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Dividing up the fleet

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Race Management
Forum Discription: For race officers and competiors to discuss the topic
Printed Date: 29 Sep 20 at 8:29am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y -

Topic: Dividing up the fleet
Posted By: NickA
Subject: Dividing up the fleet
Date Posted: 20 Jun 08 at 1:57pm

At our club we have starts for:

  • Fast (<1000 and a few handicap bandits)
  • Cats
  • Medium (>1000)
  • Slow (mostly lasers, solos etc)

Everyone sails the same course which, as the race officers like to use the whole lake, often looks like an international dialing code, with reaches into every corner of the sailing area.

Now the fast asymetrics are saying that these courses are dull for them; no downwind strategy involved.  Whereas the symetrics have to decide if they can hold the kite down the reaches and get to meddle endlessly with pole angles etc the asymetrics just hoist and follow the leader in a long line.

So, we have a proposal for there to be an asymetric fleet from Laser 2000s through to RS800s that will sail windward leeward whilst the symetrics and kiteless carry on sailing grand tours.

Good idea?  Bad idea?  What do other clubs do? How do you split your fleets up?


3604 ...lapse of reason
Javelin 558

Posted By: tmoore
Date Posted: 20 Jun 08 at 2:06pm
that means you will have to run a series for each race plus an extra one for asymetrics. could work if you have enough boats turning up regularly.....

Landlocked in Africa
RS300 - 410
Firefly F517 - Nutshell
Micro Magic RC yacht - Eclipse

Posted By: radixon
Date Posted: 20 Jun 08 at 3:27pm
It also depends on how big your lake is, whether you can verify that at a particular mark you will meet and another some may be gybing it, others tacking it depending on what course is set.


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 20 Jun 08 at 4:05pm
I used to get awfully bored with windward/leewards...

I'm amazed that Lasers and the like don't complain if you don't have square runs - the runs are every bit as tactical for them as the kite boats. Our Laser guys if anything are even keener on having a dead square run then the asymmetric boats.

At my club the volunteer ROs are increasingly getting into using a movable mark in with the fixed ones to ensure that you can get a true beat or run in: I'd really like us to have two, then you'd be able to set at least one true beat and one true run on every course along wth the more random direction legs.

Posted By: ChrisJ
Date Posted: 21 Jun 08 at 8:06pm

At Burghfield, we have mved to having a Fast Handicap (<1100) and a Fast Asymmetric handicap. As well as the Laser fleet and slow handicap. This for us gives a good split of the racing fleet across the different starts.

We split into Asymmetrics earlier this year as there was always lots of complaining about the course suited an asymmetric or it suited other classes... we thought we might do windward / leewards for them: but so far haven't had the need to. Now the Asymmetrics are in their own race, they dont mind if its a reach that is really too close for the kite: as they all have great fun together trying to carry the kites. Or if it turns into a dead run in light winds when the other boats go straight: again the asymmetrics are all together and fighting their own type of sailing.

We dont have fixed courses (wind = SW, therefore its course 12), so every week we have a different course. We also like our Race officers to choose a different course for the PM race compared to the AM race, to try to get different elements into play. So far this year, it seems to be working well: In the Spring Series we have had 15 x 200's, 13 x 400's, 5 x vareos, 3 x 2000, 2 x 500, 2 x Vision as well as a number of others like Vortex, B14, 29er, 405 etc.).

Posted By: Contender 541
Date Posted: 21 Jun 08 at 9:40pm
As long as you have the quantity of boats (and if you can have 4 different starts you probably do) to sustain another course then it should work, but the critical mass is an important issue

When you find a big kettle of crazy it's probably best not to stir it - Pointy Haired Boss

Crew on 505 8780

Posted By: craiggo
Date Posted: 22 Jun 08 at 12:44pm
At Thornbury SC we just split the fast and slow handicap up, with the split at 1015. In practice the slow handicap asymetrics arn't apparent wind sailing so generally dont want dead downwind legs. The Fireballs and Dart 18s like reaches so as long as we get a nice reach as well as a dead run we are all normally happy.
The current range of cats fit in nicely with fast handicap, Spitfires, F18s and A-class all seem to like same type of course as the RS700 & 800s so no real problem.


Posted By: NickA
Date Posted: 24 Jun 08 at 12:36pm

Thanks for the input .. and keep it coming.

I must admit that in my "slow" asymetric (the V3000) close reaches and tight broad reaches are good because that's where the boat is fastest and most competitive (we leave the rest of the medium fleet standing). 

In the fast symetric (a Javelin) we also like a good reach as the boat feels powered up and needs some serious muscle to sail - whereas in a dead run we just soak it down wind with the pole out at 90o.

Windward Leeward = great test of sailing and tactical ability

All around the bouys = often a bit of a procession but sometimes more actual fun.


3604 ...lapse of reason
Javelin 558

Posted By: Buzz
Date Posted: 26 Jun 08 at 3:57pm

We have starts for optimists, slow handicap, fast handicap, lasers, Fireflies and Darts. We set an inner triangular course which everyone except the fast handicap and darts use. Depending on boat speed different classes sail differing combinations of triangles and sausages. We set an outer triangular course for the darts and we lay a spreader mark at the windward mark so the assymetrics can sail a windward - leeward course. This seems to work well as everyone gets a good sail.


Care has to be taken when setting the course’s to get the size correct. Wind strength, direction and tide are the main constraints.


We have a committee boat start, three safety boats on the water and a designated beach master for every race.

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