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Bandit Watch - A thread long overdue.

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G.R.F. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote G.R.F. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 12 at 9:08pm
What's this Dyson Dash then, we got skunked again tonight, got blown off yesterday skunked today, bloody rescue boat race duty sunday, I'm going to set as crap a course as i can, we should have raced tonight, they only crapped out because we'd have totally trashed them in the dying wind.
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Chris 249 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 12 at 1:48am
Originally posted by G.R.F.

Originally posted by pondmonkey

  why don't you all sell up and buy Lasers?   


I have, it's just got extra bits that might make me capable of performing outside of my normal weight limitations.

We have a growing Laser Fleet, a friend I used to race against back in the windsurfer days has just pitched up and bought one and has wupped me a couple of times already in it, he's got a radial sail as well although he's both taller and heavier than I. He was a sailor before he raced boards and I see him struggling at times which is enough to convince me that my original opinion is still correct, it would be like me trying to return to original windsurfer class racing, another seventies icon, that no doubt our antipodean pal will be along in a minute to praise, but it is a piece of crap to sail now having had thirty years of racing performance thoroughbreds in between so why go back?

I also stick by what I said elsewhere about class racing, it is useless for anyone wanting to progress, since you never get near enough the front to watch the good guys unless you have some other advantage like weight or extreme youf and vigour. The best way is to have a faster boat that permits you to recover from mistakes and get back in the leading pack mix, so you can emulate their style, watch the little nuances of their technique, I'm a peculiar case, an expert racer with crap boat handling, I don't have both parts of the Eric Twiname formula for regatta success, Fast Auto pilot Boat Handling Coupled to Tactical 'Out of the Boat' awareness and the bit I did have suffers from snr moment memory loss. LOL
 
Yep, here I am! Big smile
 
Why "go back"? Same reason that people "go back" to bowling straight-armed instead of chucking, or try to get over golf-course sandtraps using clubs and balls that are heavily restricted in design and performance. Same reason that Wiggins and Cav use bikes that are comparable to a Finn in performance and restrictions. Same reason that people play chess using wimpy pawns, rooks and kings instead of just making every piece into the all-powerful Queen.
 
Speed is not the issue, it's things like practicality, sensation, convenience and the racing, which includes things like popularity, structure, competition etc. If speed counted then I would drag out the Canoe or we'd buy another Marstrom Tornado and you would race a cat or Formula board.
 
"Advances" in design do not necessarily make a sport or game more enjoyable. It would be an "advance" in performance to re-shape golf fairways into giant funnels so that the ball would roll into the hole for a hole-in-one every time, but that would not make the game more enjoyable. It is an "advance" to snuggle into a streamlined recumbent bicycle that goes faster than Wiggo's machine, but it's not more enjoyable. A Hobie 16 is an "advance" on a 505 or ASBO in performance terms, but not necessarily in other ways. So that entire "it's old and slow therefore it must be dumped" idea is a load of b**locks.
 
As we all know, a lot of the sensation and enjoyment comes from overcoming the obstacles of the gear as well as the course and elements. And speed, handling etc are all comparative, not absolute; I feel "faster" when sailing a Radial well than when I am sailing a Tornado badly. Even helm balance is the same. Hell, from an "objective" viewpoint any sailboat is slow, any dinghy is hard to hike, etc.
 
It can't even be said that this is an old fart's attitude or one restricted to dinghy sailors; it is echoed by people from sports philosophers to script kids hacking PC games. Computer game academics theorise about the importance of carefully-graduated difficulty in games and how it effects the psychological factors that make gaming fun. And even unintended problems can be enjoyable - our kids were talking computer games recently and I overheard the oldest (who has been turning down obscene offers from game companies trying to lure him away from his job at Google in SF) say about a popular game that "the game is in the glitches", something that they all agreed with happily.
 
