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Thread: Updates to 2023 NOR

  1. #21
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    Mike, regarding your #6 - Participation in sailboat racing continues to decline everywhere. I stay in touch with a couple members of our local PHRF committee. They've told me the committee's #1 concern is participation.

    The SSS has been able to maintain the numbers for its big three Bay races but even pre-Covid, it has seen significant declines in the rest of its events. It has always been inclusive of all kinds of boats (as long as they qualify for a PHRF certificate) but apparently those days are over. It's not a good time to exclude boats and with over 1,000 events on the NorCal sailing calendar, there are plenty of other options.
    .
    Last edited by BobJ; 01-11-2023 at 07:32 PM.

  2. #22
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    Hi everyone and HNY ! I know a society like this cant last without everyone helping. Not much I can do to help right now on this thread but I did go over my notes for this season yesterday and maybe these will help in a practical way:

    1. It isn't clear to a newbie that RC is held responsible by USCG for lost boats and how. Maybe add emphasis to reporting RET and getting an ACK from RC. At my first SSS race someone retired and sailed off but did not report. At the Vallejo race I saw first-hand how difficult it could be for RC to get VMs. Wording is "clear voicemail" but how do you know it is clear? You may think you left a clear VM but often wind noise makes it impossible to understand. Also if you leave a VM from a phone number that isnt known, how do you track it down? Text from a known number linked to a boat seemed to be the best and maybe only way to RET and ACK. What isn't clear from reading the NOR or SI is what a problem it is for RC and then USCG if someone retires but doesn't report.

    2. A newbie may not know SIs often change right up to the race. It would be good to either say just that or limit at least the type of changes. For the longer races I stay overnight in SF before the start. Sometimes it is hard to get internet access. For example if Jibset PDFs change at the last minute, its not easy to read them, even on your phone. I know its noon the day before right now but moving that line back 12 hours would make a big difference.

    3. I was very surprised at how seriously folks take the rules but when racing and I got a DSC alert that could have been a MOB, it seemed to be ignored by the fleet. I also had a hard time figuring out what was going on with USCG. This event also underscored that if you only get an MMSI in an alert, how to you or RC quickly track that to a boat? I think VHF DSC is needed at least for offshore and at least for RC. I think maybe a list of MMSI and boats should be published. Maybe also more emphasis on when there is an alert you should drop everything? There is a RRS rule change along those lines with new flagging, I think.

    4. I think your ask was just for NOR but can I also ask here for more newbie "educational" content in the SIs at least for Farallones, Drake's Bay, HMB and LongPac? For Farallones getting an accurate weather forecast is important. For Drake's Bay, more information on South storms and anchoring locations. For HMB, same and more information about berths in the harbor. For LongPac any information, pointers, links that would help a newbie.

    5. A link to the RRS might help. Either https://www.sailing.org/tools/docume...5B26798%5D.pdf and/or the page https://www.ussailing.org/competitio...ing-2021-2024/ Tough to include links when they may get stale, but in this case I think it really helps a newbie. You did put the COLREGS link in, but not to the amalgamated rules at https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/navigati...es-amalgamated. I'm still not sure what the relationship between versions is exactly or what "When a boat sailing under these rules meets a vessel that is not, she shall comply with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCAS) or government right-of-way rules." At least its not spelled out to the level of precision used elsewhere.
    Last edited by GBR3068; 01-03-2023 at 11:40 AM.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by solosailor View Post
    RE: 4.10

    I would hope that if there is an error made and it is caught after the race that one would be able to correct this before season end? If not it seems a harsh penalty to lose a season championship for a single character out of place.
    Hi Solo, Section 4.10 is written so that onus is on the racer to input their registration correctly and the same way each time. If a boat is registered under two different people (whether it's the same person or not) for two different races, then each name will be scored separately. This allows multiple people to use the same boat during the season -- each scored separately.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    Mike, regarding your #6 - Participation in sailboat racing continues to decline everywhere. I stay in touch with a couple members of our local PHRF committee. They've told me the committee's #1 concern is participation.

    The SSS has been able to maintain the numbers for its big three Bay races but even pre-Covid, it has seen significant declines in the rest of its events. It has always been inclusive of all kinds of boats (as long as they qualify for a PHRF certificate) but apparently those days are over. It's not a good time to exclude boats but with over 1,000 events on the NorCal sailing calendar, there are plenty of other options. I wish you all well. It's been a fun 20 years.
    Thanks for this input, Bob. This year will be 10 years racing with SSS and the intimidation of racers on the bay is the number one reason I hear from new sailors why they don't do it. It's just not fun. It also saddens me to hear your comment that "apparently those [inclusive] days are over." You have been a great mentor and friend to me. I will miss you out there.

