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Old 08-05-2012
bobbylockes bobbylockes is offline
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racing rules question narrow channel

I was sailing in the weekly competition in very light wind bf 1/2. The most favourable course to the first upwind mark was to sail between 2 reed islands. I was leading as I entered the narrow channel on starboard tack. The second place boat dipped under me slightly and we both sailed to use the full width of the channel before tacking again. I tacked onto port tack the second place boat onto starboard tack and we approached each other in the middle of the narrow channel. I knew I eyed the boat up and concluded i woud not get passed the starboard tack boat without him clipping the stern of my boat so I tacked under him. So we were in a situation in the middle of the narrow channel where I had tacked and need to gain moment as he began to pass me to windward. AS he began to pass, I said I'll need room shortly. To my astonishment he replied "no, you should've dipped me". As we both started to approach the reeds, both on the same tack just about level with each other, I requested room to tack. He repeated you should've dipped under me. I began my tack slowly as my bow touched the first reeds, repeating I need room. Incredibly, the guy left his tiller and pushed my boat away into the reeds with my hands and then tacked away. I protested. A witness stated that when I tacked I was in the middle of the narrow channel, of equal distance from either reed island. The other boat argued that I tacked myself into the problem and was too close to the reeds to tack. I argued dipping was out of the question as I was too far ahead and would've had to fall away drastically. I would've headed half-wind towards the reeds the other side, which was far worse than taking the moment out of the boat and heading to the other reeds at less speed. I argued tacking was not only a legal option but it was also the safest option.

The jury disagreed, they said I should not have tacked, but should've fallen off.

Funny thing, is the guy in that boat is a national official and protest room jury member for many many years. I feel this is the reason why the less experience jury sided with his take on the situation.

I'd like to know the thoughts of the sailnet racing community on this situation.

Last edited by bobbylockes; 08-05-2012 at 07:57 AM.
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