Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Kites vs skiffs and catamarans

Martin Rheaume
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
  • Club Race Officer
In an event where I will be in charge of the protest committee, there is a possibility that foiling kites will be added to the event which already includes several classes of skiffs and catamarans...

As I never had to deal with kites, I wonder:
1. Is it a good idea ?
2. What would happen if there is an encounter (converging course, mark room, etc...) between a boat and kite which rules (part 2 vs Appendix K) would take precedence ?

Any insight would be appreciated.....

Thanks !

Created: 18-May-20 01:47

Comments

Greg Dargavel
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • National Judge
0
An event with these classes on the same course is a disaster looking for a place to happen.... not that I have any strong opinions on it.
Created: 18-May-20 03:14
Blake Redding
Nationality: United Arab Emirates
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
I agree 100% with Greg. I was the Jury Secretary at the ISAF World Cup in Abu Dhabi in 2014 with, as ISAF put it, "an open kiteboarding event joining the fray", but luckily not sailing with the boats. First, even top IJs know little about kites. Second, the kites are incredibly fast compared to any other class (and the kites at our event were not even foiling). For boat saiilors to understand/envisage things about kites - are they on port or starboard (determined by a competitor's forward hand)? overlapped or not ? the size of the zone (is it 30 meters as per Appendix F or the normal definition?) is hard enough, but having to process all that and make a decision with a foiling kite moving at very very high speed (assuming you even see the kite arriving in time) - good luck. And kites have a real concern that sailiboats don't have - not getting their lines entangled with another kite, which spells disaster for both. Also, consider the length of the race. The kites are so fast that if they sail the same course, they will have to go around it many times more and someone will have to keep track. And what Rules apply to a mixed fleet? Appendix F? My take away from my experience is that kites are a totally different species who should not be on the same playground as sailboats. Not that I have any strong opinions either.
Created: 18-May-20 05:43
Brent Draney
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
0
Been there. Hopefully this link works. Even the best kite boarders may have issues with sailboats.
https://www.stfyc.com/default.aspx?p=.NET_ArticleView&tview=0&plugid=1101964&ssid=&qfilter=&itemID=314702
Created: 18-May-20 06:50
Yves Leglise
Nationality: France
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Measurer
  • International Judge
  • Regional Umpire
  • National Race Officer
0
Question 1: NO
Question 2: I don't think the kites will want to get involved in an incident with any other floating thing. It is likely a protest won't come from them.
Created: 18-May-20 07:14
Martin Rheaume
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
  • Club Race Officer
0
Thanks all.... You confirmed my thoughts....
Created: 18-May-20 11:20
Paul Zupan
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • International Judge
  • Regional Umpire
0
Unfortunately I think that the perception that kites are so much different than any other competitor is too common. They aren't . They travel about the same speed as foiling catamarans -- usually a bit faster but it's the same game with apparent wind. The rules aren't that much different from any other fleet racing. But where they do differ is in community. They are generally very respectful of each other and anyone else on the water. And they usually sail off the beach instead out of a marina. I would encourage creating a common event if for no other reason to bring the kiting into the yacht club and expose other sailors to what is a remarkably corinthian spirit.

Kiter's have a great amount of control on the water and because they are traveling faster, they generally can decide how to pass a slower vessel. There are very few incidents. Brent's experience is one of a very few in a place where kites share the water with sail boats every day. And combining events is not uncommon including World Cup events not that long ago. I would recommend that you ask the kiters what they want to do. Ultimately a separate course is good, but they can deal with other boats at roundings. It is usually up to the kiter to keep clear as they are overtaking. They may or may not want to play that game. And when they do have an incident with a boat, there is usually only damage to the kite. Let them make the decision whether they want to sail together or not. But I would encourage including them as everyone benefits.

As for the rules, Appendix F applies to the kiter, and not to the non-kiter. You'll find there is very little opportunity for any conflict (beyond the theorectical). If you can manage to figure out Appendix B, you can probably figure out Appendix F. More importantly, don't summarily conclude they are not sailing until you've stood in their shoes (well, stand on a board). They are incredible athletes with a profound understanding of wind and geometry. I'm proud to be associated with them in any manner in which they will allow.
Created: 18-May-20 14:24
Yves Leglise
Nationality: France
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Measurer
  • International Judge
  • Regional Umpire
  • National Race Officer
0
Paul,
I dont agree with you on the "corinthian spirit". All the top kiteboarders are professionals.
You deveolpped my answer to Martin's question 2.
Created: 18-May-20 15:18
Paul Zupan
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • International Judge
  • Regional Umpire
0
Good point Yves. I meant good sportsmanship.
Created: 18-May-20 16:11
Greg Dargavel
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • National Judge
0
Please note that nothing in my comment referred to problems with kite board events. It referred to mixing kites with boats on a given course. I also know the event & venue Martin is raising the question regarding. I know these will not be elite sailors (whether in boats or riding boards) and also that for many of the kite riders this will be their first formal regatta. BTW Martin, I'd also be interested in finding out if the kiters are members of Sail Canada..... opens a whole other can of worms.
Created: 18-May-20 18:55
Brent Draney
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
0
I agree with Paul that it would be an awesome regatta to have the Kite Boarders and Sailors come together. My personal experience is certainly one of the most memorable for a Berkeley Circle race day. It was great to meet Johnny in person.

Aside from sailboats have pointy things that stick up and kites float down, there are probably a few other logistical issues that the PRO may want to consider for a successful joint event. Where do you place the official notice board? Can you have more than one and keep the boards in sync. How do you handle protest filings (fully electronic may help) and filing time limits? How do you encourage the Beach Party crowd to mix with the Regatta Room crowd and vis-a-versa (Trick question: Free Beer)?

As Paul correctly points out the speed issues are ones that already exist. There are also some solutions that have been developed to help. We'll often see a shorter course inside a longer course to allow Knarrs and J105's to participate in the same regatta while keeping the roundings separate. Given the size and shape of the race course diamond for a typical Windward/Leeward it seems like you could set an outside course for the kites and keep the sailboats on an inside course.

The thing that would scare me the most is the Leeward gate. I would think it a must to have a separate gate for safety reasons. A logjam of sailboats could be very bad for kiters closing at high speed and Kiteboarders in the water would be equally dangerous.

I hope this event goes well and enjoyed by all.


Created: 18-May-20 19:42
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
Ha! These forums can be so entertaining.
Great post, Martin.
Created: 18-May-21 07:16
Sen Yamaoka
Nationality: Japan
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Umpire
  • National Race Officer
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