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# Isla Mujeres Race - No GRIBS Allowed.

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The SPYC's Sailing Instructions say that anything you have to pay for that helps your race - or you receive via a paid-for subscription - is not allowed. In other words, you can't use your satphone to download GRIBS or check anything out there. A lot of teams spent money to rent gear, this was not the interpretation they had. One guy just stood up and said 50% of the boats have spent a lot of money on gear and now they can't use it in the name of cost control, meanwhile the guy with a big honkin' SSB and insulated backstay can get GRIBs no problem.

Is this the usual interpretation of outside assistance, or just some SPYC thing for a non grand-prix race? What's your experience?

race instructions:

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The SPYC's Sailing Instructions say that anything you have to pay for that helps your race - or you receive via a paid-for subscription - is not allowed. In other words, you can't use your satphone to download GRIBS or check anything out there. A lot of teams spent money to rent gear, this was not the interpretation they had. One guy just stood up and said 50% of the boats have spent a lot of money on gear and now they can't use it in the name of cost control, meanwhile the guy with a big honkin' SSB and insulated backstay can get GRIBs no problem.

Is this the usual interpretation of outside assistance, or just some SPYC thing for a non grand-prix race? What's your experience?

race instructions:

The way I read those Preliminary SI, there is no restriction on "free to everyone" Grib files via the net. But a boat is not allowed to access weather info that they have paid for above what is free to anyone - that would be "outside assistance".

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The SPYC's Sailing Instructions say that anything you have to pay for that helps your race - or you receive via a paid-for subscription - is not allowed. In other words, you can't use your satphone to download GRIBS or check anything out there. A lot of teams spent money to rent gear, this was not the interpretation they had. One guy just stood up and said 50% of the boats have spent a lot of money on gear and now they can't use it in the name of cost control, meanwhile the guy with a big honkin' SSB and insulated backstay can get GRIBs no problem.

Is this the usual interpretation of outside assistance, or just some SPYC thing for a non grand-prix race? What's your experience?

race instructions:

The way I read those Preliminary SI, there is no restriction on "free to everyone" Grib files via the net. But a boat is not allowed to access weather info that they have paid for above what is free to anyone - that would be "outside assistance".

agreed. Saildocs gribs (free/public) allowed but ocens not allowed (subscription/private).

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GRIB or COAMP files are fine and free. Get them from SailDocs or if you have internet access, use www.grib.us to download freeware and then gribs as you need them.

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The SPYC's Sailing Instructions say that anything you have to pay for that helps your race - or you receive via a paid-for subscription - is not allowed. In other words, you can't use your satphone to download GRIBS or check anything out there. A lot of teams spent money to rent gear, this was not the interpretation they had. One guy just stood up and said 50% of the boats have spent a lot of money on gear and now they can't use it in the name of cost control, meanwhile the guy with a big honkin' SSB and insulated backstay can get GRIBs no problem.

Is this the usual interpretation of outside assistance, or just some SPYC thing for a non grand-prix race? What's your experience?

race instructions:

This is pretty standard...

there are several sources of free gribs, but as mentioned, saildocs is probably the most convenient.

you can also get raster images - surface forecasts etc., through saildocs, but they won't be compressed the way OCENS Weathernet does it, so it's not as practical...

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The SPYC's Sailing Instructions say that anything you have to pay for that helps your race - or you receive via a paid-for subscription - is not allowed. In other words, you can't use your satphone to download GRIBS or check anything out there. A lot of teams spent money to rent gear, this was not the interpretation they had. One guy just stood up and said 50% of the boats have spent a lot of money on gear and now they can't use it in the name of cost control, meanwhile the guy with a big honkin' SSB and insulated backstay can get GRIBs no problem.

Is this the usual interpretation of outside assistance, or just some SPYC thing for a non grand-prix race? What's your experience?

race instructions:

The way I read those Preliminary SI, there is no restriction on "free to everyone" Grib files via the net. But a boat is not allowed to access weather info that they have paid for above what is free to anyone - that would be "outside assistance".

agreed. Saildocs gribs (free/public) allowed but ocens not allowed (subscription/private).

You're probably - indeed, almost certainly - right about the intent of the SI language. But .....

If the entrants are anything like the Anarchists, there's more to be heard. How many SA members are going? While Saildocs only may be the intention of the SI, there's all kinds of ways to interpret the language. How about free UGRIB, using free GRIB files from NOAA, via sat phone? And what about each Saildocs GRIB file being unique, by a specific "custom" request only, and accordingly "private" and not "publically available" to all. It could get to \be a lot like the storm sail contention in the VOR - is it still going on on SA? The VOR itself has moved on. Have the Anarchists?

