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  #141  
Old 02-19-2010
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Okay lap - check the site. Using your landmarks above and chart 12270, I guesstimated a course. It is 10nm and is roughly based on the "86" FL R 4s buoy, but I'm lousy at navigating so you need to make sure it's correct.

If it is - that Chessie Bay course number 1!
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  #142  
Old 02-19-2010
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  #143  
Old 02-20-2010
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lap- no worries. I'm don't think my coords nailed that buoy. So some of you other Chessies check them out and let me know what needs to move.

I like the idea of upper, middle and lower courses. Which cities should those be tied to? Right now I've tied your course to Beverly Beach - but it could be something else.

Just let me know.
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  #144  
Old 02-20-2010
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Chesapeake Course

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy
Hey JRP - lap is putting together a Chesapeake course for the GR. Would you take a look at his course and confirm it? We here having some difficulty tying down the coords.

Here's his description of the course.

And here's what I laid out based on that description which has very different coords. (It's the USA, MD course).

I had to totally guess on the "86" FL R 4s buoy - which was the only physical mark.

Thanks.

Also, I'd love to get a course from you! We still need some more CB courses.
Steve,

Sorry about replying in the thread -- I'm constantly battling a full PM in-box so it is better to discuss here.

My course would be the same as Lapworth's -- we enter the Bay from the same common river mouth. I suspect Jeff would also use the same course -- he's close enough.

I took a quick look at Lap's course description and your google map. Something doesn't look right to me. The corners of the triangle are in the wrong locations. I did not check Lap's lat/long coordinates, but sometimes translation issues crop up when folks are using degrees-minutes-seconds vice degrees-minutes-fractions of minutes.

I haven't been following the thread, and I don't know how the objectives have evolved. So I can't give any meaningful advice about the course waypoints. But if it were me, I'd want all buoys, not just a random waypoint out in the middle of the Bay. If it would work for the course requirements, I'd use the two buoys Lap mentioned and Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse.

- John

P.S. For those of us who haven't been keeping up with this thread (it's getting pretty long, too), maybe a quick recap of the latest "Race Rules" would be in order?
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Last edited by JohnRPollard; 02-20-2010 at 02:27 PM. Reason: Added P.S.
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  #145  
Old 02-20-2010
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No worries JRP.

HERE IS A LINK TO THE GR SITE AS IT CURRENTLY STANDS.

The sign-up is not active yet - but you can see the current courses and rules.

The very simple gist of the GR is this:

Sailors in a particular area lay out a triangular course (either a 5nm short course or a 10nm long course - or both) with 3 GPS coordinates on their body of water. The course can include physical marks (buoys, etc.) or not. Your choice.

Personally, I think an "invisible" course is coolest - because only GR racers will know it's there. Kind of an underground RaceClub.

Regardless, you have to use your GPS to race around these lat/lon "markers", and record your tracks around the course. You then send us the KML or GPX file of your race along with your time - so we can confirm everything. Then we post the leaders and update it all season long.

You can race the course any time you like, as many times as you like throughout the year. The best time around the course for each particular yacht division wins. That's it.

Then, because the courses are all exactly the same distance, we can start comparing times from different areas to see how racers match up in different conditions, water types, etc. It becomes a true global regatta. Should be fun.

And here are the "formal" rules as they stand:

1. BFS Global Regatta Courses are established by 3 latitude/longitude "marks" on any navigable body of water. The courses can be a Short Course (5 nautical miles), or a Long Course (10 nautical miles), or a combination of both if the body of water will accommodate them. Some bodies of water, for example, may be too small to accommodate a 10 nm course. Below is an example of the Long Course for the Philadelphia-PA/Delaware-River area:



2. Each City/Body-Of-Water combination can only have 1 set of courses (e.g. - a Long Course of 10 nm and/or a Short Course of 5 nm). For example, the Chesapeake Bay can have multiple sets of courses close to various cities surrounding it. But Annapolis, MD can only have one set of GR courses on the Chesapeake Bay.

3. Once the marks have been established, the course or courses will not change. The only modifications that will occur will be in cases where safety and/or navigability issues arise with a particular course.

4. All courses are submitted by sailors in their respective sailing areas*. Submissions are made via the sailing forum Sailnet here:

Global Big Freakin' Regatta. Possible?

We've done it this way so people can debate the courses as much as they want to make sure that the courses are the best, most equitable, and safest possible configurations.

5. You MUST use a GPS device in your race that has the ability to track your course and time, and output KML files for this data(or GPX files which you can convert to KML). Your entries in the BFS Global Regatta will be with these files - which will tell us all the info we need to score the races. You will have the ability to submit your KML files via the home page in your account. You can submit as many as you'd like as your time keeps improving. We will not accept any other form of time submission.

6. The BFS Global Regatta community can call "BS" on any entry. You will have the ability to flag entries that just don't smell right. Though that entry will not necessarily be deleted, it will be marked with a "BSterisk" - kind of like Barry Bonds' home run record. And this allows for good brawls which are the underbelly of great sailing.

