Gate vs. Leeward Mark in Mixed Fleets?

Shu

Super Anarchist
1,717
96
I get the advantage of using gates for large single fleets, but I'm questioning their value where multiple fleets of vastly different speeds and optimum downwind sailing angles converge at the leeward mark (gate). Yes, with a single mark you might get stuck on the outside of a large wheel, but at least everyone is rounding in the same direction.

 

Shu

Super Anarchist
1,717
96
A gate has it's drawbacks for classes that sail the angles downwind - e.g. I14s - 49ers. Easier to sort rules situations with one mark. Gates OK with classes that generally run square downwind.
Yeah, there's that too. I sail an I14. It's nice to be able to overstand in decent breeze and two sail reach to a single mark; not so much with a gate.

 

RobbieE

New member
48
0
Left Coast
A gate has it's drawbacks for classes that sail the angles downwind - e.g. I14s - 49ers. Easier to sort rules situations with one mark. Gates OK with classes that generally run square downwind.
Coming from sailing skiffs i find gates much more enjoyable than a single leeward mark....We had a race a nats this year with a leeward mark....Image what its like with 26 29ers coming from all different angles to one mark....its chaotic to say the least.

 
A gate has it's drawbacks for classes that sail the angles downwind - e.g. I14s - 49ers. Easier to sort rules situations with one mark. Gates OK with classes that generally run square downwind.
Coming from sailing skiffs i find gates much more enjoyable than a single leeward mark....We had a race a nats this year with a leeward mark....Image what its like with 26 29ers coming from all different angles to one mark....its chaotic to say the least.
Try 130 I14s at a gate. Mayhem.
 

SimonN

Super Anarchist
10,532
753
Sydney ex London
A gate has it's drawbacks for classes that sail the angles downwind - e.g. I14s - 49ers. Easier to sort rules situations with one mark. Gates OK with classes that generally run square downwind.
Gates were specifically brought in for classes that sail the angles downwind such as skiffs and cats, and are, IMO essential. Gates are nowhere near as essential for classes that run square but many have adopted them including all the Olympic classes.

As for the original question, I think gates are a great idea for mixed racing as it provides better options for staying out of trouble and getting a clear lane. A slower boat trying to round the same mark as a group of faster boats often ends up in a world of pain with little option but to eat bad air for a long time. Conversely, one fast boat trying to round in a group of slow boats can cause all sorts of problems. 2 marks usually sort this mess out.

 
A gate has it's drawbacks for classes that sail the angles downwind - e.g. I14s - 49ers. Easier to sort rules situations with one mark. Gates OK with classes that generally run square downwind.
Gates were specifically brought in for classes that sail the angles downwind such as skiffs and cats, and are, IMO essential. Gates are nowhere near as essential for classes that run square but many have adopted them including all the Olympic classes.
As for the original question, I think gates are a great idea for mixed racing as it provides better options for staying out of trouble and getting a clear lane. A slower boat trying to round the same mark as a group of faster boats often ends up in a world of pain with little option but to eat bad air for a long time. Conversely, one fast boat trying to round in a group of slow boats can cause all sorts of problems. 2 marks usually sort this mess out.
I disagree totally. I have SEEN the monumental disaster a gate can be with a large fleet of assy dinghies. And I know the competitors don't like it. It is OK for 10 boat medal race.

 

Shu

Super Anarchist
1,717
96
Trying to get this back to the main focus of my question: Are gates a help or hindrance when sailing multiple fleets with vastly different performance characteristics?

 

SimonN

Super Anarchist
10,532
753
Sydney ex London
A gate has it's drawbacks for classes that sail the angles downwind - e.g. I14s - 49ers. Easier to sort rules situations with one mark. Gates OK with classes that generally run square downwind.
Gates were specifically brought in for classes that sail the angles downwind such as skiffs and cats, and are, IMO essential. Gates are nowhere near as essential for classes that run square but many have adopted them including all the Olympic classes.
As for the original question, I think gates are a great idea for mixed racing as it provides better options for staying out of trouble and getting a clear lane. A slower boat trying to round the same mark as a group of faster boats often ends up in a world of pain with little option but to eat bad air for a long time. Conversely, one fast boat trying to round in a group of slow boats can cause all sorts of problems. 2 marks usually sort this mess out.
I disagree totally. I have SEEN the monumental disaster a gate can be with a large fleet of assy dinghies. And I know the competitors don't like it. It is OK for 10 boat medal race.
Really strange. I have been sailing high performance assy boats around the world and at all levels of the sport (except the Olympics!) for as long as they have existed and i would say the exact opposite. Gates are both popular and considered a good idea in fleets of all sizes. There is a reason why so many classes actually stipulate courses with gates within their regatta handbooks. If the sailors didn't like it, they would be chucked out

