Results 1 to 10 of 35

Thread: Thread for discussion of the SSS - doublehanded / singlehanded question

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    1,589

    Default Thread for discussion of the SSS - doublehanded / singlehanded question

    I just did a quick count...2020 Corinthian Race:, 98 Doublehanded entries, and 33 Singlehanded.

    When I ooched out from the Corinthian YC's docks on Saturday, out into the "fray" before the start I was blown away by the density of racing boats. I happened to go out right next to a Club cruising powerboat, and the skipper on the flybridge of that boat hollered "holy s**t"...at the sheer density of boats before he found the quickest way he could out of there. With THAT density of boats in the starting area, it's just a matter of time before something really bad happens.

    We've lost longtime members to the perceived conflict: that this is the SINGLEHANDED Sailing Society, not the DOUBLEHANDED Sailing Society.

    Now Hedgehog has been driven up on the rocks by a hot one-design class doublehanded boat.

    It's time to talk about changes. POLITELY!

    ============================

    Shorthanded racing is on the rise. Jeanneau, J-Boats and Dehler, not to mention other smaller builders, have new models out specifically targeted at shorthanded racing. There's no question that at least for now, shorthanded racing is the ~thing~.

    My own opinion is that it's a mistake to say "NO" to doublehanded boats/crews, outright. We have some longtime SSS'ers who race 2-up. Here's my suggestion... That the SSS disallow any of it's races being used as "counters" in any other Class or Associations season. That would remove teams which only doublehand because these couple of races require it, and bring a "full-crew" mentality to the course.

    Of course people can race in a One Design class as well as the SSS. They can bring the same boat out and race with the SSS. But the SSS races can't count towards a season total in the One Design class.

    That's my thought.
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
    1962Buesher "Aristocrat" tenor saxophone
    Piper One Design 24, Hull #35; "Alpha"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    12

    Default

    A suggestion coming from a double handed entrant, and somewhat new participant in the SSS. Having boats/crews with such different performance characteristics on the same playing field is a problem faced not just by the single/double differences, but multihull/mono as well. I was involved in a minor collision on Saturday when a tri missed a tack around little harding and we were unable to bear away fast enough to avoid. The multi/mono friction is apparent in most all crewed series i have sailed where these fleets are sailing the same course, or even using the same marks. Generally the RC tries to keep them apart, but there are obviously constraints when using fixed marks. It may be possible to re-arrange the courses for shorthanded boats, double handed boats and multis such that there is less interaction, especially on the beats, and at mark roundings. This could also help eliminate some of the more dangerous lee shores for singlehanded participants. This would take considerable effort to maintain the spirit of the races.

    Another less drastic suggestion would be adding a document that must be acknowledged to participate that lays out the difficulties faced by single handed sailors and urging other boats to give them consideration due those sailors. I'm sure this wasn't on the mind of any of the sailors involved in ROW incidents. I believe Andy Evans mentioned sailing with a numeral 1 pennant when singlehanding to let other boats know his status, this could help aid in awareness of the increased response times and decrease in maneuverability inherent in singlehanding.

    I'd like to tip my hat to all the single handed folks out there Saturday. The race had plenty of complications for us with 2 on board.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Santa Rosa
    Posts
    578

    Default

    I've sailed SSS races since 1984 - both singe and double. As the entry numbers have grown, so have the issues. Many have been problems have been improved by better written Sailing Instructions, for instance, but others remain. I stayed out tacking up the City Front, but still encountered 2 doublehanded Expdress 27ts tacking out on port and not giving way. The wind was around 23 knots and the water bouncy. I bore off both times, once missing the other boat by inches. I could have protested, but I was too busy sailing to write down anything or get a red flag up.
    Then at Little Harding I was overtaken by a large number of Expresses, several J-105s, and some Moores. I thought I was taking the mark really wide on starboard, but several Express 27s were outside me and when they tacked over to port I had to also. That sent me directly into the starboard boats behind me. I threaded thru them, fouling several, and missed the mark. I had to jibe and take a 2nd pass at the mark. Again I was fouled bu multiple port boats, but managed to squeak around the buoy. It was hairy, dangerous, and un-Corinthian. Singlehanding a Wyliecat might appear simple if you haven't sailed one in close quarters. Along with the danger, it probably cost me minutes of time.
    Here's a Little Harding Rock suggestion for next year. Set an offset mark to the NW of the buoy - or better still, set a temporary turning mark WITH an offset mark to the NE of the metal buoy. An offset mark is used in many drop mark courses to solve the "U-turn" problem. Not a good place for a gate. But a good one for an offset buoy.
    I"ll defer on the Blossom Rock melee, the City Front tacking duel, and the tricky wind/current Blackaller rounding for later discussion. Pat Broderick, NANCJY Wyliecat 30 #28890

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    13

    Default

    I am relatively new to the sport (as a skipper) I certainly enjoy the double handed races a lot more than the up and down conveyor belt grinder that is sausage courses, and I learn a lot more about the sport doing it double handed rather than full crew. Maybe someday I'll get an autopilot and the nerve to try singlehand.

