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Vinnie Zammit

IOM National Ranking Events

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There has been a lot of discussion lately amongst the IOM skippers with regards to the current Ranking system.


It is apparent that the Ranking events are becoming more and more popular and the number of boats entering now warrant a minimum of 4 heat racing. This naturally leads to the fact that less races are being held over the individual days.


With problems arising on the second days, through no fault of the excellent race teams, at both West Kirby (too much wind), and Falmouth (wind in all directions), which resulted in a low number of races being sailed, should we now be thinking of ways to improve the Ranking System.


I am sure that the MYA Council and race team would be interested to hear of any possible improvements to the current system.


Your thoughts please?

.

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Great that the Class Captain is opening this up to discussion within the class and skippers, thanks Vinnie


Currently the IOM ranking system is the most popular race “series” and is a testament to all that is good in the sport; however its popularity is creating a few issues that may be worth reviewing to further improve the quality and quantity of racing. The numbers of participants at the IOM events has steadily increased in the last few years to such a level that 4 heat racing is now becoming common, this creates the need to start and finish an event within the times laid down in the SSI’s, unfortunately there have been a number of instances over the last 18 months where the weather conditions have created difficulties for the race team in completing the racing to an acceptable timescale whilst providing a quantity to satisfy participants given the distances travelled and costs involved.


It has also created a ranking list that has been made up of a number of “compromised” events. This is not the fault of the race teams or hosts but of the system we currently use.


Why not look at the system and have a re-balance of the current format.


My thoughts would be to have:

• 1No three day Nationals

• 2No two day Ranking weekends

• 2No one day Rankings (on the same weekend)

• 2No one day District Rankings


My thoughts are that by having 2 two day events we can gain a better flow to the racing with only one round of seeding races and the opportunity to finish the 1st day on any heat rather than engineer a finish to a race. This will also allow earlier starts on day 2 and the increase in sailing that this brings. (weather permitting)


By continuing with 2 one day events plus the district element we are also including those skippers for who 2 days sailing is too much, making the system inclusive to the majority.


The introduction of the district element allows us to keep the same number of qualifying events whilst not increasing the load on the calendar. It will also allow those from the further edges of the districts to compete in the ranking system without having the financial or time burdens dictated by their home location. My thoughts are that the district events would be as part of the IOM district series or the district championships but could be any district open meeting as long as it is identified in the calendar at the start of the year.


The ranking system should be the best skipper in the class, not just the one living most centrally or with a company car :)


Darin

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Hi All,

I would like to make the following comments with regards to the present system, both good and bad.


Ranking races.

What is the aim or goal?

I believe it is to select at any relevant time by way of a rolling system the best/fairest team to represent GBR at International events. The fact that these races have outgrown their intention is a good thing is it not? I would suggest on the downside, it shows a lack of a good National or District travelers based series to better balance the jump from Club to Ranking level.


Too many boats at Rankings

The fact that these races have outgrown their intention is a good thing is it not? I would suggest on the downside, it shows a lack of a good National or District travelers based series to better balance the jump from Club to Ranking level.

Some Districts are reacting well to this, namely the SW and Midlands but others are not. Locality and size of Districts is a contributing factor. Maybe forget Districts for the sake of a true National travelers series and split the country at Birmingham. Create a series of 4 or 5 one day open events in the North, the same in the South and we have our 2 National Regional Champions. Make sure 1 day races take no longer than approx 2-3 hours to get to from most parts of each Region and you can be home responsibly the same day if needs must. The Marblehead Class is working on this for next year and beyond.


One Day or 2 days for Rankings

It has shown conclusively in recent years in both the IOM, and now M classes that it is 2 day ranking events that the wider majority of skippers support and enjoy. One day events at far reaching venues are both not logical and do little to attract as a one day race for the cost and travel involved is a lottery at best. Can you imagine travelling the length of the country for 2 races? People keen on ranking and their class are getting in their cars on a Friday for 2 day events as our numbers show. That is why we are having this discussion after all on not getting many races isn't it?? Resources on clubs for 2 days is only marginally more than for one day. Logistics are sorted and already put in place and I find that many of our clubs are embracing that there is more to our sport than just the racing by enjoying social evenings and get together's that do more for camaraderie than any rule book or protest ever will.


