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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:37 pm 
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At the "sweet 16" regatta last weekend I came upon a situation that I had no idea how to react to. Keep in mind this was my first and I should have probably studied up more on the rules of racing, but.... I was on the upwind leg, nearing the can, sailing on starboard tack (where the wind is coming from the right side of the boat???) and was the leward boat. Another boat was approaching the mark with me with less than a boat length between us, it seemed like we were on top of eachother. The other boat was to windward on the same tack as we rounded the mark. For fear of hitting the other boat, I cut it real close to the mark. I kind of felt like I was not given enough room to tack and ended up going in irons, briefly, completing the tack only to have my rudder catch the buoy line. I hope I didn't drag it too far, sorry bout that guys. Who had the right of way? Can someone explain this? And could someone tell me where I could find a good book on racing rules/tactics for the beginner?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:22 pm 
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You should not have had to tack at the mark if you were on starboard tack... either that or I am crazy. But you should have been making a port rounding. If they were a boat length in front of you it shouldn't have been a problem because as you round the mark all you should have to do is fall off or head down, then maybe gybe. But if they were to windward and that far in front of you you should have had space unless you were gaining on them alot, or they cut down instantly at the mark. But if you weren't overlapped at all then you had no rights.

Now if you were coming in on port tack and actually had to tack at the mark. Then I can see how they might have tacked in close and you would have either been stuck going around them or tacking inside them which is what sounds like happened. In that situation I think they probably had right of way, but I can't be sure.

As for books, to get started check out Rick White's "Catamaran racing for the 90's" it is pretty basic tactics and helped me alot to understand racing.

If I am stupid and didn't picture the situation above correctly I am sorry, but I think I understand what I am thinking....

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:42 pm 
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I think you are getting it. We pretty much reached the mark at the same time, right beside eachother. He was windward, I was leward and was tacking inside of him. I was sailing a little bit higher, he, a little broader. We were rounding the mark to the left (port or not I don't really know, sorry for my lack of terminology). Granted, I was probably the worst sailor on the course and didn't have the kahunas to risk hitting him, especially with a real inexperienced crew. I don't know the rules of the road so to speak quite yet, but it seemed like I may have gotten bullied a little bit, assuming I had the right of way, if not kudos to the dude that got around me. I'm sure it was obvious that I didn't know what the hell I was doing, heck I even had to ask the signal boat where the starting line was. But, like I said, I honestly don't know. If I had right of way, it seems like I could have pushed him to point a little higher while I rounded the mark with a tack, with more room to round. ( I think I am remembering this right, it seemed like a tack, but it could have been a gybe, but I think it was a tack. The wind was kinda shifty) And to those who attended, sorry for dragging the mark a bit, I didn't realize til after the race that I should have taken a penalty turn. But I don't think that not doing so gave me any advantage. Thanks gree for the quick reply, keep em coming.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:10 pm 
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http://www.websitemagic.com/cram/pdf/beginner_rules.pdf

See if this helps at all with understanding some of the basics.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:43 am 
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Get the David Dellenbaugh racing rules DVD set. It does a good job of explaining the intent of all of the rules for "when boats meet" as well as showing them visually. I think it was around $40-60. Watch it at the beginning of each season, or before every race. Also, download a PDF copy of the racing rules off of the US Sailing website to keep handy.

And if you're unsure of the rules, please avoid the situation (which you did). From someone who's been there, collisions really suck!

sm


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:36 am 
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Its funny you mention the wind coming from one side of the boat or the other. I used to think that as well, until I got t-boned by a Nacra 6.0 at 15-20kts. The reality is that which side of the boat your seated determines whether your port or starboard. "A" mark at the race did get some mixed wind, very hard to read at times. In most cases we were approaching on starboard, rounding to port and running down or jibing and running down. It sounds as if you had rights and didn't take them. I hear that you were inside at the mark with the other boat overlapped. If he was ahead or behind your line wouldn't have been obstructed. It sounds as if you could have lifted him to gain room to round the mark and he owed you room. I think you made a smart decision not pushing it if you were unsure, there was no money involved. No reason to risk it for a fun regatta, especially your first. The more you race the more sense the rules will make, I can't learn by simply reading the rules. I need some interaction, and sometimes contact, to learn.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:26 pm 
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What side of the boat does NOT determin weather you are on port or starboard tack. It is completely as to which side of the boat the wind is coming from..

To prove my case in point, Try coming down the line on port tack (The wind coming over the port side of the boat (Left side, in reference to the bow), Boom over on the right. You and your crew are sitting to leward, and calling STARBOARD!!!! Your still on port tack, and in the wrong.

