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Thread: Corinthian Race 2020

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Oakland
    Posts
    9

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    Very true, there were SO MANY reasons. And the fact that I was sailing my home had a LOT to do with my unwillingness to compromise her safety.

    I love how the kite surfer was savvy enough to know it was a "spin pole". That must have been a fun day for that person. Pole wrastling, a whole other sport in which you clearly have talent.

    I'm truly impressed with your perseverance. I saw you in the lee of Alcatraz as I headed back towards the Estuary. I had a feeling you would finish Congrats!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    8

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    Since I do not live in the bay area, I'm a little late reading about Hedgehog. I have raced up the City Front on a number of events though and I am familiar with the situation that put you in. Dave, very sorry to hear about your grounding. You can keep in mind that I am in SoCal and not a local and my introduction to the SSS has been the SHTP seminars.

    As the owner of a 45' 20,000# X-Yacht, I have to agree with Rob\Beetle that I would not be willing to put myself in the position of racing single handed up City Front. I also want to say that as a long time racer on crewed boats I think most crewed boats have a fair amount of respect for the single handed racers. All that being said and after reading this thread and sleeping on it I have three suggestions to offer. If they make sense to you, feel free to use or modify to your hearts content. If not then you can ignore them.

    First, if I understand it correctly this occurred in a SSS event that invites double handed entries. If that is the case then the SSS as the organizing authority can amend the SI' and the Rules of Sailing. I would recommend that the SSS modify the NOR and SI's to state that in the "City Front Zone", say Fort Mason to Anita Rock, a single hand boat within 100 yards (insert whatever distance you feel is reasonable for your boat) of the shore is the right of way boat and that a double handed boat, is the burdened boat and is required to keep a lookout for the single hand boats. I think any reasonable racer will understand this requirement and if they do not or are unwilling to agree to it do you really want to be racing up City Front with them.

    Second, one of the things mentioned in the thread is meeting other boats, perhaps in different races that are not aware you are single handing. I'm thinking a simple streamer etc, that you fly off your backstay that is issued by the SSS and identifies you as a SSS. If you then notify the other clubs holding events on the bay on the same day of your event and how your fleet can be identified and ask that they announce it at their skippers meeting. I know any boat I race on would gladly give way to the single handed boats. It may also work as an incentive to the double handed boats to try single hand races.

    Third, and I think this is the hardest one, as it goes against a lot of racing experience and rules discussions. Also I am not familiar with the fleet as to how many boats use outboards versus inboard engines. Even with suggestions 1 and 2 in place, I still would not be willing to race Near Miss up City Front simply because of the risk involved and you may happen to be crossing that one other boat that is unwilling to give way. I think the only way that I would be willing to race City Front is to have a safety outlet and that has to be the engine. If the SI's allowed me to have the engine on in neutral in the City Front area and allowed for a penalty turn if I had to use the engine in gear to avoid a collision or going aground due to the action of another boat, then I would consider it. I still may not do it, but I would think about it. I would also require that a single hand boat that did engage the engine in the City Front Area, be required to make a full report of the incident to the RC at the end of the race, including when and where the penalty turn was taken. Even a simple 360 when you are single handed will cost you a lot in a race but I would much rather do that than risk the rocks or a potential collision. As I say this one is the hardest and the fact is some races are not meant for some boats. However, if enough of the single handed fleet is having issues on City Front with other boats/fleets it might be something to consider.

    Cheers,
    Don

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    134

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    Regarding incident with rock grounded Olson 29 loosing steerage after trying to avoid second right of way vessel or potential collision.
    Some thoughts for those who may be considering short handing, single handing and making race changes.

    Very unfortunate and it sucks to have fiberglass jumping up and down on the rocks. Some of us have been there or on the giving or receiving end of a serious collision. I have not seen a pattern that would make it more or less prone across or within One Design, YRA, beer can or mixed classes like SSS.

    My thoughts as a SH’er and DH’er coming from the competitive one design Express 27 class are as such:

    The Racing Rules of Sailing are well thought out and refined over many years. I would like to adhere to the right of way rules and NOT make them conditional based upon crew size. I do not want to be treated differently, because I am single handing and I do not expect to receive any extra time or room.

    Protest boats who violate the right of way rules and restrictions. I witness people who willingly or unknowingly do not follow the rules and/or fail to take penalty turns. Race committees should be matter of fact and procedural when protests are filed. Not discourage or encourage.

