2009 NZ Postal classic

Hi Footy sailors!
time already to announce the 3rd edition of my postal race.

Hopefully we can increase on last years numbers,the footy class is maturing and I am still keen to see this style of racing which I believe has much to offer.

3rd annual New Zealand postal classic

Notice of race
Footy class internet model yacht race
Racing period is 1st July 2009 – 31July 2009

Submit your best time for 3 laps around a 50 foot course with the windward mark fixed and the leeward mark attached by either a sunken or floating line of 50 feet in length.

Entries must be sent via e mail to bsmack@es.co.nz
anytime from the 1st July until the 31st July 2009
We would encourage pictures of the course and boats sailing.
A e mail address of a witness who can verify your race results is also required.
Proof of mearsurment may be required,this will be via e mailed picture of the boat in the mearsurment box.

No results or times will be published until the close of racing.
The organizers decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.
Results will be posted at http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~bsmack/

Good luck and good racing!!

Hi Brett

Thanks for hosting this event again. It was a lot of fun 1 year ago, I was the only Footy in our area, so normal racing was not possible.

For those wanting to build a course, you need a line that sinks. I used “masons/bricklayers” line found at your hardware or home building store. Three red/white fishing bobbers/floats with 18" metal leaders were used every 12.5 feet to minimize line droop.

Get involved in this event, It will show where you stand on the WW Footy scene. Last years results were still showing on Brett’s site when I checked a few weeks ago.

There are also a number posts on building the course including photos & drawing. Search for “Internet Course”.

I would appreciate any expressions of interest in this event…no point flogging a dead horse and all that.

got mine mate … blackwatch was designed with the very deliberate objective of besting the 1 min/lap barrier … not saying she’ll succeed; just saying, that’s all …


Tmark is serious, that’s his race face he is wearing; I think

When he gets over the delays in the shipyard he will be raring to go:D

I might just have a go myself as long as I don’t need nuts as big as gary’s*

*For the sinkers

Horse seems to be staggering…

Hi Brett,

We would be interested in having a try but are having problems with the course.
Our lake has good wind but not at the bank.
We did some measuring and timing on Saturday and it looks like the course would need to be at least 20m out from the bank. It might be possible to throw it out that far but it is doubtful that you could get it back in with out snagging something on the bottom. The lake is in a suburban environment and therefore grows things like shopping trolleys on the bottom.
How are people setting up these courses?
We do not have a club and therefore no facilities like full sized boats.
Also we timed ourselves for just the 15m downwind and couldn’t break 20 sec. It seems very unlikely that we could make the windward run in 40 sec so the 1 min laps people are talking about seem very difficult.
What would be a reasonable time for the downwind run?

Peter & Clare

Hi P & C - I have set my course up a few times, and as in your situation, the wind is a fair ways offshore. I enjoy kayaking on the lake near my family’s house so I set my course by paddling out far enough for the wind but not so far as to be difficult to see the boat and the marks. There are a lot of inexpensive plastic kayaks, though elegance seems to be directly proportional to cost. You may know someone that could lend you their kayak.

As to times, my course is either dead calm or blowing, there doesn’t ever seem to be an in between. Except for the very early morning, before the mist lifts, the water is bobbing calm to whitecaps so it is too rough for very good times to be set.

The three minute times are the result of the perfect set of conditions and a well sailed course. Ideally, on a well sailed course, upwind legs have just one tack, perfectly fetching the windward mark. Then a graceful bear-away loop around the mark, no sharp maneuvers to slow the boat down. I stay a few feet out from the leeward layline and the leeward mark in my approach so that my turn is smooth and wide and I pass close to the mark while hardening up to the beat. Since the leeward mark in this type of course is free floating, and should be directly downwind of the windward mark, variations in wind direction can move the leeward target. By staying wide of the layline you won’t have to make any adjustments in the boat’s downwind trajectory until you are close to the leeward mark.

There is one gybe to be made on the downwind leg and as with the tack on the windward leg there is the right time to do it. Consider the gybe like an ace-in-the-hole, you wait to take it at the right moment. You don’t want to gybe right after your windward rounding or too close to the leeward one. After the windward bear-away the boat needs to get back up to speed and the path downwind established. Gybing right after the turn may mean gybing a couple of more times on the downwind leg in response to wind changes. More maneuvers slow you down! You don’t want to gybe too close to the leeward mark either. There are some very experienced skippers that can combine gybing with the leeward mark rounding but for most guys and girls the maneuver is choppy and has a momentum killing pause between the gybe portion and pulling in the sails while rounding up. More maneuvers slow you down!

