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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  

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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  1. VOR Leg 8 Itajaí to Newport

    It is a nice image. Would be good to see Scally do well this leg, but I doubt they will be really firing for a while yet. Since we are picking winners, I'm going to go for Akzo. They have the form, and it sort of feels right. Tend to agree that the smart money will be on a podium shared by AK, DF, MF. Just the order that is to be determined. I wonder what the chances are of DF never winning a leg, but taking the race?
  2. VOR Leg 8 Itajaí to Newport

    It looks as if the crew lists are a work in progress. When I looked a few hours ago they still listed the in-port crews. Now they list the leg crews, and explicitly list Sophie as "out" (whereas there was no mention of her at all only a short while ago) but still no "in" crew-member for Mapfre. Scallywag now have Richard Edwards listed as OBR, but no actual crew. But this is probably changing as I write.
  3. Team Australia

    Two things to remember about the AC in Australia. One, the really big deal was the first time it was ever taken off the US. Broke the worlds longest ever winning streak. We did that. It isn't possible to do it again. Simply winning from whoever had it last doesn't have anything like the cachet. Thus a significant lack of interest. Two, they guy that bankrolled the successful challenge was Alan Bond. That just isn't a role model anyone aspires to. Memories are long. Anyone stepping up to fund an AC challenge now is going to see instant comparisons with Bond. (I refuse to call him Bondy.) Stepping into the shoes of one of our more notorious corporate criminals is simply not a good look. If you want to engage in a dick swinging contest you pick your company carefully.
  4. VOR Leg 8 Itajaí to Newport

    Hmmm, I think this one is a few years late.
  5. VOR Leg 7 Auckland to Itajai

    Yeah, this doesn't surprise me. 160MHz is really pushing your luck for much more than line of sight. You will get a bit of diffraction, but overall, if you can't see it, you won't be able to hear it. Which is why a mast top mounted antenna is such a good thing, even if still struggling. As well as taking a spare rail mount antenna, the continual occurrences of failures aboard the VOR boats needs to be addressed. As noted above, this may be the tip of the iceberg. The design needs reviewing, on board test procedures need to be codified, and any further failure of the system taken very seriously - indicating an ongoing safety critical problem that requires mandatory attention*. In some ways the AIS PLB design is a bit of a bodge job. It is really neat to use AIS as the locator mechanism, but AIS isn't at the best frequency, and AIS was put at 161MHz to place it in the marine VHF band, to use the existing allocation and allow some commonality of equipment. If you were able to start with a clean sheet of paper you probably would not design AIS or a PLB quite this way. But life is never so simple. There are a lot of constraints to get a useful design working, and the idea that every AIS system on any boat can recognise a MOB PLB and help find it is hard to beat. The PLB transmission protocol is interesting. By simply choosing a random slot it avoids the need to participate in slot allocation - which means the PLB does not need to receive anything, or indeed need a receiver at all. It can simply wake up and start squarking. (I do wonder about the time it takes the GPS to get a fix. The ads claim fast fix time (with no actual numbers), and things like a 66 channel receiver, but the receiver may well be doing a cold start, and with an antenna that might be submerged half the time it may be sucking on air to get itself sorted out in a timely manner. There is likely to be a big difference between a calm sea state and the antenna sitting proud in the air, versus a bad state.) I remember for the race after Hans Horrevoets was lost there was talk of a new MOB system. The description of if did not match the AIS PLB (at least as far as my poor memory goes) and it embodied a few interesting features. One was automatic activation, with a continual polling of all PLBs on board to ensure they were still visible, and (I think) a standalone receiver for receiving the beacon's transmissions. I have tried to find info about it, but have had no luck. It would be interesting to compare the technology choices. *I bleat on about these things, but this is just a terribly familiar pattern. Even at the pointy end of safety critical, complacency sets in. Very commonly there is a reduction in the perceived importance of a system if failures have thus far had no consequences. From being safety critical a notion of acceptable failures creeps in, and the problem slips from notice. That is until someone dies.
  6. VOR Leg 7 Auckland to Itajai

    That was a superb condensation of the issues - and the quote above exactly right.
  7. VOR Leg 7 Auckland to Itajai

    It was, but that wasn't really what I was asking. My question was - when the first time any boat, in any leg, reported that their AIS was inoperative, did anyone say - whoa! their MOB location capability is also now gone? Multiple failures - many it seems ascribed to the antenna system - and yet no action to address this. No change to provide an emergency antenna, no apparent efforts to provide any other redundancy. It slipped between the cracks.
  8. VOR Leg 7 Auckland to Itajai

    No, I was regarding the four seconds as a design failure - so still a failure. It depends upon where you place the bounds of "system". I'm not trying to ascribe any sort of direct cause here, rather looking at the account and trying to think about places where things could be improved. The "in those frantic moments" suggests that trusting humans to fit into the four second mould is something that needs addressing. It may have been oversight, it may have been physical violence of the gybe. Whatever. A big part of the problem is that these are rare events. Every time there is something to be learnt. A final conclusion may be that the design of the system is as good as it can be. But if you don't go down the path of looking at it, and reasoning about what happened carefully you don't know that.
  9. VOR Leg 7 Auckland to Itajai

    No, they were an hour apart. In the first post you never mentioned such protocols, only adding the idea an hour later. I'm pointing out that you are being inconsistent in your view of the reliability of such protocols. "thank goodness" is not a protocol. You come up with the protocols in a later post. You clearly did not think such protocols mattered or helped an hour earlier. Your protocol would require the crew member in the companionway activating the MOB on the MFD in front of him. So why "thank goodness" Libby was there? By your account the protocol should have been equally reliable and safe whether Libby was at the nav station or asleep in her bunk.
  10. VOR Leg 7 Auckland to Itajai

