Guys & Girls,
Over the past 12-18 months we have introduced new courses of varying lengths and wind directions. These took ages to calculate so as to get the appropriate lengths for accurate handicapping, particularly for the stern chasers.
The stern chasers are handicapped at the beginning of the race so the time racing is particularly important to reflect each boats performance on a level playing field.
These races, although a relaxed format are still taken seriously and have all rules and handicap considerations applied.
The Keel Boat Committee has taken the view that these races need to have the best course selection process possible, and to this end, some of the more experienced sailors in our fleet are asked to monitor the breeze during the day and compare that to 3 different. Weather reporting services to gauge accuracy. This then allows for the best prediction for the twilight race so we don’t end up reaching all the way around the course. Although fun, reaching is just a water line length plus sail area calculation to get results, you end up in a freight train line with the biggest boats being the fastest.
The skill in successful racing is in the beat, picking shifts and tactics.
The courses we constructed are to have a beat of at least 2- 3 NM, plus a run and a reach to the beat location. Ofcourse this doesn’t always happen exactly that way but that is the intent and we get it pretty right each week as you would have noticed.
Having an experienced competitor / sailor help accurately forecast the race conditions for a given race only improves our racing standards.
This detail and suggested course is then given to the days Race Officer for consideration and application to the days race.
Not all of our Race officers are confident or experienced in course selection, so this system was adopted to take criticism away from each Race Officer while providing best course selection.
We are making large inroads in Race Officer training, with many new members helping our Skipper and Crew duty teams run our races.
It is a strict operating procedure that has proven itself over and over again.
As all the courses have a design criteria, it doesn’t give any sailor or boat an advantage no matter which course is selected, provided it matches the PROJECTED breeze during the race.
It’s no secret that Mark Bulka and myself have input into the course selection process but as anyone can see from the results, this input has not given either of us an advantage!
This system was ONLY adopted to get the best racing possible for ALL our fleet.
I write these articles to keep you all well informed of our procedures , the reasons for some of the decisions made on your behalf and to halt rumours and misconceptions.
Please enjoy what we offer knowing that a fair bit of background work has gone into its presentation.