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I've seen everywhere from boredom to off the scale. At 80+knots, I have to sit on the upwind, wing to keep my Swift turtled. The cats tend to tumble down the lake no matter what you do. Not a pretty sight afterwards. Seen 80+ a couple times in a leadmine as well. Took a knockdown with bare poles once. A bit concerning.

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2 hours ago, Major Tom said:

image.jpeg

Needs to have the description as well

F1... 1 ~3 kt ... Boredom.... water like glass, good for drinking beer unless sunny & hot

F2... 4 ~6 kt ... Mild Pleasure... sheets don't need to be cleated, light/fast boats will sail along nicely. Beer very rarely spills.

F3... 7 ~10 ...   Pleasure     ...     sheets cleated, light fast boats will need one crew hiking. Beer may spill especially when tacking

F4... 11~16 ... Great Pleasure... Sheets must be tended, be ready to uncleat and ease instantly. Hiking necessary. Can still hold beer between knees

F5... 17~24 ... Delight      ....  Work sheets, hard hiking. Drinking intermittent and difficult, sailing more fun than drinking beer anyway, especially spinnaker runs

F6... 22~27...Delight Tinged With Anxiety.... Full extension hiking, bring knee brace. Spray dilutes any opened beer which will spill promptly anyway

etc etc

I bet a bunch of you all can do better than I can with this sort of thing

FB- Doug

 

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F5. Big grin but thinking ahead of how sore I will be next week.

F6. At the bar sipping another cold one looking at whitecaps breaking over our shallow docks while the  "Bravehearts" are out recovering their rides and breaking shit!

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  • 2 weeks later...

As an aside, at what wind strength does your club cancel racing, inland or offshore waters? Has the number changed over the last 20 to 30 years?

Our club used to can club racing at around 30 knots in the 80s, we normally had over 100 boats racing every Sunday, up to 150 during big events like club champs held over 2 weekends, Sat afternoon, whole day Sun, 1 race Sat, 2 on Sun, races about 90 mins long. If schedules racing was called off the there would be a tonk race, more or less once around the lake and scored on handicap, I learnt a lot about sailing in big breeze in those days!

Now the fleet is about 10% in size and there is not much enthusiasm to sail once the wind hits the low 20s, there is almost never any racing in the afternoon because in summer the wind is normally over 25.

Thoughts?

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9 hours ago, Major Tom said:

As an aside, at what wind strength does your club cancel racing, inland or offshore waters? Has the number changed over the last 20 to 30 years?

Our club used to can club racing at around 30 knots in the 80s, we normally had over 100 boats racing every Sunday, up to 150 during big events like club champs held over 2 weekends, Sat afternoon, whole day Sun, 1 race Sat, 2 on Sun, races about 90 mins long. If schedules racing was called off the there would be a tonk race, more or less once around the lake and scored on handicap, I learnt a lot about sailing in big breeze in those days!

Now the fleet is about 10% in size and there is not much enthusiasm to sail once the wind hits the low 20s, there is almost never any racing in the afternoon because in summer the wind is normally over 25.

Thoughts?

Well, you're not going to grow the fleet by sailing in howling gales. I love heavy air, and feel that canceling races just diminishes the expected level of seamanship. Same as canceling races in light air eliminates the need for that skill in racing sailors....

Personally, I believe in the old rule that a skipper is responsible for his vessel and all on board her, and when doing duty as Race Officer I don't cancel races as long as we can keep a mark boat on station.

FB- Doug

[edit to add] constructive comment- maybe when it's howling, and races are cancelled, it would help skippers who don't feel comfortable to go out for a shorter, less-demanding sailing practice? Maybe as crew one time with a skipper who can calmly discuss the shift in priorities as the wind & sea state increase, technique for maneuvers, etc etc, then a trial run on their own? Building confidence while in a more controlled environment, so to speak.

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This alternative Beaufort Scale was submitted as an anonymous comment on my blog in 2007. Apparently it's of Australian origin, and is more about states of inebriation in the yacht club bar than wind strengths.
 

The Beerfort Scale
0 to 12 schooners (AU - substitute for locality)



0 Stone Cold Sober: Able to stand unaided, everything in focus, smoke rises vertically, drinks only bought when cajoled, sensible conversation abounds.

1 Feeling Warm: Very slight deviation from course, but no stumbling, training organised for next Sunday, voices kept low to exclude non favourites.

2 Slight Inebriation: Some incoherence, eyes have glassy appearance, occasional slur. Past regattas discussed, some exaggeration, winning times marginally decreased, boat speeds more or less accurate.

3 Gentle Glow: Barmaid becoming more attractive, some bantering, drink bought for stranger. Race margins always exaggerated, times halved, enjoyment factor of last regatta doubled. Boat speeds increasing noticeably. Recovery times lengthening. Wind becoming heavier/lighter/flukier/solider.

4 Moderate Inebriation: Pronounced slurring, voices increase in volume, some bad jokes re-told, offers of drinks to entire group. Last near miss made to sound as if planned, all courses now 20% longer and current greatly increased. Much talk of s-curving, some skepticism.

5 Well On: Speech becomes incoherent, some foaming, barmaid appears drop dead gorgeous, more schooners ordered (Chance of some spray) Speed of boats in knots over-estimated by factor of two. Some slight references to wedges/pies/ pizza.