Perhaps instead of knee jerk reactions to recent events with low race numbers reached, we should look at ways to tweak our scoring system to better reflect each race.


As things are at present I agree that a one day ranking should not score the same as a 2 or 3 day Nationals. Unfortunately though the problem gets worse when we have a one day event in good wind and 7 or 8 races completed, ranking the same as a 2 race event due to adverse conditions. Not an ideal way of selecting a team for anything.

If we can calculate a competitors score taking their finishing position in an event where the fleet number is also calculated, why can we not factor into the calculation the number of races sailed for that event?

i.e the person who wins an event with 40 competitors after only sailing 2 races, will not gain the same score as a skipper winning an event with 40 competitors after sailing 6 races. I'm sure our number cruncher's can come up with something here...

The only downside I see here is that without specific firm guidelines, consistency and common sense of race management, our standard of racing could easily degenerate into a series of pot luck one lap reaching sprint races that some see nothing wrong with describing as a true test, but is far from it. The more races we get in the higher the score....Quality of event needs to prevail.


Adding District events also into rankings

These would need to be controlled tightly. i.e one nominated district ranking,outside of the yearly ranking dates as present. These should not replace what we already have and what works to attract the numbers we do. The points weighting should not be as high as a full ranking otherwise it is simply and extra ranking event. We do not need more! If the weighting is less, then this will guard against Districts being swamped with out of town-ers taking 'their' points. On the downside though I do not see how adding extra dates for Rankings makes things any easier on the hip pocket.


A suggested Points weighting (open to discussion)

Nationals should be the pinnacle and scored accordingly higher

2 Days = 200pts for 1st

3 Days = 250pts for 1st


Rankings

1 day = 75 pts first

2 Day = 150 pts first


District event Ranking (one per District outside of normal ranking events)

1 Day 50 pts first


How to factor in the race total weighting to the above I do not know..


Consistency of Races

It has been noted creeping into our racing a trend in looking to finish events early under the excuse of 'you have a long way to get home' which is unwarranted and can be annoying. People make the decision to travel and commit to an event by looking at the NOR times and deciding if it is for them from logistical and cost standpoints. We have traveled far to race, not to race home..

Decisions are more often now being taken on the day which unless due to adverse weather or un-forseen circumstances, should not be entered into. We are here discussing not many races being run but overlooking simple things as not using daylight hours wisely for a later Saturday evening finish, likewise not starting earlier on a Sundays. There was a time when it was about traveling to race, of course all within reason, but I see the race days are creeping shorter. This is always a question of balance to best suit all, not least our race teams, but if we go back to the beginning and the reason for Ranking races, any team selected will be racing from 9.30 am until after 6pm at any International event.


To Summarize

Healthy numbers at events, providing the best quality fleets in the world in strength and depth should be recognized as doing something right. Without ruining what we have, lets see what we can do to appease the growing number of skippers wanting quality racing with well constructed events series, not turn things upside down.

 

The ranking system should be the best skipper in the class, not just the one living most centrally or with a company car

Any skippers in the country committed to compete Internationally are committing to the existing events for Ranking points.


Could I suggest a notice on the website front page pointing members to this forum discussion. Many more minds need to be involved in this one.


Cheers

Brad

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Great points made by Vinnie, Darin & Brad, which I endorse.


As stated previously, the aim should be to have a system that fairly ranks skippers, providing good quality racing against our peers, whilst providing good value for the time and money expended.


The current system of two separate days, involves a seeding race on each days, followed by board organisation, course changes etc, which bites into the racing time, especially if you have 4 or 5 fleets.

