Port Tack Charter http://www.porttackcharter.com Coach Boats the Dinghy Sailing Community Tue, 01 Sep 2015 20:07:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=226 Latest Test of Theatre Style Racing Challenges the Crews Union http://www.porttackcharter.com/2012/06/04/latest-test-of-theatre-style-racing-challenges-the-crews-union/ http://www.porttackcharter.com/2012/06/04/latest-test-of-theatre-style-racing-challenges-the-crews-union/#comments Mon, 04 Jun 2012 04:47:33 +0000 http://www.porttackcharter.com/?p=383 49er Class members practiced their boat handling while testing (yet to be branded) Theater Style Racing ahead of the 2012 Sail for Gold Regatta.  7 crews jumped into the Stadium and not all survived, though good fun was had by all.  The format somewhat mirrors the format by which the 49er class will determine the 2012 European Championship in Lake Garda.

There is the first race in a beautiful 15 knot Portland Harbour breeze.  Apologies to the crews union for 5.5 minute races instead of the target 7-8 minute.  Reports have it that for some unknown reason there was little post race discussion from the front of the boat.

Here is Race 1 of 3 in the Sprint Series.

We caught up with the Irish after Race 1 of Combat Sailing.  As always, plenty of chat from these two…

Race two had 7 boats competing and three of them using the Port Tack Option off the start line.  There was plenty on at the windward mark.  Additionally, as you see the Portugese (Francisco) tack out from the lane rope on the first beat, we can see an incident where the Irish avoid a potential collision.


We caught up with the Brits after the second Street Race… ever confident, some might say cocky about their shot for glory in the final race.

And then to the grand final… 3 teams remained all tied on 5 points after 2 races… One race for all the glory.  One team would be destined to win the title – King of the Colosseum.

It was a fun day for training.  Congrats to Alain and Dylan of team GBR for their Gold medal performance.  Jorge Lima proved that he’s on form heading into his Olympic trials with a Silver medal and the ever plucky Irish won the bronze.

Many thank to Dave Mackay for getting the Battle down the Channel organized, along with help from Tom Peel.  Harvey Hillary on commentary provided just the right balance of trash talking and excellent camera work, we’ll have him back for sure.


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Weymouth Weather and Tide http://www.porttackcharter.com/2012/06/02/weymouth-weather-and-tide/ http://www.porttackcharter.com/2012/06/02/weymouth-weather-and-tide/#respond Sat, 02 Jun 2012 09:33:38 +0000 http://www.porttackcharter.com/?p=385 Just a few pages with some info on Weymouth tide and weather for the Skandia Sail For Gold 2012



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Using ‘Theatre Style’ Racing to Close an Event While Staying True to the Qualifying Series http://www.porttackcharter.com/2012/05/13/using-theatre-style-racing-to-close-an-event-while-staying-true-to-the-qualifying-series/ http://www.porttackcharter.com/2012/05/13/using-theatre-style-racing-to-close-an-event-while-staying-true-to-the-qualifying-series/#respond Sun, 13 May 2012 11:00:11 +0000 http://www.porttackcharter.com/?p=378 There has been much boat park talk, email discussion, and feedback from the 2012 Worlds Open Forum on the appropriate role of Theatre Style Racing in a regatta.  The goal of having the final race winner win the event and effectively valuing a whole week of racing is a tough balance.  This article looks to set out the latest in thinking for discussion.

A regatta runs through qualifying and the final series as per the currrent system in 49ers – 3 days of qualifying followed by 3 days of finals.  The medal race is substituted for a ‘Theatre Style’ day.

So we have (say) 75 teams ranked 1-75 through the first 6 days of racing.  From the first 6 days of racing, the top 29 move on to ‘Finals Day.’  That’s the top 4 from Silver fleet plus the Gold fleet.