6 Half Newt: Tables move, pattern on carpet becomes fuzzy, jokes get worse, (Probably some spray). Some boats now unbeatable, weather last time out worst/best in living memory, margins and times now increase/ decrease by a factor of four. Renowned club member now takes two hours to launch while buddies sit at outer leads in 30 knots waiting for him. Some spars may be purchased at inflated prices.

7 Full Newt: Whole yacht club in motion, next coached training session planned – Outer Reef return. Deposits taken, and used for next round. Some mention of "spag bog" many bags of nuts and chips purchased. Barmaid is Pamela Anderson (and she wants you!). RC boat is so large it swings across the entire course, hence pin is never in the same place twice. (Or compass is useless due to US military screwing up the signal). Inconvenience may be felt when walking to the loo.

8 Semi smashed: Immediate training trip to venue for Nationals organised, some glass breaking, insults are extensive. Beer is spread over adjoining tables, new round ordered, kitty is increased. Immediate trip to next Nationals venue is on the cards. More talk of spag bog. Tackle may be placed on the pool table. Non-members warned about the dangers of high speed roll-gybing. Boats now capable of 20 knots even with mainsheet wrapped round stern quarters. Bungs lost, progress generally impeded.

9 Near Smashed: Table dancing is commenced, some structural damage, some falling. Bones may break, injuries may go unnoticed, friends may refuse to acknowledge that assistance is required. Broken colleague is returned to car park, dumped on trailer and covered with hikers for comfort. All return to yacht club, (flashing and TV antennnas removed).

10 Smashed: Seldom experienced before collapse, friendly regattas organised in Pattaya and Kiel for the same week, equipment lent to club dickhead, offers of marriage to barmaid/barman. Boats now quicker than Rohan Veal’s moth, last race - 10 miles, hiking on gunwale for 45 minutes straight, sailed home with ripped main held in teeth. Some moans from car park, severe swelling may be evident, all cries are ignored. Some spray, much foam. Ornamental trees may be uprooted.

11 Nitroxed: Trans-oceanic training session organised, more deposits taken, new round ordered, many full glasses may be seen, bodies falling everywhere, medical treatment required, no pain felt, more chips and nuts ordered, cries for spag bog and wedges get louder. Much whiskey of unpronounceable name ordered, wet gear fills room, everything blurred. Small and medium sized sailors may become lost for a time. Visibility affected.

12 Out of Skull: Communications impossible, speech becomes lost in profanities, old grudges surface, past regattas recalled in detail, all measurements quadrupled, boats now faster than Exocets, even with bungs missing and running rigging droguing astern. The air is filled with foam and spray, smoke is thick, garbage bins are full.

There may be a short lull – Training is cancelled, deposits demanded back, organisers are accused of fraud, sailing sucks, all equipment for sale, golf clubs bought from fat bloke at bar. Wife arrives with car, followed by total amnesia and coma.

Summary The above is a guide, intended to show roughly what may be expected in a yacht club, near closing, on a scheduled sailing weekend, or when a group of sailors gather. Further from the sea, or near enclosed water time scales may be shorter and the exaggerations larger.

Please note: The scale above 8 is very rarely experienced, due to the sea breeze and lack of funds, however, when the phrase "the kitty covers everything" is heard, it can be assumed that force 12 will be reached and maintained for the duration of the expedition.

 

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4 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Well, you're not going to grow the fleet by sailing in howling gales. I love heavy air, and feel that canceling races just diminishes the expected level of seamanship. Same as canceling races in light air eliminates the need for that skill in racing sailors....

Personally, I believe in the old rule that a skipper is responsible for his vessel and all on board her, and when doing duty as Race Officer I don't cancel races as long as we can keep a mark boat on station.

FB- Doug

[edit to add] constructive comment- maybe when it's howling, and races are cancelled, it would help skippers who don't feel comfortable to go out for a shorter, less-demanding sailing practice? Maybe as crew one time with a skipper who can calmly discuss the shift in priorities as the wind & sea state increase, technique for maneuvers, etc etc, then a trial run on their own? Building confidence while in a more controlled environment, so to speak.

I grew up in a light wind venue, where 25kt was "let's cancel" wind, to Windy Welly in NZ, where races are cancelled for lack of wind with 10kt, and 25kt is kinda baseline.

Oh how I learned.

I fully agree with doing shorter / safer /less demanding races or just practice with folks staying close and providing support. If there are support boats, have them out in the water if some sailors are keen to sail a bit, even if the race is cancelled.

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On 11/6/2020 at 11:52 PM, TeamFugu said:

I've seen everywhere from boredom to off the scale. At 80+knots, I have to sit on the upwind, wing to keep my Swift turtled. The cats tend to tumble down the lake no matter what you do. Not a pretty sight afterwards. Seen 80+ a couple times in a leadmine as well. Took a knockdown with bare poles once. A bit concerning.

Good to see you back here, are you still sailing the Swift?

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There are only 4 sailing conditions in Australia

1. Lite and Shite

2. Fresh

3. Fresh to frightening.

4. Drink beer.

The class you sail and how many rigs it has determines what wind strength fits each condition. Old school skiff sailors would say that fresh begins at 25 knots, fresh to frightening at 35 knots and drinking beer was only after sailing because it was never cancelled:D

 

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  • 1 month later...

Hearing ten times World A class champion Glenn Ashby come ashore after the last 2018 Worlds championship race at Hervey Bay in a very gusty northerly wind and say 'That was fresh to frightening' was understatement of the year for those of us wildly buffeted onshore.   Also memorable was seeing top A sailors roll up their mainsail and sail home at good speed under rig only. 

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