Monday, 22 September 2008

iShares Cup Amsterdam 2008 | 2

The first day at the iShares cup in Amsterdam brought a few rules issues, very close racing and lots of calls. To many to go into them all.
The iShares Extreme 40 at the iShares Cup finale in Amsterdam
� Vincent Curutchet/DPPI/OC Events

One of them involved a pile up at the gate with virtually all Extreme 40s. I'm afraid I did see the first part of that and decided to penalise one of the boats. In hindsight one of the other boats which piled in there, caused the penalised both to break the rules. It was to hard to see with a gate of six lengths and 8 or 9 boats. But that's in the game. Next time I'll concentrate not so much on who's doing what, but on the r.o.w./right to room boat. The one who "owns" the rounding.

Anyway, we did get to try out our decision to only use red flag penalties. By only using tack-penalties that is sometimes not much of a "punishment", for instance in the beat, so we penalized that same boat again, to make sure the position it ended up in, was behind the boats it infringed. Perhaps a pink flag penalty would make it more efficient? I'm not sure.

On Saturday we did use the pink flag when it was appropriate. Having to do a gybe in the beat is a huge disadvantage when there's not much wind to get you round. But on the other hand, only having to do a gybe on a reach can be done by a bear off and twice flicking the sail.
To define the leg of the course - as with match racing - and let the penalty depend on which leg a boat is on, does not work for this event. To close race-area and to much shifts from the buildings. Also on other venues sometimes a reaching course is laid out.

By using pink and red we can control the penalty, but take on the responsibility of deciding the severity. In a special event like the iShares Cup that is only possible if the umpire group can stay consistent.

On Sunday there was even less wind then the previous days, less spectacular for the sailors and public. But the rules-issues were not that complicated and could be followed with more ease.

Extreme 40 fleet on day 3 at Amsterdam
� Vincent Curutchet/DPPI/OC Events

We saw Alinghi win not only the Amsterdam event, but also the series. I contribute their win to looking and finding the wind every time. To very smooth helmsmanship - no braking helm movements at all- and staying out of trouble as keep clear boat very early. No risks in that regard. Hat off to Ed Baird and crew who learned a lot about sailing these extreme 40's, since I saw them capsize in Lugano.



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