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Re: When should the RC pull the plug [Re: orphan] #248560
05/18/12 08:03 AM
05/18/12 08:03 AM
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Posts: 5,590
Naples, FL
waterbug_wpb Offline
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Pete, I'm sure the boat designers could give you a ballpark "design envelope" windspeed which would be helpful if you had to pick an arbitrary windspeed as your "no-go" point.

I suspect the N20 is around 20 knots (sustained), the F18 and F16 maybe 23-24?
Can you sail successfully in higher than design limits? Sure.

Should you? Possibly (depending on other factors - crew, course, support fleet, etc).

Beyond design conditions, it would be expected that the fleet would suffer greater chance of equipment breakdown, possibly endangering crews and officials. It is at this point that the PRO should step in and weigh the potential risk vs. the safety/support capability available.

And to echo prior posts, the guidelines the PRO will be using for determining when to race should be made available in advance to all participants


Jay

-- Have You Seen This? --
Re: When should the RC pull the plug [Re: waterbug_wpb] #248563
05/18/12 09:16 AM
05/18/12 09:16 AM
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South Carolina
Jake Offline
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Before several of the Alter Cups I worked with, I made a point to get the acceptable recommended wind range to safely sail the particular boat from the manufacturer. These guidelines were then given to the PRO. Concrete data makes decisions easy.

I've always heard that the A-cat class limit is 22 but I don't know that I've seen that documented anywhere. I do know that I would agree with that being the upper limit on an a-cat. It just gets silly after that.

Regarding the F18 and Nacra 20, though, I think 24 or 25 is still "raceable"....but sea state will play into how "raceable" the course is at those levels. My rule of thumb is that if you can reasonably control the risk of capsize and it's still a matter of your skill level and choosing how hard to push for speed, it's raceable. For instance, at 30, you can no longer control the risk of capsize on a 20 and it's only a matter of "when"...at 24-25, you can still usually avoid capsize unless you cross that line and push a little too hard.


Jake Kohl
Re: When should the RC pull the plug [Re: Jake] #248574
05/18/12 11:41 AM
05/18/12 11:41 AM
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Naples, FL
waterbug_wpb Offline
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True Jake, but what is the design windspeed of the N20? Anyone care to venture a guess?

But to second your opinion, the sea state and course outline have to be factored in. If it's a sheltered course with little if any sea/swell, then you could very well race at or slightly above design windspeed.

If your race venue is unprotected, your participants are underexperienced, and the safety fleet would have difficulties, then the PRO should consider pulling the plug even if the windspeed weren't over design limits.

I'm sure we've all been to one or more buoy races where the safety boats had a hard time keeping up with the flips and other carnage on the course...


Jay

Re: When should the RC pull the plug [Re: Mark Schneider] #248575
05/18/12 11:43 AM
05/18/12 11:43 AM
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Posts: 833
St. Louis, MO,
Mike Hill Offline
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Agreed Jake. Every boat is different. I have a different standard in a lake than in open ocean.

The decision has to rest with the PRO. He can take all the input he wants but ultimately it has to be his decision. PRO's that make poor decisions don't last very long.

Get an experienced PRO and it makes it work.



Mike Hill
N20 #1005
Re: When should the RC pull the plug [Re: Mike Hill] #248577
05/18/12 11:49 AM
05/18/12 11:49 AM
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Naples, FL
waterbug_wpb Offline
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Originally Posted by Mike Hill
The decision has to rest with the PRO. He can take all the input he wants but ultimately it has to be his decision.


Wouldn't it be nice to give the PRO defendable, objective data to back up their decision?


Jay

Re: When should the RC pull the plug [Re: waterbug_wpb] #248579
05/18/12 12:46 PM
05/18/12 12:46 PM
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Annapolis, MD
Mark Schneider Offline OP
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Mark Schneider  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by waterbug_wpb
Originally Posted by Mike Hill
The decision has to rest with the PRO. He can take all the input he wants but ultimately it has to be his decision.


Wouldn't it be nice to give the PRO defendable, objective data to back up their decision?


Exactly the point... I think that getting this data and some guidelines for PRO's of distance races in particular is a good job for the MHC to make happen.


crac.sailregattas.com
Re: When should the RC pull the plug [Re: Mark Schneider] #248603
05/18/12 07:24 PM
05/18/12 07:24 PM
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Southern Ontario
fredsmith Offline
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A Cat upper limit is 22 knots this was put in place in 1988.

