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gjbike

Love Olympic triangular courses

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I think Olympic courses give sport boats a chance to sail to their design advantages (if you are forced to race in mixed PHRF class). Here were are ahead of the pack approaching the gybe mark. Inside jibe and kite up and flying at the mark. 

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There is no such thing as an Olympic Triangle.  The Olympic sailing course is windward / leeward and trapezoids.

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15 hours ago, trt131 said:

There is no such thing as an Olympic Triangle.  The Olympic sailing course is windward / leeward and trapezoids.

they might not be used at the olympic games anymore, but they surely stil exist.

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I like them,  but doing the same course race after race is to say the least uninteresting. Mix it up a bit with some other courses chucked in. variety is the spice of life!

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There are good reasons why most classes don't sail triangles anymore.

The main one from my perspective is that the first boat to the top mark has a bigger distance advantage.  For non-planning symmetrical classes the distance that can be covered in 10 seconds on a reach is much greater than if turning further to go downwind.  Rarely do places change on reaches anyway.

Triangles reduce tactical opportunities.  They suck.

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7 hours ago, random said:

There are good reasons why most classes don't sail triangles anymore.

The main one from my perspective is that the first boat to the top mark has a bigger distance advantage.  For non-planning symmetrical classes the distance that can be covered in 10 seconds on a reach is much greater than if turning further to go downwind.  Rarely do places change on reaches anyway.

Triangles reduce tactical opportunities.  They suck.

Depends on the situation. 

In big fleet, who gybe through large angles downwind, who are closely matched, then windward leeward is almost always favourable (49ers). 

However, reaches are fun, and if sending the fleet off to gybe mark gets them up and planning, then this for many will do more to add to the enjoyment than another tactical battering. So triangles shouldn't be   discounted out of hand.

Secondly, although reaches don't lead to many places changes,  they limit the number of tactical mistakes the back end of the fleet can make, when compared to a dead downwind for a gybing boats. If you have a smaller fleet of mixed ability, then triangles can keep the racing closer (and hence more fun) for longer. 

Thirdly, in big fleets which are closely packed, where boats don't gybe through large angles downwind (slow symmetric), then getting clear air is almost impossible, and the fleet bunches on the run and it causes congestion issues at the leeward marks.   

Finally, a reach is good especially after the first windward as it de-conflicts boats sailing toward and away from the mark. Although a spreader mark can achieve this too. 

In terms of handicap racing, then triangles will certainly favour asymmetrics as they are designed to work best on a reach. A gybe mark for an asymmetric may only requires them to sail slightly above their proper courses had it been a run, whereas for symmetric kites they will have to sail considerable extra distance. If you have a mix of boats then it's best to mix courses up to give different classes chance. 

For high level racing, then it makes sense to pick a course which test the specific skills of a class. But for club racing, a meander around pre-laid racing marks often produces the best racing with variety being nice. 

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 Most of the advantage I have is downwind. Because of the low handicap, if I can't put some serious distance between me and the competition I will lose on handicap. The reaching leg can be a tactical challenge. We get big and frequent wind shifts- it's unclear many times, as you approach the upwind mark, if you are  going to be able to fly the kite or not since the reaching leg angle is close to the minimum angle the kite can fly, Otherwise, sometimes  it's better to go jib and main straight to the gybe mark. We commonly get one triangular loop followed by a windward/leeward loop to keep things interesting.

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