Thursday, June 28, 2007

Miller Genuine Draft

Response by Carol Anne of Five O'Clock Somewhere to my request for stories of Race Committee Screw-ups (originally written as a comment and reposted here so I can link to it).

There was the time a committee boat was a big boat with a little anchor, and the wind was stiff, the the boat dragged its anchor way downwind between the start and the finish of a race, while the guy on the committee boat didn't notice anything wrong. By the end of the race, the committee boat was a half-mile from the pin, and because of the stiff winds, there were enough waves on the lake that the pin was invisible to boats trying to finish the race. They just all sailed toward the committee boat, and passed the committee boat based on the relative position that the boat and the pin had had at the beginning of the race. The race committee guy's comment at the end of the day: "I didn't realize that the pin was drifting so much."

Then there have been guys who decide to run something other than a strict upwind-downwind course, which are what the sailors are used to and which are supposed to provide more tactical competition -- reaching legs, in general, aren't good tests of tactics or seamanship. In particular, there was one guy who called a Harry Morgan course (two triangles and an upwind-downwind final lap) on an extremely light-air day. Some of the slower boats in the fleet would have been out past sunset, except that they all quit.

Then there was the mostly cruising sailor who clocked the finish when the last part of the boat cleared the line, rather than the first -- he was another one who called triangular courses rather than strictly upwind-downwind. His decisions were strongly influenced by Miller Genuine Draft.

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