Technical & theoretical aspects of RC yacht racing
Updated February 2013
I'm interested in radio-controlled racing yachts, in particular the International One Metre (IOM) class and the International (now "Classic", I guess) A class. I campaign a Pikanto IOM, a Sword "A", and now a 1997 Ten Rater "Puzzle" (chartered from SAILSetc), all designed and built by those super-professional folks at SAILSetc. For some years I campaigned an Italiko IOM, and before than an Ikon.
My "Bakers Dozen" A Class, built by Graham Bantock in Kevlar to Roger Stollery's design from 1983 and the RA National Champion of that year, has returned to my garage after being cared for and re-painted and faired by Derek Kitchener. She is ready once again to go to a good home, send me an e-mail if you are interested. "lg11" at "soton.ac.uk".
This site is aimed at technical and theoretical aspects of RC yacht racing. In particular, it has a number of spreadsheets to download. Although aimed at the IOM, they should be useful for any non-rotating fractional Bermuda sloop rig.
These pages are intended for educational purposes.
Site news & other interest
February 2013: A number of radio sailing designers, manufacturers, and owners have such reservations about IOMICA Resolution 6.7 of November 2012 that they have written a note to IOMICA on the matter. Readers will recognise that the note seeks to give full effect to Resolution 6.7 while protecting owners, builders, and the class from its unwelcome and unintended side-effects.
February 2013: I've re-published the Phigit class page, to show how a class could adopt a vertical centre of gravity rule.
January 2013: Let's quote the new E4.3(b) verbatim: "if the boat gained a significant advantage in the heat or race by her breach despite taking a penalty, her penalty shall be an additional One-Turn Penalty". According to E4.3(b), it seems that boats who have obtained a significant advantage when they breached a rule can exonerate themselves by taking an extra turn (they no longer need to retire). If true, this is a very serious change with likely profound negative consequences for sportsmanship in radio sailing. It seems that, for example, I can charge into the mark on port, take out all the boats on the starboard layline, and do an extra turn afterwards in complete exoneration. In fact, the intention of the new rule is that extra turns are required until the advantage disappears. (Or, you can retire as before.) Sadly, it is difficult to see this intention given the way the rule is currently worded, and a Sailing Instruction is needed to fix the rule and make this crystal clear for all events until 2017. In the meantime, I understand that the Chair of the RYA Racing Rules Committee is arranging for an ISAF Q&A to be published to clarify the rule. Whilst these Q&As are not mandatory, they do provide very strong guidance on rule interpretations to competitors and officials. I expect the Q&A to say something like, “if a boat gains a significant advantage by her breach despite taking a penalty, she shall take one or more additional One-Turn Penalties until the advantage is extinguished."
September 2012: (Updated January 2013) The new Racing Rules of Sailing have been released, and these are my comments on RRS 2013-2016 Appendix E changes for radio sailing. I also provide some suggestions for RRS 2013-2016 additional Sailing Instructions as a result of the App.E changes.
My additions to the site content are now more episodic than regular, so I thought I'd reorganise the site into better sections to recognise that it is now much more static, and to help newcomers access its content.
The material has been classified into the three major headings of Design, Build, and Race. Anything not fitting that scheme goes into Other Topics (except for Links and Reports which have a place on the main navigation bar).
Under Design are pages on How a yacht works, How aerofoils work, Where lift comes from, How fins and sails work, Appendage design, Hull design, Sails and rigging design, and The boat as a whole.
Under Build are pages on Hull, Fin & rudder, Bulb, Sails, Rigs & fittings, R/C, and Finishing off.
Under Race are pages on Preparation (Boat speed, Avoiding errors, Strategy), During the regatta (including topics on the racing rules), In the race (Boat speed, Avoiding errors, Tactics), and Performance improvement.
Other Topics include pages on International RC racing, Classes, Sailing venues, Event management, Event scoring, Observing, Ancilliary equipment, Bulb calculator, Plans, References & book list, and Terminology.
The (fourth!) counter died in early 2012. So I've given up on a counter.
Some site statistics instead: approx 300 pages, 2400 images, 40 spreadsheets...
(The first counter logged around 86,000 hits from site inception in early 2003. The second counter took over in August 2003, and died at around 160,000 in mid-July 2006. The third counter died with around 170,000 hits in early February 2010, and the fourth terminated in February 2012 with 85,000 hits recorded. So that's a total of 500,000 over 9 years...)
For some curious reason, you're all finding the site interesting! Many thanks!...free from those nice folks at NewsNow
©2011 Lester Gilbert