New starting procedure announcement

Forums Club Racing New starting procedure announcement

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March 24, 2015 at 7:04 pm #1966


Hi All,

Racers need to be aware we are making some changes to the start/finish procedure this year after some deliberation within the Sailing Committee.

Firstly, starting. These changes follows the success of the computer starting for Pursuit racing and to bring us more into line with the Racing Rules and what people will experience if travelling elsewhere. So we are moving to the standard 5 – 4 – 1 – Go! start sequence. Warning signal at 5 minutes, Preparatory sign at 4 minutes, Preparatory removed at 1 minute to go, then start a minute later (see RRS 26). However this is a lot of flags! Fortunately, we can automate this for the Race Officer and copy the start method used at Grafham Water for all their club racing. Using the number board and computer automation used in the pursuit starts, we will use numbers rather than flags for all starts. The number board will count up every minute so….

For a handicap start (and thus all Spring Series):-

Number 0 indicates board is turned on and OOD ready to go (ish)

Number 0 removed (Number 1 displayed) === 5 minute signal

Number 1 removed (Number 2 displayed) === 4 minute Preparatory signal

[Number 2 removed (number 3 displayed) === not relevant but useful to know]

[Number 3 removed (number 4 displayed) === not relevant but useful to know]

Number 4 removed (Number 5 displayed) === 1 minute signal

Number 5 removed (Number 6 displayed) === START!

There will be an automated sound signal at the 5,4,1,Go moments.

Individual recall will be indicated as per the Racing Rules i.e. Single additional sound signal at the start and the X flag hoisted on a halyard. Note this flag (or General Recall) will be the only possible flag you could see on the start box halyards so if you see a flag flying someone was over the line.

Similarly General Recall will be two additional sound signals plus the 1st Substitute. In this case the next start sequence will continue 1 minute after the start when Number 6 is removed. So 6 removed = 5 minute, 7 removed = 4 minute, 10 removed = 1 minute, 11 removed = start.

If at any point the Race Officer decides to Postpone there will be two sound signals and the board will display “PP”. The sequence will restart with the “PP” removed (1 sound signal) and the 5 minute will be Number 0 removed, Number 1 displayed a minute later as per the above sequence.

Secondly, Finishing. This is not a big change but we want to get away from any use of flags because they are invisible. For the Spring series not much will change as all races are handicap races and will finish in the usual way according to A-E boards displayed on the start hut. What you need to know is what letter you finish on – see the notice on the signing on board. This will be extended to class racing late in the season – details to follow.

FINALLY, we do appreciate this is a significant change and we will review it as we get into the season.

THERE WILL BE A BRIEFING for all competitors (and our Race Officer) at 10:30 Saturday and Sunday to go over how it works and answer questions.


NB if you are wondering why we don’t count down rather than up we would have difficulty with recalls and adding extra starts to a countdown scheme!

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