First Round: The first to race are the teams finishing from 22-29 (8 boats).  They take their ranking into the series (22 has one point, 29 has 8 points) and race 3 races in the ‘Theatre’ with low point scoring, no drops.  Scores are entry points plus 3 race finishes.  For example, if the 26th place team finishes the three Theater Style races in 5th, 3rd, and 1st, they will have 14 points (6 + 5 + 3 + 1).  7 teams come out with a new ranking order (23-29) which is their regatta finish and the winner of the series moves on to the next round.

Quarter Final: Boats finishing 15-21 go to the ‘Theatre’ and are joined by the winner of first round  for 8 boats total.  They take their series finish in with them (21 has 7 points, 15 has 1 point, the winner of first round has 6 points).  3 races are completed in the Theatre, with a low point scoring, no drops. 7  Teams come out with a new ranking order (16-22) which is their regatta finish and the winner of the series moves on to the next round.

Semi Final: Boats finishing 8-14 go to the ‘Theatre’ and are joined by the winner of the quarter finals  for 8 boats total.  They take their series finish in with them (15 has 8 points, 8 has 1 point, the winner of the quarter finals has 8 points).  They race 3 races in the Theatre, with a low point scoring, no drops.  7 teams come out with a new ranking order (9-15) which is their regatta finish except and the winner of the series moves on to the next round.

Finals: Boats finishing 1-7 go to the ‘Theatre’ and are joined by the winner of the semi finals  for 8 boats total.  They take their series finish in with them (7 has 7 points, 1 has 1 point, the winner of the semi finals has 8 points).  They race 3 races in the Theatre, with a low point scoring, no drops.  4 teams come out with a new ranking order (5-8) which is their regatta finish and the top 4 of the series moves on to the Grand Final.

Grand Final: 4 boats, 1 race, winner takes all, with the rest taking silver, bronze, and leather medals.

Sailing Finish Theatre Style

So back to the original discussion point of the role of Theater Style and does it do justice to the rest of the regatta?  Basically, the first 6 days of racing do 2 things.

  1. They put you into your final band, be it 1-8 or 24-32… your first 6 days of racing contribute a great deal to roughly where you will finish.  One test we used to determine whether using Theatre Style is appropriate is whether another day of normal racing would contribute a similar amount to your final finish.  We determined that it would not be totally out of the ordinary to move up to 7 places on the final day of racing, so we think is passes this test.  A team finishing 9th, 17th, or 25th faces the risk of dropping up to 7 places in the standings.  On the flip side, they are also best placed to win their round and move up.  There is considerable upside potential for the winner of each grouping.  Having the winner advance leaves open huge possibilities for almost half the fleet (of 75) going into finals day, which should keep interest high among those who had a difficult time in the regatta.
  2. Another piece of the puzzle is weighing the weighting of the 6 days of racing and how many points advantage to give the top teams in a round vs. the last teams in a round.  One item guiding our thinking is that it would be a farce if it was impossible for the last place team to win.  So in the case outlined above, the last place team carries 9 points into the round, and lets say they win all 3 races for a total of 12 points.  Could they win the round?  The answer is maybe… for sure, a top qualifier could also do really well and beat them, but they would have a shot at it.  That is why we chose to weight finishes with 1 point instead of 2.  If the first team carried 2 points, 2nd 4 points, etc… then the 9th team would carry 18 points plus a minumum of 3 more for a total of 21… a score very unlikely to win the round.

So those are the arguments.  The first 6 days of racing contribute in 2 important ways.  1st, they place finishers into a band, where they can loose a maximum of 7 places on the final day.  2nd, within each band higher finishers have a measureable, but not insurmountable advantage.  And finally, opening up the possibility to do exceedingly well on the last day, and move up 1, 2, or even 3 bands would be an incredable story… one the media should lap up and on that creates amazing drama.

Please add your comments.  As always, everything is on the table for discussion.

