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The BLACK FLAG, by Stavros……..
I feel obliged to write this small article it the hope that Race Officers might consider a more lenient approach to getting a fleet of Dragons away “cleanly” from a starting line, instead of sometimes completely destroying a competitors regatta……. We have already seen this year in Germany, a total of 19 boats DSQ from the first race of the European Championship. Also a number of “Black Flag” incidents upset many competitors at the UK National Championships….. I can also remember only last year, a number of boats had their Gold Cup hopes dashed after a Black Flag start in Marstrand, when the line was so heavily biased at the starboard end, sailors simply could not keep their boats behind the line, thus sent home and in a none discard-able series, their overall position’s were in pieces….. It simply does not have to be like this…. We are not bad people, we want to be competitive and race hard to win, but most times BFG’s can be avoided…….
Firstly, our Dragon Fleet has so many top International Sailors who have had success in so many other classes it is no wonder that if the line is biased, the majority of boats will want to take that advantage. Secondly, in my opinion, a line bias may not just be the simple arithmetic of wind direction and an angled starting line… No a line bias could be because the right hand side of the course is paying so much that everyone wants to start at the boat and tack! Or the left side of the course gets you nearer to the shore, so a PIN end start and hard left will bring a huge gain…. Do Race Officers consider this ?? I don’t think so. So many stand with their piece of string, or their wind index and study the ever shifting breeze for what seems like hour after hour…. when a simple hail to a nearby Dragon to ask for the wind direction would suffice.. then lay a square line and try for a start… If the fleet is too keen and seems to be bunching at one end or the other… then recall the start and ask the question, was that “them” or was it an unfair line ?? If indeed it was the fleet’s fault then how about a “Z” Flag, keeping the Black Flag rolled up… Try another start, if the fleet again start to go over at 20 seconds to go, then either recall and give each “seen” boat 20% penalty, but and this is a big BUT if it’s because the line is set wrong then just put up the AP… A wind shift or a simple dragged PIN end can easily justify a postponement of a start……No one gets a penalty and the line can be re-adjusted and off we go again with our starting sequence.
Just please please.. don’t ruin “our” regatta when we are not to blame! We are the sailors paying a great deal of money to travel to events, supporting the World wide regatta’s to keep our wonderful one design keel-boat class at the forefront of International Sailing. Lets try to get the starts “right” so that they are fair, consistent, un-biased, controlled… It’s not rocket science, the race officers should be there to enhance our fun, not destroy our sailing time afloat.. No one wants to be sent away from a race, when 9 times out of 10 it’s through bad management……….. Let’s see what we can do to get everyone racing in every race of a series….. Okay we are going to get the occasional OCS but I want to see that dreaded Black Flag only used in exceptional circumstances.. Come on P.R.O.’s you are there for us, not yourselves! Keep EVERYONE racing…. That’s what we all want….
Higher, Faster, Longer, Fairer……. Stavros.
19 replies to “The BLACK FLAG, by Stavros……..”
I am with you 100%. I am a National Race Officer myself and as a competitor all my life I believe also that we “just want to go racing”. I believe that as a Race Officer I never want to use a black flag in order to start a race and accordingly I will always try to set a fair line or, at the very least, set a small bias away from the favoured side of the course.
I was a competitor at the recent Edinburgh Cup in Abersoch where a competent local Race Officer challenged a very professional fleet with start lines in excess of 10 to 15 degrees committee boat bias all week. In addition there was a right side of course favor most times also. Because of this he had to rely on a black flag to start the races every day but this had a very serious bearing on how the fleet behaved prior to the racing. This was unnecessary in my opinion as a fair line could have started us properly every time. He was the most challenging Race Officer I have ever raced under at a major international regatta for a number of other reasons. However, as a volunteer, I applaud him and his team for their efforts to run racing on our behalves during their own holiday time.
Consistency with the race management team is the key in my opinion. Please tell us what your start policy is from the beginning and be consistent in your race management decisions throughout the regatta. As competitors we will respect your professionalism and consistent application of a defined policy.
