"match racing" for last place !

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by martin_y, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. martin_y

    martin_y New Member

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    Hi everyone


    Today I sailed my first open meeting. Out of 20 boats, I was finishing in the last 5. There was 1 boat that came last every race. In the last race, though I was about 9th on the 1st lap, I slid down the fleet, and eventually landed up sailing with this last boat, with the fleet not far ahead of us. He managed to just get ahead of me, as we started the beat. We were really close together.

    Ok, so he was to windward of me, and I wanted to tack, so I bore away slightly, and I tack behind him. So he tacks immediately. After a short while, I tack again, so he tacks immediately, and so on, and so on, all the way up the beat.

    I didnt allow this to faze me, but I coudnt help thinking " dude, we are coming last, WHAT is the point of jostling to keep me behind you, while the fleet gets away? "

    Now I think that we had a chance of catching up 1 or 2 boats again. But when he started his argy-bargy tactics, all that did was slow both of us down. The only boat we overtook was - a capsizee. :-( (and I did manage to get past him on the run later)


    Whilst I realise he did everything according to the rules, what on earth is gained by it? Surely it is far far better to sail FASTEST and hopefully overtake the next boat/s ahead.

    Or, is "for me to win, everyone else must lose" the best thinking? ? ? ????(ala Michael Schumacer!)
     
  2. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    If he was last in every previous race, his thinking was that maybe he could make YOU last in this one. So far his experience was that he could not sail fast and overtake boats in the front. His few minutes of covering you was the most fun he had in the race and maybe in the regatta. Last year, which was my first year racing, my goal was to not be last in EVERY race. Now I never gave up early in any race--your guy just gave up early. I'm sure he's new to racing. Either that, or he should read some sailing psychology. I liked Eric Twiname's Sail, Race, and Win.

    And yeah, if you're going to come in FIRST, everyone else must lose. ;)
     
  3. sailor327

    sailor327 New Member

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    hey if it was you wouldnt it be nice to be able to say you didnt come in ast EVERY race
     
  4. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    It may have been frustrating, but it's part of the game and an exercise as well. You could have imagined that the other guy was in first place and you were trying to break his cover and beat him to the finish line.
     
  5. martin_y

    martin_y New Member

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    Ok, so it seems my thinking is in the minority :-(

    But I chatted to another sailor who had a bad start and then had this guy cover him when they got on the run, to the extent that he eventually pointed and said to this guy "the race is over there" ! :) ...and still overtook him anyway.

    But then I chatted to our ex Commodore who saw this whole thing going on with me and this guy, and he agreed with you guys, he said "you had a good race". And another interesting comment he made was "it was within the rules", and "the idea is to have good duel".

    Well, I still it would be better to bot sail our fastest, and lets catch up the 3rd last guy. Lets also maximise our chance of being able to overtake someone ahead who might have small capsize or something. But by slowing us bothe down, that chance was minimised rather.

    I have been thinking about what I could have done differently! And maybe I should have adopted his "loser" thinking, by:

    a) luffing and luffing and luffing till we both stop.
    b) luffing and luffing till we get really close together, and then bumping him, ( but making it not look intentional of course) so the he has to do his turns.
    c) gone and scrutinised his boat and protested the slightest infringement JUSt before the protest window closes, so that he cant do it back to me.

    BUT I just dont think like that! ?????

    As for it being within the rules.... the rules are not whats REASONABLE. I can go cruising anytime and go and find some boats racing... then go around on starboard making them tack.. its within the RULES, but is that REASONABLE?

    As for it being a Duel.... thats my whole point - there are more than 2 boats in the race !!!!!
     
  6. martin_y

    martin_y New Member

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    "It may have been frustrating, but it's part of the game and an exercise as well. You could have imagined that the other guy was in first place and you were trying to break his cover and beat him to the finish line."