Fred Smith
A Cat CAN31

Re: When should the RC pull the plug [Re: fredsmith] #248611
05/19/12 08:19 AM
05/19/12 08:19 AM
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South Carolina
Jake Offline
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Originally Posted by fredsmith
A Cat upper limit is 22 knots this was put in place in 1988.

Fred Smith
A Cat CAN31


out of curiosity, where is that documented? I hear that all the time but have never seen it anywhere.


Jake Kohl
Re: When should the RC pull the plug [Re: Mike Hill] #248627
05/19/12 07:33 PM
05/19/12 07:33 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 217
Palm Harbor, FL
daniel_t Offline
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Originally Posted by Mike Hill
Agreed Jake. Every boat is different. I have a different standard in a lake than in open ocean.

The decision has to rest with the PRO. He can take all the input he wants but ultimately it has to be his decision. PRO's that make poor decisions don't last very long.

Get an experienced PRO and it makes it work.


I hear a lot of talk about how there are lots of other factors other than wind strength that must be considered, but all the other factors mentioned so far seem pretty fixed. Everybody knows well in advance if the race is going to be in protected waters or open ocean, the course outline is a known value too as are the design limits of the boats (at least this can be found.) The only variable that isn't known until day of race seems to be the wind and possibly the quality of the crews?

It seems very reasonable for the NOR to have published wind limits. As in, "given the course outline, location and number of safety boats available, boats of class X will only start if wind is between A and B knots, class Y will only start if wind is between C and D knots..."

That way the PRO *is* making the call, but he isn't waiting until day of race to do it, and everybody knows what to expect.


Daniel T.
Taipan F16 - USA 213
Re: When should the RC pull the plug [Re: Mark Schneider] #248638
05/20/12 03:40 PM
05/20/12 03:40 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,222
Roanoke Island ,N.C.
Team_Cat_Fever Offline
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Originally Posted by Mark Schneider
The MHC is getting ready to submit a set of gear requirements to the Safety at Sea Committee of US Sailing. This would set a standard for Yacht Clubs to reference when giving beach cats a start.

The other half the equation is the PRO and the OA. when should they pull the plug.

Rick White recounts this event.
Quote

Loc: Key Largo, FL and Put-in-Bay, ...
Talk aboout blowouts, I recall the 13th Annual Key Largo Steeplechase held on Saturday the 13th of December.
First day wasn't bad, but the second day the race started in winds over 25, and were said to gust close to 50.
of the 45 boats, only 3 finished.
With the winds out of the west most of the boats washed up on shore all along the Keys on the Bay Side.
The start is on the ocean side and the winds were sailable at the start, so most of the boats were already on the inside of the Keys when the bad stuff hit the fan.
All but a couple of boats, that is. One boat was never seen again, both sailors were rescued.
Marine Patrol and Sheriff were threatening to arrest everyone and confiscate their boats -- saying it was a frivolous activity on the water.

I believe Mary said in her editorial about it, "All water activity is frivolous, except for fishermen and drug runners."
laugh
Rick
_________________________
Rick White
Catsailor Magazine & OnLineMarineStore.com


I have been on both sides of this issue....as a competitor and as the OA.....

Personally, I think you have to rethink the problem each and every time.... After things have inverted... you don't want to have half assed this one.

When and Who should pull the plug?


The RC should pull the plug if the start and marks boats can't get out or there is no possible way to run a race. If it's a distance race with no start or chase boats then it should be up to the skippers.Start the nanny state stuff and I'll GUARANTEE, you will regret it. If you're giving an inch as a stop-gap measure they're going to take a mile, either way. You just gave in until something happens to institute their own ideas.

p.s. The race Rick is talking about was my first Steeplechase, and got me addicted to distance racing and the self reliance that is needed to do it.


"I said, now, I said ,pay attention boy!"

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea
Isak Dinesen
If a man is to be obsessed by something.... I suppose a boat is as good as anything... perhaps a bit better than most.
E. B. White
Re: When should the RC pull the plug [Re: Mark Schneider] #248652
05/21/12 07:11 AM
05/21/12 07:11 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 3,969
B
brucat Offline
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Sime minor points:

Per RRS, the RC runs races as directed by the OA. So, The OA has final call on when too much is too much.

