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20 November 2003, 02:06 pm
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The President Speaks

I am very pleased that the Drop Race issue has caused such comments. I have heard from over 100 people about it and 90% are in favour.
The objectors bring up several issues which should be solved but not by the Drop Race.

The Drop Race, 720, hitting marks has all changed the Game and made the sailors very aggressive and disrespectful of the rules of the game. No Drops makes them sail more conservatively. They will still push the rules as that is what competitors do but this will produce some restraint.

The issues being brought up which should be addressed in other ways are:

I have been preaching for years that how race Committees handle OCS is wrong. The sailors must know if they are over the line immediately. It is wrong for many reasons not to do so. I recommend that ISAF instruct the Race Officers to do so at Athens. The easy solution is to notify the sailor and if they must get a penalty for so doing then they return and can start after a 1 minute delay
from the original start signal.

I have for years suggested that each sailor have a simple radio and be told of OCS, course changes and even wind direction at the weather mark. This is simple, doable, cheap and fair.

Time Limit
There was one 470 Race at the Athens Test Event when the Time Limit kicked in and only 4 boats finished. With or without a Drop this was a big bonus for the 4 but this should not be a reason for the Drop.

What should be done is that when this happens the boats not able to make the Time Limit all get the last finishers score plus 5 points or be scored DNF which ever is less.

It has always been unfair that when the wind drops that those who do not make the Time Limit are scored as DNF.
Paul Henderson
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