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2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: The Race Committee has lodged a protest against Wild Oats XI


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In loving memory of Clark and Daw We welcome this evening Mr Richard the skipper of the winning power boat. Hello Brian. Mr Richard, may we call you Dick? Sure Brian, most

If Matt Allen as President of AS has any balls he should put Harburg/Bradford and Oatley/Richards in a room and read them the riot act. Harburg for not protesting but having a cry on national TV and O

Ok I am now caught up on this thread. Yes I went live - first actually - with the news direct from Shipwright Arms where WOXI were having lunch in one room, and BJ in the other. Was the best place to

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7 minutes ago, frant said:

Ok hypothetically did the splitter get fried or not?

Dunno I said maybe. What I said is they had no fixed VHF comms full stop, so spare antenna, fuses etc irrelevant.. And I said middle of Bass Strait so forget your mobile phone. Stick to the script.

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1 hour ago, shanghaisailor said:

There seems to be a misconception by some that AIS in transceiver mode is just for tactical considerations.

An AIS receiver is a passive safety instrument in that YOU can see other vessels. A Transceiver is an active safety instrument in that OTHER vessels can see you (Hello, I'm here). The argument that an AIS transmitter is only useful for tactical reasons is ENTIRELY flawed. It is kind of like crossing the road and the difference between you seeing the truck and the truck NOT seeing you.

The next time you have to call up a containership using his MMSI and wake up the officer or the watch or drag him away from his latest copy of Playboy to draw his attention to the fact you are that AIS contact fine on his port bow and could he please NOT run you down you might just discover that fact.

Also the comments about late finshers not seeing WOXI on their AIS and protesting that fact is also flawed in that AIS is VHF dependant and therefore limited to VHF range so of course the late finshers wouldn't see those yacht 100+ miles in front of them.

Up close & personal (VHF range may only be 10-12 miles and a container ship can do 20+ kts) it can be a very useful collision avoidance tool especially in the likes of off Hong Kong or in the English Channel. 

Anyone who has the capability yet switches off that capability is reducing the safety margins of his/her vessel. Not a good look at the subsequent enquiry. IRPCAS Rule 5

 

 

 

On the other hand an AIS transmitter with the transmit function turned off can give a truly magnificent tactical advantage. " entirely flawed " ?  It isn't even partially flawed.

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1 hour ago, frant said:

I think the consensus is that AIS transmit is turned off for tactical purposes ie to avoid giving others a tactical break, otherwise everyone would Tx for reasons you have outlined

I wasn't accusing anyone of anything, was just highlighting the additional safety of a transceiver and the relative stupidity of switching off a functioning feature of a piece of safety equipment.

The fact that it has a use in yacht racing tactics is purely a spin off from the Offshore Special Regulations (OSR) standpoint. In fact according to the OSRs an AIS transponder is mandatory for  Offshore Category 2 and above.

In fact OSR 3.29.12 stipulates an AIS Class A so all the above arguments about the Class B being weaker are totally irrelevant as the yachts should be equipped with a class A

I think that the need to put in SIs that is should be switched on shows how moronic some skippers are.

 

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12 minutes ago, savoir said:

 

On the other hand an AIS transmitter with the transmit function turned off can give a truly magnificent tactical advantage.

Of course! That is why everyone switches it off when racing unless they think a big ship or a bunch of fishermen are about to run em down! Not everyone who races has AIS and most SIs don't require it to be on, and policing it properly would be "very difficult" to say the least.

But if the SIs require your transmit function to be on and it wasn't, somewhat obviously, you can't win the race!

Talk about organisers shooting themselves in the feet!

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20 minutes ago, savoir said:

 

On the other hand an AIS transmitter with the transmit function turned off can give a truly magnificent tactical advantage. " entirely flawed " ?  It isn't even partially flawed.

There are some idiots this site who clearly lack the ability to read what is written.

What is written in my post above is "The argument that an AIS transmitter is only useful for tactical reasons is ENTIRELY flawed."

There you go savoir, I've even put the word you declined to read in bold for you so you don't miss it this time.

At no point in my post did I say AIS was not useful as a tactical tool. Having been involved in a couple of 'Volvos' I know how much a racing yacht brains trust loves when they dip out of AIS range and will often delay a radical move until that happens.

Your statement that  "It isn't even partially flawed" shows a complete lack of knowledge of a) the original and real reason for the Automatic Identification System (just in case you didn't even know what AIS meant) and b) have never seen the benefit of that real reason in a live situation and therefore  c) just why it is mandatory in all vessels over 300 tons and that's an IMO regulation.

8 minutes ago, staysail said:

Of course! That is why everyone switches it off when racing unless they think a big ship or a bunch of fishermen are about to run em down! Not everyone who races has AIS and most SIs don't require it to be on, and policing it properly would be "very difficult" to say the least.

But if the SIs require your transmit function to be on and it wasn't, somewhat obviously, you can't win the race!

Talk about organisers shooting themselves in the feet!

Not organisers Staysail, it is and has been (I'll probably got this wrong) I think, been in the Offshore Special Regulations for 2-3 years, perhaps longer.

EDIT - Just checked, my copy of the OSR was revised in March 2016 and showing WS still in Southampton so at least 2 1/2 years 

Cant remember offhand what Category of Offshore Race the RSHYC is but I think it is a Cat 1 although I am more than willing to stand corrected.

 

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1 minute ago, random said:

Organisers are to blame are they?

Guess partly so if they go with rules which for whatever reason don't get properly applied and as a result the first prize gets accepted by a skipper who has not fairly won the race. Of course that skipper will know what he should have done

 

11 minutes ago, shanghaisailor said:

Not organisers Staysail, it is and has been (I'll probably got this wrong) I think, been in the Offshore Special Regulations for 2-3 years, perhaps longer.

