IOM 2005 World's Review and DeBrief

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

Moderator: Rob Walsh

Post Reply
RoyL
Posts: 705
Joined: 15 Dec 2003, 21:03

IOM 2005 World's Review and DeBrief

Post by RoyL » 05 Oct 2005, 17:34

I guess its time to start talking about the positives and negatives and what was learned from the 2005 IOM World Championships.

Let me start the ball rolling by saying how great the host committee was. Wonderful site. Great organization. Can't thank the organizers enough for the vast amount of effort put into the event.

My most interesting conversation at the event was talking with the judges/umpires and being told how much they didn't like the umpire system that was put in place for this event. They couldn't understand why our class had adopted this system.

Perhaps the most common critisim I heard at the race were questions about the courses and the control area. Like a lot of races the wind direction didn't co-operate with the best placement of courses. What I think needs further thought is balancing truly fair and unbiased courses with the reality that we are not sailing on our boats and that sight lines, for example, are important and need to be considered in course setting.

Final thought, it was amazing how well the committee kept generally kept the races moving along. However, there needs to be some way to allow protests to be heard and not suspend all sailing.

Lester
Posts: 611
Joined: 14 Oct 2004, 22:29
Location: GBR 105
Contact:

Re: IOM 2005 World's Review and DeBrief

Post by Lester » 05 Oct 2005, 21:03

RoyL wrote:I guess its time to start talking about the positives and negatives and what was learned from the 2005 IOM World Championships.
Hi Roy

This is very welcome. I love learning lessons...
My most interesting conversation at the event ...
*This* was your *most interesting* conversation? Man, you're almost as sad as I am (wicked smile). (Sorry, irresistable, such jokes should be way below me!)
... was talking with the judges/umpires and being told how much they didn't like the umpire system that was put in place for this event. They couldn't understand why our class had adopted this system.
Did you happen to make any notes of the specific system they thought should have been used? Or the specific changes to the existing system they thought were desirable? I mean actual proposals for modification, rather than general discussion of "issues" that need addressing?
Like a lot of races the wind direction didn't co-operate with the best placement of courses
The wind does this, apparently, so perhaps courses need to be placed to co-operate with the wind instead?
What I think needs further thought is balancing truly fair and unbiased courses with the reality that we are not sailing on our boats and that sight lines, for example, are important and need to be considered in course setting.
What specific guidance would you suggest should be incorporated into the IOMICA Race Management Manual, which is "the book" for IOM Race Officials? That is, I mean actual proposals for instructions to the RO, to become part of the "IOMICA way" of running races?
there needs to be some way to allow protests to be heard and not suspend all sailing.
Absolutely right! What specific changes would you propose to the racing system to permit this? That is, I mean actual suggestions for modifying the heat racing system to achieve this?

Something I've heard is that there was some feeling about the number of promotions/relegations per heat and this being too small at its current number of 4? I know you tried some different numbers than 4 in the USA for some IOM events, how did that work out?
Lester Gilbert
http://www.onemetre.net/

David Turton
IOMICA Treasurer
Posts: 126
Joined: 24 Nov 2003, 02:20
Sail number: 09
Club: Lake Kawana
Design: Destroyer
Location: AUS599, AUS709, AUS 1309,AUS 727

Post by David Turton » 06 Oct 2005, 02:10

there needs to be some way to allow protests to be heard and not suspend all sailing.

Absolutely right! What specific changes would you propose to the racing system to permit this? That is, I mean actual suggestions for modifying the heat racing system to achieve this?
It was interesting watching the way some people sailed. (when i say some in this i mean a minority of competitors) There was an element that had absolutely no regard for other competitors rights, and these people chose not to respect the rights of the right way boat and blatantly infringed them to gain an adavantage. ( In my mind these sailors need to suffer the ultimate penalty of DSQ and multiple penalties of this nature need to result in the Jury lodging a protest under rule 69) The judges were active in issueing multiple turns to boats that gained an advantage to put them at the back of the fleet, unfortunately there were some people that managed to slip through without penalty. The judges on several occassions had a quite word to multiple offenders that they were risking a rule 69 protest.

You can argue all you like that if the course was this way or that way the incident would not have occured, it still comes down to, respect your competitors rights, they gained the advantage by being faster,smarter,luckier and that they have right of way needs to be respected(bit like driving down the street the wrong way you don't do it). Its a one design fleet it does not matter if the first beat is 40 or 100 meters long the majority of boats will get to the 1st mark in a pack(provided the start line is reasonably square) . It doesn't matter what sort of OD class wether its in the etchell and you have a three mile beat or IOM's with a 40meter beat, I guarantee you that the majority of boats arrive in a pack. Its close racing and getting around the top cleanly is part of racing in close fleets.

There were lots of contacts that were not hailed or called and the two boats concerned were quite happy to stay under the radar and not say a thing. In the heats i sailed i do not recall a a third party protest by another competitor that saw the incident.

Considering the cost of running a regatta which requires 9 international judges over 7-9 days perhaps the whole system needs a revision. But this does not get away from the issue that there is an element of competitors that try it on in the hope they will get away with it. Some intersting systems to look at could be the Hobie 16 and Windsurfer worlds.

