Saturday, April 20, 2013

Star boat "Stargazer" enjoys a breeze at Elephant Butte Lake, 20 April 2013

Columbia 26 "Imagine" with Spirit 65 and O'Day 22 "Starshine"

O'Day 22 "Starshine" portrait on the lake.

Columbia 26 with boats and scenery at Elephant Butte Lake.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Safefy Reminders/Recordatorios de Seguridad y Salud

To the tips from the Ute Lake sign, I would add at least

Keep your speed and wake safe
Mantenga velocidad y estela seguro.

Obey no-wake zones
Mantenga zonas sin estela/sin rastro.

Watch for danger!
Mire por peligros! or Mantenga un buen mirador por peligros!

Got drain plug?
¿Hay tapón de drenaje?

Keep sailboats away from power lines.
Mantenga veleros fuera de las líneas eléctricas.

Elephant Butte Lake Race Area

This is a current example of the course/race area map we use for sailboat racing at Elephant Butte Lake.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Some people have suggested the idea of attaching a dinghy astern of a race committee signal boat in order to give it some protection from racing sailboats running into the RC boat, especially over-aggressive barging racers. Another suggestion is adding to the pin-line bias, to try to get people away from the boat end of the line. There is a problem with the dinghy-drop idea, however, in that the dinghy would count as part of the RC boat, increasing the area that racers have to avoid while approaching the line. Assuming a windward start on starboard tack, this narrows the approach lanes to the line, effectively making the line shorter. This is perhaps best shown by a drawing an example picture.

In this example, the effective length of the starting line is reduced by 20%. With more congestion and crowded comes less freedom of maneuver, less reaction time, and more chance of collision. If you drop the dinghy further astern of the RC boat, the problem becomes even worse.

While it is true that the effect would be less on a longer starting line, too-long of a line also has its problems. A long line magnifies the effect of line bias, providing a bigger incentive for boats to crowd the favored end. That brings the poor race officer back to the original problem of increased congestion, potential for collisions, etc.