Can You See It?

Discuss class championship regulations, sailing instructions, umpiring, observing, scoring software, fleet racing systems, forthcoming international events, etc

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RoyL
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Can You See It?

Post by RoyL » 20 Jan 2009, 02:24

On another thread here, Zoran brings up what I think is a very important point--if you can't easily see boats on the course,you are inviting bad racing.

I couldn't agree with this more. I have seen the growing trend that says courses must be set true to the wind and if that means that competitors have trouble seeing their boats so be it. In particular I have seen courses set with marks so far away that it is surprising when collisions do not occur.

R/C sailing shouldn't be a test of visual skills. The best courses are those where all competitors can easily see their boats at all times. A long first leg usually solves a less than perfectly true course and has the added benefit of requiring more tactical decisions and spreading out the fleet.

I believe sight lines should be as important in setting a course as wind speed and direction.

simonc94

Post by simonc94 » 20 Jan 2009, 23:16

I agree, and this is probably what makes Fleetwood such a good sailing venue. There are drawbacks with courses that are less than perfect in terms of wind direction. I have often found in these cases that start lines always have a favoured end, which brings about its own problems. This was the case for some proportion of the events AUS 05 & FRA 07 Worlds, where the windward mark was close to the bank, in full view of competitors/umpires, however only those skillful enough to occupy the favoured end of the line had a fighting chance of getting a good result. These courses in my mind didn't allow for many tactical options. One thing has to be noted though, is that the first beats were less than ideal in terms of length.

RoyL
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Post by RoyL » 20 Jan 2009, 23:53

At least in Australia the first leg was really, really short. At most two or three tacks up the whole leg and there weren't many tactical options. We really do need to look at leg length and visibility.

One other issue on the question of sight lines. I have seen some suggestions that in the upcoming World's in Barbados, the judges will be positioned on a level above the competitors. Not sure it is appropriate to have the judges able to see better than the sailors.

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Post by Alfonso » 21 Jan 2009, 11:11

I have seen some suggestions that in the upcoming World's in Barbados, the judges will be positioned on a level above the competitors. Not sure it is appropriate to have the judges able to see better than the sailors.
Judges need to be at the same level than competitors but if we have to be at different level I think that competitors should be higher than umpires. 2m makes a great difference and it is better to avoid contacts than improve the visibility of umpires to punish them properly.

simonc94

Post by simonc94 » 21 Jan 2009, 21:48

I don't believe the umpires should have any advantage over competitors in terms of their visibility of the course.
I recall the 2002 Europeans in Fleetwood where umpires had been placed on the opposite bank to competitors with 'walkie talkies' calling incidents that the competitors themselves could not see. I cannot speak for others, but I found myself on the short end of a number of those calls, especially the starts when you had lost visibility of your boat amongst a blanket of sails to leeward of you, but in full view of the opposite bank umpire. Since then umpires have been confined to the same control area as the competitors, which is a much fairer system.

ole_peder
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Post by ole_peder » 21 Jan 2009, 22:10

One can question what is fair.
If one can not se your boat and obstruct another, not willingly, but by accident, shall the boat that was obstructed suffer due to the other skipper did not see his boat??

Approaching a mark far away, a lot of boats are about to round. One are bound to loose sight of your boat if one dives into the lump of boats. Opposed to the one who caters for what can happen and steers way above to be able to keep away from other boats.

If umpires is allowed other viewpoints other than the control area, the objective must be to pick out those who causes caotic situations at the mark. EG boats not reaching up to the mark that tacks over to port and obstructing all the satrboard boats approcing the mark, oposed to look for minor contac between boats which doesn't causes any damages...

If the above are taken into acount when umpiring I am in favour of letting the umpires have oter positions than the control area.
Ole Peder Bjørsom
Chairman NOR NCA

desf
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Post by desf » 27 Jan 2009, 08:07

Way back in 1978 here in Durban we had judges sitting on the far bank calling incidents. If I remember correctly it was changed after day 1 simply because it is unfair for an umpire or judge to have a better view than the skipper.I believe that the start line and first beat should be as true as possible to make it fair for everyone.

