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Why skippers fail in PHRF, it's not the boat


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With all the chatter in the Reaching legs in PHRF thread, I though this would really be relevant. And very Important.

In PHRF most skippers think they are racing the boats in their fleet. To a certain extent they are. But they are really racing the CLOCK.

Whether Time on Distance, the old way or the new way Time on Time..  I can barely get our area to wrap their heads around new scoring programs and the internet.

 

In order to win in PHRF you must beat your offset which is a calculation based on your handicap and the Distance (TOD) or your elapsed time (TOT). Can someone post a link to a program that will do this.

If you really want to win, you must to a small extent, ignore the other boats and ask yourself, "How can I get around the course faster than my OFFSET?" Irregardless of the the other boats.
Typically the boat that wins will do just that .

I don't think people understand this and maybe they do but at the start, they forget everything because of the proximity of the competition.

 

When I race, I always do a port approach and choose the best spot for my boat, clear air,, room to foot and a clear lane to tack as soon as needed. 5 Minutes after the start ( my watch loops) I ask, where is the Fleet and are we FAST, are we going to the correct Side of the course, where are the Puffs???

Everything else is pretty irrelevant except Speed, without speed all is lost.
Crew work is another whole topic., all this supposes that you have a functioning crew.

The boat that beats the clock wins.

 

The ED would be smart to write a good article on this.

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1 hour ago, Meat Wad said:

With all the chatter in the Reaching legs in PHRF thread, I though this would really be relevant. And very Important.

In PHRF most skippers think they are racing the boats in their fleet. To a certain extent they are. But they are really racing the CLOCK.

Whether Time on Distance, the old way or the new way Time on Time..  I can barely get our area to wrap their heads around new scoring programs and the internet.

 

In order to win in PHRF you must beat your offset which is a calculation based on your handicap and the Distance (TOD) or your elapsed time (TOT). Can someone post a link to a program that will do this.

If you really want to win, you must to a small extent, ignore the other boats and ask yourself, "How can I get around the course faster than my OFFSET?" Irregardless of the the other boats.
Typically the boat that wins will do just that .

I don't think people understand this and maybe they do but at the start, they forget everything because of the proximity of the competition.

 

When I race, I always do a port approach and choose the best spot for my boat, clear air,, room to foot and a clear lane to tack as soon as needed. 5 Minutes after the start ( my watch loops) I ask, where is the Fleet and are we FAST, are we going to the correct Side of the course, where are the Puffs???

Everything else is pretty irrelevant except Speed, without speed all is lost.
Crew work is another whole topic., all this supposes that you have a functioning crew.

The boat that beats the clock wins.

 

The ED would be smart to write a good article on this.

If my goal is to race against my offset, why is looking for the fleet after the start my first priority? 

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6 minutes ago, Troglodytarum said:

If my goal is to race against my offset, why is looking for the fleet after the start my first priority? 

Because the fleet is likely going to the correct side of the course, which is where you want to go, too, unless you’re sure you know something they don’t. 

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16 minutes ago, PaulK said:
23 minutes ago, Troglodytarum said:

If my goal is to race against my offset, why is looking for the fleet after the start my first priority? 

Because the fleet is likely going to the correct side of the course, which is where you want to go, too, unless you’re sure you know something they don’t. 

If you knew you'd never have a P/S crossing, want to know of any windshifts on the course, or dirty air from another boat, there'd be no need to pay attention to the rest of your fleet.  But, those would be nice things to know, so.....

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The sailing algorithm is very simple.  Are we fast?  Yes - keep doing it.  No - do something else.  The trick is a) knowing how to tell if you're fast and b) knowing what to change if you aren't.  It only takes a lifetime....

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11 hours ago, Troglodytarum said:

If my goal is to race against my offset, why is looking for the fleet after the start my first priority? 

Because the fleet's responsibility is to get in your way, as much as possible, while you are achieving your goal of beating the offset greater than anyone else in the fleet does in that race/regatta.

- Stumbling

 

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8 hours ago, George Hackett said:

Aren’t you also racing against a special interest group and their lobbyists?  The rating committee 

No, you are trying to obfuscate your success so that the Eye of Sauron (the ratings committee) does not focus upon you and your vessel, thus releasing the Orcs of Ratings Adjustment upon you!  

(If the Orcs hit you too hard, then you join one of their other tribes, ORC, and submit yourself to their scientific rating system.)

- Stumbling

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Solution...buy the biggest, fastest boat in the fleet, when they see you coming...they’ll turn.  Ratings? who cares, you are just working towards first to finish, the ratings are going to kill you anyway.  

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Sad.

The reason sailors (not just skippers) fail in PHRF is that they think it's some kind of fuckin' race.

It is not, cannot be made into a race, and attempts to do so are not only doomed to fail but will hasten the collapse of civilization.

PHRF is a social event. It's an excuse to go for an enjoyable sail. You put the event on your calendar, and instead of save-the-whales committee meetings, weddings, golf, funerals, or any of the other zillion things that clutter your days, you can now GO SAILING! YAY!

They say that timing is everything..... and they're right, except that having the correct attitude is also everything

FB- Doug

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Sailing to your rating is a significant factor in any system, inability to do so makes it hard to win except in OD if all boats are equally slow in particular conditions. 

There are times when covering a instead of sailing your own race is appropriate, we are typically highest rated boat in our fleet, and benefit from forcing lower rated boats to overtake. 

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40 minutes ago, Santana20AE said:

Solution...buy the biggest, fastest boat in the fleet, when they see you coming...they’ll turn.  Ratings? who cares, you are just working towards first to finish, the ratings are going to kill you anyway.  

Had lots of fun in the 90s being part of a SC50 doing PHRF racing on the West Coast of Florida.    We had a large bowl of spent 10 gauge cases collected from every first to finish.  

Over 5 years, always managed to have the most talent show up to run the boat.      Also, my knowledge of the 8 foot curve of Tampa Bay helped immensely.

Its always better to be consistently first to the bar than first in fleet corrected, but it helps that both worked out often enough.   Even managed to win PHRF boat of the year.

- Stumbling

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10 hours ago, George Hackett said:

Aren’t you also racing against a special interest group and their lobbyists?  The rating committee 

The solution to that is to be one of the "untouchables".  In my area there are a few boats that are super quick but never seem to get a rating adjustment. Because appealing is sort of a dick move, the problem is never solved.  Folks expect the raters to solve the problem for them but PHRF doesn't work that way - you have to appeal. It is also a lot easier to whine about someone's rating than appeal it - to be fair, putting together a proper appeal is a fair bit of work.