I'd argue that the continuing popularity of boats like the Laser demonstrate that they fulfil these subjective criteria better than most other craft, and that is more important than speed.
 
Actually, even in the most objective terms ignoring much of the above, from some angles the '70s craft that helped create a sailing boom appear to be still damn good to me. In terms of speed for the buck the Laser, H16, Windsurfer OD still rate extremely highly, as they do in terms of strength, simplicity etc. Arguably, a lot of later evolution is a bit like the famous peacock's tail - it may make something more succesful in the long run but be so expensive and troublesome that it creates big issues later on. Maybe we'd be better off trying to work out why these things work from an objective viewpoint rather than abusing them from a subjective viewpoint.
 
PS; can't agree that class racing is bad when it comes to learning skills. It's no good having a faster boat if that means that you are looking at people sailing a boat that has to be sailed in a different way. As an example I know well, a Tasar and Laser are sailed differently in terms of sail trim, rudder use, etc. If someone in a Tasar was trying to imitate a top Laser sailor they were pacing, then they would just be making themselves an inferior Tasar sailor, not a better one.
 
The best way to learn technique (IMHO) is to go out and watch top sailors in the same class while training, or while they go past, then go away and practise before coming back and perfecting another technique.


Edited by Chris 249 - 17 Aug 12 at 1:52am
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 12 at 7:23am
Originally posted by Chris 249

The best way to learn technique (IMHO) is to go out and watch top sailors in the same class while training,

That's certainly the easiest way, and most likely to be successful, but almost any class may come up with a new technique that's superior, and if you're the first to translate it into your class you may be able to make a big jump. Look at the way the Laser running by the lee techniques pioneered by the likes of Ainslie and Scheidt have spread through so many other classes with similar rigs. Yet other techniques and methods in the Laser seem not to translate at all.
Of course its somewhat ironic that in order to be able to have a really good look at what these guys are doing you have to be in a different and much faster boat, or all you see is 20 seconds while they flash past you...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pondmonkey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 12 at 9:42am
I'm sure I've got a book somewhere about sailing Lasers that explains the advatages of running by the lee.  It seemed an 'old' book when I had it and was sailing Lasers as a yoof.... around 1994-96 in the early days of the Ainslie/Scheidt bloodbath.  

However, let's not be too disingenuous,  Ainslie certainly brought the physical into downwind of the Finn class- aided by an appropriate attitude towards an arcane rule to prevent you sailing your boat as fast as you can, because I bet if you started pumping like that in a club race, you'd get jeered at and ostracised.  


Edited by pondmonkey - 17 Aug 12 at 9:43am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote G.R.F. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 12 at 10:17am
Originally posted by Chris 249


 
I'd argue that the continuing popularity of boats like the Laser demonstrate that they fulfil these subjective criteria better than most other craft, and that is more important than speed.
 


Well I'd argue that the continued popularity of the Laser is because of entirely different commercial reasons and the market that it serves, which is a tad strange, but I think I've at long last clocked the reason, ironically from this very forum.

If you look at that thread, how old were you when you started, you'll note that a disproportionate number started as kids, and as such were easily moulded into the belief model of their parents, we all know there is a huge fall out of kids, the ones with brains to think for themselves, so all you have left are the slightly retarded ones that just go on doing things the way they always were.
They actually believe that a regatta with a hundred people sailing an ancient piece of dross is a good thing, a fine image to portray the sport as, some of them have even grown up to have businesses of their own and scratch a living redesigning old dross to gain pathetic market share by cheating the PY system and making their customers cheat as well.
They are a strange breed, in breed if you like, but like all inbreds slightly deficient, so trying to market what in other walks of life would attract new customers in their droves, as for instance new model cars, bikes etc, just doesn't work, that and the fact there is no real distribution chain, it is a vertical model, with the driving influence one set of retards recommending their particular boat to would be neophytes and so the cycle continues.

