Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cabrillo Beach (inside) GPS Team Challenge Idea

Afternoon Gents!

I'm sure by now that you have all heard/read about Lorenzo's drag race idea...well as fun as it sounds, Steve brought up a great point that "winning" really depends on who catches the gust first. 

As much as I like straight line speed I just don't see how a drag race will work in Cabrillo due to the nature of the gusts IE: Steve was only 2 meters ahead of me and out of nowhere he caught a gust that made it seem like he was being towed by a freight train while I was 2 meters behind feeling like my sail was being towed by a paper airplane :( 

The other issues with it is gear differences, while I know talent plays a big part in how fast you can get your gear to go, the person with slalom gear is HIGHLY likely to accelerate to top end speed before the person on free ride gear can.  Handicaps? Headstarts? I don't see how to apply one in this case.  Piero and I discussed it and head starts just won't work as once again the nature of the wind/gusts on the inside.  

Regarding the race itself, the big question I have is who gets windward and leeward? Obviously the windward person would have the advantage as he can sling shot while the leeward person's sling shot wouldn't be as successful.  You would also need to have a defined windward/leeward boundary at the finish and we all know how the lifeguards feel about unofficial buoys.  

The main issue I see though is that we are all free riders by definition.  We sail because we love the adrenaline rush of being dragged by nature across water at incredibly dangerous speeds!  On the day of the drag race we would have to wait our turns to go out and "race".  Who likes sitting on the beach getting sand tossed at them by 20mph winds? I would rather be sailing :D. 

NOW with that all said, I’ve been thinking about how we as the “insiders” can do something fun and competitive at the same time.  After much thought, phone calls, and googling (while at work) I’ve come to the conclusion that a GPS *TEAM* Challenge could be the answer. 

Now what in the world am I talking about?  GPS-SpeedSurfing has many different categories to compete in.  Below is a list:

-2sec peak speed
-10sec speed
-20sec speed
-Alpha 250m
-Alpha 500m
-Alpha 1km
-1 hour

Now with that said, in a GPS challenge the individual/or team will be scored on all of those criteria’s.  Why is that important? Well with all those put together for a final score I believe it can remove the major handicap of gear choices.  For example, like mentioned earlier the slalom gear will accelerate much quicker to top speed than a freeride board can.  In a drag race that can be disastrous for the freeride gear competitor.  In the proposed GPS *TEAM* Challenge, there will be no neck to neck races. It is just you as an individual sailing however you like while a nifty little gps device records your session.   
Now we still probably have to deal with the slalom gears inherent speed advantage but on the inside (and at Lake Isabella) I have managed to get my Tabou Rocket and HiFly Free to achieve very similar speeds to slalom gear so free ride gear can still be very competitive. Ultimately though, straight line speed won’t automatically allow you to win the challenge. 

Alpha.  Alpha ___distance is a measurement of your speed from a starting point--> Gybe --> back to start point.  So for example, an Alpha 250m speed of 16 knots means I started at a certain point and gybed and made it back at an estimated speed of 16 knots (the speed is calculated by time it took you to make it back to starting point. ALL SOFTWARE DONE).   So as you can see, one can be incredibly fast in a straight line but if he can’t turn very well than his final tallied up score won’t be as high as one would think.  

Alpha @250m calculated by software

So basically what I am trying to get across here is that this concept could potentially cater to everyone.  Those who love speed will be competitive in THEIR classes (2sec peak, 10sec, 100m,and etc) while those who are gybing demons will be competitive in THEIR classes (Alpha 250, Alpha 500, & Alpha 1km).  If you aren’t the best at either IE can’t break 30 knots or carve gybe than you can still be competitive in the timed sections (haven’t defined but thinking about 10min 30min 1 hour average) as not falling in will keep you moving the longest.

In the end, if you want to be the overall winner than you must focus on all aspects of the challenge. 
The disciplines for the GPS Team Challenge will include:

2sec peak
5x10 sec average
1 hour average
Alpha @500m
Nautical mile speed
Distance Traveled 

Regarding the team aspect, you guys can have as many people on your team as more sailors will make you a lot more competitive.   

 The way the challenge *as proposed but subject to change with YOUR input* is your team will be given a time frame of a month to complete 5 days of sailing (2 people minimum on your team must sail on given day).  Lowest score will be dropped so in total only 4 days will be counted.  The TOP 2 times/speeds of each category will be averaged.  So for example if Jack and I both get 31.4 knots and 31.6 knots for 2 sec peak than our score as a team for 2 sec peak will be 31.5.  Same math will be done for the other fields too and eventually tallied up for overall score.  If there are only 2 sailors on a team than it can be challenging as if one sailor has a bad day than that can easily bring down your score.  Having more sailors means a larger pool of high speeds to average! 

In the end whichever team wins for the month can brag if they desire for the whole following month till we name another winner.  Also whichever team wins the most months will be overall year champions.  At the moment I am still working on it but hoping to offer prizes to the top overall team but hey bragging rights is the ultimate prize! Right?

Some things to note:
-The concept of the challenge is based off of the world GPS Team Challenge
-Only GPS-SpeedSurf approved devices will be allowed as tracking devices.  List can be found here:

Currently I believe we have 3 gps devices on the beach you guys could borrow if the other team isn’t using it.  Nestor has a GT31 or 11, I have a Garmin ForeTrex 401, and also a GT31.  Phillip Newmarch might provide a gps for us to use too.  You could also split the cost of one and get one for the entire team but that is up to you.  NOTE: Before you buy your own GPS please contact me!  I can order you a Garmin ForeTrex 301 + Large Aquapac for $185 (includes shipping).  I personally recommend this set up as it is the most affordable option available.  If you plan on getting serious with GPSSS, than I'd have to recommend a Navi GT-31 set up. 

-At the end of your sailing day you must send the data tracks of all participating teammates to my email so it can be analyzed with GPS Results V6.105.  My email is
Note: I couldn't get GPS Results V6.120 to upload data to GPSSS so I'll be sticking with the older version for now.

Well that’s all I can think of for now.  Hope you guys like the idea!  Don’t forget we need to figure out when our potluck will be!


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