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how many boats on a start line?

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bigwavedave View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bigwavedave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 04 at 6:12pm

No I am not a great fan of gate starts.  I think it stems from something that happened in my childhood.........

I was crewing for my Dad in a Firefly in the 1976 or 1977 nationals in Mounts Bay.  We had only been sailing at Chipstead SC for about a year.  The start gun went and we took a flyer.  Then some idiot came by in a power boat followed by a complete baffoon on port tack (or what ever way round it is). We shouted at the powerboat that power gives way to sail and starboard on the port tacker.  They didn't get out of the way so we nipped in front of them.   Then the Race officer called us over early .  Dear old Dad tacked round to get back over the line to sail on port right into the path of the other 109 Fireflys on starboard.   Disqualification quickly followed.

 

 



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Garry View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Garry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 04 at 7:01pm
I prefer a gate start to black flag or I.

Dave you can just see that Firefly start recountered in the bar from the race officers perspective:

"We had got about three quarters of the fleet away when some blithering idiot tried to cross in front of the path finder, followed by a call for the gate boat to get out of the way. Well I disqualified the blighter and we were *?$!*& lucky not to have a general recall."

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bigwavedave View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bigwavedave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 04 at 7:40pm

There was a certain amount of panic in the race officers voice.

We read the rules and sailing instuctions after the incident.  The best thing about it was that my Mum, brother and sisters were sitting on the beach and saw us returning long before the rest of the fleet.  They thought we had won .  Final position was 110th overall.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote lozza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Nov 04 at 3:13pm

Gate starts are probably more fair than line starting because

  1. everybody gets an equal start - there are no rows of boats getting covered by the windward boats
  2. in a line start, at least 33% of the fleet will be at the wrong end of the line
  3. no need to set a line, which will be complained about (bias / length)
  4. depending on the fleet size, the gate can be open for any number of minutes after the guard boat has released the pathfinder.

As long as the procedure is explained correctly, there should be few kamakazi incidents regarding the guard boat - hopefully it will be a RIB rather than something more structural.

I think the reason that gate starts are used less now is because you need a number of power boats to carry it out.  This is less likely to occur at small training meeting where a simple line can be made in a few minutes.

Also, gate starts are only any good for class racing while the majority of club racing is handicap.  Having said that, i've heard chew valley tried it for a handicap race with RS 800s and radials with a 505 as pathfinder!!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Harry44981! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Nov 04 at 4:27pm
Yes but theres a certain skill in line starting, and in some waters a large gate start is impossible, so the same start should be practiced everywhere. Also it better that is isnt as fair a start, as the good people can get away quicker in a line start from the idiots at the wrong end, and whos fault is it that theyre there anyway?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lozza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Nov 04 at 4:39pm

i can appreciate that getting a good start over a line is more skillfull than a gate however:

How many times (with respect harry) do you see toppers and lasers all bunched up at the commitee boat end of the line because they'll be starting on starboard?!

It would be usefull to use gate starts at coastal events where it is practical and use line starts at inland and restriced water events.

Gate starts don't have to be huge - the size of the line is determined by the guard boat.  it can follow the pathfinder for 30 seconds before stopping if necessary.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Harry44981! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Nov 04 at 4:49pm
very often lozza! i love it when that happens because if thats going on - yuo can either get in ealry and hold our place on the line, or start just under the bunch, holding them all from drifting down- meaning you have a better start than most (with the boats bunched  at a biased starboard end)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lozza Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Nov 04 at 5:32pm

I know what you mean.

I think starting's the best bit of racing (apart from winning).  having regularly participated in match and team racing, there's nothing better than stuffing up your rivals then blasting across the line @ top speed just at the gun.

The best start that i've ever done was at a scottish 505 traveller where, after a few "manouvers" on my part, two of the other 5Oes ended up level with the mast of the committee's yacht but on the wrong side!!!

The problem with bunching up at the committee boat end is that they all miss the opperatunity of gettng clean wind at the pin.  i can appreciate that big fleets limit the chances of a good port flyer but you still see boats crammed under the committee boat  when they can hardly point over the line due to bias.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Binky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Nov 04 at 7:07pm
How do gate starts work? it alwys confuses me
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Lucy Lee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Nov 04 at 7:32pm

I'm glad you asked Binky, I was starting to think I was the only one who didn't know  

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