Distances for IOM courses.

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Arthur
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Distances for IOM courses.

Post by Arthur » 13 Dec 2004, 03:21

I have not been able to find any published information on typical distances used in IOM racing. At our regular club events, we have two schools of thought. The first is that the windward legs should be long to take maximum advantage of wind and strategic oppotunities. A favoured length would be 100 to 140 metres. The second is for much shorter courses which enable old guys (like me) to see boat numbers and buoys much more clearly. Say maximum distance from control area to be say 75 metres.

Are there any guidelines which link distances of marks (and starting lines) from the control area to the height of the control area above the water.

I realise that different course options may be better than others, (for example, we sometimes set the starting line in the middle of the windward leg, if the wind allows it) but we also seem to have many days where the wind is directly offshore, and in these cases we have the control area some distance from the line (so that the line can be sighted) and this generally means the windward mark is a long way off.

This must be a problem that most clubs have, and I would be interested to hear of how this is generally handled, or if there are specific guidelines.
Arthur Hodge

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Re: Distances for IOM courses.

Post by Chairman » 14 Dec 2004, 08:56

Arthur wrote:I have not been able to find any published information on typical distances used in IOM racing. ... Are there any guidelines which link distances of marks (and starting lines) from the control area to the height of the control area above the water.
Hi Arthur

Good questions! IOMICA has a "Race Management Manual" in draft form, and it is likely to be released "soon". The relevant paragraph reads:
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.
So the idea here is that the maximum distance for the marks is "no further than the ability to read the sail numbers of the boats rounding them".
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nick lin
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Re: Distances for IOM courses

Post by nick lin » 14 Dec 2004, 13:59

I was watching and photographing the IOM pre worlds at Quad Park last weekend (11&12 Dec) and the distance to the windward mark was greater than 100 m. It was impossible (for me) to see the numbers from a distance and to help one official I had to take a dig pic of a boat, then zoom into it to get its number. When the matter was discussed the OOD mentioned that some wanted it long, and others didn't. The "longers" were more pursuasive. As a spectator (if not a photographer) I felt more remote from much of the action. The course was about 100+m windward, 60m to wing, 60 m to start/finish, then a sausage finishing downwind.

http://www.rcyachts.net/results/Other/2 ... s/main.htm

Nick Lindsley

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Post by RoyL » 15 Dec 2004, 22:36

We have been talking about this in the US for a while. Basically, IOM races should be a sailing, not a "visual' competition. Races where most of the competitors essentially need binoculars to see their boat and the competiton are just not acceptable. Putting marks at the limits of visibility leads inevitably to an unsatisfying regatta and should be avoided if at all possible. Ideally, all competitors should be able to easily see their boats and all of the marks on the course. If the issue is lenght of legs, concepts such as staggered start and finish lines should be considered.

Equally important is the concept of sightlines. For example, it is pretty much impossible to see boats and judge distances if the course is set so that boats are sailing upwind directly away from the competitors. Similarly, setting a mark around a blind corner leads to protests and even shoving matches in the control area.

Race Directors in r/c sailing have to keep in mind that competitors are not on the boats as in big boat sailing and that the ability to easily see the boats and the course from the control area is as important a factor as being perfectly fair to the wind or having sufficently long legs. Generally, a "proper" course is one that takes all three of these factors into consideration. For example, a perfectly fair course that takes the boats out of sight is just as bad as a course that is skewed and consists solely of reaching. Most of the time setting a good course is a matter of balance and compromise among all factors.

mark
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Post by mark » 19 Dec 2004, 17:39

Lester - Noting your comments regarding the "Race Management Manual" , what is the purpose & intended audience of the manual.
i.e Is it to provide guidelines or mandates ?
Is it for local, regional & International events ?
Does it dictate the type of courses we will sail in IOMs?

Just trying to get a feel of the objective & scope,

Cheers & Talk later,

Mark

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Post by Chairman » 19 Dec 2004, 20:16

mark wrote:Noting your comments regarding the "Race Management Manual" , what is the purpose & intended audience of the manual.
i.e Is it to provide guidelines or mandates ?
Is it for local, regional & International events ?
Does it dictate the type of courses we will sail in IOMs?
Hi Mark

Guidelines, aimed at international events, recommends windward-leeward course but makes it clear that the Race Committee should set whatever course seems appropriate and/or desirable in the particular circumstances of the event.
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Arthur
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Post by Arthur » 21 Dec 2004, 02:28

:D

Thanks everyone for the comments.

Look forward to the manual , Lester.
Arthur Hodge

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Post by nick lin » 22 Dec 2004, 06:49

As the top mark, first time around, is the most likely to be a traffic jam then the majority of cometitors should be able to say, with assurance "Starboard #XX" whatever XX happens to be. To do that, you have to be able to read XX.

