Originally Posted by eMKay
We were sailing this evening, and we know there are races on Wednesdays, we come outside the breakwall and sure enough, there they are, all in a big group, as we were sailing out we end up on the edge of the racing groups, crossing in front of a normal permanent bouy that they seemed to be using as a mark, while a boat with actual racing bouys on it was a few hundred yards away. Nobody yelled at us so I would assume we were not in anyones way, normal rules apply?
I race cars as my other hobby and I know if grandma in her buick somehow found her way onto the track all hell would break loose, instant red flag, race stopped
For you, the normal rules apply. As a matter of courtesy to the racers, as well as safety, it's best to stay clear of the racers. Some of their racing rules are slightly different from your ROW rules, and they might not know which apply to you. Also, the racers will be sailing much more aggressively than the average sailor, crossing your bow or stern much more closely than usual. Also, just before the start of each racing class, there are a lot of boats sailing in every direction in a very confined area, and, if you aren't accustomed to it, it can be intimidating or even dangerous. When I'm not racing, I always try to avoid getting into a position where I'm giving a racer disturbed air off my sails. It's not required that I do so by any rule. It's just that the race is important to the racers, and I don't want to be a factor in it, and ruin his fun. Technically, you have all the same rights as the racers to sail wherever you want, whenever you want, but it's always appropriate to extend courtesies to others and to exercise sound and safe judgment.