Of course, per the RRS rule for abandoning, racing may be abandoned for reasons including fairness and safety. The PRO usually is the one to make this call.

In a perfect world, the PRO and OA work seamlessly together, making this a non-issue. The problems come in when the PRO has too much ego, or the OA didn't bother to procure enough resources to run a safe event.

One thing that is painfully obvious here is the lean toward A-Cat and spinnaker (read, fragile/overpowered) boat racing, in typical North American (read, light) conditions.

Go to a Hobie 16 Worlds and try to postpone because it's blowing 28, and you'll probably be shot...

Mike

Last edited by brucat; 05/21/12 09:41 AM.
Re: When should the RC pull the plug [Re: brucat] #248661
05/21/12 09:22 AM
05/21/12 09:22 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 5,590
Naples, FL
waterbug_wpb Offline
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Originally Posted by brucat
Go to a Hobie 16 Worlds and try to postpone because it's blowing 28, and you'll probably be shot...

Mike


Any idea on the design windspeed for an H-16?

Also, you mention it's a World level event, so hacks like me couldn't really expect to register and sail, right?

So then it would stand to reason that conditions (possibly outside the design envelope) could be "raceable" because the crews and boats are up to the challenge?


Jay

Re: When should the RC pull the plug [Re: Mark Schneider] #248665
05/21/12 09:48 AM
05/21/12 09:48 AM
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brucat Offline
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The boat was designed by a surfer, not sure how much wind factored into the equation (although, Hobie is a smart guy, and had some smart friends helping along the way, so I wouldn't rule that out).

If you're a "hack" you can absolutely register and sail, but if you don't prequalify at the NAs, you have to qualify onsite. So, you can be done sailing after two days, then enjoy the rest of your vacation in a nice tropical location.

One issue we have is that since our prevailing winds here are typically a lot less than is often seen at the locations where Worlds are held, it's tough to get good practice, even at NAs.

But, this is one of the reasons that PU would regularly run racing at NAs, even when the winds were over 30 knots and half (or more) of the fleet was ashore, or would be soon...

Mike

Re: When should the RC pull the plug [Re: brucat] #248674
05/21/12 01:03 PM
05/21/12 01:03 PM
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Santa Cruz, CA
SurfCityRacing Offline
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Originally Posted by brucat

But, this is one of the reasons that PU would regularly run racing at NAs, even when the winds were over 30 knots and half (or more) of the fleet was ashore, or would be soon...

Mike


...or the mark boats felt like their personal safety was in danger, and told the RC to get lost.

Gate Boat: RC, RC, RC. This is Gate, we are off station due to safety concerns. {Drops radio in bilge}

RC: Gate, Gate, Gate, RC. Mumble, mumble, MUMBLE...

grin


Re: When should the RC pull the plug [Re: Jake] #248697
05/22/12 06:01 AM
05/22/12 06:01 AM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 170
Brisvegas
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Brisvegas
Originally Posted by Jake
Originally Posted by fredsmith
A Cat upper limit is 22 knots this was put in place in 1988.

Fred Smith
A Cat CAN31


out of curiosity, where is that documented? I hear that all the time but have never seen it anywhere.


That's in the IACA Championship Rules for running World and Continental championships and for guidance at other championship or international events. They are on the IACA website here; http://www.mathran.nl/acat/files/CHAMPIONSHIP%20RULES.pdf
Clause 10 sets it out - upper limit 22 knots average over 15 minutes.

Re: When should the RC pull the plug [Re: Team_Cat_Fever] #248723
05/22/12 10:38 AM
05/22/12 10:38 AM
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JJ_ Offline
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Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever
Originally Posted by Mark Schneider
The MHC is getting ready to submit a set of gear requirements to the Safety at Sea Committee of US Sailing. This would set a standard for Yacht Clubs to reference when giving beach cats a start.

The other half the equation is the PRO and the OA. when should they pull the plug.