The place to gybe should be where a maneuver does the least harm to boat speed. Unlike the windward leg where the spot to tack is a question of geometry, the spot to gybe downwind is not always easily revealed. I find that there is usually an obvious place to execute the gybe on the downwind leg but you have to know what to look for. After sailing around the course a few times, getting a feel for the wind on the course, there might be one place thats right. More likely, unless the timing of wind shifts corresponds with the time it takes to sail a lap (very unlikely) the place to gybe will shift around. Keep your eye on the water well behind the boat on the downwind leg. In areas with variation in wind speed (are there any that don’t) the gust coming up aft will likely lift or head in relation to the wind the boat is currently in. A change in direction or velocity the gust is bringing up may be an advantage. The time to gybe would be just before it arrives so that the boat will be in position to use all of it.

Most skippers only watch their boat. They miss wind shifts or gusts until it actually hits their boats. The better skippers are looking beyond their boats and that is why they seem to always jump out in front when the wind shifts. The idea is to tune your boat so that it stays on course without all your attention, freeing you to scan about for opportunities.

I’ve focussed on the downwind leg because that is when most sailor’s relax a bit. To get your best times on the Internet Course there is no time to relax. You are sailing against the clock not against the fleet. It is paramount to keep maximum speed up with very few errors to get near a minute a lap.

Personally, I find sailing this course pretty dull after a few laps. I don’t sail in conditions that will give me near competitive times so when I do sail this course I mostly use it to tune for boat speed. I enjoy the tactics of fleet racing, something that is just now becoming possible as Footies have gained numbers. For isolated Footy folk the Internet Course is still a great way to see how they match up and see where their boat may need improvements. Find a site that has moderate wind and flat water for the best times. And kudos to Brett for keeping the flame burning!

Not dead yet…

Too far off yet to get excited, but not to worry…

We’ll do our part to exceed last year’s participation!

Other ways to set the course.

Try placing the windward mark in the center of a 10" diameter floating disk. Place the windward mark in the water and then place the anchor/weight on the disk.

Now there are a couple of options.

  1. Let it drift out into the pond as you ease out the anchor line. When it is in position, pull the line quickly and the anchor will sink to the bottom.

  2. On smaller ponds, loop a long line around the downwind mark and pull the course into position. Again, jerk the anchor line to set the anchor and then let go of one end of the long line and remove it from the pond.

Both methods have worked for me, but the long line method is generally quicker. It does assume you can get to the opposite side of the pond.

Possibly a model power or sailboat could be used to drag the course in place by placing the anchor/weight on the deck and again jerking the line when the course is in place.

Good Luck

Well Ill try and drum up some interest in our club, I just built a course, will test deploy it over the weekend:)

Hi Frank & Niel,

Thanks for the ideas for setting the course. The lake is too big to get to the other side with a line so it only leaves a large model boat or a full size boat to take the course out into the lake. The full size boat isn’t impossible but makes the venture into a major event. 1/2 a day at least. At the moment we can just quickly go down for a sail even for 1/2 an hour if we choose.
Niel thanks for the tips on sailing the course. We are practicing our sailing and all the help is needed. At the moment we are just timing ourselves against land marks on the bank. Certainly picking up wind shifts on lakes is a challenge especially at the height of a footy.

Peter & Clare

This is our method for deploying buoys when you don’t have a human-sized dinghy. The Footy course can be towed out the same way.

Almost July people and time to start thinking about your Internet race campaigns.

I have not any development on my designs since this time last year,so I will be dusting off “Comet” for this years race.

Re, allowing results from outside of the official racing period,Sorry I don’t think it should be allowed.There is no reason to not go sailing in July to collect times!!
This is the 3rd year of the event and I do want to maintain a certain level of race management,hope you all understand.

So get out there in JULY and race your Footys …


Is there also a way to pick an overall club winner or listing of top 10 clubs for this event to add some additional interest? Also post clickable link to club websites in results so all can get to know clubs world wide. The question is how to do it?

How about the club with the most times posted in the top 10?

How about the club that posts the most times?

How about some type of club average divided by total club entries squared or some other factor? Thus a club with only 1 first cannot get below 1 point.

Hey www.tanglewoodmyc.com Skippers, be sure to get involved in this event.

And Andy of Pirate Footy Fame; Any other suggestions?

A rules question for Brett: Can a simgle boat be used by multiple skippers to post times?

A rules question for Brett: Can a simgle boat be used by multiple skippers to post times?

No problem with that Frank,a great way to get newcomers involved,give them a boat to use!!

GAME ON…get out there guys,you have the month of July to fill my inbox with times.

Sorry ffastffrank ~ too busy trying to finish off my FootyCAT MkIII asymetrical FSO to try and enter some times:cat::paw:

And just for you and Angus, I have changed my flag from the St Andrew’s Cross (cos I’m NOT Scottish!) to a :pirate: ~ being as I am an ex-submariner whose victory flag is a S&C (I’ve still got diesel running in my veins) ~ and with a good Cornish name like “Trewin” how could I me any thing but a “Pie-Rat”

Can someone remind me what the world record is please?

3 min 18 seconds