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Old 10-16-2006, 01:53 PM
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I did a wall ride on that battleship. Mad skillz!
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Old 10-24-2006, 03:44 PM
kent kent is offline
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Sounds like this will be a great event. Congratulations for creating such excitement in this relatively new format. There are some things that organizers should consider if you wish the event to continue to grow into something even greater.

I would recommend forming a small committee of experienced race organizers to determine all specifics with respect to the competition. It is never a good idea to vote for rules. You do have a good resource in Tampa with Steve Levine of Water Sports West. He could certainly provide you with recommendations for a starting procedure.

While I understand that this is a fun event, rules will help to avoid any confusion and insure that everyone is having a good time. I personally feel that any mass beach start in this race is going to be a poor decision. Given the likely wind directions for the start, any beach starting procedure including a rabbit start is going to be problematic. Combine the complications of beach tangles with the desparagy of starting position spread over quite a long distance, this is a really bad idea. The only reason that it worked last year was simply that the wind was exactly off shore from the starting point. In effect this would be fine (very similar to recommendation below), but this will not be the case along the beach.

I tend to disagree that the race will be won by any large margin. The reason for any margin last year was due to the wind dying 3 miles from the finish. Before the change in velocity, the top 3 places were with in 20 seconds from each other and the finish would have remained very close. This is not a long race and will be quick to finish.

I would recommend the following:

Down wind timed sequence water start between a pole on the beach and a large buoy on the water. The line between the pole on the beach and the buoy needs to be as close to perpendicular to the wind as possible. If anything, place the flag on the beach slightly up wind, making the buoy on the water slightly favored for starting. This will keep people further from the beach and allow for some great photos. The nice part about a water sequence start is that more competent riders can be competitive on the line and those just looking to cruise will be able to hang back a bit and not jeopardize other starters.

Place a tall poll with a colored flag on the beach
Set a large buoy on the water, set with good sized anchor
Set the line approximately 150 - 200 yards in length

Start Sequence:
6 min. 30 sec.: prep signal (several loud blasts from horn)
6 min.: start of sequence (1 loud blast and display of white flag)
4 min.: white flag down (no sound)
3 min.: red flag up (1 blast from horn)
2 min.: red flag removed (no sound)
1 min.: yellow flag up (1 blast)
30 sec.: yellow flag down (no sound)
START. Green flag up (1 sound)

This differs slightly from racing rules to insure a bit more time for novice kiter's to organize them selves.

Due to the number of racers, I would say to DSQ all early starters. This will insure a good start and no individual recalls. You will however need a provision to call back all racers if too many are over early to identify. A restart would then need to be run.

This may sound difficult, but I assure you that it is not. 1 mark, 1 sequence, 1 start. Great photos and less chance of injury, tangles, etc. It would really be best to do the same for the finish, but with the line only being 20 yards long. See you at the Party!
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Old 10-24-2006, 04:17 PM
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BigR BigR is offline
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Kent , Those are all excellent ideas,

How about a novice class and an advanced class as well to give two separate starts , that would give more distance as well for less chance of intanglements
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Old 10-24-2006, 04:31 PM
kent kent is offline
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i'd run them all together as this is part of the draw. novices going up against D. Leroy and others, this is great. novices will not be anywhere near the start.
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:09 AM
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Gebi Gebi is offline
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Default Da start - an "On the water downind start" is the

On the start; I agree with Kent, it should be done on the water and as he described.

The start for the top riders will be one of the main deciding factors in who will ultimately prevail. Ultimately this race is a challenge of navigation, rider skills, tuning and endurance.

Getting tangled up on the beach in the middle of a botched "beach rabbit start" does a disservice to all the riders. (A rabbit start would work fine if we had less competitiors)

A good "on the water downwind start" gives everyone equal opportunity to depart the beach safely and get positioned on the water to hit the starting line moving and unobstructed by other riders; as all riders will have the ability to position themselves relative to traffic and for their own optimum VMG downwind angle.

We just need to make sure the race management/ race committee endeavor to police the line with over early kites being disqualified.

A hard one minute rule would make policing the starting line easier; meaning if any one is over the line in the last minute of the aformentioned starting sequence, they are disqualified. (This can also be controlled with the help of a video camera on the beach documenting the over early riders)

If the start is so bad (too many unidentified racers over early) that it needs to be started over as a "GENERAL RECALL"; a fast committee boat positioned on the outside bouy could hail back the riders by driving down wind of them and flying a general recall flag signalling them to return back to the starting line.

