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WCB

18 Footers - handicap racing, different marks?

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Watching the 18s race, I keep hearing about long course or short course, handicap...etc.  Can anybody explain how the racing is set up?  Are more pro boat required to sail a longer course?

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The SIs merely state:

image.png.3edb43e6759a9f581c6a016994224345.png

not sure what the determination is for who rounds which mark and when

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Traditionally the 18's had championship races and handicap one. The latter were the majority.

So that the first over the line was the winner (important so the bookies knew who to pay out on), they ran a handicap start. Every boat was given a handicap in minutes (up to 18 - although I recall it blew out to 21 for a short while) and a board displayed a count down. You started on your minute.

 

I'm not now close to it, but it sounds like you only have three handicaps - in the form of which windward mark you go around.

 

I'm not sure why they did it, but I can see one advantage as being you don't really know the winner until the last lap. With a handicap start, once the scratch boat overtakes a long handicap boat, you can pretty well assume that's it. Now the lead will see-saw through the race until the last lap.

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Using three marks spaced at one minute sailing vmg, you can get 1 minute increments on a 3x3 matrix, so 9 minutes max spread.

The crews mostly hate it, but the club and sponsors appreciate it.

With the boats now semi one design, 9 mins is ok, on race time around 80 mins.

For sprints, handicaps adjusted proportionately.

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51 minutes ago, Frogman56 said:

Using three marks spaced at one minute sailing vmg, you can get 1 minute increments on a 3x3 matrix, so 9 minutes max spread.

The crews mostly hate it, but the club and sponsors appreciate it.

With the boats now semi one design, 9 mins is ok, on race time around 80 mins.

For sprints, handicaps adjusted proportionately.

@Frogman56 and @Rambler thank you both for the explanation.  I had figured that since the hulls were now controlled, that they were down to straight up head to head one design racing.

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The crews don't like it. I was finding it hard to be positive about it.

And it occurred to me that it makes (1) Really good training/practice for the scratch boats in preparation for the JJ's because they can't just get to the front and bludge. (2) It gives the less experienced crews a chance to sail nearby some of the experts, for more of the race. (3) Sponsors of the backmarkers particularly like it.

Now I feel much more positive about the three buoys handicap race.

It is a crying shame that Bucko has to keep the handicaps secret, in an almost childish way.

And while I'm at it.

Why FFS does Jimmy tell you the name of the boat when it sticks out like dogs balls in the middle of your screen, but often refuses to tell us the 'viewers' , who is sailing it,  other than first names or nicknames known only to the chosen few.

And to clear up Jimmys bullshit - Lee Knapton was NEVER going to steer SMEG in this race. But I can confirm Micah is taking a day off next Sunday and a champion skipper will be steering.

But I'm not going to tell you who it it is. I got a secret. I got a secret!

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I think it's a good idea. The season would end up being a bit of procession if it was all scratch. You can get a decent idea of who is going well, but you don't really know the form for sure until the scratch season starts. I think this keeps a bit of the intrigue... and then you get a load of additional boats turn up the JJ. So it works quite well with a slow reveal on who the contenders are going to be. Watching SMEG rack up race wins from October to March would get a bit dull.

I think format is good for viewing and should be good for sailors wanting the practice. All the crews get to do proper fleet starts and all the spectators get to see a first through the line winner. Plus crawling back through the fleet is probably a better exercise than romping away unchallenged if you want to improve as top team. 

Sure, the buoys aren't super accurate in terms of the advantage given versus corrected time or staggered starts, but ti's handicap, a bit of random is good, the whole idea is to mix the results up! 

The only downside is the windward marks can get a bit confusing, but after a minute or so of downwind you get your bearings on where everyone is again .

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12 hours ago, cosmicsedso said:

The crews don't like it. I was finding it hard to be positive about it.

And it occurred to me that it makes (1) Really good training/practice for the scratch boats in preparation for the JJ's because they can't just get to the front and bludge. (2) It gives the less experienced crews a chance to sail nearby some of the experts, for more of the race. (3) Sponsors of the backmarkers particularly like it.

