Wednesday, 31 August 2011

MATCH RACE 360 - First Issue: August 2011

31 August 2011 – London, UK: The World Match Racing Tour today launches a new digital multimedia magazine devoted solely to the discipline of match racing.

The e-zine, called Match Racing 360°, is a digest of match racing events from all round the world, and of all grades from world-status to club level. The concept of Match Racing 360° will reach out to and bring together the international match racing community through its attractive and accessible digital platform. There are thousands of match racing events out there – Match Racing 360° wants to give them a voice.

The quarterly interactive e-zine offers a mix of the latest news from events around the globe, in-depth features and comment and analysis from some of the biggest names in match racing, enhanced by embedded videos and links.

The launch issue includes reflections on the America’s Cup World Series from one of the sport’s biggest stars Brad Butterworth, match racing legend Magnus Holmberg on the importance of educating youngsters in match racing, an insight into the world of blind match racing and a spotlight focus on the Swedish match racing mecca of Marstrand.

Match Racing 360° will be available as a browser version for those who want to read it on a PC or laptop, with a mobile application for download through the World Match Racing Tour’s iTunes channel currently in development.

Jim O’Toole, CEO of the World Match Racing Tour, said: “Rather than being a just a communication tool for the World Match Racing Tour, we want Match Racing 360° to be about connecting match racers of all levels around the world and providing them with relative and engaging content. Match Racing 360° is as much about the countless lower-profile match racing events that go on around the world as it is the high-profile ones. It’s a platform for the match racing fan, whatever level they race at.

Check out the first edition of Match Racing 360° by clicking here.

Rules History - Part 1

Sometimes the Google Search kicks up an interesting link. (But that is no news, right?)
This time it didn't point to news as much as it did to olds: rules history. How did we get the current rules?

I've been only doing this rules stuff since, oooh about ten years, but before that already most of the 'modern' day approach to racing rules had been established: Some excerpt from piece by Mark Russel:
Introduction of the two-boat length zone as the point at which an inside overlap had to be established to entitle a boat to water. (Yet another idea originally proposed by Vanderbilt, it is suggested that this incarnation came as a result of a discussion between Paul Elvstrom, on the way to his 4th Olympic gold medal, and Niels Benzon.
The member of a club in charge of the boat no longer had to be an amateur; this was now left to class associations and race organisers to specify.

A new one minute “round the ends rule” to apply after a general recall. General recalls were already beginning to be a problem. (And still are: even with the much more brutal “black flag rule”, starting processes are a cause of serious debate to this day.
A new rule prohibiting advertising except for manufacturers labels.

Individual recalls signalled by dipping the class flag with no requirement for a hail to the boat or display of a recall no: putting the onus on competitor rather than race committee.
The “heavy sweater” rule: prohibiting clothing worn for increasing weight, unless specified in class rules, and then limited to 20kg max. Over the years this maximum weight steadily reduced and is now zero).
Alternative penalties for breaking a right of way rule: a 720-degree turn, or a 20% penalty as specified in the SI’s. (A welcome liberalisation: packing up and going home for an unintentional foul always seemed over harsh, especially for recreational sailors)
If there is contact, one has to take a penalty, protest, or retire: the counterpart of the alternative penalty: “now that there is an alternative there is no excuse for not following the rules).

An experimental rule (not allowed in major championships) to allow unlimited kinetics in certain conditions.
The first relaxation of the advertising rule, to allow event sponsors.
The experimental kinetics rule disappears (but not for ever!) Instead there are clearer definitions of what and what is not allowed.

720-degree turn (rather than re-rounding) for hitting a mark. (This later becomes less iniquitous 360-degree turn.)

 And completely overhauling the book, like was done for rule 18, is not new either. Something like that was done after 1993:
The experimental right of way rules were certainly shorter and simpler: just 9 in the 1994 and 11 in the 1995 (compared to 17 in the 1993 rule book). Definitions were clarified and simplified, and by simplifying the rules, some definitions that would not be required were dropped, for example there was no definition of tacking. As well as simplification of structure some basic principles were changed: some (but not all) of these new principles made it into the new rules, and some were changed several more times in development before finding their current form.