In a system proposed each umpire was allocated a scribe (a sailor not sailing in the current heat) whose role was to record all incidents hailed by an umpire and watch the competitors to see that a penalty was accepted) this allowed the umpire to move on. If no penalty was taken the umpire at the end of the race had a written record of incidents not resolved and could subsequently protest/issue a penalty. The influence of a double penalty on an umpire call did not seem to have the desired impact amongst some competitors, i dare say disqualification for bareling into the top mark on port tack and interfering with a right of way competitor as per rule rule 31.2 may get the message across.


The awarding of cowboy hats at the end of the days sailing was a light hearted attempt at influencing those that were trying it on. At the end of each day the judges had between 5-8 boats that would qualify for the award, which was determined on multiple incidents not just once.

The way HMS is structured it requires very agressive sailing in a heat of 20 boats to gain a top 4 place and get promoted. If your sailing in a lower fleet, to escalate requires a different style of sailing to that of if you where sailing the averages in A fleet and staying put. Would making the system 8 up and 8 down change the nature of requiring to sail agressively to gain promotion, maybe, maybe not. It sure would magnify the complexity of running and administering the regatta.

Sailing is a fun sport to participate in and manage, please whatever the outcome leave the fun element in it.
David Turton
IOMICA Treasurer

Bruce Andersen
USA NCA Officer
Posts: 761
Joined: 25 Nov 2003, 00:06
Sail number: USA 16
Club: Famous Potatoes Sailing Club
Location: USA 16

Post by Bruce Andersen » 06 Oct 2005, 05:28

Lester

We tried moving 6 boats up/down at one of our early season races. A bit more work for the RD and scorekeepers, but everyone I polled after the regatta liked it. With 4 up/down, most folks (as do I) have the feeling that it's harder to get out of B fleet than stay in A fleet. Moving 6 boats nearly eliminated that feeling and really mixed the fleets up more. I personally think its a great idea.

Lester
Posts: 611
Joined: 14 Oct 2004, 22:29
Location: GBR 105
Contact:

Post by Lester » 06 Oct 2005, 08:55

Bruce Andersen wrote:We tried moving 6 boats up/down at one of our early season races. A bit more work for the RD and scorekeepers
David Turton wrote:making the system 8 up and 8 down [...] sure would magnify the complexity of running and administering the regatta
Hi guys

I don't understand how simply changing the number of boats promoted from 4 to 6 or 8 introduces more work or more complexity. Like any change, it requires extra vigilance, perhaps, from competitors and officials, but apart from that?

I hope the IOMICA Events Sub-Committee will in due course issue an official call for fleets to try experimental regattas using 6 or 8, and I guess it would be helpful to provide guidance on the new issues that might come to light.
Lester Gilbert
http://www.onemetre.net/

awallin
Posts: 624
Joined: 18 Nov 2003, 06:31
Location: FIN 36
Contact:

Re: IOM 2005 World's Review and DeBrief

Post by awallin » 06 Oct 2005, 09:22

some personal unofficial comments from what I remember, in no particular order.



An accepted way of choosing the event delegate and the technical representative would be welcome. The role of the technical rep was now a bit unclear to the organizers and also to me (not enough homework...). Something along 'in RRS 64.3(b) the authority for interpreting class rules shall be ___' could be added to the SIs. Is it a good idea for this authority to be one single person ? a competitor ?

... was talking with the judges/umpires and being told how much they didn't like the umpire system that was put in place for this event. They couldn't understand why our class had adopted this system.
Did you happen to make any notes of the specific system they thought should have been used? Or the specific changes to the existing system they thought were desirable? I mean actual proposals for modification, rather than general discussion of "issues" that need addressing?
I understand that the judges will compile their own feedback and give it to IOMICA through John Whitfield.

One issue that I remember the judges were talking about was that their actions were now entirely reactive. Specifically when there is an incident but no boat protests the judges were under Q4.2 (a) required to hail a two turn penalty. Judges and a lot of sailors thought that this should have been a one turn penalty.

A solution (outside the SIs etc...) used later in the regatta by the judges was to hail 'umpire protest XX' and then wait for the boat to acknowledge(otp). If nothing happened a penalty would be called (ttp).

at some point in the event the judges decided that to make themselves heard and to distinguish umpire calls more clearly all their calls were preceded by 'umpire' i.e. 'umpire penalty XX' , 'umpire incident not seen' etc. I think this worked OK.

I recall an incident where after a heat a boat was protested by the race committee for not sailing the course. The protest was dismissed on the grounds that the boat was not informed and had not been given a chance to correct its mistake. Some guidelines on how protests by the race committee are to be handled would be needed.

Judges and competitors not hearing eachothers calls was another problem. The control area on days 3-7 was not very big but still big enough so that people did not hear eachother if standing in opposite ends.
there needs to be some way to allow protests to be heard and not suspend all sailing.
Absolutely right! What specific changes would you propose to the racing system to permit this? That is, I mean actual suggestions for modifying the heat racing system to achieve this?
I think the heat racing systems allows for racing to proceed (except incidents on the last beat involving boats being promoted, I don't recall any of these).

With the number of judges available(also serving as members of the protest committee), when there was a hearing there was simply not enough judges available to start another heat.
Something I've heard is that there was some feeling about the number of promotions/relegations per heat and this being too small at its current number of 4?
Yes, this was the feeling among the majority of skippers I talked to.



the starting tape now contained pop music up until 60 seconds before the start. This was fine on days 3-7 when there was not much wind but I remember having a lot of trouble hearing the tape on days 1-2. It also contained some timing calls in addition to the ones required (E3.5).


