Francis Vaughan

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Francis Vaughan last won the day on February 1

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About Francis Vaughan

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    Adelaide, Australia

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  1. Francis Vaughan

    Clipper wreck report

    Cellular assist isn't a replacement for GPS, it is a way of getting the GPS to gain lock faster. By themselves the noddy GPS chips used in iPhones and iPads can get a location fix. But they are not swift at doing so. And in a lot of place GPS can be challenging - places phones get used a lot - like cities. So a helping hand is good to get GPS happening in a timely manner. Once you have a lock, the GPS should remain pretty happy. But the power drain is never trivial, and the temptation to turn the unit off to preserve battery is ever present. So you end up needing to warm start the GPS again. High end GPS chipsets are pretty good at getting a lock from warm start very quickly. Many channels and some seriously slick algorithms for dealing with less than perfect reception. Your iPhone's chip isn't one of them. Use of things like cellular assist, or mapping the MAC addresses of all the WiFi points on the planet are a big win in getting a phone or tablet to lock quickly. The test is to ensure your phone or tablet does not currently have a lock, is not in range of any cells or WiFi hot spots, and then see how long it takes to sort the location out. It will do it. Whether it will do it in the time you would really like it to do it is the question. (the first ever iPhone didn't have GPS, and did only use cell locations. It was not bad really. You could typically get to within a few hundred metres, sometimes better. Not enough to navigate on the road with, and useless outside of cellular range. It is possible this early limitation has become a confused story over time.)
  2. Francis Vaughan


    That is little short of just plain weird. Still, if you are the owners of the race, it is nice to be wanted. Anything that breaks the team/stopover link is a good thing. But how this would fit into the race schedule is not clear.
  3. Francis Vaughan

    VOR Leg 11 Gothenburg to The Hague

    Discussing nationality rules one needs to remember which end is dog and which end is tail. Nationality is good when it enables greater involvement from the public that leads to greater value for sponsors. Or enables buy in from sponsors. One adds as much or as little as is needed to get the benefits, and no more. Less if it starts to impinge on the ability of teams to assemble a crew. Nationality could be as weak as having the flag flown. Probably want at least one crew member. After that it is just down to a team tuning the mix to suit each sponsor. In an ideal world, when every country has a contingent of top flight professional ocean racers to pick from, we could imagine a more draconian rule; but we don't have that, and it is a waste of time worrying. I would love to see a boat fully crewed with aussies, under an Oz sponsor. I would also love someone to give me the winning numbers for this weekend's lotto draw. Both are about as likely. (And if someone does give me the numbers, I won't be using my winnings to sponsor a team.) I find it odd that the VOR has not highlighted the individual nationalities of the crew members more. They do make it pretty clear - they have little flags next to crew member's photos, and wet weather gear has names and flags on. But that seems to be about as far as it goes. They have the basics, but never seem to leverage it. Nationality interest doesn't just need to revolve around the boat or team.
  4. Francis Vaughan

    VOR Leg 11 Gothenburg to The Hague

    Ach! Too true. I never regarded it as a leg. Just a split stopover. No matter what numbering they used.
  5. Francis Vaughan

    VOR Leg 11 Gothenburg to The Hague

    You know something the redress committee didn't Francis I wasn't referring to the collision. I was referring to their inability to start the HK to AKL leg. That was not all their fault. If they had been allowed to perform a repair in HK they could have started the next leg. But the class rule forbade any repair that didn't bring the boat back to as built. So they had to wait for Persico to fabricate the section and have it fitted to Boatyrad and class association approved specification in NZ. They could reasonably have sailed on an overbuilt overweight repair and had the Persico built section fitted once they arrived. None of this has anything to do with their strange request for redress for the prior leg.
  6. Francis Vaughan

    VOR Leg 11 Gothenburg to The Hague

    It does. But it only works when you have the usual regatta reverse points scheme. That doesn't lend itself to bonus points quite so well, but could be made to do so. Going this route may be the best answer to balancing the problems. No matter what one comes up with there will be edge cases where things go awry, but trying to get a more clearly equitable scoring in place is worth doing. Something with a non-linear points allocation is still worth keeping - encouraging winning over just sailing consistently helps.
  7. Francis Vaughan

