Start times revisited & courses

Forums Club Racing Start times revisited & courses

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October 29, 2014 at 5:43 pm #1766

I have a suggestion on start times which I’ve not heard mentioned before, so here goes… For well-supported all-in handicap races we generally have a start when there is a fair amount of water in the creek, this being achieved by scheduling them to suit the tides. The exception to this is the Winter Series. So, for the Winter Series why not have a 3-hour window (9am-12pm) and schedule each race in this window according to the tide table to make the best of the tide at the race start time? OK so on the odd Sunday we’d need to get up a bit early, but the flip side is that we’re then finished early and have more of the rest of the day for other activities. It would make a big difference to the quality of the sailing.

Courses… This is all intended to be constructive…

I don’t believe ‘the club’ has an agenda to force us all into old-fashioned low-performance boats, but I do believe the decline in high performance boats is due partly to low tide issues and partly to the fact that we seem to do more small fiddly courses than we used to with very few spinnaker legs for boats with assymmetric spinnakers.

It’s not uncommon these days to have a course which only goes as far as Hills or even Inner Fishery – we have a good bit of river/estuary available, so why not use it? Last Sunday’s course (B11?) has some notable quirks – very long for a ‘B’ course (I shouldn’t complain about that!), two long reaches which were not kiteable for boats with a kite bigger than a hanky (with a bit more breeze they would have been unkiteable with a hanky) and a tiny dogleg from Stone to 13 which really made no difference to anything. The beat would have been much better (squarer and more strategic options available) if Cocum were the first mark.

I know we probably don’t want to go changing the course card every year but maybe there could be a place to note specific issues with & possible improvements to particular courses? Every few years the list could be evaluated and changes made if they would improve things.

It doesn’t help that Cocum is now way off-station compared to where it was when the courses were set, and number 9 is now considerably to seaward of number 8 – they used to be pretty much across the river from each other.

November 3, 2014 at 4:17 pm #1779


Hi Mike

I have been doing some digging/analysis recently. You are right there is little difference in attendance between Trophy races and Series races. The Winter series does achieve a more consistent attendance than most.

I have also been looking attendance versus the start time proximity to HW. There is a correlation but the variation in relation to the state of the tide is quite small compared to the overally variability in the numbers. That said we could look at varying the start times for better water. My concern is that we confuse people and my hazy recollection of when we have tried this before for summer races is that is was counterproductive in terms of turnouts – people turned up late or early. I agree it is not a big job to look at the calendar but it didn’t seem to work like that.

As to courses.

Configurations – have been altered by us to avoid unpleasant encounters around buoys (in opposite directions) and by others in terms of moving the marks. Certainly 13 and 9 have been moved significantly by the harbour and the fishermen insist of moving Cocum every now and then. We can have another look to see what effects these have had on shapes.

Lengths – one of our changes was to get all courses for a given letter to have a straight line lengths that are comparable and, to within ~20%, A= 6.2km, B=8.3km and C= 10.5km. As to doing A/B more often in all in handicap races we are trying to encourage the youngsters out more and beginning to see Topaz and Toppers occaisionally. It is far easier to manage the length of race for a Topaz versus a RS700 if we do lots of short laps rather than 1 or 2 long ones. In the points series races I doon’t think this is so much of an issue as the Topper/Topaz group are a seperate race. This is reoccuring topic to which I am not sure I have an answer!


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