Ben and Simon


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Brit 49er Battle for London Epic in So Many Ways http://www.porttackcharter.com/2012/04/18/brit-49er-battle-for-london-epic-in-so-many-ways/ http://www.porttackcharter.com/2012/04/18/brit-49er-battle-for-london-epic-in-so-many-ways/#comments Wed, 18 Apr 2012 12:48:35 +0000 http://www.porttackcharter.com/?p=375 With just 100 days until the Olympics in Weymouth, many teams haven’t yet selected who will go to the games.  In a bit departure from previous games, this list includes iconic team GBR, and here’s why.

Jon Pink and Rick Peacock gybing their 49er

First the history.  The British 49er squad has been a world leader since the 49er came into the Games in Sydney 2000 and a Silver medal was taken home by Barker and Hiscocks.  That year they beat out laser 5000 and 505 teams who quickly transitioned to 49ers including the Budgen Brothers.

4 years later the battle for Athens was tight at the top with 3 teams in the top 10.  The Alistair Richardson / Pete Greenlaugh and Paul Brotherton / Mark Asquith teams lost out to Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks, who ultimately won the Bronze.  The successful mixing and matching that brought Draper out of the development squad to team up with Hiscocks while Asquith teamed with Brotherton was to become a hallmark of the Brit squad.

For 2008, Simon and Chris stayed together innovating within the skiff game.  Asquith teamed up with Paul CJ, Brotherton coached the Ynglings to gold, Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes moved into the top ranks and ultimately won the Brit spot with a timely win at the 2007 worlds.  In parrallel, a development team was always rolling just behind the top guys and spitting teams out to the front of the pack.

Fast forward to 2009, and the squad was 8 deep, placing 6 in the top 13 at worlds and they could all compete for a medal at any given event.  Lead by their coaches Barker and Harvey Hillary, himself a top 49er crew at one point, the team wasn’t winning all of the events and a change came.  I’m not sure the exact details here in blogoland, but the list of teams was culled by choice or otherwise.  Brotherton, CJ, and Draper all moved on from 49er sailing and are now dominating most of the up and coming sailing series in the world.  Paul CJ won the Xtreme Sailing Series and Draper just won the Naples AC after turning the fleet upside down last year in Plymouth with Team Korea.  Asquith is coaching, Alistair in in AC, and these guys are leading the world outside of Olympic land.

So enough with the name dropping… the point is, that with those not sailing dominating the pro ranks, just how good are those who won out to stay in the Olympic game?

Back at the front end of Olympic Sailing, the brits still have 4 contenders gunning it out for the single Olympic spot.  With no team able to consistently stand out this quad like Nathan Outteridge has.  I’m not sure how the British selection squad will determine who goes, but the sailors believe it has everything to do with these next few months of sailing, and especially the Sail for Gold regatta.

Remaining teams are:

  • Morrison/Rhodes
  • Pinky/Peakock
  • Fletcher/Sign
  • Evans/Powys

What will be the deciding factor for the selectors?  All indication are that the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta is turning out to be THE event.  It’s become so much the focus that that these teams are not even attending the 2012 World Championships in Croatia.  This in itself is a curious decision as seen from the outside.  For both the 2004 and 2008 quads it was decisive wins in World Championships that ultimately tipped the scales for Brit Olympic selection.

Three things jump to mind about why this is going on in GBR land.

a) Sqad Training in Weymouth – The squad mentality is stronger than ever.  Even though squads were strong prior to the 2012 quad, top teams would break away to compete against each other at crunch time using private coaches and foreign training groups.  We haven’t seen that this quad, with even big Ben sticking mostly to his Finn crew and the 49er squad continuing to stay close.  So with no standout crew, it seems the selectors have said lets keep this squad togther, have them working overtime (no doubt with all sorts of Advanced Analytics including) in the Olympic site and see if the pressure cooker environment used so effectively by Denmark’s 49ers last quad will be better than the double peak theory pushing so many to early selection now.  As with fellow brit Dempsey, the brits are decending on Weymouth for the long haul of training, hoping that increasing venue knowledge will pay at the games.