  5. #25
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    Mike, I love these questions! It gives me a chance to give *our* thoughts about the making of the revised NOR. Keep 'em coming but maybe split up your questions into smaller doses. See below responses in red.

    Quote Originally Posted by GBR3068 View Post
    Hi everyone and HNY ! I know a society like this cant last without everyone helping. Not much I can do to help right now on this thread but I did go over my notes for this season yesterday and maybe these will help in a practical way:

    1. It isn't clear to a newbie that RC is held responsible by USCG for lost boats and how. Maybe add emphasis to reporting RET and getting an ACK from RC. At my first SSS race someone retired and sailed off but did not report. At the Vallejo race I saw first-hand how difficult it could be for RC to get VMs. Wording is "clear voicemail" but how do you know it is clear? You may think you left a clear VM but often wind noise makes it impossible to understand. Also if you leave a VM from a phone number that isnt known, how do you track it down? Text from a known number linked to a boat seemed to be the best and maybe only way to RET and ACK. What isn't clear from reading the NOR or SI is what a problem it is for RC and then USCG if someone retires but doesn't report.

    Accounting for all racers is a big issue with every RC on the bay. The SSS RC is responsible for letting USCG know when everyone has finished racing or has retired. We don't get to go home until we can account for everyone, even if that means calling your emergency contacts late at night. The NOR now says you have three ways of getting in touch with RC (text, VHF, or voice mail). What the revised NOR also says in Section 13.2. is that "Retiring is not complete until acknowledged by the Race Committee." This means that if we don't acknowledge your VM or text or you don't hear us respond on VHF because you're behind Coast Guard Island and out of line of sight, then you have not properly retired.

    2. A newbie may not know SIs often change right up to the race. It would be good to either say just that or limit at least the type of changes. For the longer races I stay overnight in SF before the start. Sometimes it is hard to get internet access. For example if Jibset PDFs change at the last minute, its not easy to read them, even on your phone. I know its noon the day before right now but moving that line back 12 hours would make a big difference.

    The RC's intent is to have SIs correct and uploaded to Jibeset earlier than, but not later than, the Wednesday before each race, but everyone needs to check the SIs to see that they have not been revised, which will be noted in Jibeset, too. It would be rare to keep making changes either the day before or at the start, but schtuff happens and RC reserves that right, especially as it relates to a safety issue or something out of our control like an established mark that breaks from its mooring. I can promise you that I (as RC co-chair) will do my best to announce any written changes over VHF the morning of the race, but it's still your responsibility to know. I might be opening a Pandora Box, but feel free to text the RC and ask them directly. Their contact # will be listed on the SIs. We are being paid beaucoup bucks as RCs, so please be kind with the gripes, if we should mess up anything.

    3. I was very surprised at how seriously folks take the rules [OH, you have NO idea....] but when racing and I got a DSC alert that could have been a MOB, it seemed to be ignored by the fleet. I also had a hard time figuring out what was going on with USCG. This event also underscored that if you only get an MMSI in an alert, how to you or RC quickly track that to a boat? I think VHF DSC is needed at least for offshore and at least for RC. I think maybe a list of MMSI and boats should be published. Maybe also more emphasis on when there is an alert you should drop everything? There is a RRS rule change along those lines with new flagging, I think.

    This response would take more time and thought than I have right now but suffice it to say that everybody on the water (whether racing or not) has a duty to render service. The very first thing that the RRS says in Section 1.1 is "A boat, competitor or support person shall give all possible help to any person or vessel in danger." But also know that if 30 boats converge on an MOB, then that might not be the best thing either. As was learned with the Low Speed Chase accident, comms on the VHF can also complicate rescue efforts. Every skipper needs to assess what is happening on the water, how close they are to render assistance, and how best to do that. Also, DSC should be standard on every vessel. Knowing how to use it to send or receive a DSC alert is also the responsibility of each skipper. Any thoughts on this from others? Reading the after-accident reports were eye opening and have been helpful tools for me as I continue to progress my experience while cruising and racing.

    4. I think your ask was just for NOR but can I also ask here for more newbie "educational" content in the SIs at least for Farallones, Drake's Bay, HMB and LongPac? For Farallones getting an accurate weather forecast is important. For Drake's Bay, more information on South storms and anchoring locations. For HMB, same and more information about berths in the harbor. For LongPac any information, pointers, links that would help a newbie.