Rick White recounts this event.
Quote

Loc: Key Largo, FL and Put-in-Bay, ...
Talk aboout blowouts, I recall the 13th Annual Key Largo Steeplechase held on Saturday the 13th of December.
First day wasn't bad, but the second day the race started in winds over 25, and were said to gust close to 50.
of the 45 boats, only 3 finished.
With the winds out of the west most of the boats washed up on shore all along the Keys on the Bay Side.
The start is on the ocean side and the winds were sailable at the start, so most of the boats were already on the inside of the Keys when the bad stuff hit the fan.
All but a couple of boats, that is. One boat was never seen again, both sailors were rescued.
Marine Patrol and Sheriff were threatening to arrest everyone and confiscate their boats -- saying it was a frivolous activity on the water.

I believe Mary said in her editorial about it, "All water activity is frivolous, except for fishermen and drug runners."
laugh
Rick
_________________________
Rick White
Catsailor Magazine & OnLineMarineStore.com


I have been on both sides of this issue....as a competitor and as the OA.....

Personally, I think you have to rethink the problem each and every time.... After things have inverted... you don't want to have half assed this one.

When and Who should pull the plug?


The RC should pull the plug if the start and marks boats can't get out or there is no possible way to run a race. If it's a distance race with no start or chase boats then it should be up to the skippers.Start the nanny state stuff and I'll GUARANTEE, you will regret it. If you're giving an inch as a stop-gap measure they're going to take a mile, either way. You just gave in until something happens to institute their own ideas.

p.s. The race Rick is talking about was my first Steeplechase, and got me addicted to distance racing and the self reliance that is needed to do it.
Yeah, there are the nannies. But there are the Crash Dummies too who are looking for a place to practice their main goal. To crash something.

What you would kind of hope is that there is something in between the two extremes. I don't see that there is much problem with what has already been established about boat limits and gear requirements or qualifications. The weak area is NOR. Look at any other major sporting event and there will be a note that says something like: "In case of bad weather..." A NOR can read "In case of winds exceeding the stated limits for your cat, the race organizers may call the race for those boats. Please keep an eye on weather forecasts. If a race is called because of excess conditions, you sail entirely at your own risk and you must make provisions for someone else to pull you out of the water." Like the Coast Guard. With a tight economy, it cost too much money to show up and have a race called for some un-communicated odd set of reasons. If guidelines are given and the risk is accepted to show up when conditions may be extreme and a race may be cancelled, then there is no one to blame but me for jumping in the car and going.


Re: When should the RC pull the plug [Re: JJ_] #248739
05/22/12 12:55 PM
05/22/12 12:55 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 5,590
Naples, FL
waterbug_wpb Offline
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what if conditions aren't that extreme (but still bad - let's say 15+ with squalls), but the OA / PRO can't get enough support fleet out there (mechanical or staffing issues, for example).

Throw in a relatively novice fleet (weekenders and hacks like me)... what then?

Splitting hairs, I know. But sometimes the forecasts are dead wrong, and I've floated around a course many times in conditions that were nowhere near the forecast - even one posted the evening before.

I guess I'd narrow my focus on this discussion to buoy racing. I think it's pretty much agreed that the distance thing is pretty much up to the participant's discretion as there are rarely on-water support boats in the first place...


Jay

Re: When should the RC pull the plug [Re: waterbug_wpb] #248745
05/22/12 02:29 PM
05/22/12 02:29 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 217
Palm Harbor, FL
daniel_t Offline
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daniel_t  Offline
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Palm Harbor, FL
Originally Posted by waterbug_wpb
what if conditions aren't that extreme (but still bad - let's say 15+ with squalls), but the OA / PRO can't get enough support fleet out there (mechanical or staffing issues, for example).

Throw in a relatively novice fleet (weekenders and hacks like me)... what then?


Again, everything in your list, except the weather, should be known before the NOR is written up. Therefore the only thing that needs to be mentioned in the NOR are the weather conditions that will cause the race to be canceled.


Daniel T.
Taipan F16 - USA 213
Re: When should the RC pull the plug [Re: daniel_t] #248766
05/22/12 09:12 PM
05/22/12 09:12 PM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,911
South Florida & the Keys
arbo06 Offline
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South Florida & the Keys
We need a new start flag..... Risk Apparent/ Race at your own Risk.


Eric Arbogast
ARC 2101
Miami Yacht Club
Re: When should the RC pull the plug [Re: Mark Schneider] #248771
05/23/12 03:54 AM
05/23/12 03:54 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,525
pgp Offline
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That's not a bad idea.


Pete Pollard
Blade 702

'When you have a lot of things to do, it's best to get your nap out of the way first.

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