Sunday, September 26, 2021
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Coomera Cup Scored!

CCstart1 March 2021

We just had an IOM event using the Simple Heat Scoring System here in Queensland hosted by the Wynnum Manly club.  After years and years of using HMS how did the experiment at the Coomera Cup go?

Answer?  Pretty good ... it depends.

For sailors the experience was really interesting.  No more cruising in third place in B-Fleet because the score will not count anyway, that was perhaps the biggest difference, along with the matching absence of the let down of coming forth last in A-fleet.  But there was a sightly confusing sequence where you were either in the next race, the one after that or you miss two races, which forces you to read and then re-check the display to see what was happening.  The effect was that in a spread out parking area some became slightly paranoid after discovering that the list that appeared on their phone was not the same as the one near the control area. 

Once or twice a few sailors were called when the listing updated after they checked.  There was a mysterious lag that meant the only version you could trust was the screen near the control area, maybe.  The electronic glitches such as the lag and screen time-outs meant that the committee at times had to white-board the next fleet to just to make sure.CCFleetwith48

But this was a trial after all.  The club had a new scoring system, new equipment and volunteers inexperienced in using it, based on lots of technology including bluetooth distributed speakers in the control area triggered by a wearable control unit.  Given all that, it was amazing that it ran as smoothly as it did.

The decision to split the fleet to the final gold and silver was done half way through the second day.  Given that all the scores are carried over but all the drops are left behind, that meant that if not enough races were completed after the split that it was very sudden death.  One bad race could torpedo your plans for the gong so fortunately enough racing did happen in the afternoon to produce a 'drop'.  There was a surprisingly noticeable reduction in the stress levels for all concerned after the split.  Those in Gold fleet were happy to be there and those in Silver were resigned to the fact that they were there because they had not sailed well enough, determined to have some fun with the few races remaining.

So were there any surprises?  Yes, one in particular that manifested itself at the pointy end of the fleet.  I have (you may have too) noticed that some people in the first few places find a groove, a pattern that they 'cookie-cut' for next races.  If they won the last race from one end of the line and the conditions are the same almost, then they will of course rinse-repeat that for the next one, and because there are roughly the same people in the heat, the others get used to it too.  I have seen an entire day unfold that way with one person winning most of the races using what some would call at times, overly aggressive gamesmanship to defend their tactics.  Others learn to stay away and let them have it and the cycle continues, reinforced.  Well that didn't happen this time.

ccdrifterstartFor this event the same same people were less often out in front on the first leg because before the Gold/Silver split, there was no time to train each other in where you were going to start as it was a new mix of sailors every time.  The difference was unexpected, remarkable and refreshing.  We already suspected that when the split happens matters somehow, but now we know one reason why.  The longer it is before the split the more races there are that have to be taken race-by-race rather that a 'rinse-repeat' formula.

Having learned that, if you have enough racing, the good sailors will float to the top anyway and the results show that.  The top five places are almost identical to results we have seen for HMS events and the order looked like one you could have predicted based on the recent past.  From that you can conclude that the experiment with the scoring system had no effect on the over all placing, at least for this event, but some people had to work harder for their rewards.

I did hear that some issues had popped up with the online software and the New Zealand authors were responding as needed.  Not ideal to be sorting bugs during a regatta but support was good apparently and it all worked out in the end.


The Editor

Results HERE

Photos thanks to Nick Lindslay.  More HERE

Videos by Ian Lobley 



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