b) Perpetual Events Trump One-Off Events – Sail 4 Gold is bigger now than any other event.  My second theory is that S4Gold is just so big, and so good now, that it out duels any class run, one-off, world Championships.  ISAF have been pushing hard to eliminate these World Championships from Olympic classes with the class associations pushing back hard mostly due to finances.  One thing is a certainty, and that is that one-off championships are a mixed bag.  The 49ers have had some legendary events, with Brest and Lake Garda topping the list while Moscow and Aix-Les-Bains being quite poor.  Now I personally expect the Croatia world to be a great event, as the Europeans they held for us a few years back was fantastic, but is a one-off event the type Brit selectors are willing to use for their team… I guess not.

c) Has sailing in Britain reached a tipping point where considerations are being made for media and the public?  There has been a ton invested Sail for Gold as an event, but nowhere in the world of Olympic sailing would media be a consideration in choosing events… but maybe it is now.  With a tight battle in the premier sailing class going down to the wire, maybe holding the selection event on home soil is being used as a catalyst to get the cameras pointed toward Weymouth even more?

These next 4 months are as intense as sailing can get for Olympic teams.  Most teams quads will end in disappointment, as there are only 3 medals available and deep field chasing… but the journey these 4 Brit teams are on right now is a unique one, and one where they have already beaten out some of the very best.  Good luck to them all, the world is watching.


Post Script: Well, so much for logic and reasoning.  Seems the RYA got cold feet on this one.  After holding back their teams from competing in the 49er World Championships, they turned the tables and just released the team.  Stevie and Ben will be going back to the Olympics.  Lets hope these old men in a room do better at making decisions than some others…

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Canadian Olympic 49er Battle Heats Up http://www.porttackcharter.com/2012/04/15/canadian-olympic-49er-battle-heats-up/ http://www.porttackcharter.com/2012/04/15/canadian-olympic-49er-battle-heats-up/#respond Sun, 15 Apr 2012 12:43:58 +0000 http://www.porttackcharter.com/?p=372 PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN – As the 3rd event of the 2012 ISAF Sailing World cup wraps up in sunny Palma de Mallorca, Spain, an interesting battle is emerging between two unlikely parties.

Gordon Cook from Toronto has sailed the 49er longer than anyone in Canada and probably the world. Most would describe him as silent and pensive. But when you get to know Gordon he can be quite talkative and opinionated. Gordon, although it would never show, is beginning to feel the pressure of Olympic qualification.
In December 2011 at the ISAF Perth Worlds, 15 nations qualified for the 2012 London Olympics, leaving the remaining five spots up for grabs at the 2012 49er Worlds in Croatia in May. Shockingly, given the resurgence of North American skiff sailing, Canada did not qualify in Perth, meaning that Canadian 49er sailors still need to battle it out for the last five Olympic spots.
The annual Trofeo Princessa Sofia in Palma, Spain is the last tune up event before the big show in Croatia where so many dreams will be made and shattered, especially for the Canadian 49er teams. It is certain that at least two teams, with thousands of hours and dollars spent campaigning, will be packing up and heading home with their dreams unfulfilled. Canada presently has three 49er teams with an approximately equal chance of qualifying for the Games.
Gordon Cook sails with Hunter Lowden of Vancouver. These two former opponents from opposite coasts teamed up in 2009 after Gordon’s first Olympic appearance in Beijing and teammate Ben Remocker retired. This team is definitely the favourite going into the qualifying series given that together they have years of 49er experience that can be measured in decades and Gordon is an Olympian. However, their results have struggled recently and this is not the time to be firing blanks.