Sadly, the language is vague enough and indefinite enough to open the door to protests. And while the OCENS software is available for ~$199 (and is discounted on-line), it works just fine with free GRIB files from NOAA that can be downloaded for free, publically available via sat phone. The instructions don't say you can't use a sat phone to get the data. Of course that means limiting resolution to 1/2 degree by 1/2 degree, instead of the 0.1X0.1 degree stuff from the Navy and other commercial sources. But hey, it'll get you to South of the Border, .... Is that what they intended? Will they protest that? Do they mean what they say? Do the say what they mean? It's tough putting on a race these days! #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites On this side of the pond, the RYA's casebook has case 2005/5, which includes: QUESTION 3 Is weather information sent to a mobile phone, to a receiver or to a computer by a weather bureau as part of a dedicated subscription service 'freely available' for the purposes of rule 41c? Is the cost of that service relevant? Is information available to all on the internet 'freely available', given that a subscription has to be paid to an internet service provider? ANSWER 3 Once a subscription has been paid to a generally available and non-specialised communications service, such as an Internet Service Provider, a telephone service (mobile or terrestrial) or a television licence, any information that is then available to the general public, or is available to all competitors in the event, and that can be accessed readily and at no further cost (other than the cost, if applicable, of a standard rate call or connection) is 'freely available'. The notice of race and sailing instructions may change rule 41 to widen or narrow this. The RORC Notice of Race has: 1.11.1 RRS 41 – OUTSIDE HELP A yacht shall not receive information (other than that publicly available to all) which might help her in the race. A yacht may receive information about severe weather without infringing RRS 41. A yacht may, without infringing RRS 41, request and receive repetition of information broadcast by the Race Committee, or be told whether or not a broadcast has been made. #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites The SPYC's Sailing Instructions say that anything you have to pay for that helps your race - or you receive via a paid-for subscription - is not allowed. In other words, you can't use your satphone to download GRIBS or check anything out there. A lot of teams spent money to rent gear, this was not the interpretation they had. One guy just stood up and said 50% of the boats have spent a lot of money on gear and now they can't use it in the name of cost control, meanwhile the guy with a big honkin' SSB and insulated backstay can get GRIBs no problem. Is this the usual interpretation of outside assistance, or just some SPYC thing for a non grand-prix race? What's your experience? http://www.regatadel...ta-history.html race instructions: http://www.regatadel...lim_si_2012.pdf The way I read those Preliminary SI, there is no restriction on "free to everyone" Grib files via the net. But a boat is not allowed to access weather info that they have paid for above what is free to anyone - that would be "outside assistance". agreed. Saildocs gribs (free/public) allowed but ocens not allowed (subscription/private). You're probably - indeed, almost certainly - right about the intent of the SI language. But ..... If the entrants are anything like the Anarchists, there's more to be heard. How many SA members are going? While Saildocs only may be the intention of the SI, there's all kinds of ways to interpret the language. How about free UGRIB, using free GRIB files from NOAA, via sat phone? And what about each Saildocs GRIB file being unique, by a specific "custom" request only, and accordingly "private" and not "publically available" to all. It could get to \be a lot like the storm sail contention in the VOR - is it still going on on SA? The VOR itself has moved on. Have the Anarchists? Sadly, the language is vague enough and indefinite enough to open the door to protests. And while the OCENS software is available for ~$199 (and is discounted on-line), it works just fine with free GRIB files from NOAA that can be downloaded for free, publically available via sat phone. The instructions don't say you can't use a sat phone to get the data. Of course that means limiting resolution to 1/2 degree by 1/2 degree, instead of the 0.1X0.1 degree stuff from the Navy and other commercial sources. But hey, it'll get you to South of the Border, ....

Is that what they intended? Will they protest that? Do they mean what they say? Do the say what they mean? It's tough putting on a race these days!

It is the information that must be freely available to all (at no charge) - not the means to receive it.

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The SPYC's Sailing Instructions say that anything you have to pay for that helps your race - or you receive via a paid-for subscription - is not allowed. In other words, you can't use your satphone to download GRIBS or check anything out there. A lot of teams spent money to rent gear, this was not the interpretation they had. One guy just stood up and said 50% of the boats have spent a lot of money on gear and now they can't use it in the name of cost control, meanwhile the guy with a big honkin' SSB and insulated backstay can get GRIBs no problem.

Is this the usual interpretation of outside assistance, or just some SPYC thing for a non grand-prix race? What's your experience?

race instructions:

The way I read those Preliminary SI, there is no restriction on "free to everyone" Grib files via the net. But a boat is not allowed to access weather info that they have paid for above what is free to anyone - that would be "outside assistance".

agreed. Saildocs gribs (free/public) allowed but ocens not allowed (subscription/private).

You're probably - indeed, almost certainly - right about the intent of the SI language. But .....

If the entrants are anything like the Anarchists, there's more to be heard. How many SA members are going? While Saildocs only may be the intention of the SI, there's all kinds of ways to interpret the language. How about free UGRIB, using free GRIB files from NOAA, via sat phone? And what about each Saildocs GRIB file being unique, by a specific "custom" request only, and accordingly "private" and not "publically available" to all. It could get to \be a lot like the storm sail contention in the VOR - is it still going on on SA? The VOR itself has moved on. Have the Anarchists?

Sadly, the language is vague enough and indefinite enough to open the door to protests. And while the OCENS software is available for ~\$199 (and is discounted on-line), it works just fine with free GRIB files from NOAA that can be downloaded for free, publically available via sat phone. The instructions don't say you can't use a sat phone to get the data. Of course that means limiting resolution to 1/2 degree by 1/2 degree, instead of the 0.1X0.1 degree stuff from the Navy and other commercial sources. But hey, it'll get you to South of the Border, ....

Is that what they intended? Will they protest that? Do they mean what they say? Do the say what they mean? It's tough putting on a race these days!

the navy (NOGAPS) model is also 0.5 X 0.5 deg..., and I think its is available from saildocs

the COAMPS model is 0.2 X 0.2 deg, and it is available from saildocs - I prefer GFS.

what 0.1 Navy model are you referring to?

the RTOFS current model is available from saildocs at 0.05 deg res.

practically speaking, it is difficult to download high-res gribs over iridium, except for a small area.

If you have FBB, or Openport, then you can think about big files.

OCENS does a free version of weathernet for Newport-Bermuda, so it is legal there

the issues with weathernet are that some of the products are proprietary, and even some of the non-proprietary things - like surface analyses - are made much smaller so that they can be downloaded over iridium, which i think would violate the rule.

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From US Sailing Appeals Book.

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There is a conflict in these two sailing instructions:

16.2 From the time of their preparatory signal until they have finished or withdrawn from the race, competitors may not receive weather, current or navigational information except by broadcast from a public source available to all competitors without charge. This restriction also applies to boat-to-boat transmissions.

16.3 Subscription, password protected or restricted access web pages are considered private information and may not be used for the transmission or reception of specialized weather and Gulf current information. General use of the Internet and publicly available web sites to obtain weather and Gulf current information, including National Weather Service data is permitted. Weather routing data developed specifically for the race may not be received while racing.

The first implys you can't use any information except by broadcast .... without charge -- e.g. NOAA weather radio on your VHF, or WeatherFAX images...

The second says that general use of the internet is OK -- but how do you access the internet except by paying charges for air time on a sat phone or broadband service, neither or which can really be considered "broadcast?"

In my experience, sat phones have been allowed, and even encouraged -- in fact I think the Marblehead-Halifax race last year required all boats to have the capability to reliably send and receive e-mail while on course, implicitly requiring sat phones.

If you can send and receive e-mail, you can use saildocs or a similar ftpmail service (NOAA even has their own) to get all kinds of data, all of which is publically accessible and available to all competitors -- but not broadcast, and there are charges for air time and equipment purchase or rental, etc... (Of course there are no charges for the information itself).

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There is a conflict in these two sailing instructions:

16.2 From the time of their preparatory signal until they have finished or withdrawn from the race, competitors may not receive weather, current or navigational information except by broadcast from a public source available to all competitors without charge. This restriction also applies to boat-to-boat transmissions.

