The 2014 Ida Lewis Distance Race, a popular overnight race for PHRF, IRC, One-Design, Double Handed and Multihull boats, has added a new challenge. According to ILDR Chairman Simon Davidson, for the first time the race will use a “virtual mark,” a position defined by latitude and longitude.
“Originally, this concept was born out of necessity, due to the Coast Guard’s removal of various traditional marks that we’ve used in the past,” Davidson said. “However, making this change actually enhances the race committee’s ability to set an optimal distance course. If this experience proves successful, we expect to see it used for a lot of other events.”
The use of latitude/longitude virtual marks appears to be an emerging trend and has been in use by the British Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) for some time.
ILDR’s use of virtual marks will add an additional challenge to the race and hopefully work to sharpen navigators’ skills.