Finally, as competitors, we understand the difficult challenges that your role as a race officer presents and in return we expect the same respect.
However as a competitor I understand that the race officers role is FIRST to provide fair racing for the competitors ON TIME and in as fair a manner as possible to enable the racing to get started.
Just my humble opinion,
Pedro Rebelo de Andrade
Well said Stavros and Martin, it is a shame that someone’s effort to prepare travel and spen so much money on an event gets wasted on a black flag on the first race..
I would like to add a few words in case some of the race officers get to read this article.
Starts procedure to set a good line is as simple as this. It would be great if race officers were great sailors and could set a great line for wind and favour saide of the course at first, but even a great sailor make mistakes as some times we can see many of them on the wrong end of the line, so, why not set the first start on time as good as you can and get going.. If a general recall is made without checking the wind for another half hour, all you need is to see where the fleet started. If all boats were at the same end, just drop that end 10 degrees, if the fleet was spread through the line equaly, than I agree to hoist a Z and start giving a 20% penalty for those on a hurry!! And if a general recall comes again, than go for the Black Flag… But never in any case R.O. should go for a black flag on the second start even if it was a fair start. And never blame the fleet if 90% of it is fighting their way on one end of the biased line!!
One small tip for R.O. is check the wind with the win windex prior to the first start of the day then put it away and look at the boats sailing and their angles.
During first leg check on boat for how long she is on starboard and port tack, if it is significantly different, than change the course, if downind boats are sailing down on the same jibe, than change it again…. Wind windex is not as reliable as a boat sailing…
The best race officers are allways the ones that stay unknown during a regatta.. But if don’t worry with that cause if that is the case your fame will be noticed by the competitors for the right reasons
Thankyou , Martin , Martin and Pedro for discussing such an important issue.
The principle race officer and his control of the on the water part of a regatta is vital in a successful out come to the enjoyment for the competitors and I feel sometimes under valued by the organisers of events.
I can still remember the disappointment of competitors from the Marstrand Gold Cup.
It dosnt need to be considered a fight between competitors and race committee that it so often seems to be.
Some of my best recent race management experiences have been at regattas where the race officer has been very dominant ….but not a fight..
Belgium where Fred Imhoff and his team have done a fantastic job with good start lines and changing the course excellently for the changing wind and tidal conditions. A top sailor doing a top class job.
Also at Balaton , last years Europeans. Where ,without the excellent work of Gerd Schmidleitner and Farkas Litkey ,due to several days lost due to no wind , it would have been very easy to not even had a championship. Although they did use the black flag , it was their weapon of last resort to get the fleet away quickly in that championships unusual circumstances and due to excellent start lines only few boats were BFD…..No complaints from competitors and a full series completed.
Again Farkas is a top sailor ( not sure about Gerd) but together they were efficient , starting on time when possible with excellent courses and start lines.
Maybe the time has come again to consider the Dragon Class having a professional PRO for major events working alongside the local team and have him available for consultation at other important races ?
Like this everyone competing can expect consistency on the water for the race management side of an event.
The first thing is to congratulate you, and those of you who have subsequently posted on this sensitive subject for doing so and speaking out.
• Why suddenly is starting races getting to be difficult?
• Perhaps we are getting too picky?
• Perhaps it is, that the trend is to shorter races, which puts a greater emphasis on a clean start?
• Perhaps it is the lack of confidence in what they are doing on the part of race officers?
• Perhaps it is overambitious helmsmen?
• It is one thing to do a few courses and exams another to be experienced in competing in and running yacht races, in the ethos that a particular set of competitors want.
• That ethos varies from class to class and venue to venue.
• Or maybe a mixture of both and other things.
• An often used excuse or reason for delays in course setting, is the shifting wind and the effects of tides.
• As a previous poster said – just do it.
