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Old 29-07-2009, 12:09   #31
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Originally Posted by Dick Pluta View Post
Ouch! Did we get a little close to the bone? I normally don't get annoyed by this kind of response, but the Ten Commandments were not the Ten Suggestions, and neither are the COLREGS. Casual barging through a race is rude and unseamanlikeThe COLREGS assume you are in a position where right of way needs to be a consideration. Obviously, any good seaman avoids a problem before it starts, but IF you are in such a position with a racer the rules apply to him, just as they do to you. The obligation to maintain course and speed exists so that other boaters have a clear understanding of what you are going to do. We're talking about safety here, not bragging rights at the bar. We don't ignore stop signs because we're late for a hot date and we don't ignore the COLREGS because we're racing. If you don't respect seamanship, then maybe you're one of the guys this post is talking about.

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Old 29-07-2009, 12:22   #32
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I am new, so my post is more of a question than a statement.
I would assume that this would be like any other situation where common sense is required on both sides.
Two young'uns foot racing down the sidewalk at 6 in the evening when the sidewalks are pretty much empty, I would step out of the way and watch them as they went by, enjoying their race also. The same two young'uns doing the same thing at noon on a crowded sidewalk would get brought up very shortly by the rules, and I would not step out of the way.
As a beginner, I would expect someone with plenty of room to turn away if they don't have a pressing need to continue on at best speed themselves. In crowded waters with specific restricted points that have to be hit, then we have to go back to the rules I think. If everyone follows the rules under those conditions, then I know what they are going to do, and can plan accordingly.




y7u
First welcome!

The only problem with your proposal is the interpretation of intent. It's usually better to stand on if you have the right of way, which the other boat should expect you to do. So, typically, you would stand on unless/until it becomes apparent that the burdened vessel does not understand the rules or is unwilling to abide by them. Then, take whatever evasive action is most effective.
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Old 29-07-2009, 12:35   #33
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Originally Posted by Ahnlaashock View Post
I am new, so my post is more of a question than a statement.
I would assume that this would be like any other situation where common sense is required on both sides.
Two young'uns foot racing down the sidewalk at 6 in the evening when the sidewalks are pretty much empty, I would step out of the way and watch them as they went by, enjoying their race also. The same two young'uns doing the same thing at noon on a crowded sidewalk would get brought up very shortly by the rules, and I would not step out of the way.
As a beginner, I would expect someone with plenty of room to turn away if they don't have a pressing need to continue on at best speed themselves. In crowded waters with specific restricted points that have to be hit, then we have to go back to the rules I think. If everyone follows the rules under those conditions, then I know what they are going to do, and can plan accordingly.




y7u
If you are in a situation in which the rules apply, then, as my new pal Dick states, they apply, full stop. That is not what I and another member took a position against. What I am simply saying is that, most of the time, or at least much of the time, if one pays attention, they can avoid the entire situation completely and COLREGS never come into play. Where I sail that is certainly the case, yet I still see smug, arrogant individuals who could have easily ducked a racing fleet sail into its midst just because they could.

They are dicks of a different nature...
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Old 29-07-2009, 12:49   #34
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I always give way to racers. What goes around comes around.




It troubles me that people sometimes desire to stand on their legal rights for no other reason than they can.

Let's take that thought to its logical extreme (albiet in different context to make a point).

It is perfectly legal for me, a 6'1" able and strong swimmer, to stand by and watch a 2-year old child drown in a 3-feet deep swimming pool, so long as I (i) was not in charge of the care of the child, (ii) did not cause the child to fall into the pool, and (iii) did not prevent anybody else from saving the child.

Now, somebody tell me that what's legal and what's right are a tautology. They are not. Though I have a legal right to watch that child drown, I certainly have no such moral right.

So, to hell with legal rights; let's think about what's right and what's wrong. If we reduce our conduct to what's legal, we essentially give up moral judgment.

I see this "I have legal rights" argument more and more frequently and it disturbs me. What's legal and what's moral are only tangentially connected. To use only legal rules as a compass for human conduct is, at rock bottom, a repudiation of morality.

You can imagine what I think of people in the news whose consistent and singular defense is, "It was legal." As in, so what.

Rant over.
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Old 29-07-2009, 13:29   #35
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I always give way to racers. What goes around comes around.
It troubles me that people sometimes desire to stand on their legal rights for no other reason than they can.Rant over.
I can see that you have never sailed in the Solent.
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Old 29-07-2009, 14:54   #36
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No I have not. And if the Solent presents reasons why giving way to racers is problematic, then one would have a reason not to give way, which is to be distinguished from standing on one's legal rights for no other reason than they can.
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Old 29-07-2009, 15:22   #37
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On Sydney Harbour the number of rude and ignorant people is huge but generally if people are racing we try to do the right thing and stay clear. No skin off my nose but if by taking evasive action I would be turning into something dangerous or towards a vessel I MUST give way to, like ferries, then no I hold my course if I have right of way. I have taken many many actions to give racers their room and have only once been badly mistaken on their course and I was soundly abused and thrown the bird for my efforts. On the other hand we have a mate who is always happy to change course if at all possible but his passive aggressive nature gets the better of him when someone screams "racing" at him - he tends to scream "cruising" right back at them and holds his course. IMHO - change course if safe and reasonable and in plenty of time to avoid any confusion. Live and let live - but if your racing don't abuse those of us who aren't. Tends to create bad feeling.
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Old 29-07-2009, 19:48   #38
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We've raced a bit and will always stand down for a racer if possible. Those that haven't raced will probably not understand or appreciate how hard a crew might work over a 2 mile leg to gain a 1 or 2 boat length lead. It is pretty easy to blow all their work by simply blundering into them.