    Ok, I see what you are saying here... one day maybe I WILL be at the front with another boat, and this would have been good practice for that (inlikely!) eventuality. Yes, this is good advice. :)
     
  7. martin_y

    martin_y New Member

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    "If he was last in every previous race, his thinking was that maybe he could make YOU last in this one. So far his experience was that he could not sail fast and overtake boats in the front. His few minutes of covering you was the most fun he had in the race and maybe in the regatta. Last year, which was my first year racing, my goal was to not be last in EVERY race. Now I never gave up early in any race--your guy just gave up early."

    ** Agree 100% with all of this, and maybe this is what I am trying to say - surely he gave up on catching the 3rd last boat, so I was his only competition. ?



    " I'm sure he's new to racing. Either that, or he should read some sailing psychology. "

    ** Yes he was a young guy.. maybe he sails on a river or something where speed is not as important as tactics.

    "I liked Eric Twiname's Sail, Race, and Win"

    ** reading that myself, but trying to get boat speed first, before I get too tactical, or before I blame my old boat too much !


    "And yeah, if you're going to come in FIRST, everyone else must lose"

    ** Yes this is fine when you are actually coming first !!! :)
     
  8. Owyn in Barnsley

    Owyn in Barnsley New Member

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    I've noticed it's a back of the fleet thing, when you get to the front (it only happens to me if I get an unusally lucky start) then people are generally too interested in going fast to worry about screwing up those behind.
     
  9. Mawill

    Mawill New Member

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    Hey,

    My 2 cents -

    I don't spend too much time at the front, but I do spend some and when I am there, people are just as anxious to cover, mess up, take people past marks etc. Maybe it is just the fleet I am in - they are not out there to screw people, just out to use every advantage possible - to me that is part of racing.

    As for the guy covering you all the way up the beat. I am sure he was some young guy that is anxious to play with some others. For him/her, you may have been the only boat to come within his general area all day, and this was his chance to play and have some fun - to pretend he was in first and was protecting his valuable lead.

    When I was first starting out, I did thge same thing. The top guy in the fleet was over early and he was behind me. It was my turn to play and I had a blast - but the guy came over after the race and said what I had done was fine and legal, but it had screwed both of us - and would not win me any pals - and there is a social aspect to this. He then spent about 1/2 hour going over my boat and telling me what I could do to be better out there. Perhaps you could talk to this guy and help sort him out a bit.

    My two cents, worth what you paid for it!

    M
     
  10. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    If you are in the back end of the fleet and you do not regularly sail there and someone is racing with you as though he thinks you ought to be playing with him:


    1. Do a bunch of tricky manouvers and make the other sailor foul you.
    2. If possible, hit a fragile part of the other boat and disable it.
    3. Ask, " Don't you know who I am?"
    4. If the other sailor is still nearby after the finish, sail over and punch that sailor.
    5. On shore, you can apologize, make a new friend and even offfer to pay for any necessary repairs.
    6. Then you can go home thinking everything is dandy.

    Disclaimer:
    This system will not necessarily work well if anybody witnesses your behavior.

    Guaranteed results?? Your actions will make you famous and cause Scuttlebutt, Sailing Anarchy and this Forum to be filled wih tons of posts by anonymous writers attempting to write trash that is more unacceptable than your performance on the racecourse.
     
  11. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    I am quite surprised (and disappointed) in your attitude to "this guy" - this "looser" as you call him. You may think of him as a "looser" and then get angry when he tries not to lose. I don't know about fleets in the US nor Laser fleets in general as I'm new to sailing Lasers, but in every other class, wining is far from just about going fast. Its a continual balance of speed, risk, tactics, what those around you are doing, etc. If you cannot handle having a duel with somebody then you should ask yourself if you "are playing the right game". Maybe something like chess might suit you better.​

    The fastest boat is far from always "the winner". In my experience tactics plays a much more important role than speed (both for inshore and offshore racing) If you cannot break the cover of a "tail ender" then you will generally be a "tail ender" as well. Nothing wrong with than - just stuff to learn Sounds to me like this guy was helping you learn - if you could get past your annoyance and trying to provide how right you attitude is you might actually learn something and be better places to keep ahead in future.​

    No prizes for going fast. The results are based on the finishing order. The more boats behind you the higher your position in the fleet.​


    Ian​
     
  12. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Well spoken!
     