16.3 Subscription, password protected or restricted access web pages are considered private information and may not be used for the transmission or reception of specialized weather and Gulf current information. General use of the Internet and publicly available web sites to obtain weather and Gulf current information, including National Weather Service data is permitted. Weather routing data developed specifically for the race may not be received while racing.

The first implys you can't use any information except by broadcast .... without charge -- e.g. NOAA weather radio on your VHF, or WeatherFAX images...

The second says that general use of the internet is OK -- but how do you access the internet except by paying charges for air time on a sat phone or broadband service, neither or which can really be considered "broadcast?"

In my experience, sat phones have been allowed, and even encouraged -- in fact I think the Marblehead-Halifax race last year required all boats to have the capability to reliably send and receive e-mail while on course, implicitly requiring sat phones.

If you can send and receive e-mail, you can use saildocs or a similar ftpmail service (NOAA even has their own) to get all kinds of data, all of which is publically accessible and available to all competitors -- but not broadcast, and there are charges for air time and equipment purchase or rental, etc... (Of course there are no charges for the information itself).

10 or 20 boats can access a grib file at the same time. That's broadcast. An email for one person who requested it cannot be accessed by anyone else. That's not broadcast.

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i think "broadcast" in that sentence is a poor choice of words.

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The first implys you can't use any information except by broadcast .... without charge -- e.g. NOAA weather radio on your VHF, or WeatherFAX images...

Thesecondsays that general use of the internet is OK -- but how do youaccess theinternet except by paying charges for air time on a satphoneorbroadband service, neither or which can really beconsidered"broadcast?"

Greyhawk,

Read that Q&A 93 from USSail Appeals book I posted above, it's very clear:

The term "information freely available" refers only to the information, not to equipment or

software needed to receive or read the information. A fee paid to connect to a network that is

free and publicly available, such as the Internet, is not a fee paid for the information available

there. Similarly, the cost of a computer or software used to connect to or search the Internet

is not a cost of the information obtained by those means.

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The first implys you can't use any information except by broadcast .... without charge -- e.g. NOAA weather radio on your VHF, or WeatherFAX images...

Thesecondsays that general use of the internet is OK -- but how do youaccess theinternet except by paying charges for air time on a satphoneorbroadband service, neither or which can really beconsidered"broadcast?"

Greyhawk,

Read that Q&A 93 from USSail Appeals book I posted above, it's very clear:

The term "information freely available" refers only to the information, not to equipment or

software needed to receive or read the information. A fee paid to connect to a network that is

free and publicly available, such as the Internet, is not a fee paid for the information available

there. Similarly, the cost of a computer or software used to connect to or search the Internet

is not a cost of the information obtained by those means.

Fine, if they had said nothing, that would be the rule.

but the SI's can modify that..., and the unfortunate use of the word "broadcast" in the SI's does raise questions.

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I'm totally with you ojfd, but (as I understand it) Sailing Instructions usually have priority over other rules, and from Mr. Clean's opening post I am assuming that an interpretation was made by the Race Committee, and announced at the skipper's meeting for this race, that any communication mode that involves fees or charges for airtime was not allowed (for this race). One can only presume that the Race Committee at this race is not aware of Q&A 93.

My post was pointing out the inconsistencies in the sailing instructions, in the above context, not arguing that they were correct. If one goes by the sailing instructions and takes only the literal meaning of the word "broadcast," then accessing files on the internet doesn't fly -- 16.3 contradicts 16.2 (johnnysaint, one simply cannot access a file on an internet server without making a unique request, that's just the way the internet works).

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16.2 is quite clear. No use of the internet to acquire weather information is allowed while Racing.

Given 16.2, 16.3 is pretty non-sensical. Even in the absence of 16.2, it's almost impossible to understand. It's not possible to use a sat phone or SailMail and an SSB without a paid subscription to some service. Using WinLink is the only option that requires no association fees for e-mail, but it requires a for-fee ham license.

Frankly, these two look as if they were written by someone who knows nothing of the details of obtaining e-mail and/or weather information offshore. Together they make impossible to do either.

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i think "broadcast" in that sentence is a poor choice of words.

Agree. The word is outdated, but what would be current?

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I'm totally with you ojfd, but (as I understand it) Sailing Instructions usually have priority over other rules, and from Mr. Clean's opening post I am assuming that an interpretation was made by the Race Committee, and announced at the skipper's meeting for this race, that any communication mode that involves fees or charges for airtime was not allowed (for this race). One can only presume that the Race Committee at this race is not aware of Q&A 93.

My post was pointing out the inconsistencies in the sailing instructions, in the above context, not arguing that they were correct. If one goes by the sailing instructions and takes only the literal meaning of the word "broadcast," then accessing files on the internet doesn't fly -- 16.3 contradicts 16.2 (johnnysaint, one simply cannot access a file on an internet server without making a unique request, that's just the way the internet works).

Anything SAID at a skippers meeting is "not worth the paper it is not written on". In other words, if it is not in writing - it does not count.

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16.2 is quite clear. No use of the internet to acquire weather information is allowed while Racing.

Given 16.2, 16.3 is pretty non-sensical. Even in the absence of 16.2, it's almost impossible to understand. It's not possible to use a sat phone or SailMail and an SSB without a paid subscription to some service. Using WinLink is the only option that requires no association fees for e-mail, but it requires a for-fee ham license.

Frankly, these two look as if they were written by someone who knows nothing of the details of obtaining e-mail and/or weather information offshore. Together they make impossible to do either.

"No use of the internet to acquire weather information is allowed while Racing"

I don't agree with that. You cannot access information that costs you. You can acces information that is freely available at no charge. The means to access that info will always cost money. You have to buy a VHF radio don't you? So you buy the system that receives & displays the info - but you're not buying the info.

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Anything SAID at a skippers meeting is "not worth the paper it is not written on". In other words, if it is not in writing - it does not count.

Which is why we must fall back on the Sailing Instructions (for this race), and Moonduster is reading them as I am -- 16.2 implies that you can't use the internet while racing (in this race) despite what 16.3 says. We're not saying that that is reasonable or appropriate, just that that is what it says. Also, we need to be clear that we are discussing these particular sailing instructions for this particular race, we're not talking about the general condition of what's allowable under ISAF or US Sailing or any other rules, except perhaps to compare and contrast how this issue has been handled in other races.