That said no racer has the right to be abusive to any other sailor who chooses to stand on within his rights.
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Old 29-07-2009, 21:11   #39
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We've raced a bit and will always stand down for a racer if possible. Those that haven't raced will probably not understand or appreciate how hard a crew might work over a 2 mile leg to gain a 1 or 2 boat length lead. It is pretty easy to blow all their work by simply blundering into them.

That said no racer has the right to be abusive to any other sailor who chooses to stand on within his rights.
Well said. Having raced much of my life, I can UNDERSTAND the guy who rants - now PLEASE, that doesn't mean I AGREE with the guy who rants - I just understand.

Serious sailboat racing is an intense sport - and it can be insanely expensive. I'd guess that if you ran into that guy after the race, he'd offer a full and sincere apology - and I'd also guess you would then apologize and explain why you couldn't move.

Giving the guy the benefit of the doubt, chalk his reaction up to frustration. As noted previously, sailboat racing is a game of hard fought inches.

BTW, I'd have hauled down sails, if need be, to avoid the racers. But, it was/is certainly your right not to move.
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Old 30-07-2009, 00:49   #40
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As a biginner in the Solent I have to say I haven't had a problem yet, most of the racers seem to be working up and practicing turns, in pairs often, around navigation bouys rather than race markers.
I did stay out of the water for cowes week, I'm not looking for an insurance claim either way.
Racing seems to be in small boats on shore courses, or at the weekends. The bigger race boats seem to need deep water and also avoid the shipping channels leaving us pleasure cruisers plenty of room to - well - cruise. Busy waters but the casual cruiser is more of a hazard than the focused and alert competent racer.
But then brit's are more polite than most!!!
p.s. apologies to those I've interfered wtih already.
p.p.s. we also have a sense of humour not always understood.
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Old 30-07-2009, 05:06   #41
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I suspect that most sailors seek to avoid collision and conflict and respect the issues of a race and would not interfere if it was possible. I suspect that very few are arrogant enough when on starboard (ROW) to blast right through a fleet of racers on port just because they have the law on their side.

Most comments have been along these lines and the option of luffing a bit is a good solution of it works, but tacking or falling off into thin water, or a potential hazard would be untenable. I would suspect this would be a rather rare and theoretical situation.

There are many races in the middle of Long Island Sound on Saturdays in the summer and these course often are "in the way" of non racing traffic. The Sound is wide enough to evade these races with little negative consequences to the other traffic if any. It may be annoying to have to go off your "perfect rhumb line course". but it's of little consequence and most will do it without a second though to avoid a problem. I have sailed through a race with no one having to change course in a few cases, but there was lots of room.

Hiracer's analogy is silly.
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Old 30-07-2009, 05:23   #42
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I do - but every time I give them room and they dont so much as wave back, gives me a little less desire to do it next time.
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Old 30-07-2009, 06:03   #43
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This has been an interesting thread. After re-reading most of it, I think the real question has been obscured by discussion of the "Legal" issues. I suspect what we are all saying is that there are (rarely) rude idiots, who harass racers just for the hell of it and there are (rarely) rude racing idiots, who think the rules were made for everyone else. Most of us are, I hope, considerate of our fellow sailors and avoid such confrontations. That's one reason why I love sailing. It is one of the last refuges of gentlemanly behavior. As for the "idiot fringe", a pox on both their houses.

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Old 30-07-2009, 06:20   #44
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This has been an interesting thread. After re-reading most of it, I think the real question has been obscured by discussion of the "Legal" issues. I suspect what we are all saying is that there are (rarely) rude idiots, who harass racers just for the hell of it and there are (rarely) rude racing idiots, who think the rules were made for everyone else. Most of us are, I hope, considerate of our fellow sailors and avoid such confrontations. That's one reason why I love sailing. It is one of the last refuges of gentlemanly behavior. As for the "idiot fringe", a pox on both their houses.

Dick Pluta
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That about sums it up. I think it's gentlemanly (or gentlewomanly) as well as adviseable to avoid the race scrum whenever possible, but if it's not possible, one should expect that the Rules of the Road apply universally.
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Old 30-07-2009, 07:41   #45
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There are different levels of experience out there. If I was racing and I saw a boat who had rights I would assume he will do the right thing and hold his course. I would also be prepared that he would not. The regs are there so everyone is supposed to know what the other guy will do. Suspending the rules just because one guy is racing could be dangerous. Especially if the racing boats are fast.

When the Volvo Ocean racers came to town they set up a special viewing area for the in-shore races and to get in you went to a skippers briefing. Their words were simple, "These guys are pros and they are incredibly fast. If one of them comes off the course at you do not try to evade. They will evade you. Do not enter the course. You don't know how fast these guys are."

Sitting 50 meters away from these guys on a beat and run was enlightening. They are awesomely fast.

Apply the rules of the road and there is no confusion.

The only other consideration is that racers are used to passing close at high speed. Ducking a cruiser with rights would only shave seconds off a course time. For the smart racer it's a non-event.
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