Ladha and Dan Inkpen from Newfoundland are the new kids on the block. Sponsored by the iconic Newfoundland Screech Rum company, this team has the least experience and three years ago, no one would have expected these guys to be where they are today. Seen as loose cannons, this dynamic duo that are actually cousins have shown Canada and the World that they should be taken seriously even if their on-shore antics would indicate otherwise.
Current Canadian champions Billy Gooderham and Ian Hogan are from Toronto’s Royal Canadian Yacht Club which has produced so many of our Canadian Olympians. This team has incredible boat speed, especially in strong breeze, but has been un-able to make it count recently. Coming off a career best 31st at the 2009 49er Worlds in Italy, this team’s inconsistency has marked many of their recent World Cup events. Nevertheless, their incredibly strong boat speed and boat handling techniques make them a contender for the 2012 Games.
After a strong effort in January’s Rolex Miami OCR with all three teams competing in the medal race, the last two months have been set aside for training. All three teams did a training block in Miami after the regatta before shifting cross-pond to Spain. Ladha and Inkpen have hired a new British coach, Mark Asquith, with extensive 49er experience at the highest of levels. They’re hoping his knowledge will give them the edge they’ll need to qualify. Since January 2009 they have been on an incredibly steep learning curve, and they believe that Mark can continue to push them and prevent them from plateauing just before the critical moment. Meanwhile, Gordon and Hunter worked with Olympic 49er Silver medallist and former world champion Rodion Luka to hone their skills in Spain.
Ladha and Inkpen are coming off personal-best finishes at the Perth Worlds and the RMOCR. They intend to carry that momentum through Palma, as the sailors call it, and into the 2012 49er Worlds in Zadar, Croatia in a month’s time. “Our specialty is getting better faster than anyone,” Ladha mentioned during a break in one of their Spanish training camps in March. “Going into Palma, we are breaking down specifics; however, our ultimate goal is in Croatia. If we execute our plan, doing well and beating the other Canadian guys is a given,” the outgoing skipper continued.
However, the Cook & Lowden aren’t going to make it easy for the young Newfoundlanders. They figure that they are the team to beat going into the qualifiers a month from now, “we’ve had better finishes at most of the events, so we feel like we’re in front,” Cook said, adding that “there’s still lots of room for us to improve, so it’s anyone’s race.”
Although tensions are rising as the qualifier approaches, it’s no time for panic just yet. “We still have to qualify the country, so we’re not exactly out for blood on the race course,” Cook rationalized. He recognizes that this won’t be a cake walk, “we’re sailing well as a country, but I’m sure other countries looking for spots will contest that at the worlds.” Case in point: Bermuda. Once thought of as a long-shot, the Kirkland brothers from Bermuda have been improving and recently scored a 13th at Palma. Russia, Brazil, Poland, Japan, Sweden, Belgium, Greece, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Italy are all still looking for their Olympic berths. The latter awaiting the return of European champion skipper Pietro Sibello after he suffered a life-threatening blood clot in 2011.
Gordon is the man that has sailed the 49er most in Canada and sees that as an asset. He’s also been through this twice before, only having been successful once by qualifying for the Beijing Olympics at the 2007 ISAF Worlds in Cascais, Portugal. “It doesn’t seem much different this time around, except the fleet is a little bigger and there are quite a few more good teams.” Nevertheless, Gordon isn’t letting the pressure getting the best of him, hoping his previous experience will help him have sail well in each race and to have a good event.
However, the Newfoundlanders know they need to sail a perfect regatta in Croatia just to qualify. And that will be the focus of all their preparation leading into the event. Mark Asquith, their coach, jokes that “the way Jon sails, he wants to win it too much. It hurts. He’s just got to sail.” Jon’s risk taking style could be what wins it for him or what makes it all come crashing down and he recognizes that. “The way Gordo has always sailed, which does hurt him because he’s too conservative, but so different from me since I always take big risks. I’ll be content with small gains.” Jon and Dan’s strategy is simple, stay away from the corners, be safe, avoid letter scores, chip away and to take gains where they can. “I’m not afraid if Canada doesn’t qualify. I don’t give a damn. This is about Dan and myself. I truly believe that we will do it, where it counts the most. Forget statistics. We can do this.” Even Jon’s normally quiet cousin Dan chimed in, “we’re doing it, we’re going for it.”
Moving forward, all three Canadian teams will be training separately in Southern Europe in preparation for the big event. Unfortunately, there is no more collaboration at this point for these team mates. Win or lose, these guys are living an amazing experience, sailing competitively at the highest of levels. “These have been the best four years of my life,” Ladha lamented. He and his team-mates know only they can make their dreams come true