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Anything SAID at a skippers meeting is "not worth the paper it is not written on". In other words, if it is not in writing - it does not count.

Which is why we must fall back on the Sailing Instructions (for this race), and Moonduster is reading them as I am -- 16.2 implies that you can't use the internet while racing (in this race) despite what 16.3 says. We're not saying that that is reasonable or appropriate, just that that is what it says. Also, we need to be clear that we are discussing these particular sailing instructions for this particular race, we're not talking about the general condition of what's allowable under ISAF or US Sailing or any other rules, except perhaps to compare and contrast how this issue has been handled in other races.

16.2 refers to what is "broadcast". i.e. in simple terms - by radio (or TV)

16.3 refers to the web.

two seperate and different methods of getting the info out, and two seperate and different SI.

EDIT.... I've just noticed that the SI 16.2 & .3 both state "may not use" & "may not be used". "May" is permissive. They should use the word "shall". Any protest could be successfully argued.

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[snip]

... that means limiting resolution to 1/2 degree by 1/2 degree, instead of the 0.1X0.1 degree stuff from the Navy and other commercial sources. [snip]

[snip]

what 0.1 Navy model are you referring to?

[snip]

Oops! It's not 1/10, it's 1/16 degree:

"NAVY (NLOM) - world overage at 1/16 x 1/16 degree resolution and 1/4 x 1/4 degree resolution surface currents, sea surface temperature, sea surface height, mixed layer depth.
"

And it may not include all the data you want, but it's got fine detail on the values it does include.

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I'm totally with you ojfd, but (as I understand it) Sailing Instructions usually have priority over other rules, and from Mr. Clean's opening post I am assuming that an interpretation was made by the Race Committee, and announced at the skipper's meeting for this race, that any communication mode that involves fees or charges for airtime was not allowed (for this race). One can only presume that the Race Committee at this race is not aware of Q&A 93.

My post was pointing out the inconsistencies in the sailing instructions, in the above context, not arguing that they were correct. If one goes by the sailing instructions and takes only the literal meaning of the word "broadcast," then accessing files on the internet doesn't fly -- 16.3 contradicts 16.2 (johnnysaint, one simply cannot access a file on an internet server without making a unique request, that's just the way the internet works).

You got it right - one of the race officers told us all that we couldn't use satphone services to access any weather or navigational info. In other words, a guy with an SSB can get the same GRIB files that I am not allowed to with a satphone based on this SI.

Weird.

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I'm totally with you ojfd, but (as I understand it) Sailing Instructions usually have priority over other rules, and from Mr. Clean's opening post I am assuming that an interpretation was made by the Race Committee, and announced at the skipper's meeting for this race, that any communication mode that involves fees or charges for airtime was not allowed (for this race). One can only presume that the Race Committee at this race is not aware of Q&A 93.

My post was pointing out the inconsistencies in the sailing instructions, in the above context, not arguing that they were correct. If one goes by the sailing instructions and takes only the literal meaning of the word "broadcast," then accessing files on the internet doesn't fly -- 16.3 contradicts 16.2 (johnnysaint, one simply cannot access a file on an internet server without making a unique request, that's just the way the internet works).

You got it right - one of the race officers told us all that we couldn't use satphone services to access any weather or navigational info. In other words, a guy with an SSB can get the same GRIB files that I am not allowed to with a satphone based on this SI.

Weird.

That is not the way the SI read. You can use satphone to access the internet or recorded information available to anyone. You cannot use it to solicit information though. Talk to an IJ.

Not worth it.

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It's a cruisey race, that's the issue. They don't want cruisers to feel like they have to buy a satphone and pay expensive data charges to do it. We and a Farr 395 are the scratch boats, we both have shoal drafts, they have a barbecue on the back and we have air conditioning, so you see what I mean. The really incongruous part of the SI is that some big fucking boat can get the identical files over his SSB that we are prohibited from getting with our Iridium. That is a silly result and evidence of a poorly written SI.

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Strange how tech stuff comes full circle .. and bites all big spenders (or owners just coming into this racing thing.)

Time to get out the crystal wireless with wire wrapped around an oatmeal container.

Sail Safe!

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[snip]

... that means limiting resolution to 1/2 degree by 1/2 degree, instead of the 0.1X0.1 degree stuff from the Navy and other commercial sources. [snip]

[snip]

what 0.1 Navy model are you referring to?

[snip]

Oops! It's not 1/10, it's 1/16 degree:

"NAVY (NLOM) - world overage at 1/16 x 1/16 degree resolution and 1/4 x 1/4 degree resolution surface currents, sea surface temperature, sea surface height, mixed layer depth.
"

And it may not include all the data you want, but it's got fine detail on the values it does include.

but that's a cuurent model - you were comparing to GFS at 0.5deg, which is a weather model...

you have to compare apples to apples

again, RTOFS current is available at 0.05 deg via saildocs - that's 1/20th of a degree...

I probably wouldn't use either NLOM or RTOFS

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Anyway, it's a nice vibe.

We're part of a fleet of 30 boats - multihulls, cruisers, and cruiser/racers - headed across the Gulf of Mexico Friday morning. It's the 44th running of the Regata Del Sol Al Sol, which was one of ten regattas started (only four still remain) in the sixties to promote sailing between the US and Mexico.

Now, despite leaving from the somewhat opulent St. Petersburg Yacht Club, this ain't no high falutin affair. It's largely a cruising boat race with a couple of quick multihulls thrown in the mix - it's so cruisey that the SPYC's Sailing Instructions specifically prohibit using a satphone for doing anything related to weather - even downloading GRIBs - in the name of keeping costs down for the cruisers.

Along with a Farr 395 "No Limit" we're the scratch boat - and I'm on Stu Hebb's Aerodyne 38 "Thin Ice." Some scratch boats! The Farr has a barbecue on the back and 5.5 feet of draft - we've got a whole 6' of keel and air conditioning.

But we've got an interesting forecast for sure - light and shite for the first day, building to a potentially monster of an Easterly by the time we get down to the meat of the Gulf Stream/Loop Current. The Rodger Marten designed Thin Ice loves the big stuff downwind - you might remember her famous Mo Bay race a few years back when she was on pace to take the overall PHRF victory when her rudder exploded and Hebb was rescued by the Jamaican Navy.