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Couple of points - in a very mixed fleet it will always be horses for courses so conditions dictate the outcome to a degree, also where does your boat rate vs the fleet? If you are the fastest you need to get a clean start, if you are the slowest you just try to not get buried. Many years ago I got off one of the 2 top boats and got on one that never won, every other boat owed it 6 to 9 sec/mile, no more starboard laylines and always working to stay close. Eventually we were good enough to win boat for boat but baby steps.  I like racing and doesn't matter if it's OD or phrf with the idea that

1. Have fun

2. Be competitive

3. Learn something

recently crewed for a guy who added - 4. don't hit anybody as he couldn't afford anymore glass work.  (we didn't).  It's recreation and as long as I got 2 of my 3 I am good. I don't race with aholes. 

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2 hours ago, d'ranger said:

Couple of points - in a very mixed fleet it will always be horses for courses so conditions dictate the outcome to a degree, also where does your boat rate vs the fleet? If you are the fastest you need to get a clean start, if you are the slowest you just try to not get buried. Many years ago I got off one of the 2 top boats and got on one that never won, every other boat owed it 6 to 9 sec/mile, no more starboard laylines and always working to stay close. Eventually we were good enough to win boat for boat but baby steps.  I like racing and doesn't matter if it's OD or phrf with the idea that

1. Have fun

2. Be competitive

3. Learn something

recently crewed for a guy who added - 4. don't hit anybody as he couldn't afford anymore glass work.  (we didn't).  It's recreation and as long as I got 2 of my 3 I am good. I don't race with aholes. 

Back in the early ‘80s when we bought our 30’ 4 1/2 knots shit  box I had 3 rules on the boat: respect the boat (I could not race my checkbook.  It would have been a very short race). Respect each other.  Try not to be too bad of an influence on my son.  He was about 13 at the time.  Worked out well. Won the club championship in out first year and my son went on to sail for the rest of his life.

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On 8/17/2019 at 6:36 AM, LionessRacing said:

Sailing to your rating is a significant factor in any system, inability to do so makes it hard to win except in OD if all boats are equally slow in particular conditions. 

There are times when covering a instead of sailing your own race is appropriate, we are typically highest rated boat in our fleet, and benefit from forcing lower rated boats to overtake. 

There are times when you are the scratch boat that you must sail as if you're behind when you're ahead, splitting from a slower rated boat and taking a flier cause if they follow you home they correct out ahead....

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1 hour ago, Latadjust said:

There are times when you are the scratch boat that you must sail as if you're behind when you're ahead, splitting from a slower rated boat and taking a flier cause if they follow you home they correct out ahead....

When you are the scratch boat, you have to sail your best and hope that you are right, as those following get to observe and perhaps adjust. Similarly, you may get home before the wind dies and under TOD they are screwed... It more or less evens out. 

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3 hours ago, LionessRacing said:

When you are the scratch boat, you have to sail your best and hope that you are right, as those following get to observe and perhaps adjust.

We are generally the scratch boat (occasionally there is a 40ft cat that rates -99 who shows up for nearshore races). Our A fleet ranges from PHRF 24 - 72 and is a mix of sporties and pole boats. It's a real horses-for-courses situation - if it's light or nuking, sporties are favored, but we haver a real task trying to beat a 40+ foot pole boat who can sail DDW when it is blowing 12-16 and we owe them 40 sec/mile. Scratch boat or not, PHRF is about sailing the best race for your boat, and hoping you have done a better job than everyone else. It's not just hoping you are right... there is skill that goes into playing the shifts as well, and as often as not, it isn't just the skipper who fails at PHRF, but the crew - unless you're sailing solo, this is a team sport. Here's what works for us.

1. Good crew: We have the luxury of having several really really good sailors on the boat. These are guys who can do any position on the boat probably better than anyone from any other boat in the fleet (we're very very lucky), but who really excel at their own position. Aside from the obvious technical advantage, this plays into the other things that make us successful, -basically,  at any time we have some crew with their head in the boat, optimizing how we are doing where we are, and some with their head out of the boat deciding if we really are where we need to be (I'll expand below).

2. Knowing our polars and being able to calculate VMG: We have a tabular polar chart printed as a sticker where everyone can see it, and we have a lot of smart people on the boat. Whether you are trimming, driving, pit, tactics, you can tell instantly what the boat speed should be at what TWA at any time. This is the "head in the boat" optimizing. If you are actively doing a job and we aren't at or above our polars, optimize what you are doing. Adjust trim, don't pinch, move crew weight, check car position, halyard tension etc. 

3. Recognizing when someone else's VMG is better than your own: Again this is a side-effect of good crew. Anyone who is not doing a physical job needs to be watching the wind, the fleet, and remain cognizant of how we are doing relative to others. Is the rest of the fleet in a lift? pressure? would our VMG be better somewhere else? on the opposite tack/gybe? should we be in phase or not?

4. Going out early to practice: We often go out an hour before race time. We practice sets, douses, adjust car positions etc. We also sail the course and figure out where the persistent shifts are. When we win races by a lot, it is because we were on the favored side of most shifts. As scratch boat, we usually don't have the luxury of watching boats ahead of us. To Echo what Lioness said, our closest competitors often have their best races when they follow us around the course. What we learn by going out early is beyond useful to us.

5. Most importantly, HAVE FUN! Good crew isn't just about technical proficiency. Our crew was assembled over a decade in drips and drops. Some were accomplished sailors before. Some were completely new to the sport. But we are all friends. We all love sailing fast and having a good time. We share a competitive spirit and a sense of humor. On our best days, we have a beer on the way out to the racecourse, laugh our asses off and tell dumb jokes over beers for an hour while practicing, the committee boat asks us if we take ourselves seriously at all, we put on our game faces,  go win a sailboat race, and continue laughing our asses off. We win when we are having fun, and we have fun when we are winning. It's a cycle, and when you get in that groove, all you want to do is stay there. 

 

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1 minute ago, ajbram said:

We are generally the scratch boat (occasionally there is a 40ft cat that rates -99 who shows up for nearshore races). Our A fleet ranges from PHRF 24 - 72 and is a mix of sporties and pole boats. It's a real horses-for-courses situation - if it's light or nuking, sporties are favored, but we haver a real task trying to beat a 40+ foot pole boat who can sail DDW when it is blowing 12-16 and we owe them 40 sec/mile. Scratch boat or not, PHRF is about sailing the best race for your boat, and hoping you have done a better job than everyone else. It's not just hoping you are right... there is skill that goes into playing the shifts as well, and as often as not, it isn't just the skipper who fails at PHRF, but the crew - unless you're sailing solo, this is a team sport. Here's what works for us.