If that is 50 mtrs, then 50 mts it should be. If 100, then that's ok. Whatever can be seen C L E A R L Y

Nick

Ray Flanigan
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Distances

Post by Ray Flanigan » 27 Sep 2005, 17:15

I agree fully with Nick, If you cannot clearly see the number of the boat that is to windward of you/ has no overlap, how can categorically state that an infringement has taken place short of there being a tangle up or sinking of your bote or is it boat, cannot see the keyboard from this distance really should be closer to the mark.
As there are very few people with binocular vision a more realistic distance would be better suited to the majority of the skippers.
My spec's only help for reading (darn it).
Let us think also of the people out there who have to wear spec's as a matter of course, we are all going to get there one day in any case.

Ray

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Post by Gyula » 12 Oct 2005, 12:25

I am just curious, what were the distances (aprox) used at the Worlds in Australia?

Regards
Gyula
Gyula Ferencz

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Post by nick lin » 18 Oct 2005, 13:24

Gyula wrote:I am just curious, what were the distances (aprox) used at the Worlds in Australia?

Regards
Gyula
It depended on the course of course. I heard a few Americans complaining about the distance to the downwind leg on the course that was used most often and it does echo the comments I made about 10 months ago on this subject. The particular downwind mark I am referring to was about 100 meters straight in line with the wing mark so you couldn't see who was doing what to whom at the front of a crowded fleet.

NL

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Post by Steve Landeau » 19 Oct 2005, 05:40

As one of the Americans that voiced an opinion about the race course (imagine that, :lol: ), I can further say that it was not the distance that was the problem; it was the fact that we sailed directly away from us due to the triangle course. Bottom line: triangles don't work for radio sailing. One way or another, you get sent away from yourself. If the triangle is set properly, you will be too far away. If it is not set properly, then it really isn't making for a tactical race course, and becomes a parade, Lastly, a triangle will almost always make you sail straight away from wherever you are standing. While I understand the argument against using a gate, it is still better than using a triangle. It allows for better tactical challenges downwind, and makes for cleaner leeward roundings in a large, close matched fleet.
Steve Landeau
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nick lin
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Post by nick lin » 01 Nov 2005, 11:51

I think that if I were setting a course I would be tempted to have a VERY shallow trianle as in two spacer bouys about 7-10 mtrs apart at the windward end.

I would be tempted to have two more bouys, - perhaps a little closer - at the bottom.

This would be to give the umpires less work sorting out the mess at the top and bottom marks.

I would really be an up and down course and not a triangle (or rectangle) at all.

Maybe 80 - 120 from top to bottom, with the start in the middle with the control area level and close.

This is my ideal.

What other ideal do people have?

NL

Gilbert Louis
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course in Ireland

Post by Gilbert Louis » 06 Nov 2005, 16:39

We found that windward lourd course is good as it is not only about boat speed but about tactical and even strategy if the course is big enough.

We typically have the start/finish line in the middle. This has few advantages such as no need to have two lines (one to start and one to finsih) so once the course is laid we don't have to touch it and it allows for fast turnaround time between races.

we also try to make the course long enough to allow for tactical choice to have an impact both upwind and downwind.

Sure we're only a small fleet in Ireland but this is working very well for us. At times we try the gate system at the lourd mark similar to the America's cup format.
Gilbert LOUIS
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Steve Landeau
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Post by Steve Landeau » 08 Nov 2005, 00:22

A nice little quote from the skipper of the VO60 Movistar, in a report off Sailing Anarchy ( http://www.sailinganarchy.com/ )

"On the triangle not a lot happened , as expected just follow the leader"

Seems even the best of the best have the same opinions of triangle courses... :)
Steve Landeau
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ole_peder
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Post by ole_peder » 08 Nov 2005, 16:55

Course lay out:

In Norway we sail only on an upwind downwind course.

Start finish line in the middle, windward mark, with an offset mark min 8 meter away, four boatlength for each mark.
This is to separate the downwind boats from beating boats to the uppwind mark.
The leeward mark is a gate also 8 boatlength apart, preferably 90 deg on the wind, purpuse to separate boats and avoid protests.

Distances? If you can't read the number it's too far away, thats the basic rule
Ole Peder Bjørsom
Chairman NOR NCA

Steve Landeau
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Post by Steve Landeau » 08 Nov 2005, 20:02

ole_peder wrote:Course lay out:

Distances? If you can't read the number it's too far away, thats the basic rule
And here is where I think we need to draw our attention.
Too many boats have illegible numbers. Although the previous identification rule was tedious (when the stroke was controlled), I believe it did a better job keeping the numbers legible.
Steve Landeau
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Post by Roy Thompson » 16 Nov 2005, 23:20

Although the previous identification rule was tedious (when the stroke was controlled), I believe it did a better job keeping the numbers legible.
I don't think that the 'new' rules make it any worse at all.
I think you only have to apply the following to be able to decide if the numbers are ok or not...and it's been repeated sooooo many times. However it still seems that ROs don't listen to event measurers always.....and they don't support them enough in cases where the numbers are clearly illegible (remember a certain GBR boat at Arcos???)

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