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Thread: discussion of the non spin class in the SSS

  1. #1
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    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?

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    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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  2. #2
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    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 SSS has always tried to stay clear of getting into the ratings game. I think the non-spinnaker class was made to encourage more folks to race in a less intimidating format. I think this is really a question for the YRA and PHRF committee. If they were to rate a boat without a spinnaker with a credit for such I could see the SSS using it.

  3. #3
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    It was not a question of ratings but of deference. I recognize PHRF is too hot a potato for the SSS to get involved and wisely avoiding making rating adaptations. I will note there were rating adaptations made by the board made for powered boats which were for relief to non powered winched boats. with due respect to the fleet and since the power winch group did not have fuller active season, they too were excluded from the standings.

    I see two different things which may or may not have merit - only in the three bridge fiasco do the slowest PHRF boats regardless of spin/non spin start first. None of the other bay races do that which indicates the SSS does want to have everyone to come out, compete with a hope to finish before the deadline. It's wild and much loved popularity proves its self every year. Secondly and to the point - Why continue with a division of no spinnaker if they do not include the non spin racers the results of each race or when compile the year end results? The results indicate that a racer must have been in at least one spin class race to qualify for standings in the fleet. It would be nice if they disclosed this or taken consideration in the effort.

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    Last edited by Black Jack; 01-04-2022 at 10:49 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Non-spinnaker boats are not excluded from the SSS season standings. Todd Arnold (Osprey) won the singlehanded season overall in 2020, sailing non-spinnaker. In the double-handed division, Basic Instinct has usually done well racing non-spinnaker, and there are others.

    Sometimes boats don't get posted in the season standings correctly. The SSS RC tries to correct these errors before publishing the results but might have missed Pretty Penny. I'd check with Jibeset (Ray) and the RC to see what happened.

    As to the starting order, this has been debated many times and changed for some races to avoid congestion at the start and at "pinch points" around the course. I remember watching a Wilderness 21 (Hi Matt!) start a Round-The-Rocks Race when the RC tried starting the highest-rated boats first. He got gassed multiple times as the faster boats passed him. So there are trade-offs.
    .
    Last edited by BobJ; 01-05-2022 at 07:34 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    Non-spinnaker boats are not excluded from the SSS season standings. Todd Arnold (Osprey) won the singlehanded season overall in 2020, sailing non-spinnaker. In the double-handed division, Basic Instinct has usually done well racing non-spinnaker, and there are others.

    Sometimes boats don't get posted in the season standings correctly. The SSS RC tries to catch and correct these errors before publishing the results but might have missed Pretty Penny. I'd check with Jibeset (Ray) and the RC to see what happened.

    As to the starting order, this has been debated many times and changed for some races to avoid congestion at the start and at "pinch points" around the course. I remember watching a Wilderness 20 (Hi Matt!) start a Round the Rocks Race when they tried starting the highest-rated boats first. He got gassed multiple times as the faster boats passed him. It wasn't pretty. So there are trade-offs.
    Thank you Bob. It is tricky sailing sailing a slower boat against fast boats that get priority, prime starting times and cause us to practice safer, more prudent race positions. Like Tom's Osprey, I know first hand when solo racing get closed in by double handed hot shots crowding the pins after we have already entered it, demanding room from astern as well as faster, taller short handed rigs that seek to blanket us at the most inopportune times often without regards or considerations. in the last years of SSS, I made it a practice to avoid the crowds after a double handed Express 27 hit me, making me lose six months of sailing and racing during the 2016 TBF. i actually did all the extensive repair to Lively Lady stem and frames from the strong impact. I did not seek compensation from their cause of that accident and chalked it up to risk of being out there. Few other skippers would have been so Corinthian about it as I was.

    As you can see above several boats sailing non spinnaker never got rolled into the season standings including Lively Lady and others. Those boats that sailed in both divisions did get picked up. I thought it was an oversight too but by August just I let the season go. By the time we got to the Vallejo 1/2 date - i thought it better to skip the rest of the season of being nearly last and off the rolls anyway, began rethinking my chill solo handed non spinnaker strategy and preparing for a more successful and accounted for 2022.
    Last edited by Black Jack; 01-04-2022 at 12:17 PM.
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  6. #6
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    The RC tries to adapt to the congestion issues, such as putting the singlehanders in their own starts and even on a separate course for Round the Rocks. But sometimes you can't avoid the conflicts, like when there's a massive restart at Southampton Shoal due to Angel Island's wind shadow. On the positive side, it's part of why we keep at this. There are so many variables and complexities, it's always a new challenge.