The boat is in tip top shape now and Hebb just finished a year-long and hard but unsuccessful run at getting the Canadian Star berth at the Olympics - so he's got a chip on his shoulder. So he's ready to win, but since I'm his navigator, probably not that smart!

You can track us here, and check out the entry list here.

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Farr 395 streaks away, 2 feet narrower than the tubby little T.I. Already through the fleet in 40 minutes, what a collection of boats! I swear I smelled lobster grilling on one of them as we sailed by...mmmmmmmm...lobster...

Got a little current with us that is supposed to turn shortly - right when we are under the bridge in the worst spot. Then it's out to see and pray for breeze.

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gybing downwind as we head under the big bridge. signing off soon.

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Good luck to Thin Ice and Kook Kat! Great to see that Thin Ice is out doing more racing.

Joe

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Finally reeled the Farr back in and making the pass well to leeward. Breeze on the south side of the bay but the farr is slow on the north.

Not sure I'm gonna be able to post once we're out there, will send to Mer to post if that's the case. Track us!

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Sorry Clean, gotta go with the boat the boss is on:

Go 'No Limit'

edit: thanks for the pic, the boss's wife enjoyed seeing her hubby.

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I'm totally with you ojfd, but (as I understand it) Sailing Instructions usually have priority over other rules, and from Mr. Clean's opening post I am assuming that an interpretation was made by the Race Committee, and announced at the skipper's meeting for this race, that any communication mode that involves fees or charges for airtime was not allowed (for this race). One can only presume that the Race Committee at this race is not aware of Q&A 93.

My post was pointing out the inconsistencies in the sailing instructions, in the above context, not arguing that they were correct. If one goes by the sailing instructions and takes only the literal meaning of the word "broadcast," then accessing files on the internet doesn't fly -- 16.3 contradicts 16.2 (johnnysaint, one simply cannot access a file on an internet server without making a unique request, that's just the way the internet works).

You got it right - one of the race officers told us all that we couldn't use satphone services to access any weather or navigational info. In other words, a guy with an SSB can get the same GRIB files that I am not allowed to with a satphone based on this SI.

Weird.

I agree that nothing said by "one of the race officers" is sufficient to change the SI's or the NOR - what if he had told you the start date or time or place was changed. Doesn't work that way - the written docs control unless changed in writing.

As for the SI's, 16.2 is a general proscription - it prohibits anyone from receiving “weather, current or navigational information except by broadcast from a public source available to all competitors without charge.” (By the way it does not say that you cannot use the internet - that is an interpretation of the language, not the language) 16.3 is specific and concerns the use of the internet - while we may all agree that the internet is not reviewable by “broadcast” in a classic sense, "radio;" it is receivable by “broadcast” in a modern sense, via telephone, cable, or wifi. Is cable news not "broadcast" news? Does it matter how my TV receives the "broadcast?" To avoid this argument, and make clear that the internet is usable, Rule 16.3 deals specifically with the internet and when it may be used.

Under common rules of interpretation a specific provision controls a general provision, so 16.3 controls 16.2 insofar as the later concerns use of the internet. It sets out when the internet may be used by boats in the race - “General use of the Internet and publicly available web sites to obtain weather and Gulf current information, including National Weather Service data is permitted.” So as long as you are using publicly available web pages, that are not “Subscription, password protected or restricted access,” you can use the internet to obtain weather and current information. Any other interpretation of the rules makes 16.3 meaningless, as meaningless as say the musings of one of the race officers.

Put another way if you read 16.2 as prohibiting any use of the internet, then you have made 16.3 meaningless. That is not the way in which rules or anything else are interpreted. If that is your reading of Rule 16.2 then tell us why did the put 16.3 in the SI's?

Neither rule proscribes the method by which you may obtain this allowed information.

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I'm totally with you ojfd, but (as I understand it) Sailing Instructions usually have priority over other rules, and from Mr. Clean's opening post I am assuming that an interpretation was made by the Race Committee, and announced at the skipper's meeting for this race, that any communication mode that involves fees or charges for airtime was not allowed (for this race). One can only presume that the Race Committee at this race is not aware of Q&A 93.

My post was pointing out the inconsistencies in the sailing instructions, in the above context, not arguing that they were correct. If one goes by the sailing instructions and takes only the literal meaning of the word "broadcast," then accessing files on the internet doesn't fly -- 16.3 contradicts 16.2 (johnnysaint, one simply cannot access a file on an internet server without making a unique request, that's just the way the internet works).

You got it right - one of the race officers told us all that we couldn't use satphone services to access any weather or navigational info. In other words, a guy with an SSB can get the same GRIB files that I am not allowed to with a satphone based on this SI.

Weird.

I agree that nothing said by "one of the race officers" is sufficient to change the SI's or the NOR - what if he had told you the start date or time or place was changed. Doesn't work that way - the written docs control unless changed in writing.

As for the SI's, 16.2 is a general proscription - it prohibits anyone from receiving "weather, current or navigational information except by broadcast from a public source available to all competitors without charge." (By the way it does not say that you cannot use the internet - that is an interpretation of the language, not the language) 16.3 is specific and concerns the use of the internet - while we may all agree that the internet is not reviewable by "broadcast" in a classic sense, "radio;" it is receivable by "broadcast" in a modern sense, via telephone, cable, or wifi. Is cable news not "broadcast" news? Does it matter how my TV receives the "broadcast?" To avoid this argument, and make clear that the internet is usable, Rule 16.3 deals specifically with the internet and when it may be used.

Under common rules of interpretation a specific provision controls a general provision, so 16.3 controls 16.2 insofar as the later concerns use of the internet. It sets out when the internet may be used by boats in the race - "General use of the Internet and publicly available web sites to obtain weather and Gulf current information, including National Weather Service data is permitted." So as long as you are using publicly available web pages, that are not "Subscription, password protected or restricted access," you can use the internet to obtain weather and current information. Any other interpretation of the rules makes 16.3 meaningless, as meaningless as say the musings of one of the race officers.

Put another way if you read 16.2 as prohibiting any use of the internet, then you have made 16.3 meaningless. That is not the way in which rules or anything else are interpreted. If that is your reading of Rule 16.2 then tell us why did the put 16.3 in the SI's?

Neither rule proscribes the method by which you may obtain this allowed information.

So a site like Iwindsurf.com, suggested to me by Ed Baird, is OK for this event?

