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DF65 Interclub Series R1, March 6, 2021, Springfield Lakes

Rnd1Sailors 1 Small8 March 2021
Well, the racing year is off to a flying start with the first of the inter-club series held at Springfield Lakes on Saturday, in what can only be called fairly good condition for our venue. The winds were reasonably good most of the day from the East to South East, with some variation in strength and direction, but that’s Springfield.
It was great to have a fleet of 20 boats on the lake again, a bit like old times, and hopefully a sign of the future. We were particularly pleased to not only have 7 skippers from PRYC but 2 from our new friends from Raby Bay, and with a volunteer from SLMM in Ian Gordon to make up the necessary 3 man club team. The rest of the fleet was from SLMM.
Rnd1Ron Pic 2As we have all come to realise, and John Heard made these remarks, these events only have success due to the willingness of the volunteers that help run the events. So, thanks to Ian Ashe for his RO duties today, he did a fine job. Thanks also to David Black for his tireless efforts in scoring the event with the assistance of Shelley Heard and Norm Gough calling the finish positions. Ian Geary  was manning the rescue Kayak and had a couple of calls for help, apart from altering the course marks prior to the start of the day. Also a big thank you to Ipswich City Council for supplying the portable toilet for the day and Marty Wallace for liaising with the council and playing a major part in this happening.
Mike Jefferys was in his usual good form, but as John Heard said in his closing remarks, the pack is improving and is after Mike. I am sure Mike will make it a tough as possible. There were 5 others that had wins, John Heard (2), Scott Rudd (2), Marty Wallace (3), John Daley (1) and Bob McKinnon (1). Well done guys.
First 3 positions: Mike Jefferys 28 points, Scott Rudd 60, Ian Robertson 72.
By Ian Robertson 
Results HERE



What happened to the A Class?

AclassFleet7 March 2021

In January 2021, the A Class was quietly removed from the list of State Sanctioned Classes here in Queensland.  There was no fanfare about it, why draw attention to something no one wanted to see happen.  Now it is time to talk about what actually happened and why. 

The rules for recognising classes in States and National level are set by the ARYA By-laws;


Since 2019 the relevant section says;

1.3 State Sanctioned Class – to be eligible and remain eligible for recognition as a State Sanctioned Class:

i) six or more yachts must be raced regularly, in an organised manner by a Club affiliated with the ARYA.

'Regularly' could be a few times a year, but regularly, by a club and at least six of them.  The count was zero club events that complied.  For at least the last three to four years the only time six or more A Class boats appeared was for each of the three Championship events the QRYA scheduled each year.  Championships should be a result of qualifying to do so, not the only time they sail.

The QRYA drew this to the attention of the key A Class stakeholders and accepted the appointment of a Class Coordinator two years ago, but no regular sailing happened.  That effectively demonstrated that the future of any yacht class is in the hands of the owners themselves, not the administrators.   It's boats on the water that count, not sending emails.  So the State Association had a choice, to finally apply the rules we are there to administer, or continue to ignore them.  We chose to apply them.  Is that even a choice really?

I recall seeing the A Class for the first time while volunteering at a championship event at Newport QLD and was very impressed.  I saw a little flag on each backstay and asked what that was for.  I had a couple of A Class owners respond at the same time to tell me that it was the 'Owner's Flag', it was a Class Rule!  They glanced at each other sideways.  But I was impressed that every single yacht there complied, they respected the rules.  There are also rules that this State has to follow as a member of the National Association.

Understandably, A Class owners are still well less than impressed after being left with no Championship events to get the boats out of the shed for, and no regular class sailing to fall back on.  But that wake-up call has had an effect that other discussions have not.  The Lake Samsonvale club has now scheduled club events intended to get the class back on the State radar.  Meanwhile the boats can sail anywhere they want to including National Championships, they just do not appear on the State Calendar.

We commend the Lake Samsonvale club's actions and wish them every success in getting to these graceful classic yachts once again appearing on the State list of Sanctioned Classes.

Secretary QRYA


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 



Advantage....what does it mean?

RRSImageIn the main body of the RRS (Rule 44.1), a boat infringing a rule and gaining an advantage is required to retire from the race – no alternative penalty is available at all.

Many radio sailors thought that was harsh. Some years ago, the ISAF-RSD Rules Committee attempted to build an alternative penalty for this situation into Appendix E. The resultant rule is Appendix E 4.3(b). This has been in place for a few rules revisions (about 3 or 4 I think) and continues to give problems as the rule is poorly understood.

I have copied Rule E4.3(b) here:

E4.3 Taking a Penalty

Rule 44.1 is changed to:

A boat may take a One-Turn Penalty when she may have broken one or more rules of Part 2, or rule 31, in an incident while racing.


(a) when she may have broken a rule of Part 2 and rule 31 in the same incident she need not take the penalty for breaking rule 31;

(b) if the boat gained an advantage in the heat or race by her breach despite taking a penalty, her penalty shall be additional One-Turn Penalties until her advantage is lost;

There are two main changes to the rule in the new version (2021-2024) of Appendix E compared to the 2017-2020 version as follows:

The old rule said “significant advantage” - the new rule simply states “advantage” thereby removing the inconsistency that the word significant implied.
The old rule was unclear about how many turns were required – the new rule makes it clear that turns must be done until the advantage no longer exists (therefore clear that multiple turns may be required).
Despite these two changes, the fundamental intent of the rule has not altered from the previous versions.

I am on the World Sailing Appendix E working party and we have been working on writing a Call for this rule for the new version of the Radio Sailing Call book. The Call Book is designed to provide explanations and examples of the application of the rules. Rule E4.3(b) has caused quite a few interesting conversations! The Radio Sailing Call Book has been essentially completed at the WS Appendix E working party and is about to be presented to the Rules Committee of World Sailing for official adoption.