The point raised by ole_peder is valid and as I have suggested before we should be trying to eliminate the problem. We need to have a well set course of adequate length which generally results in one or more marks being a test of eyesite. Even with raised platforms these marks will still produce chaotic situations with the skipper who goes wide to avoid the chaos being penalised. Why not place a restriction on boats entering the zone on port. Any incident as a result of a port boat entering the zone results irrespective in the port boat/s being given a penalty. :lol:

RoyL
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Post by RoyL » 01 Feb 2009, 16:12

First, I agree that port tack boats piling into the zone at the upwind marks are a huge problem. Perhaps one remedy is that if you foul another boat coming in on port, you should be subject to a two turn penalty.

Second, if the mark is set at the limits of visibility the course isn't right, period. I am really tired of local race directors who set up courses that are "true" to the wind, but where you can't see your boat for at least a third of the race.

Third, I am also not happy with courses where the first beat is so short and so limited tactically that you might as well simply award first through sixth place to those that are positioned in the right spot on the starting line and save everyone's time.

Bottom line, if you hold a major race and you don't have a long first leg and good sightlines, find another place to hold the race because you probably don't have a fair test of sailing skills.

One last thought raised here. There has been a problem lately with large fleets parking at the start line where it becomes impossible to read sail numbers and see boats and where windward/leeward violations have become rampant. Any ideas how to fix? The concept of putting a judge on the other shore who could see the pile-up might be in some ways unfair, but it would clean up bad behavior.

Hiljoball
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Post by Hiljoball » 01 Feb 2009, 18:03

RoyL wrote:
One last thought raised here. There has been a problem lately with large fleets parking at the start line where it becomes impossible to read sail numbers and see boats and where windward/leeward violations have become rampant. Any ideas how to fix? The concept of putting a judge on the other shore who could see the pile-up might be in some ways unfair, but it would clean up bad behavior.
My suggestion for this problem is to make the line longer ( think of doubling the line length) and advance the left pin end of the line a little to make it slightly favoured. That encourages more boats to move down the line and away from the right hand end.
John Ball
CRYA #895
IOM CAN 307 V8
In my private capacity

Ken Binks
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Fair Courses

Post by Ken Binks » 10 Mar 2009, 13:44

Hi,
Have read all your comments re courses with great interest and feel its even more important than we realise for the course equipment to be up to the job.

Firstly the equipment used should give everybody with normal or corrected vision a fair and equal chance of seeing the course.

ALL bouys should be the same size, so depth perception and scaling to IOM is constant. Feature automatic depth control lines which cannot foul fins. Height of bouy, not so high that a heeled yacht has to exceed is loa to clear top. 300-400mm is more than adequate.

They all should have minimum of 3 numbers on which are the same size as our sail numbers. Can't read the bouy number change the course.

Vertical contrast lines also allow for bouy rotation to be quickly observed.

COLOUR ALONE is not acceptable as this does not identify bouys to ALL competitors or Umpires. Various levels of color blindness affect many people.

Course setting, When arranging course with FIXED competitor podiums NEVER have a leg directly in line with poduim as visual contact with IOM is progressively lost as more and more yachts join the leg. This includes start line for the same reasons. However PROMPT and correct OCS yachts called is vital.

Long start lines are fine but must be set with reference to the length of the first leg.

For those there, Canada 2003 was the ideal situation of being elevated AND being able to walk the long beat. Let's not forget the 2003 IOM World champion only has one eye which obviously did not affect his performance. I'm sure this set up was one of the fairest courses we have ever had at WC & EC International events.

Good visual feedback is ABSOLUTELY VITAL for good sailing, observing and penalizing RC yacht racing.

