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Old 09-11-2018, 08:56   #1
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RACING RULES

RACING RULES: I HAVE A QUESTION ON WHO HAS THE RIGHT OF WAY WHEN APPROACHING A SAILBOAT RACE. I WAS SAILING IN THE ICW GOING SOUTH UNDER THE RICKENBACKER CAUSEWAY IN MIAMI. UPON ENTERING BISCAYNE BAY FROM UNDER THE CAUSEWAY THEIR WAS A RACE TAKING PLACE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ICW. ---WHY ARE RACES CONDUCTED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ICW, ESPECIALLY WHEN ENTERING FROM A BLINDSPOT LEAVING THE CAUSEWAY BRIDGE. --- ALSO WHO HAS THE RIGHT OF WAY ? --EDUCATE ME PLEASE .
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:02   #2
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Re: RACING RULES

why are you yelling?
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:03   #3
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Re: RACING RULES

I've had similarly frustrating experiences on both the NJ ICW and in Long Island Sound. Sailboats in races don't have priority over other boats just because their club is having a race. The COLREGS apply to everyone.

IMHO, race coordinators need to take more care to not create dangerous situations for their racers and other boats.
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:04   #4
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Re: RACING RULES

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Originally Posted by cygnus View Post
....EDUCATE ME PLEASE .
Welcome aboard, why are you yelling?
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Old 09-11-2018, 14:57   #5
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Re: RACING RULES

Ok I`m sorry if I offended someone with my CAPITOL letters. waaaaaaaa
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Old 09-11-2018, 15:27   #6
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Re: RACING RULES

From the introduction to Part 2 of the Racing Rules of Sailing. ( this is a Rule)

“When a boat sailing under these rules meets a vessel that is not, she shall comply with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCAS) or government right-of-way rules. “

In other words COLREGS apply.
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Old 09-11-2018, 16:23   #7
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Re: RACING RULES

Not sure of the rules but I have always tried to stay out of the way when there is a yacht race on. Like most sports the participants are taking it seriously and would not welcome an interloper just barging on through. Its just courteous to keep out of the way.
But judging by your yelling and response I imagine you would just keep sailing through the fleet oblivious to all the curses been thrown your way.
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Old 09-11-2018, 17:11   #8
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Re: RACING RULES

When our races were across the ICW back in the day, it was pretty much up to us racers to avoid the traffic.

Usually though the traffic was tugs and barges so tonnage usually won out anyway
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Old 09-11-2018, 17:19   #9
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Re: RACING RULES

If you're not racing, follow the Colregs. Nevertheless, it's best to avoid racing sailboats as they have a mission and Colregs may have little relevance in their mindset.
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Old 09-11-2018, 17:47   #10
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Re: RACING RULES

I go sailing to relax, if someone is racing, how hard is it to ease off the speed and let them by?

yes, the rules apply and they certainly shouldn't be holding a race in a marked channel, but if they're just crossing it I'll let them have their fun

We're all out here with different priorities, trying to have some fun on the water, it's just common curtesy that we share it.

I would certainly rather be slowed down by a bunch of sailboats racing then be stuck in traffic on I95
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Old 09-11-2018, 18:15   #11
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Re: RACING RULES

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Originally Posted by Pete17C View Post
I go sailing to relax, if someone is racing, how hard is it to ease off the speed and let them by?

yes, the rules apply and they certainly shouldn't be holding a race in a marked channel, but if they're just crossing it I'll let them have their fun

We're all out here with different priorities, trying to have some fun on the water, it's just common curtesy that we share it.

I would certainly rather be slowed down by a bunch of sailboats racing then be stuck in traffic on I95
I can certainly understand how intimidating it would be for a non-racer to encounter a fleet of racing sailboats right in the middle of a waterway. Of course the racers have no special right of way over a non-racer, colregs apply. Racing rules have no application between a racer and a non-competing boat. However, racing rules are based on the same principles as colregs (starboard tack, leeward boat, overtaking boat etc...) so the racers are generally going to yield to the non-racer if he has rights under colregs.

But that is little solace to the non racer who may not be comfortable with a dozen or more boats sailing in close quarters. Actually, the non-racer may not be comfortable at all with a crossing situation where the clearance is a few feet, while the racer doesn't mind at all.

What it usually boils down to is how well the non-racer understands his own applicable rules (colregs) and how comfortable he is with the close quarters that racers usually accept as normal.

What is the solution to this? Well the racers are not going to move their race to some other area out of the way because in the ICW there might not be any other place they can sail. So the non-racer needs to know his colregs, take it slow, and stand his ground. Most certainly do not be intimidated by obnoxious racers who think the a non-racer is dumb and should just stay out of their way.

And most of all, keep a cool temper.
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Old 09-11-2018, 19:05   #12
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Re: RACING RULES

If they're not in a channel (and everyone is a sailboat, sailing) they have just as much right to be there as I do.

If I have the right of way and can't or just don't want to slow down/tack/gybe, most adult racers probably know the regs better than me and will act properly.

If it's a bunch of kids in dingys, I'm stopping in my tracks until they pass
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Old 09-11-2018, 19:41   #13
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Re: RACING RULES

I've been racing for a few years so I'm not an expert, but if I understand the situation correctly, Cygnus, that area of the ICW might be a bit narrow and have some blind spots. A race has as much right to be there as you do. It's a nicety if you notice they're racing and can avoid a mark they are rounding, or if there's a pile of them scrunched up in another area, but all the regular nav rules apply as noted earlier. If someone is just being a bully or obnoxious, you could write down the sail number, what happened and when, then call the local club to see who was putting on a race that day. The race committee should inform the offending skipper. Most people are good operators, but some are jerks (our roads are full of them, too) and they really give the rest of us a bad reputation by association. I say call them out on any bad behavior.
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Old 09-11-2018, 20:23   #14
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Re: RACING RULES

Racers can be kinda intense... I used to be one, and I took it fairly seriously. On SF bay, as Gamayun can verify, there are often multiple races that use some of the same marks to define their courses. One day as we approached a buoy, up wind and on starboard tack, a larger boat on port, not involved in our fleet, came into conflict. Her skipper hollered out "you AH, can't you see we're racing" I replied "we're racing too, and we're on starboard". He bore off and as he passed close to our stern he said "OH... well, you're still an AH". Perhaps he was right, but even an AH has rights when on starboard! It was so funny that I remember it clearly... boat name was Moon Shadow, and that would have been in ~1980.

This kind of intensity, coupled with racer's comfort with close range passes can scare the hell out of non-racers. And in some waters (Pittwater and Sydney Harbour locally here) on weekends there are LOTS of racing yachts in pretty small areas with lots of non-racing traffic intermixed. It is hard to really stay out of the way of all of the racers, even if you are willing to try. throw in some high speed ferries, some windsurfers/kiters,
and the odd merchant ship and IMO the only really safe approach is to stand on, obeying COLREGS and not confusing everyone by giving way when one is the stand on boat. You'll collect some abuse, verbal and gestures, but it is the only means of maintaining some order in a chaotic situation. Unfortunately, lots of weekend sailors have only a vague idea of COLREGS, and that can bring chaos right back into the picture. Tough to see what to do, but for those of us who are not constrained to weekend sailing, staying at anchor is often a good call!

But ya know? Sometimes I really miss the excitement of racing, and it has been over 30 years since I was active.

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Old 09-11-2018, 22:20   #15
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Re: RACING RULES

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
If you're not racing, follow the Colregs. Nevertheless, it's best to avoid racing sailboats as they have a mission and Colregs may have little relevance in their mindset.
This is precisely the mindset that I feel is problematic.
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