    Let us consider what we can do. SSS provides seminars for those prepping for SHTP and each race has a skippers meeting that often contains the information that you are seeking; however, it remains the responsibility of each skipper to know what the weather is doing and to know the limitations of yourself, your crew, your vessel, and whether your gear is appropriate for the conditions. When I did some races with BAMA, they had required reading for their offshore races. Check it out! The first time I soloed to Drakes Bay and anchored for the fourth time on my boat in the dark. I then spent the next two hours listening to boats calling for CG assistance as they dragged anchors into each other and onto the shore. It was scary. There are many people on this forum and in the sailing community who can also guide you. Please reach out and brainstorm with people you meet. Michael Jefferson (Mouton Noir) and Dave Morris (Moonshadow and Tri-n-fly) were the primary ones I leaned on (hard) to help me learn as quickly as I could as a new sailor with a 38-footer.

    5. A link to the RRS might help. Either https://www.sailing.org/tools/docume...5B26798%5D.pdf and/or the page https://www.ussailing.org/competitio...ing-2021-2024/ Tough to include links when they may get stale, but in this case I think it really helps a newbie. You did put the COLREGS link in, but not to the amalgamated rules at https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/navigati...es-amalgamated. I'm still not sure what the relationship between versions is exactly or what "When a boat sailing under these rules meets a vessel that is not, she shall comply with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCAS) or government right-of-way rules." At least its not spelled out to the level of precision used elsewhere.

    Coast Guard rules absolutely RULE in US waters. Racing Rules of Sailing (here's the 2021-2024 PDF: https://d7qh6ksdplczd.cloudfront.net...Jan-1-2023.pdf) govern you only when you're racing under our NOR. An example from my early racing on a friend's Hunter 41 was coming up to a mark and another, faster boat was coming up behind us. Someone on that boat yelled, "We're racing. Get out of the way." We yelled back, "so are we" and that was the end of that. All I ask is, "don't be that guy." Everyone is just trying to enjoy their time on the water, or they have a job to do on the water. And Coast Guard rules us all.
    Last edited by Gamayun; 01-04-2023 at 12:32 PM.

  6. #26
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    Hi Solo, Section 4.10 is written so that onus is on the racer to input their registration correctly and the same way each time.
    Yes but mistakes do happen. I think that if someone puts Steve vs Stephen accidentally for one race there should be a way to rectify this once caught, no? What if it's even a more simple mistake like Steve vs Stece via a simply typo. Again, seems very harsh to say that can't be corrected once caught.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by solosailor View Post
    Yes but mistakes do happen. I think that if someone puts Steve vs Stephen accidentally for one race there should be a way to rectify this once caught, no? What if it's even a more simple mistake like Steve vs Stece via a simply typo. Again, seems very harsh to say that can't be corrected once caught.
    Of course, it absolutely can be corrected but our point is that needs to be done "as soon as possible" (quotes are mine for emphasis) so a boat is not scored separately. The SSS is now going to assume different names with the same boat means different skippers. I believe the easiest way to fix a misspelled entry is to contact Ray at Jibeset but it might be possible someone on the SSS board also has access to the Jibeset registrations and could change it. Let me find out exactly and I will report back here and maybe amend the NOR so that section is clearer. Of course, everyone could just use the "auto input" feature and this would likely never be an issue unless someone is using a new computer, I suppose.
    Last edited by Gamayun; 01-04-2023 at 12:29 PM.

  8. #28
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    Or even more confusing....what if Johnny Bravo Goode and his son Johnny Bravo Goode II are sailing the same boat in the same season? I think Jibeset names are only so many characters and then they get cut off at the end. This means everyone needs to check their own entries. We are not going to do this for you.

  9. #29
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    Hi Carliane, It's just so nice to see you back in the SSS.

    DolfinBill
    Crealock 37

  10. #30
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    Solosailor You're right the scoring will be wrong if the names do not match. Happily, jibeset auto-fills in the names when we register --- so the only way to have the wrong name is to manually change something to be inconsistent. Please don't do that.

    GBR3068 You make a number of helpful points. I've forgotten the wording of the Coast Guard permits, but no one wants to call them and say "we started 85 boats, and we know 83 boats finished or retired, so cut us some slack --- we're within 5%." We'd love for every document to be perfect the first time out, but the need for changes does crop up, and so a ~24 hour cutoff on changes is about as far ahead as we feel comfortable committing to written changes. For context, the 2022 SSS NOR used the same cutoff of noon Friday before the race; the 2022 YRA Great Vallejo race cutoff was 1800 on the Friday before the race. Educational material has a home in many places --- the Safety At Sea classes (required for OYRA races and SSS coastal races as part of the "safety equipment requirements") have a nice discussion about how to help in an emergency, for example. And this forum, with your helpful links to the RRS, is another great resource. For anyone looking to understand the rules better, I usually suggest looking at the US Sailing Appeals and World Sailing Cases --- they both are free PDFs and are organized by rule, so it's easy to look up rule 41 (say) in the front, read the short summaries of a few examples, and then flip to the details if interested.

    Richard
    Last edited by fauxboat; 01-05-2023 at 10:01 AM.

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