Though this extreme level of simplicity did not make it in its entirety through to the current rule book, there are now only 13 right of way rules compared with the previous 17. The language has certainly been simplified, there are far fewer sub-clauses and special exceptions, and once the sailors began to get used to a completely new set of rule numbers, (the revision extended to the whole rule book not just the right of way rules) the changes met with fairly universal approval.
I found a very small booklet with these Experimental Right-Of-Way Rules and Definitions from 1993 in my bookcase. It's probably on of the first books about the rules I ever owned.
You can read Mark's whole article here: The history of the rules

Mark is one of the UK’s leading sailing coaches, a freelance yachting journalist and a talented, highly successful dinghy and keelboat sailor in his own right.
Mark’s career has spanned more than 20 years in the British marine industry, with in depth experience of boat development, spar production, sailmaking and marine retailing. He has been winning championships since 1975 and, throughout his career, Mark has always helped others to win races.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

ISAF Q&A 2011 - 018 G12: 10 seconds

The latest ISAF Q&A (2011-018) deals with recalling boats that are over the line at the starting signal.
And the timing of the individual recall for four boats, which in this case is made after 10 seconds!

As always the question is if a specific time is too long. Like how many seconds you should raise a protest flag or how long after an incident you should do penalty turn(s).

The panel has answered as we can expect: "it depends" and finds subsequently in the described circumstances, that ten second was (too) long. It is long if you count 10 seconds in your head, but it is not long on a heaving deck of a committee boat with force 7 blowing your ears off and you can't hear what the second line sighter is saying. Like the Q&A panel states: 'It depends'.

One of the issues I've learned doing starts, is that your communication with the pin-end boat must be flawless.
Better to repeat your agreed on method for the 50th time, then to have to wait in asking for conformation a second time on how many boats were over. Then those ten second will have passed and then some.

Look at it this way.
If you give an individual recall because you think there was a boat over, but are not sure, subsequently get no conformation from the other people on the pin-end nor the second linesman, you may have hoisted that flag for nothing, but you don't have score anybody OCS.
If you think someone is over and wait for conformation before hoisting the flag, it may be already to late when you get that. And you will be unable to score anybody OCS. Or if you do, that will be overturned in a subsequent redress hearing....

Sure, it is always better to be sure before you hoist the X, so there's no chance that any boat returns unnecessary. But in my opinion to hoist and then find no boat over, is the better of two (not the best) choices.

You can read the Q&A here:  ISAF Q&A 2011 - 018 G12

Monday, 29 August 2011

(pillow)Case of the week (35/11) – 47

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)

(pillow)Case picture


Rule 2, Fair Sailing

A boat that deliberately hails ‘Starboard’ when she knows she is on port tack has not acted fairly, and has broken rule 2.

Assumed Facts

An experienced helmsman of a port-tack boat hails ‘Starboard’ to a beginner who, although on starboard tack, not being sure of himself and probably being scared of having his boat holed, tacks to port to avoid a collision. No protest is lodged.

One school of thought argues that it is fair game, because if a helmsman does not know the rules, that is his own hard luck. The other school rejects this argument, on the grounds that it is quite contrary to the spirit of the rules to deceive a competitor in that way. It is known that such a trick is often played, particularly when novices are involved.


In such a case, has the port-tack boat broken rule 2?


A boat that deliberately hails ‘Starboard’ when she knows she is on port tack has not acted fairly and has broken rule 2. The protest committee might also consider taking action under rule 69.

RYA 1980/1



Bullying should not be tolerated. That’s what this is.

It does happen more often than we know. The problem is to catch someone, because there’s never a ‘policeman’ around when the bully does this.

But wait, all sailors are also policemen! They also have to enforce the rules….

So, please consider seriously to protest behaviour like this, if you come across anything similar!



