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post #31 of 38 Old 06-20-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Collision: Bad News and Good News

Well, thank you.
I've had a few mishaps, emergency fend offs, even a scuff or two. I always owned up to it, but never incurred any expense. I did find the whole experience positive. I called the other boaters yesterday to tell them the outcome. They were relieved and pleased.
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Re: Collision: Bad News and Good News

Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
That's one of the reasons why I don't race. Racers generally seem to think that ordinary prudent seamanship and the rules of the road don't apply to them because "we're racing".

Courts have ruled differently.
Yeah... damned those crazy racer guys...

Jon, you couldn't be more wrong. It's great to be in a tight mark rounding with a bunch of boats knowing that everyone driving is pretty darn good at it and that the odds of collision are actually very small. I'd say far far less than the typical weekend cruiser docking their boat. The experience of tight quarters maneuvering is incredibly valuable. Docks, locks, other boats, are much less stressful to be around. It's also great to be in heavy weather with a well prepped boat and competent crew. When/if things go wrong, the skill sets to sort things out is very large. I just don't understand why the vast majority of sailneters have so much disdain for racing. It's like everyone had sand kicked in their face by the big beach bully. Around here I'd say a majority of 'serious' racers have/do cruise(d) a lot. It's just not a mutually exclusive deal.

Anyhow, to the OP, glad you're boat is sorted out and you're back on the water!
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post #33 of 38 Old 06-20-2012
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Re: Collision: Bad News and Good News

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Originally Posted by puddinlegs View Post
I just don't understand why the vast majority of sailneters have so much disdain for racing.
I've seen too many instances where, rather than being prudent, civil and following the COLREGS, a right of way boat rammed another who had misjudged their distance. (for example)

We have the right of way dammit!

I never said that racers weren't skilled sailors, just that they frequently aren't very GOOD or prudent sailors. Witness the recent deaths in S.F. - would you say that skipper was a GOOD sailor? I'm sure the crew was VERY skilled. Same thing for the S.S. race here a couple of years ago. In that instance, a GOOD sailor would never have gone out, whereas many highly skilled racing sailors did, with the predictable subsequent carnage.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #34 of 38 Old 06-20-2012
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Re: Collision: Bad News and Good News

Jon,
A couple boats that stayed out were well equipped to do so and managed things quite well. Then again, they've done multiple ocean crossings including cruising with the family to Australia, doing SYdney Hobart, and sailing back to Vancouver when they were done. If I remember correctly, the owner was also in the '79 Fastnet crewing as a young man. Many others chose not to leave the dock for the particular Southern Straights race you mention including US and Canadian Olympic metalists. There were many more 'prudent' sailors that day than you give credit. You also understand that racers have no interest in actually hitting each other, don't you? You can get you tossed even if you were 'right'.

Last edited by puddinlegs; 06-20-2012 at 03:12 PM.
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Re: Collision: Bad News and Good News

For the OP,

You are a man of serious class... I would be hopping mad. Hopefully I would calm down before talking to anyone, but I doubt I would handle it with your grace.



Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
I've seen too many instances where, rather than being prudent, civil and following the COLREGS, a right of way boat rammed another who had misjudged their distance. (for example)

We have the right of way dammit!

I never said that racers weren't skilled sailors, just that they frequently aren't very GOOD or prudent sailors. Witness the recent deaths in S.F. - would you say that skipper was a GOOD sailor? I'm sure the crew was VERY skilled. Same thing for the S.S. race here a couple of years ago. In that instance, a GOOD sailor would never have gone out, whereas many highly skilled racing sailors did, with the predictable subsequent carnage.
Jon,

The reason that racers ignore the COLREGs is, well because they don't apply to boats while racing. And the courts have been unanimous in applying the RRS to collisions that occur while racing. Basically the courts have concluded that the agreement to enter a race includes a binding arbitration agreement that replaces the COLREGs with the racing rules that have been adopted.

In most of the US a regatta can go even further. We register our regattas with the USCG and for the duration of the race, in the area we have defined and been permitted, the COLREGs are suspended for all boats in our racing area, and only the RRS apply. So if a cruiser enters our racing area, they are also bound by the RRS not COLREGs (good reason to read the weekly notice to mariners).

Are there more collisions during races than when cruising? Probably, but that doesn't mean for a moment that it has anything to do with the seamanship of those who are racing. It has to do with the fact that racing is an inherently riskier activity than sailing alone.

Edit to include citations

See
http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-1st-circuit/1316530.html
947 F.2d at 1173
Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C.  1 et seq.
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Last edited by Stumble; 06-20-2012 at 02:51 PM.
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post #36 of 38 Old 06-20-2012
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Re: Collision: Bad News and Good News

Well said Stumble. Thank you. The COLREGS that are taken very seriously while racing here are those having to do with commercial traffic.

Now Jon, if you were to sail your boat across a fleet heading up wind and you had the right of way, the racers might not be pleased, but that's life. Honestly, even though it gets crowded around here at times, it just doesn't happen all that often.If you were a prudent seaman, you probably wouldn't push the issue. I certainly won't if we're out tooling around on the boat and cross paths with a racing fleet. Being that I enjoy both sides of the sailing coin, I just have a hard time with either side calling the other poor seamen, etc... as you have. I'm sorry if you've had poor experiences with your local race fleets in Vancouver. Like any other part of the sport, there are good eggs and bad. People who strictly cruise? Anecdotally it seems that about half don't understand that starboard boats have the right of way. Many seem to think that if their boat's bigger, that's good enough... kind of an SUV mentality. But I'm not willing to let the bad eggs spoil the whole cruising show. It's sort of a 'we've met the enemy and they are us' thing.

Sorry for the highjack. All done.

Last edited by puddinlegs; 06-20-2012 at 02:51 PM.
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Re: Collision: Bad News and Good News

Racers get used to manuvering their boats close to other boats, so proximity isn't a cause for alarm. When I have to fall off to duck a boat, I'm going to fall off enough to pass safely astern. Its just my definition of "safely astern" might be different than someone that purely cruises.

I know cruisers that get upset and star to freak out if another boat gets within 3 boat lengths, and and know racers that think 6" is plenty of clearance. I fall somewhere between those but the distance would be more like a few feet than a few boat lengths for me.

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Re: Collision: Bad News and Good News

Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
I've seen too many instances where, rather than being prudent, civil and following the COLREGS, a right of way boat rammed another who had misjudged their distance. (for example)

We have the right of way dammit!

I never said that racers weren't skilled sailors, just that they frequently aren't very GOOD or prudent sailors. Witness the recent deaths in S.F. - would you say that skipper was a GOOD sailor? I'm sure the crew was VERY skilled. Same thing for the S.S. race here a couple of years ago. In that instance, a GOOD sailor would never have gone out, whereas many highly skilled racing sailors did, with the predictable subsequent carnage.
Above Post Rating: Fail.

I'll grant you that a bad decision was made in the CF race...although some would argue that it was just chance.

But there is no doubt that racers generally have far more sailing skills (and, without a doubt, far more training and education) than cruisers. And this is precisely because racers DO go out in stuff that keeps cruisers at the dock.

The vast, vast majority of them make it back just fine...fix whatever broke...and do it again.

Racing is good for cruisers. And cruising is good for racers. If you only do one - you're missing out on a hell of a lot.

S/V Dawn Treader - 1989 Hunter Legend 40

Last edited by smackdaddy; 06-20-2012 at 03:07 PM.
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