Race Footies on the Internet??

Seems to me that we are a widespread bunch of sailors from all around the world.
Many of us live a long way from model racing clubs and fleets of Footies only exist in a few locations.
So…how can we “Race” our boats and compare performances in a rough and crude way via the internet?
I know this is not sailboat racing how we would like it,but something is better than nothing.
This class was born on the internet to a certain degreee,would be fun to run some comps via internet to.
Anyone have any ideas?
Of course I would love to see proper national championships run and official Footy class races held in the proper manner in the future as well.

Been giving it a bit of thought, but the number of variables is so great. I can see setting a standard course, timing the boats, and reporting the times via the net. But how to account for wind variations?

Did you have something in mind?

The only thing that comes to mind is VSk3. You’d need a new model based on the Footy. Course and everything else, too.

NOT possible!

Though on VSK4 it’s possible! There are a few models available!

A Footy can be made on VSK4…BUT heavy knowledge with 3D modelling is required

Boats available on VSK4:

Offshore type
ORMA multi
Transpac 52

Here’s an Idea-
I read years ago once there was an international contest for a certain type of model airplane. The Pilots were each given the same exact assignment or task to perform with their airplanes, and the results were mailed in. I think each pilot also had a supposedly impartial judge who certified the result so there was no mis-representation of the result.

Not sure how to do this with Model yachts. How about you could have the task be that you have to perform a record number of figure eights around two marks of a specified distance apart, and without touching the boat for the duration. Not sure how to account for wind variable between geographic locations though but at least it might work. It blows like heck all the time where I am. Actually these boats are so easy to transport that one would think most people could find a spot with some wind at least once out of a given period of time.

Or it could be just on measured time around a specified course and the boat with the best time wins! You would need an impartial judge though.

I’m intrigued


Yes ,the airplane guys run “postal” contests all the time.
We need to adapt some of their ideas and apply it to yachts somehow.
Not easy.

So just curious, what were their Ideas? I love the postal Idea. I’m trying to think of a way you could have sortof a universal easily deployed course with a minimum of two marks that anyone could make anywhere where there’s deep enough water. I was thinking of a stick three feet long anchored at one end, and you have to sail in circles around it as long as you can starting anywhere to leeward before overlapping the stick. How to prevent cheating is the question.


film it! and post the video online!

You might be onto something John,
We need the course to be identical.
So…fix one mark to the lake bottom in the usual way and fix say a 50 foot line to it with another mark tied to the end.This second mark drifts downwind and always stays directly downwind of the anchored mark.
A perfect windward leeward course ,you will have to tack up one side of the course only and run down the other side.Of course if there is a major windshift then the course could end up anywhere!!
Perhaps some sort of sail could be attached to the “free” mark to help it stay in position.
A certain number of laps around the course could be timed and repeated say 7 times,the results posted in.You could have a 30 day time period to complete your 7 races.Results could be tabulated like a normal reggatta.
Just a thought, pretty far fetched I know but a thought all the same.
Beats sailing by yourself completely??
The aircraft guys usually have duration contests.They time a number of flights then post the results in.

I like the fifty foot line idea. Hmm… Wouldn’t it get kindof all distorted as you say with a radical wind shift? I wish I could think of a way that you could anchor two marks at a consistant distance apart. You would need a hundred foot circle with the line idea anyway. How about the skipper could put two marks in wherever he or she wants, then the distance between them could be measured either by triangulation or a big tape measure or whatever, and then once the distance is known, all you need is to measure the time it takes for the boat to go around it as you say maybe seven times, or the longest recorded time. Then speed could be figured out per unit of distance covered.(this could be an interesting science project for kids) One could even design a simple device sortof like a sextant to measure the angle of the corner of the two lines that converge ashore from the marks.(long sentence) The distance from one of the marks to the angle measuring device could be found by…Hmmmm I suppose you could measure it from like three feet away if you can get close enough to it. Footys don’t need much H20. Maybe all you need is an eight foot long pice of molding from the local hardware store. Or metric equivalent

It wouldn’t be a consistantly windward leeward course though. but hey, we all have the same variable of wind and water. Making a good course would be part of the game.