A typical weekend can cost north of £300, of which (at best) you may only have 8 races over the whole weekend (£40/per race?)


As I predominantly like to race & compete, I would recommend:


- 2 day National ranking events (removes the timely seeding process)

- Possibly held over Bank Holidays, so that travelling for the 'normal' employed, doesn't use too much of the annual holidays.

- Longer race days = more races, (maybe briefing at 9.00 - 9.15 start times & finishing after 18.00)

- District events, held on individual days - this could also introduce new comers, which are maybe a little timid of travelling to the current National ranking system. This would need factoring against the National Ranking etc.


That's it


Dave

GBR 30

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Being completely unqualified to comment I am going to anyway! Just to introduce another perspective.


As the IOM class is in the enviable position of events being over subscribed why not reduce your numbers at National & Ranking events to a more manageable number by introducing qualifying, instead of the first come first served basis at present.


It would require the introduction of District Events for skippers to qualify from but it would have the benefit of the best skippers at each level going head to head for more races which would surely raise the already excellent standards even further, which I believe is another aim of the ranking system.

Although I have to say the UK seems to be doing very well on the world stage as it is.


It might push the numbers of skippers down into the more local events which I believe would be desirable but as hopefully there would be a wider spread of these District events they should be able to cope.

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Hi All

If we go back in our ranking history we may get some reasons for where we are today

We went from 1 day rankings in every district to the system of 2 one dayers over a weekend in 3 districts . The other 3 districts would get an event the following year. The system of alternate years is a great tradition and should be maintained. It was decided from the tradition of all rankings being 1 day that this would be maintained. Is this relevant today ? No . The biggest problem we have had for years s not getting to race 8 . Having a 2 day race will give a true result over a weekend. No problem then of higher numbers.

Nationals should be the pinacle of our year. Like the idea of different ranking points for different days .

Said for a number of years that our district championship should be included in the ranking system . When the ROC was the 2nd best race of the year skippers went to the Dc's as a way of qualifying for the ROC.

Cheers Martin

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Is the current Ranking system really broken? I'm not so sure and if it isn't broke why fix it! I attended both the West Kirby and Falmouth events which brought about this particular discussion but perhaps I'm not seeing the whole picture.

However, I do feel that perhaps a little more foresight and less hindsight could have improved both events by tweaking the SI's and thus give the PRO's more flexibility. At Falmouth there was a fair amount of discussion both on Friday evening and Saturday about Sunday's forecasted Northerly winds. The locals knew that the conditions wouldn't be ideal and there would be a lot of shifts and associated course changes, but despite this knowledge rather than starting earlier, for instance 09:00hrs with 3 fleets they chose to start later with 4 fleets. In fact it appeared to me that everybody was eager and ready to sail by 09.45hrs but the PRO had to keep us all waiting on shore until the advertised 10:00hrs start time. Not starting a race after 16:00hrs was also a bit disappointing for such an event.

I can also understand why some people were concerned about the Sundays results at West Kirby as I believe only a seeding race and 1 race were completed but does this really justify a whole re organising of the Ranking/District racing layout and rules?

Shouldn't we all be happy that the numbers of people attending these races are on the increase. In order to keep the racing ticking over I can't see why the competitors aren't split into three fleets at the most and perhaps increase the number of promotions/demotions to 5 or 6. This could cause one or two more on the water incidents but the racing would be a lot tougher thus probably improving everybody's racing skills.

As most of you are aware I'm pretty new to this sport and have only been attending Ranking events since 2013. I really enjoy the current format and a part from some small Sailing Instruction changes see no reason for major changes despite reading the above posts.

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Maybe a short explanation of my thoughts are worth posting.


The current level of participation is fantastic and we need to build on this, to do this we need to keep the events open to all and use the overall package of the weekends to encourage more to attend. This i think is why we have been successful in the last few years and has brought people into the sport and rejuvenated others.