A very difficult market to penetrate, even if you had a super duper fast easy flying machine that did everything you could possibly wish of it, the retards would simply quip 'it hasn't got a class' not that new people even know what a 'class' is and so the first sales objection stops the deal, and since there is no incentivised sales person or dealer in place with a profit motive to over come it, the market works by idiots advising other idiots and is served by second hand products because it's an easy choice and there are lots of second hand lasers, what I can't understand is why a company with such a powerful brand name can be losing so much money and doing so little to bite back.

There, that about sums it up. LOL


Edited by G.R.F. - 17 Aug 12 at 10:19am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 12 at 10:57am
But one of the odd things about the UK dinghy market is how relatively easy it seems to be to launch a new class. We get quite a few classes that are launched in a blaze of publicity, sell shed loads of boats for a few years, and then fade out. It just doesn't seem to happen in other countries to nearly the same extent.
There have been several UK designed classes that have grown quickly, even with some International support to such an extent that they manage to qualify for ISAF recognised class status, and then burn out just as fast and disappear.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote G.R.F. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 12 at 11:24am
Originally posted by JimC

But one of the odd things about the UK dinghy market is how relatively easy it seems to be to launch a new class. We get quite a few classes that are launched in a blaze of publicity, sell shed loads of boats for a few years, and then fade out. It just doesn't seem to happen in other countries to nearly the same extent.
There have been several UK designed classes that have grown quickly, even with some International support to such an extent that they manage to qualify for ISAF recognised class status, and then burn out just as fast and disappear.


That's because it's broadly the same consumers moving around, these new classes that get launched don't draw in new customers and in a lot of cases prove too difficult or disappointing in performance, to sail for those they initially attract. There was a point in the 90's when the Assym movement attracted a lot of windsurfers and racing windsurfers at that back into dinghy sailing, I for one attended the ISO nationals as a stand in crew for that guy that developed the 49er, for one day it was somewhere up Felixstowe way, really hot and some nobs in a rescue boat came over all snotty, telling us to wear our bloody buoyancy aids, you can imagine how well that went down, but anyway I digress, that was a period where there appeared to be something new and hot going on, a lot of folk got attracted to it, but we all know what happened, the silver foxes won the day in the symmetric dross so perpetuated the status quo and the early assym classes died out.

The RS100 is another example, everyone flocked to it, myself included, wishing, hoping, willing it to be the answer to their prayers but it didn't really deliver for one reason or another, it could so easily have been the long awaited answer to the laser but wasn't, for me the EPS is, but sadly no-one else thought so at the time, so maybe it's a question of simply too much choice for too disparate a group. (The Blaze with a Kite however still remains that answer, maybe one day they'll get it. Wink


Edited by G.R.F. - 17 Aug 12 at 11:25am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote L192444 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 12 at 11:32am
Originally posted by Chris 249

 
Yep, here I am! Big smile
 
Why "go back"? Same reason that people "go back" to bowling straight-armed instead of chucking, or try to get over golf-course sandtraps using clubs and balls that are heavily restricted in design and performance. Same reason that Wiggins and Cav use bikes that are comparable to a Finn in performance and restrictions. Same reason that people play chess using wimpy pawns, rooks and kings instead of just making every piece into the all-powerful Queen.
 
Speed is not the issue, it's things like practicality, sensation, convenience and the racing, which includes things like popularity, structure, competition etc. If speed counted then I would drag out the Canoe or we'd buy another Marstrom Tornado and you would race a cat or Formula board.
 
"Advances" in design do not necessarily make a sport or game more enjoyable. It would be an "advance" in performance to re-shape golf fairways into giant funnels so that the ball would roll into the hole for a hole-in-one every time, but that would not make the game more enjoyable. It is an "advance" to snuggle into a streamlined recumbent bicycle that goes faster than Wiggo's machine, but it's not more enjoyable. A Hobie 16 is an "advance" on a 505 or ASBO in performance terms, but not necessarily in other ways. So that entire "it's old and slow therefore it must be dumped" idea is a load of b**locks.
 