I’ve returned from Kiel-Schilksee, from the Match Race Clinic I was “rules-advising”. We had good wind and could sail the whole program. Hopefully the participants will have some benefit from the ideas we introduced.

Kiel sure does look different without the whole Kiel-week circus.

And no free wire-less available. But that you must have already guessed from the lack of posts.


Friday, 26 August 2011

Fact Finding Friday Animation; Vol 11.5

A little late for Thursday,  but early enough to drop in your E-mail box on Friday.
Another instalment of the almost forgotten Fact Finding Friday Animation series....
This one is with Tornado's, remember them? They were  in the Olympics, once....

Please click on this link to get to the animation: 110826 F11.5

The animation is about a situation just before the starting gun. In position 5 the Tornado Class flag is lowered and the sound signal on the committee vessel is made. Nobody is OCS,
Pink and the Starting-vessel have contact in position 6 and Red and Pink also have a collision just after Pos 6.
Red stops racing and goes to the harbour to repair his boat. Pink does two turns just after having passed the starting line. Red AND the RC protests Pink. Red also requests redress.
You deal with all the parties in one hearing.

Please write down the Facts Found, a Conclusion (with rules applicable) and your Decision. You need to consider RRS 14 since there's multiple contact ....
Good luck.

As always I'll refrain from publishing your comments until the next one, so everybody has the same information.

I'm in Kiel this weekend, driving on Friday. Not sure if I find the time to post, but I will try.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Do you have a pen?

In yesterdays post I wrote about the requirements of a Protest. I hope that most of you have thought about this and are willing to write a small comment. I realize that the example is perhaps a little far fetched for some of you, but I do assure you that it has happened when I was in a panel once or twice....

Anyway, today we continue with writing. Not a protest this time but a request for redress.
Rule 61.2 specifically deals with a protest. And looking at the definition,
An allegation made under rule 61.2 by a boat, a race committee or a protest committee that a boat has broken a rule.
 we can safely say, that a request for redress is something quite different. Rule 61.2 therefore does NOT apply.

But what then? What if a sailor comes to the desk a states he has a request for redress?
Would that be valid?

Looking at rule 62.2:
The request shall be in writing and be delivered to the race office no later than the protest time limit or two hours after the incident, whichever is later. The protest committee shall extend the time if there is good reason to do so. No red flag is required.
"...shall be in writing...." That is all. So a verbal request is not good enough, but written on a piece of paper is?

Does it have to describe the claim? Does it have to state who made the scoring of the boat significantly worse?
Should it describe the improper action or physical damage? Should it at least state when the incident took place?
How can the other party prepare if they don't know what it is about?

The rules give no definitive answer in my opinion, save it that in rule 62.1 it says ".... shall be based on a claim or possibility...... That might indicate that at least the claim should be written down.

Did you ever declare a request invalid because it didn't describe the claim?
Give me you opinion.

Claim Post

His sledgehammer hit the post. Finally he had staked his claim!
With golden letters, spelling the word "35XUTBPPJJ3", the metal pole stood in the last corner.
Now he could dig again and maybe earn something.

He looked to windward and saw the sun had risen above the water.
A lonely seagull screeched.

Better get on with it.....

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Do you have a watch?

In rule RRS 61.2 the Protest Contents are described. Any PC or Jury has the obligation to make a judgement if these criteria are met. They have been listed under (a) trough (d):
61.2 Protest Contents
A protest shall be in writing and identify
  • (a) the protestor and protestee;
  • (b) the incident, including where and when it occurred;
  • (c) any rule the protestor believes was broken; and
  • (d) the name of the protestor’s representative.

    If the rule ended there, the PC/Jury would have an easy job. Just tick the boxes if a, b, c and d are described and Bob's your uncle. But the rule ends with some provisions:
    However, if requirement (b) is met, requirement (a) may be met at any time before the hearing, and requirements (c) and (d) may be met before or during the hearing.
    So we are left with one solid requirement which MUST be met, before end of protest time. Once the form has been handed in, there's no going back again. The incident, including where and when it occurred, must be on the form. If not, it is an invalid protest!