The F395 is looking pretty good right now...........................

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I'm totally with you ojfd, but (as I understand it) Sailing Instructions usually have priority over other rules, and from Mr. Clean's opening post I am assuming that an interpretation was made by the Race Committee, and announced at the skipper's meeting for this race, that any communication mode that involves fees or charges for airtime was not allowed (for this race). One can only presume that the Race Committee at this race is not aware of Q&A 93.

My post was pointing out the inconsistencies in the sailing instructions, in the above context, not arguing that they were correct. If one goes by the sailing instructions and takes only the literal meaning of the word "broadcast," then accessing files on the internet doesn't fly -- 16.3 contradicts 16.2 (johnnysaint, one simply cannot access a file on an internet server without making a unique request, that's just the way the internet works).

You got it right - one of the race officers told us all that we couldn't use satphone services to access any weather or navigational info. In other words, a guy with an SSB can get the same GRIB files that I am not allowed to with a satphone based on this SI.

Weird.

I agree that nothing said by "one of the race officers" is sufficient to change the SI's or the NOR - what if he had told you the start date or time or place was changed. Doesn't work that way - the written docs control unless changed in writing.

As for the SI's, 16.2 is a general proscription - it prohibits anyone from receiving "weather, current or navigational information except by broadcast from a public source available to all competitors without charge." (By the way it does not say that you cannot use the internet - that is an interpretation of the language, not the language) 16.3 is specific and concerns the use of the internet - while we may all agree that the internet is not reviewable by "broadcast" in a classic sense, "radio;" it is receivable by "broadcast" in a modern sense, via telephone, cable, or wifi. Is cable news not "broadcast" news? Does it matter how my TV receives the "broadcast?" To avoid this argument, and make clear that the internet is usable, Rule 16.3 deals specifically with the internet and when it may be used.

Under common rules of interpretation a specific provision controls a general provision, so 16.3 controls 16.2 insofar as the later concerns use of the internet. It sets out when the internet may be used by boats in the race - "General use of the Internet and publicly available web sites to obtain weather and Gulf current information, including National Weather Service data is permitted." So as long as you are using publicly available web pages, that are not "Subscription, password protected or restricted access," you can use the internet to obtain weather and current information. Any other interpretation of the rules makes 16.3 meaningless, as meaningless as say the musings of one of the race officers.

Put another way if you read 16.2 as prohibiting any use of the internet, then you have made 16.3 meaningless. That is not the way in which rules or anything else are interpreted. If that is your reading of Rule 16.2 then tell us why did the put 16.3 in the SI's?

Neither rule proscribes the method by which you may obtain this allowed information.

So a site like Iwindsurf.com, suggested to me by Ed Baird, is OK for this event?

The F395 is looking pretty good right now...........................

If its a "publicly available web site" that does not require a subscription, is not password protected or has restricted access, then Rule 16.3 says you may use it. Not familar with the site, as I have never used it. Have a Sirius weather unit, which is of course broadcast, and provides National Weather Service data, but as it is a subscription service and therefore not usable under Rule 16, I would fire up the SSB and get the same information, more or less, from Coast Gard weather broadcast or private HF service. This goes to show the silliness of these rules - I understand not allowing weather routing, it is outside assistance. But if information is freely available, i.e. any of the myriad weather services, none of which are "interested" in this or any other race, what does it matter how it got to you - HF and Sat phones are okay, but Sirius Radio is not. Silly really.

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I'm totally with you ojfd, but (as I understand it) Sailing Instructions usually have priority over other rules, and from Mr. Clean's opening post I am assuming that an interpretation was made by the Race Committee, and announced at the skipper's meeting for this race, that any communication mode that involves fees or charges for airtime was not allowed (for this race). One can only presume that the Race Committee at this race is not aware of Q&A 93.

My post was pointing out the inconsistencies in the sailing instructions, in the above context, not arguing that they were correct. If one goes by the sailing instructions and takes only the literal meaning of the word "broadcast," then accessing files on the internet doesn't fly -- 16.3 contradicts 16.2 (johnnysaint, one simply cannot access a file on an internet server without making a unique request, that's just the way the internet works).

You got it right - one of the race officers told us all that we couldn't use satphone services to access any weather or navigational info. In other words, a guy with an SSB can get the same GRIB files that I am not allowed to with a satphone based on this SI.

Weird.

I agree that nothing said by "one of the race officers" is sufficient to change the SI's or the NOR - what if he had told you the start date or time or place was changed. Doesn't work that way - the written docs control unless changed in writing.

As for the SI's, 16.2 is a general proscription - it prohibits anyone from receiving "weather, current or navigational information except by broadcast from a public source available to all competitors without charge." (By the way it does not say that you cannot use the internet - that is an interpretation of the language, not the language) 16.3 is specific and concerns the use of the internet - while we may all agree that the internet is not reviewable by "broadcast" in a classic sense, "radio;" it is receivable by "broadcast" in a modern sense, via telephone, cable, or wifi. Is cable news not "broadcast" news? Does it matter how my TV receives the "broadcast?" To avoid this argument, and make clear that the internet is usable, Rule 16.3 deals specifically with the internet and when it may be used.

Under common rules of interpretation a specific provision controls a general provision, so 16.3 controls 16.2 insofar as the later concerns use of the internet. It sets out when the internet may be used by boats in the race - "General use of the Internet and publicly available web sites to obtain weather and Gulf current information, including National Weather Service data is permitted." So as long as you are using publicly available web pages, that are not "Subscription, password protected or restricted access," you can use the internet to obtain weather and current information. Any other interpretation of the rules makes 16.3 meaningless, as meaningless as say the musings of one of the race officers.

Put another way if you read 16.2 as prohibiting any use of the internet, then you have made 16.3 meaningless. That is not the way in which rules or anything else are interpreted. If that is your reading of Rule 16.2 then tell us why did the put 16.3 in the SI's?

Neither rule proscribes the method by which you may obtain this allowed information.

So a site like Iwindsurf.com, suggested to me by Ed Baird, is OK for this event?

The F395 is looking pretty good right now...........................

If you are in the race now, then by soliciting information, if you receive an answer, you've just infringed RRS 41 (outside assistance)

EDIT ..... Sirius Radio is a "pay for it service" No pay - no service. Use it & SI 16.3 is infringed.