• More and more regatta races are scheduled round the social programme of the regatta, or in one case the social commitments of a couple of competitors, rather than an add-on to the sailing, which is why we spend the money we do.
• A more flexible time on the water (A 12 hour window?), allowing conditions to settle or to take advantage of the early morning or evening lull that often takes place during blowy conditions, or for the sea breeze to settle.
• A different starting method, the obvious and well tried one being the GATE START, well proven for 50 years, loved by those who love it, the worst reaction is ambivalence to it.
Finally Regatta and Race officials should remember that we the competitors are THE CUSTOMERS! If we cease to see value for money and fun, on the water, we will stop coming. In the winter I attended a dinner at Hayling Island Sailing Club where the after dinner talk was on why regatta attendances are in general down – across countries, across classes, – the general consensus was that it is rapidly ceasing to be fun, and if we want parties, we can have those away from sailing, (Most of us have a broad enough band of friends.) sailing is why we are there.
I welcome Tim Taviner’s idea of a “consultant” race officer, in times past, this role was fulfilled to everyone’s advantage in the UK dinghy scene by Frank Dwyer (Who Fred Imhof like me mourns.) and Nicolas Robinson. It worked 30-40 years ago there seems to me to be no reason it would not now. Though interestingly neither were sailors!
Regatta numbers are not in general what they were, across venues, across classes, it is a pity then, that when organisers go to so much trouble to talk up a venue and get very good (Even record.) numbers that the experience is less than that wanted by the paying competitor.
Just some thoughts, thank you again Martin.
I am very concerned to hear these comments, but not surprised.
You may be interested to know that the ISAF Race Management Seminar has now been redesigned with exercises, videos and pictures to demonstrate precisely what you complain about. The emphasis to set ‘fair’ start lines that are not necessarily square to the sailing wind but accommodate the perceptions and tactics of customers. There should be an even spread of boats along the start line without any bunching at either end. The theme is consistency both during a regatta and across the world, ‘fairness’ throughout, and that the competitors must be regarded as ‘customers’. A penalty flag should never be used to protect a bad line; they should only be used if the customers cause a general recall on a fair line; if a general recall is likely when a penalty flag is in use and the start line has become unfair, the start should be postponed rather than be allowed to proceed to the first substitute so that any penalties acquired do not apply for the next start. There are occasions of course when a BFD is appropriate (and the start line is fair) particularly at the start of a regatta when discards apply and the fleet is ‘testing’ the RO. But the fleet usually learns quickly and appreciates a policy that a penalty flag will only result in penalties when the line is fair.
ISAF race managent policies are available too. They are designed for fairness and include start line management. They are written for Olympic Classes’ major events but also apply to all other types of racing. It has fixed views on what penalty flags can be used but it is only this aspect of the document that may not apply to all classes. My club adopts them for its bread and butter race management as well as major events. They can be found at http://www.sailing.org/21001.php
Appointing a professional race officer may work for your Class but will not necessarily enhance the development of race management across the continents. I would suggest that the class researches potential race officers for its regattas and insists that the appointed race officer attends the new style race management seminar before taking charge of your regatta. The seminar is a pre-requisite for the IRO qualification but anyone with a reasonable amount of experience can attend. Perhaps your Class Captain would like to attend so as to find out what ISAF is trying to do.
International Race Officer
Feels like I am singing with the angels on these matters. However, Iam pleased that the use of the I -flag seems to be on the vane because that made people gather around the ends and causing reasons for a black flag even with a fair line.
Coming back to the black flag, let’s face fact, sometimes it is necessary to use it, to calm the fleet down a little bit especially when the PRO is running out of time. But what I would like to see is more consistency on the consequences of the black flag. Sometimes, when 20 percent of the fleet is over the line 10 seconds before the start, we get the AP, which in my opinion is the proper way to handle it, and an adjustment of the line. Sometimes, we get 15boats on the blackboard and no adjustment of the line which in my opinion shows race management
arrogance.And sometimes like in Abersoch, we get a general recall with NO blackboard at all.How does comply
with the black flag rule ?
