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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:00 pm 
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Location: Harsens Island, Michigan
I was lucky. 'That Matt guy' really knows his stuff!

Are you coming over for the CRAM race in May? If so, I can I crew for you?

I have a 16 we could use. The only thing I am really hesitant about is the rules on who has the right of way. Matt kept pointing out the strategies of position during the race as you approach the marks, and I kept getting confused on who had the right of way. I am hoping it is more intuitive from the boat. It is harder when half the time they were coming toward us and half the time they were going away, but for the competitive boats that strategy of position and not having to tack or gybe until you wanted to was what won and lost races.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:40 pm 
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Location: West MI
Steve,

I have been racing on and off for many years. My first regatta had 150+ boats on the beach and 26 in B fleet. I set 2 goals, Don't hit anyone and don't finish in Last place. I still go by the first one and try to avoid the second. My boat and sails are old as well so I know that I won't finish well but the whole idea is to have fun and learn.

See you at Muskegon, Caseville or Austin Lake.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:09 pm 
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I think you all are pointing out good obvious stuff...
Quote:
Well, its hard to call it a B "fleet". In our group the amount of novice that usually shows up is less than 2, including myself.
Yes, there is less B fleet today.

Quote:
CRAM leadership recognizes that the current balance of membership is top-heavy, with no base to support further growth.
Yes, there are a lot of vets, dedicated to racing.

Quote:
If you want to go to a regatta and decide to just sail around, and not be involved in the racing. The only thing I would suggest it to stay within sight or let the RC know just so they know where to try looking for you if the need arises.
As an RC, I would hesitate to say, yeah, ok, we'll keep an eye out for you. This was my concern -- that no RC who has his hands full with the race course would not want the extra duty of watching out for newbies capsizing, having to pull off the course and rescue someone who turtled.

Quote:
The guys running local regattas these days are mostly regular Joes, just like the folks on this forum, who have full time jobs but are enthusiastic enough about the sport to pour their volunteer time into the many exhausting details it takes to pull one off. They arrange for food, trophies, T-shrts (sunk costs), never knowing if the weather will be crap and no one show up. So while I agree that breaking into the racing scene is a little daunting, I don't fault these volunteer organizers for a lack of outreach.
+1. Any event or regatta is major work for the organizers. It's work and expense too for those who show. It is going to cost a minimum of $$$ for meal costs, time off work, gas costs, etc.

Quote:
Contact the organizers ahead of time, and I'll bet you'll get taken care of... but I ALWAYS had a good time because I had the right attitude.
+1.

Division 10 post:
Quote:
Finally, any Hobie sailor, regardless of skill level or experience, is always welcome to attend any CRAM event. To encourage this, first-time regatta fees are waved.
How about also saying: "For those interested who have not sailed a regatta before, you are more than welcome to participate. We give new sailors a small flag to attach to the clew and separate special instructions on running the course. Help from the club boat is available if you need it when you are on the course." As a newbie, I might read that on a NOR and think, ok, that sounds good; it's worth me taking a day off work, spending money on gas, paying a motel bill, etc.

It would be nice also if there was a dedicated sailing area, with a rescue boat parked on the beach just in case, for daysailors who weren't racing. "Stay in the zone and rescue boat is available." Kind of like a kiddie pool... :)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:39 am 
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Location: Jersey Shore
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It would be nice also if there was a dedicated sailing area, with a rescue boat parked on the beach just in case, for daysailors who weren't racing. "Stay in the zone and rescue boat is available." Kind of like a kiddie pool... :)


While this is a nice idea, it is more than likely totally unfeasible for most events. Simply getting enough volunteers to be able to run a successful race is a major challenge. The primary duty of the chase boats is to adjust the course to keep races competetive, not help disabled boats. That being said, everyone tends to look out for each other, so if you run into trouble, someone will help you.

sm


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:24 am 
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Location: Detroit, MI
JJ wrote:
Quote:
If you want to go to a regatta and decide to just sail around, and not be involved in the racing. The only thing I would suggest it to stay within sight or let the RC know just so they know where to try looking for you if the need arises.
As an RC, I would hesitate to say, yeah, ok, we'll keep an eye out for you. This was my concern -- that no RC who has his hands full with the race course would not want the extra duty of watching out for newbies capsizing, having to pull off the course and rescue someone who turtled.

I can tell you that as RC, I keep an eye out for everybody - racing or not. While the points srm makes are correct (mark boats are mark boats and rescue is their secondary function), I don't have a problem asking a mark boat to go over and check out a capsized boat. However, I'm not a nanny and I would expect the day sailors to have a certain measure of self-sufficiency.

At the F18 Canadians a couple of years ago, we called racing for the day when the conditions were deteriorating on Lake Ontario - big waves, building winds and the competitors were tired. I noticed an older Hobie 16 a mile further out on the lake than we were and had a mark boat go talk to them. It was two guys out for a fun sail in the big conditions and they refused my suggestion they come in. So we went in (conditions were bad even for the mark boats).