  13. martin_y

    martin_y New Member

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    Right, then - Next race.... Protest every boat at my club with a teeny weeny boat infingemenet !
     
  14. StephenIles

    StephenIles New Member

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    Going back to the start of the post - I have been to a few opens and like you, end up at the back of the pack and have had the tack & tack game played on me. I suspect there is a certain amount of arrogance (confidence ?) needed to well in racing and your friend just wanted to not be last. My suggestion - try and improve so that you can out tactic the opponent.
    By the way, I have no idea how to improve, even copying the person who is close and ahead doesn't seem to work which I guess is why I am in the forum to start with.
    Laser 158498
     
  15. martin_y

    martin_y New Member

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    Thanks Stephen

    That my overall though... I must not land up at the back ! I think I need to go do a whole bunch of open meetings and then I will maybe improve.

    During one race, a top runner came past us because his kicker had come loose. I was right behind him , and I tried to emulate everything he did, and his sail shape, and all... but he slowly pulled away?

    Ok my sail is bloody old, but I dont think its just that.
     
  16. StephenIles

    StephenIles New Member

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    I have decided I need to do a couple of "Guru" days via Laser and get some expert advice, I am aiming to go in Feb '07 if they run some courses then. My club ends racing in Nov. and I'll forget everything if I go now.Can't see that the Opens will help other than getting used to more boats being about, we only have two lasers race at Havering and a maximum of 8 boats mixed fleet racing.There are a lot of comments in the forum about the need to practicve BUT if you don't know what to do, how do you do it ? I got a new sail and am still useless / at the back !!!Maybe we should hook up for a beer and moan at some time.
     
  17. StephenIles

    StephenIles New Member

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    Duh - how do you get nice format paragraphs ?
     
  18. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Just hit enter twice after a sentence. If you want indents, you'll have to use the space bar too.
     
  19. vtgent49

    vtgent49 Member

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    Hi,

    I think you just need to read Paige and Anna's latest updates to see that the front of a fleet is "match" racing too.

    I race in the top of our local fleet, and the top half of a national level Masters fleet. I'd say that is is always quiet, and very respectful of the rules, and every one wants to avoid the (protest) "Room". (see the same blogs from Paige and Anna about the Newport pre-trials, as anything can happen in the "Room")

    However, almost every part of a fleet race becomes a match race, between you and the next boat. The final moves at the first weather mark, positions on the run, insides at the leeward or gybe mark, etc. And especially an upwind finish, when being on starboard lets you attack right at the finish, to gain one more spot.

    My local competitors know I'll be doing this, and defend/prevent as they can. At a national level race it goes unsaid. We expect to have to use tactics to gain that last point, even if we are fighting it out for 20th.

    As for the hotshot who had to restart (or went to the wrong mark) and grumbles at the bad air you are causing, lol, well, he's in a bad mood anyway at that point, so don't take it personally.

    Al Russell 182797
     
  20. laser2_9804

    laser2_9804 New Member

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    If I was coming last I would probably do what that guy did. Maybe he'd decided it was too late to try and make up ground on anyone else so he thought he'd have a bit of fun with you. Sounds like he was trying to psych you out, which I think is a typical part of sailing.

    When you're in a class like lasers with such tight rules and guidelines it means every boat is pretty much the same in regards to sail shape/cut, hull shape, gear etc - therefore if you just plan to win by 'going fast' it is unlikely to happen. You can't beat a boat that is exactly the same as you just by going fast. Tactics have to come into play at some point. Maybe the guy just thought it would be a good oportunity to practice on you, as stuff like tacking duels take practice and concentration in order to make sure it pays off for you.

    Don't be disheartened about where you came. Everyone comes in at the back of the fleet once in a while. All you can do is learn from it and work out where you can improve. For example, if you are in the situation again like the one you mentioned (emulating the other guys sail setting etc and he still pulled away) try and catch the person after the race and ask them what they did. I find most people are pretty willing to talk about things like that with less experienced people. He might have just got lucky and picked some shifts or found a line of breeze that you missed.

    Good luck in your next races, and most importantly, have fun! :)
     

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