Latest News: Forums Racing What sort of courses do you prefer?

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  • #4551

    Just been sent the following link:

    http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=10807&title=courses-for-open-meetings

    It’s not been up long, but the comments so far are very interesting – why not add your own views and vote for your favourite type of course? They may help to encourage clubs holding Opens to choose the courses visitors prefer.

    Still waiting for my new boat to be built – the delay in completion has at least led to one positive outcome – I’ve been able to change the original (Mint Sauce!) to a more acceptable one (Fleeced Lightning). Hope to make the West Oxford Open ….. .

    #11388
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    You beat me to it I was just about to post the link.

    Give me round the cans every time. The seemingly unstoppable rise of nothing but uninteresting formal courses at opens is why we’ve almost given up competing in them – even home ones. Some years ago we used to do four or five opens per season because they were fun, didn’t require the eight hour stamina of a top endurance athlete and finished in time for tea and cake (ref W Nationals in Falmouth ca.2000 or 2001). Now there has to be a very good reason for us to compete, although we still help organise for the masochists.

    But we do love club races: easy to organise, all round the cans, start from the club line taking what comes from upwind start, reaching start, kite start, round the cans – course, wind, tide, waves, shipping and dodging stink boats that don’t know the IRPCS, watching the seals and cormorants, anticipating gusts and shifts from behind shore features and running aground of hitting submerged objects (maybe not the last one) followed by good cake and chat while we still have energy left. Every week has a different combination. Of course we like good results but good fun is more important.

    That’s what a W is best for and maybe opens should have at least some of thee races in that format where the venue is suitable – maybe even “passage races”. Who knows – maybe some of the members that don’t currently compete may do so.

    #11389
    Colin Parkstone
    Participant

    And i did not want to sail the Class Championships on a river were you have to sail up the edges to keep out of the tide, not when you have a large area to have nice triangular courses to sail on and were not going to use it for fair racing.

    Places like Poole Harbour as you say can run both, we are lucky to be able to offer a week of round the harbour courses which is just like the great club races we have each week. Proper line starts and a true windward leg to start.

    We have on our open list all kinds of racing and that is why I too have gone to many over the years, from the river at Medway, Upper Thames and Waldringfield to the open sea at Shoreham and others. The ponds of West Oxford and Datchet also are on the list.
    For me though, Im not going round the cans of a river or pond for a National Championships, opens no plroblem!! Well Maybe a Little!!

    Falmouth, great place to have a Regatta Week and I enjoyed the racing nearly as much as the after sail tea and beer. Not ever sailed home from a racing day and not been able to pass an alcohol test before. When we had the Champs there we had courses with a big nod to triangular ones to make it fair but when they carried it on the years after it fell away in numbers.

    Would you then say that places like Shoreham should not have a Championship as it as its only the open sea and no headland to hide behind or sail round?

    Id say that the numbers drop at Opens are not so much to do with the courses sailed, more to do with the age of the class members and the amount of times we want to travel and also how much it costs us all to do it! Its a lot of money and the cash is not about so much and so, as we have such good racing it seams at our clubs, we concentrate on that first and maybe think about the odd open when we can or want.

    Haversham had a good turnout with lots of boats from near clubs, maybe thats how we get more people to go when its local.

    After the Weymouth Champs, take a look at the numbers who came out on the opens in the following years and tell me its the courses that put people off! Not on its own will it!!

    #11396
    Geof
    Member

    Interesting discussion.
    I am more a fan of the laid courses that seek to minimise local advantage for major events.
    If I am travelling to an open meeting then I do a lot of homework to understand tides and likely wind patterns in the sailing area. For somewhere like Poole Harbour that is far from easy. At Medway the Long Reach course area was predictable to a visitor; the Pinner Reach course area with a continually changing depth of water over the mud banks at the side and more localised wind effects with stronger tide was much more difficult to read.

    I do not want to do any more homework than the minimum for a 2 day weekend so am unlikely to travel to events where the racing is round the cans as I would have to research the courses and mark locations in addition to tide and wind + the location will probably be much more complex as the start line will be in an area that may or may not work for a larger fleet. I would also predict more General Recalls with a top level competitive fleet as there is likely to only be 1 favoured place on the start line. This caused 3 or 4 general recalls at Medway for the last start of the first day because the tide had turned and the only place to start was at the committee boat and get onto Port as soon as possible after starting for more favourable tide. This made that position too crowded to get the fleet away.

    For big competitive fleets you really need a committee boat start in as fair a water as possible to get the fleet away cleanly. This usually means the need for laid marks on course configuration to suit – seems to be Triangle/Sausage is favoured by Wayfarers.

    Poole Week(end) is a great opportunity for sailing round the cans courses with navigation challenges etc. This attracts many top Wayfarer sailors but is not as intense as the Nationals and some Open meetings.

    If you want variation at the Nationals then lobby the Racing Secretary to ask for changes as they have serious input to the courses for our main event.

    If you want laid mark racing come along to the Nationals at Parkstone; If you want Round the Cans racing come along to the Poole Week(end) in August. better still do both.

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