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One does not simply turn on a device and receive unsolicited information via the internet; it's not a broadcast medium.

Use of an SSB to listen to an HF broadcast such as a USCG weather bulletin is allowed. Use of an SSB or satphone to access gribs via e-mail is not allowed; e-mail is addressed, it is not a broadcast medium. Sat phone access to the internet to surf to a weather-related web site is similarly prohibited; the web protocols are about as far from the definition of broadcast as could be imagined.

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One does not simply turn on a device and receive unsolicited information via the internet; it's not a broadcast medium.

Use of an SSB to listen to an HF broadcast such as a USCG weather bulletin is allowed. Use of an SSB or satphone to access gribs via e-mail is not allowed; e-mail is addressed, it is not a broadcast medium. Sat phone access to the internet to surf to a weather-related web site is similarly prohibited; the web protocols are about as far from the definition of broadcast as could be imagined.

Maybe you should read the SI 16.3.

16.3...... General use of the Internet and publicly available web sites to obtain weather and Gulf current information, including National Weather Service data is permitted.......

What is so hard to understand about that?

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From Alan:

One of the most beautiful nights ever. At sunrise we got 17 knots of wind from 80 degrees, steaming along between 10 and 11 knots through the 2A and staysail, with a building breeze and enjoying a delicious oatmeal.

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From Alan:

One of the most beautiful nights ever. At sunrise we got 17 knots of wind from 80 degrees, steaming along between 10 and 11 knots through the 2A and staysail, with a building breeze and enjoying a delicious oatmeal.

Thanks for the update. NL with a good lead but TI is showing more speed. Could get interesting later today, depending on speed and who finds the best lane of breeze.

iwindsurf.com has features that are shown without registration but there is premium info that requires registration. May be a sticky one but, who would know or could tell if you accessed one or the other?

Hope the good ride continues for all.

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16.3 Subscription, password protected or restricted access web pages are considered private information and may not be used for the transmission or reception of specialized weather and Gulf current information. General use of the Internet and publicly available web sites to obtain weather and Gulf current information, including National Weather Service data is permitted. Weather routing data developed specifically for the race may not be received while racing.

According to the SIs, there's no reason a competitor can't access the internet to look at publicly available weather websites... so if you wanted to use your Iridium phone to access passageweather.com, for example, it's perfectly legal...

Bill

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I was driving over the Tampa Bay Bridge yesterday as you were all approaching.

Beautiful sight! Have fun.

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One does not simply turn on a device and receive unsolicited information via the internet; it's not a broadcast medium.

Use of an SSB to listen to an HF broadcast such as a USCG weather bulletin is allowed. Use of an SSB or satphone to access gribs via e-mail is not allowed; e-mail is addressed, it is not a broadcast medium. Sat phone access to the internet to surf to a weather-related web site is similarly prohibited; the web protocols are about as far from the definition of broadcast as could be imagined.

You just can't get past the word "broadcast" in Rule 16.2, and completely ignore 16.3 - so explain what 16.3 means if 16.2 as you interpret it prohibits use of the internet. By the way you are right about email, it is prohibited if used to receive weather or tide information, as any specific email is not publicly available, and is password protected. No one was talking about email though.

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One does not simply turn on a device and receive unsolicited information via the internet; it's not a broadcast medium.

Use of an SSB to listen to an HF broadcast such as a USCG weather bulletin is allowed. Use of an SSB or satphone to access gribs via e-mail is not allowed; e-mail is addressed, it is not a broadcast medium. Sat phone access to the internet to surf to a weather-related web site is similarly prohibited; the web protocols are about as far from the definition of broadcast as could be imagined.

You just can't get past the word "broadcast" in Rule 16.2, and completely ignore 16.3 - so explain what 16.3 means if 16.2 as you interpret it prohibits use of the internet. By the way you are right about email, it is prohibited if used to receive weather or tide information, as any specific email is not publicly available, and is password protected. No one was talking about email though.

The rule reads "except by broadcast from a public source available to all competitors without charge."... A publicly available web site fits into this category... Otherwise, why would they include "General use of the Internet and publicly available web sites to obtain weather and Gulf current information, including National Weather Service data is permitted."?...

The word "broadcast" in this case means the same as to publish, spread the word, to make something known widely or to disseminate something. ... Public websites do this, it has nothing to do with "broadcasting" as in radio or tv...

Using a publicly available website is 100% legal.

Bill

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TI is closing on NL, should be in sight of each other by now. NL had been over 5 mi. ahead, now down to 2. something. Gonna get interesting tonight.

The fast multi-hull finally got into the breeze and has blown past these two by about 30 miles now.

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TI is closing on NL, should be in sight of each other by now. NL had been over 5 mi. ahead, now down to 2. something. Gonna get interesting tonight.

The fast multi-hull finally got into the breeze and has blown past these two by about 30 miles now.

Kool Kat will do that. She is a 60' carbon fiber machine!

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TI is closing on NL, should be in sight of each other by now. NL had been over 5 mi. ahead, now down to 2. something. Gonna get interesting tonight.

The fast multi-hull finally got into the breeze and has blown past these two by about 30 miles now.

Kool Kat will do that. She is a 60' carbon fiber machine!

Wonder why so sticky in the light stuff?

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Re-reading16.2 and 16.3 it's clear they're really, really poorly written and confusing. The use of the words "broadcast" and "internet" seem misguided. Clearly it would have been best to ask for clarification long before the start.

It seems to me that the intent is to allow satphone and SSB access to GRIB data via e-mail. That the intent of "broadcast" is that the data is generally available and freely disseminated. What's missing is that satphone and SSB access to that data is password protected and requires a subscription service.

In fact, accessing the internet always requires some sort of ISP-based subscription and is password protected in most cases. Access to the internet via smart phone, again, requires a subscription to a data plan and is password protected.

One could choose to read it such that since the weather information is freely disseminated then it can be obtained through subscription e-mail - but I wouldn't want to argue that against a competitor who had a different interpretation in a protest hearing.

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TI is closing on NL, should be in sight of each other by now. NL had been over 5 mi. ahead, now down to 2. something. Gonna get interesting tonight.

The fast multi-hull finally got into the breeze and has blown past these two by about 30 miles now.

Kool Kat will do that. She is a 60' carbon fiber machine!

Wonder why so sticky in the light stuff?

Most cruising cats, which she is, of that size are. Im not exactly sure why, but when the wind pipes up man do they fly.

