Alex Kostin’s comment about Tinaroo’s unique starting system (Heath and Cready win QLD Tasar title at Tinaroo, 31 May 2012) intrigued many readers. That a small north Queensland club has developed an improvement on the old methods reflects the innovative mindset prevailing at Tinaroo.
The starters' box is on shore, aligned with the starting line which is just off the beach. The actual line is indicated by lining up two red discs (like leads) on the shore.
Ten minutes before the start a white light is shown as the attention signal, followed by a blue light at five minutes (warning signal). Three red lights in line above each other are displayed as the preparatory signal at three minutes to go. These are doused at one minute intervals, being replaced at the actual start by a single blue light which forms the warning signal for the next start. All light changes are accompanied by one sound signal. The divisional flag or numeral is raised at the warning signal and lowered to signal the start.
The lights are shown against a matt black background from a purpose-built, removable structure, which can be pivoted to line up with different starting directions and is controlled from within the starters’ box.
Where the Tinaroo system really improves on the traditional start is in the use of a flashing yellow light (like those on mine vehicles and trucks) to signal premature starts. This makes it easy to see if there have been any recalls. While Tinaroo’s starting box is supplied with shore power, these flashing lights usually run on twelve volts and are waterproof, so could easily be used on start boats.
- Petrea McCarthy
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