    New imoca boats

    It looks to me more that you can't see any of the core, and that a layer of unidirectional carbon from the inner part of the layup has been folded over covering the core space. But the contrast isn't great and it is generally a bit of a mess.
  8. Francis Vaughan

    VOR Leg 11 Gothenburg to The Hague

    It is never going to be perfect. This race really underlined the problems that happen when you hit the edge cases. Part of the problem is that the teams will race to the rules as they stand. With no real penalty for not completing a leg, once you are DFL, there is incentive to just throw the leg and get on with the next. V11: the rules pushed them from many angles. The HK accident became their choice to retire. Sure, if they had somehow managed to limp the boat across the line to claim a place - whilst there was a dead fisherman in a morgue somewhere - we would have pilloried them. But they could have. I don't think anyone thinks they did the wrong thing by retiring. Not starting the HK-AKL leg was just plain ridiculous. And it wasn't all their fault. Arguably it was one of the failings of the OD rule. If this had been on VO70's they would have patched the hole in a week and sailed the leg. But the VO65 class rule and the boatyard control the repair, and they dictated that the repair could not be effected in HK. So there went another leg. Finally motoring from Port Stanley. Nuts. But there was no incentive to do anything but. Hard to know why they lost the mast. But given some of the other problems with the masts on the same leg, it isn't a sure thing it was the crew's fault. Another loose spreader as seen on TToP at almost the same spot would have done it. But the core point is that there was no disincentive to just throwing the leg and motoring. Not competing in or finishing a leg should not rank you as effectively finishing right behind boats that did complete the leg. OTOH, you need to avoid the situation where a single bit of bad luck wipes you out of contention. Scoring needs to allow you to redeem your failures. The scoring system used is not good at this, and clearly not good at discouraging DNF, DNS, RET. (It is absurd that any problem that sends you to the back of the fleet, even if you finish, has a points penalty that depends upon the number of entrants in the race. Fine if every boat is an equal contender for the prize, but that is rarely the case. Your points penalty, and who wins, the regatta may depend simply upon how many back markers turn up.) Last year I was wittering on about a Condorcet system. I might revive the idea and have a more concerted play with how it might work. But in its raw form it won't address the problem of leg completion. That is a balancing act, and you will never get it perfect.
  9. Francis Vaughan

    VOR Leg 11 Gothenburg to The Hague

    Which is a big "if". No matter how you look at the question, there has been essentially zero progress on improving the safety of oceangoing multis. As much as a lot of us would love to see these beasts flying around the planet, the continual monotonous rate of accidents leaves me with little confidence they are ready, or will be in the foreseeable future. OTOH, for PB to want to have a go on a carefully controlled record breaking run, one can hardly blame him. Most of us would love the chance. But there is a big difference when you can choose your time and weather, and stay within easy range of rescue, versus a RTW race.
  10. Francis Vaughan

    VOR Leg 11 Gothenburg to The Hague

    Well there it is. A worthy winner. No triple crown. I really hope we see a NZ entry next time. PB and BT will be hungry. Maybe see BB again. I remain gobsmacked how Niall can talk non-stop for so long and say so little. He doesn't seem to take breath.
  11. Francis Vaughan

    VOR Leg 11 Gothenburg to The Hague

    The sophistication of navigation is at a vastly higher level than this. The final call is Pascal in the moment, but the play book was worked out in conjunction with the support crew before they left the dock.
  12. Francis Vaughan

    VOR Leg 11 Gothenburg to The Hague

    Saving money on the chopper I guess. Boring...... OTOH, the real action is riveting.
  13. Francis Vaughan

    VOR Leg 11 Gothenburg to The Hague

    All good here. Nothing interesting yet. Just old video. Lots of Volvo cars in the background. Last gasp of product placement.
  14. Francis Vaughan

    VOR Leg 11 Gothenburg to The Hague

    They will be coming into AIS range pretty soon. There will be smiles and consternation abounding.
  15. Francis Vaughan

    VOR Leg 11 Gothenburg to The Hague

    The west boats will start to get the advantage of the current DF is gaining on as soon as they clear, so it isn't as miserable as it looks at first sight. Perhaps just a little upset.