Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Institutional Memory

It has been interesting to observe the way that University Sailing Clubs organise their events. Some you know will be good, others you wonder what is going to happen. Much depends on the "Institutional Memory".

Traditionally, Oxford and Cambridge had this sorted many years ago. Details of previous events were passed on to the next years event, lessons were learnt, and innovations introduced gradually. The result was smooth running well organised events.

Recently, we are noticing a some other University Clubs getting it together, Nottingham was a good example. However, I think that it takes at least five or more years to get the traditions established and everyone familiar with the programme. It also takes a powerful personality to establish it in the first place. (Evidenced in a recent facebook post)

It is also amazing how quickly the memory can be lost. It took a single year at one of the well organised university for things to go wrong. Luckily, not everything was lost but it has taken about three years to get back near to the well oiled machine that existed before.

No doubt there is paperwork behind the sucessful events but at the end of the day it comes down to people, and culture, as evidenced by the examples above.

Friday, February 15, 2019

A lifetime's Experience

I really find it hard to understand how someone could think that taking a jib halyard out of a mast is not going to cause inconvenience to the next user. Putting it neatly under the foredeck and forgetting about it just does not cut it - in my opinion. Not to mention the fact that with a modern mast you have to mouse the thing to get it back in. Does no one care anymore?

Similarly, your crew are sitting out using the toestraps and you tell them it's not something I would do in an institutional boat, I use something solid like the thwart or centreboard capping  - And, lo and behold, as you tell them "often the toe straps knots are undone" - you notice that the toestrap knots are undone.

Increasingly I find shroud pins not taped - no one seems to care. What matter that you could lose a mast.

Noticing and understanding such thing si the result of a lifetime of experience. I uess one shouldn't expect young sailors to realise such things or the possible consequences.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Its Complicated, or is it?

I rarely post to discussions on Racing Rules of Sailing but was tempted by a discussion on  racing or finished racing? Put my piece up and was amazed at the way the discussion continued in a vigorous manner.

The problem arises because a boat finishes "when any part ... crosses the finishing line", but is still racing (and therefore subject to the racing rules) until she "clears the finishing line and marks". She can, therefore, be penalised if she hits the finish mark (or for other infringements) after finishing but before clearing the line and marks.

A most interesting aspect of the discussion was probably the question of whether having finished and cleared the line, subsequent actions could bring her close to a mark and put her back into a racing state. Rules can switch on and off like that.

At least one correspondent mentioned "Overtaking Boat" and didn't seem to consider RRS24, another did.

It was an interesting discussion - I said I liked the argument put forward - but was surprised by the amount of correspondence it generated.

Anyone can register on  Racing Rules of Sailing it is not an official World Sailing site but an interesting forum which, I think, gives an insight ito how the average sailor might think about the rules.