EDIT - Just checked, my copy of the OSR was revised in March 2016 and showing WS still in Southampton so at least 2 1/2 years 

 

Well the OSR I just looked at says SIs may require AIS to be on, i.e. the version 2017 which I quickly looked at seems to have it as optional, but sure the document does seem to mandate loads of gear not carried by many boats I race with.

Guess I am old fashioned but I prefer the simple life and for the skipper of each boat (the guy who the buck sticks with when things go pear shaped) to be the one who decides what safety gear should be carried.

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3 hours ago, hoppy said:

 

In waters where commercial vessels comply with the laws and transmit on AIS, there is less of a benefit to safety. 

 

 

2 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

That is an interesting new concept

 

39 minutes ago, hoppy said:

It take's 2 boats to collide...

If the race yacht is watching their AIS, they are going to be seeing commercial shipping from 30 nm out, although for a 100 footer, they might see ships 60nm away. Even if WOIX is doing 30 knots and the ship 20, WOIX has 30+ min to spot the ship and change course if needed. Smaller boats might have an hour. 

In a situation where a racer is becalmed and a ship is coming straight for them, then you could turn on your AIS TX (hopefully not at the last minute) so that the ship will hopefully change course. If that does not work, make a DSC call to them and if all else fails, motor out the way. I assume the S2H has similar rules to the ORCV races where you can motor to avoid collision and then return to the same spot to resume racing. 

This AIS discussion is a bit like solo sailing threads where posters quote the colregs on maintaining a proper watch warring about being run down by a solo sailor, forgetting about their own responsibility to maintain watch. 

I have read that explanation 3 times and still haven't a clue what you mean by; " In waters where commercial vessels comply with the laws and transmit on AIS, there is less of a benefit to safety". presumably with reference to TX.

If it means AIS is safer if TX is turned off, by having less benefit to safety when turned on, which it seems to say, then you are off your fucking rocker

 

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27 minutes ago, staysail said:

Guess partly so if they go with rules which for whatever reason don't get properly applied and as a result the first prize gets accepted by a skipper who has not fairly won the race.

That's bullshit.  WO apologist bullshit.

There are no excuses for not conforming to the rules they signed on for.

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42 minutes ago, staysail said:

Guess partly so if they go with rules which for whatever reason don't get properly applied and as a result the first prize gets accepted by a skipper who has not fairly won the race. Of course that skipper will know what he should have done

 

Well the OSR I just looked at says SIs may require AIS to be on, i.e. the version 2017 which I quickly looked at seems to have it as optional, but sure the document does seem to mandate loads of gear not carried by many boats I race with.

Guess I am old fashioned but I prefer the simple life and for the skipper of each boat (the guy who the buck sticks with when things go pear shaped) to be the one who decides what safety gear should be carried.

I'm with you on that Staysail. When I was an RNLI SEACheck Adviser I made sure my boat was "Offshore Gold Standard". I took the advice of those who knew better (the RNLI) and made sure my boat was safer than it needed to be but that is just me.  However I cannot understand a skipper who has safety gear on board and decide not to use it. It is kind of like not switching on the RADAR in fog.

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33 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

I have read that explanation 3 times and still haven't a clue what you mean by; " In waters where commercial vessels comply with the laws and transmit on AIS, there is less of a benefit to safety". presumably with reference to TX.

I figure it is like driving at night without your headlights on. If you are the only one out there without them on, it is less of an improvement in safety if you turn yours on, relative to the case where the truckers are drunk and don't have lights. 

This is of course a fallacy even without rat arsed truckers. If you are the only car on the road without lights, your safety depends upon everyone else having lights on. Everyone. Not just the commercial traffic, but every other car, bike, rickshaw, whatever. And it depends upon you avoiding them, and never once getting yourself into a position where you can't see what is happening. Once other cars on the road adopt the idea that it is safe without lights on, because everyone else has them, it all goes to shit. hoppy can turn his AIS off in a crowded seaway full of cargo carriers and tankers, but he shouldn't cry when he gets run over by a local fishing boat racing back with their night's catch. Or be surprised when a massive maneuvering carrier is unable to stop in time because hoppy didn't realise the ship's course was altering and would plow into him when the course change was completed. 

Years ago I was taking a taxi from JFK to my hotel late at night. I was horrified when the taxi driver simply ran a red light. "My brother and I do this all the time" he said. "Never had any trouble." And on he went, driving madly, and running red lights. Then suddenly the lights went green in front of us. He slammed on the brakes, and the taxi same to a screaming halt. "What the hell!" says I. "What's the matter? The lights are green!" "You crazy?" says the driver. "My brother is out driving tonight, you want to get us killed?"

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3 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

Putting aside this hypothetical was used to counter the thought AIS replaces position reporting via HF scheds, 

That's not what I was saying exactly. I said that IF a key reason for keeping HF scheds is to justify having an escort vessel, then doing AIS checks could now be a better reason to have an escort vessel.

I like having an escort vessel, but I hate HF scheds (either doing them or listening to them or for the extra load put in crew mates), so keep the escort, have it check the AIS and do a lot less HF scheds.

Plus if I went over the back, then the HF skills of my crew mates would be the least of my concerns. I'd be pushing the DSC alarm on my pocket VHF and then talking to them on 16 saying "I'm over gurgle here cough splutter no you sailed past me gasp.. no you can't eat my last brownie....".  My PLB would alert AMSA who would be putting a sat phone call too my boat. HF might alert the fleet, but up to 6 hours later and I'd be long past caring by then. DSC will alert all the boats near enough to do anything and that is something never checked and many crew will never have seen one on their radio or plotter, so JBW should do some test DSC alarms as well. If I didn't have any beacons on me, then I'm probably dead anyway unless my crew mates are really on it.