Am I simplifying it to much by proposing a thumb rule saying that if you consider a general recall under a black flag, give us the AP, adjust the line and forget about the wind direction arithmetics.There is always a reason for the majority of the fleet wanting to be in the same place !
Dear Stavros, Pedro, Tim, David, Robert, Thomas,
let me first tell you that I agree 100% with Martins blog. I could have written it myself.
Also 99% of all your other comments I agree to.
My view when I started to be the principle race officer for the open Belgians was:
– don’t do those things, you hated always when race officers did it to you
– remember always your job is a serving one, not a participating one. It’s not your party this time.
– remember that most competitors spend a lot of time, money and efforts to compete here, so never spoil it by a lack of time, by pressure from outside (bar turnover, social things, dinners etc. etc.)
– better 4 or 5 good races than 6 or 7 bad ones
– if weather circumstances make it impossible to complete a serie or make it valid without having 100% good races, so be it. Better no valid championship than one that gives everyone a bad feeling afterwards
– I’m used to ask at the skippersmeeting if the competitors want a good serie or a valid serie by all means(when we are talking about a championship or Gold Cup).
Till now I always got (also from other classes) the answer: we want a good serie.
Then the practical things:
– mention at the skippersmeeting a time in the morning (I took when we had breakfast at the club in te morning) and a time after the race when you are for example at the bar and people can talk to you.
Ask them to be open to the race committee and give their critics, suggestions etc. We all make mistakes, and competitors should tell us (the race officers) otherwise we don’t know and can’t change things.
Two possibilities: I can say thx, good idea and change things or say sorry I can’t change that because… and give them a damned good reason why.
– lay the starting line and first mark at the last moment. E.g. I position the boat at the pin end and the first mark boat standby on the position they should put the mark probably. At the 5 min. gun they give me their last wind direction and than get the answer drop the mark or change 5 or 10 degrees and drop. So the starting mark is in position just before the 4 minutes gun.
In a large fleet I suggest we do this at say 10 and 9 minutes before the start, to give competitors enough time to check their starting position.
– from half an hour or longer on before the start, the pin end boat and the top mark boat report winddirection and windspeed every 5 minutes. But they should be floating and not on anchor as this can make a huge difference due to the current. At the starting vessel nobody is allowed to measure wind direction or windspeed. Only the direction and speed of the current is measured on the starting vessel which is on anchor.
– I ask a competitor before we leave the harbour to sail along the starting vessel at say 15 and 10 minutes before the start and tell me the winddirection he measured and the tacking angles.
– For the current compensation I made a formula which is in my computer. When I put in the direction and the speed of the current, the wind direction (measured floating!) plus the estimated time (in minutes) it takes the average competitor to reach the first mark, it will tell me immediately on 1 degree accurate how much to compensate for the current.
Comparing wind directions at the topmark- and the pin end boat before the start, gives me the possibility to see a tendency of: a turning wind to the right or left, eventually a landeffect near the topmark, etc. etc. That information gives me the possibility to lay the topmark average straight upwind. When I want to be even more accurate, I ask a rubberduck with GPS to follow a competitor who is sailing upwind before the start and measure his VMG. This give me a pretty accurate indication of how many minutes he will need to reach the first mark after the start. So all the 4 figures I have to put in the computer for current compensation are very accurate.
– After the start the top mark boat and pin end boat give me every 5 minutes windspeed and direction (from a floating position). 5 Minutes before the first boat will reach the top mark, the topmark boat gives me the last windinformation and within a minute we decide the downwind compass course. The top mark boat drops anchor and gives a change of course. The downwind gate boats can lay the gate and after that report the position of the gate to the topmark boat. Again both report every 5 minutes windspeed and -direction. 5 minutes before the first boats reaches the downwind gate I get their last info and the game start again to lay the new topmark. Etc. Etc.
– For the line, I take into account: the current, the favorite site for the competitors on the first beat etc. etc.
