A few nights past, I was knocking about in Henry Roesner’s basement and we came across a Courseboard that I hadn’t seen before. Henry told me where it came from. I don’t rightly recall where that was, but it reminded me that there is quite a collection of them on this site and I requested that one to add to it. Now there isn’t anything particularly special about this Courseboard. It is dated April, 1989. By then, I had been a member for a few years and many of you had been a member for eons.
Anyway, I went online today and added the document to our online Courseboard library (https://glenmarsailing.org/dropdown_form.php ) but was more than mildly annoyed to see that I couldn’t fetch it back again. This led to a little poking around in some files and discovering that none of the last 5 Courseboards could be fetched as a historical document (as in using the link above). All of the old ones worked just fine, but nothing new. After a short but intense session relearning how to debug php code, I was able to find the problem and apply a band-aid. Interestingly, however, the fix is truly just a band-aid. We have WordPress code piled on top of php code piled on top of html code, and spread out all over the place. I always think “Well one these days I’ll go in there and clean it all up, but just like the second garage, those days just don’t seem to be coming. If you’ve lived in a place long enough, there are buried treasures that you may dig up and know for sure that you’ve seen them before, but have no clue why you still have that stuff. In a website, the same thing occurs, but if you throw it out, not only might you need it the very next day, but worse, you may find that you were using it all along and just didn’t know.
That kind of happened with this Courseboard. I found a couple of files (real important ones as it turns out), that were quite literally in the wrong place and were in use. I know they need to be moved so that me, or any other half way competent coder would know where to look, but – they work fine where they are and who knows what would have to change if I relocated them. Maybe someday I’ll clean it all up.
About that Courseboard, April, 1989. I took the time to read it and guess what. It’s no more interesting than the current ones – probably less so. Here is a direct link if you are also inclined: https://glenmarsailing.org/wp-content/plugins/Courseboard/docs/CourseBoardArchive/1989%20-%20Apr%20Courseboard.pdf
There were a few other things that we came across at Henry’s place, and I will comment about those in a future post.
Check out this clip.
Some of you may have participated, and others may not have been aware of it. But, there was a Sippy Cup race that was intended for the smaller boats on the upper bay that did not want to race in the grueling Governor’s Cup race to St. Mary’s College. The Sippy Cup was held for 10 years, but is no longer. The Northeast River Yacht Club has picked up the peices and is hosting it’s replacement, now called the ‘Moonlight Run Sail Race’. It will be held on Aug. 16th. It is a night race, starting and finishing in the upper bay with festivities after the race at NERYC’s club house. See the flyer below for more information. I hope you can do this race and support our fellow clubs on the upper bay!
Last Wednesday, Rose Hoffman used her Catalina 34 Beeleaved as the PHRF race committee platform. We really appreciate the effort that members make to help out our programs and providing a committee boat is a big help. Although my computer is named Jesus, neither it nor me have quite mastered walking on water, thus someone always has to position a boat on the starting line.
Kevin Irwin has taken on the responsibility to find members like Rose, who will help us out on Wednesday nights. This effort allows racers to race. If no boat is available, one of them must abstain from racing and use their boat for the committee. This year, we are trying to get a non-PHRF committee boat for just a few Wednesdays in the season.
A long time ago, there was a member named Bruce Baty (his wife Lois is still a member!). Bruce had assembled a regular race committee that would start races off of Log Point across from Bowleys. Back then, the Thursday night fleet, composed of Portsmouth rated boats, were also given Wednesday night starts and everyone raced and partied together.
Around 1986 (I am not 100% on the year), we found a boat, Alert, run by Paul Fitzgerald, and for another decade or so a semi-regular race committee would take that out to set a start line in the same area that we race in today. The smaller, Portsmouth, boats wanted to find their own committees since they were correctly concerned about venturing out into the mouth of the river. Toward the end of the Alert era, we were having trouble getting regular race committee and it became necessary to ask racers to give up one race per year and use their crew to conduct the races.
PHRF Racing participation has reduced. This is hardly news to anyone in the sport, but it has impacted GSAs membership. At this time, the after race beer drinking is down to once a month (the boat owners are older) and racers have to give up their racing slightly more than one time per year in order to have enough committee.
I will post more about later. For now, I am just presenting the problem. The Portmouth fleet has found a temporary solution, but the PHRF fleet could still use some good ideas.
I am inserting an excel sheet that will score a GSA race, or for that matter, any PHRF time on distance race, although it is limited to just a few boats per division. I could easily expand it to larger fleets.
GSA has and really needs an official scorer. A widget like this is just a tool not a scorer. You can’t invent a hoe and expect a garden to just appear. Currently our scorer is Gary Moler. The reason a scorer is so important is the principle of garbage in garbage out. It is seemingly obvious that to get the right outcome one has to input accurately the following data:
The time-on-distance formula is:
TA = ( D x PHRF ) / 60
TA = Time Allowance in minutes
D = course length in nautical miles
PHRF = rating in seconds per mile (the number we all use),
Subtracting the time allowance (TA) from the actual time it took the boat to sail the race (elapsed time or ET) equals the corrected time (CT).
However, there is a reason that just any third grader can’t score us. That would be because time is in base 24 and base 60 and our calculators use only base 10 (or sometimes 2, 8 and 16). In other words, adding together hours minutes and seconds will produce nonsense unless we carefully think it through.
One final point I would like to make is that we all measure race starts and finishes to the nearest second, not tenths of seconds. However, when that wee bit of math from above is applied, the corrected time will often come out in tenths of seconds. It is all because 60 does not go evenly into some numbers.
Class N = Flag #5
Class C = Flag #7
Classs B = Flag #6
Class A – Flag #9