So I'd much rather have all my crew mates a little less sleep deprived than have 1 crew mate who was really good at HF.

 

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41 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

You can get Aid to Navigation approval for AIS devices like fishing stuff. In parts of Asia because of lax regulation and they can source hardware so cheaply, the pricks just use devises designed for vessels. 

Having been on a sportfisher that ran down an unmarked gillnet and wound it up in both wheels, something is better than nothing.

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6 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

In fact OSR 3.29.12 stipulates an AIS Class A so all the above arguments about the Class B being weaker are totally irrelevant as the yachts should be equipped with a class A.

Class A AIS is required only for Category 0 multihull races.  Monohulls, even in CAT 0 races, are only required to carry an AIS transponder, Class B AIS is acceptable,   in CAT 0-2 races.  See OSR 3.29.13:

Mo0,1,2 Mu1,2   3.29.13 an AIS Transponder which either:  

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12 hours ago, hoppy said:

No, it guarantees that the AIS is connected, but it still lights up when only in RX mode. I had a splitter on my boat but it was hidden away and only visible if I unscrewed a wooden panel. My AIS would have also been hidden they if it did not have a USB connection which I used to get nmea data into my laptop. 

No, there's four indicator LEDS on the (all?) splitter(s), which (AMEC CUBO-162 splitter example):

LED INDICATION

 One Power Indicator (Green)

 One Error Indicator (Red) "The built-in test function gives a simple diagnosis in the event of an antenna problem."

 One VHF Radio Transmission Indicator (Green)

 One AIS Transponder Transmission Indicator (Green)

 If the green power LED is on, the green AIS transmission LED is blinking every 30 seconds when underway and the red  Error LED is not lit  I'd say you can be 95% sure your AIS is  transmitting properly.

I'd suggest you cut a small window in your wooden panel so you can monitor the splitter's status LEDs.

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Since most (all) of the boats capable of line honors were crewed by Pro sailors I wonder if there is a bonus offered to the first to finish crew on top of their pay?

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2 hours ago, Proneshooter said:

Since most (all) of the boats capable of line honors were crewed by Pro sailors I wonder if there is a bonus offered to the first to finish crew on top of their pay?

I’m sure there are bonuses, just depends if they get reported to the IRS etc. 

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I just wanted to confirm that Vesper, B & G, Simrad, Sitex and GME antenna splitters are all fitted with transmit lights. Testing one of those is quite easy especially on a stripped out racer. It seems fair to assume that WOs electronics and instruments are all out in the open rather than hidden away in a locker.

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On the topic of the allegation AIS is not reliable.

 I'm looking at why WoXI' unit died as a mater of personal selfish interest, ie: lessons learnt..

WoXi unit I assume is not a passive splitter with 3db loss. It will most likely be an amplifier and a splitter. Mine is, and its a commercial grade potentially lower than WoXI..

To blow up your AIS transmsision path from a TV camera suggest overpowering of something.

 

So, I'm currently looking at the peak, or maximum, power that the interfaces on my splitter can handle.

My AIS input max 12.5 watts,

my VHF input max is 25W.

What the fuck was the cameraman holding? Did he mistake his camera for a F111 Sparkvark? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, savoir said:

It seems fair to assume that WOs electronics and instruments are all out in the open rather than hidden away in a locker.

That would not be fair. Nav station is a pod on the centreline behind engine and companionway where everything is concealed unless it has a dial or a screen. 

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1 minute ago, Maw said:

On the topic of the allegation AIS is not reliable.

 I'm looking at why WoXI' unit died as a mater of personal selfish interest, ie: lessons learnt..

WoXi unit I assume is not a passive splitter with 3db loss. It will most likely be an amplifier and a splitter. Mine is, and its a commercial grade potentially lower than WoXI..

To blow up your AIS transmsision path from a TV camera suggest overpowering of something.

 

So, I'm currently looking at the peak, or maximum, power that the interfaces on my splitter can handle.

My AIS input max 12.5 watts,

my VHF input max is 25W.

What the fuck was the cameraman holding? Did he mistake his camera for a F111 Sparkvark? 

We would all learn a lot from WOXI’s detailed technical explanation........

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1 minute ago, jack_sparrow said:

That would not be fair. Nav station is a pod on the centreline behind engine and companionway where everything is concealed unless it has a dial or a screen. 

I was curious too, and found this:

https://www.sportsailingphotography.com/Other/BoatInteriors/i-jPbm43W/A

 

Scroll right to get Comanche's, which seems a bit better than WOXI's, which is a bit ... not my cup of tea (I know I know, when I buy a 100-footer I can have whatever I want).

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Being able to see the indicator lights on any subsystem is a must for my personal comfort level.

Hence why electronics and indicator lights should be 'clustered' into strategic spots around the boat. 

Not everything may be visible to the naked eye, but they are all visible by opening a door.  And they're all checked as part of my watch cycle in a race.

Nothing should be screwed shut over an indicator led. If you cant support external leds, move the unit with the leds on it..

That's a really bad practice that is begging to be a stepping stone to a major fuckup.

Boats are becoming ever more electronic, we need to manage that change to stop things from escalating to a big fubar like, I don't know... not knowing your AIS TX is fucked?

 

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3 minutes ago, Maw said:

What the fuck was the cameraman holding? Did he mistake his camera for a F111 Sparkvark? 

The description of the failure is a bit more complex - it wasn't the cameraman's gear that was the issue. It was the transmitter on the relay helicopter. That will be reasonably high power, it's job is to get the signal back to the studio in the city. (A nice description of a much more complex coverage - that of the Tour de France can be seen here.) 