    I'll give you the following example and let you decide:

    There's an incident description of a situation five boat lengths from the windward mark on the form. Port - Starboard. The starboard tack boat has to bear away to avoid a port tack boat, crossing in front. With a drawing and the correct rule number (10). Protestor identified and protestee also.
    Everything as it should be.

    Just after the protest has been published on the board and after the protest time limit has expired, the protestor comes to the desk and states that he made a mistake in the race number. It wasn't race 7 like he described on the form. No, it was in race 8.

    The jury secretary tells him that he should bring this up in the hearing and does not give him the form to correct his mistake. The hearing is started, both parties are present and very soon it is established that the incident did not happen in race 7 but it happened in race 8. So, the "when" in (b) was not correct.
    The protestee declares to the members that therefore requirement (b) in rule 61.2 has not been met and that the protest should be declared invalid. The protestor declares that he made an honest mistake and that he tried to correct it before the hearing started, but was refused by the secretary.....

    How would you decide? Valid or not?
    Is there a fair solution that is permissible under the rules?

    One thing I can already tell any sailor who has to fill in a protest form: Put the time of the incident on the form.
    If there is a time, a mistake like the race number can easily be corrected, if there is no time, the 'when' has to be derived in another way.....

    I'll await your comments.

    Monday, 22 August 2011

    (pillow)Case of the week (34/11) – 48

    Instead of trying to catch up and antedating all the missing Cases, I’m just resuming where I left off, starting from this week.

    I do have to fill in one gab between Cases 60 and 53, so for those I’ll make an exception and post them as second post each Monday….

    Still with me? 

    For study purposes it is no great matter in which order the cases are read, so I feel confident that you’ll catch up. Just read the Cases and don’t worry about the order.

    Here we go….

    (This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)

    (pillow)Case picture
    CASE 48

    Rule 63.2, Hearings: Time and Place of the Hearing; Time for Parties
    to Prepare

    Part 5 of the racing rules aims to protect a boat from miscarriage of justice, not to provide loopholes for protestees. A protestee has a duty to protect herself by acting reasonably before a hearing.
    Summary of the Facts

    Two close-hauled port-tack boats, W and L, were approaching a windward mark to be left to port. W became overlapped inside L five to six hull lengths from the mark and hailed L for mark-room to round it. L refused, saying that W was not entitled to mark-room on a beat. W passed the mark on the wrong side, circled back, rounded the mark leaving it to port, displayed a protest flag, and informed L that a protest would be lodged.

    The protest committee found as fact that W became overlapped inside L in proper time. L was disqualified under rule 18.2(b) and appealed. The appeal alleged that, contrary to rule 63.2, L’s helmsman became aware that a hearing was being held only when he was told to attend it; he was refused permission to read the protest outside the hearing room but was required to read it while the hearing was in progress; and he was not given a reasonable time to prepare a defence. Further, the appeal alleged that no evidence was presented in the hearing to establish that W had become overlapped inside L in proper time.
    The protest committee commented upon the appeal as follows: the time of the hearing was posted on the official notice board; W’s protest was lodged with the race office and was available for reading for well over an hour prior to that time; her helmsman informed L’s helmsman that the protest had been lodged; he made no effort to prepare a defence; and he had to be summoned from the club’s dining room when the protest committee, the other party, and the witnesses were assembled and ready to proceed.


    L’s appeal is dismissed for the reasons given by the protest committee in its comments. L’s helmsman knew that his boat was being protested, and it was his duty to protect himself by acting reasonably, which included seeking out W’s protest form, reading it, and using the ample time available to prepare his defence.
    The national authority is satisfied that the protest committee’s conclusion that W became overlapped in time was drawn from the facts the committee found based on evidence that it heard. Those facts are not appealable (see rule 70.1).

