How to setup a race course

 

 

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  1. When you exit the jetties, about halfway to the sea cow, turn to starboard and sail well out of the channel.
  2. As you are sailing out of the channel determine where the wind is coming from, mostly it will be out of the South.  If the winds are from the South, at a suitable spot drop the committee boat buoy and Mark the position on the GPS.
  3. You know where the wind is coming from, that will be your heading to where you will drop the windward buoy.
  4. On your way to drop the windward buoy, create your Reference Waypoint from the Mark you entered into the GPS.  You use the heading from where the wind was coming from (if the wind was coming from 180 degs.  you input 180) for the distance you use one mile. This will give you the spot you will drop the windward buoy at.
  5.  As you are traveling to the spot you are to drop the windward buoy set up a Reference Waypoint to where you will drop the reaching buoy; as we will be using an equilateral triangle this will be 60 degs. less than the heading to the windward buoy. In this case it will be 180 less 60 is 120 degs. and the distance will be one mile.
  6. After dropping the windward buoy head to the reaching waypoint you now have in your GPS and drop the reaching buoy.
  7. Head back to your original Mark where you dropped the committee boat buoy to set up the start/finish line.
  8. You want the line to be at least 50 feet for each boat in the fleet (7 boats, 350 feet). You want the line to favor a starboard approach.  You may use the GPS and a Reference Waypoint, in this case 180 less 90 is 90 degs. and 100 yards or so. Or from the committee boat buoy sail on a beam reach an appropriate distance and drop the start/finish mark.
  9. It may at times be more convenient to drop the windward buoy first.  In this case the reaching buoy will be on the other side of the compass rose to maintain a port rounding race.
  10. If the winds are from the North, at a suitable spot drop the windward buoy and Mark the position on the GPS.
  11. You know where the wind is coming from, the reciprocal of that will be your heading to where you will drop the Committee Boat buoy.  (If the wind is coming from 360 degs, you will head 180 degs for 1 mile to drop the Committee Boat buoy)
  12. As you are sailing with the wind to drop the Committee Boat buoy, input a Reference Waypoint for that spot. On the way also input a spot using a Reference Waypoint to where you will drop the reaching buoy. Do this by adding 60 degs to the heading to the Committee Boat mark (180 plus 60 is 240 degs.) 240 degs. and 1 mile.
  13. You now have both Reference Waypoints and it would be quicker to drop off the reaching buoy and then the Committee Boat buoy and lastly set the start/finish line.
  14. In both cases you want the start/finish line to be set so boats can approach the committee boat on a starboard tack to hail, give boat name/number, and check the Race Board.
  15. It is a good idea to check the winds before you go out and set a race course up, on paper, before going out.

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