 As I noted earlier - the splitter is a complex device - and whilst it probably has an amplifier to avoid loss on the receive side, it needs to select between transmitters, and will always give priority to the VHF transmitter. If it glitches into a state where it thinks the VHF is transmitting it will effectively prevent the AIS from transmitting. Hardware systems can glitch and latch-up, without further damage. One would need to see the schematic of the splitter to know if this is a reasonable explanation, but I can easily imagine designs where this is possible. (There are also some issues with the explanation, but without knowing the exact design of the splitter it is hard to know the real answer.)

Hardening systems against high power RF interference is not trivial. Because microwave wavelengths are so short energy leaks in in the most unexpected ways, and the most trivial things can behave almost magically. Car manufacturers get very good at this - they really really don't want someone driving past an airport to suddenly have their car systems misbehave. Back in the dark ages of car systems, it was known for instance, that truckers could use their CB radio to kill the fuel injection systems of certain brands of car. 

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8 minutes ago, Francis Vaughan said:

The description of the failure is a bit more complex - it wasn't the cameraman's gear that was the issue. It was the transmitter on the relay helicopter. That will be reasonably high power, it's job is to get the signal back to the studio in the city. (A nice description of a much more complex coverage - that of the Tour de France can be seen here.) 

 As I noted earlier - the splitter is a complex device - and whilst it probably has an amplifier to avoid loss on the receive side, it needs to select between transmitters, and will always give priority to the VHF transmitter. If it glitches into a state where it thinks the VHF is transmitting it will effectively prevent the AIS from transmitting. Hardware systems can glitch and latch-up, without further damage. One would need to see the schematic of the splitter to know if this is a reasonable explanation, but I can easily imagine designs where this is possible. (There are also some issues with the explanation, but without knowing the exact design of the splitter it is hard to know the real answer.)

Hardening systems against high power RF interference is not trivial. Because microwave wavelengths are so short energy leaks in in the most unexpected ways, and the most trivial things can behave almost magically. Car manufacturers get very good at this - they really really don't want someone driving past an airport to suddenly have their car systems misbehave. Back in the dark ages of car systems, it was known for instance, that truckers could use their CB radio to kill the fuel injection systems of certain brands of car. 

Thanks Francis, that makes a lot of sense. I agree on the splitter complexity, but complexity also means you normally have data indication when something fails. I've deployed video to aircraft to multi ground station systems and the DVB freq they transmitted on are high power, I just haven't witnessed this level of interference. 

I'm always learning though.

 

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3 minutes ago, hoppy said:

It was turned off either deliberately or by mistake. To believe otherwise is naive... 

To believe that MR's explanation is impossible is also naive. From a technical point of view it is credible. IMHO credible enough that in the balance between deliberate, mistake, glitched AIS, the balance moves away from deliberate. Enough that continual focussing on WOXI as having deliberately cheated is now the province of the obsessive, and the conversation should have long since moved on to other questions.

Now I get obsessive about things like system glitches and failures. Part of this comes from my day job.  

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19 hours ago, Francis Vaughan said:

I don't think there is an easy answer here. AIS for pleasure craft has crept up. Mandating AIS transmission for the S2H is a great idea on paper, but in doing so it made a jump in expectations about the technology that was probably not warranted. It isn't fault of the SI's, rather I think it is one of imagining your average class-B transceiver installation in a pleasure craft would intrinsically operate to the level of reliability expected of a class A system installed in a commercial vessel.  Install and forget black boxes, where none of the status lights are visible once installed, are not the right answer. 

This kind of nails it for me.  I think that the race over-reached what the AIS technology could deliver.  Never even mind that these sensitive electronics are installed by amateurs with various skill levels, using the cheapest parts they can find in an electrolyte rich marine environment.  AIS intended for recreational boaters are not that robust or reliable.  I could go so far as to say S2H dodged a bullet a bit that this new/expanded convention didn't blow the race up.  It sounds like there were all kinds of AIS irregularities across the fleet that would need consideration.  It is not just that WOXI or the others Racers who experienced AIS deficiencies didn't meet the standards of the SI. It's that the whole techonlogy is not reliable or bulletproof enough to make that grade.

I do understand the position of those who say they were not seen on the net therefore they were not compliant - regardless the excuses.  Why they were not seen and how other boats without the UHF burst excuse were not seen remains a mystery to me.

I bet by next year we see a different approach by the race as to how they integrate AIS into the instructions.

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In a way, this is partly us as sailors not doing our part.

Is our maintenance cycle post-emptive or pre-emptive? 

If the sub-system has a visible indicator warning of, or notification of, a failure and it not being visible, and is not being detected as part of your maintenance checks, it just seems like a pretty piss poor excuse to explain in court one day over a tragic 'accident'.

Its a good subject worth gnawing at, we have a bit to learn.

Edit: An example of this. In my Cat 2 and 1 compliance, there is nothing that covers off on any requirements for s critical fault to be visually or audibly  identifiable. Seems wrong to me, unless you're a technical guru, that is the whole purpose of having simple led indicators.

We should be able to see them easily, that's our first part.

 

.

 

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24 minutes ago, Francis Vaughan said:

The description of the failure is a bit more complex - it wasn't the cameraman's gear that was the issue. It was the transmitter on the relay helicopter. That will be reasonably high power, it's job is to get the signal back to the studio in the city. (A nice description of a much more complex coverage - that of the Tour de France can be seen here.) 

 As I noted earlier - the splitter is a complex device - and whilst it probably has an amplifier to avoid loss on the receive side, it needs to select between transmitters, and will always give priority to the VHF transmitter. If it glitches into a state where it thinks the VHF is transmitting it will effectively prevent the AIS from transmitting. Hardware systems can glitch and latch-up, without further damage. One would need to see the schematic of the splitter to know if this is a reasonable explanation, but I can easily imagine designs where this is possible. (There are also some issues with the explanation, but without knowing the exact design of the splitter it is hard to know the real answer.)

