Drafting etiquette

6 months 3 weeks ago #34230 by BustedRudder
I wind up running into the same person at local surfski races. Said person goes out too fast, can't maintain it, then falls behind me and drafts for miles. That would be OK if said person did not constantly hit my stern. I counted about 15 collisions before I finally got away.

Flat water racing so just gelcoat scuffs but I am WAY over it. 
Is this expected behavior in the sport of surf ski racing????

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6 months 3 weeks ago #34231 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Drafting etiquette
-Drafting 1 micron off the stern of the lead boat, totally ok
-A rare contact with the boat in front of you - not ideal, but forgivable, particularly if its a chaotic start. If it was near the end of the race or spins you out, major fowl.
-Repeated hits, like 15, is a major fowl or at least extremely inconsiderate and arrogant. The person has no paddling etiquette at all.

Sounds like you should practice interval training so you can drop him when needed :)

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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6 months 3 weeks ago #34235 by feeny
Replied by feeny on topic Drafting etiquette
A bit rude!

If I hit someone on the stern, I always apologise and then it's on me to draft appropriately.

Can get a little more chaotic on side-wash, particularly with the odd clash of paddles, but again, if I'm the one riding the wash, it's one me to draft appropriately! ...If I clashed paddles I've likely moved off the wash anyway.

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6 months 3 weeks ago #34237 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic Drafting etiquette
I used to have a metal bracket sticking off the back of my ski for attaching a kick up rudder. That discouraged people from drafting too close. Maybe tape something like that to the back of your ski?

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6 months 3 weeks ago #34239 by BustedRudder
Replied by BustedRudder on topic Drafting etiquette
As much as I like the idea of a "draft at your own risk" device, now that I know it is not accepted practice I will be a little less subtle with said person.
Thanks all for bringing me up to speed. I didn't know if skis were going the way of ice hockey :)

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6 months 3 weeks ago #34240 by Cryder
Replied by Cryder on topic Drafting etiquette
Any opponent that follows a pattern is easily out maneuvered. And if you can't, chances are that means your guilty of the same pattern tendency. The best race plan is your race plan that plays to your strengths. So two options: 1) focus on improving your race starts. 2) Hammer an interval when you see said paddler drifting back. ProTiP: When you ramp up your interval, tac away at 20º at the very moment you overtake him. This will make breaking over his wake easier, and much more expensive for him to grab your wash as well. If either tactic pays off, the subject of his behavior is irrelevant - which is the way it's supposed to be. 

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6 months 3 weeks ago #34241 by Hacker Mike
Replied by Hacker Mike on topic Drafting etiquette
Drafting is very much a part of racing. At the sharp end of the racing, it happens all the time, is very organised and rarely is there a clash of paddles or boats. But it does happen occasionally. 

There are guys that are capable of sticking to a wave like shit to a blanket and unless you are significantly stronger that them, you won't easily drop the experienced drafter. That said, the experienced drafter should not be hitting your tail. Once or twice happens, but usually with an apology and then backing off.  Persistent bashing is not on and I have frequently heard paddlers telling the offender to politely f... off. If you can't drop him, perhaps a quite word. If that doesn't work, more robust action may be required for him to get the message :)  

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6 months 3 weeks ago #34245 by PSwitzer
Replied by PSwitzer on topic Drafting etiquette
Funny but off topic drafting story:
It's not often here on Oahu that we have any opportunity to draft, but one of our local races was quite glassy and a few guys from out of town were in the mix.  My buddy had one of these guys, we'll call him Vern, who was stuck on him for a long time refusing to pull.  Finally, the two of them got passed by a third guy, and Vern of course hopped onto that guy's wash.  My buddy was so fed up with Vern that he called out to the lead paddler "Hey!  that guy isn't going to help you out, you should take him onto the reef!"  So sure enough the lead paddler heads inside, Vern in tow, into a shallow area in which tiny waves were popping up here and there.  And Vern got smoked by one of those tiny (1 foot) waves, like totally wiped out!  
The funny part, to me, is that my buddy yelled out the plan with no attempt at subterfuge, and it worked regardless.
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6 months 2 weeks ago #34248 by downwinda
Replied by downwinda on topic Drafting etiquette
Pswitzer's post segues right into questions of whether it is OK to draft someone for an entire race, then pass them at the end, and if someone tries to do so is it OK to fade them off course, into a buoy, pier, boat or reef?