    RYA 1980/5


    That’s telling you!

    No dooladida, No pint in the bar, get with the program, already.

    The majority of sailors think the race is over when they cross the finish line. Nothing is further from the truth. A prudent competitor will always check the notice board, specially if he was in a situation that might warrant it. See if there’s a protest and prepare a defence.

    Rule 63.3(b) is also used quit frequently and then the next day everybody is most upset about the DSQ.
    Like I said, no procrastinating, read the effing board!

    Here's the link to the second ((gab)pillow) Case of the Week: Case 60

    Sunday, 21 August 2011

    Racing Rules Correlator (1972)

    Looking for an appropriate picture for Sunday, I inadvertently clicked on the wrong button in Google and was linked to a Patent Search with the words "Racing Rules of Sailing".

    Low and behold, there was one!
    The Racing Rules Correlator, invented by Greg A Field and patented in 1972!

    In the illustrated embodiment, the present invention consists of a simple and rugged construction and in one series of settings depicts the apparent relative situation between two racing yachts and additionally gives in short form the particular rule applicable to the existing situation.

    More particularly, the invention employs two flat circular discs made of metal, wood, plastic, cardboard or other suitable rigid sheet material. The discs have preselected nautical data recorded on both faces thereof. On one face, the data relates to yachts sailing on the same tack, and on the other, for both discs, data relating to yachts sailing on opposite tacks and miscellaneous racing situations. The two discs are mounted in a frame of like material defined by spaced panels housing the discs with the discs mounted for rotation within the frame: the axis of rotation for one disc being laterally offset with respect to the other allowing the discs to rotate within the frame in overlapped position. With the two discs mounted in overlapping fashion, the frame covering the same is provided with a viewing window cut in each side and preferably aligned with the frame are further provided selector marks on the periphery of upper edge portions which are curved and which correspond in general to the periphery of the discs carried thereby. The diameter of the disc is such that a peripheral marginal portion of each disc extends beyond respective curved portions of the frame panel. In the preferred embodiment, nautical data relating to the various situations of each yacht allows the disc to

    be rotated so that the particular yacht situation is set at or between the frame marks. Preferably, the various yacht situation data is carried by first disc sector portions, in this case on the uncovered margin of both discs, allowing initial setup of one disc for the operator and another for that of the competing yacht. Upon setting of both discs, the operator readily reads through one of the windows a specific rule governing the instant situation between the yachts.

    I wonder if it actually ever got made?

    If so, I would very much like to get in touch with someone who still has one or, even better, who has used one in a regatta... Its already 40 years ago that this patent was granted, but that at least is still valid.

    Read all about it on:

    In today's world this would be an made into an APP on our iPhone :-)....

    Saturday, 20 August 2011

    LTW Readers Q&A (52): Rule 14

    A couple of question from my atticshelf. My apologies for not getting to this sooner. 
    Col Delane from Australia asks:

    Hi Jos

    Here’s a situation that recently occurred in one of our club races for which I can’t find a definite answer anywhere and on which I hope you can comment.

    Boat A, a heavy slow-turning full-length keel wooden boat (Hereshoff 28) sailing close-hauled on starboard tack in light wind towards a mark to be rounded to port realises that she is not going to make the mark so tries to ‘shoot’ it. Unfortunately, she doesn’t quite get there, just flops over on to port tack and when adjacent to the mark (now just 1 metre off her port side amidships) gets stuck in the irons, and has no way on.
    Meanwhile another H28 (boat B), which was some 4-5 boat lengths behind when boat A tried to shoot the mark, is also sailing close-hauled to the mark – but is fetching it. As right-of-way boat, B hails “Starboard!” and expects A to keep clear by getting out of the way. However, as she is in irons and has no way on, A is like a rabbit in the spotlight! Boat B luffs a little, but does not get anywhere near head-to-wind, nor attempts a crash-tack to avoid contact, and as a consequence collides with A (B’s port bow glances off A’s gunwale at the shrouds). There is minor damage to both boats. B hails “I intend to protest”. Neither boat retires or takes a penalty.
    B lodges a written protest.
    In her testimony to the PC, A claimed that B made no attempt to avoid contact and should be DSQ under RRS 14. A witness on another boat, which was further up the field but now heading downwind, had a view of the incident from behind also testifies that B did not take any avoiding action.
    The PC found that B did take some avoiding action (luffing). The PC also found/accepted that there was damage to both boats.
    A was DSQ’d but no penalty was imposed on B.