Hardening systems against high power RF interference is not trivial. Because microwave wavelengths are so short energy leaks in in the most unexpected ways, and the most trivial things can behave almost magically. Car manufacturers get very good at this - they really really don't want someone driving past an airport to suddenly have their car systems misbehave. Back in the dark ages of car systems, it was known for instance, that truckers could use their CB radio to kill the fuel injection systems of certain brands of car. 

I never realised that this was the first time that a media helicopter flew close to WOXI...... Or did  WOXI’s VHF/AIS fry every other time too?

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6 hours ago, axolotl said:

Class A AIS is required only for Category 0 multihull races.  Monohulls, even in CAT 0 races, are only required to carry an AIS transponder, Class B AIS is acceptable,   in CAT 0-2 races.  See OSR 3.29.13:

Mo0,1,2 Mu1,2   3.29.13 an AIS Transponder which either:  

I stand corrected. Apologies, completely misread the regs. My Bad

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12 minutes ago, Sidecar said:

I never realised that this was the first time that a media helicopter flew close to WOXI...... Or did  WOXI’s VHF/AIS fry every other time too?

Sigh, it is never this simple. Arguments like this to try to prove it wasn't so don't work. Unless you have some professional knowledge of electronic and microwave systems you really wouldn't appreciate just how messy and difficult to predict these things can be. Not only that, you are assuming, apriori, that nothing on WOXI, or the media helicopter had changed since last year.  Like I said, this is now the province of the obsessive. It isn't reasoned.

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1 minute ago, frant said:

What that means is that I, along no doubt many others could have concocted a similar story  hoping no one would question the holes.

Sure, there is nothing to say it wasn't carefully concocted in the intervening time. But that isn't to say it isn't credible. Going down this rat-hole just gets nuts. Time to let go.

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6 minutes ago, hoppy said:

Yes his explanation is possible, but often the simplest explanation is the correct one.

It is interesting if the TV  transmitter could fry an AIS. Your explanation that it would be the Choppers and not the cameras transmitter makes sense to me. I have a drone that I once flew 5km away from me and I was getting a pretty decent video signal for much of that distance. It was not so powerful, 5.8ghz 600mwh. The ch7 chopper was probably only a few hundred meters from WOIX

Out of techincal interest, the backhaul in my experience from fixed and rotary winged aircraft  was DVB-T which is  45-860mhz.

Satellite uplinks use DVB-S, which is 950-2150mhz.

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18 minutes ago, Francis Vaughan said:

Sure, there is nothing to say it wasn't carefully concocted in the intervening time. But that isn't to say it isn't credible. Going down this rat-hole just gets nuts. Time to let go.

And it wasn't that "carefully concocted".  Which in an odd way gives it more credibility.  You know what sometimes happens to the sailor who talks too fast?  Sometimes he will say something that he has not thought of yet!

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Just now, frant said:

Now that’s interesting, all the old posts have disappeared but this one came up with a banner “ you have chosen to ignore posts by Hoppy” bloody Jack and his tinfoil hat!

There is a bug in the forum code that if you hit the "show new posts" dialogue that appears, it shows all the new posts, and doesn't filter them. Only when you reload the page does the filtering work.

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1 hour ago, hoppy said:

It's easy to detect, but only if you look for it...

Remember, for WOIX the normal race status is that the light  indicating the TX is off, so the AIS status would look normal to the race crew

Actually not correct. WOXI normally AIS TX in all races, irrespective of AIS SI's.

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1 hour ago, Sidecar said:

I never realised that this was the first time that a media helicopter flew close to WOXI...... Or did  WOXI’s VHF/AIS fry every other time too?

 

1 hour ago, Francis Vaughan said:

Sigh, it is never this simple. Arguments like this to try to prove it wasn't so don't work. Unless you have some professional knowledge of electronic and microwave systems you really wouldn't appreciate just how messy and difficult to predict these things can be. Not only that, you are assuming, apriori, that nothing on WOXI, or the media helicopter had changed since last year.  Like I said, this is now the province of the obsessive. It isn't reasoned.

So was it a freak  accident because the helicopter didn’t fry up any other boats in the starting area?

What happens in sailing obsessed media mad France with all their aerial coverage? Massive fry ups?

Maybe it was a sneaky drone doing a sabotage job? You never know with all those jealous WOXI haters out there.... So unfair!

 

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2 hours ago, Francis Vaughan said:

To believe that MR's explanation is impossible is also naive. From a technical point of view it is credible. IMHO credible enough that in the balance between deliberate, mistake, glitched AIS, the balance moves away from deliberate. 

They found the issue was with the splitter upon arriving in Hobart. The next step was to investigate the cause, particularly as the boat was heading back to Sydney the next day.

Starting from the ground up where a splitter is probably one of the more robust pieces of electronic  equipment on board, you would start with a list of possible causes to go through, starting with the integrity of the splitters power supply, a high priority maintenance item on boats of this ilk. At the bottom of that list, if making it at all, would be external interference strong enough to fry it. 

"As soon as we went around Bradley's Head the Channel 7 TV guys started live streaming from the helicopter. The instant they started streaming, we lost all our instrumentation. We lost our wifi, and a lot of instrumentation went down on the boat." "The cameraman told us "sorry guys that is probably from the download".

A live stream starting at 11.11am nearly an hour and a half before TV coverage started? A cameraman who it seems knew upon the electronics going down, it was the microwave helo link. He must be a very gifted fellow.

However of all the possible causes none had a public benefit attached to it that would assist sell their failure message being outside their control . That was:

"We do the right thing for the club and the spectators, and every year we carry a cameraman aboard the boat', says Richards. 

It took WOXI over 3 days to compile this response. As shown by this thread the supposed cause being outside their control and having a public benefit has diverted attention away from the prime subject.

