International Entrance Fees

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

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Post by Zoran » 14 Jan 2009, 09:56

I am sorry for a longer post, but there are several topics raised in discussion that needs some more explanation.

Yes, 360 – 720 system looks very well in theory, but what is happening in practice is that we are loosing too much time on one incident. Take for example simple port – starboard incident. After the incident we have to wait:
- for any competitor to protest
- after the protest hail (twice) we have to wait if other competitors will take his turn
- after he gets well clear he will start to make his turn
- then we have to wait to see if he has done his turn correctly
All this can take up to 15-20 seconds and during that time many other incidents can happen which will not be seen by umpires, competitors will start to think that umpires are not looking to them and on the end no one will again take penalty by himself. Trust me, this was happening all the time in Arcos in Marseille and it was pretty much frustrating for us. On the other hand, above mentioned simple port-starboard incident an immediately penalty be the umpire will solve a problem in few seconds. Please note that one turn only penalty was also used on Marblehead Worlds in Fleetwood that was mentioned several times as event where umpiring was working well.

Coming up to the „buddy“ systems, yes it also may works well, but as always you will have some competitors that are very good in that role, but also some that are not much interested. I experienced that in Marseille being accompanied with some competitors that knew what to look and how to look, but also with some who just waited the end of the heat. But again, I think it is not so much problem who is umpiring, it is a problem how is umpiring which on the end just come to the problem how we see the incidents before making our decision.. It was said here several times that some International judges/umpires does not understand radio sailing. However, when umpiring RC boats decisions are on the end mostly made by several basic rules, like 10, 11 and 18, then we sometimes have some 12, 15, 16 and 19 and umpires are calling the penalties for incidents for which they are sure that rule has been infringed. The disagreements with umpires are coming mostly from the fact that umpires and competitors are not in the same position for example to see the overlap. That’s the reason why I put visibility of the racing area on the first place. If the visibility is good the system will work with “buddiesâ€
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Post by Lester » 14 Jan 2009, 12:10

I appreciate and understand that Zoran, like all of us, wishes to see only the best for Radio Sailing umpiring. I completely disagree with his analysis of what the problems are, however, and profoundly disagree with his suggestion that umpire calls should be a one-turn penalty. (Zoran has heard this point of view already (smile).)

Paul Henderson, past President of ISAF, listed it as one of his 'Ten Commandments' of racing, and like many others I tend to agree that it is that fundamental: 'If you have violated a rule, take a penalty'.

There is an increasing trend not to take a penalty in the sport. I think this is enormously significant -- of all the major sports in the world which have a presence at, say, the Olympic games, which of these expect the competitors to be self-policing? I can't think of one besides sailing. It is probably the most important issue facing racing at the moment, and I think it is a wrong attitude that every newcomer will pick up.

I attended a recent RYA Judges and Umpires conference where I heard the delegates complaining about the increasing tendency for competitors to expect that it is for the officials to referee their behaviour -- ie that if no one blows a whistle, they need do nothing and indeed see this as proof that they did nothing wrong...

In the topic 'Feedback on the 2008 Europeans' there are some comments on umpiring:

The point is simply this -- a one-turn penalty is no penalty at all, and a competitor who has broken a rule has absolutely no reason to take any penalty until it is called by an umpire. When it is called, well, he has lost nothing. If it is not called, well, he has gained an enormous advantage. (In addition, he has destroyed what makes this sport unique, and what makes it attractive to those competitors who still believe in fair play.)

I have watched with disgust how a certain number of competitors at recent world and european championships cynically and ruthlessly have exploited this as they barged their way through at the starts and rounding marks. I think the fact that Umpire penalties were one turn actually *caused* these situations, rather than reduced or eliminated them. I think one-turn umpire calls destroy the sport and what makes it attractive to those who believe in fair play. Not that I feel strongly on this point...!
Lester Gilbert

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Post by Brad Gibson » 14 Jan 2009, 13:25

Hello All,

From what I read and hear from IOM skippers I think a good majority are in agreeance that some kind of cap needs to be looked at on entrance fees under a Championship application guideline structure.
Many agree that the 03 Worlds set a standard of event from a logistics level that many have since aspired to. The one very large advantage that this event had over all others bar Marseille, was that logistically, everything was in place.
In 04 Arcos and 05 Australia, these 2 events needed a full structure of storage, amenities, measurement tents, launching pontoons etc etc etc which adds a huge amount to the total running costs of an event. I believe 08 Dubrovnik had a similar logistics outlay and from what we are to believe, 09 Barbados will spend a large amount of their funds also on logistics.
May I ask why to look for the perfect event we are not looking at venues that have a base structure ready made? I'm sure a good amount of running cost can be saved by better selection of venue that suits logistical requirements.