Finally, contrary to David's post below, I believe it makes a huge difference in the number of incidents if the first beat is 100 m or 40 m long. During the first two days we had strong winds an everyone was nervous at the beginning of the regatta. But I don't remember very many incidents because we sailed on a course with a long first beat and good visibility.

The contrast to the later days is clear, short first beat - more incidents. If the race management manual does not already contain guidelines on course setting then it could be a good idea to add them, suggestions on starting line length, first beat length and total time for heat would be nice.

Anders

Lester
Posts: 611
Joined: 14 Oct 2004, 22:29
Location: GBR 105
Contact:

Re: IOM 2005 World's Review and DeBrief

Post by Lester » 06 Oct 2005, 09:52

VCinfocomms wrote:A solution [used] by the judges was to hail 'umpire protest XX' and then wait for the boat to acknowledge(otp). If nothing happened a penalty would be called (ttp).
Hi Anders

Excellent solution!
The control area on days 3-7 was not very big but still big enough so that people did not hear eachother if standing in opposite ends
Perhaps the IOMICA Race Management Manual should provide guidelines on the acceptable dimensions of the control area.
the starting tape [...] contained some timing calls in addition to the ones required (E3.5)
A pity the organisers were not familiar with this rule. Another one for the Race Management Manual, then...
suggestions on starting line length, first beat length and total time for heat would be nice
There are already guidelines for total time for a heat, and very specific guidelines for start line length in the Race Management Manual. It is a great pity if these wre not properly regarded by the organisers.
Lester Gilbert
http://www.onemetre.net/

David Turton
IOMICA Treasurer
Posts: 126
Joined: 24 Nov 2003, 02:20
Sail number: 09
Club: Lake Kawana
Design: Destroyer
Location: AUS599, AUS709, AUS 1309,AUS 727

Post by David Turton » 06 Oct 2005, 13:18

the starting tape [...] contained some timing calls in addition to the ones required (E3.5)

A pity the organisers were not familiar with this rule. Another one for the Race Management Manual, then...
The starting tape was exactly as prescribed by 3.5 except for the addition of music for the first minute and half, The tape was changed on the last day to Australian music which finished with 60 seconds to go.

Don't think anybody heard much on the first day, it was blowing 30-45 knots.
There are already guidelines for total time for a heat, and very specific guidelines for start line length in the Race Management Manual. It is a great pity if these wre not properly regarded by the organisers.
I can assure you Lester that the event organiser was aware of the contents of the event manual and the event was managed to the guidelines, even to the point of correcting the IOMICA reps direction that differed to the manual. If the breeze didn't vary or oscilate no doubt it could have been perfect, but i can't recall the last time i went sailing and the breeze didn't shift or vary in strength.

My view is we did the best we could with what we had to work with, everything is a compromise. Unfortunately Lester you are quick off the mark being critical but some how not constructive.

Every competitor went into the regatta with an expectation, some we could mange to acheive, some we didn't. We didn't have control over a persons individual performance, many were delighted with their result, some were dissapointed, a couple thought their result wasn't their fault, a factor that may need to be considered when analysing feedback.

Having now had the experience of orgainsing and sailing in an IOMICA event, my first piece of advice to IOMICA would be they need to contribute positivley with effective and encouraging communication.

On the judging front an observation that occured to me was their has always been issues with umpiring etc. Strikingly there is not one international umpire that has done more than one of the last three major IOMICA regattas. A thought may well be to collectively work with these people to try and gain some continuity or alternatively some experienced RC sailors may see fit to do the work to become accredited, so some more of our judges have an RC background. The judges volunteer their time just like anybody else.

The object of any analysis should be to improve the next regatta, not denegrate the last one as has been done in the past publicly. I look forward to participating in the debrief and contributing to future events.
I'm now waiting to attend a World Championship event that is a result of your efforts Lester. oh and thankyou for your lovely note acknowledgeing the contribution of MRYC to hosting the last IOM Worlds, nice touch.
David Turton
IOMICA Treasurer

Lester
Posts: 611
Joined: 14 Oct 2004, 22:29
Location: GBR 105
Contact:

Post by Lester » 06 Oct 2005, 14:49

DT wrote:My view is we did the best we could with what we had to work with
Hi David

Of course that is what you think. It is what I think every time I manage an event as well. Problem is, not everyone agrees...
Unfortunately Lester you are quick off the mark being critical but some how not constructive
I think you will find constructive points in my post. If the cap doesn't fit, no need to wear it.
Having now had the experience of orgainsing and sailing in an IOMICA event, my first piece of advice to IOMICA would be they need to contribute positivley with effective and encouraging communication
Good advice, in a general kind of way, thanks.
A thought may well be to collectively work with these people to try and gain some continuity or alternatively some experienced RC sailors may see fit to do the work to become accredited, so some more of our judges have an RC background.
Yes, it is an excellent idea that IOMICA needs to establish some kind of "approved officials" list, to include judges, umpires, and race officers.
The object of any analysis should be to improve the next regatta, not denegrate the last one as has been done in the past publicly
Where did you read that the objective of what has been done in the past was to denigrate a regatta? The only point behind any analysis I know of is to learn lessons and improve.
I'm now waiting to attend a World Championship event that is a result of your efforts Lester.
You've just been in one. And I believe you think it was pretty good.
oh and thankyou for your lovely note acknowledgeing the contribution of MRYC to hosting the last IOM Worlds, nice touch.
Such sarcasm is below you. If you wish to complain about my behaviour, have the courtesy to mention this to me directly in the first place in private.
Lester Gilbert
http://www.onemetre.net/

Muzza
Posts: 30
Joined: 20 Oct 2004, 02:12
Location: USA 274

Post by Muzza » 06 Oct 2005, 17:07

One of the unfortunate features of communicating by internet forum or email is that we do not have the benefit of interpreting intonation and the various non-verbal communications that are so important to us in face to face conversation. As a result, there is always the risk that a message, reduced only to text, conveys to the reader something other than the meaning intended by the writer.

