Topic : Bolton

Who won then?  How's Pat's new ship?  And if someone could email me a copy of the results for Silver Tiller calculations that would be great.

Posted: 11/06/2006 19:34:31
By: deepy
OK then, found my own answer...

Posted: 12/06/2006 15:41:15
By: deepy
Question, if the race officer flies the black flag and there is a general recall as so many boats are over the line, how come no one gets lobbed? Surely if you are going to fly the black flag, you should follow through and disqualify?

Posted: 12/06/2006 17:40:19
By: Confused onlooker
Glen got lobbed!

Posted: 12/06/2006 19:18:01
By: Jeremy3550
Read 30.3 in the racing rules.

Posted: 13/06/2006 08:51:15
By: The Judge
on that same start, with 30 secs to go, only 5 boats were behind the line, I sugested to the o.d. to jot down the boats still behind the line and dsq the rest it fell on def ears, mind you judging from his lines and courses, I wouldn't have expect any better.

Posted: 13/06/2006 09:09:09
By: Behind the line
Tim Hockin, as race officer in the 470 Europeans in Stokes Bay, did exatly that. He identified 3 boats that were not over the line on a black flag start. They were placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd. If a boat is identified she shall be disqualified, without hearing, even if the race is restarted, resailed or resceduled. The race officer shall, repeat shall, display the sail numbers of the boats infringing 30.3 before the starting signal for that race. Those boats cannot start in any subsequent start and that disq. shall not be excluded in calculating her series score. 
Does that mean anyone black flagged in a Silver Tiller race should have that that score counted at the end?

Posted: 13/06/2006 09:20:24
By: The Judge
I think the interpretation is that if a boat is black flagged, the number displayed, and they then knowingly start at a subsequent start, it is an infingement and then the DSQ has to count.

Posted: 13/06/2006 09:31:06
By: deepy
Absolutely correct.

Posted: 13/06/2006 09:42:35
By: The Judge
Obviously Behind The Line has a well developed sense of how far he is from the start line and the boats that are on it. As one of those on the line I can confirm that the boats being so closely stacked it was dificult to read sail numbers as the jibs overlapped the mainsails of the boats to leeward. Perhaps the OOD(a former GP World Champion?)   would of stood a better chance of identifying boats if others stopped wittering about how to do the job.
Once again a great days racing,(£12 entry including lunch), Well done again Bolton SC

Posted: 13/06/2006 12:42:35
By: J Parry
I was sat at the comittee boat end next to the boat, it was one of the people in the comittee boat that made the comment on how much of the fleet was over, I could see the other end bouy behind the boats!
I'm sure the od tried his best, and I'm not putting him down in his sailing skills, but the line spoke for its self. and the distance to the bank at the cb end caused coutless damage to centerboards and one young lad who was sat on it at the time (ouch).

Posted: 13/06/2006 13:36:34
By: Behind the line
Though I wasn’t at Bolton, I’m with Behind the Line entirely on this one and agree that surely there would be no more appropriate place to be than in a committee boat for judging OCS cases. But it does raise/re-raise a couple of points. 

Firstly, why is there no video replay of these sorts of starts? We have the technology and, in my experience of the Merlin class, where technology developments are available, they are usually at least considered. All it would require is the start and 30 seconds of subsequent footage (from a camera on a pole?) to identify who was and who wasn’t OCS. After that, if you got away with it – fair cop!

Secondly, though it is a shame, you can see why the OD didn’t disqualify all but three boats on a start line. It comes down to the same problem, highlighted in other threads, as not protesting half a fleet for pumping in light airs – popularity! Though it may well have been fairer, can you imagine the stink kicked up by disqualifying all but three (arguably – not those who would otherwise be ‘up there’) boats?

It does raise a dilemma for those on the verge of the situation though. Do you keep gunning it and risk a black flag on the off chance of the rule is stuck to, or do you risk a terrible start if the rule is ignored and instead used just as a deterrent.

Personally, I’m in favour of a camera and lobbing those who ought to be lobbed, but I do understand that the practicalities are not so straight forward.

Posted: 13/06/2006 17:25:23
By: What to do?
The Royal Yacht Squadron start line at Cowes Week uses video and it works really well. Useful for redress both for the committee and competitors.

