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Thread: How much room to give racers when you can't see the course? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-27-2008 09:13 AM
canadianseamonkey I was in race yesterday and I've realized how many dumbasses are out there. They have no common sense or clue on what is going on. We had one sailboat motoring, cut in front of the fleet. Since he was motoring he could have easily stayed on the side till we cleared. It was also an eye opening to how many powerboaters disrespect sailboats. On several occassions we had huge powerboats/trawlers not slowing down and come as close as a few hundred feet making huges wake and causing confusing seas. We had 25 knots of wind. At the finish line, a 50 trawler pulling his dinghy 30 feet back and going way too fast for a no-wake zone, blew his horn to get the boats out of the way.

So to answer your question, stay clear as a common courtesy and yes, dirty air is not appreciated.
07-26-2008 07:46 PM
chucklesR While it's hard to find a better reference for all things maritime and sailing related neither the Annapolis Book of Seamenship nor Chapmans (both of which are on my book shelf) are legal.
I refer you to the requirement to of documented vessels to fly the ensign from 8 am to sunset - there is not clause saying 'unless racing'

Ensign of the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Granted this was repealed (much to my chagrin) in the Vessel Documentation Act of 1980 - I choose to ignore that repeal - as you said based on historical and conventional pride and patriotism.
07-26-2008 11:30 AM
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
No. I leave mine on because I am a documented vessel. It has nothing to do with racing.
Documentation/registration status does not apply. Historically and conventionally a racing boat does not fly the national ensign during a race.

Check "Annapolis Book of Seamenship" or Chapmans.

sail fast, dave
07-25-2008 04:15 PM
Originally Posted by AE28 View Post
If you're flying the National Ensign on your stern, is that still a generally accepted sign that you're not racing?
No. I leave mine on because I am a documented vessel. It has nothing to do with racing.
07-25-2008 01:38 PM
RAGTIMEDON Courtesy rules! just stay away from the race whenever possible. Keep up the illusion that sailors are smarter and more courteous, and power boaters are A-holes! They generally do their part!
07-25-2008 11:51 AM
On a race course

Sailormon6 mentions something that is very important, and that is the effect of "dirty air" on another boat. A boat in your wind shadow can be slowed down very much by the disturbed or decreased wind caused by your sails. I have had one instance where some one planted himself just to windward of me, and I simply asked if he was racing. He said no, and immediately got what I was saying and headed off, getting a big "thanks" from me. However another time I had a boat with a mast about twice as tall as mine, motoring with the main up, get about two boat lengths in front of me in a light air race, effectively stopping me dead in the water, and not even noticing. He was oblivious to anyone else, figuring if he didn't actually hit any boats it must be okay, I guess. I went from a possible first to a fourth in that one. I always try to notice where I am in regards to any racer and stay as far away as possible. It's just courtesy.
07-25-2008 11:41 AM
HerbDB Dodging racing fleets is standard getting in and out of Annapolis on a weekend. There are usually at least three or four fleets racing. I try to stay heads up and out of the way - they are racing and I am just out for a sail. I know that I would hate to lose a race because of a boat moving thru the fleet.

I use the same philosophy with working boats in situations where I have right of way. I figure that they are trying to make a living and I am out having fun. I maneuver early to avoid them so there is no confusion.
07-25-2008 11:09 AM
zz4gta If I was cutting through a racecourse, I would give way to everyone and try to keep from feeding someone dirty air. Otherwise, just go around. You don't have to, but it would be the polite thing to do. The racers probably won't notice, but if you call 'starboard' on them and you're not racing, you can bet you're going to get a stink eye from the racing crew.
07-25-2008 10:34 AM
AE28 If you're flying the National Ensign on your stern, is that still a generally accepted sign that you're not racing?
07-25-2008 09:41 AM
SVAuspicious Kudos to Sailormon6. Be aware that racers are indeed use to sailing close to other boats, and if you are on the course they may get real close to you, feeling there is plenty of room.

Know your rules (the COLREGs and Inland Waterway rules, not racing rules). If you are the stand-on vessel then you should be able to do just that. If you are give-way, racers will generally expect you to do so although they won't completely trust you to know what you are doing.

On the boats I have raced with good communication and trust between helm and bow a crossing with inches to spare is not out of the ordinary.

On my own boat, I try to avoid start and finish lines, and turning marks and to pass behind racers on the course.

sail fast, dave
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