    My questions:
    Given that B could/should have seen, for several boat lengths before the collision, that A was not moving, is there any exoneration available to A because she was stuck in irons and unable to do anything to keep-clear?
    Is there any discretion available to the PC under RRS 14 to exonerate B when the PC had found that damage resulted from the contact? (My reading is that if it was reasonably possible for B to avoid contact but she didn’t, AND there was damage of ANY level to either boat, then B too, even as RoW boat, MUST be DSQ – there is no discretion.)

    There is no exoneration available for A in my opinion. She took the risk by shooting the mark and getting stuck in irons. If the collision course had been initiated by a course change of the ROW-boat, then she should be given the room to keep clear - and while stuck in irons that might be a lot of time. But since in this case it was A who put herself in this position, that room (including that extra time) is not available to her.
    DSQ A

    If the PC concludes that B reasonably could have prevented the contact after it became clear that B would not keep clear, she breaks rule 14. And if there's damage, she is also to be penalized. I agree with your reading. The rules don't allow for any other interpretation. Taking 'some avoiding action' is not enough when it was reasonably possible to avoid the contact al together.
    DSQ B

    Friday, 19 August 2011

    Penalty taken?

    Today's second post is also about hitting the pin-end committee boat. No damage this time, the rubberboat could withstand the soft touch.(>.<)

    No, it is about taking the penalty. I've drawn a diagram and you will have to tell me if this boat has or has not taken a one turn penalty according to rule 44.2?

    The Race committee has protested the boat for hitting a mark and your panel has to decide if this boat has exonerated herself or not. Bring me the arguments you would use to convince your fellow Jury-members,

    PS: Read the rule again before you answer!

    ISAF Q&A 2011-017 B22

    Besides the Q&A about loosing your sight, Matt posted about on Unruly, there was another Q&A this week:
    ISAF Q&A 2011-017 B22: This one is about a boat hitting a pin end mark committee boat and [seriously] damaging it.

    The Q part asks: Is rule 44.1 (b) applicable?

    Before you read the answer, consider the options: If a boat has to retire after damaging a the race committee boat, it also applies to any other boat, houseboat, jetties or whatever you have on the water. Anything!

    For the answer read: ISAF Q&A 2011-017 B22

    And as usual there's also a new Booklet (August 2011) with all the (current)  Q&A's

    Thursday, 18 August 2011

    Flog The Blog Day (46)

    It has been a while, hasn't it?

    Well, I thought it was time again because I'm working on some major changes for the blog.

    The first has to do with time. If I want to keep spending time on writing on this blog it has to earn some money. Since I'm now self-employed, I cannot afford to spend too much time on things that don't. I do that enough on sailing events as it is. (Only a few pay me some money)

    So I'm planning to implement three sources of income (hopefully). I've signed up with Ad-Sense. Google will display some targeted advertisements on the blog, which can be clicked on by visitors. That may take a couple of days to get up to speed but the space has been assigned.

    Secondly I'm negotiating with some companies to place adds that link back to there websites. I will have to screen what is appropriate and if you think it isn't, please tell me so, I'll take that in to consideration as well.
    But hopefully it will get me some income

    And third I'm going to look into asking you as readers for a contribution.
    To start with - completely voluntarily. To see if that has the desired effect. If not - or if I think it will be of benefit - perhaps I'll also start a closed, only accessible for paying subscribers, part of the blog. For the last I will probably have to redesign the layout and move the website to a server. But that will come later.

