I saw David Ross’ note and since I was referenced I thought I’d better reply ….
I too have joined the old F___s club and am waiting on two knee replacements to boot, so I only look like I’m trying to sprint just after one of my periodic cortisone shots. I was a good starter in my time, and still enjoy the occasional (OK, rare) good start, and believe (wearing my Commodore’s hat) that sprint starting is an exciting part of DN racing. Having said that, there are options.
IDNIYRA EU ran a Masters DN championship where the starting run was limited somehow (three steps I think) and thereafter the skipper could not run. To restore the boat to sailing if required they had to use the one-legged kick. The event was well received, with about 60 entries, but I sometimes think that the one legged kick is harder on my knees than a hobbling run.
Andre Baby has long advocated limiting running, either by a painted line or by a three step limit. The three step limit would just demand a different skill set in my mind. Andre’s more interesting proposal was a layered start, with he old and infirm starting with the first flag and the young bucks starting several seconds later on a second flag. That way, the old and infirm get better air at the start and can demonstrate their sailing skills. I am not enthusiastic, since a few of our fleet leaders are beginning to nibble at Masters if not Grand Master status. But perhaps a useful exercise for club racing.
The reaching starts on the airfield seemed quite effective, but translating that to a 50 boat starting line, or even 25, would be challenging. Our current 32 ft separation of starting positions would be quite inadequate.
Warren Nethercote, DN 3786