1. Good crew: We have the luxury of having several really really good sailors on the boat. These are guys who can do any position on the boat probably better than anyone from any other boat in the fleet (we'e very very lucky), but who really excel at their own position. Aside from the obvious technical advantage, this plays into the other things that make us successful, -basically,  at any time we have some crew with their head in the boat, optimizing how we are doing where we are, and some with their head out of the boat deciding if we really are where we need to be (I'll expand below).

2. Knowing our polars and being able to calculate VMG: We have a tabular polar chart printed as a sticker where everyone can see it, and we have a lot of smart people on the boat. Whether you are trimming, driving, pit, tactics, you can tell instantly what the boat speed should be at what TWA at any time. This is the "head in the boat" optimizing. If you are actively doing a job and we aren't at or above our polars, optimize what you are doing. Adjust trim, don't pinch, move crew weight, check car position, halyard tension etc. 

3. Recognizing when someone else's VMG is better than your own: Again this is a side-effect of good crew. Anyone who is not doing a physical job needs to be watching the wind, the fleet, and remain cognizant of how we are doing relative to others. Is the rest of the fleet in a lift? pressure? would our VMG be better somewhere else? on the opposite tack/gybe? should we be in phase or not?

4. Going out early to practice: We often go out an hour before race time. We practice sets, douses, adjust car positions etc. We also sail the course and figure out where the persistent shifts are. When we win races by a lot, it is because we were on the favored side of most shifts. As scratch boat, we usually don't have the luxury of watching boats ahead of us. To Echo what Lioness said, our closest competitors often have their best races when they follow us around the course. What we learn by going out early is beyond useful to us.

5. Most importantly, HAVE FUN! Good crew isn't just about technical proficiency. Our crew was assembled over a decade in drips and drops. Some were accomplished sailors before. Some were completely new to the sport. But we are all friends. We all love sailing fast and having a good time. We share a competitive spirit and a sense of humor. On our best days, we have a beer on the way out to the racecourse, laugh our asses off and tell dumb jokes over beers for an hour while practicing, the committee boat asks us if we take ourselves seriously at all, we put on our game faces,  go win a sailboat race, and continue laughing our asses off. We win when we are having fun, and we have fun when we are winning. It's a cycle, and when you get in that groove, all you want to do is stay there. 

 

All of the above with the simple priorities: 

Be safe, have fun, sail well, see how we scored...

Lioness is the highest rated boat in our fleet (81-168 PHRF non spinnaker < 200)

if the wind is over 8 kts we are often one of the first to the weather mark, routinely beating boats that rate 110-130.

We occasionally can out sail the J100   (who's the scratch boat,) and win given > 12 kts on a shy reach,

If the wind's < 3 we are struggling with all that wetted surface and displacement, and it's far less fun. 

My thoughts as to why:

  • I've owned her for 19 yrs and mostly figured out how to sail her.
  • the sails & rigging are in excellent shape, a product of that many years refinement
  • she's got a good bottom, cleaned 
  •  the crew includes
    • a tactician/relief helm who's a US Sailing national level umpire/judge.
    • A few folks who've  been aboard for most of the season
    • Add in the variations of people who fill in and some days, some tacks are better than others. 

 

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6 minutes ago, LionessRacing said:

All of the above with the simple priorities: 

Be safe, have fun, sail well, see how we scored...

 

We employ a "safety 3rd" policy. 

1. Have fun.

2. Look good.

3. Be safe.

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On 8/17/2019 at 10:46 AM, dash34 said:

The solution to that is to be one of the "untouchables".  In my area there are a few boats that are super quick but never seem to get a rating adjustment. Because appealing is sort of a dick move, the problem is never solved.  Folks expect the raters to solve the problem for them but PHRF doesn't work that way - you have to appeal. It is also a lot easier to whine about someone's rating than appeal it - to be fair, putting together a proper appeal is a fair bit of work.

it is easier to whine and appeal than to actually get faster and sail smarter :-)

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I generally lack the patience for handicap racing, compared to one-design.

I like the concept that if three boats are ahead of me, I'm in fourth place.   And that if I'm in dirty air, it's my fault.  And that inadvertent contact isn't going to break one's bankroll, or result in a protest because you need it for the insurance company.

But I'm glad it's out there, it's most of the racing we see nowadays.  And those who do it for enjoyment, enjoy it. And a good way to create new sailors (let your crew steer before and after the race!!)

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4 minutes ago, nolatom said:

I generally lack the patience for handicap racing, compared to one-design.

I like the concept that if three boats are ahead of me, I'm in fourth place.   And that if I'm in dirty air, it's my fault.  And that inadvertent contact isn't going to break one's bankroll, or result in a protest because you need it for the insurance company.

But I'm glad it's out there, it's most of the racing we see nowadays.  And those who do it for enjoyment, enjoy it. And a good way to create new sailors (let your crew steer before and after the race!!)

I enjoy both OD and handicap racing. The reality for many of us is that at any given club, there may be 3 of the same boat, one of which never leaves the dock. If that's the only club nearby, its generally easier to buy a boat you like and go race PHRF than it is to try to build a OD fleet that is never going to materialize. 

The concepts are all the same though - are we going fast enough for this TWS and TWA? Is our VMG better than everyone else? If not, in OD, someone could beat you across the line, in handicap racing they can beat your time. No matter what kind of racing you are doing, if you sail in phase to cover the boat nearest to you, someone taking a flyer could get paid.

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14 hours ago, ajbram said:

We employ a "safety 3rd" policy. 

1. Have fun.

2. Look good.

3. Be safe.

Yes, that is the universally accepted policy of PHRF and many one design races.

As well, it's good to understand that it's not a flyer if it's the right way to go.

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The unfortunate thing about PHRF racing is it's often not the skippers fault when it doesn't go well...  There's too many things to fall back on for blame such as, "my rating is wrong" or "RC set a bad course" or "it wasn't our wind range" or "I don't have the new sails like so and so" and it goes on...  One thing OD sailing does is it takes the excuses away and forces you to work on your starts, driving technique, sail trim, tactics and boat set up like tune the rig for the conditions of the day not 3 times a year. 

It's fun as long as you accept it for what it is and try your best without falling into the PHRF blame game.

