2011 Rule Changes - NOT Fundamental Rule

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by SFBayLaser, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    This thread is intended to discuss the five proposed changes to the Class Rules regarding sailing of Lasers and is NOT intended for discussion of the Fundamental Rule. Please see the other thread for that!

    This is the direct link to the other rule changes.

    Download a copy here.
     
  2. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    I voted yes for everything accept the electronics rule. I felt that making it a rule that could be implemented by clubs in their sailing instructions made unfair for those who travel. Also, I felt the way it was written left it open for clubs to make GPS type devices and/or electronic compasses legal for their events. The language, "this is not intended to include" was to vague....
     
  3. sorosz

    sorosz Member

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    I voted NO on the electronics rule because it still prohibits the use of cameras. That is a mistake in my opinion.

    The availability of small, relatively low cost waterproof cameras is potentially one of the greatest recruiting/sales tools the class might have. At a time when there is ongoing discussion about how to grow the class it just doesn't make sense to me to prohibit a such a potentially valuable marketing tool particularly when it provides no performance advantage whatsoever. In fact, you could argue the added weight of a camera could be a performance disadvantage so if someone still wants to sail with one so be it.

    To paraphrase from the America's Cup jargon, do we want the Class to attract the Facebook generation of the Flintstone generation?
     
  4. 154537

    154537 Member

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    agree 100% steve. it seems that the powers that be, the kind of folk who can hire a coach to watch and coach them all day, would prefer that your avg sailor that can't hire a coach for every regatta not have the playing field leveled just slightly by being able to analyze their performance after racing...
     
  5. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    Well, voting no on this proposed rule change doesn't accomplish what you want since right now its all illegal by the Fundamental Rule - even if a local organizing authority would like to allow it.

    The proposed rule change on electronics has probably been subjected to more discussion and scrutiny than any other rule change in recent memory. The rule still excludes electronic compasses because several regions of the world (including, apparently, Europe) view compasses as necessities (like a tiller) and the cost of the electronic versions prohibitively expensive (and, remember, you can buy a compass that works well here in the US for around $80). Its up to the electronic compass manufacturers to do a cost-benefit analysis and lower the prices further to get past that block.

    I understand the argument regarding cameras on boats. On the other hand, the major concern is a mirror of the "this is my coach" argument: sailors/teams that have a lot of money can, conceivably, put cameras on their boats with live feeds to their coach on the water, who then has lots more information to feed back to their coachee between races. If even not a live feed, video can easily be reviewed on the water with a coach between races. The fear here is that you are not leveling the playing field but, rather, that you are creating an entirely new and potentially expensive arms race.

    At the same time, in this day and age there is an ever growing need to allow for onboard cameras and digital tracking devices for media reasons at big regattas. These cameras are not sailor specific - the feeds go to the organizing authority for general use - available to all. This can be done currently by ILCA explicitly allowing (in writing) a modification to the Class Rules. The intent with the rule change is to make it easier for even smaller level regattas to allow it if they want.

    In the end the strongest desire is to keep the boat and the racing as simple as possible. Explicitly allowing cameras for personal use just adds another "must have" item that no one can argue is critical for the actual racing.

    Finally, nn my personal opinion this is an area that will continue to evolve with time. Eventually we will have electronic compasses. And we can't know what technology is in the pipeline that we might want to allow on the boats. But we have to strive for that balance between keeping the boat simple, trying to keep a lid on all the places that cost can get out of control while allowing for things that can be beneficial for the sport.
     
  6. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    Makes perfect sense Tracy, thanks for taking the time to give us more detail.

    I would think it would help if additional/more in depth info such as this would serve all members interests if it were on the ILCA page with the proposed changes (or at least linked to it) as opposed to the mostly bare bones explanations that are currently there - (I know you're not responsible for what is there now)
     
  7. 154537

    154537 Member

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    but coaches can already film the whole fleet or their clients during races and review that footage between races, no? maybe im not following this argument

    if someone is already getting coached, i dont see having a camera on board as making as big of a difference as someone who is not getting coached at all.

    lasers are a tough game, we have to be the tactician, helm, and navigator, its tough to be evaluating yourself also and logging that info in your brain, and having to coach oneself.

    i think an electronic gps, compass, camera, electronic chart plotter, etc all put together dont equate to the type of advantage that is had by having a coach watch and critique you all day, in real time, between races.
     
  8. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    The footage from an onboard camera(s), aka a Go-Pro Hero or equiv is going to show much more detail about the body position, body movements, rudder angle etc and even sail trim.

