DMBC Experimental Match Racing Morning 1/1/2020. REPORT
We took the opportunity of the New Year Bank Holiday to trial match racing in RC Yachts.
For the uninitiated, this involves just two boats racing on an adapted course with subtle changes
to fleet racing rules.
I was particularly keen to see if we could discover a format that works, in particular because only
two boats of a particular class are needed for meaningful racing to occur.
In the event we had three IOM and Three DF95 helms to see how well match racing worked for
their boat class.
Feedback from competitors was that it is a lot of fun. What I found interesting is that the boat on
boat format, without the distraction of a big fleet, suddenly allows a greater focus on performance
differentials – be it different hull designs in IOMs or setups in the Df95. Likewise, individual rules
came under greater scrutiny and as a result, understanding gained.
Also interesting was how quickly helms adapted their styles to the new format, with a resulting
closing of performance across the boats.
Those of us who experienced match racing first hand are convinced that as a concept, it is worth
continuing with the experiment. I therefore propose to do two things next:
a) create a set of DMBC match racing rules appendices, setting out the special rule
adaptions and differences to fleet racing.
b) use the fourth Saturday of January (25th) to hold a second trial event.
Please note that match racing does not unduly interfere with a free sailing day as it requires only a
compact course. It also has the advantage that any class can get involved, as long as there are
two similar boats, meaning that no-one need be excluded from competition on “free sailing” days.
Keith Simmons
Sailing Secretary