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1 hour ago, RobbieB said:

The unfortunate thing about PHRF racing is it's often not the skippers fault when it doesn't go well...  There's too many things to fall back on for blame such as, "my rating is wrong" or "RC set a bad course" or "it wasn't our wind range" or "I don't have the new sails like so and so" and it goes on...  One thing OD sailing does is it takes the excuses away and forces you to work on your starts, driving technique, sail trim, tactics and boat set up like tune the rig for the conditions of the day not 3 times a year. 

It's fun as long as you accept it for what it is and try your best without falling into the PHRF blame game.

Fair point on eliminating excuses, we don't get as annoyed if we lose in 2kts as we would in 12. By the same token when you can win, outside your preferred conditions, it's motivating. 

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On 8/17/2019 at 10:00 AM, stumblingthunder said:

Had lots of fun in the 90s being part of a SC50 doing PHRF racing on the West Coast of Florida.    We had a large bowl of spent 10 gauge cases collected from every first to finish.  

Over 5 years, always managed to have the most talent show up to run the boat.      Also, my knowledge of the 8 foot curve of Tampa Bay helped immensely.

Its always better to be consistently first to the bar than first in fleet corrected, but it helps that both worked out often enough.   Even managed to win PHRF boat of the year.

- Stumbling

I remember that. And they tell me an 8' draft boat can't be sailed around Tampa Bay. I remember you guys anchored outside the bridge in Clearwater once, if the brain cells haven't faded that much.

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3 hours ago, RobbieB said:

The unfortunate thing about PHRF racing is it's often not the skippers fault when it doesn't go well...  There's too many things to fall back on for blame such as, "my rating is wrong" or "RC set a bad course" or "it wasn't our wind range" or "I don't have the new sails like so and so" and it goes on...  One thing OD sailing does is it takes the excuses away and forces you to work on your starts, driving technique, sail trim, tactics and boat set up like tune the rig for the conditions of the day not 3 times a year. 

It's fun as long as you accept it for what it is and try your best without falling into the PHRF blame game.

 

That. Your PHRF 'rating' is a single number attempting to fairly rate your boat in all courses, all breezes, all conditions. Some places try to use other numbers (point to point etc) but AFAICT they are all bullshit.  So you sail knowing that. On our boat we hold our own until it's below 7 knots. Our RC will run W/Ls down to 4, where we get HAMMERED.  So these days we lose the race but win the party. But we got the most comfortable boat in the fleet, and I've got the sexiest maintrimmer/fiance at the club. Perhaps the world. So we're winners.

 

 

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5 hours ago, ~HHN92~ said:

I remember that. And they tell me an 8' draft boat can't be sailed around Tampa Bay. I remember you guys anchored outside the bridge in Clearwater once, if the brain cells haven't faded that much.

We anchored out in the pass before every Clearwater event, Clearwater course races, Clearwater-Key West race and one of the last Kahlua Cups.    There was not enough water inside of the bridge to pass, let alone get to CYC.   Crew would have to beg rides on passing yachts to get out to her from CYC.   Had to drop two anchors to keep her swing constrained due to the tidal currents.

I spent one of my birthdays stuck on Flanksteak waiting for the tide to cycle after running aground 1/4 mile from the boat yard on the West end of Gandy Causeway, because the O was running late.    Named that bar "The Gate Keeper," because if you were late, you were not getting in.

Thursday night races at DIYC occasionally devolved into "Sail by Braille" trying to avoid known bumps on the bottom and discovering new ones.

- Stumbling

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8 hours ago, RobbieB said:

The unfortunate thing about PHRF racing is it's often not the skippers fault when it doesn't go well...  There's too many things to fall back on for blame such as, "my rating is wrong" or "RC set a bad course" or "it wasn't our wind range" or "I don't have the new sails like so and so" and it goes on...  One thing OD sailing does is it takes the excuses away and forces you to work on your starts, driving technique, sail trim, tactics and boat set up like tune the rig for the conditions of the day not 3 times a year. 

It's fun as long as you accept it for what it is and try your best without falling into the PHRF blame game.

It's also frequently not the skipper's fault when things don't go well in OD. It's just that in OD most of the excuses/reasons are still inside the lifelines.

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9 hours ago, RobbieB said:

The unfortunate thing about PHRF racing is it's often not the skippers fault when it doesn't go well...  There's too many things to fall back on for blame such as, "my rating is wrong" or "RC set a bad course" or "it wasn't our wind range" or "I don't have the new sails like so and so" and it goes on...  One thing OD sailing does is it takes the excuses away and forces you to work on your starts, driving technique, sail trim, tactics and boat set up like tune the rig for the conditions of the day not 3 times a year. 

It's fun as long as you accept it for what it is and try your best without falling into the PHRF blame game.

Well of all the excuses you listed rating is the only one not equally valid in OD racing as well. In many OD classes there are plenty of more excuses.

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12 hours ago, Joakim said:

Well of all the excuses you listed rating is the only one not equally valid in OD racing as well. In many OD classes there are plenty of more excuses.

Ok.  Fair point. The phrase, "shit happens" is valid.  However, the good sailors typically will dig out, (at least across a series) and in the process acknowledge and learn from mistakes.  I personally believe you hear more excuses from PRHF sailors than OD.  However, that type of racing lends itself to that.  Either way, if you show up at a regatta and you think you have "suspect" gear or boat set up then you're not ready for the event, (at least if your intent is to make a serious run at it).  All that said there's not one thing wrong with sailing to have fun and get experience in any discipline of the sport.  If you're not happy with your performance ask the sailors from the top boats for advice.  Typically they are more than willing to give it, but you gotta listen.

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12 hours ago, Joakim said:

Well of all the excuses you listed rating is the only one not equally valid in OD racing as well. In many OD classes there are plenty of more excuses.

35 minutes ago, RobbieB said:

Ok.  Fair point. The phrase, "shit happens" is valid.  However, the good sailors typically will dig out, (at least across a series) and in the process acknowledge and learn from mistakes.  I personally believe you hear more excuses from PRHF sailors than OD.  However, that type of racing lends itself to that.  Either way, if you show up at a regatta and you think you have "suspect" gear or boat set up then you're not ready for the event, (at least if your intent is to make a serious run at it).  All that said there's not one thing wrong with sailing to have fun and get experience in any discipline of the sport.  If you're not happy with your performance ask the sailors from the top boats for advice.  Typically they are more than willing to give it, but you gotta listen.

the bitching in the "OD" classes about "which boats" are faster ranges from Lasers & Opti's upwards. 

True one design, with matched boats, rotated is rare.

