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About mccroc

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  • Birthday 08/09/1959

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  1. mccroc

    What ever happened to supermaxi WildThing?

    Ragamuffin 90 is on the hard at SCM - I see her white mast every time I drive across the Anzac Bridge. She is still for sale according to Race Boats or whatever it's called.
  2. I heard an interesting "Protest" the other night where one of our fleet had their rig taken out by a cruising yacht. Obviously it can't be a true PH as RRS don't apply, but the insurance companies wanted some type of "official" report of an investigation into the incident. A few Sundays ago I was sailing under jib only downwind doing about 4 knots with a fleet of 18 footers coming towards me - as has been posted earlier, the best thing to is hold course. I did, and as their wings passed within an inch of my transom I heard a G'day Pete!" So I mustn't have annoyed them too much. Also my experience has been that because RRS 24.1 says "If reasonably possible, a boat not racing shall not interfere with a boat that is racing.", makes skippers feel they can yell at any non-racing or cruising yacht that they have rights. Yelling "Racing!" has no meaning. One trick in Sydney Harbour is some of the Passenger Cruise Vessels deliberately motor slower than the yachts are sailing - putting the burden back onto the yacht as overtaking vessel.
  3. I have re-read your original post and I feel that I had misunderstood what you really are saying. Other than with a club that has a minimum crew requirement in their NoR or SIs, yachts with any of the crew numbers you nominate would be able to race in their respective divisions without anyone changing anything. If however you want anyone sailing to your "rules" in their own division, then that would be more work, unless of course the entry numbers are there. Like most of the people who have posted, I sail on a number of yachts from 28 to 68 feet, many times shorthanded - that is one or two crew, and more times "short-crewed", as in "Normally it would be good to have six but we only have three - let's go out anyway". In these situations I cannot see how you can have a different handicap, or indeed that you should. I do however think that you are very optimistic if you believe that you will suddenly get a lot of yachts racing again now they need less crew. Skippers may talk about it being hard to get crew, but from my experience mostly it is their lack of motivation that stops them racing. What we have had great success with is getting a "mentor/boat captain" to sail with an owner and look after crew, repairs etc on their behalf. That gets them motivated and out on the water. I am involved with two yachts at the moment like this. Online there is crew management software that can do this for you. I saw "shorthanded" as the title, and immediately assumed you were talking about "true" shorthanding, which has similar restrictions around the world. If you came up with a better name for what you are proposing I feel you would get more positive feedback. Maybe "Short-crewed" sailing, although of course you would have to apologise to those sailors of small stature.
  4. FWIW my experience from Sydney. This is a great idea. I tried for many years to get this happening, with the CYCA vehemently opposed to it. They threatened me with a Rule 69 hearing if I entered their minimum of 6 crew offshore races but then raced two-handed, even though I obviously would have been disqualified each race. I gave up. Although a guy in Adelaide had done exactly this and eventually the CYCSA gave in and allowed him to race two-up. RPAYC in Pittwater north of Sydney allowed two-handed entries in their offshore races by special arrangement, and now they have a two-handed division in their Pittwater to Paradise race. A few other clubs in Sydney have a minimum crew of two so we raced two-up in those races. I think the categories should be solo and two-handed with autopilot, three-up no autopilot. That worked for us for many years to get bigger yachts, mono and multis, racing together, from 30 - 60 feet in length, and once an 80 footer two-up! There is a famous story about the 1962 America's Cup challenger Gretel being raced two-up from Sydney, south to Botany Bay and back two-up, with spinnaker including gybes. And that was back in the days of wire sheets! Good luck with it. I hope you succeed.
  5. mccroc

    Route du Rhum 2018

    So if the entrants that have to go to a port to repair can radio/phone in and say "I am suspending racing at this point" and then they are free to motor/get a tow..could AT have checked in and said the same, motored off, re-sealed the engine and then resumed racing without penalty? I know it's a moot point, but what would the SIs say about that?
  6. mccroc

    Sydney To Hobart 2018

    You forgot Instagram and Twitter - I think they may really save lives.
  7. mccroc

