Internet Course Postings.

I’m really pleased to see another entry, Niel, well done!

I’d like to be able to record wind speed when I sail, but have no anemometer to do it. Do you have any recommendations for something reasonably accurate but not expensive? Availability of a cheap alternative might be the key to your idea on including wind speed in the formula.

I’ve also been wondering about whether the 50 foot length is optimal. It seems to work well for those who have access to ponds, but one of the things I’d like to encourage is the use of Footys in back-yard swimming pools for people who have those, but no access to bigger water. Does anyone here have a sense for the proper pool-length course? Could someone here please set one up in their pool and try it for us?

Thanks to all…Bill H

HMMM - maybe “Short Course” versus “Long Course” ??

how long before someone has a 3 hour marathon race ? :icon_tong

I have seen a lot of those hand held anemometers being sold all over the internet. Even Tower Hobbies has one available. Has anybody used those? I am sure some are better than others. I like the looks of the ones that are omni-directional.

I think the windspeed will have to be mearsured on the course,ie the windspeed meter will have to be attached to the windward or leeward mark.The wind on the side of the lake where you are standing can be vastly different to the wind on the course at any one time.
The windspeed meter will have to relay data back to the sailor so the average windspeed can be noted for the duration of the race just sailed.
Obviously the time vs windspeed formula would be fairly complex to figure out,there is a point where more wind will adversly effect your time rather than aid it.
I see this as an interesting project worth thinking about …but belive at this time we are better off keeping things simple until we get the ball rolling.
I would like to see a Footy championship sailed via Internet course in the fairly near future.

Hmmmmm…:idea_125: A 3 hour marathon… Dick you are a bloody stirrer mate!:darth:
In the nicest possible way mind. :tophat: I like your idea.
It should be done with a group of Footys though.
Sailing around on your own for 3 hours would be very tedious after the first 10 minutes. :sleep1:
I would run out of things to talk to myself about and then I can start to become a bore to myself.
( I would think “who is this silly old duffer, rabbiting on” )

Yes Dick,
A 3 hour tour.
Didn?t they try that with the SS Minnow?

Couldn?t resist.
Don M.

My limited experience with the Internet course resolved for me its value as a means of comparing performance of these boats given the wide dispersal of the fleet. My suggestion of logging wind speed as well as times around the course was to provide a more useful measure of that performance in a rough velocity-made-good type of score. Obviously the level of accuracy of wind speed taken from the shore with hand held equipment would not come up to Americas’ Cup standards and would be a fuzzy approximation of what is actually happening out on the course, but as things stand all the results gathered so far amount to empty bragging rights.
Most marine supply stores sell hand held wind speed meters that range in price from $25 to $50. I have an old one from a company called Dwyer that is small enough to include in my gear bag.
The results that I posted relate a bit about the conditions that my laps were sailed under, but Ian need not worry too much about the time because my Bantam is not considered a Footy under the new rule so my speeds don’t count.
I have been sailing for a long time. I started out in vane and was one of the first people on the East Coast of the US to switch over to radio. While I found the Internet course a challenge, with my competition the ticking of a stop watch, I don’t think it should replace fleet racing at gatherings such as a regional or National or International Championship. I think that a format like the Tour-de-France, with time trials interspersed with fleet racing would be an interesting approach.
Having a National Championship with just time trials held at one location would mean a lot of standing around for everyone not currently on the course. Even with more than one course laid out there will undoubtedly be one course that records the majority of the best times, and certain times of day will be favored for runs. The same fairness issues arise if a “true” Internet Nationals were held at courses in different parts of a country and the results compared over the net to determine the winner. What were the conditions? What time of day did the champion have most of his or her runs? How do you fairly compare results?
I can sympathize with the desire to keep things simple. But, I argued endlessly not to limit the classes potential and to craft the Footy rules to describe a boat that embraced new technologies, that would lead model yachting from the front and not as just another flavor of the same old-same old. I was told that the class would emphasize simple, easy to build, easy to understand criteria so that Footies could be built by kid’s shop classes (do they still exist?) and adults with limited building skills, and that racing was not the priority, class building was. Fair enough, a cutting edge class could endorse that demographic as well, although the argument that an electronically sophisticated class that is small enough to be built in a home shop would be more appealing to young people raised in the video game/robotics/online era.
Now of course the discussion has turned and how to race these boats has become the topic. I mean once you’ve built it what do you do with it? Sailing alone gets boring and the stop watch is not the most engaging company once your wife gets tired of being your time-keeper.

I built my footy a few years ago and just today set up the 50 foot course to try the timed run. I used inflatable buoys for the windward mark and the intermediate marks and a plastic buoy with an attached sail and bottom weight for the leeward mark. The inflatable buoys would help the course swing, but the leeward mark would help dampen the swinging since it had a weight on the bottom. I have attached pictures of the course and the leeward marker buoy I used. The course was measured out and was 50 feet, plus a few inches. Here are my three timed run times:

RUN #1: 8:14
RUN #2: 6:35
RUN #3: 6:18

I think that will be hard to beat. Good Luck!

Geoff Becker

Wow! Was that with one of the Pipsqueaks you made from Brett’s kit? Very impressive times compared to others so far, so can you give us more info about conditions during your runs?

Thx…Bill H


The boat is a pipsqueak from the deck down and a rig I scratch built. The mast is stepped on the deck and is adjustable in all directions to help with balance. The sails are Power Sails that came with the kit.