Boats that measure to a rule, with variations of rigging, sail (vendor) and bottom prep are not always the same... 

 

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It may not be the boat, but PHRF LO screws some boats.

The J35 is a base boat around North America and PHRF LO has the same rating of the J35 as other districts. But the J22 and the J24 are way off (much faster). The delta between both the J22 and J24 and the J35 are very different than other regions. Why is that? Because the rest of the PHRF LO fleet is sailing "slower" than those two boats. PHRF LO will preserve the fleet, rather than show how slow other boats are sailing. 

Both boats have little PHRF participation in the PHRF LO region. Pity the J22/24 in Lake Ontario. 

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22 hours ago, RobbieB said:

Ok.  Fair point. The phrase, "shit happens" is valid.  However, the good sailors typically will dig out, (at least across a series) and in the process acknowledge and learn from mistakes.  I personally believe you hear more excuses from PRHF sailors than OD.  However, that type of racing lends itself to that.  Either way, if you show up at a regatta and you think you have "suspect" gear or boat set up then you're not ready for the event, (at least if your intent is to make a serious run at it).  All that said there's not one thing wrong with sailing to have fun and get experience in any discipline of the sport.  If you're not happy with your performance ask the sailors from the top boats for advice.  Typically they are more than willing to give it, but you gotta listen.

Dr Stewart Walker had a great take on the psychology of winning and losing,  where you sail up or down the fleet to the position you see as your rightful place 

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30 minutes ago, Latadjust said:

Dr Stewart Walker had a great take on the psychology of winning and losing,  where you sail up or down the fleet to the position you see as your rightful place 

Yep.  I've been guilty of this....Psychology is a huge part of the game.

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Conditions matter in PHRF. There are some days it's just not your day. Did a ~40 mile downhill race last year in our 72 rated J/35.  Got an awesome downwind start in building winds, and had every planing boat in PHRF A2 blow by us.  Planing boats in lower PHRF divisions blew by too... and here we are doing 10-kts. 

Then again... the boat that finished 4 seconds ahead of us... a J/35.  The boat that finished 7 seconds behind... a J/35.  Maybe the best race we've ever sailed.  Just not our day.   on that boat.  

Even at level ratings, there are some boats that are better in some conditions.  Got drubbed in a pursuit race last weekend by one... and finished ahead of the other well-sailed J/35, so I know we didn't sail badly.  I know the truth, it still feels like I am somehow insulting that other level rated boat.  Although like I coward, when the wind goes over 10kts I will beat them on my boat and act like it's my achievement, rather than an inevitable result of Rod Johnstone's design decisions. 

This is why we race OD almost all the time. I'd rather not have the excuses and temptation, and I choose to think about PHRF as a fun social event that's sorta racey. 

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Unfortunately, in a lot of places PHRF is the only game in town, and unless you want to take your boat on the road you have to just suck it up. If there were a number of similar boats in the same club, I would be tempted to buy the same and try to get a decent OD start, but lots of factors weigh into which boat people buy, and not all of those have to do with racing. Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes the perfect boat. Mixed fleets are the norm when people also consider dryness, the ability to overnight, a private head, and standing headroom. 

In a perfect world, we would all live close enough to a club that has the membership to warrant the club owning a fleet of small OD sporties. Everyone could buy the boat they want for pleasure sailing and scratch the racing itch on a really level playing field using identically prepared OD boats. I don't know too many places that happens beyond big cities with really active sailing scenes though. 

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A fun variation here between PHRF and OD is our local PHRF 72 fleet: J/35s, Express 37s, C&C 115s, Schock 35s (rate 72 with an oversized kite or main).  It's not OD, but the boats all sail pretty similarly in our typical conditions.  We're communicating as a group and trying to pick races to do together.  Everyone is on a similar mindset and budget and so it's not an arms race.  Clubs are giving us OD starts when we get large enough of a fleet for a race.

The alternative for a racer/cruiser that has a growing OD fleet here is the J/109, but that is 2-6x more expensive than the boats on the above list.

The other OD boats just aren't great cruisers and are less attractive if you also have a family.  J/105, Farr 30, J/80, Melges 24, Moore 24 are all awesome boats with OD fleets here (and attractively small crew sizes), but I don't want to do my annual 2-4 week cruise on any of those.  If I could afford two moorage bills maybe I'd have a Moore 24 and the Express, but my budget isn't that big.

 

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49 minutes ago, ajbram said:

Unfortunately, in a lot of places PHRF is the only game in town, and unless you want to take your boat on the road you have to just suck it up.

Yeah, for those who lament declining participation, imagine how much less sailboat racing there would be (or would have been back in the day) if PHRF or something like it was not around.

PHRF (or any handicap system) has it's inevitable faults and will always result in a certain amount of "horses for courses" and bitching about whether a boat's rating is "right" or "fair", but it's still better than not racing, at least to me.

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17 minutes ago, Alex W said:

A fun variation here between PHRF and OD is our local PHRF 72 fleet: J/35s, Express 37s, C&C 115s, Schock 35s (rate 72 with an oversized kite or main).  It's not OD, but the boats all sail pretty similarly in our typical conditions.  We're communicating as a group and trying to pick races to do together.  Everyone is on a similar mindset and budget and so it's not an arms race.  Clubs are giving us OD starts when we get large enough of a fleet for a race.

The alternative for a racer/cruiser that has a growing OD fleet here is the J/109, but that is 2-6x more expensive than the boats on the above list.

The other OD boats just aren't great cruisers and are less attractive if you also have a family.  J/105, Farr 30, J/80, Melges 24, Moore 24 are all awesome boats with OD fleets here (and attractively small crew sizes), but I don't want to do my annual 2-4 week cruise on any of those.  If I could afford two moorage bills maybe I'd have a Moore 24 and the Express, but my budget isn't that big.

 

I have also participated in some "level" regattas. Boats in a level were within a few PHRF rating points of one another and raced with no handicap. At the time the 170 level was J/24s, Kirby 25s, Merit 25s, Capri 25s, Rogers 26 etc. Good racing.

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3 hours ago, ajbram said:

Unfortunately, in a lot of places PHRF is the only game in town, and unless you want to take your boat on the road you have to just suck it up. If there were a number of similar boats in the same club, I would be tempted to buy the same and try to get a decent OD start, but lots of factors weigh into which boat people buy, and not all of those have to do with racing. Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes the perfect boat. Mixed fleets are the norm when people also consider dryness, the ability to overnight, a private head, and standing headroom. 