Now I feel much more positive about the three buoys handicap race.

It is a crying shame that Bucko has to keep the handicaps secret, in an almost childish way.

And while I'm at it.

Why FFS does Jimmy tell you the name of the boat when it sticks out like dogs balls in the middle of your screen, but often refuses to tell us the 'viewers' , who is sailing it,  other than first names or nicknames known only to the chosen few.

And to clear up Jimmys bullshit - Lee Knapton was NEVER going to steer SMEG in this race. But I can confirm Micah is taking a day off next Sunday and a champion skipper will be steering.

But I'm not going to tell you who it it is. I got a secret. I got a secret!

The commentators would do well to avoid the boys club mentality and be more transparent and informational.  They're great boats and they may have more than 37 viewers at a time if they brought the "viewers" in to feel more like they were there.

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What I would like to hear from the commentators before the handicapped starts is a run down on the position and colours of the three bouys, then a quick call of which colours all the boats are rounding.

If that is too much to ask, then if the marks approximate one minute difference in sailing time  then call the extra time each boat sails. Something like this, today our scratch boat is Winning Appliances on 9 minutes extra, Smeg on 8, Noakes on 7, and so forth.

Better still how about a link to a site where we can read the handicaps?

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I like where you're going with this, @Rainbow Spirit  Maybe they could call a boat a zero (no extra time), +1 (one more minute upwind) and a +2 (two more minutes upwind). I get that Appliances Online was the scratch boat last week but it would be nice to get some more information.  I'm sure all of the tv spectators are sailors but it would still be helpful if they explained everything in greater detail.

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Tricky balance between too much information and not enough, imo.

With lots of crew changes nowadays as well.. A look at the marks is a good idea too, but sometimes they are not laid until very near start time.

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23 minutes ago, Frogman56 said:

Tricky balance between too much information and not enough, imo.

With lots of crew changes nowadays as well.. A look at the marks is a good idea too, but sometimes they are not laid until very near start time.

Drone?

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They seem to have one or two drones, sometimes I think two.  It would be easy enough to park one at the top mark, upwind, and show them turning different marks.

I don't think that they need to go through the whole crew, maybe just the skipper but in my opinion it's more about the boat name and which mark they're going to than anything else.

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shortest mark is Red,

middle is Blue,

farthest is White 

There is apx 70-100 yards` tween them , under a minutes sailing (thats doubled there & back), then multiplied x  laps.

Some courses, (chosen  on wind direction)  arrive at the triple marks only twice, the marks will NOT be close those days, also course 6 (W/L) can have 2, 3 or 4 laps so gaps factored in again, this is apparent on multi-race days with short 2 lap races 

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it's over for this season as championship racing begins

 

 

  

 

 

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Maybe, but skippers aren't one design.

Without handicaps, the bookies won't have much of a field of potential winners : -)

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Race 2 of the NSW Championship this Sunday. With Jimmy away for a few weeks, word is we are going to see Tom clout, who was on the sheet for the winning group last week driving the camera cat and commenting,  along with Olivia price and bucko. So 3 commentators. Should be fun. 

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On 11/24/2019 at 9:45 PM, Frumious Bandersnatch said:

My understanding is the hulls are one-design now, but the rigs (and obviously the sails) are not one-design.

Not even controlled by sail area?

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Recognize the class, until recently, more or less only had one rule - the boats were 18 ft long. (A slight exaggeration, but only slight).

But in those days, sail area was unrestricted and essentially still is. The problem was the boats became prohibitively expensive. Four rigs to cover the range of wind strengths and the width of the boat with wings was greater than its length. So some sanity had to be brought back to the game; especially after it was shown that bigger wasn't always faster.

Here a link to the class rules

https://www.18footers.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/2018-19-18ft-skiff-design-rules.pdf

You'll see the main practical restriction now is in mast height and the number of masts.

