On Saturday I went off to Lake Whippersnapper for the informal Laser practice racing that I also wrote about in Just Six Laser Dudes Racing Round a Sausage.
This week there were actually seven Laser dudes.
And new technology.
First couple of times I did this, one of the racers took it upon himself to blow whistles for the three-minute starting sequence. This was also the method used for starts at the world famous Goose Poop Beach Sailing Club when I sailed there. How anyone can do this and still get a decent start himself is beyond me.
But this week we had a virtual committee boat.
The dude that sends out the emails to encourage us all to go sailing Saturday afternoons must be a pretty clever dude. He had taken it upon himself to build one of those automatic starting machines, a bit like the Ollie Wallock Automated Sailboat Race Start Machine that is fairly well known in the dinghy racing world these days. Just press a button and it sounds all the start signals.
But the email dude had gone one better. He had mounted his system in one of those rigid plastic picnic coolers and was using that as the buoy for the starboard end of the start line. There was a button on top of the cooler and a kind of horn for the sound to come out. All he needed to do every race was sail up to the cooler, press the button, and we were in sequence.
A virtual committee boat.
All it needs is some way to recognize boats OCS and race committees will be obsolete. Maybe a paintball fired down the line at time zero?