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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Alameda, CA

    Default discussion of the non spin class in the SSS

    I raced many of the races last year - all non spin and without an autopilot by choice. I loved each race when I was out there and to finally be sailing with some of best in the bay with a boat fast enough to make up for my absent mindedness. In the numerous races i participated in I scored many DNFs and was noted as one of last boats to pass the finish mark. I knew that I could register for spin class if I chose to at any time. Nevertheless I did not and stayed non spin divisions to finish out the season as I had started. Admittedly not finishing well or at all in many of events despite my efforts took a little out of my sails which ultimately reflected in the spreadsheets and the last few races which i skipped to do other things. Although the records in final jibe set did not note it, I did more races than was reflected and were not calculated in the overall standings and most notably leaving me and my boat out altogether in the end. All actually quite understandable. And yet for me the 2021 season is a stand out for two incredible things. Firstly and most truthfully - sailing non spin meant I got to do numerous match racing single handed with my sister boat Lively Lady, a boat i poured thousands of hours into to save her from the dumpster and later sell to a good friend. They were quite the halcyon days of 2021, ones I will never forget. Secondly the NTNB race proved to be the best day of racing non spin and with no instruments/autohelm on Pretty Penny - a testament to her stiffness and speed while flying under whites sails around the course with the bit in her teeth.

    Upon reflection, I thought i might makes some observations in regards for signing up for races. I noted by mid August the non spin and spin classes were already compiled into one list in a gross determination of ranking (making the non spin class less consequential save for those individual races folks participated in). In the final rankings - there was no consideration on spin vs. non spin based on start times (non spin classes started last in order of sequence in the races that counted) nor got possible time adjustments based on those classes who chose to sail without the downwind sails. Moreover many of the boats that did sail/race non spin never even got credited for those races and were not indicated on the final jibe set tally. Maybe if I had taken the time to inquire with the board, asked questions here or read more into previous - I would have received clarity or likely done things differently.

    It does beg several questions based on anecdotal observations that i noted above. I am sure many of you have and know answer to them. Those who don't may find this interesting.

    If the non spin class have no accommodations made to address the speed differences on all day races that often include long down wind runs, what could be done to properly rate the non spin against the fleet in total?

    The non spin boats often result in earning DNFs because they are the last to start in sequences cutting short their overall course allotted time often substantially and during peak wind times. What can be done to address these significant setbacks if anything?

    Most importantly, if non spin boats can not be calculated in overall finishes to reflect fleet standings and year end placement, why bother to have the separate division at all?


    This upcoming 2022 season I cannot foresee being in the non spin divisions nor would I advocate others in displacement hulls who want to finish to within the allotted time and get home before dark to do so either. Solo or doubled handed crews may or may not chose to raise kites during all or any of these races but it does give them a chance to finish and head home often before sunset. Clearly this is a subjectively personal decision based on conditions, skill, health and determination and may not fit everybody's situation. I am excitedly looking forward to making many if not all the races this year with an eye on doing the 2023 Transpac if life, my lovely boat and timing allow. It took me a full season to learn my new boat, do the bottom, buy new sails, replace old and broken parts and begin to put together a fulfilling single handed sailing program that can compete with the best on the bay. Knowing when to start and with who is a part of that. I look forward to reading what others think and their own experiences.
    Last edited by Black Jack; 01-04-2022 at 01:55 AM.
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