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Recent videos seem to have comments and chat disabled... did they get some sort of youtube strike? Or fall fowl of COPPA? Seems odd that they would be considered as 'made for kids'. But would also be off for the 18 footers to turn off comments themselves surely? 

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Thank F&^% they got rid of Gordon and Olivia! I turned off the sound for that one!

I will never again criticise Bucko. Not that I have of course.

The racing seems to have stepped up a gear and quite a few boats are quick and in contention.

Settling down the crew list would be a good idea too.

And where was Winning Group?

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On 11/28/2019 at 5:18 AM, WCB said:

Not even controlled by sail area?

Sail area is a self-controlling factor in skiff racing.

If you carry too much sail, you swim.

If you don't carry enough sail, you don't go as fast as the guys who carry more sail. Until they swim and you sail past them.

How much is too much sail? Depends how good a crew you are.

And that's how skiff racing remains a true competition of skill, not an equipment arms race. Anyone could go bigger if they wanted to, but you don't win races if you can't control it. So they don't.

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I don't think it's so much limited by swims, but by drag. The big rigs get overtaken by small rigs well before they're capsizing everywhere (well at least for the top boats). 

Sail area is controlled by righting moment and how 'controllable' it is, in terms of getting efficient de-power upwind and depth back in for downwind. 

Even downwind extra sail area isn't faster, leverage s faster, sail area gives depth. So there's a sweet spot of speed and depth, which is determined by righting moment (and efficiency of sail cut). 

Genuine question... do you think the big rigs would have such wide square tops if the mast height wasn't restricted? 

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On 2/5/2020 at 8:05 PM, Mozzy Sails said:

I don't think it's so much limited by swims, but by drag. The big rigs get overtaken by small rigs well before they're capsizing everywhere (well at least for the top boats). 

Sail area is controlled by righting moment and how 'controllable' it is, in terms of getting efficient de-power upwind and depth back in for downwind. 

Even downwind extra sail area isn't faster, leverage s faster, sail area gives depth. So there's a sweet spot of speed and depth, which is determined by righting moment (and efficiency of sail cut). 

Genuine question... do you think the big rigs would have such wide square tops if the mast height wasn't restricted? 

Drag is the key

Just ask Frank or Julian Bethwaite

It is also why the Blokart class  has 4 stock sail sizes ie 5.5m 4.0m,, 3.0m and 2.0m.

Strangely enough although all the attempts at the Blokart Speed Record were attempted with 2.0m sails, I believe that the new record of 128kph was set during a race with 4.0m sails.

I think the current aydeen set up provides enough scope for the 'fiddlers' and keeps the costs to a reasonable level.

The current fleet is sailing well and is providing entertaining viewing which is being appreciated right around this planet. They must be doing somerthing right. And they should never, ever let Gordon/Olivia do commentary again.

Is it true that Woody owns ALL the boats?

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Nothing to watch this week.

Races cancelled due to gusts of 55knots and blinding rain!

Weak!:lol:

In the old days we had Witty to go for a blast anyway...

JJ's are getting closer

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In the 1990's on AAMI we had the shortest masts and the shortest poles of anyone.     By shorter, masts where 250-300mm shorter than max, across all 3 masts.  Poles where up to 800mm shorter than max.     Just about everyone else, carried max sails, but we tried to target 95% power 90% of the time, so that meaned 90% of the time you where not fully pressed, you had some in reserve.   Bent legs, etc, so where the gust hit, you could go to 100% and feather, that let you accelerate.

We got pretty anal WRT mast height, some even had a spike poking up above the main, so as to get max spin hoist while carrying a smaller main.    (the rig that holds the NE couse record, had a arrangment like that)

My son obviously sails the current crop of 18teens, so yep, gave him a bit of stick over the WeChat when they pulled the pin on Sunday.

You speak of Witty, and spinnakers.   In Europe, probably 1992, he used our existing "bigger" AAMI spinnakers and we trialed new smaller kites, and we sailed deeper and faster that he could 99% of the time.     Same thing has just happened in the 49er, the old kite was 2m² bigger than the new one. (approx 29-30m²)     New one goes deeper and low that the old one ever could 99% of the time.

