Observations when sailing to a distant weather mark.

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Observations when sailing to a distant weather mark.

Postby georgeb2200 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:52 pm

At a recent regatta the onshore wind required setting the weather mark directly perpendicular to where the skippers were able to stand. To compound the situation the sun was also from the same direction adding the glare and sparkle to help confuse the skippers trying to sail to the mark. Also shifty mostly top of A rig conditions. Many port-starboard collisions, pile ups at the mark, missed mark. Not with novices but with top notch competitors. The mark was 100 yards from shore, so we were tracking our boats about 320 feet away. Directly away with no angle to aid in depth perception. It was a mess.

So I am wondering if we would be better off at Regattas shortening the distance to the windward mark under these conditions to lesson the problems. Perhaps we would have to add an extra lap or an in and out leg to the course to keep the competition lively.

What do you think?
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Re: Observations when sailing to a distant weather mark.

Postby abacojim » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:01 am

I agree with George. I think this needs some discussion and review. As pond sailors, were are at the mercy of the wind and the venue. There is that big tree at Palm Beach gardens, the hotel at St. Augustine, and anytime with an offshore wind, which makes for less than ideal racing conditions. At the Villages this past weekend, Saturday morning, we had a nice steady A rig wind with the wind blowing right down the lake. Starting line was perpendicular to the shore, and we could walk with the boats up and down the shore. It was perfect!

Sunday was as George described. The starting line was crammed against the shore and boats were circling above the line and then playing follow the leader around the committee boat end. Everyone "played nice" to get to the starting line, but was less than ideal. The windward mark was across the lake, and in the wind shadow of the far shore; making it hard to see and very shifty up by the windward mark. This lead to some boat getting tangled up at the windward mark. Maybe there are some creative ways other clubs or locations deal with unfavorable wind directions? Maybe 3 shorter laps? Having a back up location? But the cream still rises to the top and they find a way to win.

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Re: Observations when sailing to a distant weather mark.

Postby bigfoot55 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:59 am

Some times -venue and the wind just is what it is. Directly on shore or from behind. Or the distant windward mark becomes a parking lot because of conditions. A shorter course with more laps is often a possible option, it offers a chance to make up distance. Incorporating a triangle also can help stretch the fleet out.
Several people have made proposals for dealing with those conditions. The use of leeward gates and even a windward gate are possibilities. Post an option if you have one. I will look for one I have seen for wind from behind.

Running START from Lester Gilberts IOM site. http://www.onemetre.net/OtherTopics/CourseSet/CourseSet.htm

Starting Line Bias - To eliminate bunching on one end or the other.
If they bunch at the pin, drop the pin; if they bunch at the starboard end, raise the pin; and know that the line is set just fine when there is no bunching
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St Augustine, FL
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Re: Observations when sailing to a distant weather mark.

Postby rs vernon » Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:12 am

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