If someone stays on my ass for an entire race it's  annoying.  If they then try to pass at the very end it goes way beyond that, and I'll (subtly or not so subtly) do what it takes to keep them from passing.

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6 months 2 weeks ago #34260 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Drafting etiquette
[disclaimer, I'm a novice racer, but won my last two races, 2nd in previous]
I'm with MCI on this. Occasional touch is ok, repeated bumps, not ok. 
Not sure how you get rid of someone like that. My last race was the very first time I seriously drafted someone, and I felt guilty doing it. However, they were pushing the pace (I had previously led, they drafted me, I dropped the pace and they took over). I hung on their wash for 2km of a 13km race, then sprinted past them for the finish. 
    
It is seriously hard work pushing over the bump to get onto someone's wash. Let them start then ram some speed on. You'll be spending less energy than they are burning. 
Of course, it depends on how many are in a group.

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6 months 2 weeks ago #34261 by PSwitzer
Replied by PSwitzer on topic Drafting etiquette
There is a white- knuckle drafting segment during the finish of one of my favorite Rambo videos of all time, the 2010 King of the Coast Moffat run:

https://vimeo.com/16423455?cjevent=f204bc067d7711e9806100800a1c0e14


Jeremy Cotter and Ben Allen slug it out in the flats, making contact at about 13:00 in the final push towards the finish.  You can see Allen making a big effort and is starting to pull ahead, but then they come close to a piling sticking out of the water and Allen has to tuck in real close to Cotter, losing ground, and from there on Cotter goes nuclear to the line...always wondered how much of that was chance vs. intentional.
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6 months 2 weeks ago - 6 months 2 weeks ago #34262 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Drafting etiquette
In marathon canoe racing (canadian open canoe that is) its totally fair game to push people onto unfavorable lines like into shallows, weeds, trees, wide outside, etc. No contact is involved, but if you're drafting the side wake and are coming up to a turn you have to be very observant of what's ahead of you and if you should drop back to the stern wave or sprint and try to overtake them before its too late.

Part of the sport is anticipating where the good and bad water is and making sure you have a good line at all times. I've been beat by guys twice my age more than once when they pushed my into suck water or wide around the last buoy. Old guys are mean :)
(I mean that in good humor)

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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6 months 2 weeks ago #34267 by Epicpaddler
Replied by Epicpaddler on topic Drafting etiquette
I'm new to the racing game, but I've seen and been part of some hard core drafting. I drafted a few SUPS last Saturday in a race, but only  a minute or two. I was obviously moving much faster than they were, but some paddlers asked to ride my wake and I didn't have a problem with it. I once drafted a friend/competitor for a few K, but I didn't spring past him at the end for the win. He asked my why I didn't. I was smoked and he helped me the last kilometer or so. It just felt wrong to steal his thunder after a long race. Some local races ban drafting or only drafting within class like ski to ski etc.

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6 months 2 weeks ago #34268 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic Drafting etiquette
In my experience if you are banging the boat ahead of you, you are wasting energy. I think the sweet spot on most drafts is when there is 1-2 feet separation between bow and stern. 