    Sydney To Hobart 2018

    You mean because she is so narrow? Or ballast ratio/foils? I read that Comanche feel they have increased their light wind performance.
  8. mccroc

    drop the drops

    We have fleets running these handicap systems with between say 6 and 30 entrants per division. In practice if run properly they can look after any size fleet. The trick is the starting number! I am not surprised to hear you have not heard of anything like it in North America - neither have I! Or in Europe for that matter.It certainly works for us in Australia and has done for a long time.
  9. mccroc

    drop the drops

    If you're interested in how the handicap system works at the club involved, look up TopYacht, or These are definitely not in any way measurement handicap systems. Sailsys is the latest iteration of a long-running Sydney only handicap system invented and perfected by a guy called John Maclurcan. TopYacht uses similar ideas, but has different algorithms that one can use. TopYacht is very popular around Australia, but most of the top Sydney yachting clubs use Sailsys. Basically the idea is to have a system where over a series, a yacht's handicaps are adjusted by a factor based on their starting handicap and their back calculated handicap, which in turn is based on where they finish on corrected time (ToT). So it shows in every race which yachts have performed better or worse than their average, and adjusts their handicap accordingly - the trick is how much to change their handicap, if at all, for the next race. The larger the fleet and the higher the number of races the handicap is averaged over, the more accurate the on-going handicap becomes. Sailsys uses a longer running average of results for any particular yacht, so, in my opinion, it responds better to an either brilliantly good, or drastically bad, result than TopYacht does. The problem is that if the handicap changes too radically, up or down, it destroys the integrity of the handicaps. What Anarchist David is suggesting above, is that a yacht may sandbag and get a bad result, therefore getting a lower handicap for following races. If a system is set up properly, and also monitored, this won't happen, as the result would be filtered out and therefore the yacht's handicap would not change, defeating the purpose of the sandbagging, or as it should be called, cheating. This type of system has worked well for years of club series, and the handicaps derived are used in events such as the Sydney Hobart Race PHS division. Some may argue that these systems are handicapping the skipper rather than the yacht, but we are talking about club racing, and the system will (or should) filter out the deliberate sandbagging that David above alleges is happening. To be clear I am not personally involved in either handicap system, but I have worked closely, and used, both.
  10. mccroc

    Yacht club structure - Board or committee?

    Probably written too much - but here goes: Having been a Director a couple of times on the Board of a Sydney club (similar turnover to the OP) I would say that the fear of litigation and fear of personal liabilities is overstated. I could see an issue if the club had a lot of debt, or has commissioned a project that had issues, and was being sued for money. If the slipway (if the club has one) is run by the book and therefore EPA compliant, I can't see a huge issue with Environmental compliance either. Also the club takes out Directors insurance to protect the Directors against most situations that may arise. None of our Directors have gone off to do courses, however a few have spent many years on Publicly listed boards, and share their "knowledge". We have a Board because the club is a limited company by structure, so is under the Corporations Act, and therefore has to satisfy all those requirements, such as be audited each year etc. On the other hand I am on the Executive Committee of a much smaller "club", that does not have a clubhouse, moorings, assets, and is actually an Incorporated Association, registered under NSW Fair Trading. Therefore its reporting responsibilities are very small, the level of input needed by each Committee member is less, so overall far less structured. There is no way I would recommend that we go from being Committee members to being Directors. So imho as far as the OP is concerned, unless the club requires a Board under the Corporations Act I cannot see the benefit of a Board versus having committees, when they are achieving the same results.
  11. mccroc

    Sydney To Hobart 2018

    It will be great to see Mark Twain off to Hobart again. She has 25 or more under her keel already I think. Never sailed on her but learnt how to winch hitch from one of her crew - there are no cleats or clutches.
  12. mccroc

    F1 2018...

    True - David Croft is over the top, but isn't as biased for or against certain drivers. Brundle being away did mean we heard more of Anthony Davidson and Paul di Resta. I think Sky only get the shared F1 feed - a lot of times they start commenting on a lap only to have the car camera lost to general video. As an Aussie it pisses me off how many times they go to an ad during practice and I find after the ad that Daniel has gone fastest and we never see the lap or have any reference to it!
  13. mccroc

    F1 2018...

    Was a much better race than I imagined - and was thrilled that Martin Brundle wasn't there.
  14. mccroc

    The 2018 Golden Globe Race

    So what is the thought that full keelers will track straighter than fin keelers with detached rudders? My experience is that you can trim a full keel yacht and let the tiller/wheel go, far more than you can with a more modern fin keel.
  15. mccroc

    FP - the biggest loser

    I don't know about Australia having an inferiority complex, but as a keen sailor who had been following the AC (with my Dad) since 1967 (Damn Pity) there is no doubt Australia II's win had an enormous effect on the nation's happiness level, if there is such a thing. What should be remembered is that also in 1983 a great drought broke, and we had a larrikin for a PM, who had liked a beverage or two, and once we had won declared that any boss that sacked a worker for turning up late for work that day was "a bum". At the time I had a very young daughter and had been up to her a few times that night, and must admit I went to bed in disgust when DC overtook Australia II. Luckily Penny woke again so I saw the last downwind leg and to the finish! The mood that day in Sydney was amazing, never seen anything like it before or since. Final note: I agree with jack Sparrow - Bertrand was only talking about the AC, not generally.