However because of the way we do what we do the numbers create their own issues, the main one being the need to manage the number of boats on the water at any one time to give us fair racing.


The simplest solution is to make the events 2day to allow the race team time to stage a good series of races and smooth out the differences between the days but to do this something has to alter if we want to keep the best 4 from 7 system we have, this would be easy if we didn't have other classes, hobbies, lives to deal with but the calendar is already a nightmare to compile. This is why I proposed having two 2 day events and then recovering the 2 missing events via the district scene and like the league events use the regional race scene to draw people in to a national series.


There are lots of other things to consider but that is the basis of my thoughts, it is certainly not a criticism of the current system, people who give their time or an indication of how much I enjoy them but an attempt to build on what we have and encourage those who feel that the balance between quality and quantity is not quite right.

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My penny worth of views.


The problem only exists because of the popularity of IOM racing in the UK, not with any other nation or class, it is a problem of success.


Whatever modifications are made there must be a defined pathway for the newcomer to reach the international events.


The primary reason to hold a ranking series is to be able to select competitors for international competitions with restricted entry but it has developed into the top class racing circuit in the UK.


With increasing competitors wanting to compete its original format is under pressure and not delivering everything to everyone.



Realistically Ranking points, per se, are only important to the 20 or so elite sailors who want to be selected and have the ability and desire to compete at international events.


The next tier of skippers are those who are successful at club and district level and want to race at a higher level, success would be a visit to A fleet.


The remainder have a variety reasons and a B fleet race would be a good result.



My proposal, as regards the racing, is as follows.



Ranking event limited to 40/50 skippers which means 3 big Fleets,


18/24 heats per day, 6/7/8 races per day, depending on wind, protests etc.


Big Fleets give elite sailors similar conditions to International events.


More clubs able and willing to hold events with only 40/50 boats.







Allocation of places


Top 20 skippers on Ranking list on 1st January pre-qualified for years Ranking events.


Each District to allocate 4 Skippers for each event, which gives 24 plus prequalified, total 44 skippers

District selection should be preferably to success in District competition, but could be by Ballot or any other system that suits the district.


For example the SW allocation for an event in Scotland may only attract 4or 5

skippers who want to compete over and above the preselected and a ballot may be appropriate.

The Midland allocation for an event at Manor Park would probably be massively oversubscribed and results form the Midland skipper series may be appropriate.


Whatever the systems the Districts decide, it will mean that some Elite skippers will sail in B fleet and with 6 boat promotion plenty of serious competition.


The elite sailors for whom Ranking points are of prime consideration get plenty of races, the good club sailors get to sail with Elite sailors and maybe in a couple of A fleet races.


The importance of the District series as a pathway to Ranking events is established and then begins to have some competitive significance.


Ranking points, with exception of the elite, are of no real relevance.



Allocation of Ranking points


Simple is better


Nationals 250 points for First place.


2 day events 200 points for First place.


1 day events 100 points for First place.


If only 4 races or less sailed in an event then 50 points for First place


Any skipper could then compete in any Ranking event, but they will have to be in the top 20 or be successful at district level or lucky with a ballot.


Whatever the outcome of the various views we have to have a defined pathway for newcomers to be able reach international competition within a couple of years.


Peter

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Hi Peter. If I had to travel to all the SW Summer District Events in order to participate at a Ranking Event my total mileage would be 2,056 miles. Even attending the four closest venues would add up to 1,164 miles. Needless to say I can understand where you are coming from but Birmingham (Midland District) and Reading (Mets & Southern District) are the same distance away from me as Yeovil (SW District). So when you mention being successful at District level I hope it will based on perhaps a combined score which could include results from various districts?