Written by Trevor Parekh – Result of the chase here.

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Coach Boat logistics and Map for the Cadiz 2012 RS:X World Championships http://www.porttackcharter.com/2012/03/16/coach-boat-logistics-and-map-for-the-cadiz-2012-rsx-world-championships/ http://www.porttackcharter.com/2012/03/16/coach-boat-logistics-and-map-for-the-cadiz-2012-rsx-world-championships/#comments Fri, 16 Mar 2012 12:00:20 +0000 http://www.porttackcharter.com/?p=362 In Just under a week the RS:X world championships start in Cadiz.  All of the worlds best windsurfers will be there fighting it out for the top spot and qualification for the London 2012 Olympics  plus the winner will get $45,000 prize fund!

Port Tack Charter coach boats will be located in ether collection point 1 or 2 if anyone finds a fuel dock close to the site please email tom@porttackcharter.com

 Please Return All coach boats to the docks where you foudn them at the end of the event so we can pack up and move on to Hyeres SOF! See you there!

Refuelling Info 

The Fuel dock is in the main marina, opposite the lighthouse with a Repsol sign on it.

you have to call the marina office to get anyone to come and serve you +34 620 611 343

2 Hotels we can recommend for accommodation

Hotel Dunas Puerto 

Nice hotel with restaurant serving fantastic well priced food rooms are out side and a good size with plenty of space for drying sails and clothes in the sun by the Pool. very good Free WiFi in reception and some rooms. (5Min by car)

Hotel Puerto Sherry

Again good hotel very large rooms very close to the sailing venue good breakfast and has a restaurant located just down the road for dinner which is cheap and nice and good portions! Free WiFi but was very very slow!

As Always if you have any questions please contact Tom by Email or phone +44 770 300 5917

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Coach Boat Logistics and a Map for the Perth 2011 Sailing World Championships http://www.porttackcharter.com/2011/11/18/coach-boat-logistics-and-a-map-for-the-perth-2011-sailing-world-championships/ http://www.porttackcharter.com/2011/11/18/coach-boat-logistics-and-a-map-for-the-perth-2011-sailing-world-championships/#respond Fri, 18 Nov 2011 02:32:25 +0000 http://www.porttackcharter.com/?p=259 With the Perth 2011 World Championships upcoming the eyes of all competitive sailors are headed this way.  Coach boats are in the water and some of the competitors and coaches have arrived.  As a guide to Fremantle here is a map of the regatta location.

Perth 2011 sailing and logistics locoations

Fueling at this event is a little tricky due to the size of the endeavor.  To purchase fuel for your coach boat, you will need to open an account with Bailey’s Marine Fuel.  Bailey’s is located within the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour at the low level jetty at end of Molfetta Quay.  Bailey’s has 2x ULP and Diesel.

You will need to visit the Bailey’s Office, open an account (take your credit card/s and details of two bank accounts with you), and complete an online induction process. Fuel can then be purchased, using your Bailey’s swipe card, and the fuel cost will be charged to your credit card the next day. To refuel, we have a Fuel Jetty located within Fremantle Sailing Club.

The event organisers have said under no circumstances may coaches refuel in the marina unless at an official fuel berth.

.         The organizers have a procedure of getting a fuel card to use for refuelling team leaders may want to organise it for their nation but that is up to you.