In a perfect world, we would all live close enough to a club that has the membership to warrant the club owning a fleet of small OD sporties. Everyone could buy the boat they want for pleasure sailing and scratch the racing itch on a really level playing field using identically prepared OD boats. I don't know too many places that happens beyond big cities with really active sailing scenes though. 

 

Oh yeah, for sure. I'm lucky to live near Annapolis.  I'd be less of a pill about OD if we didn't have so many classes to choose from. 
 

3 hours ago, Alex W said:

A fun variation here between PHRF and OD is our local PHRF 72 fleet: J/35s, Express 37s, C&C 115s, Schock 35s (rate 72 with an oversized kite or main).  It's not OD, but the boats all sail pretty similarly in our typical conditions.  We're communicating as a group and trying to pick races to do together.  Everyone is on a similar mindset and budget and so it's not an arms race.  Clubs are giving us OD starts when we get large enough of a fleet for a race.

The alternative for a racer/cruiser that has a growing OD fleet here is the J/109, but that is 2-6x more expensive than the boats on the above list.

The other OD boats just aren't great cruisers and are less attractive if you also have a family.  J/105, Farr 30, J/80, Melges 24, Moore 24 are all awesome boats with OD fleets here (and attractively small crew sizes), but I don't want to do my annual 2-4 week cruise on any of those.  If I could afford two moorage bills maybe I'd have a Moore 24 and the Express, but my budget isn't that big.

 


Definitely a level PHRF rating pseudo OD fleet is good if you're short on numbers, and over the course of a season - particularly if you race a mixed schedule of beer cans, W/L regattas and P-to-P races -- it probably produces a fair-ish result in the overall fleet standings.  Maybe not great in a single race unless conditions are right down the middle.  There is a fun challenge in PHRF, which is to think three or four tacks ahead, and think about whether there is a different course or tactic to use to get to the line quicker.  Doesn't work in W/L but it's a factor in distance racing. 
 

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On 8/17/2019 at 9:39 AM, Meat Wad said:

The ED would be smart to write a good article on this.

With all due respect, perhaps he should, but I definitely don't agree with the majority of your advice.  I'm sorry, I don't normally down vote, but I had to, to counter the sea of approvals.

Whether it's OD or Handicap, make no mistake it's your performance against the rest of the fleet that matters.  It's time against the clock *and* the fleet.  You really can't ignore that.  

With that in mind, Shenanigans that screw you over in handicap races screw you over in OD racing and vice versa.  Things that allow you to win in handicap racing, allow you to win in OD and versa.   

Around the cans, the most important move you will make in any race (OD or handicap), is to be on the correct side of the first shift relative to the fleet, with clear air and ability to tack.  It is the one and only time you have leverage over the whole fleet.  From then on, it's all about making sure you are in the right position, relative to the fleet, to take advantage of the next shift.  You are always trying to be between the fleet, the next shift, and the next mark.  If you're on your own, it's just about the next shift and the next mark.

Certainly starting on port tack, then checking in 5 mins later to see where the fleet is a sure way to be wrong probably 50% of the time at the one time you could be putting significant time (real or virtual) into the whole fleet.  Also, if the fleet is diverse, then there's a high probability that at least some of them are sailing in very different breeze to you regardless.

Sailing your boat to its maximum performance speed wise is the barrier to entry to the podium in any race, but it's only 1/3rd of the picture.   With the right leverage,  a slow boat that is in phase will beat a faster boat that's out of phase nearly every time.

Why is this relative to the fleet bit important?  because sailing is a game of risk.  Whether OD or handicap, the boat that plays that game the best *compared to the rest of the fleet* generally wins.  So that sometimes mean forgoing what may be a more optimal course, because it's only optimal if you're right.   

Speed, Strength, Smarts:  The golden triangle.  Speed, You have to be get the maximum potential speed out of your boat (with some exceptions) at all times.  Strength, you need to have more capability (boat handling, endurance, etc...)  than the next guy.  Smarts, your strategy and tactics need to be better than the next guy.

If you lack any one of those 3, then you need a double handling of the other two.

For what it's worth, here are my tips:

1) We've established speed is a given.  Faster boats always have the advantage.  It sucks being a slower boat in a handicap fleet because all things being equal, they will be 2nd to the shifts and rolled on downwind legs. The closer boats are in handicap and speed, the fairer the results will likely be.  In an OD fleet a lack of speed is death

2) Always know where the fleet is, and I mean always. You need to know how you're doing in your own little patch, and relative to your own fleet. going fast in the wrong direction compared to everyone else is not fast.  Waiting for 5 mins is death.  at 6 knots, 5 mins in the wrong direction will put you 100m behind in 5 deg shift.  33sec lost right there.  more than Double that in a 10 deg shift.  Do that off the start and get a 10deg shift against you, you will have just lost 1min against *the whole fleet*.    It doesn't matter if it's handicap or OD, you need to do a lot to make that up.

3) Always know where you're going with respect to the next mark.  See above.  That mostly means being to the left of the mark when the breeze is going left, and to the right when the breeze is going right.  It also keeps you in check w.r.t the fleet.  The fleet will mostly just follow who they *think*  is right. Not who actually is.

4) clean air and room to move as you need to wins races.  Sometimes you need to sacrifice either speed, or opportunity to maintain that.  There's no point getting getting the most out of a shift or whatever to be stuck with someone on your hip.  Balance that risk (shenanigans vs, opportunity) and think ahead.  

5) To perhaps clarify an earlier comment from someone, team work is key.  The best crew is the one that works together well.  they have a secret language and things magically happen without much discussion.  They don't need to be rockstars to do that, just good team people.  The best skippers don't bark orders, they give their team room to execute and learn.

6) practice.

All truisms regardless of OD or handicap.

In short, I first heard this idea that Handicap racing was somehow different last year.  I was taken by surprise frankly, because I really struggle to see any difference.  Control what you can control, which is your position between the fleet and the next mark.  Ignore the rest, never take the foot off the gas.  

*shrug*

 

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Very true! Many people say that handicap racing is so different, but I really can't see the difference, especially when the boats are somewhat similar and without a huge rating gap.

I have done quite a lot handicap W/L racing and find it very similar to OD. It's more about the quality of the fleet than OD vs. handicap. The time differences in the results are about the same.

In both the first priority is speed. If you have speed (to your rating in handicap), tactics becomes so much easier. 

Tactics is much about fleet control or even more so controlling your worst opponents. If you are on top of the fleet usually, you mostly care about other top of the fleet boats. If a mid fleet boat gets lucky and is ahead of you, you will very likely pass her with better speed (or mark rounding etc) later on or at least beat her in the series.

