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Socially distant racing?

PaulK

.
Dec 1, 2009
519
Tillotson Pearson J/36 Southport, CT
Got a survey from our RC today asking about how we might approach racing this season. Doublehanded non-spinnaker? Doublehanded with spinnaker? If additional crew from outside one’s household are allowed - subject to social distancing - how many crew could fit? Wild. Only four boats (including us) on moorings in the harbor today, and yesterday it snowed.
 
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Nov 8, 2010
11,046
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
We're gonna do something like this:

Right, no racing as a group. So how about we create a monthly COVID Cup, which is a self-timed race from the entry of Wayzata Bay (Starting line Spirit Point to the Black shallow marker can due north), around Big Island in either direction, and back to Wayzata Bay. PHRF scored. Along with relying on corinthian sprit, we'll take a screenshot of the navionics track at finish for both verification and amusement (you went WHERE!??)

Have monthly cup awarded, with current standing updated on the site as boats sail. Small glassware to be awarded. Boats must sail with household crews ONLY per WYC special regs, and can compete at ANY time during GPS daylight hours, and run as many times as they like during the month.

No boat can start within 10 minutes of a previous boat. If two or more boats encounter each other on the water, they sail to COLREGS, not RRS.

All boats must obey all marks on the lake. In particular, no sailing between black 'shallow water' cans and the nearest shore.

Spinnakers allowed. PHRF II sails with their non-SPIN rating. Any type of tiller control (bungie, AP) allowed.
 
May 17, 2004
2,691
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
Our club is still waiting to see how things shake out over the next few weeks. We’ve scrapped our Spring season. The original plan was an extended summer season starting June 4th, but that seems optimistic at this point. We expected to use the status of bars and restaurants as a guide, but there are many nuances now that might make that impractical. Maybe a regular 10 week season starting in July, with no social events, but at this point I don’t know how much normal racing will be possible or how many boats will come out.

I like Jackdaw‘s idea as a way to get some friendly competition without close contact. The limitation to single households on a boat would probably eliminate a lot of boats from our club. Maybe household and immediate family which would mirror Maryland’s current limitations on who can be in a recreational boat together.
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,032
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Wow, I hope you don't have to do all that. Isn't it enough to vet your crew, who as I understand from previous posts are pretty steady, for symptoms. How many Corona cases does you zip code have? I like the idea of "Virtual Races" which I didn't like in a thread last fall but everything has changed. Do boats really need to start 10 minutes apart? Maybe just a "Chase" format would be enough separation. Don't understand the obey the marks sentence - don't you always? Tiller control might be necessary with fewer crew.
Nevertheless, my questions aren't a challenge - just a basis for a dialog since many clubs are dealing with these questions.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,046
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
In Minnesota we're governed by our Governor's executive order limiting racing that causes a likelyhood of breaking social distance rules. Here in MN we're going to keep SD regs in place for a while to make sure we're on top of it, and our club has a very high profile, so we're playing cleaner and tighter than most. So no official racing, and only sailing with household members. Optics.

The 10 minute gap and the COLREGS are designed to prevent the 'look' or racings. The SD rules mean that most boats will have 2, and at most 3 crewmembers. Jodi and I are lucky, we sail and race together and can manage the boat to a high level with just the two of us. Many boats are WYC are not even going to launch until the SD rules change.
 
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Jan 1, 2006
5,032
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Yeah we're all governed by officials whose edicts may seem arbitrary. But still those are the rules we live with. Good to see there's a proactive response there. Maybe an example for others. Hope you and Jodi enjoy!
 
Aug 2, 2010
384
J-Boat J/88 Cobourg
Among the options our leadership is considering is not even launching this year. Specifically the survey asked if there was no racing would we want to launch.
Among my first world problems is the thought of having my new race boat unable to race against other boats. I know, it sounds kinda whiney even writing it. Best luck to everyone on matters of health and boating.
 

PaulK

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Dec 1, 2009
519
Tillotson Pearson J/36 Southport, CT
@Jackdaw ’s idea for a timed race seems interesting. Especially if you can time your start for when the afternoon breeze kicks in and finish before it dies. ;) Wouldn’t a regular fleet start be possible if you left 6’ between boats?
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,046
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
@Jackdaw ’s idea for a timed race seems interesting. Especially if you can time your start for when the afternoon breeze kicks in and finish before it dies. ;) Wouldn’t a regular fleet start be possible if you left 6’ between boats?
Its as much about perception as reality.

The reality is we have 120+ boats leave from 3 docks for a fleet race. Our state's EO forbids racing of any type where social distance cannot take place. That is for sure on 25 foot sailboat. Never mind walking on the docks.

Even on the water, boats that are 6 feet apart look like they are touching from the shore, where the public is watching.


Yes, the 'start when you want' aspect makes for some fun additions to the race, in some ways offsetting the lack of direct on-the-water competition. And you can run the course as many times as you want. But only one place per boat!
 

PaulK

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Dec 1, 2009
519
Tillotson Pearson J/36 Southport, CT
Sounds like you’d need ski lift loading gates at the pier heads to ensure spacing on the docks. For a positive spin, having to line up with 6’ between each person heading to a boat would make a l o n g line, and make it look like sailing was a popular pastime. This would be good promo for sailing. If police boats were also present on the water to ensure 6’ separations, people would see that even rich boat owners are being made to follow the rules. This obvious even-handed enforcement happening across the whole social spectrum would be a good civics lesson.
 