    Since this is still FTBD, please give me your comments.
    Do you think this is not a good idea? Would you be willing to pay me a small amount to get your post about the rules by email, on a subscription basis? Or would you go look for it elsewhere?

    Anyway, tell me what you think.....

    Wednesday, 17 August 2011

    Testing, Testing.... end

    I've been home for a couple of days and have taken some distance from the WPIR in Weymouth. It was an educational and interesting event, unlike anything I've done before. A very big jury, and on top of all the British volunteers, lot and lots of ISAF Officials.
    For the number of athletes (competitors) an extraordinary amount of officials. But that is also Olympic I believe.

    It does mean a lot of meetings and paperwork to get this large group of people work together according to the "official" sanctioned methods of LOCOG. I've had a glimpse of the guidelines book and it's very thick. Unfortunately it has also not been written by an ISAF IJ, IRO or IU.... With all the little problems surfacing, because of that.
    The Jury worked around and with them as best as they could.

    The computer system for the protests - for instance - worked, but was very inflexible and the protests could not be shown on the internet. Only shortened version of the 45 protests were published by ISAF. I hope that can be remedied in 2012.

    We've done the testing, we've given our comments and recommendations, now I hope to see the ímproved  version also. But for that, I will have to invited back next year....
    Decision not before the end of the year, or so I've been told....

    I'do have some interesting cases to present, but will wait a couple of weeks before publishing about them....
    Please be patient.... like I have to be.


    Tuesday, 9 August 2011

    `Little Help from my Friends'

    Since the Stars and Finns have no scheduled race today, I was given a "lay day". No duties.
    Therefore I've been catching up on mails and am doing some work in the garden of our hotel in Weymouth. I'm preparing a presentation for a rules clinic that I'm giving in a couple of weeks.

    The basic question in that clinic I want to use is:
    What is the main difference between Fleet and Match Racing?

    The participators in the clinic will all be experienced Fleet racers, but with little or no experience in Match Racing. Hopefully they can pick up some pointers that not only will give them some insight in Match Racing but will also be beneficial for them in Fleet Racing.

    Please give me your opinion on the basic question and tell me what you think the differences are?

    Sunday, 7 August 2011

    Rule 14 flowchart

    During protest hearings the panel always has to ask if there was contact. If so, the next question will be was there any damage or injury.

    There's one rule in the book that is triggered by the first question.
    If the answer is no, this rule is not in play, if the answer is yes, then the panel has to consider this rule.
    Can you guess?

    Saturday, 6 August 2011

    Target Times at the WPIR

    28182 The Sailing Instructions at most events give a specific (approximate) time the races should last. Those are called: “Target Times” For some classes it is longer than for others, but in all cases it is the job of the RO on the course to set his/her marks so, that this time is accurate. There are unforeseen circumstance but with a constant wind speed and knowing the class these Target Times can be calculated.

    Some time ago I was given the spreadsheets that do just that, for the Olympic Classes. They were made by David Cambell James. This is what he says on the first tab:

    “ These charts have been developed to assist Race Officers in setting courses of the correct length to achieve target times as accurately as possible, they are only a guide and do not take account of tide or difficult sea conditions. It is assumed that the standard Olympic courses are used and set up using the “reference point” system with the reach leg at two thirds of the windward leg length and the final reach of 0.15 nm.

    These charts will be particularly helpful to Race Officers who are unused to running races for a particular class as can happen when medal races are required. Race Officers experienced in a particular class may find the charts of less help.

    The newest chart is the one for Women’s Match Racing which is difficult as target times and leg lengths are short and speeds can be inconsistent. We will continue to work on this chart.

    The difficulties of producing these charts is increased for classes such as RS:X and 49ers where the hull moves into more of a planing mode between 8 and 10 knots with the corresponding increase in speed.

