Pursuit Racing - all you need to know
How does a Pursuit Race work?
In a pursuit race, boats of different speeds start at different times based on their RYA Portsmouth Number (PN). All boats are finished at the same time which for 2023 is 67 minutes after the base time/ counter start 00 for the faster fleet, and a 45 minute parallel race for the slower fleet which kicks off 45 minutes from finish time. The boat(s) in front of their respective fleet at that time win.
In theory, every boat would be at the same place at the finish time but vagaries of wind, tactics, personal performance etc. means the boats are usually well spread out!.
At Spinnaker, our Wednesday Personal Pursuits have an special element where each helm starts according to their own personal adjustment within their class. In the faster fleet, a top sailor will add +7 minutes to the Class start time. Helms with progressively less experience/ success will have earlier start times ranging from no (0) adjust through to +6 minutes. There is a one minute difference for each grade. For the slower fleet we have 4 personal adjusts also separated by one minute. Please speak with James.
You need to watch the big COUNTER board at the Race Hut, or the Committee Boat which displays the start time counter in whole minutes.
Refer to the Pursuit Start Time PDF below. Your counter start is simply based on boat type/ class and your individual Adjust and is a number of minutes after the base (COUNTER = 00) time.
Notice that Toppers may start in either the faster (earlier) section, or the later race section. You choose!
This is also explained in the YouTube video referenced below. Help is available - It is best to speak to your class captain who will help assign your adjustment. From the sailing committee Robert Marshall is the overall coordinator too.
In 2023 we are also continuing our 'Pure pursuit' format which is based only on the dinghy class, or rig. This does not have the sailor personal adjustment. Its just a single fleet start using the same PDF, but with no individual adjustments, so for example Solos all start when the counter shows at '11', Lasers at '13' etc.
To make clear the start is due to happen a 3,2,1,Go sequence with flags and hoots will run before the counter base time/ start.
With all boats sailing the course right up to the finish gun, it is a tough task for the Race Officers to log every position - even aided by a photo. For this reason it is important for each helm to note the sail number of the boat in front and the boat behind and to sign off with this information in the Club House at the end.
For Youtube summary of Pursuit Racing, click Pursuit Racing Intro.
In the PDF (modified April 17 to include Laser 2000 and Europe) you will find your exact counter start time.
Last updated 08:59 on 16 June 2023