Jan 22, 2008
667
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
I feel like I'm in a completely different world here in Texas. We raced until Harris and Galveston Counties locked down and picked it right back up after the lockdown ended, some never stopped.
The club that runs Wednesday night races on Clear Lake started racing again last week, probably 20 to 30 boats. The club that runs the Rum Race series on the Bay announced the first race in the series will be May 30th, just no post race social or awards. Normally 60 to 80 boats, we'll see how many show.
The GBCA did their five race Icicle series before the pandemic hit. Our informal race club has already done ten Peanut Regattas. Another group started a weekly "SDR" series, Social Distance Races. Been about a dozen boats for each sometimes. I was on the bay on Sunday and there were boats everywhere. And people onshore everywhere at the Boardwalk restaurants for Mother's Day, and the normal traffic jams were back. They even opened the pool at the marina.
Wish I could say if this a good sign or if it's too soon and will turn bad. If it does turn bad, probably won't have to wait long to find out.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,046
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
I feel like I'm in a completely different world here in Texas. We raced until Harris and Galveston Counties locked down and picked it right back up after the lockdown ended, some never stopped.
The club that runs Wednesday night races on Clear Lake started racing again last week, probably 20 to 30 boats. The club that runs the Rum Race series on the Bay announced the first race in the series will be May 30th, just no post race social or awards. Normally 60 to 80 boats, we'll see how many show.
The GBCA did their five race Icicle series before the pandemic hit. Our informal race club has already done ten Peanut Regattas. Another group started a weekly "SDR" series, Social Distance Races. Been about a dozen boats for each sometimes. I was on the bay on Sunday and there were boats everywhere. And people onshore everywhere at the Boardwalk restaurants for Mother's Day, and the normal traffic jams were back. They even opened the pool at the marina.
Wish I could say if this a good sign or if it's too soon and will turn bad. If it does turn bad, probably won't have to wait long to find out.
Sadly Bill, I fear you are. All my TX friends are sailing and want me to fly down to race. No. Freakin. Way.

The says goes;
You'll never know if you overreact. But you'll know for sure if you under react.

Stay safe!
 
Jan 22, 2008
667
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
Sadly Bill, I fear you are. All my TX friends are sailing and want me to fly down to race. No. Freakin. Way.

The says goes;
You'll never know if you overreact. But you'll know for sure if you under react.

Stay safe!
I think I remember there is something that puts you in the high risk group, but we're all at risk. I just got a text from a friend and crew asking for sailing instructions for a race this weekend, he's 78. I'm really worried about him. Another crew has four kids, half under two, I did everything to discourage him except tell him he couldn't come.
It's hard to not keep things like sailing normal when so many other things have stayed normal. My job hasn't changed, Home Depot and Walmart are packed with people, we don't eat out much, so that's not a big deal. I don't have kids in school, but we are not staying away from grandkids. I do need a haircut, but I always do.
Wishing the best for you and others on this forum through this.
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,032
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Newsday, a paper for Long Island primarily, is running an article about how Covid-19 is going to change sailboat racing on LI Sound this Summer. That's May 13th issue page A3. I'm sorry I'm unable to provide a link.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,046
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
I think I remember there is something that puts you in the high risk group, but we're all at risk. I just got a text from a friend and crew asking for sailing instructions for a race this weekend, he's 78. I'm really worried about him. Another crew has four kids, half under two, I did everything to discourage him except tell him he couldn't come.
It's hard to not keep things like sailing normal when so many other things have stayed normal. My job hasn't changed, Home Depot and Walmart are packed with people, we don't eat out much, so that's not a big deal. I don't have kids in school, but we are not staying away from grandkids. I do need a haircut, but I always do.
Wishing the best for you and others on this forum through this.
Wishing you the same buddy!

Well I'm 57. But in excellent health, fit, never smoked, no underlying conditions, and take zero meds. So I'm not so worried about getting it. But what I am worried about is helping spreading it. We ALL have to help with that, not in a big way, but in a million little ways. The science shows there will be a bounce-back on areas that relax social distancing early.

It IS a balance however, I agree. There has to be an economy for us to come back to.

Good news for me, yesterday Jodi CUT MY HAIR. Her first time cutting hair, and it looks great. Ready for more lockdown! ;^)
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,046
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
here's the link:
Thanks for posting that.

I sure hope OakCliff comes through this OK. It is by far the best racing academy in the USA. If it were in France or the UK, it would be just one of the many. So we need it here. Dawn is doing great work.

I'm not sure WYC will do any official races (even shorthanded) until the MN EO is fully lifted and the danger passed. We're lucky that due to structure, the club's costs will be lower, with the same (regular) income this year. So there is no financial pressure to 'get out there'.
 
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Nov 8, 2010
11,046
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
I was stunned to learn they dorm 1,500 sailors.
That's a lot. I'm sure that most are not year round, but summer camp sailors while school is out. That's why this sucks so bad for them.... I'm sure that the majority of their income come during the summer.
 

Apex

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Jun 19, 2013
931
Oday 28 Traverse City
Its as much about perception as reality.

The reality is we have 120+ boats leave from 3 docks for a fleet race. Our state's EO forbids racing of any type where social distance cannot take place. That is for sure on 25 foot sailboat. Never mind walking on the docks.

Even on the water, boats that are 6 feet apart look like they are touching from the shore, where the public is watching.


Yes, the 'start when you want' aspect makes for some fun additions to the race, in some ways offsetting the lack of direct on-the-water competition. And you can run the course as many times as you want. But only one place per boat!
Kudos to your club for not only dealing with the actual regulations and policy changes due to governor orders, but ALSO in looking at the perception in order to set good examples. It may prove to be unpopular with some of the members, but perception really is important as part of good stewardship of the sport. No wonder your club is doing so well. Pass on the kudos from Traverse City, MI.

My marina is opening with SD rules in play this Friday. The marina does not have a racing program, and crowds are sparse anyway, so the SD requirements may in reality require little changes. GTYC has been holding virtual racing (VR Inshore app) and happy hours via zoom.

edit PS: How is the new clubhouse coming?
 
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