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Board » Sailonline Race Committee » Race proposals » Balloon Transat

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Low-altitude Montgolfier race from Newfoundland to France. 1nm finish line, race to be scored normally with rankings fixed via dtf at race close.

Suggested race start for Fri//Sat with race close at midnight the following Sat.

Limited ability to steer, but we're equipped with anchors and many other SOL necessities for use during unfavourable wind, or when close to the finish. Routing isn't impossible, but it's tricky.

Q: This race opened on the 31st - Isn't April Fool's on Monday?
A: Our mistake!

Q: So it's a joke then?
A: Oh, yes absolutely! It should be a fun race though. We have no idea how it will turn out.

Q: Why is the finish line so small? Wouldn't it be easier to finish if it was really long?
A: IRL Balloon racing is usually a test of accuracy instead of speed, trying to drop markers as close as possible to the goal. It's entirely likely that no boats will actually be able to cross the line, so it should really be considered the centre of a giant bull's-eye. Get as close as you can and then drop anchor. If the wind shifts you might be able to nudge closer. Maybe we could try a long-line race later - dateline in the Pacific always calls...

Q: How do we steer this thing?
A: There's limited ability to steer across the wind, but for big changes in direction you might need to wait for the wind to shift. Slow down or anchor.

Q: Anchor?
A: TWA=0

Q: Balloons can't steer!
A: This one can. It's part boat.

Q: Why can't we use winds at different altitudes?
A: Have you seen the picture? It would be crazy to fly any higher than 10m.

Q: "You can't get there from here!"
A: That's entirely possible within the constraints of the race. Given enough time and enough rum nothing's impossible. Get as close as you can!

Q: Can we fly over land?
A: Just spits, sandbars and really thin islands. Standard SOL sailing applies.

--- Last Edited by 76Trombones at 2013-04-08 13:37:09 ---
That looks like a challenge. A bit of anchor time to get some sleep. I can imagine some weird tracks following boats/balloons. Got me.
“We may have arrived on different ships, but we are all in the same boat now!” Martin Luther King Jr.
Maybe we could make this a fun (non-SYC ranking) race and have a choice between the balloon and.... a type of boat that could be reasonably competitive with a ballon with a following wind?
OOOOOOH....I just ran the balloon flight forecasting tool. I don't think a UIM Class 1 powerboat would be able to keep up with the balloon. Low coeff of drag + jet stream speeds at altitude of 5K to 8K metres = HIGH SPEED!! This race may be long in distance but it could be over in 2 days. Is this right or have I missed something?
“We may have arrived on different ships, but we are all in the same boat now!” Martin Luther King Jr.
We're limited to 10m winds in SOL. It's still pretty fast :-D
I love the idea of a balloon BUT as SOL is a sailing site there may be objections to not having a sailing component, hence my suggestion of a "wessel choice" (balloon or boat)... :-D

Maybe the boat should be a regular Transat type... then those who want to sail a Transat can do that while erstwhile balloonists do their thing? How's that?

--- Last Edited by RainbowChaser at 2013-01-17 10:20:37 ---
Brilliant and innovative, 76T!!
Keeping things fresh and interesting is the goal and this is BOTH!!

Well Done and count me in!!

I spotted this being mentioned in NYC-SFO race chat and... folks are right, we should "go for it" as a bit of a laugh.

When would be a good time to run it? After NYC-SFO is finished or does it not really matter as it is so off-the-wall?

Great Idea! Now all we need is two sets of weather data, one for 0 - 5000m, another for 5000 - 8000m. This will really make it 3 dimensional and even bigger a challenge :)

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