OK....apologies all round!
I can feel that I am being 'frowned upon' again....
Sorry, I wasn't really making any comment about racing at Roadord in the last 5 years or so or anybody on the present committee.....last few years it has been just fine. I had no problem at all with the course last year at all. (OK, I could of done with a few more fetches, but hey, that's sailing on a lake for you).
It all depends upon the wind direction.....we have had times in the distant past when with the wind running across the lake, we have had olympic courses set in the middle of the lake (when it was low anyway) and had beats that were little more than 200 yards long.....which just seemed a pity when the lake was a couple of miles long. All for the sake of doing it 'by the book'....and the presumption that people only wanted to race triangle/sausage/triangles.
I gave feedback many times to the committee of those days, hardly any of which are currently even in the club, (its all a long time ago now - I am talking 98-01?) and believe it or not....this was one of the original aims of the first events at Roadford - to return to the club buoys, which had been used for the first few years of the club's existence, but then dropped when we were told by visiting coaches, that we shouldn't be using the club buoys, but only a proper set course. It was also one of the reasons originally for not wanting to share the course with other modern classes, so we didn't feel that we had to do these kind of standardised courses.
My point was simply that in the late 90s-early00s we had a lot of RYA courses run at the club and the club-organisers at the time, (mostly without too much experience of other clubs) not surprisingly took the lead for race organisation directly from the RYA coaches.....and it used to feel like their advice was good for 'open's or 'nats' but inappropriate for our club racing. It took a long time for some of us to point out that we didn't 'have' to stick to their way of doing it, we could work it out for ourselves......which I am more than happy to say we now do!
But as Alan says....we are pretty easy going, it wasn't a big thing.....we will run with what most want. I don't really complain about courses as a rule. I am just really glad that someone is running the racing for me and I don't have to do it myself.
But, if anyone asks me for my preferred way of setting a course.....it is simple to do at Roadford and appears to be what most clubs with laid buoys do anyway. I am not saying this is the 'right' way! I doubt that I would pass any (let along a RYA) race officers course!!
You go out into the sailing area and see where the wind is coming from, you find the buoy with the longest stretch of water running straight down wind from it. You then go as far down this line as you can to the other side of the lake and drop a dan-buoy and lay the committee boat with the fairest line you can. You don't have to have biased lines to race on club buoys - that is just silly.
You then find two club buoys that provide a decent reach, around 90-120deg. If one of those buoys is after the windward (which the original design or layout of buoys means they often are), you can have a triangle, if not, then you join them up (from the windward to the start of reach) and have some kind of box, P or figure8 or whatever. You should be able to also make sure that there is some point that gives a decent run also. but the reach should be at least as long as the run, preferably longer.
The problems come from using a fixed start line. This is different to using set buoys, with a fixed line, you can so easily end up with a box, that lies point to point up and down the wind, which is to all intensive purposes just a windward/leeward, with one tack going up wind and one gybe coming back. I was never suggesting that.
Anyway, there you go, I really don't profess to know anything about setting courses or race management and I bow deaply to those on the forum that do....and thank you for the time you took to gain that knowledge, whilst I was racing (or more likely swimming).
I will now go sit in the corner again.
ps.....and if anyone even mentions courses to me on any day that I am not OOD.....don't expect an opinion!