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5 months 3 weeks ago #34515 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Drafting etiquette
In my first Div 5 race yesterday; didn't go well, due to drafting issues.
1.5km in, going well, gently reeling in the lead group of 3. Narrow canal, very bumpy.
Someone is wash hanging me. On my right side. They are really close and very far forward. Bow up by my knee. 
4-5 times my paddle comes down on their bow, I'm struggling to get a clean stroke in. Did I mention it was bumpy? They keep saying sorry, but don't back off at all. 
Sixth time we are passing some narrow boats, I need to move out but there isn't any room with them right on my side, big washes slopping off the canal bank, I completely miss my stroke on the right because their damn boat is in the way! Can't get paddle in at all. Miss my brace on the left because canal boat is in the way and I fall in.
They slow (I know them, they are a nice person) and ask if I'm ok, I tell them to paddle on. Rest of field comes up as I'm starting to swim to the bank and the sods won't let me through to the bank to get back in (paddling K1 not surfskis so remounting from the water is difficult). When I do get to the bank, it is 2ft high, so I just grab it with one hand and haul myself into boat from the water (I'd emptied it by inverting it). 
    
Punched my way back to 5th place, got a bit bolshy with some people who tried pushing me into the bank when I was passing and someone else who tried wash hanging and again put their bow up by my knees. 
    
I've not done a lot of wash hanging, but when I have, bow by paddler worked just fine. Bow by the knee seems wrong. Either bad technique or intentional interference.
Opinions, folks?

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5 months 3 weeks ago - 5 months 3 weeks ago #34516 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic Drafting etiquette
Mrcharly - whoever has the lead (even by an inch) has right of way. It is the responsibility of the  following paddler not to interfere with the leader.   We all forgive each other minor infractions because racing is just a game and the world is a better place when we all get along. But after that many violations I would simply cut close to shore/dock/barge etc on the right and force the other guy to fall back. That is a completely legal move. Do that a few times and he will choose to either ride courteously or dig deep and go around you letting you ride his wash for a while. 

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5 months 3 weeks ago #34520 by robin.mousley
Replied by robin.mousley on topic Drafting etiquette

Mrcharly - whoever has the lead (even by an inch) has right of way. It is the responsibility of the  following paddler not to interfere with the leader.   We all forgive each other minor infractions because racing is just a game and the world is a better place when we all get along. But after that many violations I would simply cut close to shore/dock/barge etc on the right and force the other guy to fall back. That is a completely legal move. Do that a few times and he will choose to either ride courteously or dig deep and go around you letting you ride his wash for a while. 

Totally agree!  One mistake, fine, two mistakes, you're on notice.  Three mistakes and it's open season!

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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5 months 3 weeks ago #34521 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Drafting etiquette
Thanks folks.
Some more experienced people in my club have said that I need to learn the art of flicking up a bit of water when taking paddle out - when the drafter is getting a few litres dumped in their cockpit with every stroke (or in their face), they'll get the hint. 

I'm a bit inexperienced and hesitant.

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5 months 3 weeks ago #34522 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Drafting etiquette
Charly, I applaud your superb sportsmanship but you have our collective permission to be a dick to people who are a dick to you first :)

After boat-bump number 2, its time to splash, push them into a pier or kelp bed, or otherwise make following too close to you quite unpleasant. If they say anything, please refer them to this thread so we can educate them on drafting etiquette. 

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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5 months 3 weeks ago #34546 by Watto
Replied by Watto on topic Drafting etiquette
Consider myself courteous, try hard to put myself in others shoes (boat), occasional bump I offer apology back off etc however when aggressive wash hanging on me, constant clashing, invading space etc - “Oi!” and then if persistent “Oi mate back off or fck off” and if still persistently rude and bashing into you or getting under your paddle will very happily steer right off course across them, veer back on line, or steer them into obstacles, bank, rocks, shallows!! 

I don’t think its inappropriate when you’ve been reasonable and someone is not only leeching off you but interfering in your race and position that you are assertive. Are you a parent? Don’t do that Johnny. Don’t do that Jonny.  Johnny don’t do that. ...  No behavioural change, change tactics. To not do something is doing something - for me is providing permission to continue. In this case I don’t believe Ghandis passive resistance is the way to go. 

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