That being they travelled the entire race course with no AIS TX, and that is in breach of the SI's and RRS and they got off scott free.

https://www.sail-world.com/news/213456/Wild-Oats-XIs-skipper-answers-critics-on-S2H-row

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good that the public (and prob many sailors) have learnt more about AIS now ...

... but the whole thing is a shemozzle for high profile sailing

 

Enjoy the year all, ... and may all your AIS units be switched to TX (... whether intended or otherwise)

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Geezz this thread is making the banking royal commission blush. AIS science bitcoin blah blah. 

Time for the jury to retire. Is WOXI guilty of a breach of the sailing rules:

- failed to have a mandatory AIS operating?

- lodged a false declaration?

- any other breaches?

what say Ye and if guilty what penalties?

the gutless CYCA RC have left the Court so let the muppets in here speak or shut the fuck up

 

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“As soon as we went around Bradley's Head the Channel 7 TV guys started live streaming from the helicopter. The instant they started streaming, we lost all our instrumentation. We lost our wifi, and a lot of instrumentation went down on the boat." "Thecameraman told us "sorry guys that is probably fromthe download".

Funny, Comanche had a 7 camera on board which also streamed live to the chopper or wherever, without a fry-up.  And they had one last year too, so they must at least be as big hearted as Oats. 

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3 hours ago, hoppy said:

Randumb gets as much satisfaction from people telling him he is on the ignore list as he does from people being provoked by his crap. Best to either ignore him the old fashioned way or at least quietly putting him on ignore.

giphy.gif

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1 hour ago, Woodsies Troppo said:

Geezz this thread is making the banking royal commission blush. AIS science bitcoin blah blah. 

Time for the jury to retire. Is WOXI guilty of a breach of the sailing rules:

- failed to have a mandatory AIS operating?

- lodged a false declaration?

- any other breaches?

what say Ye and if guilty what penalties?

the gutless CYCA RC have left the Court so let the muppets in here speak or shut the fuck up

 

Any boat that didn't complete the race within the rules  and didn't notify or declare   nature of the problem gets 20% time penalty.

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3 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

As shown by this thread the supposed cause being outside their control and having a public benefit has diverted attention away from the prime subject.

I tend to agree. I'm just wittering on about the technical side because that is something I know about. As we see, there is no end of commentators who have no idea about the technical issues who still keep saying that if it happening this time it should always happen to all the other boats. (Hint guys, it is a lot more complex than you have any idea of.) It is past time to forget the technical question of how or why the AIS was not transmitting. It isn't the question, and really never has been.

And indeed, the real issue has never gone away, and it isn't just WOXI. Between the behavior of WOXI, BJ, and the RC, I'm not even sure that WOXI is the worst offender. None of this has a good smell to it. 

The class act would have been for WOXI to RAF. It really would. If MR had done that I would have forgiven every previous and future sin. But realistically, no-one ever expected that he would. Which is sad. But if WOXI were to RAF, IMHO BJ should fall on their sword as well, for basically being dicks. They didn't break any precise rule, but they ran along the border, and in many ways left a bigger smell behind than WOXI. As to the RC, I have no words. I cannot believe, that even if it was never openly discussed, that all the members didn't know that what they were doing was nothing but a token gesture to try to defuse the situation, and that they never had any intent to pursue the matter of AIS non-compliance with any boat. They just wanted it to go away.

The loser is the sport. 

I'm sure most of us know the feeling, when it has been a shit day, you have been spat out the back door of the fleet, and to top it off you hit a mark. Nobody can see that you hit it, but you miserably do your turns none-the-less and get on with things. None of WOXI, BJ, or the RC are exactly encouraging this spirit. This is not a good thing.

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18 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

 

 

I have read that explanation 3 times and still haven't a clue what you mean by; " In waters where commercial vessels comply with the laws and transmit on AIS, there is less of a benefit to safety". presumably with reference to TX.

If it means AIS is safer if TX is turned off, by having less benefit to safety when turned on, which it seems to say, then you are off your fucking rocker

 

I also think that Hoppy's range assumptions are way too 'hopeful'. VHF is line of sight. Couldn't find anything definitive in the Reeds Nautical Almanac but using the "Lights - Distance off" table (VHF and light are both line of sight elecro-magnetic radiations )Then assuming the average 50 footer (not all of us can afford to sail on a 100 footer) has a mast height (inc Aerial)of say 20m and a ship has an aerial height of 30m then the radio line of sight would produce a effective range of around 20 miles if I have got my calculations correct or around 1/3 of what Hoppy has assumed. And that assumes clear conditions with no atmospheric degradation of the signal.

Of course I could be wrong with my assumptions but I always understood VHF station to station comms of any sort (and AIS depends on VHF to operate) relies on line of sight which is why here in Asia with much fewer coastal stations we have to learn HF as well as VHF.

As I say I could be wrong.

 

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On 12/29/2018 at 11:30 AM, Grrr... said:

I absolutely love this imbecilic attitude.  So tell us all, what other rules should we simply ignore in sailboat racing because you feel they are "chickenshit".  Perhaps rule 2?

Ricco gets himself into trouble every time he opens his mouth. He stated AIS was not mandatory. That implies that Ricco had AIS turned off IMO. So that's a loss last year and a win this year but with controversy. I would like the Oatley hierarchy  to give him some guidelines as to how they would like their boats sailed. That's off course if Sandy doesn't like the term "Cheats" used alongside their race wins? That being said that's twice they have beaten Comanche over the line in the last 2 Hobarts. Comanche must be feeling the pinch as when it comes to Hobarts and a light and flukey Derwent river lurking it's making their task hard. 