.         The Freemantle sailing club collector pontoon MUST be clear of all coach boats who do not have a pre-arranged agreement with them by the 21st of November if you don’t then you will incur additional storage charges. (for coaches not arriving until after that date please let us know and we  will sort it)

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Commentary about Theater Style Racing from an Initially Reluctant Sailor http://www.porttackcharter.com/2011/05/14/commentary-about-theater-style-racing-from-a-reluctant-sailor/ http://www.porttackcharter.com/2011/05/14/commentary-about-theater-style-racing-from-a-reluctant-sailor/#respond Fri, 13 May 2011 16:29:24 +0000 http://www.porttackcharter.com/?p=247 Here is an article written by current 49er sailor Hunter Lowden.  Hunter himself has admitted being reluctant to change regarding the sailing formats, so it’s interesting to see his progression of thought.  The following is his article.

“The need has arisen to make sailing more viewer friendly, or risk being dropped by the IOC from the Olympics. One of the knocks against the current format is it’s hard to follow if a person was to tune in for only the final day. People relate to, the person who won the race… wins, not the multi day cumulative point system we currently use and have accepted as ‘fair’.

Why should we care? The Olympics is not really about sport, it’s about making money by providing entertainment. If a sport is not entertaining, then it will be dropped. Under the current format, sailing is boring to watch, and we (sailors) should be extremely concerned. As much as we are all naturally opposed to change, I have to ask a simple question, would you rather try changing the format, or pack your bags and go home…forever? Once sailing is kicked out of the Olympics, it will be next to impossible to recover.

Theatre Racing is a progression of the current Medal Race format used by ISAF, and aims to make sailing much better for TV viewers and live spectators alike. It is being tried out currently, and the format is under constant development. The course design allows for cameras and spectators to be close the athletes while they compete, and provides close boat-to-boat racing with many interactions. Below I have outlined how it could fit into a World Cup and Olympic event, and described the format I think should be tried for the Theatre race itself.

Theatre Racing: (suggestions for changing the format assuming that you are familiar with the current Theatre style race course) In place of the current Medal Race format, the Theatre style racing would also be a single race event for each class. This would allow for fewer courses to be set and efficient time use much like the current Medal Race system of today. Where it differs is obviously course design, which heavily emphasizes boat handling over strategy, but having left the previous 5 days of racing unchanged, there is still plenty of time for ‘classic’ sailboat racing.

In order to incorporate a ‘winner takes all scenario’ that TV desperately wants, I propose we break the race into a Petit Final and Grand Final system. The top 8 boats after 5 days of racing are broken down into the Petit Final (for 5th through 8th), and the Grand Final (for 1st through 4th). The results from these ‘Finals’ races are the final standings. While an athlete could potentially go from first to fourth in one race, it is just as likely in the current Medal Race format. At least this system has limited the outcome to 4 place changes, and actually puts more emphasis on the opening series of fleet racing than the current Medal Race system. This format is also a heck of a lot more appealing for TV viewers and broadcasters, as you can tune in for 10-20 minutes and the result you witness is the final result (barring DSQ’s like any other sport). There is no explanation needed for the points system (of the opening series), or how ‘x’ athlete won the Medal Race but still actually finished 10th.

Theatre style racing – Formatted for 6 day events

ISAF World Cup events where split fleet racing is needed:

-3 days Qualifying (3 races per day: ‘classic’ split fleet racing)

-2 days of Final Series (3 races per day: ‘classic’ gold/silver/bronze fleet racing)

-1 day of Theatre racing for top 8 boats

Olympic Games / Non split fleet events:

-5 days of Opening series (3 races per day: ‘classic’ fleet racing)

-1 day of Theatre racing for top 8″

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Coach Boat Logistics – the Safe and Scalable Way http://www.porttackcharter.com/2011/04/18/coach-boat-logistics-the-safe-and-scalable-way/ http://www.porttackcharter.com/2011/04/18/coach-boat-logistics-the-safe-and-scalable-way/#respond Mon, 18 Apr 2011 15:32:20 +0000 http://www.porttackcharter.com/?p=238 One of the greatest hurdles to overcome when serving the World Cup Sailing Circuit is how to transport boats efficiently around Europe.  Every sailor has stories of the miles they’ve driven through all sorts of conditions to get to regatta locations.  Tales of getting lost in Italian vineyards and historic towns are the highlight… the lowlights are often the overpriced and seedy hotels and truck stops that sprinkle highway systems.