In this, and some other, threads, things are becoming just a little testy.

I’ve been involved in sports administration, as a volunteer, over the years, (not for IOMs – yet) and appreciate how much work and effort goes into the job, be it a specific event, or just the time and effort to keep a sport on track. The people who step forward for these roles do so out of love of their sport, usually at some personal sacrifice and no personal gain. There are always too many participants and too few volunteers.

The persons posting to this thread fall into this category – hard working, with a passion for their sport, and a desire to see it prosper. We will all have differences of opinion from time to time, that’s both human nature and beneficial. It’s only through airing our opinions that we challenge existing thought, and move forward.

I haven’t read anything here that I would interpret (truly) as a destructive criticism of the ways things were done – although a first reading of some of the writings could be interpreted that way – if you allow your mind into a place where you feel personally challenged. It’s really not about the person. I believe the original intent of each poster was just to make observations and suggestions – from their perspective. By all accounts the Worlds were a great success. I wasn’t there, and so have absolutely no axe to grind, but I’ve only heard good things. But even the best (indeed, especially the best) look at their performance critically and seek ways to improve.

I say, keep these ideas and opinions coming, and if any of you feel personally targeted, I’d suggest that you can all be proud of your achievements (for the benefit of the class), and just let any niggles flow off like water off a ducks back.

Feedback is just about how others feel and perceive things. We need feedback, but in many cases there will be very good reasons why things are done the way they are, and why some feedback cannot result in change. That’s OK too. If even one idea results in a change for the better, it’s been worthwhile.

Preachy – I know. I make no apologies for that. I crawl back under my rock now.
Murray Buckman
USA 274

ron
Posts: 12
Joined: 24 Nov 2003, 21:47
Location: U.S.A. 08

Post by ron » 06 Oct 2005, 19:43

I agree completely with Mr. Buckman's remarks below.

I wish to thank those who formed the IOMICA and those who have and will run it. Particularly, I would like to thank Mr. Gilbert for his hard work and his willingness to absorb the slings and arrows that go with leadership.

This is a good and well run organization and it so reflects on the participants.

Ron
RON LOCKE
USA 08

ralph kelley
Posts: 68
Joined: 23 Nov 2003, 17:57
Location: USA 41

umpires

Post by ralph kelley » 06 Oct 2005, 21:28

In an earlier post, David noted that the umpires are not returning for future events. That is no surprise to me. The same thing happens all too often with the many model race committee volunteers.

Put simply, being on the model boat regatta committee is generally not a pleasant task.

In normal crewed boats, the committee members are not privy to any yelling that might occur between a couple boats out on the course and they can address any resulting problems in a refined manner. It is a fairly pleasant way to volunteer and give some "pay back" for all the times others have run races. (This is why I took the trouble to get a race management certification from US Sailing -- payback.)

But in the model game, there is almost constant banter, yelling, challanging and so forth, and everyone hears all of this, from all incidents, simply because we are all standing in close proximity to each other. As we have all experienced, sometimes it can get very heated.

RC committee work is simply not very enjoyable, particularly when they get heated challanges from the partiicipants. I recall a recent incident in which, while calling the start line, I was challanged by a competitor about my "over early" call when he was about 30 degrees off the line. And it was a loud and heated challange to my call. A subsequent apology does tend to mitigate the negative aspect of this situation, but only to a limited degree.

Things like this do nothing to encourage committee folks to return to another model event. The operative word, expressed several times, is FUN, and this goes for the volunteers too.

We simply need to be far more civil and controlled in our vocal expressions during the event. It is hard to do with all the type A personalities involved, but we need to do it.

Ralph

Chairman
IOMICA Chairman
Posts: 1197
Joined: 12 Nov 2003, 21:42

Post by Chairman » 07 Oct 2005, 05:42

Guys,
part of the reason I agreed to this position was to ensure that we had open communication and ensure there was no perception of "behind closed door discussions" I will be doing everything I can to ensure all information and discussion is in the open but with that comes a responsibility. Please remove your egos and sarcasm before you post on our forum. Murray and Barry thanks for the sobering thoughts.
Shortly we will have a survey done and emailed to all competitors. From that we can review our current process. Both John Whitfield and Noel Allen will be presenting a report to the iomica executive (I will be requesting that all reports are made public) and again hopefully we can lean from this regatta and take those lessons on to the next IOM world championship. Assuming we can find a host nation that has not been frightened off. Remember we are only 2 WC's old and have room for improvement but please do not undermine the enormous amount of work done by race committees and their support groups. If this type of approach is not stopped we will not have an event to go too.
Now, can we have some more opinions on the WC regatta?
Cheers
Greg W
Chairman
IOMICA Executive

Greg Willis
Posts: 5
Joined: 08 Aug 2005, 23:49
Location: AUS 41

Post by Greg Willis » 07 Oct 2005, 07:52

And just so I do not get my roles mixed these are just some personal thoughts from a competitor’s position, having some inside knowledge of the organizational challenges.