    Included in the pack are two data collection sheets which can be used to check or adjust speeds included in the charts. By going to the overall speeds page any amendment of speed, measured in minutes per mile, will automatically update the relevant speed chart. If you have good speed data on a particular chart please let me know so that we can update the master sheets.   
    I would like to thank Peter Baldwin for his help in collecting data and producing the charts.  Please contact me if you have queries, comments or any update information.   
    David Campbell James “

    The file: Target Times for Olympic Classes version 3 dated April 2011.xls

    You can download this file and us it for you own races. It might need some adjustment for your particular courses and classes, but even for those who do not run Olympic Classes it should be a tool that can be used. You will need to start gathering data on your specifics, but with that you can fiddle with the numbers.

    TTime Finn Trap

    Ooh, don’t forget to give David your assessment or pointers to improve. His mail address is on the first tab as well.

    I’m catching the 08:30 bus to the venue.


    Thursday, 4 August 2011

    WPIR Day One, Two & Three

    The first day we spent going over all the issues the Jury faces here in Weymouth. It’s a special event with things different then any other. Because it is the “Test” event for the Olympics next year, all the ITO’s (International Technical Officials) have one goal above anything else: Evaluate and suggest improvements or comment on anything that is going on here. In a slightly less way, that is also true for the competitors - no sorry, they are called athletes in this event. They also get to evaluate how things are done, to be prepared for the real thing, next year.

    I had a look at the notice board today (see picture below). An idea that originated in the Greece Olympics, so I have been told. There they had several hexagonal boxes. Here a huge four sided box inside the Academy-building with windows that can be accessed from the inside and can be read from the outside is used. Pretty neat, don’t you think?

    [I can’t publish a picture of the notice board, sorry > I’m not an accredited press person]

    AccriWPIRThen there’s accreditation. All access depends on what you have around your neck. No card – no access. All members of the Jury, Race Officials, Umpires etc. are called ITO, which stands for: International Technical Official.






    The first event to start are the boards (windsurfers). The RS:X-es have there practice race tomorrow. And then subsequently the other events have there races. Oooh, there are no classes here. For instance the Finn class sails in the Men’s One Person Dinghy (Heavyweight) event.

    Better stop now – I have a lot of papers to go trough…


    On the second day we did just that, going over all the paperwork and trying out the computer system. It will be visible on the website of the event as soon as we are getting protest and decisions are published…

    For now we have to be content with some dummy-cases to try out the system.

    Dinner around nine was very good, but I almost felt I had not earned my keep that day.


    On the third day we went out to the practice races of the 470 and the lasers/laser radial. The RS:X started racing for keeps.

    I’m now back at the ITO-lounge and am finishing this post.

    We will have to see if the boards have any protest and deal with them if and when they come in.


    Wednesday, 3 August 2011


    The (twenty-five) Twenty-four RACE Official Rules as told to me by several Ex Chairmen. (Who wish to remain anonymous)

    shamelessly stolen from XKCD


    Rule 1: The Chairman is always right;

    Rule 2: If in doubt, refer to rule 1;

    Rule 3: Better to be Warm and Dry then Cold and Wet (WDCW-rule);

    Rule 4: It is always Alfredo’s fault;

    Rule 5: If Alfredo is not at the event, it is still his fault;

    Rule6: Officially provided clothing is never the size it says on the label;

    Rule 7:

    Rule 8: Notices are never in the correct jury members pidgin hole;

    Rule 9:

    Rule 10:Oops, I dropped it, him, her, something. (copyright Orsetto)

    Rule 11:

    Rule 12:

    etc. and so on, ad infinitum


    Please send in your own off-rules – provided you have been a chairman (at least once in your life – and I want specifics!) – to be included in this list.

    You can also suggest improvements on existing ones, or suggest replacing them with something better.

    There will be no argument with final publication (see rule 1).


    Tuesday, 2 August 2011

    WPIR Documents

    On the ISAF Website a couple of documents have been published which relate directly to what is happening in Weymouth at the WPIR
    Have a look and let me know what you think - particularly on the Match Race Policies.
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