The Hobie 16 sailors came in later and I read them the riot act - they had no radio, no GPS and were under dressed for the conditions. They got all defensive on me, saying "Nothing happened, so it's OK". That's called "organizational complacency". Just because you've done something dangerous several times and survived is no predictor of future success.

So, if you're going to go day sailing in the vicinity of a regatta, you'll have more eyes on you than if you went out on your own. However, you should still be prepared to fend for yourself if things go sideways.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:01 am 
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MBounds wrote:
I can tell you that as RC, I keep an eye out for everybody - racing or not. While the points srm makes are correct (mark boats are mark boats and rescue is their secondary function), I don't have a problem asking a mark boat to go over and check out a capsized boat. However, I'm not a nanny and I would expect the day sailors to have a certain measure of self-sufficiency.


Man... This is the opposite attitude from our sailing club. We have at least two Safety Boats out on the water for each event, and their PRIMARY duty, above all, is to keep an eye on (or rescue) ANY boater, racing or not. Setting and moving marks is a "nicety" service we provide to the Race Committee when we're not busy helping someone. Fortunately, accidents don't happen very often, but we make sure we're always ready.

International maritime law requires ALL boaters to watch out for each other and render assistance if needed. Participating in a race has no effect on that responsibility. By having our Safety Boats out there, we not only protect our people, but we help our racers by being the designated "first responders" to any boat, freeing the racers to re-join the race.

All our Safety Boats are equipped with several life jackets, first aid kits, blankets, ladders, boat hooks, ropes, rigging knives, etc... and our Safety Boat operators are trained in water rescue techniques and CPR. They are also trained in mark placement and recovery. But if they have a bouy in hand when a boat goes over, they drop the mark there (or leave it in the boat) to high-tail-it over to make sure everyone is okay, then return to placing the mark.

Over the years, we have been called into service to help racers, day sailors, power-boaters, skiers, jet skiers and swimmers. We work with the local fire and police rescue boats to help keep everyone safe on the water. And we run a LOT of races too. (I should add, Safety Boat operators are all volunteers from within the club, typically active racers; and they get "scored" for the races they miss while on Safety Duty.)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:23 am 
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Location: Jersey Shore
IndyWave wrote:
Man... This is the opposite attitude from our sailing club. We have at least two Safety Boats out on the water for each event, and their PRIMARY duty, above all, is to keep an eye on (or rescue) ANY boater, racing or not.


Big difference here, you're talking about a sailing club - which I would take to mean a centrally located and stationary facility. As in the "Lake You-Name-It Sailing Club" where people store their boats, sail out of the same place week after week and have the membership and funds to have this dedicated team of safety vessels.

These days, your average Hobie fleet barely has the means to provide enough volunteers and support boats to run a successful regatta. The Hobie regatta circuit is nomadic by nature. One fleet hosts a regatta at their local venue, then another fleet at theirs and so forth. There is no central sailing club where regattas are held week after week, so each fleet depends on volunteers to provide support in the form of regatta management, boats, etc and that voulenteer base is typically only a handful of people.

So for the typical Hobie regatta that may have 20 or 40 boats competing, getting additional volunteers to provide the powerboats and manpower specifically for the purpose of looking after a handful of "casual wanderers" is simply out of the question - sorry, ain't gonna happen.

As Mbounds said earlier, the RC is always watching the course, and there are lots of other boats around, so the likelyhood of that you will get assistance if you need it is EXTREMELY high, much higher than if you went for a daysail on your own. But having chase boats specifically for the purpose of babysitting less experienced sailors is simply not feasable. Regardless of whether you're racing or not, it's each skipper's responsiblity to make sure his boat is in good working order and that he can safely handle the conditions in which he chooses to sail.

This thread is starting to get off topic, so I will just say that if you're interested in checking out Hobie racing, come to a regatta. They're fun, safe, and you'll learn a lot.

sm


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:42 pm 
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srm wrote:

These days, your average Hobie fleet barely has the means to provide enough volunteers and support boats to run a successful regatta.
So for the typical Hobie regatta that may have 20 or 40 boats competing, getting additional volunteers to provide the powerboats and manpower specifically for the purpose of looking after a handful of "casual wanderers" is simply out of the question - sorry, ain't gonna happen.

sm


Best example yet of why B and C racers need to be encouraged to join and race. Our beloved sport and boats are dying off without new blood. The average racer is over 40 years old.

Casual wanders become interested potential club members.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:52 am 
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JJ wrote:
As an RC, I would hesitate to say, yeah, ok, we'll keep an eye out for you. This was my concern -- that no RC who has his hands full with the race course would not want the extra duty of watching out for newbies capsizing, having to pull off the course and rescue someone who turtled.



