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Are all courses equal?


TravisNW
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It seems the range in tolerance for course width and length is quite large. Are world class sites being set up with minimum course widths and maximum course lengths?

 

For the sake of discussion courses can be .115m or 4.5” narrower per side and .648m or 10 3/8” longer end to end.

 

If course buoys can be dialed into the most skier friendly setting should they be?

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@TravisNW, the rule are exxplicit in that actual measurements are the goal. Tolerances are just what it sounds like, to allow for slight deviations that can't, under reasonable effort, be made actual. My wording, not rule book. Just a paraphrase.
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As @thager said the dimensions are always nearly identical but water chemistry and other factors can change the way of course feels.

 

Often when the pro skiers come from Florida to California they need a couple rides to adjust to the different feel of water. When Californians go to Florida we often feel like the boats are going slow or the balls are narrow because it feels easier. That difference is mostly water chemistry.

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It’s really difficult to find this info. For instance @Splasheye you say the average width can be no less than 11.48. I don’t see that in the AWSA rule book, the Awsa tc handbook or iwsf rules where is it? My initial curiosity was sparked after viewing the diagram in the rules page 102 and being surprised at the allowable deviation. I definitely feel some ski sites ski better than others and I understand factors of influence. We spend so much time and effort dialing in our skis and techniques and equipment I wasn’t going to be surprised if top TC’s given an inch or in this case 3/4” They take it. I get actual is the goal but it’s a sport, there is competition and people want to have the best sites for performance, except for the worlds... but seriously those men and women skied amazing in those conditions.

 

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When my course went in the lake was dry & it measured in as ridiculously close to perfect. When we put water back in the lake I assume that our anchors shifted a little bit and likely still within record tolerance but imperfect. The point is we attempted to put in a course exactly at actual and we may now be using some of the tolerances. That is what the tolerances are for.
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@Horton there’s a lot of things that can make the buoys “measure” slightly different than the “exact” anchor locations. I’ve installed a couple dry bottom course too, marked the buoys locations with wooden stakes and small nails for the precise location. Then used offset stakes to allow us to auger a hole, hold the anchor in place then backfill the anchor in place. In other words, the anchor itself was exactly where it should be.

 

However the anchor itself (auger telephone pole anchor) had a “knuckle” on the top with essentially 3-slots to hold a variety of cables to anchor the utility pole. But for a sub-float line it the rope could be placed 1/2”-3/4” off one side to another. Then unless the sub-float line system allows the rope to go straight up without any offsets the actual placement of the buoy may not align exactly with the anchor below. And that offset might be in a different place depending on where it’s floating. I personally make it a point to understand how the sub-float system works or is tied. If it’s any kind of floating course I find out if there’s only one anchor point or multiple at each buoy.

 

Anyway, lots of potential to end up with a buoy a bit offset from where it was intended. Hence the tolerance.

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@TravisNW you have a good and legitimate question. But have you ever been a diver surveying a course when you were told “ move that buoy 2” north, you move it and the surveyor says “you moved it 6” west, now move it back and then 2” north like i said?”

 

The point being its not all that easy to get each buoy within a gnat’s ass of “perfect”. Thats the whole point of tolerances.

 

In the big scheme of things there are many other factors much greater than a few inches of buoy position that affect performances.

 

As others have said “INTENTIONAL use of tolerances is illegal

If it was easy, they would call it Wakeboarding

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