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Old 04-18-2008, 11:42 AM
kent kent is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 430
Default some ideas for next time

A big thanks to TKS and MKB for hosting the event last week. It was nice to see some many in attendance given the expected wind conditions. While things we pretty well, there are a few areas that might help those new to racing enjoy the event more.

The start:

It is imperative that the flags and sound signals be flown and sounded from the boat on the water and not on the beach. As the wind was on shore riders could not hear the sound signals from the water. Additionally, flags could hardly be seen on the beach due to so many other flags being flown. While a few of us that are used to racing knew what to look for, you could not expect others to understand and identify the signals. Having a clear starting sequence will allow more riders to get to the start line on time and get competitive starts.

Additionally, it's best to not change the start boat between the first and second races as riders didn't know that the boat was being changed. Keeping things simple and organized will help racing to flourish.

The Course:

In winds like we had, you would have been far better off to do the course as drawn on your site. This would have accomplished 2 things. First, it made for a competitive start with passing lanes. For these local events, we should use a long, board reaching start that allow for riders to pass to windward and leeward on their way to the first mark. The first mark on these courses needs to be jibed and not tacked in the interests of keeping racing alive. A tight reaching procession around marks is not racing, it's riding. Make every effort to keep passing areas open. The last leg of the course can be a tight reach or even slightly up wind. This would have allowed for riders using twins to complete the course, but still yields an advantage to those that have boards for racing.

In short, the start line needs to be long with the boat anchored at the windward end. All signals should come from the boat. Let Neil announce and let the race committee run the races. For a reaching start, the line should be pin end favored by 5-10 degrees. This allows all riders on the line a fare start. The angle to the first mark should be broad. This provides a fair race to the first mark no matter where the racer started. The broad reaching distance to the first mark should be near 3/4 of a mile to allow the 50 plus riders to spread out a bit before entering the jibe. The angle to the next mark should also be a bit broad. After rounding the second mark the third leg can be tight to the finish or even slightly up wind. This may require one tack for some and none for others depending on ability and equipment.

This type of course is far more visual for spectators on the beach as it clearly has areas for consolidation. Additionally, it is far more fun for the racers as they are often placed in tight passing situations on a reach. This course will be easy and fun for all to do.

I hope that these suggestions will be helpful for future light wind racing. While we have interest in this discipline, let's make sure to make it fun for all and interesting to watch.

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