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2019 Nationals - Your thoughts

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Well, after a long wait the 2019 Nationals is over, two great days with conditions that required almost all of the rigs; it never got to B2 conditions, but that was Ok as I dont have a B2 rig!

I thought the race management was excellent, despite the best efforts of the wind and weather and I thank all of the race team , Birkenhead Club for their efforts and West Kirby SC for making us feel so welcome. Its going to be a great venue for the 2020 Worlds, keep your eyes peeled for more on that....

From my point of view it was great to see the variety of competitors and boats who were there and see that the age of the boat was not a major factor in the fun factor or competitiveness.

If you want to know more about how to get into the class take a look on the Marblehead Class website, there's information and tips on how to find out the next events and the great "pimp my marblehead" series whihc helps you get the most outer of an older design.

Anyone else enjoy themselves?

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Darin and All,

I agree that the race team and Birkenhead Club did a fantastic job in running both regattas (10R & M's). I found West Kirby Sailing Club also to be friendly and accommodating when it came to the debriefs and the social event in the evenings.  That aside, over the course of the 4 days many skippers suffered from radio control issues. I am not sure why this was happening, a theory presented to me was because for most of the time we were not in an elevated position, to allow an easy path for the radio signal to travel to your boat. People can take that theory the way they wish. However, should I be lucky enough to qualify for next years Worlds, the radio control issue will be a concern for me and I am open to listen to other peoples thoughts on this.

Did I enjoy myself, of course but my boat , my legs and feet may tell you differently.........lol!!



Edited by John Taylor
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  • 4 weeks later...


       Rules are Rules break them and you are punished, quite simple.The black flag is the RO"s best friend for bringing to account those who try and take advantage [every club has them ] of the situation.  Pack your sandwiches@ flask, arrive at the venue say "hello" and get on with it and most of all "ENJOY " it,  and leave the Rules to those who know best.

                       P S  , Just remembered i won  5 Woodbines  in  1944  aged 9 my only success in  75 yrs  Keep Smiling   Tickover


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Hi Brad

                      Totally agree on moving forwards and moving with the times etc, but remember some of us "old Wrinkles " have noticed big changes in  attitude and  consideration for others  over the later years. i can remember the days when we had 20-25 members  at the pond, now mention racing on Saturday and we have 6, sign of the times. "I am not anti racing far from it ", last weekend our club hosted the TT DF 65@95 event with over 20 boats in each class and it was a fantastic weekend for all,these Ladies @ Gentlemen [ that is correct ] were a credit  to model sailing .

As a top competitor i can understand your frustrationas regards rules  etc , i agree some should be changed or modified but do it in a proper manner via the proper channels, you might be pleasantly surprised.     Wish you well Brad and every success in the Hobby and my pleasure to  discuss these items with you.

                                        Regards   Tickover  DMSC

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Hi Brad

Sorry Brad to me it is an "HOBBY" and i can see from your e/mails  that it is   a totally different ball game for you , that"s fine by me .

the question is do you enjoy it??? i doubt it      Regards   Tickover [ Age Concern Model Club ]


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Seems that we have a misunderstanding here, maybe because we are typing and not talking over a pint.

My interpretation of Brads comment is that the rules are the rules but the implementation and transference from full size to radio sailing need to be understood.

As the MYA RO I see one of my responsibilities to ask for and consider comments from events, many are quick to tell me what is wrong but there are only a few who actually put their comments on paper, and as such I thank Brad for this.

As I said I don't see the start penalties need amending, and in fact it is not our role or position to amend them, but like Brad I have been to events where the  RO uses the starting penalties to "hide" the fact that the start line is wrong. Sometimes this is beyond their control, but occasionally it is due to their lack of understand of why boats are bunching or struggling to slow their boats down in the final seconds before the start. It is also important that everyone understands the current scoring implications of using BFD, something that the race regs team have been discussing for a while.

This is in no way a criticism of the volunteers who allow us to race but a recognition that the start line and the start have a big impact on the racing we do, whether at club or international level.

Fair racing at all levels requires a fair start giving equal opportunity and usually the best way to identify this is how the skippers treat the start, if they bunch at one end, or all end up at one end it will normally indicate that the line needs adjustment. The best lines will allow 95% of the fleet the chance to win, not onw where only 5% can win.

The hardest part of any solution is how we give guidance to the race team volunteers.

One way is to be prescriptive and give a set starting sequence,;2 general recalls, 1, round the ends and then black flag.

The other is to give the race team discretion, unfortunately either way will create problems if the team do not understand the reasons why the skippers are struggling. The answer has to be in some simple training on setting a start line and then identifying the issues and options to creating fair racing. This where I think we need to consider the difference between full size and radio sailing.

I have been to a few international events and I would say that the influence of full size management of starting penalties is better understood by the GBR race teams than some of those I have seen run these international events.

My final point would be that we need to look at the sport as a whole because a lot of what happens at local level comes from observation of the highest level, race management, skipper behaviour, along with current designs are often taken from National Championships and implemented at club level.

None of the above is a criticism of Peter and his team at West Kirby, just observations.


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Inexperience in waves and a level self preservation on an overly long line that was hard to sight at speed played a big part in the difficulties for all in trying to start in conditions not often experienced by many there so I would suggest this to be an instance of where some added leeway could be used by any race team. Lets make the aim to get everyone racing the course, even if it takes a few more go's for that to happen.

For me Brad's statement that I've quote above summed up the starts for the Saturday. It was good fun on the Saturday racing in big winds and big waves but it wasn't for the faint hearted. Although having said that from a personal point of view it took me a couple of races to get the hang of racing in such conditions again and trying to always see the bigger picture of the race course as it unfolded. 

Some say that Marblehead's are the pinnacle of radio sailing (that be why I had a smile on my face after Saturday) but given the conditions there was quite a breadth of skipper ability (eyesight, boat control to name but two factors) and as such a little leeway might have saved a few incidents. Personally I'd rather have extra standard goes at starting, giving me the ability to be anywhere on the race course during the final minute and not have the extra disproportional penalty if called over by a black flag. 

Black flag penalty in my eyes is too stiff a penalty compared with - someone catching me on the start line doing a penalty and then catching someone else and doing another turn but still possibly staying up.... 


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Hi Brad

                     There is no thinly veiled agenda , just an observation, and by your tone it is obvious you cannot take it . So do not  try to change the rules

                  " Abide by them "         "Male Parta MaleDilabuntur"


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