Posted: 13/06/2006 18:06:26
By: The Judge
Another thing that came up at Bolton was the attitude to the rules in the mid field area of the merlin fleet was appaling, basic port /starboard, water at the bouys, mark roundings, to being told I can't luff and must sail the correct course to the mark(with 6-7 boat lenght to go)
I called to 6 people to do 720's one person twice in different races.
I got so fed up with this that I did vent a protest which was upheld buy the commitee.
I Know, I know I suppose that I sould have protested every insident and kept people the till 8.00 or longer, but it shouldn't be like this, and it wasn't just me having this problem.
I have put my name to this just to show how ***** off i was, and will prob omit this event next year.

Posted: 13/06/2006 18:22:02
By: DaveF
would you suggest that this general lack of rules behaviour is ignorance or is it devil may care attitude?

Posted: 13/06/2006 19:27:36
By: john
I'm glad you protested an won. 
It would be good to share the details, was it cut and dry? Did you have a witness?
I too find the mid-fleet very unobservant of rules and they seem to find it acceptable that minor bumping is OK. There are certain boats that have refused to do turns (normally just ignore our call of protest), Natt always wants to protest and gets upset with me when I tell here to concentrate on sailing fast and it is better to go fast and avoid the cheats.
After an incident that we haven't protested (all of them, except Mark's against the race committee at Chichester, which we won, but there were a whole committee boat full of witnesses), I will often ask advice and the common response from experts (often respected judges) is that without a good witness we would have been unlikely to win, and worse, if contact occurred we may get lobbed even on a straight port /stb.

Posted: 14/06/2006 09:32:35
By: Alan F
There is not consistent application of the rules with black flags.  My understanding is that the rule is as quoted by The Judge (aka Mr Villiers-Child??) and that if you have been seen on course side of the line during the minute before the start you are lobbed utterly, whatever happens next.  It doesn't matter if not all the boats over the line are identified, and if there is a general recall on the start when there is a black flag flying, those boats which the race committee can definitely identify cannot take part in the next start.  This is how the starts at Whitstable and Parkstone for example were run with blackboard for sail numbers of the lobbee's but it isn't what happens at Salcombe.  Just as with the pumping issue the problem is that in a competitive fleet if you think you can get away with it and experience shows you can, you will do it to get as good a start as everybody else a length over

Posted: 14/06/2006 10:09:06
By: Andrew M
Dave, Is the attitude to rules due to sailing at Bolton or due to Bolton Sailors?

Posted: 14/06/2006 10:48:01
By: Wondering
It's a very difficult area, I couldn't agree more.  As far as I understand it, the OCS as far as the black flag rule goes 60s before the start is a triangle drawn with the startline as its base and the two sides at 45 degrees to each end of the start line.  It is, again as far as I understand it, the responsibility of the committee to lob all boats which it can definitely identify.  I recall a happy experience where Mark Barnes and I got lobbed because we had a luminous orange sail, but the 4 boats to windward and closer to the committee boat didn't because they weren't distinguishable.

As far as pushing your luck on the start, well you kind of have to do it. As far as I understand though it is far from new - the prevalence of white boats in years gone by is testament to that. You have to take your chances and make sure you're as concealed as can be, but be prepared to take the consequences. This is where the problems arise. If we are to apply the black flag properly, the only way round it is to stick numbers on our bows, which is darned ugly, and take photographs at bow height or the class association buys 80 transponders which we fit to our jib tacks. Either way the expense, hassle and effort makes it unlikely.

Posted: 14/06/2006 11:03:37
By: deepy
It might be a good idea to take a leaf out of The Star Class and allow no discards in a series, this does concentrate the mind or at least if you are feeling soft make it compulsory to count a DISQ or OCS. That will clean it up pronto.