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Re-reading16.2 and 16.3 it's clear they're really, really poorly written and confusing. The use of the words "broadcast" and "internet" seem misguided. Clearly it would have been best to ask for clarification long before the start.

It seems to me that the intent is to allow satphone and SSB access to GRIB data via e-mail. That the intent of "broadcast" is that the data is generally available and freely disseminated. What's missing is that satphone and SSB access to that data is password protected and requires a subscription service.

In fact, accessing the internet always requires some sort of ISP-based subscription and is password protected in most cases. Access to the internet via smart phone, again, requires a subscription to a data plan and is password protected.

One could choose to read it such that since the weather information is freely disseminated then it can be obtained through subscription e-mail - but I wouldn't want to argue that against a competitor who had a different interpretation in a protest hearing.

You are over-complicating the SI's rules on accessing weather data...

The part about subscription is for the data itself - NOT the equipment to access it... In other words, you can't use Ocens or PredictWind (as they both require a paid subscription to access their data)... Using a satphone to download data from a public website is OK, even though you need an account to use the phone itself... Even an SSB radio needs an account and callsign to use legally...

The basis of these rules is to stop people from using weather routing services or custom weather services... period...

Bill

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TI is ahead to the west side but NL is about a knot faster, for the first time in a while, after working toward the east since late yesterday. Guessing that some current could be at play, as that is the critical decision when making the approach to the island.

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Just woke up after the sleep of the dead...what a tough race that was. Debrief will be coming, but first to dinner and to get lit up like a christmas tree.

Hats off to the guys on No Limits and to the SPYC and IMYC for a great race.

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BBR,

I agree with you on the intent - no doubt about it. The problem is that the wording, to my reading, results in something completely different and it's the wording with which one must comply.

Based on Alan's posts, it seems like many boats decided that the words meant no sat phones could be used to collect gribs via e-mail.

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My take on Alan's posts is that, apparently at a skipper's meeting prior to the start of the race, somebody reportedly asked for clarification on these two sailing instructions, and the response from race officials was that those SI's say no to sat phones, which apparently resulted in some discussion among the fleet, with one of the skippers even standing up and suggesting that at least half of the fleet had probably already invested in (/rented) sat phones, with the apparent result being still "No" as the official interpretation.

I think Alan even stated that the "intent" of the organizing authority really was "No Sat Phones" -- costs too much, not fair to everybody... use your HAM/SSB set and have fun.

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I will say that GRIBs would have changed our strategy significantly. The data we used from our best forecasts and GRIBs just before the start, combined with our routers suggestions, got us most of the way to the island in the lead. When No Limit crossed our transom to head to shore, we held out to the left because those forecasts, which had been solid up until that point, called for a righty that would have headed us down to a spot where we could cross the Stream in the best possible spot for the current we were looking at. Instead, a big lefty came in that allowed No Limit to cross the stream on starboard really, really quickly. The right never really came in. I can pretty confidently say that up to date GRIBs would have changed our strategy quite a bit.

At the end of the day, though, the Farr 395 has 2 feet less beam, a lighter boat, and also carries a pole and sym kite. When the wind went to 10-14 knots and aft, we never stood a chance, and had we covered them on the right, we would have still lost, but been demoralized in the process of watching them sail through us to leeward.

Horses for courses, viva la PHRF. As Stu says, "PHRF is the only scoring system in the world where you have to apologize for winning."

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Even more impressive is that the F395 did it with some excellent core crew but the rest largely of charter crew new to the boat. Again, props to 'em.

As we were surfing down big GS waves up to 14 knots of boatspeed, I was thinking what an amazingly easy race it was. Little did I know we'd have 24 hours of light wind running into a 4.7 knot max current. Yikes!

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Even more impressive is that the F395 did it with some excellent core crew but the rest largely of charter crew new to the boat. Again, props to 'em.

As we were surfing down big GS waves up to 14 knots of boatspeed, I was thinking what an amazingly easy race it was. Little did I know we'd have 24 hours of light wind running into a 4.7 knot max current. Yikes!

Received a call from the boss and he passed along your 'hello'. His quick take on it was like yours, a good race and lots of fun with the steady breeze. It seems they may have snuck-in before the wind started shutting down, but that is just my observation looking at a computer screen yesterday morning. Among them they have a few crossings down there, so between the regulars and the 'charter' crew there was a good amount of experience to draw from.

Great to hear it was good run. I have heard the horror stories of heading faster back to Florida instead if Isla Mujeres when the wind has crapped-out on the last day near the finish.

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It's pretty amazing how much distance the current adds to the race, even with decent breeze.

The east running portion of the stream was also well north of where the navy forecast had it. Like 80 NM north. Never encountered any of the south running loop - just a half a knot here and there until we hit the stream. Then a lot of patches with an eddying current at 270 on the way past cuba.

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Re-reading16.2 and 16.3 it's clear they're really, really poorly written and confusing. The use of the words "broadcast" and "internet" seem misguided. Clearly it would have been best to ask for clarification long before the start.

It seems to me that the intent is to allow satphone and SSB access to GRIB data via e-mail. That the intent of "broadcast" is that the data is generally available and freely disseminated. What's missing is that satphone and SSB access to that data is password protected and requires a subscription service.

In fact, accessing the internet always requires some sort of ISP-based subscription and is password protected in most cases. Access to the internet via smart phone, again, requires a subscription to a data plan and is password protected.

One could choose to read it such that since the weather information is freely disseminated then it can be obtained through subscription e-mail - but I wouldn't want to argue that against a competitor who had a different interpretation in a protest hearing.

I agree they are badly worded, and silly really, why does it matter whether I get marine weather from my SSB, either by voice or NAVTEXT; Weatherfax; or from a Sirius rebroadcast of NOAA weather?

Just read the later posts - A shame that race officials would act this way, they should know better, but it's not unusual as we all know.

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It's pretty amazing how much distance the current adds to the race, even with decent breeze.

The east running portion of the stream was also well north of where the navy forecast had it. Like 80 NM north. Never encountered any of the south running loop - just a half a knot here and there until we hit the stream. Then a lot of patches with an eddying current at 270 on the way past cuba.

I did not realize that there were more eddies in that area.

Out of curiosity, did you see any debris, or other foreign objects, out in the Gulf? I have seen the items about debris in the Pacific but have not heard much about the Gulf.