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I think the district ranking idea sounds OK but in reality you would find large variations in the quality and in numbers racing in the district races. How would you feel if you had been trying to qualify for a Worlds or European championship only to be beaten in the ranking table by someone who you regularly beat at two day rankings but who has scored highly at the district ranking because of a 'weaker' field of entries in their district. It is difficult to see how you could address this with any kind of score adjustment to account for quality or quantity. If you are going to have a ranking system then the only way to be fair is open all races to all. It would be quite a dangerous step for the class to start limiting numbers at events and potentially making the racing quite elitist. I don't think many people would argue against changing the two individual ranking days into one event then adjust the scoring for the ranking. This should slightly improve the race teams ability to run more races over the two days.

Weather is weather and you cannot predict what conditions you will get on the day of racing. When we get fair winds then the ranking races flow quite well, we get a good number of races and most people want to come back for more hence the large entries. I don't think we need to drastically change what we are doing.

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Just some random thought and not fully worked out but might get people thinking of a solution


Introduce class licenses

club

district

national


Could then run (restricted ?) district and national events on same day with national ranking points worth more.

also restrict entries to national ranking events based on licence type same as do for foreign entries thus controlling size of fleet.

eg to date x only national licenses

date y district

date z club.

license upgrades (downgrades ?) would depend on results during season.

using licenses could also run a second level events/nationals for district and club license holders only (possibly on same days)?


2/3 day racing with fleet split into two different events after day 1.

eg at nationals after day 1 (or say min 6 races just in case day 1 is bad) only top half of fleet carry on racing for main prize(say two fleets worth)

rest go into plate competition and race seperately at different location / course

means more racing for all (although does then require two race control teams and space for second set of racing)

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GaRRy, what you are proposing has some merits and has been sugested as a scoring system by the Croatians http://www.scor.hr/regate/2014e/SHRS.pdf this would allow two courses but would limit our choice of venues significantly ie, even Datchet might struggle to run two courses. But the bonus is a lot more racing and you would end up battling it out for either a gold, silver or bronze fleet. At first I thought the idea was a bit ridiculous but having given it thought the system does have many benefits. I'm sure the HMS fans might have a few things to say about it though.

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Croatian system is interesting but far more complicated than it needs to be. Could just carry on using HMS but after so many races fleet would be split based on current places to form to new A and B fleets and with no more promotions/demotions between those fleets and the lower ones as any one not in top 30-35 places is certainly not going to win and would most likely struggle to get into top 20. Scoring would then carry on as normal.


Agree finding locations that could run two separate courses could be a big problem but possibly he lower fleet could move to another location in region ?.


As i said just a few ideas to throw into the pot not saying they are the answer (or even if we need a answer). I have not been around long enough to see all the pit falls that history has taught the more experrienced.

.

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Fellas,


I have enjoyed following this discussion but cannot help thinking that these proposals should originate from the MYA directly and not from a few competitors who are to some degree partial.

This partiality is very evident in some who would evidently would totally eliminate the group 20 and below and make the event exclusively by invitation - Race of Champions .


Similarly I read a posting on the subject from someone who does not even sail IOM.


However like Mark P I too must ask if a complete structural change is really necessary. I too believe that some significant improvement could be achieved with a few simple changes in mind-set/ attitude on the prat of organisers in order to accommodate the growing entry levels.


Many ideas have been put forward to this growing problem, if one must describe it as such, over the years. They have however been and will continue to be lost in the ether as, to a degree, they are all divergent as to the solution and cause but all agree as to the problem. Or in some cases the idea / suggestion forwarded does not align with the ideas of a minority group … so to speak.


But let us be clear as to the problem to be resolved without criticism of what has passed but recognising the shortcomings:-


Not enough actual racing at events both in term of heats sailed and heat duration

i.e.

The ratio of driving time to and from the event to sailing time is somewhat disproportionate.