As set out with the RRS World Championship guidelines as Zoran states, we do need to make a commitment to use a set amount of ISAF judges.
I have now competed in 5 International Radio Yachting events and many at a National level both with and without umpiring. It seems the biggest talking point is the standard of umpiring after each event.
I believe that the events which have had the most conjecture over umpiring matters were Arcos and Australia. At both of these events sight of the course was a major factor in a poor quality of racing along with the fact that there was a real stand off "us versus them" feel between umpires and skipper. This way is real problem as the communication just degenerates towards the second half of the event.
Rob mentions the Fleetwood RM Worlds in particular as working very well.
I would have to say that this event was by far the best and fairest event I have ever sailed in. The umpiring system of "buddying" a skipper with and umpire was brilliant in so many ways and addresses most of the problems that have already been mentioned.
1. The "us versus them" mentality is instantly erased as skippers see life from an umpires perspective and vice-versa. They work as a team with between 3 and 4 "skipper/umpire" teams watching the course.
2. The skipper/umpire combination has eyes looking from every perspective over the course and from my experience there is far less incidents gone un-noticed.
3. Skippers and umpires learn so much from each other with this method. A skipper for example will learn from which perspective the umpire will adjudicate an overlap etc etc and sail with this knowledge in further races helping towards cleaner racing for all.
4. The event becomes much more friendly as skippers realise judges are only human after all and we all make mistakes. The next time they are called for an incident they take the penalty and move on instead of aggravation.
5. As skippers are required to observe, this puts some responsibility back on them for the way in which the race is conducted.

In short the system works as follows:
-Both skipper/umpire observe contact
-Hail of "contact 42 & 47"
-usually followed by a protest of one boat against another quickly
-skipper as observer notes the contact on note pad and any protest and by whom then watches for any penalty.
-Offending skippers are encouraged to acknowledge a penalty within short space of time.
- If nothing done then umpire penalty is given, should be 720deg as 360 not sufficient deterrent.
This is a much better system as with up to 8 sets of eyes watching a heat, very little goes unseen.

When this system was introduced at the halfway point in Marseille, the amount of incidents left un-punished were reduced significantly.
The fleet size didn't change, nor did the HMS system, just observers working with umpires.
In an ideal world we can say that skippers need to sail in a more sportsmanlike manner and take their penalty when required. I feel most would agree on this. Unfortunately we do not live in this world and the very nature of sport these days to many skippers is to get away with whatever you can until the umpire/referee penalises you, a very sad state of affairs. This attitude to racing has been ingrained into many newcomers to our sport as what is required to be successful which is appalling..
For whatever reason, many skippers chose not to contribute to observing races in Marseille which was disappointing. If you are not willing to judge, or be judged by your peers grouped with an ISAF umpire for incidents on the water, then I'm not quite sure sailing is the best sport for you as I see this as the best way of cleaning up our sport without putting sole responsibility on an umpire.

Costs and Relevance
This thread started with a question on entry cost. Umpires have been pretty much blamed for a large amount of this cost. Yes I'm sure they do take up an amount, but they are the first ones that come to mind due to grievences of past events. I believe if we sort the umpiring structure out and learn from past experiences as to what works, then skippers are more prepared to meet their costs.
The total entry cost does pale into the distance if the memory of a good event stays as has been mentioned before. What competitors do remember though with a sour taste is paying a large entry fee, then being asked to buy tickets to functions and extra's that are to most way over the top.
06 Fleetwood is remembered by so many for all the right reasons.
- Entry was cheap due to a large logistics base being in place and an excellent organising committee working hard to keep costs down (all inclusive on a budget)
- Umpiring structure worked well, aided by a suitable venue to observe the course clearly. 20 boats in a heat with HMS
- Accommodation was realistically priced

It does seem to many on face value that costs are ever increasing though I'm sure national currency fluctuation doesn’t help things. this event being in USD$ makes the cost to those coming from Australia a massive one. Over $725AUD at last check on entry as opposed to $500AUD in 05 makes a big difference!