With a fleet of this size and wide range of rider skills, an on the water starting line is the only and safest option that offers equal opportunity for the whole fleet.

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Old 10-25-2006, 11:24 AM
kent kent is offline
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you know it's bad when gebi is worried about tangles... this guy hooked me in the middle of the ocean with only 2 of us riding with in miles of eachother on the way to Bimini!

I like the idea of a hard 1 min. rule this would keep it clean. The beach start will result in at least 4-5 riders being taken out of the race. This is in no way similar to last year's start due to the side or side on wind conditions.

Gebi, better watch out this time, you're not on my team! I hope that raw food diet give you the power. i just had a big fat fried pork sandwich with a side of fried rice and some pecan pie. i finished off the mean with a dry martini and 6 buds. feel the power!
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Old 10-26-2006, 09:52 AM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Kent and Gebi both come from an Olympics windsurfing racing background and a ton of other races over time both as organizers and competitors. They bring up some good ideas to consider. My hat is off to the race organizers, it is a great concept and a large undertaking with so many riders. Glad I am only looking to do the run. It should be an interesting race and series!
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Old 10-31-2006, 02:55 PM
kent kent is offline
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I still think that you need to consider revising the start procedure at least to some extent. In looking at the Google earth images, you may have the option of starting racers around the bend, shortening the length of the line and allowing for more of a down wind start.

As it is now, there will be more than a quarter of a mile advantage from #1 to #100. Gebi and I finished the course in just under 55 minutes last week and ended 45 seconds apart.

One other item that is not being considered is that of 100 riders, only about 15 will really know how to ride effectively off the wind. The down wind tack angle will have at least 20 degrees difference between the intermediate and advanced riders. Those riders starting above 15 or so will all be heading up wind (due to less experienced riders down wind) and then turn the corner. My personal starting position is quite good at 40 something, but this has the potential to go badly.

As far as the rabbit start is concerned, it is very difficult to do in the given circumstances. Top riders in the upper numbers will be heading off the wind and make it difficult for others to get off the beach. Additionally, if you are planning to have riders in the straps at the waters edge, where is your rabbit going to run? In the water? The line will likely be about 1/4 mile. This will make it necessary for you to have a "gas powered rabbit; otherwise, you will be talking 2 plus minutes in differential at the start. If you're stuck on this type of start, a Jet Ski rabbit might be a good option.

What ever you do, plan it carefully, because you have no provision for a recall which 25% of the time is required. Once you say go, you won’t get them back even if you see that it goes very wrong (i.e. racers leaving 2-3 minutes behind others, too long of start line discrepancy, multiple tie-ups, etc.).

Over the last 20 years of racing in wind sports, I have put in well in excess of 3000 - 4000 starts (both on the water and from the beach). I'm sure that all will go very well and the event will be outstanding, but it never hurts to look at historically successful starting proceedures as a template. Good luck and I'm looking forward to the 48 hr. warning.

Kind regards,

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Old 10-31-2006, 03:04 PM
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100 riders, all riding in 25mph winds, tacking back and forth in waves and chop trying to avoid crossing lines... obiously this is going to take a LOT of space. How are they going to hear or see any sort of signal? Some of these riders have rarely ever ridden in the gulf much less waves and 25-35mph winds.

BigR, is right, novice and experienced would have been a good idea, with two seperate sets of prizes.

I'm not racing this year but I'll probably shoot some video and do some tag along riding... recover lost boards, etc. Good luck guys, have fun!
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Old 10-31-2006, 03:33 PM
The Kite House The Kite House is offline
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I really feel alot of people are taking this serious, and if someone who is fast has a 1/4 mile lead on me, thats alot to make up in hard condtions, let alone besides going dwon win, dodging all the people that are tacking. I will be curious to see how this works, will it work different in Jupitor?

Thanks for speaking up kent, you guys from the race are doing a great job, and i apreciate it, i dont think a little advise from some people who have the experence hurts. The will be a big part of the future of this sport, we are setting trends here in Florida, the tampa race, the jupitor race, and a keys race in feb, would be good to follow one pattern. i am sure it will be a blast, thanx for all the help.

aloha Paul Menta
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