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49 minutes ago, shanghaisailor said:

then the radio line of sight would produce a effective range of around 20 miles if I have got my calculations correct

You could reasonably expect a little bit more - say 30nm, as the air is a bit refractive, and weirdly, the Earth looks a bit flatter to the wave than it actually is. A common number is 4/3 bigger. There are all sorts of really weird things that can occur, and you will hear reports of anomalous very long distance propagation under just the right conditions. You can get ducts through the sky that transport VHF, scattering effects, and other oddities. Years ago (and maybe even now) there was a ham radio sport for long range VHF communication by bouncing the waves off meteor trails. Not something one could rely on. SImilarly, you can have issues where propagation is reduced. Even sea state can have an effect. But 20-30nm is a pretty good start.

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1 hour ago, Francis Vaughan said:

I tend to agree. I'm just wittering on about the technical side because that is something I know about. As we see, there is no end of commentators who have no idea about the technical issues who still keep saying that if it happening this time it should always happen to all the other boats. (Hint guys, it is a lot more complex than you have any idea of.) It is past time to forget the technical question of how or why the AIS was not transmitting. It isn't the question, and really never has been.

And indeed, the real issue has never gone away, and it isn't just WOXI. Between the behavior of WOXI, BJ, and the RC, I'm not even sure that WOXI is the worst offender. None of this has a good smell to it. 

The class act would have been for WOXI to RAF. It really would. If MR had done that I would have forgiven every previous and future sin. But realistically, no-one ever expected that he would. Which is sad. But if WOXI were to RAF, IMHO BJ should fall on their sword as well, for basically being dicks. They didn't break any precise rule, but they ran along the border, and in many ways left a bigger smell behind than WOXI. As to the RC, I have no words. I cannot believe, that even if it was never openly discussed, that all the members didn't know that what they were doing was nothing but a token gesture to try to defuse the situation, and that they never had any intent to pursue the matter of AIS non-compliance with any boat. They just wanted it to go away.

The loser is the sport. 

I'm sure most of us know the feeling, when it has been a shit day, you have been spat out the back door of the fleet, and to top it off you hit a mark. Nobody can see that you hit it, but you miserably do your turns none-the-less and get on with things. None of WOXI, BJ, or the RC are exactly encouraging this spirit. This is not a good thing.

They didn't RAF because there is too much precedent for a lesser penalty for this kind of breach of the rules eg. Alex Thomson vs. Grand Terre Island.  They couldn't access the lesser penalty when the protest was ruled invalid.  So, they are in limbo, they probably know they deserve a penalty, but can't get one other than self-imposed RAF.  

But yes, RAF would have been a classy move.

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13 minutes ago, Francis Vaughan said:

You could reasonably expect a little bit more - say 30nm, as the air is a bit refractive, and weirdly, the Earth looks a bit flatter to the wave than it actually is. A common number is 4/3 bigger. There are all sorts of really weird things that can occur, and you will hear reports of anomalous very long distance propagation under just the right conditions. You can get ducts through the sky that transport VHF, scattering effects, and other oddities. Years ago (and maybe even now) there was a ham radio sport for long range VHF communication by bouncing the waves off meteor trails. Not something one could rely on. SImilarly, you can have issues where propagation is reduced. Even sea state can have an effect. But 20-30nm is a pretty good start.

Thanks for that Francis. I have to say I had much more experience with AM than FM when I was younger. There was quite a craze in the UK in the early '80's for CB Radio. Perhaps some of it was because it wasn't legal yet didn't really hurt anyone if used responsibly. We had close to 4,800 members in our breakers club. It was a particularly good time for the ionosphere and we could easily talk to the East Coast of the USA from Mid- England. I remember one conversation where the US trucker was convinced I was in 'New England' not Mid-England and I had to send him a QSL card to convince him. That episode really taught me a whole heap about radio propogation, skip and all the other 'stuff', primarily that the aerial and SWR was often more important than the actual radio itself. Quite incredible that we could communicate across the 'pond' with just 22w of Side Band power.

Shit though, reminiscing like that is a sure sign of getting old ha ha!

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15 minutes ago, dash34 said:

They couldn't access the lesser penalty when the protest was ruled invalid.  So, they are in limbo, they probably know they deserve a penalty, but can't get one other than self-imposed RAF.

I agree that the modern habit of providing the jury with the option for a lesser penalty has made the Corinthian option a little less appealing. However filling out your compliance form provides you with a mechanism for throwing yourself on the mercy of the jury - albeit with a short time window. OTOH, for WOXI and the others vying for LH, there is no second place. One only has to observe last year to see that this is true. As far as MR is concerned they lost last years race, and RAF is exactly the same as an hour's time penalty in terms of how he views the result. Sadly it is also how most of the public view the result as well.

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1 hour ago, shanghaisailor said:

Of course I could be wrong with my assumptions but I always understood VHF station to station comms of any sort (and AIS depends on VHF to operate) relies on line of sight which is why here in Asia with much fewer coastal stations we have to learn HF as well as VHF.

You do get some bending/refraction around/over shit with VHF but with degraded signal quality.

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2 minutes ago, woodruffkey said:

"If Black Jack had protested, with the evidence we have today we could certainly defend ourselves and show that we had no idea that we weren't transmitting AIS. We can clearly prove we had our AIS switched on and in transmission mode for the entire race." said MR.

Yer but thats not what the rule requires.

and...

"People need to understand that one small $2 component can take a whole system down. That is a component failure - not cheating." MR

https://www.sail-world.com/news/213456/Wild-Oats-XIs-skipper-answers-critics-on-S2H-row

 

So What component cost $2.00? A fuse maybe. 

So the splitter was dead?

 

 

How far into denial fairy land is this cunt?

So he admits that is was not working but takes the trophy?

That is by far the worst act of non-sportsmanship I have ever seen hit the public sphere.

He needs to be told to fuck off by the Oatley's.  Surely even they have had enough.

