NOR: 6th Annual Geezer ‘Gatta


6th Annual Geezer ‘Gatta

April 22nd – 24th 2016

SPONSOR: Lake Providence Radio Control Club, Mount Juliet, Tennessee.

ENTRIES: Early registration discount ends March 15:

CONTACT: Randy McDonald (615) 758-8288


Friday, April 22
1:00 – 5:00pm  Registration and familiarization sailing/racing with assigned RC Lasers on the Lake Providence course. Settle-in for Home Stays.
6:00pm Welcome Party – food and drink provided.
Saturday, April 23
9:30am Skippers Meeting
10:00am First race with additional races to follow.
Lunch will be served at the race site during break in racing.
6:00pm Dinner Party – food and drink provided
Sunday, April 24
9:30am First Race with additional races to follow
Lunch will be served at the race site during break in racing.
3:00pm Last heat starts no later than 3 pm
4:00pm Awards presented in the ballroom

BREAKFAST: Your fees cover all meals from Friday evening through Sunday lunch EXCEPT for breakfasts. We have a Waffle House, McDonalds and a Cracker Barrel within 3 miles. Or if you are “Home Stay” you may work out some arrangement to eat “at home”.

FACILITIES: Restrooms are available at our sports complex and at the main clubhouse close to the race course.

THE CHEERING SECTION: We have tents and chairs set up where observers and fans have a great view of the racing. We do restrict the access to where the skippers are racing but observers can see over them. Cold water will be supplied for all participants and onlookers.

Walking Trail – There are several miles of fully paved walking trails around the lake and around the community within the gates and several more miles outside the gates all for your walking pleasure.

Food Service – There is no public food service in our community. However, there are a multitude of restaurants available within 3 miles. These include Cracker Barrel, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Logan’s, Fulin’s, Waffle House, Buffalo Wings, Red Robin, Panera Bread, Cheddars, Tadziki’s, Wasabi, 4 Mexican restaurants, 3 Chinese restaurants, and more – not to mention all the major fast food franchises.

Shopping – The gigantic, world famous Opry Mills Mall is 18 miles away (all interstate) but the Marketplace at Providence is only 3 miles away and contains a dozens of major stores, boutique shops and restaurants.

Primary Caveat – The Geezer ‘Gatta is a singularly unique regatta in many ways so please read these completely and fully understand the effect they will have on how we race and why we do it this way. At the Geezer ‘Gatta the primary intent of the event is to have a fun time. This means if you are hyper-competitive and obsessed with the fine print in the Rules of Racing, this is probably not the venue for you. We feel that if you regularly call out infractions by the other competitors and resort to defending your actions by citing obscure rulings, you can’t possibly be having fun – nor is anyone else. We rely on… no, make that require, that you conduct your racing strategy with the highest standards of tolerance and camaraderie. If you have to err, do it on the side of courtesy and good sportsmanship. If your only aim is to win, you will lose the entire point of the regatta.

Racing Rules – All competition shall be governed by the latest version of the Racing Rules of Sailing, as amended by the United States Sailing prescriptions and incorporating Appendix E – Radio Controlled Boat Racing Rules, rules of the RC Laser class, these sailing instructions, AND a healthy dose of Geezer sensibility! The Geezer ‘Gatta is a competitive and cooperative venture: competitive, because everybody wants to do their best, and cooperative, because we all rely on each other to obey the rules and voluntarily take penalty turns when we realize (or are reminded) that we’ve broken one. This voluntary aspect is called the “Corinthian Spirit,” after an early yacht club, and is best expressed by the statement that you sail by the rules even when no one is looking. This is neither the Olympics nor the national championships – we’re here to have fun, so relax and don’t sweat the small stuff! Since the emphasis of the whole regatta is to have fun, we do not allow “sea lawyering” or contentious disputes to mess up a good time. Yelling at someone that has completely screwed-up is profoundly prohibited … unless you have never screwed up, ever… and can prove it!

Changes to the Sailing Instructions – The Race Director (RD) has the authority to change these Sailing Instructions during the course of the sailing day by announcing changes to competitors (posting is optional).

Eligibility – If you are 55 years of age, and pay the entry fee, you qualify. Most of the skippers have previously sailed RC Lasers competitively but it is not a requirement and in fact skippers from other classes of RC sailboats have placed very high in past Geezer ‘Gattas. Entries are strictly limited to the 30 available slots that fill early in the year, but historically we have last minute cancels that open slots to the waiting list.

Uniformity – All RC Lasers are supplied by the LPRCC for this regatta and are as identical in equipment and performance as we can make them. The host club will be responsible for maintenance, but each skipper may adjust his/her assigned boat for racing (sail clew tension is really the only adjustment available). Sails and radios are identical, sails are marked with very large single digits, and the transmitters are marked with the same digit.

Boat Assignment – Local owners of RC Lasers will be assigned to a boat other than their own. Visitors will be assigned to a boat (and team) based on performance survey. Each participant will have only one boat to sail the entire regatta in hopes you can remember one sail number digit.

Familiarization – On Friday, host RC Laser sailors will be on hand to mentor visitors on the fascinating characteristics of racing the RC Laser. You will get plenty of stick time.

Race Course – All marks of the course will be clearly marked with a big fat number and a color, readily visible from shore. The RD will announce the course by buoy numbers and color at the beginning of each heat and as often as necessary during the heat to get you around the course! Races will be sailed windward-leeward. The RD may announce a change of course at any time, before or during a race, prior to any boat reaching a mark beginning the leg of the course to be changed. Races will be sailed windward-leeward with an offset buoy at the windward mark and possibly gates at the leeward end of the course.

