What Will the Format Committee Propose if Sailing in Giant Fleets Does Not Work for 49er

The format committee have propsed that the 49er fleet should consider qualifying in ‘giant’ fleets of whoever shows up to the regatta in qualifying instead of using split fleets.

There are some benefits and drawbacks logistically, with regards to fairness, and with regard to the quality of racing.  Should the class decide that racing in Giant fleets is not the right solution, the Format Committee is prepared with another option.

Days 1 and 2 – Split the fleet in 1/2 and each qualifying fleet races 2 days, with 6 races scheduled
Days 3 and 4 – The top 32 teams move forward in the top fleet with the remaining teams moving to the bottom fleet. They race 3 races per day, and carry forward their place from qualifying.
Day 5 – The top 16 teams move forward in the top fleet with the remaining teams sailing in the lower fleet. They race 4 races, once again carrying all of their points plus their qualifying place.
Day 6 – Theatre Style racing with the top 8 boats, 4 races.

split fleet

This proposal is the most conservative proposal to date.  It reflects small changes to the status quo of what 49er regattas that have been occuring for the past decade.

Changes to Status Quo:

Qualifying: This is only a potential change, as often it happens like this anyways.  We propose to limit qualfying fleets to 2 only maximum so that logistics are simplified and fairness/evenness of racing are kept closer.

Top Flight: We propose bridging the action of Gold Fleet into 2 forms.  For the first stage we increase the size of what’s been traditional, 25 teams, to 32 teams.  It allows for extra participation and is aligned with tournament/olympic style math (32/16/8/etc)  By moving to have 2 days of qualifying, when sometimes we have 3 days, the increase to 32 teams catches a few more teams that may have been off pace and gives them another chance to advance.

Moving to 16 teams and 8 teams for the final days allows the championship and media to focus in on the top teams in the world.  With 4 days of competing complete, there is plenty of racing to ensure fairness in qualifying for the top 16.  16 boats in 15 minute races seems like a manageable number that can be covered by the press during open racing, yet is still similar in the challenges presented in Gold Fleet racing.

Finally, the theatre is proposed to be 4 races long.  A top flight sailor will have up to 11 positions counting, qualifying postion and 10 races.  The theatre then mathematically is 27% of the races.  These races are of less impact, however, and are only 13% of the mean points per race (fleet average).  That is because with only 8 teams racing, there is a limit to how many points can change hands within a theatre race.  It would be an imporatant day for most regattas, but not necessarily the most important day, unless the regatta is close.

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