The event organisation:
The information, transport and services provided buy the organising committee was at least as good as my Canada experience.

Event Facilities.
Wanted for nothing. Shade was at a premium but given the lost tent and need to move racing to the best available area most skippers and supporters enjoyed the clear sunny skies.

Venue.
Given the changes endured by the host club the final compromised venue provided alternative courses for most winds. Some perfect some less than ideal. Launching was by pontoon or beach and given the organisation at the marshalling area there appeared to be no problems. The large practice areas provide most skippers with an opportunity to fine tune their boats between heats. Having now competed in 7 r/c world events I can safely say there have to date been no better venues. (not necessarily the best) The capacity at any venues to set the ideal course will always be a challenge and I am yet to compete at any venue were a perfect course can be set for all wind conditions. Given the conditions served up by Mother Nature the race committee endeavored to provide the best compromise. Most skippers have their own opinions on length of 1st beat, port or starboard rounding, sailing away from yourself, loss of depth of vision, sailing into the sun etc. I did in fact on 3 occasions question the race officer regarding courses and when the alternatives were checked and a rational given we did in most cases have (in my opinion) the best compromise. Course distance seemed to be addressed but the problems of sailing away from you and loss of depth perception was a problem but again any alternative would have provided other negative issues. Eg Short beat close to all skippers who could see exactly were their boat was as apposed to a long clearing beat but looking directly into the afternoon sun. The fact that we need to compromise our course because we need to stand on the bank will always be part of the nature of our sport (that is one reason we have drops)

Race management.
The marshalling, scoring, fleet management was as good as it gets. From my perspective there was not a hiccup.
Course laying was good but could have been improved. Drifting marks and loss of shore boat communication seemed to create unnecessary delays.

The trial removal of the 1 minute rule did not provide the benefits I had hoped for given the effective fleet marshalling (all boats were checked off before a heat and missing boats chased up (big effort which skippers appreciated but, I do not think, should not be necessary in a international event)) Mind you a couple of skippers were more than happy when caught short with technical problems. Maybe the official launching area could have been extended without compromising safety. Not a big issue.
Umpiring;
Well !!!!!. I think they did a pretty good job given the criteria we gave them. From day one we were told that the umpires would do what ever the class wanted, within the rules. We presented appendix Q version 14 as proposed by IOMICA. The basis was to try and ensure all incidents were dealt with by the skippers and if an umpire had to make a decision then the penalty was doubled. In principal that is great and maybe we should wait the umpire feedback before any knee jerk reaction but from a competitor’s perspective only. Some skippers were still prepared to risk the 2 turn penalty and leave all calls to the umpires. Mark and boat contacts were still being ignored or were not observed by skipper, umpires or race officials. There needs to be further discussion on these issues but clearly it is not an umpire issue it is a class issue. We need to ask if the penalty fits the crime. Think we should be looking at DSQ for obtaining an advantage as required under RRS but not Appendix Q. Think we need to re-look at observers/umpires confirming contact before imposing a 2 turn penalty.(might catch more gamblers) Look at the resources given to umpires. Mind you one umpire suggested we remove the bumpers from the boats. Not a bad idea  Strangely enough it has been suggested that from day 3 forward the top mark created the biggest problem with contacts and missed calls. The 3 proposed solutions were to lengthen the 1st beat, turn to a starboard rounding or sail another area. All had merit but none of these actions would stop the skippers blatantly braking rules. The mark was very close to the skippers so sight was not an issue (would have been if the course had been moved) some skippers simply used the port lay line and broke the rules. Starboard rounding would not have stopped those skippers from breaking the rules.
Hopefully this will promote some good debate. If not I have lots of video that has a “please explain:â€
Greg Willis
AUS 41

becsta
Posts: 3
Joined: 10 Oct 2005, 02:46
Location: AUS 682
Contact:

Post by becsta » 10 Oct 2005, 14:42

G'day everyone,

I'd like to post my debrief on the Worlds, noting that this was my _first_ Worlds event. I'm the skipper of AUS 182, and spent half the time in E fleet, and half the time in D fleet (with a single C heat).

You can read all about my exploits in my Worlds Diary on my website.

Overall, my impression of the event was that it ran like clockwork - the volunteers were awesome, but Aussie volunteers are legendary :wink: It was also well organised.

The Venue
------------

The circus tent was a good idea - pity it disappeared during the high winds just before the start of the regatta. Was it buttoned down for the night, or left open? It was a _huge_ loss for the first two days, as there was no shelter at all for those two days - not even for the volunteers.

For the other 5 days we were around the other side of the lake, about 150 metres from where the replacement marquees were erected. thus, they were hardly used during the regatta, but I appreciated the shelter when I wasn't racing. The Race Office tent didn't see a single protest hearing in it, but was rated as "cyclone-proof" by DT, so that was good enough for my boat for shelter :)

The Functions
---------------

I was personally quite disappointed by the Opening Ceremony. I saw piccies of the OC in Vancouver, where the competitors were "paraded" behind their respective national flags.

