not sure why, but at a Champs if its drifting conditions I'd rather sit on the beach socialising, but if its an evening club race I'll get out there. Maybe it makes a difference that the club race is maybe an hour done and dusted close to the clubhouse, but for the champs race its probably further away and very tedious getting in and out.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eric_c Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Sep 21 at 3:30pm
Originally posted by JimC

Originally posted by eric_c

I believe it's been known for a Nationals to lose a day's racing, yet the little club just down the coast manages to run its evening races..

Sure, but there are different standards. I've often done club races in conditions I'd have thought unacceptable for a championship race. I'm not sure why, but at a Champs if its drifting conditions I'd rather sit on the beach socialising, but if its an evening club race I'll get out there. Maybe it makes a difference that the club race is maybe an hour done and dusted close to the clubhouse, but for the champs race its probably further away and very tedious getting in and out.


For sure, as a championship race, we need to feel it's not a complete lottery. Also as you say, it may take a long time to get a fleet afloat and ready to race, so it's not always easy to grab an hour's wind when it turns up. Whether I'd prefer to be afloat or ashore might depend on whether I'd spent the previous day ashore waiting and socialising, and what the prognosis was for tomorrow. It helps if the class has clear min (and max!) wind criteria and everybody buys into them. I feel it's increasingly often that the 'sea breeze' is called wrongly by 'experts' because e.g. 'we shouldn't have an Easterly this time of year'....   Also for club racing, we can set courses which take into account any tide, marks to STBD and dodging rocks to cheat the current might not go down too well among the elite?  :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Sep 21 at 5:16pm
The modern format for many champs these days is 12 short races two discards, whereas back in the day it was 6 long races with one discard.  

Also championships back then were major occasions, reported in the broadsheets, now there is more of a lightweight fun atmosphere with a more organised social program (my first Merlin Champs social program read “Sunday night - Drinking, Monday night - Drinking, Tuesday night - Drinking” you get the picture).  

With the old format there was more opportunity for holding races earlier or later in the day, or doubling up following a postponement, whereas today it is accepted that you might lose a few races.

So I would suggest that in the modern format, the cream will still rise to the top even if a couple of Mickey Mouse races happen, in the old days the champs could be decided by a Mickey Mouse race.

The modern format is probably more fun, though I wish race officers would be more prepared to pull up the hook to finish on a beat rather than the wretched reaching finish from the leewards mark.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Do Different Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Sep 21 at 7:08pm
Agree about finishing on a beat, always feel that's where the satisfying work is done.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote eric_c Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Sep 21 at 7:40pm
The point of finishing at the bottom is to have the committee boat and fleet in the right place for a subsequent race? IMHO, the reaching finish from the leeward mark is good in eg RS400s if the angle is right, less appropriate in some other classes. Don't blame the race team on the day for not moving the committee boat, you will probably find the CA had a lot of input to the course format. Being able to go from 'finish mode' to 'start mode' quickly is key to getting a reasonable ratio of racing : faffing about. Of course it's not so great for the last race of the day when you finsih then beat past the windward mark on the way back to the harbour. But if the finish is not the same gig for every race some people get confused!   Have the debate about courses within your CA and tell the race teams what you want now, for 2022 and maybe we'll be able to make sure we've got the right committee boats.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Sep 21 at 8:11pm
To my mind one of the major advantages of the short reach finish is that it tends to single file the fleet and has the boats crossing the line with maximum visibility of sail numbers. These are both good things from the point of view of reducing the potential for scoring errors.

One thing I don't agree with, however is posting the number of laps. To my mind its better to always finish under an S flag. There are precious few circumstances where having a fixed number of laps is advantageous, and plenty where its a potential problem. This Solo incident, for example, probably wouldn't have occurred if the fleet had been sailing until shorten course was signalled.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Sep 21 at 8:16pm
Ok my comment about the leeward finish is not directed at the Solo Nationals since it has been their default for quite a few years.   However there is plenty wrong with the leeward finish …

1) there is an inevitable pump fest on the run into the leeward mark to get inside berth, since the race is pretty much over at this point
2) I challenge the RO to correctly call the finishing order of 100 white boats finishing on a reach
3) I am as guilty as anyone of the rather pathetic defensive manoeuvres to defend one’s position on the silly reach

A windward finish;-
1) puts greater emphasis on upwind tactics
2) gives the RO adequate opportunity to read off finishing numbers clearly
3) the committee boat needs to up anchor for either finishing method, so why not improve the racing experience for competitors.

On todays relatively small courses it takes little time for the committee boat to steam upwind, and typically less than ten minutes for the fleet to reassemble at the leeward starting area.  IMO the format is because of a desire to replicate current Olympic practice … but this is typically for 20 - 30 boats and is designed to satisfy television media.

Just after the Solos I had the pleasure to run two sets of three (starts) windward leeward races at sea, all races started in time, duration circa 50 minutes.  Committee boat steamed from leeward starting position to windward finishing position with 1NM legs, then back to restart.  All races done and dusted in less than three hours.  It can be done very easily.

P.S.  RO assisted in pulling up 60m of rope and chain four times  Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Sep 21 at 8:20pm
Missed Jim’s response.  To get the single file to happen at the leeward mark dog leg it needs to be a fetch, rarely done.

At the event I ran we had windward leewards, start at the leeward mark, four laps displayed (never intended to be completed) shortened at the windward mark.  Simple, but we are constrained by a deep shelf at the edge of the race area.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eric_c Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Sep 21 at 8:28pm
Originally posted by davidyacht

O.....
Just after the Solos I had the pleasure to run two sets of three (starts) windward leeward races at sea, all races started in time, duration circa 50 minutes.  Committee boat steamed from leeward starting position to windward finishing position with 1NM legs, then back to restart.  All races done and dusted in less than three hours.  It can be done very easily.

P.S.  RO assisted in pulling up 60m of rope and chain four times  Smile



50 minutes for the slowest boat?
5 minutes from class flag to start.
5 minutes to 'steam' 1 NM downwind.
sometimes it takes time to ensure the committee boat is settled on its anchor and you have a good start line. Sometimes you can't just park and be sure what the wind is doing.
3 x 50 minutes racing time within 3 hours is somewhere between aspiration and fiction.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Sep 21 at 8:59pm
Three class starts at 5 minute intervals … two races per class … 50 minute target time.  It’s start was at 12.00 pulled up hook at 15.00 after last boat finished.  Excellent team moving marks.  Start line was pretty spot on, though 1st race beat became a bit one sided during the race.

I was lucky, I don’t for one moment suggest that I could do a better job than MBSC who had to deal with massive shifts, but I will stick to my guns that the effort required to provide a windward finish is only slightly more than the offset leeward, and probably only adds 10 minutes to the turnaround time.  

The time taken to set up the start line in shifty conditions will be much the same whatever the finish method.

With unlimited resources the committee boat can stay on station in the starting area, and a RIB can set up to shorten at the windward mark … which would be even better.
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