Logistics and extras need to be addressed as well as umpire value if IOM skippers are to be convinced that a World Championship at $500USD over 6 days is value for money against a National Championship for example at under $50USD over 3-4 days with all lunches and sun hat provided.

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Post by Zoran » 14 Jan 2009, 17:27

Lester, I completely agree with you but unfortunately the 360-720 system has been applied on several events and the number of penalties taken by the competitors did not increase. I am saying this from real experience and umpires' point of view looking the whole event.

Brad, on the Marblehead Worlds in Fleetwood the only penalty was 360. This was the point that Roger Stollery as inventor of „buddy“ system insisted from the first moment when we were preparing the Sailing Instructions for that event. I still have on my computer Addendum Q used on that event that is in fact, very close to the one used in Dubrovnik.

Please do not take me as pushing only one option. I am always open to hear any suggestion, but I am just trying to give you the facts coming out from previous events.
Zoran Grubisa
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Post by Graham J Elliott » 15 Jan 2009, 11:42

I really think the way to stamp out the unsportsmanship style of sailing that has crept into the sport and is much the topic of conversation at the de-brief is to adopt the 720 degree turn. How many times have we got to witness skippers barging around the windward mark as they did in Marseille and many other races,hoping that it was not clearly seen by the observers and even if it was they do a quick 360 leaving the carnage they caused behind them.These interloppers need a punishment that fits the crime and dishonesty, 720 degrees.
I understand Zorran's comments about it taking too much of the umpires time but with the 'buddy' system once the call has been made the 'buddy' can watch these boats while the umpire carries on umpiring the race.

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Post by Alfonso » 16 Jan 2009, 09:35

I am really glad to see the comments of so many top skippers about how to improve our racing system. I hope that the Exec and BAR are taking care of all these ideas.

I agree 100% with Graham’s last post.

Probably the mission of the buddy it should be not to watch the incidents like taking care that someone makes the turns. With this target in mind we correct this problem
I experienced that in Marseille being accompanied with some competitors that knew what to look and how to look, but also with some who just waited the end of the heat
that Zoran highlighted and that is very difficult to avoid.

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Post by desf » 16 Jan 2009, 11:00

The topic has deviated some what but may be the answer is to think outside the box. Perhaps the time has come to write into appendix E a clause which makes it "illegal" to approach the windward mark of a port rounding course on port within the zone if there are other boats in the zone. :D

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Post by Pedro Egea » 16 Jan 2009, 12:16

desf wrote:..Perhaps write into appendix E a clause which makes it "illegal" to approach the windward mark of a port rounding course on port within the zone if there are other boats in the zone. :D
Or perhaps , to penalize with a 720 the incidents in the zone
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Post by desf » 16 Jan 2009, 15:28

Pedro. That will not solve the problem because the port tack boat will tack create a problem which the Umpire has to try and rule on from a distance. My thinking was that if a port tack boat enters the zone and their is a subsequent incident he is immediately penalised (720) irrespective of whether he felt he tacked without interferring with another boat. The big issue with radio sailing is the speed at which situations develope and the distance from where they have to be judged. :idea:

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Post by Zoran » 16 Jan 2009, 16:19

We are missing one very important point on umpiring here. With 360 penalty umpire can impose as much as needed additional 360 penalties if:
- boat gain an advantage despite the rule infringement
- boat fails to do penalty turn on time or properly
- competitor brake rule 2
On the end there is possibility to exclude competitor from the race

So, if we have port tacker coming on a windward mark, pushing in the middle of starboard tackers forcing rounding the mark and on the end he is quite ahead he should be penalized by as much as needed turns until all boats affected on the starboard tack pass him, what on the end may also result with his exclusion from the race.

Coming back to situations in Maresille where we had more than one above described scenarios, I am pretty much sure that main reason fro that was course configuration with short first leg and mark close to the shore and 20 boats in a heat. Unfortunately, it was the similar on last races where windward mark was quite far and it was very hard to judge the layline for competitors and to see boats, number and complete incidents for umpires. This brings me again to the conclusion that visibility is the main factor in our sport.
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Post by simonc94 » 16 Jan 2009, 23:55

I'm all for 720 penalties for umpire calls and port/starboard infringements at the windward mark. All too often I've seen the port tacker gain significant advantage even after performing 360 penalty. The mindset seems to be 'barge around the mark and take a penalty' rather than bare away behind the starboard tack boats and lose 6 or 7 places.