– When I see most competitors near one end of the line and boats go over the line 10 or 20 seconds before the start, we give a postponement and change the pin end.
– If the fleet is well spread over the line and there is a general recall, we just give a new start. When it’s a general again, we just give a new start. So as long as the line is ok we give just 3 starts without any I, Z or black flag. If the line is not good, we don’t count that general recall for the 3 starts without I, Z or black flag.
The next step then is a I flag, which makes it easier for us to start making notes already before the start of individual recall boats.
When it’s a general again, yep then we need the black flag.
Till now we had in Dragon and Laser SB3 after about 40 starts never a black flag. But I must admit in those fleets where about only 35 to 40 boats.
– I also think when you could become into the position that you have to use the black flag, you also need a video camera on the line, as well on the starting vessel as on the pin end. Otherwise you end up with situations like 20 boats over the line and only 15 on the black board after the general recall, which is not fair in my opinion.
– furtheron a race committee should keep in mind in my opinion that a lot of so called ISAF rules are just advices and not rules! Mainly made for the Olympics, for saving time so you get more sailing on tv, e.g. more advertising, e.g. more money. Not exactly what competitors want and expect from racing.
Then about the Gold Cup in Ostend this year:
I was asked by IDA as the principal race officer. I said yes, but…
“But” means in this case: only when I’m convinced we can provide the competitors with good and fair racing.
And: no I don’t have any official paper as a race officer, and no I’m not goïng after it to get this paper.
So far so good.
I also mentioned very clear a deadline for all the materials needed, the vessels and rubber ducks and a list of names and skills of the volunteers that should be in the team for the on the water organisation.
So we could brief them in time and train them before the real event.
The deadline was the first of May.
At that date there was still nothing concerning the on the water organisation. It was just all about the official dinner, opening- and closing ceremony etc. etc.
The budget for the on the water organisation was just between 10 and 20% of the total budget.
So I was consequent and stepped back. My fellow race officer did, the guys from the top mark boat, gate mark boats and pin end boat for the start did. The R.N.S.Y.C. did.
I still see on the site under “organising authority”: under construction.
I hope I was wrong and they still succeed in providing you with good racing. I will be there maybe coaching, maybe as a spectator. We can have a pint there and discuss the black flag further in detail in Ostend.
CY all and good racing!
dear Fred and other competitors,
most dragon sailors know me as the guy who used to be in the yellow rib @ the RNSYC and later on with the big black (ugly looking) rib @ the same club. I can only say that I’m verry sorry but we had no other choise than to follow Fred in his descision. After many years of working together and doing our best efforts to create good races and courses there was simply no way we could take this GC organisation to a good end, if we don’t get the propper means to organise a deasent wet part we are sorry but we rather drop it and keep our good reputation up as we worked very hard for it. I sincerely hope they still succeed and that you guys get good races @ ostend GC and as fred says: we will be there but not in the organisation.
WOW!!! What a response from Fred Imhoff – that was an answer with some detail!! Well done Stavros on starting this discussion. My initial response might have been somewhat emotional after the Edinburgh Cup. However I may have been right to determine that this “black flag” start issue is one that concerns all Dragon sailors.
Nevertheless both Fred Imhoff and Robert Lamb have encapsulated our issues on this subject perfectly in my opinion.
ISAF agree that consistency and fair racing should be a priority
Fairness is the theme and competitors should be regarded as customers.
A penalty or black flag should never be used to protect a bad line.
To follow Thomas Wilton’s suggestion Robert Lamb agrees that a postponement should be used before any penalties are applied.
Better 4 or 5 good races than 6 or 7 bad ones.
In my opinion ISAF accredited IRO’s are properly accredited and fully capable of running Dragon racing to our demanding standards. Most venues will have access to the services of an IRO and surely the IDA or BDA should require such a standard at every event they endorse. We apply this standard at all our Dragon events in Ireland.
