Other Rules: Outside the Box Concepts


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Thread starter #1
Somebody made up every rule for some reason. Some of the reasons are timeless. Other rules become useless and some of them are occasionally dropped.
I have always loved to speculate about new rules and their impact on the game. Sometimes I have even held test races just to see how the game would play out. I sincerely appreciate the great friends I have in Austin who have not only allowed me to run some of those races but these fine folks have participated and evaluated.

Example of some special games we have tried:
1. With a mid leg start finish line. There is a limit of four tacks on the first beat in this race and you must tack three times after the last leeward mark.
2. The leader at each mark must do a 720.
3. Nobody can cross ahead of ( usually whoever has been finishing last a lot) on the first leg. If the person is a small kid and the wind is light the kid often has the chance to feel his / her first win.
4. Just give a couple people head starts or hold a couple guys back.
5. Touch another boat and both boats must drop out.
6. No gybing
7. No tacking...Takes a lot longer to finish the beats.
8. Winner drinks a beer ( We do as many as a dozen races sometimes) Also, whoever is in the lead on the run must stop by for a beer which he must finish before finishing the race

Some I would love to try:
1. I would really love to try this in a 100 boat fleet where the starts usually become absurd bumping matches.
Before the start: Outhauls must be eased clew six inches foreword and boom vangs must be disconected and sitting on the deck.
A skipper who IS ON the FINAL APPROACH to start may pull the boom off the gooseneck of any boat within reach.
Sailors who do not wish to risk fouling leeward bpoats and paying the boom off penalty can reside in the safety zone beyond the ends of the line or at least five boat lengths behind the starting line

2. Scoring: Throw out the race that does not fit. That lucky break race disappears from the results.

3. Scoring: Throw out the best and worst races

4. 720 AND finish behind whoever you fouled

5. Dump the kinetics rules as soon as planing conditions exist.

These rule ideas are just meant as seed thoughts. I hope somebody has a rule or two which would improve the game of Laser sailing. If we chat about it here maybe we can all agree to TRY the new rule for a while and see if it really does help make Laser sailing more fun.
Check the submissions for the upcoming ISAF meeting. There are a number of proposals for changing scoring. Most are aimed at the Olympics in order to make the last race meaningful, but there are some interesting ideas there.

I think the "cut the tails" idea (drop best and worst) is interesting. But how many races do you need before you can drop two scores? If below that do you not drop any?

Here is another one... in North America we don't split fleets. How many boats before we split the fleet? How should a split fleet regatta be run? n days of qualifying followed by gold/silver finals? Or round robin with reseeded fleets every day until the end?
gouvernail said:
5. Dump the kinetics rules as soon as planing conditions exist.

Interestingly, this is an annual proposal at the ILCA World Council meeting and was once again discussed just last month... here is why this proposal is continually shot down by the WC:

The Laser (and now Radial) are Olympic classes. In most of the world the people who are serious Olympic contenders receive financial support that allows them to train full time and in some countries this includes coaches, trainers and facilities that most of the rest of us can't even imagine.

Currently, rule 42 and its interpretations set a bar and most good Laser/Radial/4.7 sailors, can reach or exceed this bar and lots of them can remain at least close to the Olympic guys on a given race course. The main fear is what will happen if you remove this bar and what the long term consequences to the class will be. Here, one is trying to take a lesson from Olympic boardsailing where unlimited pumping eventually killed the Mistral class since the average/casual sailor couldn't even finish on the same lap as the top athletes.

Many will say "but the Finn/Women Europe/470 classes all have unlimited pumping!" Feedback from the classes has not been entirely positive, mostly from the administration side. For example, what if it is blowing 20 knots at the start and you raise the flag, but then the wind drops to 6 knots?

Rule 42 is not perfect but I'd say one should be careful about what one wishes for in trying to do away with it in a class with some 15000 members worldwide who are mostly not really fit enough for unlimited pumping in over 12, or 15, or whatever, knots of wind...



Active Member
Thread starter #5
With respect to this outside the box thread, I never had any intention of involving any organizations or their ponderous bureaucracies in the development of new game concepts and fun rules. The old stodgy folks at ISAF and the Laser World council are set in their ways because they must answer to their self imposed restrictions. This thread is NOT about official action, Class associations or politics.

Unless you have a way to get world political leadres out for an afternoon sail I will never mix politics and sailing.

So back to my original thread>>>
I am certain more sailors participate in races to "that bouy over there" than participate in orgsanized ISAF rules events. IN fact I am willing to bet every sailor who participated in any ISAF rules event in the last year has participated in at least one RACE which was not organized. Thousands of sailors raced against a rowboat or canoe or swimmer last weekend and probably a few of us took on a jet ski.
The sport is shrinking and I am looking for more ways to have fun.

What other games can we play with our boats? How can we make those games happen?