The conditions were about 6-8 knots with some puffs and lulls. The water was fairly flat, but some wind chop in the bigger puffs. These boats are really effected by any chop at all. I sailed clockwise with starboard roundings as there was better breeze on the left side upwind and since the upwindlegs are slower, making them as quick as possible is key. As for each run…

Run 1 (8:14) was slower that the other two for two reasons…

  1. It took me a few laps to get the hang of the trim and upwind steering as I hadn’t sailed the boat in a while.
  2. On lap 4 the boat came to a stand still in a lull for nearly a minute on the upwind leg. Not Fast.

Run 2 (6:35) had good wind the entire race, especially on the upwind legs. Some of the upwind laylines were not perfect and I overstood several windward marks. Maybe 4 upwind legs had a one tack leg, where I sailed away from the leeward mark on starboard unitl reaching the port layline whare I tacked. The danger, as above, is that it is easy to overstand the further from the mark you tack on layline.

Run 3 (6:18) was bascially the same as Run 2, but with better laylines. I think that 3 of the laps the laylines were right on and the legs couldn’t be much better.

I must say that no upwind leg was a fetch on any run. Every upwind had upwind sailing, even if one tack was lifted more than the other. I think that there is room to do better, but no too much.

Good Luck!

Geoff Becker

Well done Geoff :ihat:

Please note my new signature line :jap: I bow to your much better time.

I thought that the seven minute barrier would be the hard one to break but that has now gone right out the window.
Maybe six minutes is the new barrier. :witch:

We shall see as the times start rolling in. What great fun…:icon_tong

Once again congratulations.

Great time Geoff,
Your venue looks ideal,and the time fits in with what I thought should be possible in good conditions.We have sailed that design here for several years and would say the conditions you discribed are perfect for it with that size rig etc.Our winter here has been terrible for sailing,either far to much wind and very cold or sunny with no wind at all.


I have done a few quick calculations on this time of Geoffs.
I have assumed that the boat is tacking through 90 degrees.So with 2 tacks per upwind leg and allowing a little for mark roundings I came up with a total distance sailed of 192m or 630 feet.
at 6min 18sec this equates to a speed of exactly 1 knot or a froude number of 0.3.The last hump on most resistence curves is approx at Fn 0.35 and sailing downwind it should be possible to get to Fn 0.4 or 0.45.
Fn 0.35 is around 1.2knots for a footy,so quicker times than this are possible.

Well if the weather cooperates I am going to attempt to set a time this weekend for my newest addition to my fleet. “Littlefoot” will be taking to the water this weekend. I just purchased one of Geoff’s Footys and she is a beauty. He really knows how to set up a boat and looks great and fast. Obviously he is the man to beat so we shall see. My 50’ course is made and timer in hand. Now if the wind and weather cooperate I will post.
Will also post pics and wind speed if this happens. Weather forecast for this weekend looks 1 to 3 from the SW to SSW. Not ideal in any way but still floatable. 8-(

Weather did not cooperate so no record attempt but did get some stick time in. She is a beaut and sails well with the little wind we did have. Hope I get to sail with some stronger winds later this week. Will have a pic posted soon.

Had a chance to sail this weekend with “Littlefoot” for an hour on Sunday evening and set the course up. Wind was blowing perfectly down the lake for me at 8 with some gusts to 12 mph so my hopes were growing. Took some time first to sail and tune and it was rough as this was only my third time really out on this water. The water was really swelling sometimes and she did the best she could to cut through the waves.

Burke/Crenshaw Park, Pasadena, TX
July 30th

1st Run: 10:16
2nd Run: 10:22
3rd Run: 9:18
4th Run: 8:33

So for now at least I have a time set and will continue to tweak and find how best to sail her. I was extremely pleased with her performance but I can see if I was in a location where there was less swell, I could have possibly done better. Still have a long way to go to really find the best way to handle this type of boat. Way, way different to the IOM or Victoria that I sail. LOL… Sailed counterclockwise to the course with obvious roundings to port.

I love this “Footy” Class.

Just to stir up some activity, including my own, I’ve summarized the results so far. I left off slower runs from the same day but I think this is all the runs posted. The first thing that struck me was the small number of posted times. I’ll get my course in the water in before Thanksgiving and make a few runs. Who will join me? Once we have a few more courses built, fleet races can begin (real or virtual).

Name            Boat          Time    Type Date
Geoff Becker  Pipsqueak1     06:18:00 Solo 2006-06-20
IanHB         IanHB1         07:36:00 Solo 2006-05-21
Niel          Niel1          07:42:00 Solo 2006-06-13
IanHB         IanHB1         08:09:00 Solo 2006-05-14
Mark Cooper   Littlefoot     08:33:00 Solo 2006-07-31
Brett         BobAbout1      11:51:00 Solo 2006-06-05

This will also serve to demonstrate the kinds of reports we could post if we build a scoreboard for keeping Internet course runs, solo and fleet.

Happy Sailing


Crikey,That time of mine is crap,
Looking forward to getting the course out again over the Christmas period.


Finally got everything to cooperate on one run…nice steady breeze without to much wave action.

5.56 best time for the day.
I was really surprised to get under the 6 minute mark.

Well there goes the six minute barrier.
Well done Brett, that really is a most excellent time as those who have just begun trying to sail the course will now realise.

Has anyone noticed yet, the last two record holders were both “Pipsqueaks” or modifications of. Hmmmmmmmmmm:witch:

I would like to post a time for my friend Terry who did 7.04 on his first attempt.
Wind around 2m/sec, Lababless hull with a McCormack rig, sail of ripstop cloth.
Well done mate.