Personally I do not endorse the route to a Professional IDA Race Officer nor do I believe such an adviser is appropriate. The danger of complacency or familiarity with such a regularly appointed RO to the fleet is not a good thing. The more anonymous an RO is the better so long as he/she is competent, fair and consistent. It is a unique feature to our participation and enjoyment of the Dragon Regattas that the RO is different at all our events. However we will applaud their unique style so long as it is always FAIR, CONSISTENT, ON TIME & PROFESSIONAL.
In my opinion the responsibility is with the IDA and their recommendations to the Organising Authorities is to ensure a properly experienced RO is appointed to all our major events.
“jaguar” IRL 201
I am glad that I am not the only one complaing.
I totally agree with you on all points.
IntFolkboat Jolycoco Too
I fully agree with Martin´s comment reg the black flagg issue. Looking back to the top Dragon events over the past years, there always were complains reg the PROs. The Melges 24, Farr40, RC44 or TP52 have their own PRO for all their top events. These PROs know the sailors, their behaviour and what the class wants. The PRO works for the class, not against it! We don´t have it, but we need it, too! The level of the teams are raising up steadily, the PRO and his team needs to match it.
By far the best PRO we had so far was Kevin Wilson who run the Worlds in Melbourne. He was serving perfectly our needs and interests, he never pushed it, he was patient.
Lets hire Kevin Wilson as our PRO for the top events. We just need to raise up the entry fee to pay his daily fee and expenses.
The next big complains will start in Ostende…
I agree totally with your view and those of Robert Lamb and John Coveney
Fairness and Consistency are essential and in race management
Black flag will never be a solution to protect a bad line, i thing that the postponement is far better.
The competitors are our customers and their satisfaction is our satisfaction.
So, thank you again for your input in Dragon sailing.
Principal Race Officer
Derbigum Dragon Gold Cup – Ostend
PS I’d like to apply for the job. Under FFV rules I cannot charge for my servises other than travel expenses etc.., so no need to increase the entry fees. I’m available at the drop of a hat (or AP flag)
If its any assistance Stavros, I agree completely with your view on Black Flags. They appear to be raised far too quickly and without any alteration to the starting line or bias to the course.
The other pertinent point raised by Marcus and I agree completely is that IDA needs a sole PRO Team for the class 1 regatta’s. The class has spent alot of money on trade marking the Dragon logo D, now it should be put to work for the Dragon sailors and generate an income that can pay for a professional PRO team.
Stavros has started a thread here that is obviously close to the hearts of many Dragon sailors. I too agree that starts on lines that are not fair for all competitors, typified by bunching at one end, should be postponed and a new line set, and why wait until the last 10 seconds to do so when 95% of the fleet is at one end with three minutes to go? And yet I have been in many starts where the line was OK and still the fleet has caused a general recall, only to get away cleanly on an unaltered line when the black flag comes out. Why does this happen? A good start is vital, especially in a big fleet, so without a penalty, the fleet appeares not even to look for the line, but just keeps the bow level with the surrounding boats. Be honest; how often have you heard, “We were probably over but well covered so it didn’t matter” With that sort of attitude prevalent in the fleet, one has some sympathy with Race Officers using the black flag.
Nor do I think the Z flag necessarily solves Martin’s problem in that boats over on a Z flag start that is allowed to continue, have to return to the pre-start side of the line after the gun and Start, otherwise they are scored OCS. Rarely does anyone go back even on an individual recall, and there is little difference between an OCS and a DSQ!
I also worry about Stavros’ suggestion that starts where there are many boats over should be (automatically) postponed because the same “We have to go (over) with the other boats in case he (the PRO) lets it go and if we are all over he will postpone anyway so its OK” will prevail. Top helms will avoid black flag DSQ’s but we may never get a fair start away.
I certainly agree that few PRO’s consider anything but wind direction when setting up their lines and too many waste time trying to get the first mark directly upwind, when as long as the beat is longer than the line, it hardly matters where the mark is because (ignoring wind shifts) its the same distance away for everyone*. Far better to put the effort into getting the line right, and long enough especially when it is windy.