If this is not what you where saying, the I appologise.

I am still fuzzy on mark roundings myself.

Anyways the original poster did the correct thing, Allways try and avoid a collision at all costs, even if you are the right of way boat. Avoid the collision first, then call foul, if the other boat does not do penalty turns, then take it to the protest room.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:35 pm 
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Thanks for all the replies. At the time, I really didn't know what was going on. I was thinking: don't blow your move (that didn't happen), don't hit the mark (that didn't happen), please honey, be quiet for just one second (that never happens)(nah, I'm just kidding. My girlfriend crewed and she really did great, and was more competitive than I expected), and please don't hit that boat (luckily that one didn't happen). She may have been a little too competitive as during this move she was saying, "screw that boat, just get in there". Maybe not the best voice to have on your shoulder in this kind of situation. But like was said earlier, I did avoid hitting the other guy's boat and was very happy about that. In the next race I will have read up on the material that has been suggested and maybe I'll have a better idea of how to react.

But after reading your post ncmbm, it was unlikely that I was tacking at the mark. I think I just ended up going in irons trying to avoid the other boat. I think I did end up bearing off a little and then jybing after turning the mark.

But reguardless, man this was a fun thing to do on a sailboat. Now I know what I've been missing.

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86' Redline Hobie 16
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:19 pm 
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abbman wrote:
"screw that boat, just get in there".


If that didn't result in stuff like this, I would put that quote on my hull. Maybe I will anyways, and put rubber bumpers on the front of the hulls..I'd be dizzy from 360's before even reaching A mark

Image

Image

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:10 am 
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Here is a good link for learning the rules. It has animated videos for all the situations and a quiz to help you out.

http://game.finckh.net/indexe.htm

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 8:42 pm 
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It sounds to me like the windward boat gave you some room but was ahead enough to give you bad air. In doing so you came up some to still make the mark and put yourself into irons causing you to hit the mark anchor line.

A lot of have been sailing a long time and we still have to question some of the rules. Read some of the basic rules and go have some fun racing and ask a lot of questions after the race.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:27 am 
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Abbman,
I'm still trying to figure out why you would have to tack as you approached the weather mark on starboard tack to prevent contact with a another boat that is parallel and windward of you. I don't mean to add confussion to the situation, "but I'm confused." :? If the situation was as I understand it, it seems as though you would have the right-of-way. There's no need to re-explain yourself. If I think about it long enough, I'll figure it out. I guess sometimes, you just have to "be there."

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:38 pm 
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David,
Yeah, I have thought about it alot even since the first posting. The longer that I think about it the fuzzier the details become to me, like I said it was my first race and there was a lot going through my head as I was rounding that mark but I think that this is how it happened. And I am still a little confused on right of way, I plan on getting the vids and manuals when I got some extra cash. But, I don't think I did have to tack to round the mark, I could have confused it with a different race as the wind was shifty at the mark. After seeing ncmbm's post I think he is right, I was pointing high and the other guy sailing broader, faster, and passing at the mark. We were both approaching the mark around the same time, as I got there he was zooming in along side, again I was to leward. He made is turn first, shortly after completing the pass, coming somewhat broadside to me. If I would have continued to sail my course until I was clear to turn around the mark I would have hit him. If I would have beared off to port I would have hit the mark. The only option I saw to avoid the two was to bear off to starboard, and since I was already pointing as high as I could go, I went into irons and stalled at the mark. When I beared back off to port to continue downwind(starbord tack) I caught the mark's anchor line with my rudder. I think that is about as clear as my memory can get, I wish I had the other guy's side of the story. Does this clear it up at all? I think it all just boils down to the fact that I was unsure of the situation and didn't really play my cards right. But until I get some more experience on the ract course I can't really speak of rules with any certainty. Thanks for all the replies.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:08 am 
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I'm not sure if I understand the exact circumstances of this event, but it appears to me that you were approaching the windward mark, pinching to make the mark due to under standing, with another boat windward of you reaching to the mark from perhaps over standing. As you both approach the mark, if you have established an overlap by the time you reach the 2-boatlength circle, the windward boat must give you "room" to round the mark. If the windward boat gets "clear ahead" of the leeward boat prior to the 2-boatlength circle, he has established right-of-way and the trailing boat must avoid.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:10 pm 
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From what I remember, at the mark, I could have jumped from my boat onto his. It was more or less a close call kind of situation, or maybe it just seemed that way to me.

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