The _major_ attraction to the Worlds for me was not the opportunity to compete against skippers from around the world, but the extremely rare opportunity to represent my country. Thus, I was disappointed when this recognition wasn't shown - no flags, no introducing competitors, no "Advance Australia Fair", and no shirts to the Aussie competitors like those given to the Aussies attending Vancouver.

I didn't attend the Seafood Extravaganza function.

The Aussie Beach Party night was good, with excellent food. The dessert was mouth-watering (hmm... Pavlova!). I heard the very sad news that Peter Stollery's fan club had only one member - almost made me cry, except Brad was laughing so hard. Onya Peter!

The Closing Ceremony I really enjoyed. It was a great touch by the organisers to give the top ten places with framed photos of their boats in action - stunning photos. Next time... next time... I'll get one of 'em next time! The food was great, the company even greater. To top my night off, I won a piece of memorabilia, and will cherish it for a very long time.

The Umpires
--------------

... seemed to have a grudge against me. I'd never sailed an event with on/off-water umpires, and it took time to adjust to their presence and calls. Some calls were _huge_ - I became so angry with them, I never talked to them socially - a shame, since they were otherwise good blokes.

However, the one time they got it absolutely right was when Craig Smith protested Graham Bantock for contact - the umpire quite correctly called "incident not observed". This allowed the most important protest of the whole event to be heard by the full International Jury. Such is life.

The Heats
-----------

... were _too_ slow. We'd get 3 or 4 races in a day, and it was frustrating. We wasted a half hour on the last day, which cost us sailing one last race for the regatta.

I, personally, _hate_ sailing HMS events. It's too easy to be dropped, and too hard to advance. This is especially true of the E fleet, with 20 boats sailing an heat and having only 4 boats go up was mighty difficult to advance. With the quality of the sailing, a single mistake often cost the heat, with relegation a real possibility.

I thought that the courses set were generally fair. The first work was quite interesting, but more from a tactical perspective. The line was generally port-biased, and I found that the boats would drift down to the port end. With the shifts, a lot of the boats would get to the top mark on port tack. It just wasn't advantageous to go out to the starboard lay-line and cruise on in to the mark. Sure there was congestion at the top mark, but I see it as skippers making use of the prevailing wind conditions to gain a tactical advantage. I used the port shift to my advantage several times.

The Event Merchandise
--------------------------

Awesome. I love the shirts, jacket and hat. Pity there were no Team shirts like Vancouver. Having something to take away from the event always sits well with me :)

I think everyone scored a prize of some nature during the event. There were so many giveaways during the event that DT lost track of who had won something. I scored a nice hat and a t-shirt as a result (he'd forgotten who scored prizes on the first day) :)

A huge thanks to all of the sponsors for the free booze, prizes of sails, micro blocks, tshirts, hats, winches, battery meters, etc.

Overall
--------

I'm glad I attended. I think it was a very successful event, and the event organisers should be applauded.

I met many skippers, chatted to a few of them, had fun, stressed out too much, was told to remember the word "golf", learnt some more about rig tuning and "game plans", and had as much fun watching the B and A fleet races as sailing the E and D fleet races.

Roll on the next Worlds!

*cheers*
--
Rebecca "becsta" Richards
AUS 682 "On Fire"
http://www.becsta.com

Lester
Posts: 611
Joined: 14 Oct 2004, 22:29
Location: GBR 105
Contact:

Post by Lester » 11 Oct 2005, 10:16

Hi Becsta

Glad you enjoyed the event -- a first time at the Worlds should always be exciting! Just one point that I'd like to explore...
becsta wrote:The _major_ attraction to the Worlds for me was not the opportunity to compete against skippers from around the world, but the extremely rare opportunity to represent my country. Thus, I was disappointed when this recognition wasn't shown
The IOM championships are events for *individuals*, and absolutely not for teams or countries. In participating, no one is "representing their country", competitors are representing only themselves. The particular arragements at the opening ceremony in Vancouver were, in this context, sending the wrong message (though they were certainly enjoyable).

I make this point because there is always a temptation to sail at international events as though representing a country, and the result is loathsome "team sailing". Any competitor indulging in team sailing risks a Rule 69 hearing, an early flight home, and an international ban.

Of course it is always good to know that one has been accepted by one's NCA as meriting one of the places allocated for an international championship. In telling my friends I try to carefully use some words such as, "I ranked high enough to be entered by GBR as an individual competitor".
Lester Gilbert
http://www.onemetre.net/

becsta
Posts: 3
Joined: 10 Oct 2005, 02:46
Location: AUS 682
Contact:

Post by becsta » 11 Oct 2005, 13:38

Hi Lester,
Lester wrote:Hi Becsta
becsta wrote:The _major_ attraction to the Worlds for me was not the opportunity to compete against skippers from around the world, but the extremely rare opportunity to represent my country. Thus, I was disappointed when this recognition wasn't shown
The IOM championships are events for *individuals*, and absolutely not for teams or countries. In participating, no one is "representing their country", competitors are representing only themselves. The particular arragements at the opening ceremony in Vancouver were, in this context, sending the wrong message (though they were certainly enjoyable).
Of course, it was every skipper for themselves. Still, the way I see it is that, even though I was racing for myself against the rest of the world (and my fellow Aussie skippers), I was still representing my country. That was a big attraction for me.