Let's hope the forth coming WC in Barbados gives us all courses with the very best and equal opportunity to sail or observe to the best our abilities.
Ken Binks UK

Peter Allen
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Post by Peter Allen » 12 Mar 2009, 14:50

I am not aware if this thread is meant to be a general observation or pertaining to the 2009 worlds.It's not Vancouver,all i can say is that the last 5 yrs we have run events here visibility and course direction have been good or at the very least acceptable, and i am shure some of the posters who have attended these and have first hand experience will say the same.Peter

RoyL
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Post by RoyL » 12 Mar 2009, 15:51

The thread is meant to be a general discussion of course setting and design.

Bruce Andersen
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Post by Bruce Andersen » 12 Mar 2009, 20:00

Ken

Great idea to put IOM size numbers on the marks!

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Post by Lester » 12 Mar 2009, 20:20

Yup. Ken might even have read it in the IOMICA Race Management Manual:
IOMICA Race Management Manual wrote:It is common to number the marks for easy identification. When the number used is of the same dimensions as the sail number for the class being sailed, it immediately becomes obvious when any mark has been set too far away – its number cannot be reliably read. This is important, because it also means that a sail number will not be reliably read, leading to increased frustration by sailors wishing to protest, and increased rule flouting by sailors exploiting the poor visibility.
Lester Gilbert
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Alfonso
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Post by Alfonso » 12 Mar 2009, 23:08

Bruce said:
Ken

Great idea to put IOM size numbers on the marks!
I do not know wether should I cry or smile.

But anyway, as Peter Allen has came into this post of the forum I would like to ask him if he knows how the control area in the next WC is going to be and how high over the sea level. I made this question to VC Events but I got no answer.

Peter Allen
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Post by Peter Allen » 13 Mar 2009, 04:45

I would say that if the requirements for the control area be more than has already been provided in the past,it would be even better than it has already been with no complaints that i know about.The organizing comittie of this event are skilled people,maybe you should ask them on it's height and design,i am hopefully a competitor.

Bruce Andersen
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Post by Bruce Andersen » 13 Mar 2009, 06:38

I rather doubt that the idea of IOM size numbers on the marks is new or unique, it is simply a good idea that is easy to implement.

valpro
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Post by valpro » 13 Mar 2009, 11:19

Numbers on the marks works well for the Dutch fleet.................
Val

Alfonso
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Post by Alfonso » 13 Mar 2009, 11:53

Thank you Peter for your quick answer.

Alfonso
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Post by Alfonso » 13 Mar 2009, 12:13

Bruce, the funny part of your previous post is that you realize now that the idea of numbers on marks is a very good one.

The sad part is that the recommendation to paint numbers on the marks is in the IOMICA Event Manual (page 15), that you are the VC Events and I realized now that you have never read this manual.

Now I understand many things.

Sen Peter Gilkes
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Post by Sen Peter Gilkes » 16 Mar 2009, 11:46

Ken, your comments are duly noted and we will deal with them for the Worlds upcoming event, I hope that at the end of doing so, both you and the rest of those coming to Barbados to compete will be happy with what we present to you.

Also I am happy to see that the UK has submitted a full list of entries and we hope that by the 20th of March we will be fully subscribed for this event, much planning and effort has gone into this event in the short space of time allocated to us to host the IOM WORLDS IN BARBADOS 2009.

We are indeed very eager to see every spot being taken up and to see 76 boats on the water sailing.

RoyL
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Post by RoyL » 18 Mar 2009, 15:09

Alfonso: Contrary to your post, I know for a fact that Bruce Andersen has read the IOMICA Race Management Manual. But thanks again for your bringing out another important problem-- I believe that the race management manual, like many of the original IOMICA documents, is not very easy to read or use. The language is often cumbersome and convoluted. One of the things we should probably do is to rewrite these materials in a manner that is simple and easy to use. Any volunteers?

Alfonso
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Post by Alfonso » 18 Mar 2009, 16:45

is not very easy to read or use
Well, I do not remember having any problem first time I read it, but I have to tell you that I need to look for in the dictionary what cumbersome and convoluted mean. :D
One of the things we should probably do is to rewrite these materials in a manner that is simple and easy to use
Taking into account that everybody is busy and we do not have too much time. Why don't we concentrate our efforts in other things that apparently there are more concern, like making a proposal for changing the certification control process.

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