Monday, June 16, 2008

Sailing the Olympic Circle at Heron Lake

When the Olympic Circle is complete, it will comprise 8 buoys laid out in a rough circle and numbered 1-8.

Right now, 4 buoys have been placed in the eastern third of Heron Lake. They correspond to positions 1 (south), 2 (southwest), 3 (west), and 7 (east) on the map. The buoys do not have numbers painted on them. Later on they will be replaced with numbered markers and other adjustments may be made.

The signal boat, start/finish line, and the race start will be near the downwind side of the Olympic Circle. The turning mark will be to windward. It will be designated by a number pennant on the committee boat. Note that the committee boat may be hard to see when it is anchored near a shore. Also, if winds are strong or if the water is too deep, the signal boat might not be able to remain at anchor and might have to do a “rabbit” start on the fly, with the other boats starting behind it as it reaches past the starting pin.

So, for example, if you leave the Narrows and find that the wind is blowing from the direction of the wind warning island or a little south of there (wind from the southwest), then the race will probably start near position 6 (northeast, a block or so south of the Narrows) and go upwind to mark 2 (roughly in line with the wind warning island and roughly to the southwest).

But, if the wind is blowing from the West to WNW, then the race will probably start near position 7 close to the eastern shore of the lake, and go upwind to mark 3, off a point on the north side of the lake.

And, if the wind is blowing from the North to NNE, the start will probably be near Brushy Point and will go to position 5 in the Laguna Vista cove that is west and northwest of the Narrows.

If the wind makes a huge shift in direction, the signal boat may move the race course, or move the place where the next race starts. The decision may depend upon weather conditions, equipment on board, and the ability of the signal boat crew to move the boat quickly and signal the racing sailors.


Post a Comment

<< Home