My suggestion is that the MYA appoint a person or persons, might one suggest the Class Captain and Racing Secretary , who will be tasked with producing a white paper clearly:-


1/ Identifying the problem


2/ Recommending solutions including revisions to Race Management. In particular:-


• Setting of event times given the wind rarely blows early in the morning and the daylight hours permit racing until 19h00 in summer

• Setting of race duration – 12 to 14 minutes

• Elimination of delays cause by Protests and the simplification of the process


4/ Entrance Qualification


• Entrance Qualification System including the investigation of a two tier event strategy


5/ Selection of venues appropriate to:-


• The time of year and historical weather patterns

• The available facilities at these venues


6/ Calendar


• Given a Veteran Even is for Veterans does it really need to take place on a weekend

• Should 2 day events be two one day event or a two day event given that those who are competing for a World Championship place will be at the venue for both days.


There must be a clear publication date set for this paper - 1 August 2015 and a clear action set on the MYA to respond to the paper or adopt its recommendations.


We must all agree that the IOM season has been a disaster to some degree for some for a variety of reasons primarily related to entrance level and weather. . It is not about to improve either given the location and entrance volume to the Nationals in two short months.


I did not go to Falmouth - too high entrance number for the distance and the long range weather forecast showed poor conditions - I have sailed there before and in a District Event.

AND I WILL NOT SAIL AT DATCHET AGAIN


Dave -

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David it was the class captain who asked for ideas and suggestions.


Personally I think here is a good place to do this allowing anyone to pass comment rather then a few private conversations and allows anyone who wants to put forward possible ideas to do so. Im pretty certain my ideas (whether considered good or bad) would not have got in the mix via another route


Look on this as a sounding board to come up with new ideas and counter ideas so that those who will make the decisions have a idea of what people want.

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I have been following this thread with growing unease, as I am normally well into the lower part of the results and it now appears that my participation is unwelcome, the obvious choice is for me not to bother to support the event. If this then becomes a general view the contestants for Worlds etc could be selected by committee, thus saving much time and effort .

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I have been following this thread with growing unease, as I am normally well into the lower part of the results and it now appears that my participation is unwelcome, the obvious choice is for me not to bother to support the event. If this then becomes a general view the contestants for Worlds etc could be selected by committee, thus saving much time and effort .

 

No one wants to be denied the sight of the Alf Reynolds port end flyer, that's why there needs to be lots of discussion about whether things need to be altered or not.

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Garry,


You are indeed correct and I am acutely aware of this. Vinnie, Class Captain and the MYA at large are similarly aware of the ‘so called’ problem.

Simply posting a sounding, if that is what it is, is no solution.


This is not something new. This has been debated ad nauseam and nothing has ever come of it. i.e. No concrete formal proposal forthcomming from the MYA.


This clearlt demonstrates that type of discussion has achieved nothing in the past and will never achieve anything in the future since there are such wide and divergent points of view.



However clearly emerging is the notion by some that:-


• Anyone who finishes below 8th in seeding heat at Ranking and National event must Observe for the balance of the weekend, serve tea and generlly keep out of the way.

• Ranking events should be restricted to the top 10 skippers who wish to be selected to represent UK in the World and European events.

• National and Ranking Events should be restricked to those who have some chance of winning in the opinion of the comittee or who are invited by the comittee.


The only way issues of this nature can be resolved is by the MYA making a concrete proposal and calling for comment. ‘Carefully’ considering the comment and making amendments as necessary, and tabling the proposal for the IOM owners to vote upon.


Rest asured Alf - nothing will come of this.


Garry - You may not be aware of a flurry of e-mails which circulated after the Wet Kirby event ... nothing came of that either.



I believed that the reason for distributing these Ranking Events all over the country was to provide everybody a chance to compete without excessive travel… not for 30 people to take a holiday in Cornwell and exclude the local district skippers whos club is hosting the event.


Garry - What you propose is precisely what I proposed two years ago – Group A & Group B structure with the events to run concurrently.


Group B contestants only being promoted to Group A and Group A skipper being relegated to Group B at the end of the Season… Just Like football.





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Like many, i sail in the ranking races for two reasons.

1. Points

2. Social


The present system needs tweeking, thats all.


And, it is this easy.

