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Thread: Courses

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    Default Courses

    With an older type of boat with symmetrical spinnakers, what type of courses are "fair" to all, for a championship long weekend. Or is a range of different configurations and lengths [with appropriate adjustment of weighting for points similar to RORC}, better or more interesting .

    Views please.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    5,468

    Default Re: Courses

    Windward-leeward. Wing mark makes it easier to avoid incidents at the windward mark. A leeward gate gives opportunity to perplex the tactician.

    If you do round the cans, beam reaches, especially in the first half of the course, are annoying as they make it a procession.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    36,672

    Default Re: Courses

    Quote Originally Posted by lpdsn View Post
    Windward-leeward. Wing mark makes it easier to avoid incidents at the windward mark. A leeward gate gives opportunity to perplex the tactician.

    ....
    Do you mean a spreader mark, rather than a wing mark? I.e. a mark just a short distance from the windward mark to keep the boats running separate from those approaching the mark?
    This is indeed a good idea.

    But I don't think w/l are 'fair to all'.
    If it's windy, a planing boat will do much better on w/l courses than say trapezoid or RTC or 'old olympic' triangle sausaage.

    No course is completely neutral. IT depends on how the ratings are derived of course.
    If you've got a wide variety of entrants, then tide has to be considered too.

    Best thing is for entrants to know roughly what kind of course to expect. Personally I tend to set triangle-sausage when I'm on duty as it balances out the w/l and 'pointless tour of the bay'. But it depends on the boats. If they've all got big asy's, then w/l is best. If you've got a fleet of Squibs or something, then mixed reaches and tidally tactical courses often get approval from the punters.

    Needles to Port.
    Braye Entrance.
    That's good for proper ofshore yachts if you haven't got time for a Fastnet.

    P or Q courses on a pond are fun for RC yachts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    10,190

    Default Re: Courses

    The problem with setting anything other than ww/lw for inshore yacht racing at the moment is that it tends to unfairly favour boats with specialist offshore sails such as code zeros. We had this at Dartmouth a couple of years back, where we had a great 1st beat, but then the reach was too shy for our symetrical kite but the Sunfast 3600 and J112e set code zeros and sailed away from us.

    So that's fine if you know that all your fleet are sailing with roughly the same wardrobe, but if you know that some will and some won't, then you're just favouring those who have reached into their wallets.
    Although I do say this in the full knowledge that we're now sailing something with all the sails!

    I know you were the PRO at Dartmouth, so the one comment I would have on your courses with reaches (which were generally pretty good, sail wardrobe issues not withstanding) was that the gybe mark was I thought too wide. It felt like a dinghy gybe mark where the intent is often to encourage a couple of full on planing legs, whereas I feel that a yacht gybe mark can be quite a bit narrower, both to limit the effect of "special sails" and also to give more passing options, whilst still giving the sail handling challenge of a big gybe. If the boats are at the limit of being able to hold a kite then there isn't a passing lane to leeward because if you get enough separation to get passed you then can't get back up to the mark and passing to windward just becomes a luffing game, but if there is margin to sail higher than the mark then there is the option to pass by sailing low and then coming into the mark high, or passing high enough to discourage a luffing match and diving down to the mark once passed.

    What I would also say is that there is rarely any point in a 4 lap race. Very little ever changes on laps 3 and 4 in handicap racing, and I'd far rather finish after lap 2 and get another race in.
    Last edited by flaming; 23-01-19 at 10:40.
    You never know, I might be right!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    21,079

    Default Re: Courses

    Quote Originally Posted by flaming View Post
    The problem with setting anything other than ww/lw for inshore yacht racing at the moment is that it tends to unfairly favour boats with specialist offshore sails such as code zeros. We had this at Dartmouth a couple of years back, where we had a great 1st beat, but then the reach was too shy for our symetrical kite but the Sunfast 3600 and J112e set code zeros and sailed away from us.
    My experience at other race venues as well. We had the misfortune to take part in a Regatta where almost all courses were triangles with very log reaching legs. The bowsprit equipped fleet with large asymmetrics sailed away from us.
    If I'd wanted to live in a Banana Republic I'd have gone to South America.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    36,672

    Default Re: Courses

    Quote Originally Posted by flaming View Post
    The problem with setting anything other than ww/lw for inshore yacht racing at the moment is that it tends to unfairly favour boats with specialist offshore sails such as code zeros. We had this at Dartmouth a couple of years back, where we had a great 1st beat, but then the reach was too shy for our symetrical kite but the Sunfast 3600 and J112e set code zeros and sailed away from us. .....
    An extension of this, some people who race 'white sails only' will think that courses with runs unduly favour boats with spinnakers. You can please half of the entrants, half of the time.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2004
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    10,190

    Default Re: Courses

    Quote Originally Posted by lw395 View Post
    An extension of this, some people who race 'white sails only' will think that courses with runs unduly favour boats with spinnakers. You can please half of the entrants, half of the time.
    The OP did say “championship” event.
    You never know, I might be right!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    210

    Default Re: Courses

    Quote Originally Posted by flaming View Post
    The problem with setting anything other than ww/lw for inshore yacht racing at the moment is that it tends to unfairly favour boats with specialist offshore sails such as code zeros. We had this at Dartmouth a couple of years back, where we had a great 1st beat, but then the reach was too shy for our symetrical kite but the Sunfast 3600 and J112e set code zeros and sailed away from us.

    So that's fine if you know that all your fleet are sailing with roughly the same wardrobe, but if you know that some will and some won't, then you're just favouring those who have reached into their wallets.
    Although I do say this in the full knowledge that we're now sailing something with all the sails!

    I know you were the PRO at Dartmouth, so the one comment I would have on your courses with reaches (which were generally pretty good, sail wardrobe issues not withstanding) was that the gybe mark was I thought too wide. It felt like a dinghy gybe mark where the intent is often to encourage a couple of full on planing legs, whereas I feel that a yacht gybe mark can be quite a bit narrower, both to limit the effect of "special sails" and also to give more passing options, whilst still giving the sail handling challenge of a big gybe. If the boats are at the limit of being able to hold a kite then there isn't a passing lane to leeward because if you get enough separation to get passed you then can't get back up to the mark and passing to windward just becomes a luffing game, but if there is margin to sail higher than the mark then there is the option to pass by sailing low and then coming into the mark high, or passing high enough to discourage a luffing match and diving down to the mark once passed.

    What I would also say is that there is rarely any point in a 4 lap race. Very little ever changes on laps 3 and 4 in handicap racing, and I'd far rather finish after lap 2 and get another race in.
    A good and valid point, so a triangular sausage course should become just that. Maybe we set the offset buoy a lot further away in a w/l course, say 1/3 of the beat length!
    Last edited by Muddy32; 24-01-19 at 22:48.

  9. #9
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    May 2005
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    7,173

    Default Re: Courses

    Quote Originally Posted by Muddy32 View Post
    A good and valid point, so a triangular sausage course should become just that. Maybe we set the offset buoy a lot further away in a w/l course, say 1/3 of the beat length!
    How on earth did you get that from what flaming wrote?
    Unless your post was sarcasm.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2018
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    Default Re: Courses

    Assuming the weather conditions and time available for the race are suitable I always introduce at least one ‘sausage’ leg maybe more into the course.

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