    Racing has risks to fiberglass, health and life. SH’g increases that risk more so. There has and will continue to be contact/collision between boats, earth and boats. It will happen at the starting lines, rounding marks and off the course.

    Single handing requires more conservative race strategies, tactics and boat handling. There are times to sail up to those limits and other times to give oneself extra cushion.

    One design DH’ers… Personally, I prefer crossing tacks amongst them, because they tend to be better handled or have two people for lookout.

    Seamanship before racing. Careful of lee shores. When it blows, I am no longer racing but rather in seamanship or survival mode. Expect to blow a tack especially on the city front or windy conditions. During Corinthians, I favored deep water & less tacks. It allowed me to go “downstairs” and boil some earl grey tea when clear of traffic.

    Stay away from the crowd at the start. Delay hoisting your jib or keep it down for congested starts like 3 bridge fiasco.

    Though you may have the right of way, this is not enough to prevent collisions or a reason be less vigilant. Do not press stand on rights. I recall Buddy Melges writing something like, “I try to avoid situations that will lead to protests.”

    From a high level safety systems view, we are sailing with this “bill board” sail that leaves us with half of ONE eye when driving up wind. Pilots and drivers are taught to scan frequently. Scan after each tack and anticipate who will be trouble later. If you are wondering who is below, it’s time to visually check.

    What is the end goal. First, to finish the race and place well later. Others, finish first even if it breaks the boat. We have different levels of comfort, physical and skill ability and preference. Single handing & Double Handing is not for everyone AND is for everyone. All should be welcome in a sport that is not growing.

    More space and time can be had by going elsewhere. Yes, it may not be the shortest distance, but it will be manageable and you can watch the tacking battles from a distance.

    Windows in all the head sails and main sails. Have them replaced when they get cloudy.

    Get to know your SSS sailors and competitors. Wave hi or participate on the forum. It’s amazing how much nicer racing gets when it’s someone you know or because you know that person will be single handing.

    In a blow and with time, use a whistle or horn to get attention. Verbal hails are difficult. Use the race VHF channel to hail boats by number or name when voice hails are difficult.

    Training. Racing Rules training and single handing tips as it applies to racing. Let’s hear from more veterans and experts as well as the membership.

    Insurance, don’t race without it. The other insurance company can pursue you if at fault.

    Some changes to the race event for consideration…

    A group vs. B group. The B group starts after the A group for less aggressive action.

    Different course for SH, but my personal preference is to race with the One Design DH’d class. It’s more fun.

    Maybe rolling starts like 3 bridge fiasco will help separate boats.

    Start SH’ers a significantly later or earlier.

    Other thoughts…

    Encourage potential cross tackers give and receive either verbal or visual signals indicating “we see each other.”

    There are rules and there is also kindness or consideration when crossing tacks. Don’t get too close to other boats who may not be as competitive. It can freak them out and cause them to alter course even as the stand on, right of way vessel. If you see a boat who is having challenges, do the right thing and give them extra room.

    If involved in a collision, do not try to perform an onsite determination of who is at fault, take care of life, property and write down everything you remember and saw. Even yourself as a witness to your accident can be unreliable. The rest is for the protest committee and insurance company.

    Carry the entry list to help identify witnesses or boats. Use cameras/videos to help with protests.

    Know what the steps are to be carried away or hail for help. What does it cost? $150 salvage tow per linear foot was eye opening.

    There have been a few points in time where I thought I would leave racing because of a bad incident. But, having seen David’s previous determination, perseverance and performance, I trust he will return with his fine Olson 29 and kicking butt.

    Joe B. Archimedes, Express 27

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    8

    Default

    I think part of my previous post may not have been clear. I'm not suggesting that SSS change the Racing Rules of Sailing. As you say they are will thought out. There is a requirement for room and opportunity in the rules. Using the particular incident as an example a double handed boat that is tacking up city front tacks to starboard at a position that does not give a single handed boat room and opportunity to safely maneuver to avoid the starboard tack boat. In my opinion for races organized by the SSS, the SSS as the organizing authority is completely within the rules to set a distance off the shore that is considered a safe limit for room and opportunity. If properly stated in the NOR and SI a competitor can decide with the race is for them or not. As I stated I am not in the bay area and don't know if it is a frequent problem or not. If not then no need for any changes. If it is then I think a clarification in the NOR and SI as to what is considered a safe distance for room and opportunity simplifies the decision making process in that area.

    Cheers,
    Don

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