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On 8/18/2019 at 12:00 AM, stumblingthunder said:

 

Its always better to be consistently first to the bar than first in fleet corrected, but it helps that both worked out often enough.  

Meh. It bores me shitless. Translate it to dinghies - would you feel good about beating Laser Radials in a 505?

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9 minutes ago, Curious said:

Meh. It bores me shitless. Translate it to dinghies - would you feel good about beating Laser Radials in a 505?

You are talking to someone who grew up crewing on a Morgan 24 for the first 13 years of my life.    

Being "Death from Behind" due to sailing the hell out of the boat is all good and fine, but its a lot better to see everyone come in after you, while enjoying the party, instead of the party at the bar being over by the time you cross the finish line.

- Stumbling

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Just now, stumblingthunder said:

You are talking to someone who grew up crewing on a Morgan 24 for the first 13 years of my life.    

Being "Death from Behind" due to sailing the hell out of the boat is all good and fine, but its a lot better to see everyone come in after you, while enjoying the party, instead of the party at the bar being over by the time you cross the finish line.

- Stumbling

For you, but not for all of us. As I said, it bores me shitless - and I am also concerned about the effects on the fleet. If we blaze away and take the CT/ET double then the tailenders fall even further behind. If they are too far behind, some of them can give up sailing. It's the back end of the fleet that grows the sport and therefore should be encouraged IMHO.

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15 minutes ago, Curious said:

...    ...  It's the back end of the fleet that grows the sport and therefore should be encouraged IMHO. 

^ this ^ needs to be kept in mind.

Also true that mid-fleeters constantly getting "beaten" by boats that were over the horizon behind them is discouraging.

The people sailing the hot line-honors boats are usually way-y into it.

FB- Doug

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20 hours ago, Santana20AE said:

Is it psychology when you remark to your first mate (wife) “hey, it looks like we are in the lead.”  And she says; “SHUT UP! And Drive the Boat!” ?

DE84EBFF-B071-4288-9EAD-C42AF32A7FEB.jpeg

This happens to me on occasion and it really shows that I do NOT know what the fuck I am doing.

When I make it to the lead position, suddenly I have no one to copy and I'm forced to make my own tactical decisions, which are usually bad ones. I'm getting a little better though.  I've quit sailing into blatant wind holes, I'm learning where the bad currents are and just how far I can push into the shallows.

Maybe there's hope.

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On 8/19/2019 at 11:10 PM, stumblingthunder said:

We anchored out in the pass before every Clearwater event, Clearwater course races, Clearwater-Key West race and one of the last Kahlua Cups.    There was not enough water inside of the bridge to pass, let alone get to CYC.   Crew would have to beg rides on passing yachts to get out to her from CYC.   Had to drop two anchors to keep her swing constrained due to the tidal currents.

I spent one of my birthdays stuck on Flanksteak waiting for the tide to cycle after running aground 1/4 mile from the boat yard on the West end of Gandy Causeway, because the O was running late.    Named that bar "The Gate Keeper," because if you were late, you were not getting in.

Thursday night races at DIYC occasionally devolved into "Sail by Braille" trying to avoid known bumps on the bottom and discovering new ones.

- Stumbling

One night before the start of the Egmont Race (I think) the Steak got stuck on the hump/rock/post outside of the basin, with crew on the boom and the engine revved hard looking like a Mack truck. I remember it getting loose just before the 5 minute signal, shutting the engine down just in the nick of time.

We had hit it the night before on the Kiwi 35, O working all day to get the keel repaired.

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21 minutes ago, ~HHN92~ said:

One night before the start of the Egmont Race (I think) the Steak got stuck on the hump/rock/post outside of the basin, with crew on the boom and the engine revved hard looking like a Mack truck. I remember it getting loose just before the 5 minute signal, shutting the engine down just in the nick of time.

We had hit it the night before on the Kiwi 35, O working all day to get the keel repaired.

We did that pretty often.

Our best one was in Palmetto, getting out of Snead Island Boat Works, for a Bradenton YC regatta (Michelob, I think.)   We were late getting away from the dock and the O accelerated hard while in the basin.   We were well over 7kts when we hit a rock at the mouth of their basin.   We stopped nearly instantly.

What we soon found out, the O's wife was in the head, standing and not braced at that moment.   She hit the forward wall and took a big chunk out of her lip, with the chunk hanging by very little.    The O then indicated that they were going to head back to the dock, once we were off the rock.   She said she was not going to be responsible for missing the race, head on out.   She made it through the whole race, with occasional ice packs.   The next day she had plastic surgery to fix her lip.

Thats a good wife.   I'm sure the O paid for that lip many times over, after that....

- Stumbling

Artur, the Ukrainian, also hit the sunken barge off of Gadsden Point at full speed during a delivery.   That one required a keel repair and re-fair that he completed. That was an obstruction that he now knows to avoid.

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1 hour ago, Ajax said:

This happens to me on occasion and it really shows that I do NOT know what the fuck I am doing.

When I make it to the lead position, suddenly I have no one to copy and I'm forced to make my own tactical decisions, which are usually bad ones. I'm getting a little better though.  I've quit sailing into blatant wind holes, I'm learning where the bad currents are and just how far I can push into the shallows.

Maybe there's hope.

As far as wind, that’s Brenda’s job (finding wind). She also keeps track of the location of other boats.  My job at the helm is to keep the tell tales flying properly and calling tacks. Of course, blaming yourself for Not knowing what you are doing is all wrong.  Even Brother Dennis made mistakes.  

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Some nights its raw speed, boats finished and scored in order of rating, with increments proportional to rating differences, due to light/fluky winds for a good portion of the race, winning boat sailed at ~0.5 kts faster than last place (us) 

 image.png.52f3a9c4d93c38685795a658c344c131.png

Time on time reduces differences but doesn't change scoring... 

image.thumb.png.dee3fd64f3af9592e065c3db4af2054b.png

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I did a 60nm/24 hour race a few years back where I computed that we covered more than half of our miles just due to currents.

The wind was so light that results in our class were basically inverse of PHRF handicap.  With one exception everyone finished within minutes of each other.  I don't think anyone could have finished if currents hadn't been favorable for the entire 67nm course.

https://patosislandrace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/2016-Patos-Long-Course.htm

image.png.151ee977d1e74e03dd62b0647581dd88.png

Hard to think of it as racing, but I enjoyed that weekend.