Posted: 14/06/2006 11:14:45
By: Attorney at Law
If the race officer sets a line with so much port bias that boats on stbd tack cannot cross the line and flies a black flag, he is almost guaranteed a clean start. It is a soft option for the race officer but not for the competitors.
As a competitor one is faced with some very unpleasant decisions:
a. Attempt a port end start and hope that the wind flicks to the right just enough to let you get round the buoy at the last minute (or rock your way round)
b. If you could hit the buoy and make it go down your port side you could always do a turn - once you sailed clear of the carnage of everyone else trying to start you would have plenty of time and still be leading - usually you can't get up to windward enough to hit it without infringing the black flag rule.
c. Attempt a port tack start - like Glen did on Sunday - this is a high-risk strategy hoping there will be a gap by the buoy before you are too soon!
d. Gybe round and try to find a gap in the line of stbd boats. This is how most people started. We went round 3 times on Sunday and still got called about again by a line of boats - who still hadn't crossed the line and weren’t going to until they tacked - I gave up at that stage!
d. Start at the other end and accept a few hundred yards penalty on the few boats that get off the port end cleanly. This probably would have been best on Sunday in hindsight.
Anyway the point is the race officer has a clean start - but the competitors chances of a days fair sport is completely f**ked up.

Posted: 14/06/2006 11:19:03
By: Pat Blake
Live ammunition in the starting gun?

Posted: 14/06/2006 11:26:57
By: Just a thought
So, gate starts?

Posted: 14/06/2006 11:27:37
By: bill
Have you ever done one? God it's ballsaching I remember one where a real smartie started early and after the required period tacked onto Port out sailed the gate boat and gave him dirty wind thus wrecking the whole thing. Perhaps a le-Mans start or now everyone (At least those doing the Tideway.)has an anchor, a moored start?

Posted: 14/06/2006 11:32:35
By: Just a thought
Presumably 'A Real Smartie' could be protested for bad seammanship/sportsmanship.  Shouldn't be a problem finding witnesses.

Posted: 14/06/2006 11:38:05
By: bill
I think a real problem at a lot of restricted water meetimgs is teh sheer number of boats attending.

This was certainly the case at Banbury where the first beat and start lines were a nightmare!

Posted: 14/06/2006 11:46:31
By: Chris
No! No!
Just a line thats approximatly at right angles to the 'average' wind direction.
Of course, to be fair, it was shifting a lot at Bolton but that is normal on ponds. You may have a few general recalls - but not many when the black flag comes in - and is enforced.
At least that way there is skill in starting - most boats can get away reasonably. There is less luck and less cheating.

Posted: 14/06/2006 11:52:25
By: Pat Blake
Chris has a good point.
The group system works well on rivers - and at Salcombe - perhaps it should be used on smallish lakes as well?

Posted: 14/06/2006 11:54:57
By: Pat Blake
Sounds like a good plan, but:  I don't know how big Bolton is, but if you can start 20 Merlins on a start line at Upper Thames, then I don't think 24 should be too onerous on a lake.  Admittedly 40 boats at Banbury is a different matter, but it all seems to work out at Hollingworth - it's part of the reason we go isn't it?!

Personally, I think that the race officer has a duty to set as fair a line as possible. obviously this isn't always as easily said as done, especially on ponds. If the wind shifts during the sequence then I think he should abandon the start and re-set his line. If it is just gratuitously incorrect then surely there is room to bring up the issue in the protest room as an improper action of the race committee. Obviously no one wants to go down this route, but why does it seem to keep happening?!

Posted: 14/06/2006 12:05:51
By: deepy
I think it would be unfair to dicuss the protest without the other parties concent, but I will say there were no witnesses.

It wasn't just the bolton people I think there was a mixture of all the above.

But saying that there were peolpe doing turns for mark touching and other offences where they Knew they can't get away with it.

Posted: 14/06/2006 12:21:00
By: daveF
I wasn't there, but i'm sure the RO did what he thought was best.

The trouble with starts at a lot of restricted water meetings is that there is not enough water behind and around the line for the fleet to fit into comfortably. Those who are inexperienced avoid the line like the plague, those who are late but think they are comfortable find that they are not and end up barging in, which in turn forces those in the front row over the line = general recall.

That was a definate problem at Banbury with 40 boats, and flights would have been a lot less stressful.

24 boats at Bolton should be OK on paper, but i suppose it depends on the wind direction(s) and the RO options on a beat. If it was the same as last year, surely there should not have been a problem with line or beat length?

Posted: 14/06/2006 12:24:22
By: Chris M
Small lake people welcome lots of visitors.  Keep coming!

We should take note of three things that appear to be emerging from this thread.

1) seriously consider and plan for the flights option. eg Trent Valley style.
2) know your bottom and sides. Design the starting area to give enough room for the fleet to work the start properly or go for flights. Sutton and perhaps Banbury. Same must apply to marks. Is it better to have a shortish first beat but a good start line?
3) a little bit of port bias is a good thing but too much spoils the fun.