As we all know, a lot of the sensation and enjoyment comes from overcoming the obstacles of the gear as well as the course and elements. And speed, handling etc are all comparative, not absolute; I feel "faster" when sailing a Radial well than when I am sailing a Tornado badly. Even helm balance is the same. Hell, from an "objective" viewpoint any sailboat is slow, any dinghy is hard to hike, etc.
 
It can't even be said that this is an old fart's attitude or one restricted to dinghy sailors; it is echoed by people from sports philosophers to script kids hacking PC games. Computer game academics theorise about the importance of carefully-graduated difficulty in games and how it effects the psychological factors that make gaming fun. And even unintended problems can be enjoyable - our kids were talking computer games recently and I overheard the oldest (who has been turning down obscene offers from game companies trying to lure him away from his job at Google in SF) say about a popular game that "the game is in the glitches", something that they all agreed with happily.
 
I'd argue that the continuing popularity of boats like the Laser demonstrate that they fulfil these subjective criteria better than most other craft, and that is more important than speed.
 
Actually, even in the most objective terms ignoring much of the above, from some angles the '70s craft that helped create a sailing boom appear to be still damn good to me. In terms of speed for the buck the Laser, H16, Windsurfer OD still rate extremely highly, as they do in terms of strength, simplicity etc. Arguably, a lot of later evolution is a bit like the famous peacock's tail - it may make something more succesful in the long run but be so expensive and troublesome that it creates big issues later on. Maybe we'd be better off trying to work out why these things work from an objective viewpoint rather than abusing them from a subjective viewpoint.
 
PS; can't agree that class racing is bad when it comes to learning skills. It's no good having a faster boat if that means that you are looking at people sailing a boat that has to be sailed in a different way. As an example I know well, a Tasar and Laser are sailed differently in terms of sail trim, rudder use, etc. If someone in a Tasar was trying to imitate a top Laser sailor they were pacing, then they would just be making themselves an inferior Tasar sailor, not a better one.
 
The best way to learn technique (IMHO) is to go out and watch top sailors in the same class while training, or while they go past, then go away and practise before coming back and perfecting another technique.
 
I agree with most of that and the Laser is a great boat, however just like the improvments with the XD kit I feel the class/builders could make some improvments to the product that would not destroy the class.
 
The bending of top masts is a problem demonstrated by SWE at the recent Olympics and the life of a sail is not great. Why not fix these issues and move the class on a bit and give the customer a slightly better product. Much like the new sails for the Tasar. I know lots of design & testing has been done on this already, lets see the meat.
 
If they wanted to be really brave they could improve the ergonomics of the deck mould a bit too ...
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pondmonkey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 12 at 11:40am
LOL
Originally posted by G.R.F.

Originally posted by Chris 249


 
I'd argue that the continuing popularity of boats like the Laser demonstrate that they fulfil these subjective criteria better than most other craft, and that is more important than speed.
 


Well I'd argue that the continued popularity of the Laser is because of entirely different commercial reasons and the market that it serves, which is a tad strange, but I think I've at long last clocked the reason, ironically from this very forum.

If you look at that thread, how old were you when you started, you'll note that a disproportionate number started as kids, and as such were easily moulded into the belief model of their parents, we all know there is a huge fall out of kids, the ones with brains to think for themselves, so all you have left are the slightly retarded ones that just go on doing things the way they always were.
They actually believe that a regatta with a hundred people sailing an ancient piece of dross is a good thing, a fine image to portray the sport as, some of them have even grown up to have businesses of their own and scratch a living redesigning old dross to gain pathetic market share by cheating the PY system and making their customers cheat as well.
They are a strange breed, in breed if you like, but like all inbreds slightly deficient, so trying to market what in other walks of life would attract new customers in their droves, as for instance new model cars, bikes etc, just doesn't work, that and the fact there is no real distribution chain, it is a vertical model, with the driving influence one set of retards recommending their particular boat to would be neophytes and so the cycle continues.