I was suggesting this more along the lines of when everyone gets back to the beach and your missing a boat, somebody has a clue and a search party to cover the whole lake will not be needed.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:29 am 
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I don't want this thread to veer too far off course, but I feel a good bit of the safety responsibility also falls on the newbie sailor as well. Here are a few things I did last year as a beginning racer to help make things "easier" on the RC and support groups:

1) Try to educate yourself - at least on the basics. Right-of-way, standard courses, etc.
2) Sail conservatively. Don't get too caught up in the start. Learn how to manage big wind/waves before you get on the course.
4) I made friends and got many "I've got your back" supporting comments from other racers.
5) Pay attention to safety. - I always sailed with a submersible VHF attached my life jacket.

While I never capsized last year, I did notify the RC when retiring from a race a couple of times for mechanical issues.

I also noticed that no boat was over for more than about 5 minutes before the mark boat was there to assist. You could hear on the radio the communication between the RC and mark boat as they noted certain boats were over and whether assistance seemed to be immediately warranted.

In the end, there is always an element of risk, but I never felt a lack of support or encouragement to be out there.

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'88 H18 Jolly Mon
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:39 am 
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rehmbo - great response...........

i have been sailing Hobie 16 since 83 and for the past 15 years have focused on campaigning monohulls on a serious level. I was invited to skipper a h16 in the midwinters last year and then again for the north americans. i had so much fun returning to the hobie that i went out and bought another h16 in the fall to get back involved in beachcat racing. I sail in A fleet, but i am surprised at what i percieve to be a negative percerption and welcoming of new racers to join us sailing.

In reading this thread, as seasoned racers, our response should have been to anyone who is interested in participating, come on out, have fun, follow rehmbo's suggestions for the first few regattas, and soon enough you will be an old pro. In the meantime how can we help. great to see you and let's enjoy a cold beer. have fun on the water and be safe.

anything other than this type response, is going to keep our sport in decline. I read the new hotline this morning and i think it said 17 of the top 20 boats in the north americans in ft walton were skippered by people over the age of 45. Their laid back approach to Hobie sailing is what has made this so much fun for all these years. Let's not spoil it by making entry in racing more intimidating than it already is.

Bo Ethridge
Biloxi, MS


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:00 pm 
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jesail wrote:
to anyone who is interested in participating, come on out, have fun, follow rehmbo's suggestions for the first few regattas, and soon enough you will be an old pro. In the meantime how can we help. great to see you and let's enjoy a cold beer. have fun on the water and be safe.


Well said, Bo....have we met? I do most all of the OSYC regattas.

Anyone looking to get into cat racing near MS, please contact me.

jv1234_99 <at> yahoo <dot> com

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:52 pm 
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Wow! I've been traveling for a couple of weeks and just got a chance to check in on my original post. Looks like I've started quite a discussion!

I agree getting into the racing world seems daunting for a noobie. I do appreciate the great advice and encouragement. I don't have the gear for spring sailing, but I would like to try this when the water warms up.

Most of all it's great to know ill be welcome rather than just being in the way.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:57 am 
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This is a first time, 'B' fleet boat racing in our 2011 "Frayed Knot" regatta
dunno...maybe it's just me? don't you think they look intimidated? :wink:
Image

racing in a regatta, and the information you'll learn from the experience
will greatly enhance your recreational sailing

here's a primer on the rules
http://www.sailingcourse.com/racing_rules.htm
and another one
http://www.hobiefleet61.org/the-rules-corner

this game is fun...try the different levels
http://game.finckh.net/indexe.htm

Great thread, only wish it was on the Sailing page...oops...forgot it mentions the "R" word :o
Contact your local fleet or the regatta organizer in advance
We always welcome new racers, how else can we pass on this great sport?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:34 am 
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:D


John... That is really funny!!!! and Thank you for all of your help getting guys like myself and Blair(pictured above), and Joel out engaged in racing. Even my daughter (10yrs old at the time) Has now participated in her first regatta... and we took 2nd in B fleet!

That regatta was a bunch of fun, and I appreciate all you have done for us.



I personally participated in my first two Regatta's last year.. I had a blast! I found the experienced sailors to be very helpful and friendly. I learned a bunch about not only racing, but sailing skills which will help just goofing off to be much more enjoyable. I have even gained some good friends through the whole experience.

Doing all of this with an old entirely wore out H16.



I highly recommend that anybody who is even remotely entertaining the idea of sailing a H16 for fun on the weekends hook up with a local fleet and participate. In my experience these are good people, having a good time, enjoying a great sport.


Oh.. and my wife hit her first regatta last year also with another experienced member of Fleet 297... and HAD A BLAST.. So much so that it lead to the only problem with this whole scenario (which I am very excited about)... Upgraditis. (purchased a 2005 H16)

I can't wait to hit the water this coming year. I am hooked.
.


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