You're right, and I've never ranted about IRC in general - just as it applied to the fleet in Miami. I've done almost zero IRC racing, which was a big part of why I wanted to go down there anyway - to see what it was all about.CLEAN, so your saying 'if only we had a sorted boat, together crew, sailed it well, the mast man had hair, and generally didn't f**ck up, we'd have won' Isn't that the idea?I agree that finding a couple of minutes may be impossible among top teams with perfectly sorted out boats that have no major brainfarts. But handicap boats are almost never sailed at that level - they tend to not have anywhere near enough boat-on-boat sail, rig, and boathandling development to make it possible, and certainly we didn't sail our boat anywhere near that level. Hence the conclusion that we could easily have cut 3% off our time during most races. It is awfully easy to give away a minute on a lousy start, 5 seconds on a hoist, 20 seconds on a douse, 30 seconds on a shift...You are cherry picking examples. Over an average, a few minutes of time is impossible to find amongst top teams. The average deltas are in the seconds comparing team who sail at a top level and have top level decision makers. Anybody can pickup a minute or two in a particular race just by catching a shift. Doing it over the course of a series is completely different. You said Soozal averaged beating you by a couple of minutes.Exactly. In just two legs. There was plenty of time to be found on the course. Unless everything you do is perfect, the ratings are mathematically perfect, and your competition is perfect, there's always a couple of minutes to be found. Most of the M32 races had 4+ minutes from first to last, and most of them had multiple pros, olympians, and world champs aboard their one-design boats.
Doesn't racing to a couple of minutes (for the top of the fleet in your opinion, less in mine) equate to a reasonable account for a handicap system?
From the front page -
"For a distance race, I get it (a mixed handicap fleet) - in fact, our Archambault 40 had a brilliant deck layout and very kindly motion, and a big interior with easy headroom for 'my 6 feet, 2 inches. I plan on trying to sail with Philippe and the boys later this year on a distance race - clearly something the boat will excel at (along with getting women)."
IRC offshore/distance is going to better though? Surely variable tide/weather conditions are going to favour one end of the class split more or less? Might balance out over the course of a long race, but unlikely IMO.
Again from the front page:-
"They are silly downwind on a windward leeward course, with tactics largely taken out of the equation since they point almost directly at the gates once the kite is set."
Which element of tactics exactly is this? The winds not shifting because you're sailing 165 TWA? You're not worried about clean air/giving others shit? A corner is still a corner and laylines are still laylines, just narrower, and you're not thinking about positioning at the gate? And on the other hand, upwind, you can't work out how to get off the start clean in a slower boat or avoid a lee bow? Admittedly IRC emphasisies strategy over tactics, but in a short W/L race, with small splits, not entirely.
I'm not suggesting that IRC is better than OD for top level racing, but that shouldn't be what IRC is about. I think most of your complaints are due to a low turn out/wide split, not IRC, a point you've made, subsequent to the front page rant.
I definitely have a problem with the kinds of boats that it encourages in this size range, as I'm a speed freak and I like to see fast, exciting boats have a chance to win. But I also understand that lots of people aren't and don't, and this rule seems to work for many of them, which can't be a bad thing.
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