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34 minutes ago, Alex W said:

I did a 60nm/24 hour race a few years back where I computed that we covered more than half of our miles just due to currents.

The wind was so light that results in our class were basically inverse of PHRF handicap.  With one exception everyone finished within minutes of each other.  I don't think anyone could have finished if currents hadn't been favorable for the entire 67nm course.

https://patosislandrace.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/2016-Patos-Long-Course.htm

image.png.151ee977d1e74e03dd62b0647581dd88.png

Hard to think of it as racing, but I enjoyed that weekend.

That sounds exactly like this year's Governor's Cup on the Chesapeake.

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22 hours ago, stumblingthunder said:

We did that pretty often.

Our best one was in Palmetto, getting out of Snead Island Boat Works, for a Bradenton YC regatta (Michelob, I think.)   We were late getting away from the dock and the O accelerated hard while in the basin.   We were well over 7kts when we hit a rock at the mouth of their basin.   We stopped nearly instantly.

What we soon found out, the O's wife was in the head, standing and not braced at that moment.   She hit the forward wall and took a big chunk out of her lip, with the chunk hanging by very little.    The O then indicated that they were going to head back to the dock, once we were off the rock.   She said she was not going to be responsible for missing the race, head on out.   She made it through the whole race, with occasional ice packs.   The next day she had plastic surgery to fix her lip.

Thats a good wife.   I'm sure the O paid for that lip many times over, after that....

- Stumbling

Artur, the Ukrainian, also hit the sunken barge off of Gadsden Point at full speed during a delivery.   That one required a keel repair and re-fair that he completed. That was an obstruction that he now knows to avoid.

 

was that a rock you hit or a chunk of concrete laying down there?

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Just now, dolphinmaster said:

 

was that a rock you hit or a chunk of concrete laying down there?

No one had the time to go down and inspect at the time.   We did have to back up, and approach the mouth from another angle to clear it.   The throat of the pass is pretty narrow:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Snead+Island+Boat+Works+Inc/@27.5240953,-82.6211671,373m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x91a754f8ffb9f2ed!8m2!3d27.5241576!4d-82.6206313

(don't have a place to host an image of the google maps)

Deeper draft boats have been in there, but we were exiting at low tide.

Artur also had to free dive some epoxy putty down to the front of the keel to rough fair it up until the next time the boat was pulled.

8ft draft was a PITA for most of the YCs in the bay area.    We could only tie to club docks at St. Pete (SPYC). Tampa Yacht (TYCC) and Davis Islands (DIYC).   The mouth of DIYC Seaplane Basin was iffy at low tide.    All others we either anchored out or went to a friends dock up near the old Tierra Verde Resort.

- Stumbling

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6 hours ago, stumblingthunder said:

No one had the time to go down and inspect at the time.   We did have to back up, and approach the mouth from another angle to clear it.   The throat of the pass is pretty narrow:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Snead+Island+Boat+Works+Inc/@27.5240953,-82.6211671,373m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x91a754f8ffb9f2ed!8m2!3d27.5241576!4d-82.6206313

(don't have a place to host an image of the google maps)

Deeper draft boats have been in there, but we were exiting at low tide.

Artur also had to free dive some epoxy putty down to the front of the keel to rough fair it up until the next time the boat was pulled.

8ft draft was a PITA for most of the YCs in the bay area.    We could only tie to club docks at St. Pete (SPYC). Tampa Yacht (TYCC) and Davis Islands (DIYC).   The mouth of DIYC Seaplane Basin was iffy at low tide.    All others we either anchored out or went to a friends dock up near the old Tierra Verde Resort.

- Stumbling

One time (Commodores Cup) the tide was so low after a front with a big northerly blow at DI that Sirena and I think you guys were stuck in the mud at the dock, the race was postponed until the tide came-up and then tip-toed out of the basin and headed straight to the ship channel. All the big boats motored down to the lower bay while the J24's & MORC boats sailed up by the club.

We were behind you guys when you got stuck at Snead and saw the bow down when you hit.

Pass-a-Grille was always fun as it was 22' deep near shore and then 8-10' out by the sea buoy. We pancaked the 1d35 going out of there after the typical front and then the sport fishing boats wake hit at the same time as we were in the trough of a wave. The double down just slammed us into the bottom, guys going below to pull the floorboards to check if we were taking on water. All OK but the gel coat was cracked in a ring around the keel when she came out after the weekend. (dry sailed at Salt Creek)

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3 minutes ago, ~HHN92~ said:

One time (Commodores Cup) the tide was so low after a front with a big northerly blow at DI that Sirena and I think you guys were stuck in the mud at the dock, the race was postponed until the tide came-up and then tip-toed out of the basin and headed straight to the ship channel. All the big boats motored down to the lower bay while the J24's & MORC boats sailed up by the club.

We were behind you guys when you got stuck at Snead and saw the bow down when you hit.

Pass-a-Grille was always fun as it was 22' deep near shore and then 8-10' out by the sea buoy. We pancaked the 1d35 going out of there after the typical front and then the sport fishing boats wake hit at the same time as we were in the trough of a wave. The double down just slammed us into the bottom, guys going below to pull the floorboards to check if we were taking on water. All OK but the gel coat was cracked in a ring around the keel when she came out after the weekend. (dry sailed at Salt Creek)

Glad you were not following too close!

On deliveries, I would have to take her almost out to Egmont MoA before I could make the turn North.   There is a swash channel near the Egmont back range that is plenty deep for the SC, but there was a wide area to cross that was between 8 and 9 feet that I was itching to try, but didn't because I did not want to be the one to call and say "The boat is not going to be there tomorrow for the race, because I tried to cut 40 minutes off the delivery..."    I spent a lot of time fairing that keel and I did not want to have to go back and do it again.

Pass-a-Grille can be a bitch.   We did a little sea farming out by the sea buoy also.  

There were a few more gelcoat cracks at the back edge of the keel sump when Flanksteak went back to Galveston, TX than when I picked her up from there!

- Stumbling

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Handicap racing is what you have to do when there aren't enough other boats like yours around.  We have all been there.

But it sucks.  The result never got me excited.  To win it just meant that the weather favored your craft.  Some like a blow, others like a drifter.  Everyone sorta gets that but they still take the cup as a magnificent victory showing who were the best sailors! 

Even the S2H result?   Yeah, OK, so you have to sail well, but even before it starts all the talk is about what boats are favored by the forecast conditions.  Yawn.

And about the OP?  Is there anyone here who did not realise that it's about your corrected elapsed time?

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