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Solo News 12 Sep 2010

  • Lots of boats, lots to talk about!


    Remember next Saturday is the Topper Open, so see you all on Sunday...


    Great turnout this Sunday (perhaps because Saturday wasn't very nice weather) 11 boats on the water for the class race and lots of really close racing. With a north westerly - not the most common direction we had a beat to F, reach to 8, run to 5 and close reach to 3 if I remember right. The start was a bit starboard biased so the pin end was rather crowded. I'll cover the key rules for start and finish later... Up the first beat Gareth and Chris Smith seemed to have the best start with Gareth starting a bit down the line away from the pin end congestion but with good speed and clear air, and Chris to windward clear of the fleet (I assume Chris started right on the pin but I was too busy making sure I had speed off the line with Frank on my tail to really look). The further up the beat we went the trickier the wind got with the bank and clubhouse providing a block if you went too far right near F. Gareth and Chris swapped position a couple of times but at F Gareth slipped through the tricky lighter patch on the right tack and led from Chris with Peter H and Mervyn in close order (not sure of the order between Peter and Mervyn). Gareth pulled away probably because 2nd, 3rd and 4th were having one heck of a race. Each time I looked back the order was different. First Chris was ahead, then Mervyn then Peter and back again. Right to the last mark the order was in doubt down the run they looked to be three abreast - in fact it looked as if Mervyn would round inside on the last mark and reach clear to the finish, but both Peter Halliday and Chris Smith slipped through (I think riding a puff fast to leeward). Then of course we had the 'interesting' finish where the committee boat was not outside the mark, but inside and almost in line with the course from the last mark. If you looked at the line from mark 5 you could see that the committee boat was slightly to the left and further away than mark 3. Technically that means the finish was leaving 3 to starboard passing between 3 and the committee boat (which was flying S so no clearly was the finish).


    The rules here are fairly clear:

    From the definitions section of the rules:

    A boat finishes when any part of her hull, or crew or equipment in normal position, crosses the finishing line in the direction of the course from the last mark, either for the first time or after taking a penalty under rule 44.2 or, after correcting an error made at the finishing line, under rule 28.1.


    The key point is that you are sailing to cross the finish line, not sailing to round the finish mark. There is no such thing as a hook finish.


    However  there is an appeals case here which could apply.

    Case 82

    When a finishing line is laid so nearly in line with the last leg that it cannot be determined which is the correct way to cross it in order to finish according to the definition, a boat may cross the line in either direction and her finish is to be recorded accordingly


    So the Race Officer gave people the benefit of the doubt and allowed finishes in either direction. I believe there was a protest in the laser fleet.


    Back to our race, after the incredibly close battle for 2,3,4 there were further close races all down the fleet with Peter Cottrell ahead of Frank, Mike Lipscombe ahead Dave Lawton, CJ, and Dave Clark while Malcolm alas suffered gear failure and was trying to figure out which string should go where on his kicker. Terrific race on a glorious sunny day.


    The wind on Sunday was quite shifty with no clear way up the beta – you couldn’t say it always paid to go right (or left) you rather had to treat each beat on it own and seek the stronger wind and correct shifts.  It is important each lap (and before the start to get a feel for it) to know where you can point as you start the beat. Then as you come round on the next lap you can easily tell if you are on a lift or a header and decide whether to continue or tack. Obviously if there are boats ahead you can also use them to get some idea what will happen next, but keeping an eye for windier patches is always useful. Sometimes you can see a patch of wind that will miss you if you don’t tack – get into the stronger wind – even if you have to tack again once you get there. Being able to tack smoothly without losing ground is key to being able to take advantage of shifts and wind patches.



    Now, since we are in rules mode, let's remember the rules coming up to the start line - windward boat has to keep clear, even if that means going the wrong side of the committee boat. You can't barge in thinking you are inside boat rounding the start mark. A leeward boat can shut you out.


    The key part is the preamble to section C (where rule 18 mark room is). Section C rules do not apply at a starting mark surrounded by navigable water or at its anchor line from the time boats are approaching them to start until they have passed them.


    This means that there is no 'inside at the mark' coming up to the start. It is simply windward/leeward (or port/starboard). The only constraint on the leeward boat is that she must allow the windward boat to respond because "Rule 16.1 When a right-of-way boat changes course, she shall give the other boat room to keep clear. If the leeward boat isn't changing course, but just steadily closing the windward boat must always keep clear. In the lasers I watched Rob Pettit approach the start boat on a reach, realise there was no room because the leeward boats had shut him out and bale out, tacking before the committee boat and circling to come in again late but legally and at the favoured end. In the class race I could have pushed Frank up like that because he came between me and the committee boat, but I was a bit early and if I had pushed Frank up we would both have been over the line so I bore away to keep clear and made sure I started with boat speed a bit down the line. In fact we were both slightly early but clear of the potential pile-up right on the pin.




    Finally another plug for our Team Pursuit event - the last major club event of the summer season. (Not counting open meetings).


    Teams of three - ALL TO COUNT. Starting times based on PERSONAL HANDICAPS.


    The provisional Solo sailor PH ratings (mostly by sail number) are:




    Smith Harry



    Chris Smith



    Andy Ford



    David Thorpe



    Andy Collison



    CJ Cavallari



    D Shewan



    Luke Phillips



    Roy Poole



    Grahame Stevens



    Peter Renn



    R Wall-Budden



    Frank Beanland



    Tom Wilson



    Mervyn Cinnamond



    Dave Strachan



    Robin Pryke



    Martin Mitchell



    David Clark



    Arthur Phillips



    Peter Halliday



    Peter Cottrell



    David Lawton



    Alec Adams



    Glen Cole



    Graham Hughes



    Mike Lipscombe



    Hugh Jervis



    Tony Penfold



    Gareth Griffiths



    Paul Playle



    Malcolm Barnes



    Mike Jones



    Others for whom we don't have enough results to calculate


    Niky Daly               5

    Lorraine Lynch        5


    From a quick eye-balling I think these look about right. We tried to base them off 2010 results where we had enough results, otherwise 2009/2010 combined. If you are not on the list please let me know.


    The start numbers for each band for Solo are:

    Get in touch

    Visitors and prospective members are welcome whenever we are open. Best times to see the racing are Sunday mornings and Summer Wednesday Evenings.

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