Feb 16, 2011, 10:40 AM
Post #18 of 28
Earlier you referenced track. I believe the rule there is that they allow one false start, but after that ANYONE who makes a false start (even if they were not party to the first one) is DSQed. I've always thought that was exceedingly harsh.
Re: [The Publisher] Starting System and Penalties
[In reply to]
Log-In to Post/Reply
I don't like the strike system because it suffers the same flaw as the system it seeks to fix. If we cannot fairly ID all the false starters to do individual recalls, and are forced to a general recall, we couldn't identify all the false starters to pass out strikes. Plus it may cause more "pushing the line" late in a regatta (strikes to burn!).
I like the idea of video recording the starts from a point far forward on the committee boat with the flag set far astern. Those few degrees of angle can immensely improve the view of the order of boats as they approach the line (especially when the PRO or line-caller can only see "a white boat with a sail number ending in 0"). Check the video and, voila, "recall 3210" or whatever.
I once thought the "individual recall ... everyone ... sail number 7 clear, sail number 13 clear" would be good: that is, call "everyone" but immediately clear the two boats (or whatever) that weren't over. Then I realized that rewards the sailors who were terrible starters. That's not fair either.
At one time, I really liked the use of courtesy broadcasts to keep people aware of what's happening. Alas, I think that has created even more sailors who don't know the rules and haven't got a clue.
That's really the biggest problem, too many people don't read or understand the rules and procedures. One friend complained to me (as APRO for the regatta) about us setting too long of a starting line. We had set it at one boat length per boat in our largest fleet (in which she sailed), which is actually a little short. Even though she had never taken a race committee class or served on the race committee (other than providing her boat for obligatory RC duty when her turn came up), she got abusive and insisted that it should be -- think about this -- one boat WIDTH per boat (i.e. a line exactly as long as the fleet arranged side-by-side). Sadly, that's not the worst thing I've been told by a sailor (and no, my friend was not in the boat-painting business).
As a racer, skippers often ask me what's going on in the start, especially if we're in a later section and something has put the RC off the starting schedule. It usually takes a glance at the committee boat to figure it out (hmmm ... Section 3 and India ... looks like someone has been misbehaving and they pulled out a penalty flag ... they're a couple sections behind schedule).
Most of the starting "problems," beyond penalizing the right boats, are solved by skippers, or someone from the crew, reading the SIs (which often spell out how over-early and general recalls will be handled, e.g. after one general, they'll try one more time, after a second it's go to the back of the starting order), attending the skippers meetings (PROs usually explain plans for over-early and general recalls) and knowing the rules.