    I don't disagree. This is a very significant issue, and must be addressed. Indeed I would like to know that changes have been made for the upcoming leg. But, the button system failed to work as intended, and relied upon on boat protocols, and as you wrote: This is at odds with the well functioning on board protocol that you describe. "thank goodness" is not a safety protocol. My reading of events was that there was enough of a delay in Libby getting the MOB activated that they didn't get as close a fix as they might have hoped for. That may be a misreading, but events are such that they may never have got back to the right spot. We don't know, and never will know, how much of an error was introduced. But I don't think anyone can claim no error. With no AIS to track back on, this system became the primary mechanism for MOB recovery. It has to be held to the same level of capability as any primary recovery system. A lot of things went wrong that day. Swiss cheese model of accidents. You need all the holes to line up. And line up they did. No doubt, the AIS issue looms large. But it is common in digging down in such accidents that you find other problems. To flatly claim that the MOB button played no part at all is IMHO not reasonable. If the AIS had been working there would not have been a problem, but when it was allowed to fail, it uncovered a second level of critical systems, and their performance is left questioned. That is all.
  11. VOR Leg 7 Auckland to Itajai

    I don't doubt it was carefully thought out and justified. Nor would I suggest removing the delay. What it underlines is that there are cascading issues that are hard to nail down. One answer might be to remove the delay and to provide a cancel button. Another is to log position at every push of the button, even if full MOB activation doesn't occur. These are just off the top of my head thoughts. They are worth what you paid for them. All we really have is the knowledge that the system failed, and the design should be revisited. Now that is insane. How the heck something like that could get past any sort of safety design review beggars belief.
  12. VOR Leg 7 Auckland to Itajai

    Indeed, accidental set off is the most likely reason. But why? Like I said - it seemed like a good idea at the time. Such systems are a magnet for decisions like this. It is quite possible the 4 seconds was added due to complaints about accidental activation. I used to use a cascading set of such decisions to underline why design is hard to my software engineering classes. You can be sure the system will be reviewed and redesigned some time in the future taking into account this failure. This is the sad reality. Design rules are almost always written in the blood of those that were claimed by earlier lack of understanding. The history of this goes back to bridges and steam boilers. There is no magic bullet. It is how things change that mater - for that there is guidance. The loss of the ability to see other boats in crowded waters was probably not uppermost in everyone's minds in the SO. Which may be a factor in blinding everyone to the continuing importance of AIS. Again, easy in hindsight. Lose the main AIS, get the redundant one working as a matter of urgency, because you have just lost your MOB beacon locator. But, did anyone here realise the problem earlier? We have seen multiple AIS outages - yet no-one voiced a concern that the MOB locator was then inoperative - despite understanding how it works. I kick myself for this - it is the sort of thing I try to watch for.
  13. VOR Leg 7 Auckland to Itajai

    Double post
  14. VOR Leg 7 Auckland to Itajai

    Not wrong. That was really hard to read. The inoperative AIS was known, and I think we all knew that that was a key reason why they never found Fish. The four second mandatory MOB button has all the hallmarks of a "it sounded like a good idea at the time" design decision. I thought there was a spare antenna setup as well. I have vague memories of its use in the last race. The multiple AIS failures is very worrying. Not from a design or construction point of view, although this isn't good. However we have seen multiple failures, and no action taken by the VOR to address the question about the failures in a systemic manner. Seems AIS has not been taken seriously as a safety component, even when it is critical for the MOB recovery. Everyone seems to have focussed on the ability of a boat to tell others where it is, and forgotten that the AIS system is needed to receive the signal from a MOB beacon. Between the MOB button design problem, and no ability to find the MOB beacon, there was never any hope of recovery. So, why had the VOR, the VCA, and the Boatyard not taken the multiple AIS failures much more seriously? Sadly this is the usual problem one sees in such failures. Connecting the dots and taking it from antenna damage to inoperative safety critical system is hard. It takes a bad accident to underline the problem, and make it clear. Life is like that. There are no mission rules for a race. In many realms there will be rules that would include such things as "may not proceed if safety critical system X fails". Which on the face of it isn't so unreasonable. But it would be impossible to make a rule for the VOR that said you had to retire if your AIS broke. But entering the SO with an inoperative MOB location system sounds almost indefensible on the face of it. If anyone had stopped and realised that the system actually had become inoperative. I really hope there isn't going to be a round of finger pointing and yet more idiotic commentary from the peanut gallery about this. Everything is easy in hindsight. What matters is how things are done to address the question. Personally I think a significant change in the attitude to the design of on board electronics is needed. But that is my background, and I'm guilty of hammer/nail syndrome here. But also a change to the attitude to the operation of safety critical systems. Having the AIS be part of the MOB location is great - it leverages well developed technology. But it also left a weak link in the system that was not appreciated. Every boat that loses its AIS system has also just lost its MOB location system. Whatever reasons for the various failures of the AIS need to be assessed with that in mind. In the spectrum of "must have, should have, could have" it is a "must have". Until now it has clearly been thought of as a "should have". Some serious thought about the way the MOB button works is needed as well.
  15. Next VOR on IMOCAs?

    Then we get back the the safety question of righting an inverted boat. Lightweight fixed keel is not the right answer for a turtled boat. Fine that your RM comes from foils, they are not going to get your boat back upright. Might as well just give in and go multihull.