As Rob pointed out, the HMS promotion/relegation system creates a sense of achievement for those skippers that are not priviledged to sail in A fleet all the time. I take my own case in the Marseille Worlds for example, I spent many heats in D & E fleets initially, but then finally sailed my way into A fleet on the 2nd last day, and ended the regatta in A fleet. To me, that meant more than my end result, and is what I aspire to every event thereafter.

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Post by Barry Chisam » 17 Jan 2009, 20:02

There is already provision in the RRS for boats that 'gain a significant advantage'.

44.1(b) says that her penalty shall be to retire.
The problem is of course that unless the competitor is absolutely honest and takes this penalty it is once again down to the race committee to protest.

In my non existant international experience I have yet to see a skipper retire or a race committee bring them to task, but have seen many significant advantages gained.

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Post by desf » 20 Jan 2009, 10:31

I was not questioning the rules. I believe that they are well written and cover the situation 100%. Why I say we need to think outside the box is that everyone involved in a windward mark situation is generally far away (I have also seen situations where the distance is not far) making it extremely difficult for the Umpires and both the skipper minding his own business and the skipper who believes he can tack into a "gap" to judge and call the situation. A skipper is obliged to keep clear so when a boat dives inside rightly or wrongly other boats may react creating other problems in the chain. My thoughts were to take this away all together by penalising with a 720 any boat who enters the zone on port creating any incident at all. :lol:

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Post by Alfonso » 21 Jan 2009, 10:17

Why don't we come back to the origin of this post?

According with the web page this is what we are going to get for our money:
Opening ceremony

Goodie bags

Daily prize for top sailor

Overall prizes for the top 10 competitors

Temporary membership at the Barbados Yacht Club

Use of Topper and Echo 12 dinghies on lay day

Daily happy hour

Closing ceremony
So Rob, What do you think?

My first impression is that we do not get lunch and drink as in Croatia and Marseille.

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Post by Peter Allen » 21 Jan 2009, 15:11

I will say as a probable competitor and not being on the organizing comittie(1) Lunch at the Boatyard is inexpensive beach bar type of enviorment.Burgers fish sandwitch type of food so wont be expensive(2)Acomadation at this time of year are off season rates unless you stay upmarket again inexpensive.(3)Public transport is every 5 mins at USD$0.75.As i said i'm not on the comittie but i believe plans are afoot to provide a bus service,dont put my head on a block for that.As a local i would suggest to the bigger teams renting a van when the cost is devided, then it's cheap and you are independent plus lots to see and do.(4)Granted we dont have to pay airfare and accomadation.However a dollar is a dollar when you work for it, at todays rate USD$1=BDS$2 locals are paying $1,000 entry fee.Regards Peter
P.SI'm pretty sure i have a set of roof racks i can lend to anyone who is renting.

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Post by desf » 21 Jan 2009, 16:14

Peter I hear you but unfortunately this event has priced itself out of the reach of most South Africans. (R10.50 = $1.00) I attended both Croatia and Marseille as well as many other International events and whilst each one was expensive at the time this one seems worse. (Marseille entry was R3500 and Barbados is R5250 without meals) This event is made worse by the fact that we have two longhaul International flights as well as national flights each way so I am afraid I am going to have to give Barbados a miss. I also missed Vancouver basically because of the cost of the two longhaul International flights.

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Post by RoyL » 21 Jan 2009, 22:53

For those of you traveling internationally, one possible way to reduce costs is to look into flights from your home country to New York, Los Angeles or Miami in the United States and then a separate rate to Barbados. Usually, there is a bargain rate to major US cities and then the cost to get to Barbados is pretty reasonable. Just a thought.

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Post by Sen Peter Gilkes » 22 Jan 2009, 13:07

We will be setting up thru our various boards of Tourism access to travel information to Barbados and to hotels that are linked to the IOM Worlds 2009 program.

To this end I can confirm that we have received a great offer from Little Good Harbour for the use of their rooms there added to which the organising committee have decided to include free transportation for anyone opting to stay at The Little Good Harbour.

The link to the Lttle Good Harbour site can be found on the website.

desf, I am very sorry that you will not be attending this event, but I can assure you that the cost of entry goes no where close to covering the expenses associated with putting on an event as specified by IOMICA to these standards and guidelines.

RoyL is also correct the major gateways into Barbados are London Gatwick, Manchester, Miami, New York, Atlanta, Charlotte North Carolina, Toronto and Montreal with many International flights into Barbados on a daily basis.

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