Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Every once in a while some good ideas come along

It has been a while since the last post as it has been a little light on the earth shaking ground breaking type of news around here. Even having 13 Nites in the club now does not cut it as big news these days. So I figured maybe we should discuss the topic of the many new ideas that came out of the America's Cup which maybe would be cool if not interesting to try. Knowing iceboaters the pushback on changing should be pretty good. So here goes.

All I heard doing the AC was how AC sailing was merely iceboating, so maybe the concepts can be interchanged. The biggest change was the use of boundaries which changed the racing for the better.
Much like old AC sailing the boats peeled off in two directions only to maybe converge once or twice and then disappear. What we saw this time were two boats on a compressed course. In iceboating we are always looking for huge clean sheets of ice, generally because a fair amount of it may or may not be junky. Perhaps more compressed courses make the sailing more exciting, a lot closer and from a promotion angle easier to spectate or get "into" the racing. As in all racing the lead boats get out ahead and then extend, you get a spread out fleet with huge deltas between boats. The race is decided already, you may as well end it. Enter the AC, what was the largest delta think about it.

The use of boundaries is probably not a 100 boat DN World event type of thing. Smaller fleets and for club racing it is really ideal. It is ideal on many levels from viewing, to racing, to instruction and also promoting. When you race the best part of the race is when you are neck and neck. The worst part of the race is when you are the last one sitting out there doing laps. You will still get breakaway
leaders it just will not happen as fast and with as much distance. Closer racing means more fun.

So how do you achieve boundaries? This is pretty easy you use flags, I mean big auto dealer type whip flags on each side of the course. The distance from the rhumbline would have to be figured such that the furthest starting boat was not immediately on the edge of the course. I am sure there is a means to determine a ratio with some experimentation.

This is not for everyone I am sure or every club but in the right situation it could reap huge benefits.

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