7. All complaints, discussions, protests, trash-talk, etc. will happen via the Sailnet thread above. We'll keep an eye on the thread - and join in when it gets really crazy.

8. You must agree to all the rules, disclaimers and special regulations governing the BFS Global Regatta upon the creation of your account. And you must understand and agree that you are taking part in these races at your own risk and responsibility.
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Last edited by smackdaddy; 02-20-2010 at 11:01 PM.
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  #146  
Old 02-22-2010
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This Is Going To Be Fun!!

Okay, I had my very first scouting of the Lake Travis course under sail - and I learned one very important lesson....I suck at this whole racing thing. I sailed 3 nautical miles into the wind and went nowhere.

However, I also found that this is going to be extremely fun!

Right now my main concern is working out the technology on our end, and figuring out what we'll need to know and have to make this work. It's definitely a challenge...which is great.

The winds were 15-20 knots with higher gusts. And I was trying to steer and navigate at the same time, with my buddy on the main trim (much needed with the gusts). To make things a bit more difficult, there were our 2 oblivious ladies and my 2 kids moving around the cockpit, throwing peanuts at eachother, cursing, and generally getting in the way. (You actually have to pay attention to this whole "navigating" thing.)

Here's a link to our actual track:

Smackdaddy02222010 - Google Maps

And here are a couple of stills with the track overlaid onto our course:



I was using my iPhone (with GPSKit) for this, just to test it instead of the Garmin. And as you can see, I missed the first mark by about 350 meters. Embarrasing. Something was off because it actually showed us AT the mark on that first tack - but it had this huge shift when I imported the track. I figured something was off because we were very close to land at that point.



You can see that we then made the two tacks windward toward Mark C before the wind got too strong for me to feel comfortable with full sails and all the people in the cockpit. It was too hard to pay attention.

So, as you can see, we ran back downwind and I told everyone to put away the peanuts and FOCUS! Then we started our push back to windward.

We were then hit by the strongest gusts of the day. Lots of boats on their ears. We were throwing down some serious "yeehaws" - but I knew that any serious effort for GR was not happening on this day. So we ducked off east behind Windy Point when my battery finally died.

We did finally get up to Mark C later when the winds chilled a bit. We saw 6+ knots a few times - so it was a freakin' blast.

At the end of the day, I can tell that we'll need to take this pretty seriously. It's definitely going to be a challenge racing a course with no physical markers.

Furthermore, I know that this is going to make me a much better sailor. Lazily sailing around the lake is easy. Trying to race to a specific spot, especially one that you're having to navigate to, is infinitely harder.

Another thing I have to get much better at is the use of the GPS. As you can see, I started the tracking (which started the timer, etc.) prior to hitting (actually missing) the first mark. So I need to figure out a way to get the timer and the tracking set to start and end exactly when I want them to. Any advice on how to make this happen more precisely?

This is going to be a tremendous learning tool for me.

So who's going to be the first to actually complete the GR Lake Travis Short Course?

GAME ON!
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  #147  
Old 02-22-2010
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Smack

For rounding the mythical marks I will be using my Garmin 76, old but still works. Set the marks as Waypoints with a proximity alarm. I will need to run the course a few times to find out the best radius for the alarm.

On my course if the wind is direcly due east or west half my course will be a long tacking slog to windward. Looks like for you the problem will always be a wind due north or south.

My other limiting factor will be tide, with a typical 6 knot tidal current and a hull speed of 5 knots, I need to catch a tide change at my outer most marks.

Spring is coming and the ice chunks on the river will be gone.
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  #148  
Old 02-22-2010
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Thanks for the feedback guys - and the great advice porc. I'll work on it.

The inflatable marks would make things easier for sure, but I actually like the challenge of using pure GPS navigation to find them.

After I told my wife what I was doing - she got excited about it (and she's fairly ambivalent about sailing on the same lake every week). It's great to go out with a specific task in mind.

I'm telling you guys - this is going to be a blast! And a huge learning opportunity!

PS-
Quote:
If you could get a good blow from due west, you should be able to shave a bunch of time from your total. That would give you essentially a broad reach, close reach, and a long beam reach. Which would also mean you could carry more sail in higher wind. I just don't know if the wind ever comes though there consistently strong out of the west. If it does, that is your day to shine.
This is precisely my strategy, porc. We'll see what happens.
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Last edited by smackdaddy; 02-22-2010 at 05:16 PM.
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  #149  
Old 02-22-2010
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All,

I don't know if you've done it already or not, but I've added "ENLARGE" links to each of the course maps on the GR site so that you can go to the Google Maps page for the course and add it to your "My Maps" section (you need a Google account to do this of course).

The cool thing with this is that you can then overlay your tracks on your course like I did above.

Fun stuff.
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  #150  
Old 02-28-2010
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Another scouting trip yesterday for the LTSC. I moved Mark B a little so it would be the red channel marker in the lake. And I used to an asterisk in the map to indicate it as a physical mark.

Those of you who have already designed your courses, let me know if one or more of the marks is a physical mark and I'll mark it on the maps of marks.
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