Fastest windsurfers all have tiny sails, fastest kite surfers all have tiny sails.    Yes I have landyachted, and those sails are impressive.

You have a limited amount of power, you can't double it, or go to 110%.   It is what it is, and any "additional requirment" from the rig will result in you falling over or spillintg power, so it's all about drag reduction.   It's all about getting to the point where you use 95-100% of RM ASAP and then being able to shed excess power efficently.

49er's are all about managing that de-powering efficently!     Even the new C5 rig is "apparently" 1.5-1.6% slippy-ier than the 4.7, bad thing down wind where you want drag, but up-wind (where you spend about 60-70% of your time) it's very useful.    PN of a C5 looks like it will come in 1192 - 1187.

                                jB

And BTW, Dad left us in 2012, so not the easiest person to talk to these days!!

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20 hours ago, cosmicsedso said:

Nothing to watch this week.

Races cancelled due to gusts of 55knots and blinding rain!

 

Wondered why no racing this week.

Up here in the Northern Hemisphere we had the same problem with Storm Ciara!

 

Weather 09-02-2020.JPG

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On 2/12/2020 at 10:35 AM, JulianB said:

In the 1990's on AAMI we had the shortest masts and the shortest poles of anyone.     By shorter, masts where 250-300mm shorter than max, across all 3 masts.  Poles where up to 800mm shorter than max.     Just about everyone else, carried max sails, but we tried to target 95% power 90% of the time, so that meaned 90% of the time you where not fully pressed, you had some in reserve.   Bent legs, etc, so where the gust hit, you could go to 100% and feather, that let you accelerate.

We got pretty anal WRT mast height, some even had a spike poking up above the main, so as to get max spin hoist while carrying a smaller main.    (the rig that holds the NE couse record, had a arrangment like that)

My son obviously sails the current crop of 18teens, so yep, gave him a bit of stick over the WeChat when they pulled the pin on Sunday.

You speak of Witty, and spinnakers.   In Europe, probably 1992, he used our existing "bigger" AAMI spinnakers and we trialed new smaller kites, and we sailed deeper and faster that he could 99% of the time.     Same thing has just happened in the 49er, the old kite was 2m² bigger than the new one. (approx 29-30m²)     New one goes deeper and low that the old one ever could 99% of the time.

Fastest windsurfers all have tiny sails, fastest kite surfers all have tiny sails.    Yes I have landyachted, and those sails are impressive.

You have a limited amount of power, you can't double it, or go to 110%.   It is what it is, and any "additional requirment" from the rig will result in you falling over or spillintg power, so it's all about drag reduction.   It's all about getting to the point where you use 95-100% of RM ASAP and then being able to shed excess power efficently.

49er's are all about managing that de-powering efficently!     Even the new C5 rig is "apparently" 1.5-1.6% slippy-ier than the 4.7, bad thing down wind where you want drag, but up-wind (where you spend about 60-70% of your time) it's very useful.    PN of a C5 looks like it will come in 1192 - 1187.

                                jB

And BTW, Dad left us in 2012, so not the easiest person to talk to these days!!

My apologies Julian.That was poorly written.

Luckily we can still ask Frank just by his legacy ie his Family. and his written words.

And many thanks for sharing your wise words and time here.

The eternal lift over drag question is really the essence of sailing fast.

Many years ago I watched some tests of AUS Olympic Kayakers in a wind tunnel. The major cause of drag was always the paddlers head. Not the flashing blades or the hull. Fortunately removing heads was deemed to be a bit drastic!

By referring to Witty I meant his big sail down the harbour on Nokia.

 

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Todays forecast is much better. Southerly winds of 12knots, with rain!

I tip

Smeg,

Winning Group (if they bother sailing)

and Finport.

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On 11/28/2019 at 5:18 AM, WCB said:

Not even controlled by sail area?

No. See #18

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