There's nothing wrong with National pride.

- becsta
--
Rebecca "becsta" Richards
AUS 682 "On Fire"
http://www.becsta.com

Laurent Schock
Posts: 15
Joined: 19 Jul 2005, 11:00
Location: JPN ???
Contact:

Post by Laurent Schock » 11 Oct 2005, 13:42

Sorry, but this made me wonder...if "we" (I) race as an individual, why putting some "countries" code on the sail then?

just wondering
-Laurent Schock

Lester
Posts: 611
Joined: 14 Oct 2004, 22:29
Location: GBR 105
Contact:

Post by Lester » 11 Oct 2005, 13:55

Laurent Schock wrote:Sorry, but this made me wonder...if "we" (I) race as an individual, why putting some "countries" code on the sail then?
Laurent,

I guess you have already seen my attempt at a reply to this question in the "How to get recognized as an IOM fleet?" thread in the "Class Associations and Class Management" forum.
Lester Gilbert
http://www.onemetre.net/

Laurent Schock
Posts: 15
Joined: 19 Jul 2005, 11:00
Location: JPN ???
Contact:

Post by Laurent Schock » 11 Oct 2005, 14:35

Yes, I did read it! and to be honest I still don't understand why!

Though, completely on a different subject, I remember that on the "continent" we had to put a sticker on our car stating where the reg. plate was from...now gone with the EU!
I guess it must fill somehow the same reason.

Anyway, I am no "rule specialist"...still intersting subject...

Let's hope that I won't any time soon go back to "my" country, as there is no IOM fleet...yet.
-Laurent Schock

soeren_andresen
DEN NCA Officer
Posts: 94
Joined: 18 Nov 2003, 10:39
Location: DEN 93, DEN 120
Contact:

Post by soeren_andresen » 11 Oct 2005, 15:45

Hi all

I like to also give my 2 cents, but let me state that it is my personal statement and that it reflex my personality (taking things as they come and make the best of them)

The event organisation:
Can not any thing to put a finger on, every time I had a question I got an answer. Every one was friendly and always helpful.

Event facilities:
Before the toilets where moved the walk was a bit far, I do not know if it was my, but since I was a little afraid getting dehydrated I drank a lot of water. I there had to use the toilets a lot.
Beside that I can not put a finger on any thing/s.

Race course:
Given the wind directions we had, I think that we had the best courses we could have. I know that the RO`s all the time checked for alternatives, and if the sailors had behaved better the course we where given would have been ok.

Race management:
Dam they where good, after got into it I do not think that anybody can put a finger on their work (and good sense of humour). I just have one but, and it is more to do with the competitors. To often Betty (??) had to run around telling sailors that they where up for the next heat, at this level it should not be necessary.
Regarding the start tape I kind of liked it, the music at the start of the start of the tape, got me to relax a little and keep me in a better mood. Specially since the music changed from time to time.

Umpiring:
I can and will not complain, that is not in me nature. The umpires are human and off course they make mistakes, but they do it not deliaberaly. Some people think that they had some kind disliking to some sailors, I can simply not believe this to be true.
Now you should think that I just was lucky and did not have any bad calls, because I feel that I had at least 2 or 3 bad call. My nature when I get a bad call, is them to do the turns and then forget about, you can always ask for a reason after the race ( I did it ones and got a good answer). I think most of the problems was on the sailors them self, I do not know if it is because they do not know the rules, or because they think if no one protests I will get away with it. It is an other discussion, that can be taken up latter/elsewhere.

Racing and competition:
I sailed in A, B and C heats, and can say that there is a big difference sailing in A heat and B/C heat. If you wanted to get a promotion in the lower heats, you really had to go for it and hope for a little luck. If I have had a bit more routine sailing in big events, I think it would have been easier starting in A, than to get a promotion. Maybe something we should look at.
The competitors as general was ok, but I think we should work on some plan to get sailors to understand that sailing is a gentleman sport. Hereby I mean that that the racing rules is written to be self-policing rules, and that when you sign up for an events you sign for that you will obey them.
One last thing about the umpiring that I specially liked, was the additional turns that where given sometimes, when a sailors got an adwantage when breaking a rule. I think that this is really in the spirit of the racing rules.

Social:
Really great with the gathering after each day of racing, it kind of brings people together.

Since I brought along my family I asked them for their thoughts, so here they are:
Great people and great surroundings, everybody was nice and friendly. The only thing that they could think off that they think could be an improvement for the time to come, is some kind of program or offers for non-competitors. Their main reason for this is not they did not know to do with their time, but to get to meet new people. I know that this may be extra work for the event organisation, but I think it would be well received.

Summery:
The best ever events I have sailed.

One last thing:
To the Jones and Walker families from all of us from Denmark
THANKS for at wonderful time down under, and hope to see you soon again.

Best regards

Søren Andresen and family.
DEN 93
Søren Andresen
Personal sail# DEN 93
HULL#: DEN 93, DEN 120

Greg Willis
Posts: 5
Joined: 08 Aug 2005, 23:49
Location: AUS 41

Post by Greg Willis » 12 Oct 2005, 00:10

The IOM championships are events for *individuals*, and absolutely not for teams or countries. In participating, no one is "representing their country", competitors are representing only themselves. The particular arragements at the opening ceremony in Vancouver were, in this context, sending the wrong message (though they were certainly enjoyable).
Sorry Lester I cannot agree, I do understand the fobia about team racing and for good reason but maybe its a colonial thing but I have been to 7 world R/C events and always represented my country. I cannot think of any sport in Australia where our international competitors (team or individual) are not refered to as an Australian representitive and if possible provided with an Australian uniform.

