Everyone has a smartphone these days or at least one of the crew has, in which case it can be pressed into service to help you review your racing tactics or at least provide post match entertainment. There’s a few dedicated apps that run in the background of your device and record your track throughout a race.
Predict wind has Tracker which the race management can set up, and it allows others to see where you and anyone else using it are in the same race. It’s very similar to the Yellowbrick tracker used during the RNI and RNZ races but with the limited battery, durability and range issues of a smartphone. The SSANZ triple series this year has been running Tracker, and if you go to their site you can see how it works. Probably better in longer races although plenty of competitors didn’t use it, which makes it less than useful in comparing tactics with the other boats in the same division. In race one I simply forgot to start it and in race two, the app asked for $3 during the pre start leaving me fumbling with Apple security questions like what was my first car, was it a Holden or a… Anyway it’s all set up now and hopefully will have it running in the third race.
RaceQS is another app that runs on a smartphone and provides a 3-D replay of the race with various tools to see how you compare with other boats. This looks pretty interesting for using in harbour racing, but only if other boats are using it;
The real value in it may be to back up protests, as well as seeing what the competition did to pick all those boat lengths on the beat.
Another bit of free software which may or may not be useful is something called “Boats” it’s a simple drawing program that allows you to draw boats and marks and animate them. This is probably most useful to help clarify protest scenarios.
This animation was made in about a minute, it may also help if you happen to need an insurance claim.
Navionics is a must have personal chartplotter, not recommended as a primary navigation tool, its an excellent backup in smartphone form and more than a few people have converted their tablets to permanent plotter with waterproof cases and bulkhead mounts. It has local tides, currents, and downloads weather grib files for wind predictions. A very useful app and one everyone should have on their phones.
“The app will record your track where distance, speed and duration are shown and stored for reviewing later with playback including geotagged photos or videos taken along the way. But, before setting off, you can plan your routes, measure distances, check wind forecasts, sun/moon phases or add markers to key fishing areas you want to target. You’ll be able to save data like tracks, routes, markers and photos and share them with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or via email”
The latest version is free to download but you pay for the extra features you want.
Sailing software is not going to get you on the water, but it may provide another tool to improve your skills, and if you use something that you think might be useful, send Cherry a link and well update this post.
With the boats being so close in performance, simple preparation for the race can make the difference between winning and losing. A clean bottom is one of the easiest ways to make sure your boat is fulfilling it’s sailing potential. A session on the floating dock can get rid of the slime and growth, but to really make a difference you need to make sure the hull surface is smooth, as in imperfections and bumps need to be less than the thickness of a human hair. Brush on or rolled antifoul generally is too rough, but luckily the ablative types do tend to erode away to a smooth surface, especially if you wipe it with a sponge every time the slime builds up.
The following article has points out the importance of a smooth clean bottom, if you don’t clean your boat, as you watch the opposition sail past, you can guarantee they will have done theirs!
We took three boats of new to the class sailors out for a truly spectacular day on the water. Auckland turned on one of the best sailing days for a long time with a steady 10 kt southerly breeze and an almost summer sun in a clear blue sky.
Princess, Playtime and Pavo all behaved flawlessly with the new crews taking turns at helming, and trimming. The response was fantastic, everyone said they would be back, with several potential owners keen on racing among them.
Can you think of a better way to spend a Thursday afternoon in mid winter?
Bring your Stewart Rum Racing, or come for a sail with us on one of the fleet. It’s a great way to learn the basics of racing and meet other Stewart 34 owners, contact Cherry for more details
For all Stewart 34 owners, association members, family, crew and friends we are holding a winter dinner at the RNZYS Quarterdeck restaurant from 7.00 p.m. Friday 18th of July.
For those who are keen to sail beforehand, there is Rum Race at 4.00 p.m. that will be finished before 6 so you can get scrubbed up for the festivities! The Squadron has a long ongoing history with the Stewarts and have kindly given us a very special rate for meals and drinks, it’s also our chance to show them our support. Let Cherry know how many will be coming and we will see you there!
There has been some discussion recently about the use of camera’s mounted on the boats during races as a tool to help your case in the protest room.