Even though a boat officially finishes when her bow crosses the finish line from the direction of the last turning mark, the entire boat must cross the finish line without touching the finish buoys.

*After finishing, boats must keep clear of boats that have not finished. If they interfere, they may be scored DSQ.
* The RD may require a last place or lagging boats to retire in position to allow the next heat to start promptly.
Race Series/Divisions – There are no divisions. All skippers will be assigned to races by name according to a random-assignment computer program. The race director will announce, by last name, those who will sail in the next heat. Sailors are required to know their own name (look at your name tag) and answer promptly when called. This is known as our “No Geezer left behind” program.

Except for scheduled breaks, a finishing skipper will hand their transmitter to their team mate sailing in the next heat. The boat normally does not have time between heats to leave the water but occasional short (~ two minutes) delays are permitted to adjust the sail shape. Skippers sailing the same boat will be designated teammates and may help each other on and off the course.

Awards are presented to 5 top individuals and each member of the top 5 teams.

Starts – A one-minute recorded start sequence will be used. It is loud, so no excuses. Only the RD may call a boat On Course Side (OCS – i.e., Over Early). Do not argue with, nor ignore, the RD! Any boat called OCS must return and get her entire hull behind the line before restarting, but does not need to round the ends of the start line. But remember! A boat returning to start after an OCS does not have any right-of-way. A boat found OCS that does not return will be scored as Did Not Start (DNS). If too many boats are over early, the RD will announce a General Recall and the race will be restarted. This may occur a second time without penalty. If it is necessary for is a third General Recall, any boats over early on the third start will be assigned a non-throwoutable DSQ and the remaining competitors will finish the race. Barging will also be aggressively called by the RD and offending boats will need to do a 360° turn behind the starting line before starting.

Repair Delays – Normal repair delays are a thing of the past with our Geezer system. Spare boats will be on hand. If your boat becomes disabled during a race, the host will replace the hull (using your same sail) and you will get redress for that race. The host club will repair the disabled boat later. REMEMBER: you can’t steer a boat that is not moving. It has not lost its steering controls, it has lost steerage way. The boat ain’t broken. In light winds this is a factor.

Sail Changes – The RC Laser as equipped for this regatta with 3 different sized sails for different wind conditions. However, sail changes are NOT skipper’s choice. All sails on the fleet will be changed at one time by direction of the RD. Once started, a race will continue even if the wind velocity changes significantly. A-sails are particularly challenging in increasing winds. Do the best you can, everyone is in the same lake.

Mark Penalties – There will be no penalty for hitting a turning mark but you must round it correctly. There shall be a penalty for touching, hitting, ramming, whacking, etc. an active start/finish mark as they will be right in front of you. (Start/Finish marks are not active on the downwind leg.)

Geezer Protest – There is a non-refundable fee of $500 to present a protest to the committee for ruling. Final adjudication will be announced at 3AM on a kayak in the middle of the lake one week following the conclusion of the regatta and shall have no binding effect on the results. Vociferous disagreement and contentious behavior during a race will not be tolerated and may result in a non-throwoutable DSQ. Also if you have called out to more than five people in any one race that they “owe you a 360” the Race Director may assess you a 360° penalty for “disturbing the regatta ambiance”. Competitors govern themselves and to keep it fun we keep the observance of the rules light. If boats bump a little and move on, then no harm – no foul. If you really whacked someone or otherwise seriously impeded their progress, take your penalty without people telling you – do a 360 and move on. If, by an infraction of the rules you made someone lose several places, then take a 720° penalty – especially if it looks like you come out ahead of them after a 360°. You know when this happens. Because we have less experienced sailors you will need to call out pending ROW (right-of-way) situations, but do it with courtesy.

Redress – If you get seriously tangled up with some other Geezer on the course for more than a few seconds, yell “redress” and your team number. The RD will acknowledge your grievance, or tell you to “forget it”. In either case, sail on to the finish. If the RD did grant redress, you must confirm your acceptance after you finish the race by asking the RD for a Redress Card that you will present to the scorekeepers. If you fail to present the card and get acknowledgment, you will not receive redress. Since the RD has a limited short term memory, you cannot get your redress card later than the start of the next heat. If you don’t know what redress is all about – we will be glad to explain over drinks Friday night – hint, it has nothing to do with clothes.

Scoring – Scoring will be done using the low point system. First place boat gets 1 point; second place gets 2 points and so on. The low point score wins. Tie breakers will include all races including throw-outs.

We’ll do the scoring, and we will post the scores as we go along. No bitching at the computer! All scores will appear on a flat screen TV at the racing venue in real time. No touchy the TV!

Note: Real time postings do not include throw-outs. The final calculations, including the throw-outs, will be done at the end of racing on Sunday and usually results in some change in standings.

Throw outs – Each individual will be given one throw-out race for each 6 races completed. IMPORTANT NOTE: A DSQ cannot be thrown out!

Spectators – Spectators are an important part of this regatta that connects our activities to the community. For the uninitiated, watching a sailboat race is confusing and/or boring as hell, so we have always included during the races, a play-by-play narration by the RD over the PA system describing what is happening in the race in landlubber terms. If you like to secretly sneak off to one side of the course hoping to gain some advantage on the fleet, it probably won’t work here. OTOH, he’ll gladly describe how you trounce the fleet if you are successful!

Sportsmanship – Since the primary purpose of this regatta is to have a good time, infractions of the tenets of good sportsmanship will be treated harshly. We have a couple of sets of quick-fitting, Spanish Inquisition era ankle irons fitted with additional negative-flotation modules. They may be a bit rusty but I’m sure they’ll still work.