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Old 09-06-2014, 10:21   #1
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Evasive Maneuver to Avoid a Head on Collision when Racing?

I know starboard tack is the stand on boat in a crossing situation. I also know right of way rules must be abandoned in order to avoid a collision so my question is more about preferences and tendencies than hard and fast rules.

If you are on a starboard tack and a head on collision with a port tack boat is becoming more likely with each passing second, is your tendency to hold your course and hope the other boat falls off in time, fall off so the other boat can see you more clearly in front of his jib, or head up and hope to pass port-to-port.

This situation is not uncommon in fleet racing during the start sequence.
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:26   #2
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Re: Evasive maneuver to avoid a head on collision when racing?

When in doubt, turn right.
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:58   #3
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Re: Evasive maneuver to avoid a head on collision when racing?

It's likely that his tolerance for cutting it close is higher than yours. This happens all the time. Normally, the vocal protocol sorts this out. You have the right of way, and this is no time to be shy about indicating this.

If you alter course at all, I'd think it would be to head up, as his correct action is to fall off. Seasoned racers will often cut it pretty close.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:01   #4
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Re: Evasive maneuver to avoid a head on collision when racing?

When racing my catamaran it's not unusual to cross other boats with scant inches to spare. These look like collisions if your not used to doing it.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:11   #5
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You should both have crew on the bow in a crowded start. Yours will be screaming at their's and gesticulating wildly.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:40   #6
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Re: Evasive maneuver to avoid a head on collision when racing?

Durning a starting sequence it is really relative to your experience and interpretation of what is close.
In PERF racing or Big Boat OD, it is a person on the bow calling the shots on a crowded start line. Should not be any yelling back and forth on your boat (simple hand signals are best) but if someone is infringing on your rights then you should let them know preferably sooner than later.
It has always been interesting to me that in the more competitive classes that I have raced such as Etchells or Stars with sometimes over 50 boats on the line has made for very quite starts with everyone being more experienced helmsman and knowing the rules.
Seems like in PERF there is someone always yelling so I think different experience levels provide different interpretations of what is close.
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:12   #7
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Re: Evasive maneuver to avoid a head on collision when racing?

I agree with caradow , I raced trapeze dinghies in my teens and we would hail as stand on vessel with in 5 boat lengths if on the wire, that was in a mixed handicap fleet so some vessels took longer to respond to the helm and we would adjust the timings accordingly. Personally we would stand on until the last boat length before taking evasive action which was always " turn right" for a head on
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:15   #8
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Re: Evasive maneuver to avoid a head on collision when racing?

The response to a shout of " starboard" was generally " hold your course" if we didn't get a response we shouted louder!
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