1. Saturday, start at 9am, finish at 6pm. Sunday 9am-5pm

2. Scheduled racing. No hold ups for protests, fleet board, rig change etc etc etc


I would not like to see a system that limits the entry, how much enjoyment do we all get from talking to the likes of Joe Binks or seeing Jen Hand sailing or the Connor clan taking up half the bar or Marks latest attempt at design and build, i know i enjoy this side of the weekend as much as the sailing side of things.


Lets give it a try for next season, i will bet with anyone that it will work.

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Perfectly put Graham!


As I tried also to suggest, what we currently have is good as numbers reflect, but could do with minor tweaking.


- It is an obvious one to take a look at race times

- The obvious delays due to protests and the time lost linked with HMS could also be addressed. The mentioned scheduled racing format may be worth looking further into as any protests can be held afterwards, not holding up racing.

- Scoring should better reflect the event sailed. Less races sailed = less points scored by the winner and flow down results.


To risk what is currently seeing large numbers enjoy the class and travel to distant districts through major change would be suicide. This, in the modern climate of mass production boats on the horizon looking to tap into any market for the disillusioned skipper. The IOM as a class would be very wise to keep this in mind and learn from the past complacency of International classes before it of the troubles they have encountered with fleet numbers. As a class, and sport we need to look at ways to be more inclusive and welcome as many people to our events, not turn them away, otherwise it is pointless to promote and work to build anything if a cap restricts it.


As for the thought of splitting fleets into Gold, Silver or Bronze etc I see this as a fantastic way to shatter any dreams of the skipper that travels to an event to test themselves under the current HMS format. The sheer satisfaction of a skipper that strives all day,weekend or week to reach a higher fleet goal should never be underestimated or taken away by segregation. To witness the cheers for Tracey Ballington being promoted on the Sunday at Falmouth, to watching Greg King and Tony Guerrier make A fleet on the final day of the Worlds are great moments that all skippers remember and use to spurs them on for better. We should never lose sight of this. Whatever racing system is used, everyone should have the opportunity to rise for the full event.


Yes, as stated in my previous post this is a Ranking system and the finer points can be tuned. But lets be sure any changes to it work for everyone. If growth further continues we should look at further quality events (previously mentioned) to appease the growth, using or better modifying District races as a combined travelers series or investigate other possibilities.


There is a whole lot more to what we do other than a few races a day which is why we keep coming back......whether we meet our goals or not.

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There seems to be agreement that time is being lost to protests.


At the IOM Worlds we used a simplified protest procedure that mean that boat on boat protests were dealt with within minutes. There were 2 hold ups but these were requests for redress involving multiple competitors and possibly abandoning a race that had already been sailed.


However, accelerated protest procedures are dependent on having judges present who are experienced in radio sailing and have an excellent knowledge of protest procedure and the rules. A bit like a jazz musician who's freedom to improvise is based on long hours practising scales...


Would it be indiscreet to mention the U- word. Protests can be reduced by having umpires!


Gordon

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I'm agreed with a few others in that reinventing the wheel is not necessary.

All ranking events must be open to encourage new blood, tiering the system at present would prohibit this.

If you look at both 2015 ranking events at West Kirby and Falmouth when the wind was playing ball and we didn't have too many hold ups, six races were sailed (both days on Saturday)

They were both well run days with the wind being settled.

If the finish time had been extended we might have sailed one more race taking the tally to seven but that is a might.

Sailing less races is something we all have to come to turns with if four or more fleets are sailed.


I would like to see the following:

3x 2 day ranking events, 200 points for 1st

1x 3 day nationals, 250 points for 1st


With regards to the Nationals the current 100 points for winning is ludicrous, the nationals is the highlight of the calendar and the weighting of ranking points should reflect this.

If anyone can give an argument for weighting the ranking points at the nationals to a one day ranking event please speak now.


The problem we have with a one day ranking event is the lack of races, the seeding race is then weighted to heavily on your overall result.

