Re: WINDURO 2019
Haha - Peter that's hilarious (below:)
And it brings up another aspect of the Winduro Start... and that's the "staggered start" !!
Several years ago we began a new "system" for starting the Winduro… the goal was to get as many participants together in the Big Pond. This is the biggest open area of the Winduro course - the place where you can see the farthest - the place where you "might see" the most people spread over a large area. It's the area south of the I-90 Floating Bridge and up to the Seward Park slot... and it's "roughly" about 1/2 way around the island.
In early Winduro history we started the same way as most other races, all together. But in a race that's 20-30 miles around a tall island that's about a mile wide and 5 miles long, the racers (usually about 6 to 15 people) never saw each other after the first mile... as they were quickly spread out, with no visibility of each other. This is not as much fun, and or, just plain lonely... and you could even say "less safe"!!
So myself and a few others who know most all the participants, started "handicapping" people into a few groups. We put those with the least experience and or smallest sails (those we thought might go the slowest) in the first group... and those with the most experience and bigger sails started last. Some years we've had 3 groups, or 4 groups if you count Mark D as a one person group (since he has easily won the most Winduros in modern history, we make him start last:)
This staggered start system has worked VERY well (not perfect, but close)… and it's been very fun and more interesting to have a big group visible to each other for a long period of time over in the Big Pond. (Note - For accurate finishing results, each racer kept their own time clock. And the finishing order was their correct elapsed time... not their actual finish order back at Newcastle Beach.)
But last year was "uncharted waters"... we had several windfoils in the race for the first time (not just 1 or 2). And while the start goal was the same (lots of racers in the big pond at a similar time) it was unknown "how fast would the average foiler travel" downwind from the start / around the wind-shadowed N side of the island / and upwind and under the floating bridge. We thought that section "could be" slow for foiling, since it's tough (for newer foilers) to go downwind on the wing, and cause they'd be slow in less wind around the N shore. (It was assumed they would do quite well once they were on the windward side of the floating bridge, cause the Big Pond often has the very good wind.) So last year the windfoils started first. Actually, we might've started Bari and Peter first... then 20 min later, the windfoils… then 20 min later, the experienced raceboards… then 20 min later, Mark:)
And it all worked out quite well, like usual... except the windfoils were faster than expected for the first 1/3 of the course. And they had a bit more wind, when they started. Later when the raceboards and Mark started, the wind had dropped. All in all, around the whole island, the wind averaged out... but suffice to say, windfoils did VERY well.
Brian C (on a 2004 Go board and 2016 designed Slingshot alum foil with H2 wing), and a taped-up 2000 Sailworks 7.4 race sail) set a very fast time... maybe one of the fastest ever (I don't have any records) !!!
Fast forward to this year!!
All the experienced windfoiler's (we know who you are) and the experienced longboarder's will start together!!
We will still start the less experienced longboarder's and "possibly" a very inexperienced foiler with a small sail, earlier. Because we still want to try and get the bulk of the racers in the Pond at the same time!
Incorporating Brian's new start suggestion to this will be fine.
For Winduro Day we want a wind forecast of VERY GOOD wind all day!! That means the same direction wind, all day... it could gradually shift from SE to S to SW over 8 hours, that's fine. But we won't go with a strong W wind component, or CZ (convergence zone) coming and going. And we'd like a wind speed of 15-20 please, which could mean a forecast of 10-25... and we'll still have holes with 5 mph wind and possible gusts, or 10 min rain squalls to 30. But steady 15-20 is our "Goldilocks" conditions.
The morning of the Winduro Skipper's Meeting, we'll have an idea "when" we'll get 8 hours of the most consistent wind. It could be from 9am to 5pm... or 11am till 7pm, whatever. And we'll announce the start for Group One at "X" time (as per Brian's email with pic). And we'll announce the start time for Group Two (probably most everyone else) for 20-30 min after Group One (depending on actual wind and "who" is there).
As usual, wear a $25 waterproof watch from Fred Meyer, Target, Bartell's, etc. (or your cell, with app, in a water-prrof bag) to record your personal time.
But I like the idea (in Brian's email) of someone out on the Newcastle Dock sounding an air horn or blowing a whistle at the START time for both group 1 and Group 2. It will keep everyone much closer!
Helpful thoughts? Ideas... suggestions??
From: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> on behalf of Peter <woodsong.peter@...>
Sent: Monday, September 9, 2019 5:52 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: [nw-windtalk] WINDURO 2019
I think the foilers should start in the weeds that way us fin sailors ( I think there’s only about five of us left🙁) will have an edge for about ten minutes before they scream by us. Haha. Peter