    FWIW, I'd been racing in SSS for several years before I ever won my division (not overall, just my division). The skippers who move up the ramp more quickly are those who take careful notes after every race. Otherwise it's the usual things: Clean bottom, decent sails and good boat handling so as to avoid any major screw-ups. And sailing a purposeful course - sailboats are relatively slow so sailing any extra distance really hurts you.
    Last edited by BobJ; 01-04-2022 at 12:28 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Jack View Post
    Why continue with a division of no spinnaker if they do not include the non spin racers the results of each race or when compile the year end results? The results indicate that a racer must have been in at least one spin class race to qualify for standings in the fleet. It would be nice if they disclosed this or taken consideration in the effort.
    The points standings after 3 races that you posted look like they were cut off after the top 50. In the Corinthian race you finished 30.5 out of 38 starters in SH monohull, right? That would be .803 points. You had DNFs in the other two races, so it looks to me like you would be outside the top 50.

    There's definitely no rule that you need to race at least once with spinnaker to be listed in the standings.

  8. #8
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    In the examples of results you posted, it’s notable that in one race you registered as Frederick Hoppe and in another as Ted Hoppe. Are they both you? Season scores are tracked by “skipper” not boat name and the system assumes this is two different people. Could be father and son?

    As for the notion that early starters in the sequence have an advantage, there are times, particularly in pursuit races, that the early starters suffer before the wind has filled in. The bigger picture is that what may be a benefit one day can be a liability on another. That’s sailboat racing.
    Tom P.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dazzler View Post
    In the examples of results you posted, it’s notable that in one race you registered as Frederick Hoppe and in another as Ted Hoppe. Are they both you? Season scores are tracked by “skipper” not boat name and the system assumes this is two different people. Could be father and son?

    As for the notion that early starters in the sequence have an advantage, there are times, particularly in pursuit races, that the early starters suffer before the wind has filled in. The bigger picture is that what may be a benefit one day can be a liability on another. That’s sailboat racing.
    Yeah - it is sailboat racing and it is silly. I am just one goofy sailor more on the outside with questions and anecdotal thoughts based what it appeared to be. Obviously my boat and me are the same, the name changed happened when I paid my fees with a credit card but the YRA and SSS see me as the same. There were other boats not included in the tally which i questioned. Perhaps I do not fully understand how the SSS does it stats and comes up with a ranking. I always thought a DNF was higher due to making the effort of the start than DNC but maybe that is not how it scores out here in the SSS. I am glad I asked and learned more about how things are done here. Thank you.

    I come from a very maritime family, always on the water and sailing. I have sailed since the age of 3 with more than 50 years messing on boats, sailed with my heroes, raced on dozens of sailboats, earned a lot of pocket money as crew and even hold a few active professional maritime tickets which I keep active and use here on the bay. Rather than passionately sail in the SSS all these years - i used my time saving traditional race boats on the bay; I found restoring & finding homes for numerous wooden sailboats in combination of dedicating years to the Master Mariners working my way up to become MMBA Vice Commodore/Race Chair for a few years. I loved being involved in more in of the Alameda sailing scene & Aeolian Yacht Club with its own fantastic race history. I recognized the numerous characters in our sailing communities and how hard it is to keep a great organization vibrant and fun. I came to the SSS with this passion and excitement of being able to sail among all of you regularly and in a boat that means so much to me and others.

    I didn't post my observations to point fingers and stir stuff up (too much). I only remarked on what I experienced on my own boat last year and why it matters to the SSS reports and standings. We all know that sailing under non spinnaker has big disadvantages in SSS races when it comes to start times, courses and likely effects when a boat finish. If a sailor looks at the non spinnaker classes, they should know they are more often the last to start if they have a slower boat, will obviously know they will not be as fast as the spinnaker boat with the same rating thereby scoring lower or not at all with a good chance of not finishing within the time limit of the race. Upon reflection, had I entered my boat in the spinnaker classes last year it is in all likelihood even if I had not raised a kite i would not have gotten the DNFs that i received and it would have reflected as such on the standing sheets. The point was driven clear to me when I took first in the NTNB race in my non spinnaker class, I proved I was as fast on most points of sail hanging with many of the good fast sailors of the SSS and resulting scoring within the upper end of the fleet.

    Sharing my 2021 non spin division and racing scoring reflection, I already felt I won sailing here away from COVID concerns, among you all and in a series of great match races within the SSS class against my sister boat with a good friend at her helm. In the months to come this year I will race when I can when I am not working or on some epic adventures with my darling wife away from the bay. Like Bob says, it takes time to be top dog here, spend what you need to, keep everything squared away and ultimately really get to know your boat. For me, an earlier start within similar PHRF range is a rational choice because I will have more time to race, raise what ever sails I find works that day, to make the results in good standings as reflected accordingly. Other SSS sailors can do as they like and race where they are most comfortable.

    Ted
    Last edited by Black Jack; 01-05-2022 at 11:29 AM. Reason: grammer
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  10. #10
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    I will note there were rating adaptations made by the board made for powered boats which were for relief to non powered winched boats. with due respect to the fleet and since the power winch group did not have fuller active season, they too were excluded from the standings.
    I was not aware that the SSS made rating adjustments to such boats. Power assist boats are not eligible for the overall trophy/season..... well a separate one I guess.

    Good luck out there.

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