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On 12/31/2018 at 1:15 PM, Moonduster said:

There are a few misconceptions here. Let's review a few basics.

  1. AIS transponders receive GPS position information from satellites; the communicate with other vessels in range via VHF both sending and receiving position, course, speed, etc.
  2. AIS has no explicit mechanism for transmitting information to satellites
  3. There are satellites that include VHF receivers specifically to listen to terrestrial AIS broadcasts
  4. A vessel-based AIS Class-B 2W VHF transmitter equipped with a dipole antenna situated to broadcast to other vessels is unlikely to be received reliably by a satellite in low earth orbit. There's insufficient radiated energy to be received at that distance. Recent changes to the Class-B standard allow 5W transmission and greatly improve the reliability of satellite reception.
  5. No vessel retransmits the information produced by other vessels. If there are two vessels, A & B, that are not in AIS range of one another, the presence of a third vessel, C that is in range of both A & B does not magically cause A and B to see one another
  6. AIS does not provide real-time position, course and speed information. Class-B vessels moving faster than 2 knots transmit that information twice per minute. While substantially faster than a tracker, this is hardly real time
  7. Marine Traffic and other sites obtain vessel AIS information primarily through terrestrial receivers run by volunteers. You can get your own AIS receiver, connect it to a PC and become a contributor of such information. In addition, they also receive information from satellite receivers, however, this is primarily interesting only for Class-A equipped vessels that transmit at 12.5W and therefore more reliabily received by satellites
  8. The OSR requires the AIS and VHF antenna to be at the mast head and this means a splitter must be used on a sloop. Similarly, the rules require a maximum of 50% loss in the antenna cable. Therefore, all power levels need to be divided by about 2 when considering radiated power at the antenna. If a class B AIS transponder is not getting at least 1W out the antenna, the yacht is not compliant.
  9. The best way to determine transmitted power is via SWR. The SRT radio, used in all commercially available AIS transponders of which I'm aware, measure and report SWR via a free PC-based applications called ProAIS2 that is connected via USB to the AIS transponder.

Not that this has anything to do with the issue at hand but that statement is incorrect - you can run the VHF and the AIS on separate antennas (and cables naturally)

SWR does NOT tell you how much signal gets transmitted (or anything about the antenna gain) - it just tells you how much energy gets reflected in the TX/cable/antenna system.

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4 hours ago, Woodsies Troppo said:

Geezz this thread is making the banking royal commission blush.

Woodman you forget the difference. Any serious investigation and subsequent determination turns unfounded theories into smoke. In this case without one and compounded by the reluctance of those involved to come clean with any matters of fact, is like tipping fertilizer on theories. 

After all the "mystery third bullet" is still alive and well 55 years after the event.

   

JKK Assassination.jpg

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7 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

Any serious investigation and subsequent determination turns unfounded theories into smoke. In this case without one and compounded by the reluctance of those involved to come clean with any matters of fact, is like tipping fertilizer on theories. 

The facts are known.

  1. The rules require AIS to be sending and receiving for the entire race
  2. WOXI admitted that it was not

What it this mystery of which you speak?

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55 minutes ago, woodruffkey said:

 

 

To the Boffins, Can the AIS still receive with the splitter ,in effect, turned off?

AIS will not work either receive or transmit

Can the VHF still transmit and receive with the splitter, in effect, turned off?

Quality splitters, Yes. Both powered and unpowered a splitter always gives antenna priority to VHF over AIS for safety reasons.

Just ask'n

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Christian said:

I am not saying with 100% certainty that the "explanation" of the missing AIS signal is total BS but that story is both highly unlikely and the sequence of events make no sense

Christian I do my best remain impartial in this debate. In fact if I had to declare an interest, it is one where my wallet is a lot fatter now with a WOXI LH win as I simply didnt believe Comanche had the grunt in lighter and squarer air. I was proved wrong for all but the last 40 mile. My wallet would also be a lot fuckin fatter having my prediction for Tatts/IRC OH get the podium in order come true, but only one of those three were given odds by Sportsbet and they came second.

I don't pretend to know of every AIS Splitter fault in the world or have the high end knowledge to their operation. I can only say I have never heard of a splitter or understand technically how it is possible that WOXI's worked in both VHF and AIS receive only, but failed in TX only.

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1 hour ago, random said:

How far into denial fairy land is this cunt?

So he admits that is was not working but takes the trophy?

That is by far the worst act of non-sportsmanship I have ever seen hit the public sphere.

He needs to be told to fuck off by the Oatley's.  Surely even they have had enough.

Would be better if it came from from the owners and not their sock puppet, but that won't happen!

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1 minute ago, jack_sparrow said:

Christian I do my best remain impartial in this debate. In fact if I had to declare an interest, it is one where my wallet is a lot fatter now with a WOXI LH win as I simply didnt believe Comanche had the grunt in lighter and squarer air. I was proved wrong.  It would be a lot fuckin fatter having my prediction for Tatts/IRC OH get the podium in order, but only one of those three were given odds by Sportsbet.

I don't pretend to know of every AIS Splitter fault in the world or have the high end knowledge to their operation. I can only say I have never heard of a splitter or understand technically how it is possible that WOXI's worked in both VHF and AIS receive only, but failed in TX.

Yep - that is one of the "slight" inconsistencies in the puff piece - I haven't either - and I do happen to have a MSc in EE with a specialty in signal processing and telecom

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4 hours ago, Francis Vaughan said:

The loser is the sport. 

I'm sure most of us know the feeling, when it has been a shit day, you have been spat out the back door of the fleet, and to top it off you hit a mark. Nobody can see that you hit it, but you miserably do your turns none-the-less and get on with things. None of WOXI, BJ, or the RC are exactly encouraging this spirit. This is not a good thing.

be as good a point as any to put this thread to bed .