For example if you normally sail in D fleet but have a good seeding race and we only sail 4 races on that day you wouldn't make it back to D fleet as there would not be enough races!

Changing to two day ranking events would help give a better reflection of consistency, surely what we are looking for on selecting a team for International competition?


I do like the idea of doing something at District level, but I can see too many complications involved, so for the time being I can see more merit on changing to two day ranking events and increasing points at the nationals.


I like Brad's idea in weighting points to number of races sailed, but like Brad mentioned it would be good if someone good at crunching numbers could take hold of it and move things forward.

Failing that something along the lines of, on a two day ranking event if less than 8 races are sailed only half ranking points are awarded.

We do need something written into the ranking regulations that prevent the problem that occurred at the second day at West Kirby, where full ranking points were awarded after two races!

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View of a skipper that has been to all but one of the ranking events over the last couple of years, one of a number that is helping towards the perceived problem. I agree with most, that why dramatically change a system that is obviously successful. A few tweaks are all that is needed.


As I see it, one reason for the increase in numbers at the ranking events, is that Skippers are encouraged (forced) to enter all the ranking events in the calendar, because missing any could demote them in the ranking list. Currently if you miss (or have bad fortune) two of the double ranking events you only have three scores to count in that year, you currently need at least four.


There are six Districts, if each year, each District held a Ranking event (could be combined with their own district championship) over one day (50 points) or two days (100 points). I prefer the two day events as these are less of a lottery than the single day events.


As for the ranking list, add two more events so it’s the best 4 from 9. You potentially cut down travelling and costs, because you would be able to miss a couple of events without penalty. Some events will obviously be more popular, but the canny skipper may choose to travel to potentially gain more points, include in a holiday, skip because of illness etc.


Also one of the District Rankings could be the Championships, open to everyone, over three days, worth 150 points for 1st (50 points per day, as above). If it's oversubscribed, use the current ranking list to seed the entries.


Please excuse my naivety, but why do we have seeding races? Why not use the current ranking list for the first race? If there were six up and down, any newcomer or improving skipper would soon rise to their level of ability. From observation the seeding races are already seeded and more times than not the cream rise to the top anyway.


Just a few thoughts to add to the mix.

Cheers

Steve


Summary

1 x 1 day 50 points

2 x 2 separate days’ 50 points per day

2 x 2 day 100 points per event

1 x 3 day 150 points

Best 4 to count from 9 events.

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Firstly the currently ranking system is not broken however it's struggles with the volume of entries that have grown over the past year or to. A review is heathy and new ideas are good for the sport and our association. What is a ranking? It's all about perception and actuality depending on who you talk to. The UK ranking system was introduced a number of years ago when our GBR team did not do so well at a WC and discussion took place on how we GBR can improve our skippers and compete on an equal basis with the then international skippers.


Those of us that compete within the ranking are very well aware of our strong top skippers we all know who the top ten are and fully expect them to finish appropriately in their pecking order. For the rest of us it's about where we finish against our peers of equal ability and race them in what ever fleet accordingly. Equally the ranking is about 50% of the social activity that happens after the racing for a get together with friends and make new ones.


So why change anything? Well I could see an issue before WK with the entry numbers above 60 for a days event and spoke to Peter Stollery a week or so before when we were at Coal House Fort. The entry numbers are heathy and that's a positive but how can we achieve a fair system given the limited number of races in a days sailing with the numbers we have and having to seed then race in heats and finish on A fleet to complete a race.


As I said it's good and heathy to talk and review our current system even if we don't change anything assendance is good and I for one are proud of what we achieve on the international stage, so how should we proceed I am not for weighting the events including the Nationals as that could allow a situation to develop that a pick and choose for a number of skippers to get their points in a minimum number of events. The current ranking almost forces those that want to be part of it to attend as many as possible to maintain their position on the list a very competitive approach and should be maintained IMO.


We all have a view on how we could move forward and discussion like this is very heathy indeed


Terry Rensch

Chairman MYA

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