Interesting both Croatia and Canada held a Nationally based opening event which I think, set a great basis for a world championship. At the Vancouver event the Australian competitors (notice I did not say team :) ) were all supplied Event Shirts buy some very generious sponsors. After the opening event there British competitiors had a "team" meeting (which the Ozzies mimicked for a little fun) and amoung other thing brought up the Australian "Team" shirt issue.
Funny thing is that in Mooloolaba the Brits all hand nice new "team shirts"

Mooloolaba's initial plan was to have flags and team introductions at an open venue overlooking the Pacific. The weather problems and change of venue put an end to that and I like Becsta was a little disappointed.

What a sad day it would be if we went to an international event with out a flag or place to call home. :(
Greg Willis
AUS 41

Lester
Posts: 611
Joined: 14 Oct 2004, 22:29
Location: GBR 105
Contact:

Post by Lester » 12 Oct 2005, 09:25

Lester wrote:The IOM championships are events for *individuals*, and absolutely not for teams or countries. In participating, no one is "representing their country", competitors are representing only themselves
becsta wrote:Of course, it was every skipper for themselves. Still, [...] I was representing my country
Hi Becsta and Greg

Yup, I should have been more exact, perhaps, in what I wrote. There is no doubt that, in general terms, we do "represent" our country at international championships, and our clubs or whatever at national or regional championships and so on. I guess I should have said
An IOM championship is a racing event which declares an individual champion. While racing, no one is "representing their country", competitors are representing only themselves.
Lester Gilbert
http://www.onemetre.net/

Roy Thompson
Posts: 380
Joined: 15 Nov 2003, 10:50
Location: ESP 212
Contact:

Post by Roy Thompson » 15 Oct 2005, 12:15

There is no doubt that, in general terms, we do "represent" our country at international championships, and our clubs or whatever at national or regional championships and so on
Where I sail here in continental Europe, we can be almost 'independent' as far as clubs etc go, you can sail totally unaffiliated to any club at regional and national levels, although your sailing licence is noted as issued vby a certian regional sailing federation. And I still think that should hold true at international events if the competitor wants, I only think that the we need the country letters to say which MNA/NCA entered us, and because if not, how would we organise rankings and placings for entry into major international events.
I am not against national pride, it can be a healthy thing in the right circumstances, (although I have personally suffered at the hands of 'team play' at both regional/national an international events), but I do think it shouldn't be forced on anyone. The current system does exactly that, it forces you to affiliate with a particular country (via the NCA). I guess for the majority it's no problem, but for those of us living 'abroad' or as expats etc, it may be frustrating to not be able to have ones original country letters on your sails, for whatever reason, and/or to have to put the country letters of your country of residence on your sails (where you are affiliated normally), or to have to put any letters at all on your sails. And yes I know it's the same in all sports (I can't think of any sport where you enter as an individual without some recognition of the country of your current passport.)
What a sad day it would be if we went to an international event with out a flag or place to call home.
I don't think you need to be so dramatic Greg. 'Flags' and 'home' are not related in many cases. As they say, home is where the heart is. My home is in Madrid Spain, but I am not and do not feel Spanish. My passport is British (I was born in England) but I don't feel particularly 'British' having spent a good part of my life living and working abroad. So what do I feel?. Western European maybe, but not normally much else in terms of nationality. Maybe before more criticisms are thrown at those who don't want to put another countries letters on their sails, we should stop and think. Maybe these people are frustrated because they are as nationalistic as the rest and don't have the chance to 'represent their country' - as demonstrated by country letters on sails. Or maybe they are 'wanderers' who simply don't feel the need to associate with any particular country or........ Please, don't knock them. They just want to sail the same as anyone else.

End of philosophical blurb......
Roy Thompson
"WE DON'T SEE THINGS AS THEY ARE, WE SEE THINGS AS WE ARE" A.N.

Steve Landeau
Posts: 256
Joined: 26 Nov 2003, 07:25
Location: USA 12

Post by Steve Landeau » 19 Oct 2005, 05:53

I was quite pleased with just about every aspect of the regatta, from the early preparations and assistance with travel and accomodations, right through the awards dinner. Their volunteer group was first rate, and I think we learned alot about umpiring (good and bad). The 2 biggest complaints I have are the course setting; mainly the decision to sail triangles (although this was posted very early on in the planning stages, so I knew it was going to happen), but more importantly, the massive loss of time due to the continuous general recalls. Not one time in any fleet was more than 2 boats called over on individual recalls. I can remember a period where we had no less than 15 continuous general recalls! Had the line judge set the standard very early on and nailed numerous offenders, we could have saved no less than an hour a day. I am a firm believer that if you have 7 over early, and can nail 5 of them, that is better than recalling all of them. Sooner than later, you will get to the point that no one will be early. The starter needs to take charge right away, simple as that.
All in all, it was a very good regatta, and I would still go back again, expecting that we learned from this one, and it would surely be better.

Well done Mooloolaba Radio Yacht Club.
Steve Landeau
AMYA 10859
IOM USA 112
Finn USA 112
Cal 25 #548

Post Reply