At Port Tack Charter, our coach boat fleet is expanded to 16 boats.  We have a very competent tow vehicle and will continue to drive the circuit in Europe.  To move a fleet of 16 boats though, it takes a very much scaled up solution:

stacked coach boats loaded on a lorry
Above is a fork truck lifting a pair of RIBs into a curtain sider lorry.  Curtain siders are the most common type of truck trailer in Europe and there are competent fleets moving in all directions.  By investing in our cradle system we are able to efficiently supply large quantities of RIBs to any location.  Best of all, it keeps our staff out of their vehicles and leaves most of the driving to the professionals.

Fork Lift loading RIBs in to LorryThe cradle design is a key aspect to the operation.  No only do the cradles need to be stackable, they also must fasten, you can see it’s the top boat that is being lifted here.  As well, they fit perfectly into our flat deck trailer so that any of the cradles are interchangeable and can be moved by our own tow vehicle for shorter trips, changes in plans, or if something goes wrong.

This shot if of the RIBs being loaded for SOF in Hyeres which begins later this week.  Expect to see our fleet across the world cup circuit throughout this summer and beyond.

Truck to tow our coach boats

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Hyeres Test of Theater Style Racing http://www.porttackcharter.com/2011/04/16/hyeres-test-of-theater-style-racing/ http://www.porttackcharter.com/2011/04/16/hyeres-test-of-theater-style-racing/#respond Fri, 15 Apr 2011 18:47:32 +0000 http://www.porttackcharter.com/?p=233

Sorry everyone that we had to cancel the Palma de Mallorca Test…  The lane ropes weren’t ready yet.

49ers are testing a series of progressive racing formats we’re calling ‘Theater Style Racing‘ for now.  The next one is set for a Test on April 21st to be held just ahead of SOF in Hyeres, France.  We’ll use the same format as was proposed for Palma.  Please email me to sign up for a spot.

Fans can follow the action at on our facebook or on Twitter.

Racing will begin at noon on the 21st.  There will be a skippers meeting in the 49er boat park at 10:30 to review the rules.  If numbers allow we’ll do multiple flights.

The format of this test will be ‘First to 10 Points Wins’

Key elements:

  • Each race, points are awarded, 3 for First, 2 for Second, 1 for Third
  • Once a team hits 10 points, they have won the event.  The event continues until a team wins the Silver and another team wins the Bronze, each by getting 10 points
  • 10 boats will be in the fleet.
  • In this test, each team will start with 2 points.  If this were to finish a regatta, the team leading through the fleet racing portion would start with 5 points, second would have 3 points, third – 2 points, fourth – 1 point, all others, 0 points.
  • Optional – Finishing last makes you loose 1 point.  Last place or all teams with OCS, DSQ, DNS or DNF loose 1 point.  If you fall below 0 points you are eliminated from the event.

Key Benefits:

  • Racing decided by fleet racing, not match racing which has been anticlamactic so far.
  • Boats have the ability to influence other boats, leading to exciting scenarios during racing.
  • 10 boats, instead of 8, so that the action is ‘thicker’
  • Multiple ‘final races’ where the excitement should be high as medals would be on the line.
  • The winners must do well in a race to ‘win’ their medal


  • Might take a long time if many teams win races
  • The winner of the final race doesn’t necessarily with Gold, though they would need to be in the top 3.
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