 
A gate has it's drawbacks for classes that sail the angles downwind - e.g. I14s - 49ers. Easier to sort rules situations with one mark. Gates OK with classes that generally run square downwind.
Gates were specifically brought in for classes that sail the angles downwind such as skiffs and cats, and are, IMO essential. Gates are nowhere near as essential for classes that run square but many have adopted them including all the Olympic classes.
As for the original question, I think gates are a great idea for mixed racing as it provides better options for staying out of trouble and getting a clear lane. A slower boat trying to round the same mark as a group of faster boats often ends up in a world of pain with little option but to eat bad air for a long time. Conversely, one fast boat trying to round in a group of slow boats can cause all sorts of problems. 2 marks usually sort this mess out.
I disagree totally. I have SEEN the monumental disaster a gate can be with a large fleet of assy dinghies. And I know the competitors don't like it. It is OK for 10 boat medal race.
Really strange. I have been sailing high performance assy boats around the world and at all levels of the sport (except the Olympics!) for as long as they have existed and i would say the exact opposite. Gates are both popular and considered a good idea in fleets of all sizes. There is a reason why so many classes actually stipulate courses with gates within their regatta handbooks. If the sailors didn't like it, they would be chucked out
You are entitled to your view - as am I.

How many boats in the fleet are you talking about?

 

Shu

Super Anarchist
1,717
96
How many boats? Specifically, the typical NOOD regatta dinghy course (at least here in So Cal) or the ABYC (Long Beach) Outer Harbor course with approximately:

5 to 15 F-18s and A-cats

5 to 10 I-14s

10 to 20 Finns

5 to 15 Vipers

20 to 30 Laser Full Rigs

30 to 40 Laser Radials

Throw in another sport boat, slow dinghy, or Cal 20 class for good measure.

Races are run in such a manner that at any given time 2 to 3, maybe even 4 classes can converge on the leeward gate together.

 
How many boats? Specifically, the typical NOOD regatta dinghy course (at least here in So Cal) or the ABYC (Long Beach) Outer Harbor course with approximately:

5 to 15 F-18s and A-cats

5 to 10 I-14s

10 to 20 Finns

5 to 15 Vipers

20 to 30 Laser Full Rigs

30 to 40 Laser Radials

Throw in another sport boat, slow dinghy, or Cal 20 class for good measure.

Races are run in such a manner that at any given time 2 to 3, maybe even 4 classes can converge on the leeward gate together.
I have no idea what courses those events will sail because I'm half a world away. Are they Trapezoid? triangle? or just W&R?

Numbers are not too bad. Unlikely to get more than 7-8 thru the gate in the same minute - except maybe Lasers. 25 I14s in that minute would be a different kettle of fish. Or a bunch of Lasers in the gate when 10 I14s & 5 A cats join them at speed while dropping kites, and trying to work out who is going to which mark, who has mark room and who hasn't - all in 20 seconds.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Matt D

Super Anarchist
Bigger fleets require bigger gates.

I like them - both when having one fleet on a course or with multiple fleets. They leave more tactical options, and in the case of mixed fleets, they can allow slower boats to take the "wrong end of the gate" in order to keep clear air rather than eating dirty air for the early portion of their windward leg.

I sail A-sail boats (I14 and Tornado).

 

Shu

Super Anarchist
1,717
96
How many boats? Specifically, the typical NOOD regatta dinghy course (at least here in So Cal) or the ABYC (Long Beach) Outer Harbor course with approximately:

5 to 15 F-18s and A-cats

5 to 10 I-14s

10 to 20 Finns

5 to 15 Vipers

20 to 30 Laser Full Rigs

30 to 40 Laser Radials

Throw in another sport boat, slow dinghy, or Cal 20 class for good measure.

Races are run in such a manner that at any given time 2 to 3, maybe even 4 classes can converge on the leeward gate together.
I have no idea what courses those events will sail because I'm half a world away. Are they Trapezoid? triangle? or just W&R?

Numbers are not too bad. Unlikely to get more than 7-8 thru the gate in the same minute - except maybe Lasers. 25 I14s in that minute would be a different kettle of fish. Or a bunch of Lasers in the gate when 10 I14s & 5 A cats join them at speed while dropping kites, and trying to work out who is going to which mark, who has mark room and who hasn't - all in 20 seconds.
Windward Leeward. Keep in mind the displacement boats (Lasers, Finns, etc.) tend to sail in very tight groups.

 

Shu

Super Anarchist
1,717
96
Bigger fleets require bigger gates.

I like them - both when having one fleet on a course or with multiple fleets. They leave more tactical options, and in the case of mixed fleets, they can allow slower boats to take the "wrong end of the gate" in order to keep clear air rather than eating dirty air for the early portion of their windward leg.

I sail A-sail boats (I14 and Tornado).
Perhaps the issue I'm seeing is that our gates are too small. I like the theory of gates, but in these large multi-fleet regattas the gates I see are often a traffic jam with boats going 5 different directions at once (DDW, port and starboard laylines, port and starboard exit lines). Throw in the boats that tack immediately after rounding either end of the gate and it's possible to have 7 different lanes of boats crossing each other in a small space.

 




Top