As possibly the only one who was black flagged Twice at the 2005 Nationals its a pain but a fair cop. At least I was trying! But I could not possibly consider a white boat! In fact, its purple sails for me next time too.


Posted: 15/06/2006 13:36:49
By: Midland Circuit Chap
The reason the OOD allowed the boats over the line to continue even after the black flag was flown in the second race was because he couldn't see enough of them to make sure all the culprits were OCS'd. Yes, he could have noted the ones that weren't over the line but that's hindsight for you. The club usually film the starts (as they did the week before for the GP14 Masters), but the person who normally films them was racing!

Surely if the black flag is flying that would make people very wary of being over the line, but it didn't seem to make a blind bit of difference on Sunday!

As for appalling disregard for rules, there were many incidents involving very basic disregard for the Port and Starboard rule with many a coming together. I'm surprised there wasn't more damage caused during the day than there was.

Posted: 15/06/2006 17:32:02
By: A Spectator
A good square first beat albeit a short one is better than a very biased line, but again only if there are not far too many boats around. Again picking on Banbury (Sorry guys!!) the line was square enough, as was the first beat but the mark was only about 200 yards away in the first race and 40 boats in a shifty breeze tend to not separate from each other very quickly. This was certainly not the fault of Banbury SC, the wind direction and shape of the lake did dictate what beats they could and could not set and they must have been overjoyed at such a good turnout.

The lesson to be learned from Banbury is that flights maybe should be a consideration if you get a big turnout and the wind direction is makes a decent length first beat impossible.

We want these high turn outs on the smaller venues, but we also want everyone to have fair starts and racing and not frighten people away because of overcrowding and the potential for damage.

Posted: 16/06/2006 08:44:21
By: Chris M
Hasn't the class been here before lots of times, though in perhaps less frantic days when competitors were a wee bit more laid back! It should be a good thing surely that too many boats is the problem not too few! It's not insurmountable but I'm sure one of the problems not unique to the MR Class (Any one else see Spring Watch and the Merlins on the nest?) is the concerteenering of regattas where a heat system on the Saturday/Sunday mornings took the pressure off, more two day regattas perhaps, with a more logical fixture list enabling boats to be left and picked up with Tamesis/Tideway this weekend. This might all contribute if sailing and again it's not unique to the Merlin Rocket class is becoming a contact sport again then a few people sent off for a few months might concentrate the mids a few heavy claims for damage with the guilty party or their insureance paying up might again help before someone gets really hurt as they did in the late 60's though NOT it must be said in the MR class.

Posted: 16/06/2006 11:05:37
By: Sympathiser
A quick look through the RYA web site shows this is a problem the ISAF & RYA are well aware of thr RYA issue 37 (May 2004) News letter with lots of imput by Dr Frank Newton is very much to the point. Especially Guidance on Rule 69 (April 2004.) Frank was in the middle of one of the previous incidents in 1968 that led to the begining of tightening up. It just needs a few brave race officers! We can a talk a good game many can walk the walk?

Posted: 16/06/2006 11:49:57
By: Another sympathiser.
Your opinions would be so much more resonant with some indication as to your identities.

Posted: 16/06/2006 12:00:07
By: Jon

Posted: 16/06/2006 13:18:53
By: Just a thought
Jon white boat thing?

Posted: 16/06/2006 22:03:58
By: Alan F
This is all about self respect at the end of the day.
If the only way you can win or finish further up the fleet is by cheating then it is in my opinion a very hollow victory. I would rather finish last knowing I had sailed my best and complied with the rules than finish in a higher place knowing I had pumped rocked and knocked my way round the course. The excuse of "evryone else is doing it" is no excuse and whilst I doubt I shall ever officiate at a silver tiller event I will be OOD at my club and rest assurred any one caught infringing the rules will be "lobbed".
Because it is part of the skill/art of the sport, I bet lot's of sailing cheats are also "armchair" ref's for other sports calling for freekicks and penalties when their club / country is infringed.
Come on OOd's enforce the rules, and be known as the best fleet for both social and sailing skills not to mention the best two person dinghy out there.

Posted: 16/06/2006 23:52:22
By: martin 3190
Well said Martin, just the sort of chap, with moral courage the sport needs as OOD as large important regattas. Why not volunteer?