Now – the part of the rule that most people do not understand or get right:

The rule does not talk about disadvantage at all.
Disadvantage is not implied in the rule at all.
The rule only talks about gaining an advantage in the heat or race.

The rule states clearly that it applies when a boat has received an advantage in the heat or race. The reference point for this advantage therefore is “in the heat or race”. So to establish whether there is an advantage in the race, you need to look at the position of the infringing boat in the heat or race – not the relative position between the boats involved in the infringement. There is no reference in Appendix E to the “disadvantaged” boat at all.

The problem we have been grappling with is how to define “advantage”. There are a number of slightly different meanings of the word depending on which dictionary you read, and these different meanings place a different complexion on the rule. Some indicate that an advantage is a better position, and others indicate a greater chance of success.

In terms of the application of the rule, “advantage” is measured by establishing what position in the race the infringing boat would have been, if that boat did not infringe a rule, and comparing that to the position the boat actually is after the infringement and penalty  The following text is copied from the draft version of the Radio Sailing Call Book which is about to be submitted to World Sailing for approval:

If despite taking a penalty a boat is, as a result of her breach, in a better position in the heat or the race than she was before the incident, or in a better place than she would have been had she not broken a rule, then she is required to take additional One-Turn penalties until her advantage is lost. The relative position in the heat or the race of the boat that broke a rule and the boat that was infringed is not  taken into account when evaluating whether an advantage has been gained. 

So for example, in a port/starboard infringement, if a port boat ducked the starboard boat, it might have lost one place in the race. If the port boat hit the starboard boat, did it’s turn and lost two or more places as a result, then the infringing boat has not gained an advantage in the race – or in other words – a better place in the race, or a better chance of success. The rule pays no regard to the outcome for the infringed boat.

Many skippers apply the concept from motor racing, where a car might have to allow another car that it infringed to get in front before continuing to race. Sailing Rules are different – there is no allowance or consideration of the boat that was infringed in E4.3(b). The ability for the infringed boat to seek redress or compensation is contained in other parts of the Racing Rules of Sailing – not in this particular rule. They can apply for redress under certain conditions.

The primary example of what the rule is intended to deal with, is the boat which barges in on port at a windward mark – a port tack boat enters the zone, crash tacks onto starboard, hitting both the mark and a starboard boat, completes a penalty and sails on losing maybe one or two places in the race. If that boat had not infringed, they might have had to take 6 or 8 transoms before tacking on to starboard, and therefore lost 6 or 8 places in the race. In this incident, the boat has clearly gained an advantage in the race, and should continue to sail penalty circles until those gains have been negated.

The second point is that the advantage has to be caused “by her breach despite taking a penalty”. Therefore, if an infringed boat is poorly handled after the incident, or gets into some other difficulty, the advantage cannot be assessed as a result of these other things. The advantage can only be measured as a result of the breach despite taking the penalty, and is assessed against the position in the heat or race.

I wonder whether this explanation casts any different light on your understanding of the rule? The reason I ask, is that this is a test of what the World Sailing Appendix E Committee have come up with by way of explanation. Many skippers still think of the rule in terms of disadvantage, but there is no mention of that in the rule. You can only apply what is written – not what you think should be, or could be written. Some might event think that the rule is wrong – but that doesn’t change it, and if you participate in radio sailing under Appendix E – that is what you have to work with.

In terms of policing – there would need to be a protest by the skipper of the boat/s infringed in the incident if the skipper believes that the infringing boat gained an advantage in the race despite her breach and penalty. At that protest, the onus would be on the infringing skipper to establish that he/she did not improve his/her position in the race compared to the position they would have been in if they had abided by the Racing Rules.

I think the first thing to do in understanding this rule is to ignore any thoughts of “disadvantage” to the infringed boat and that hopefully recalibrates your perception of how the rule operates.

Glenn Dawson, member of the World Sailing Appendix E Radio Sailing Racing Rules working party.



Record 10 Rater Fleet on the Gold Coast

10R Pic2 Sm31st of January 2021

After what seemed like a very long wait, these formula 1 boats were finally let loose on the water.  Twenty (20) boats registered nineteen attended  and I am pretty sure there were still 18 boats on the water at the end of the day.  This result showed the importance of this event with everyone putting plenty of effort into preparing the boats. 

The Emerald lakes club did an awesome job of the event with plenty of shade and volunteers to keep everyone in check.   The event was expertly PRO'd by Bill Clancy.  After much discussion leading up to the day, a 2 fleet system was used to prevent possible damage to boats and chaos on the start line.  At the end of the day this decision by Bill proved to be the correct one.

Racing proved to be very competitive with nearly every boat at some time during the day visiting B fleet.

Greg Torpy was convincing in his win as always and was only challenged from time to time.  Geoff Morris only having sailed in this fleet for a very short time did well with a 4th with only a count-back keeping him from taking third place from Frank Russell with John Musgrave in second.  With only 1 point between second and third a tie for third place only 3 points between 6th and 7th a tie for 7th place and then only a few points between places after that

A surprising number of spectators watched the event and saw the very professional way the competitors, volunteers and others conducted themselves on and off the water.

10RlongThis is a record breaking event.  No one can remember the last time a regional 10R event attracted this many entries, if ever.  The need to go to two fleets for 10R's is unprecedented  in Queensland for anything but a National Championship.

Five different Queensland clubs shared the top 5 places demonstrating that the 10R's are breeding in the State.  A number of new boats are coming onto the water and the level of competition improving.  We will look at putting on some more events to cater for the growth in this class in the near future.

Results HERE

So you couldn't be there?  Watch the racing here.  Visit the channel and subscribe or use the icon top right to select from the playlist.


Trevor Fisher

Queensland Classes Coordinator



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