    Might be worth throwing a few words into a group email about single handers needing a little more space than other boats. We (double hands) were a little tight with Mulan (single hand) coming around the last mark before the finish, Mulan called for more space and we gave it best we could. Later my crew was complaining that Mulan had plenty of room, I had to remind him that single handers can't crash tack as fast and need more room to maneuver. So if my crew needed a reminder I suspect others do too.

    I agree that short handed sailing is a growing sport. 130 entries in February is nothing to sneeze at. We had 5 J/105 sign up this year which is exciting to see it get it's own class this year. I think that is a first for this race. Hedgehog getting screwed is bad but also highlights growth and interest in shorthanded sailing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Santa Rosa
    Posts
    578

    Default

    The SSS Division Splits and Starting Sequence might be a place to begin looking at changes designed to make our races safer. I don't think either has been looked at for a long time. Here are several ideas:
    1. Move any Class Season Counter Fleets & the multihulls to the first starts. Get them off and then pause the starting sequence to give them some separation. 5 minute rolling starts don't allow much separation. Giving them 10 minutes to get away and spread out might work?
    2. Separate Starts for singlehanded divisions. Keep the PHRF Divisions, but combine (Sportboats + <108) / (111-159 + > 162) Singlehanded Starts. After the doublehanded divisions have started.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    1,589

    Default

    I like this suggestion of breaking up the starting sequence. There are a million ways to do this, but with 120+ boats racing, well...that's a BIG race. Only 30-something singlehanders started. With a starting line the size of the Corinthians, I think we'd want something like a dozen boats starting at once, no more than that. So I might do it this way:


    DOUBLEHANDERS
    Doublehanded Multihull
    Doublehanded One-Designs
    Doublehanded PHRF bands, both spin and non-spin together.

    30-45 minute pause

    SINGLEHANDERS
    Singlehanded Multihull
    Singlehanded Spinnaker
    Singlehanded Non-Spinnaker

    alternatively the Singlehanders could start in rating bands... Multi's, then the PHRF bands.

    How long to pause? Let's do a dumb approximation calculation. Well, a "fast" boat out there rates 100 sec/mile. That's an Olson 30, for example. A "slow" boat out there rates 240...that's a Santana 22 (close enough). So that's a 140 second per mile difference. Most SSS races in the Bay are about 20 miles long. So 20 miles X 140 sec/mi = 2800 seconds.. That's 46.6 minutes. So if the RC wanted to make pretty darned sure that the Olson 30 and the Santana 22 wouldn't ever run into each other on the racecourse until the finish, they'd want to separate them by 46 minutes.

    We all know that a big wind hole can scramble that calculation. And of course, there are plenty of boats out there that rate <100...every single one of the multihulls, for example. The RC could wait two hours, but that puts the fleets in ~wildly~ different wind. They could wait 30 minutes, but then there will pretty certainly be ~some~ overlap between DH and SH classes. 45 minutes seems like a compromise....but I could also see a 30 minute gap. It wouldn't eliminate overlap, but it would help a lot.
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
    1962Buesher "Aristocrat" tenor saxophone
    Piper One Design 24, Hull #35; "Alpha"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    234

    Default

    It's easy to jump into the single vs double handed tension. I don't think that is the right approach. Everyone needs to give a bit more room for 'shorthanded' races, particularly across divisions and classes. As others have mentioned it starts with the skippers. We need to take responsibility for this. As skippers we also need to understand that the same tactics of fully crewed racing might not the appropriate when sailing shorthanded. Conditions were difficult on the city front on Saturday with our without boats around you. It was very bumpy close to shore and winds in the high 20s, and most boats were caught over-canvased. The reality is that we had a successful event with over 100 boats racing the same course. I don't think the ratio of SH vs DH matters as much as the density of boats in the same area. The same number of boat all SH would likely have some similar encounters. I'm not sure there is a magic wand as conditions on the course are unpredictable. In this particular race we had 2 restarts, bunching boats together. We already have a handicap based start to try to spread out the fleet, but the majority of the boats still band in a tight rate band.