Posted: 17/06/2006 09:47:07
By: Concurer
trouble at mill lads! Tha's a reet complainin' bunch.
Did thee not know that lines should be Portish. If thee brings thee coracles up 'ere when it's North Westerley tha'll git gradely starts and reg'lar beats. Sound advive from a general purpose sailor.

Posted: 20/06/2006 08:12:48
By: General purpose sailor
Social & Skills are not two words that spring to mind (Together.)at alomost any sailing event anywhere though Sailing and Skills does if equaled with Merlin Rocket.

Posted: 20/06/2006 10:35:19
By: Tatler & Bystander
It was my first open meeting in a MR and must say that in 21 years of sailing, from optimists to Cork Week it was the most appauling event I've sailed in. Yes the courses were poor, but a lask of wind and an odd direction caused many of the problems.

The biggest problems were mentioned earlier - a complete disregard of the basic rules of sailing. One chap I won't mention even told me the rules don't count before the start. If you think that, you shouldn't be on the lake. Maybe it's a case of bigger cheque books than brains.

My 2p!

Posted: 26/06/2006 11:00:01
By: Competitor
At Tamesis open (which was excellent given some very difficult conditions) somebody hit my transom approacing a mark (on a run and thus taking my wind) and shouted at me for not going fast enough!

Is it me?

It was a very difficult event with winds never above force 1, and I know I made a few minor infringments myself, but I wasn't alone as there was minor bumping all over the place. I never saw anyone do any turns, so didn't do any myself, and I am now left with the impression that we just don't do turns. I never shouted at anyone though.

Then, at Tideway, somebody went the wrong side of the mark and dragged me 50 yards down river with the tide. I then watched 20 boats sail past.

Is it me?

Posted: 26/06/2006 15:12:31
By: mark 3078
That was me. And that was because you claimed I had no water on a pretty marginal call and squeezed me out, I avoided you and the mark and got out of your way as quickly as possible and then I spent 10 minutes trying to round the mark properly letting 40 boats go past. 

I didn't hit you, I didn't hit the mark, you didn't call protest. So it is a bit unfair you bringing up that as an example of unfairness or rule infringement.

In that case it was a bit of your own undoing given the rate of the tide.

Posted: 26/06/2006 15:44:29
By: Alan F
Try thinking ahead, that way you avoid getting into these types of tricky situation....

Posted: 26/06/2006 15:46:29
By: It Takes Two...

Great race and no hard feelings I hope. I admit that leeward marks are quite difficult as the boats behind tend to pick up quite a lot of speed first and gain a lot of ground quickly in a gust.

It was a very fine judgement on your part, but even if you judged it just right and got an overlap at the very last moment, I couldn't have let you in at that moment as I had another ten boats outside me.

So should you have slowed down or even put a gybe in and gone round the back, or should I have made space for you in advance, even when you didn't have an overlap and looked unlikely to get one, and mekely let you through? In end it was close, but didn't actaully achieve an overlap in time so what, in hindsight, could I have done differently and also what could you have done?

Posted: 26/06/2006 16:30:30
By: mark 3078
If. as a competitor, and you have a collision, you can only take 3 courses of action. 1) Retire  2) Protest  3) Accept a penalty. Stick to this basic and the racing will improve. If you see an infringement you have a duty to protest the competitors involved. By ignoring the rules you are all making a rod for your own backs!

Posted: 26/06/2006 16:50:19
By: The Judge
Absolute no hard feelings, just regret mucking up the rounding as it cost me (and you many many places). 

I should have thought well ahead, as on the run with the tide, we were approaching the mark very fast and as soon as I had an overlap I had no option about gybing and no way of slowing down. We definately had and overlap (both of us) on the outside boats, due to the position of the next boat out, and I wanted to pop round the mark just behind you, but the gust put paid to that.

With hind-sight, I should have stayed well clear of the bunch and gone for a clean rounding knowing that most would muck each other up and the tide would probably leave me a gap to go into.

I don't think you could have done much differently. Maybe defend a bit more agressively earlier, a hard luff when you saw me approach 4 boat lengths out or some thing well before I had a chance to overlap to show that there was no way in and I would have popped round to leeward.

Posted: 26/06/2006 17:01:47
By: Alan F


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