I was thinking it could be on an on-going basis for the fastest speed per foot over a distance of say fifty feet or, I don’t know…anyway,
we could post it all on the footy web site for inspiratioin!!

What do you think?

I think the course must be windward /leeward to be fair.
I also think the legs should be at least 50 feet long.These boats arn’t that slow.
Been giving this a little more thought today,the second mark could be a boat with a fixed square sail.It will always try to sail dead downwind.You could put a small polystyrene ball on the line say every 3 feet.This will mark the course and show how skewed it is at any momment.
I wouldn’t expect the leeward mark(the boat) to vary position any more than say 15 degrees each side in a resonable breeze.If it is moving more than that then you probably need to find a better sailing location anyway.
If when you are sailing your “race” the course goes out of shape badly then the guy “witnessing” your race needs to abandon it.You can restart when the course and wind settles again.
You wouldn’t actually need to much room to lay this course in a steady breeze.
You will only want to “race” on days with a steady breeze anyway.
Having the course short like this will place a premium on boat handling,eg tacking gybing and mark rounding.All worthy skills of the sailboat racer.
Straight line speed will not be the overriding factor in race performance.
What do you think?

Sounds good to me! So do you think it should be the fastest time going around seven times?

Lets do it! I’ll do it! we need to start a word of mouth buzz.

the fifty foot line concept could be used for other classes.


I would be in for sure,lets see what others suggest or say first though.
I will draw up the course and post it here later.
I think the idea has possibilities. need to test the concept on the water though!

So, my question is…How will we know if the boat that is going to be raced will fit the box rules? Will we all have to build boxes and put them in it and take a picture? But who’se to say the box is right?

no one is to say the box is right…you could take a photo of your boat in the box,that would satisfy me.
But as I see it this sort of “racing” is really very informal and we are relying a lot on the honesty of the sailors during actual racing anyway.
I don’t see any problems with mearsurment.Its a trust thing.
The little bay were you launched your boat looks perfect Bob,are you tempted by this racing idea?

Of course I am. I was playing devil’s advocate last nite just to bring up the point. I do realize that honesty is going to play the biggest part. The little bay where I have sailing is OK, but the wind does tend to come from a lot of direction because it is sheltereed by trees and hills. Last Sunday, on my second trial, the boat got knocked by a big puffer and took a lot of water. This caused the servos to quit, closed hauled, and it started sailing off towards the middle of lake. Luckily the wind died and it floundered in the middle and , then, picked up another tack and came back to shore. Once everything dried out it was OK.
PS #2 is almost done, it is much different

Suggestion for laying fifty foot line for race course- tie an inflatable rubber balloon to the loose end and also a small sinker weight. I kindof think it would probably become a big out of control snake in many cases as we might tend to sail these little boats in sheltered water with fluky wind. even where I sail my bigger boats, it gets mighty fluky at times. Wish I could think of a better solution. The fifty foot line might work some of the time but a lot of the time it might not. Hmmmm…


OK. I am keen to try the proposed course but need some clarification.
Where is the start point? Where is the finish point.
Seven times around? Around what? The top mark, the bottom mark, what?

Not trying to be a prick here, happy to race, I just need to know the course please.:jump2::captain:

The start line on the Olympic course is halfway beteen the windward & leeward marks, so if you put a mark on the line, or a bobber, you could use that. You’d only need to be square to the line or sail lose to the bobber to get a good sight on when to start & stop timing. Then just 7 loops around both marks to the finish.

Nothing is cast in stone yet Ian,Still discussing and thinking about possible solutions.
Perhaps we could join some dowels together to form the line.Fifty feet might be to long for dowels, so perhaps we need to shorten slightly to perhaps 30 feet?? The dowels could pull apart again for retrevial and storage.
I like the balloon idea John,thats a keeper.
For the start /finnish I was thinking that you begin your run to windward of the top mark and begin timimg as you pass the windward mark,finish timimg as you round the windward mark for the last time.
Keep the thoughts coming,this is starting to look ok.