A very difficult market to penetrate, even if you had a super duper fast easy flying machine that did everything you could possibly wish of it, the retards would simply quip 'it hasn't got a class' not that new people even know what a 'class' is and so the first sales objection stops the deal, and since there is no incentivised sales person or dealer in place with a profit motive to over come it, the market works by idiots advising other idiots and is served by second hand products because it's an easy choice and there are lots of second hand lasers, what I can't understand is why a company with such a powerful brand name can be losing so much money and doing so little to bite back.

There, that about sums it up. LOL

LOL post of the year.... somehow all very true, but in the rush for several new whizzbang 2000 product launches in the UK, we've depleted the one strength of sailboat racing you see around other parts of the world- class racing.  It has been replaced with the PY system at a lot of clubs- the panacea of the 'perfect boat for everyone' school of thought, when in truth, no such boat really exists.  

Now before this descends into a PY bashing, I don't actually think there could be a much better handicap system on paper... it allows for continuous improvement, it allows and encourages local adjustment and it's now run on a IT infrastructure that could yield bespoke data sets for massive improvements in customisation... e.g. water types, wind strength fields, age of boat calcs against sail number.... all sorts of technical improvements are possible.   However there is a fundamental flaw:

- not enough clubs make returns (cruisers could well be kicked off within a couple of years according to the latest press release)
- not enough clubs adjust and use the system properly- for good reason, who wants to be the ar**hole responsible for knoberling handicaps and taking the flack?
- if you participate in them long enough and it either a) puts you off racing completely or b) dumbs down the experience so far, that you end up running races in your head with the boats you 'think' are equitable to your own.

So with this in place, I end up thinking there's only two solutions- race scratch in 'modern categories' or fleet race in traditionally defined classes.  

'Modern categories' or box rules would allow the Whizzbangs to participate, innovate, develop alongside established classes/brands etc.  And the racing is proper racing again.  But imo, this concept will NEVER be accepted.  (I know, I proposed it at our club to bring the RS700/MPS/Canoe/29er under one banner as a 'high performance class' - with a serious ambition to kindle interest from younger quarters.  It was proposed as fast racing in 'cool boats', free from the sodding spreadsheet, timers and bandit discussions that make sailing the old man, fuddy-duddy stereotype, that in truth, it can be. 

The idea got poo-pooed by nearly everyone... oh the irony when the MPS and 700 number were published equal this year....  In fact the only person who showed some nouse was from a veteran fleet sailor- who thought the concept had some merit to develop some fleet style racing for otherwise uncompetitive handicap boats.  We've had numerous high performance singlehanders pop up and disappear again when the member finds that handicap racing one RTC is actually rather sh1t and there's no class/support structure.  It's a waste of good intentions and not all of those folks are sailing anymore.)  

Personally I've come back full circle, old enough now not to give a crap whether 20-somethings are sailing anymore, and realistic enough to know that we're in a macro economic cycle that won't be pretty for 10k boat spends, especially with VAT at 20%.  So I will no doubt look to conventional circuit or club race boats for fleet racing next year.... not sure which way to go at the mo, that kind of depends on family circumstances after proper school kicks in and the amount of free time I can realistically muster around it.  


Edited by pondmonkey - 17 Aug 12 at 11:44am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rockhopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 12 at 7:29pm
Dyson dash is on  bank holiday monday and its raising funds for our local hospice after they took care of steve dyson a former member who died in a accident three years ago on bank holiday monday hence the name of the event.
Open to all classes and the entry fee is whatever you want to give as it all goes to the hospice
Three races back to back square,triangle,upwind downwind this is an event that suits every class at some point so no need to worry about bandit boats on this one
Retired now after 35 seasons in a row and time for a rest
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