    From a fairness perspective, everybody is competing for the overalls, so at least within a class, you want to start boats as close as possible for everyone to sail on the same conditions. Perhaps SH can start 30 minutes before DH (or reverse). But again, depending on the course I'm not sure this avoids convergence particularly on a city front flood.

    The reverse handicap approach of the TBF helps with the spread out of the fleet, but it also pretty much takes away much of the tactical aspects of sailboat racing. It also makes it much harder on Race Committee.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    2,388

    Default

    Dura Mater and I are rarely in the scrum, and if we find ourselves there it is accidental. However, weíve been in the SSS since 2009 and have watched the races grow and contract. Hereís a chart:

    SSS Races 2010-2020 - Copy.pdf

    As a group we have congratulated ourselves regarding the success of the Fiasco, consistently high attendance in the bay races, attention from local and even some national press. But this has all come at a price. And David, with his beautiful, carefully prepared and sleek Hedgehog, has paid it.

    Steve Katzman and I had a phone conversation yesterday. Steve has sailed on the bay for longer than I, and he always exhibits Corinthian behavior on his Express 27 Dianne. Steve is also racing director @ his yacht club on the South Shore of Tahoe. He knows how much work goes into the organization of and running of a race, albeit on a smaller scale.

    In our phone conversation Steve listened carefully and responded thoughtfully. Hereís the back and forth:

    J: How has the Singlehanded Sailing Society come to be the organizer and serve as race committee for these large fleets of doublehanders?

    S: I donít know. We thank you for doing that. I single hand the first leg of the Vallejo every year, but single-handing is not my cup of tea. The SSS is a wonderful organization and I love it. This is a sad state of affairs and Iím embarrassed IF a boat in my Express 27 fleet was the cause of this terrible situation.

    J: How often do members of these doublehanded fleets help on race deck?

    S: Rarely?

    J: What does the SSS get out of this?

    S: Entry fees. The SSS has come to be the organiser by putting on these races and allowing double handers to enter. The SSS puts on great races, the courses are distance and much more interesting then round the pins, the race committee work is good. And the entry fees are reasonable. The SSS provides lots of bang for our entry dollars. The SSS has designed a better mousetrap. ((buglight?)

    J: Yes, and we spend most of the entry fees on t-shirts and trophies, which very often, most often, no one bothers to collect.

    S: Yes, thank you again for collecting Dianneís t-shirts and awards for me.

    J: Youíre welcome. When you are out there racing, do you even consider how Dianne competes against singlehanded boats?

    S: I modify how Dianne competes against singlehanded boats. I am not racing against them, I am racing the other boats in e 27 fleet and other doublehanders competing for overall. I extend singlehanders courtesy and recognise they can't manuever as quickly as doublehanders.

    J: Why doesnít the Express 27 fleet run its own series?

    S: e 27's don't run their own series because we can buy the services of other organisations by paying entry fees. With 10 to 20 e 27's entering a regatta we have some financial clout. Organizing and running races is a lot of work.

    J: Thank you for your candidness, Steve. Iím glad we are friends.

    The Singlehanded Sailing Society doesnít have a clubhouse, we donít have a single power boat, we donít pay officers or committee members who spend hours on the race deck. We beg and borrow other Clubsí race decks. In return our singlehanded sailors are shown disrespect and their boats get smashed up by bad actors on the water. Why do we continue to do this? How is it that the Singlehanded Sailing Society has become the race organizer for entire fleets on the bay?

    Once again, I remind you here of the pertinent quote from the By-Laws of the Singlehanded Sailing Society, filed with the California Secretary of State on October 5, 1977:
    "Membership in the Society is open to all sailors and not just singlehanders. Races, however, shall all be singlehanded events."

    Why donít shorthanded sailors create a Shorthanded Sailing Society and run their own races?

    In a conversation with an SSS board member the other night, it was noted that the board alone has the right to make changes. Maybe itís time for big changes. Perhaps we can have an open, civil and constructive discussion of possible changes at the Corinthian Awards ceremony Wednesday evening March 18. Oakland Yacht Club, 7:30 pm.

    By the way.
    Do you know how much it costs to be assisted by BoatUS if your boat is bashing onto rocks in high wind? $100/foot. Yeah. Because it is considered salvage, not towing. Lucky for David and Hedgehog, Phil Delano was on the scene in five minutes. That was impressive. Under the circumstance I suppose I would just hand over my credit card and say, ďThank you!Ē And I might even mean it.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •