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Gate Starts

Postby GuestMember on Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:50 am

Just read the NOR for Nationals in SA and noticed that gate starts will be used for all races. Is this a starting system commonly used by Sabres at National events or just a local preference?

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Postby Alan Riley on Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:28 am

Hi Matt,

I'm not aware of Gate Starts being used at State or National championships before - certainly not since 2003 when I started in the class! Brighton & Seacliff had the 505 worlds there last summer. 505's love gate starts, so maybe this has influenced the decision. I also note that the SA state titles have been moved forward to November with the first weekend at Brighton & Seacliff and they intend to use gate starts at that series.

In case anyone is wondering how Gate Starts commonly work, see the following as an example:

http://www.rs-association.com/docs/RS%2 ... D_2006.pdf

Alan Riley
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Postby swearly on Sun Aug 05, 2007 7:48 pm

Gate starts were used in a very early Victorian championships in I believe in 1979. I do not know of others as I think I took a break from sailing sabres about that time and went racing arrows. The reason for the introduction was the farce that happened the year before when the committee could not control the fleet and after a number of generals the fleet was sent off with a large number of us over the line. A few were dsq but the majority of us were able to hide in the pac. At those times well over 100 boats turned up for a title.
Stephen Early
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Gate Starts

Postby peter reid on Sat Aug 11, 2007 11:56 am

i would not say gate starts were unfair -in fact people who are a bit timid and are used to them prefer them to a standard line start- i have vague memories of them in my early days of sailing and i just think they are a "PUT OFF" i mean if you are not used to them you will be uncumfortable on the start line- you have to be good at judging the line of the gate yacht if you obstruct him or are above him you are diqualified and if you are well below you have just blown your start- This can be awkward in patchy wind on light days-big rolling seas on windy days and disastrous where there is patchy wind and a strong current flowing- personally i dont like them- sure now victorian clubs will want to introduce them into sailing so that victorian sailors going to the nats in S A will be used to them personally i could not be botherd -
peter reid
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Postby Andrew Graham on Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:40 pm

At least it does say 'or at the discretion of the race officer' - so maybe there is hope yet ! It does seem odd though given that the titles in SA last time were also at Brighton - and they didn't have gate starts then. Wonder where the impetus has come from ?
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Gate starts

Postby GuestMember on Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:27 pm

It would be good to hear the reasoning of the PRO for inclusion of a starting technique for a national event that very few of the sailors are familiar with.
My understanding is that line starts are working perfectly at big national and international events around the world.
The PRO is able to use the black flag for recalcitrant fleets which pulls even the most lawless sailors into line.
Can anyone from South Australia comment on this?

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Postby Mike Simpson on Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:21 pm

I understand the gate starts are proposed mainly to allow easier control of starting a large fleet (around 70 boats anticipated) especially in reducing recalls. 505s have apparently used gate starts in large fleets at their Worlds for many years.

Then there is the rumour that there are SA Sabre sailors, already expert in gate starts, who have worked out how they can achieve advantage from the gate start in combination with:
(a) local tides;
(b) the configuration of the sea bottom in the race area;
(c) the seagrass beds in the vicinity; and
(d) the local knowledge of which way to go having survived the gate start.

As a probable non-competitor for the forthcoming Nationals and recipient of some queries regarding the gate starts, I suggest that:
1. you get hold of your Club’s Sailing Captain and organise practice of gate starts.
2. if, having tried gate starts, you don't like them, write to SA and beg them to drop the idea - this would probably require a substantial proportion of likely entrants to achieve any result.
3. if you still don't like the idea, don't enter.

The likely results will probably be the usual people up front, the regular people mid fleet and the remainder providing the rearguard.

Anyone want to organise a sweep?

See you at the AGM.

Fair winds

The following is a copy of the 505 Gate Start Procedures:

The Gate Start

11.1 Starting Marks will be:
(a) The Port Limit Mark, a {describe the mark} on the starboard side of the race committee boat. OR The Port Limit Mark, a {describe the mark} released from the stern of the gate launch approximately 10 seconds before the start.
(b) The Pathfinder.
(c) The Gate Launch, displaying flag G.

11.2 Races will be started using RRS 26. The Warning Signal shall be 8 minutes before the starting signal. Signals will be displayed from the Race Committee Boat, which will also display flag G, signifying a gate start. The time between the starting signal and the time at which the Gate Launch will stop at the starboard end of the starting line will not be less than four minutes.

11.3 The Pathfinder for the first race sailed will be appointed by the race committee. The Pathfinder for subsequent races will be the boat that finished tenth in the preceding race. When this boat is unable to race or has acted as Pathfinder previously, the Pathfinder will be appointed by the race committee and will normally be the boat that finished eleventh in the preceding race. The national letters and sail number of the Pathfinder will be posted on the official notice board for the first scheduled race of the day, and on the Race Committee Boat for the second race of the day. Prior to the preparatory signal the Pathfinder shall report to the Gate Launch, which will be near the {Port Limit mark} {race committee boat}.

11.4 Not used.

11.5 Approximately 30 seconds prior to the starting signal:
(a) the Pathfinder will begin a close-hauled port tack from the {Port Limit Mark} {close to the stern of the race committee boat}.
(b) the Gate Launch will keep station close astern of the Pathfinder.

11.6 The starting line (except for the Pathfinder) will be between the Port Limit Mark and the centre of the stern of the Gate Launch.

11.7 All boats (except for the Pathfinder) shall start on starboard tack after the starting signal. A boat starting prematurely shall retire from the race. RRS 29.2, Individual Recall, shall not apply.

11.8 The Pathfinder shall sail its close-hauled course until it is released by hail from the Gate Launch, after which it ceases to be a starting mark and may continue or tack onto starboard tack.

11.9 After the release of the Pathfinder the Gate Launch will continue its course and speed until the gate has been opened for the period signalled in sailing instruction 11.2. It will then stop, make a long sound signal, drift for three minutes, and finally signal the close of the gate by lowering flag G with a short sound signal. Thereafter no boat shall start.

11.10 Before starting, a boat shall not interfere with the Pathfinder. Any boat that interferes with, or passes between or attempts to pass between the Pathfinder, the Gate Launch or the Guard Boat, or that causes another boat to interfere in any of these ways, or that is on the port side of the Gate Launch as it opens the gate, shall retire from that race and shall be ineligible for any restarts of that race unless the infringing boat can satisfy the Race Committee that its actions were caused either by another boat not having right of way or by some other unavoidable circumstance. This changes RRS 36.
Mike Simpson
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