I fully support fewer good races rather than lots of poor ones, so let’s do away with practise races and dog-leg reaching finishes. Races should be finished on a final beat, which can be of variable length to suit the conditions, by two RIBs if necessary, while the start line boats get the next start ready. Indeed at Douarnenez this year the line boats finished races on a beat about one third the length of the second beat and still got in two long races a day, but they do tend to get things right in Douarnenez! There is certainly no point in finishing at the start line if the PRO then spend an hour fafing about before the next start! The real answer to good lines is having the right equipment available for the local conditions, particularly ground tackle and boats that can easily move things. Lack of the right equipment is why Fred pulled out of the Gold Cup, and it is inspecting this sort of thing that the IDA should be doing, and I mean going to the venue and saying “show me”, rather than going for a permanent race officer.
I love gate starts and they work for dinghies, but having now sailed on the Dragon circuit for a few years, I fear my wooden Dragon would soon be matchsticks with gate starts unless we use the Murka RIB as guard boat and disquallify (from the series?) boats that hit a leeward boat starting correctly as well as disquallifying those hitting the guard boat from that race.
* Actually this is a bit of a simplification and the figures that follow are approximate. Ignoring wind shifts and assuming an 80% tacking angle, a 1500 m (100 boat) line with a 2nm beat, although the distance to the mark is the same for both, a pin end starter has to sail 60% of the leg on port tack compared to 40% for the committee boat starter even if the mark is directly upwind; reason enough for a bit of pin end bias. If the mark is 10% to the right (about 750 m) these figures become 73% and 27% , so PROs should, if anything, aim off left a bit which evens things up.
Ron James Easily identified wooden boat owner!
I fully agree with most of the comments made regarding the use of the Black Flag. Unlike Abersoch, another excellent Regatta and Principal Race Officer was witnessed at the Edinburgh Cup in Cowes 2010. Like the Worlds in Australia – one of the best! With so many competitors spending so much time and money to participate in events all over Europe (and the World) it is time for the IDA to employ a Principal Race Office and Regatta organizer to ensure that the customers (the competitors) continue to enjoy competing and that the Class continues to develop and grow. White and Muratov would certainly be prepared to pay extra for the IDA to employ a professional Principal Race Officer. It would not take much extra from many for this to be done equitably.
Regards – Olga White
Thank you all for starting and contributing to the debate about major event race management and event organisation. This is all most helpful. All your comments will be taken on board and considered by those of us who will be responsible for organising the next Worlds in 2013 at the Olympic regatta base in Weymouth, UK. I agree with most of what has been said about individual race management and giving priority to the racing.
However, for the whole event, it is worth pointing out that we have to balance the expectations of shall we say the “professional” section of the fleet and “Corinthian” Dragon owners who still make up the majority of attendees even at events such as the Worlds or Gold Cup. I am wary of proposing an entry cost which may put off a good number of sailors from competing. That being said, I agree that on water event management has to be our main priority and this is something we will doing our utmost to get right. See you in Ostend!
Vice Chairman, British Dragon Association
I’m afraid times have changed concerning Corinthians in the Dragonclass.
If you look at the results of the Europeans this year in Germany, there were only 26 Corinthians in a fleet of 72 competitors.
In the Worlds in Australia only 30 out of 70.
We can like it or not, but I think we have to face it.
hi Fred/ Stavros
For the the worlds in Aus most of the Aussie competitors were not aware of what was required to becme a Corinthian until the regatta was almost underway. One of my crew on AUS 176 has been a full time ship wright at the Royal Brighton YC for many years and found it most difficult to obtain a rating… he/ we have never had any assistance financially over my 45 years of Dragon sailing. One competitor did however lodge a claim as a Corinthian and guess what.. when you looked into the boat trailer park at the club his trailer was the only one with sponsorship stickers emblazoned on it !!!
Higher /faster etc etc