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Unidentified boats on a black flag start?

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Chas Bedford View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chas Bedford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Unidentified boats on a black flag start?
    Posted: 31 May 11 at 8:39am
Here's a situation that came up a couple of times last weekend with a big fleet, rather "keen" and notorious for general recalls. Advice from Class Assoc was to do one flag P start then go straight to black flag for the restarts.

All fine so far, but what is the poor old RO to do when 20% of the fleet crosses the line in the last few seconds, causing another recall?

Option 1: Post sail numbers of those positively identified, but let the others take part in the restart. Possibly unfair to those penalised near the CB when naughty boys nearer the pin get away with it.

Option 2: Post no numbers and restart with the whole fleet. Avoids the option 1 unfairness but annoys those who took pains to start correctly. Also sends a signal that the black flag can be ignored if enough of then push it.

Genuine dilemma. In two races yesterday, we did one of each - which could be criticised for inconsistency but there were some differences and, ultimately, decisions are split-second.

What would you do?

(My personal view: stick with flag P and keep doing recalls till the buggers get it right)
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alstorer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alstorer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 11 at 9:00am
if it's that big and unruly a fleet, then (and I appreciate the extra strain on the organisation this causes) a pin mark committee boat is warrented. If the fleet have the reputation, then they should be honest with the event orgnaisers, and prepared to support the host to do this. In extreme cases, a third (midline) boat is not out of the question.
I realise that's not a hugely helpful answer, but bascially, the PRO needs to be pre-warned and prepared. After all, there's also the option of gate-starts.

Edited by alstorer - 31 May 11 at 9:02am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Contender 541 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 11 at 9:30am
I would always have a pin end committee (observer boat), it does make things easier to have two boats calling the numbers
 
In a large fleet I would also have boat numbers (not just sail numbers) as a backup - it is easier to remember a series of two digit numbers rather than a series of six
 
The correct thing to do IMHO is a General Recall when you cannot identify all guilty parties, but (if your SI allows it) BF those identified as guilty and then GR the remainder - they will soon get the idea
 
 
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alstorer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alstorer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 11 at 9:33am
Boat numbers (on the bow) are also easier to spot
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Roger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 11 at 9:55am
I think the first thing that strikes me is that inconsistancy is always going to be wrong, and there would probably have been a case for having one of those races thrown out.
 
My personal opinion is that the black flag should be used in this sort of situation, I guess you were warned by the CA.
Pin end boat is an obvious one, but in a large fleet still won't catch everybody; but its better than just a committee boat.
I would start recording numbers as boats got the wrong side of the line and record as many as you can be certain are over, use a recording device and play back later, include comments and numbers as you see them, throw out all you identified from both ends of the line, if your both identifying the same boats from the middle of the line the chances are you got most if not all the early starters.
 
It may not be "fair" that some boats weren't seen but you got everybody you could see and thats all you could do, when has sailing ever been fair anyway!
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fraggle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 11 at 10:04am
I'm guessing your talking lasers (as thats the standard advice we work to, one try then straight to black flag)
 
If you keep trying under the P-flag the fleet will keep pushing and you'll get recall after recall as there is no penalty.  If you go to the black flag and take numbers then people realise you mean business and will start to behave.  May take a few goes and I'm assuming your line is fair.  We have had 20+ boats chucked in races before (80-100 boats on startline) over a number of recalls.
 
The only fair way is to go to the black flag and take the numbers you can see.  Restarting the whole fleet if you can't read them all.  If you can read them chuck em and let the fleet start.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Roger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 11 at 10:09am
Originally posted by Fraggle

I'm guessing your talking lasers (as thats the standard advice we work to, one try then straight to black flag)
 
 
I thought it was the Dart 18s
 
 
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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: 31 May 11 at 10:15am
The more you discard on each false start then the easier it gets to spot them all on the next one...

Edited by JimC - 31 May 11 at 10:18am
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RS400atC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote RS400atC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 11 at 11:39am
Don't have a rule book to hand, but I would have thought that on a black flag start, the RO is more or less obliged to dsq and post any transgressors observed.
Why would it be fair not to penalize known offenders?
 
If there are known to be a significant number of further, unidentifed  boats over the line, the committee should general recall.
 
I agree a boat at the pin end is a good idea, normally this can just be a rescue boat, with an observer and a note pad.
 
Presumably, if the RO failed to flick known offenders, a boat down the fleet would have a good cause for a redress hearing?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tgruitt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 11 at 12:03pm
At the SB3 Worlds I think they had 4 or 5 general recalls under black flag in a row as they couldn't identify the boats in the middle.
Needs to sail more...
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