    If that is streamed over to the coach boat, the coach has much more info to analyse/critique and offer additional changes/improvements then what he is going to see with his eyes or even his own camera
     
  9. 154537

    154537 Member

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    seems a little silly to write the rules based on the 5-10% of people that use coaches at events.

    sailors that already have an incredible advantage based on having a coach, video or not. these are coaches that already are pretty familiar with their clients, techniques and movements. they are at the event to watch the breeze and look at big picture issues like weather, tide, fleet trends etc. they are not breaking down technique in the 20min between races. even if they were, people really think the rest of us should be punished so that these people that are already getting a huge advantage by having a coach dont get a tiny bit more of an advantage.

    you could simply write a provision in the rule making it illegal to transmit data during or between races.
     
  10. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    This is not a rule to ban only cameras on boats. It is meant to be an all encompassing electronics rule but which allows regatta organizers to make exceptions if they need to. It is also attempting to be as simple as possible and stay within the spirit of "if its not specifically allowed then its forbidden". And, if possible, you would really like to avoid getting into a long list of what is allowed versus what is disallowed since, after all, it means you will constantly be chasing technology advances.

    At the end of the day, there well may be fewer people wanting to put cameras on their boats than there are coaches on the water.

    Of course, if you want my opinion, during an actual regatta I think coaches are really only good for providing tow services, serving lunch and bringing a change of clothing. While none of those should be casually dismissed as not giving an "advantage" over the other sailors, at the end of the day the coached sailor still has to sail their boat to win. IMHO, where coaching really pays off is in training sessions.
     
  11. mental floss

    mental floss Member

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    What are the chances of gps on our boats to let the RC know who is OCS even though hidden from the view of RC?
     
  12. 154537

    154537 Member

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    id add in a coach carrying spare parts, tiller extensions, etc as a pretty big advantage during an event, should they be needed.

    the super fast guys are gonna be up there coach or no coach. id say the middle of the fleet guys have the most to gain by a good coach during an event...
     
  13. Sailorchick

    Sailorchick Member

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    There is nothing to stop you putting a camera on your boat when you are training. Anyone can do that, coached or not.
     
  14. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    Maybe it should have gone further, maybe not, maybe in future. But to vote against a good change because it does not include something else you happen to want is weird. In effect you are saying that you think nobody should be allowed the proposed changed because you want something unrelated. Why stop people e.g. using a wrist watch with a built in electronic compass because you want to be allowed to race with a camera ?

    Personally I have nothing against cameras (never come across anybody wanting to use one) and I assume that there is no realtime feedback during a race from any coach as that would constitute external assistance. The coach, live feeds, support teams, etc. if not my sort of sailing and I don't come across it, not for me but that does not mean I should stop others from paying for it all. Unsure but not a change being proposed this time round anyway so maybe something to discuss in future.

    Ian
     
  15. Eric_R

    Eric_R D10 Secretary

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    Mostly people are using the cameras for feedback afterward. Examples are there:



    and

     
  16. Braecrest

    Braecrest Member

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    So what are the other rule changes? I can only seem to access the Fundamental Rule change which I haven't made up my mind yet on. Would like to be able to read ahead the other rule changes which are just as important
     
  17. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    Apparently by posting that link I sort of screwed up the overall rule vote accounting system so they set a redirect. Sorry.

    The complete set of rule changes will appear in the next issue of LaserWorld which will be available as the insert to the upcoming The Laser Sailor hitting the mail soon.
     
  18. sorosz

    sorosz Member

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    So does that mean that the votes made just from that link did not count? When I went through it there was no place to put my information in to verify my membership.
     
  19. Pewit

    Pewit New Member

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    I'm a former Laser sailor now sailing sportsboats.

    The skipper on the boat I usually sail on wears a headcam created with a waterproof camera with a built-in GPS attached to a cheap cycling helmet. We use it to produce entertaining videos of our good races and screw-ups and but also as a useful way to learn how not to do the screw-ups again. The cost of the cameras is about $300 on Amazon but other manufacturers are catching on and, like everything else, the price will go down.

    And it's still chepaer than hiring a coach (especially if it gets posted on Sailing Anarchy!) and the camera could allow those without a full-time coach to send videos to a remote coach for expert analysis.

    I also have a $10 App on my iPhone (iRegatta) which gives you all the functions of a Velocitek (and more!) incuding startline bias calculator, distance to startline, timer, polar diagrams, GPS tracking, compass, VMG, waypoints (you can even set them by using the camera to triangulate the location of a distant mark).

    OK, none of the above will help if you can't sail the boat fast and make the right tactical decisions but simply banning them will enable those that can afford the coaches to remain ahead of the rest that can't - whereas the appropriate use of technology *could* help to level the "playing field".
     
  20. vtgent49

    vtgent49 Member

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    Hmmm, can somebody cut and paste the "other" rule changes here, so we all don't have to vote on the odd rule before even seeing the others?

    Thanks
     

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