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Shower thoughts on racing

Grotto

.
Feb 18, 2018
194
Catalina 22 Wilmington nc
I used to race, but our fleet has degraded as time, crew availability etc eroded those who could come out and play. I also no longer have weekends off which is when most racing happens. So I got to thinking. How about a time trial virtual race. The course would be set as waypoints lat long. Anyone wanting to "race" just programs the waypoints and sails against the clock. You could race against yourself, perhaps a optimized course model using your boats polars and a standard phrf to handicap. The race Winner would be the boat closest to their optimum projected time or even shorter than projected "like par in golf"
So I could win by being 13 seconds faster than my base if no one else did better than their base. No there would be no fleet racing drama of ducking on Port wind shadow tactics etc. (All of which I really like) but it might give the casual sailor a reason to trim up and get out to sail. Lots of different formats, laps per month, time trial, lowest average. Etc etc.
Just thinking outside the box what do
 
Oct 29, 2016
1,545
Hunter 41 DS Port Huron
Could not have been a long shower.......
Interesting thought and could be started with just a few friends/competitors email Bill, Frank and Joe the coordinates (GPX file) the race run based on the captains wind prediction for the week, crew availability and conditions.
 
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Grotto

.
Feb 18, 2018
194
Catalina 22 Wilmington nc
Could not have been a long shower.......
Interesting thought and could be started with just a few friends/competitors email Bill, Frank and Joe the coordinates (GPX file) the race run based on the captains wind prediction for the week, crew availability and conditions.
I use apps like Strava to compare my bike rides. Things like peloton allows folks from different places to race one another. So something like that on your phone to pull up races in your area. App would have "standard" boat stats. Tie in wind data it could generate the ghost to race against.
 

Joe

.
Jun 1, 2004
6,993
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
A cool idea.... the greatest challenge, of course, is that besides handicapping the boat.... it will be necessary to "handicap" nature's contribution.
So coming up with some kind of table or adjustment system for natural conditions that change through out the day seems incredibly complicated. Figure that out and I think we would have something pretty exciting. It will never replace the real thing but it could make for some interesting competition.

I'll be interested in hearing ideas from our racer/problem solvers. What comes to mind is something akin to Golf's "course rating" which is matched up to a player's handicap in creating a weighted results system.
 
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May 23, 2016
169
O'Day 1984 23 Island Park, NY
Interesting to say the least... Wind speed variations could be handled by using a Portsmouth system of handicapping... Just record winds at start middle and end of your "trial". ... But I don't yet see a way to assist for major shifts in directions...
 
May 17, 2004
2,409
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
I’m skeptical that a system like this could work, mostly because of varying weather conditions. Handicap systems are notoriously scrutinized for not being able to compensate for different wind strengths and course layouts. As it is now those inequities lead mostly to just luck of the draw advantages and disadvantages depending on the conditions when a race is run. But in this proposed system I don’t think it would be long before skippers start gaming the system to run their race when conditions are most favorable to them. Have a boat that does better than its rating on a reach? Get your crew to go out on the days when the course lays out that way. Worse yet, this kind of setup is going to favor the crews that have the flexibility to sail when they want, and the ones that can only make it at certain days, or certain times of the day, will be at a big disadvantage.

I’ll add that sailing traditionally is not just a time trial sport. A big part of sailboat racing is maneuvering relative to the competition. Looking for the best wind shifts, how to put your opponent in bad air, and how to get into a stronger tactical position are all big parts of the challenge, and I’d be surprised if many racers wanted to give that up.
 
Jan 1, 2006
4,703
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Interesting idea. For instance a sailor in New Suffolk , Long Island, could go for a sail around Robins Island, and compete against the Wed Pm fleet ( Same Course). No finding crew or buying beer. Just go for a spirited sail and see how you do. Doesn’t mean you can’t sail Wed pm races or weekend races.
 
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Jul 28, 2018
51
Catalina 22 TX
Since the proposal is a pure virtual course, it could be oriented automatically based on wind direction, at least as of each competitors start. Leg length could be roughly adjusted based on wind strength

Variations after the start, more difficult.

It's possible that a perfectly fair course isn't necessary to have fun at it for the less competitive sailors. Good for training, recreation. Strava doesn't compensate for headwinds, temperature, though they can be factors in the times people achieve.
 
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Apr 5, 2009
1,076
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
Our racing club has an actual series like this. There are several mid-distance courses set at the beginning of the season and they can be run at anytime, day or night.
The skipper needs to post a message when they cross the start and again for the finish. You look for a weather window that most favors you boat and go for it.
 

Grotto

.
Feb 18, 2018
194
Catalina 22 Wilmington nc
A cool idea.... the greatest challenge, of course, is that besides handicapping the boat.... it will be necessary to "handicap" nature's contribution.
So coming up with some kind of table or adjustment system for natural conditions that change through out the day seems incredibly complicated. Figure that out and I think we would have something pretty exciting. It will never replace the real thing but it could make for some interesting competition.

I'll be interested in hearing ideas from our racer/problem solvers. What comes to mind is something akin to Golf's "course rating" which is matched up to a player's handicap in creating a weighted results system.
I know there are some pretty good course simulations out there. Add real time wind data and a boats polars the ghost is your boat so you are competing against a projection of where you should be. If you go when the conditions are the best for your boat so be it as they will be the best for your ghost as well. The model doesn’t see wind shifts sea state tidal changes etc. could be very simple post your time and track, compare apply a handicap and rank em. Could be very complex with lots of data creating your opponent to “race” against.
 

Joe

.
Jun 1, 2004
6,993
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
I'm not excited about using a boat's polars as a competition in and of itself. It's a tool to monitor performance.... to help you sail the optimal course. I still think the competition should be about adjusted time on the same course.... with consideration given to course conditions that may affect time. Saying that maintaining a target vmg when the wind is at a certain speed and direction is somehow going to be the seed of competing.... well...it just doesn't excite me. What does excite me is cutting time by executing good crew work, choosing the right course, timing the lay line, anticipating the shifts, using the current, etc, oh, and getting the boat to perform speed wise (polars).... the goal being to get the best time of the day.
 
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