two collisions in one night, I''m not happy - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 09-23-2005
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two collisions in one night, I''''m not happy

The first collision occured when I was fetching the windward mark on Starboard tack. Just as I was about to round it a boat,on port tack tried to pinch between me and the mark. I new he was going to hit the mark so I either had to tack away or luff up. Since their were other boats on starboard behind me I chose to luff which put me in Iorns and I drifted down and hit the mark.THat was protest # one.
The second involved the same boat at the finish line. He was overtaking boat yet insisted on trying to push me into the RC boat.I hailed for room repeatedly but to no avail the more I yelled the more he shut the door. It was either him or the RC so I hit him and filed protest #2. He heard me on the radio and told the RC that he accepted both so he was DQ''d but he made me drop from first to fourth with his unsafe sailing.(Mind you it''s dark here on the east coast when we finish our evening races. At one point he was yelling Starboard! repeatedly to another boat in a crossing situation until I informed him he was on port.This concerns the RC enough that the''ve sent him a letter based on article 69?
And I''ll be involved in that hearing next Thursday. The net result could mean that he can no longer race in any Mass Bay races.
Has anyone had similar experiences?
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Old 09-27-2005
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two collisions in one night, I''''m not happy

Noname,

Sorry to hear about your experience. Guys like this make it discouraging to go out racing. Most skippers know the rules somewhat or fairly well and try to sail by them. Seems like some fleets end up with skippers who either can''t be bothered to learn the rules (even basics) or know them but don''t follow them and don''t practice good sportsmanship. I''ve seen the phenomenon of skippers using the word "starboard" as a catch all warning to others that loosely translates as "I don''t give a damn whether I''m the give way boat or not, stay out of my way!"

It might be a good idea to poll other fleet members to find out if anyone else has had a run in with this fellow. If so ask them to contact the hearing board. That way the possibility of this being a personal spat between the two of you can be ruled out.

Allen Flanigan
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Old 09-28-2005
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two collisions in one night, I''''m not happy

After speaking to several other people in the fleet,that night,It turns out he''s done this kind of thing before on many occasions. One guy went so far as to say he was happy he switched fleets(from (c) fleet to (A) fleet) so that he didn''t have to start with him anymore.
wheather or not I can get them to come forward is another story. It seems like people dont want to get invlolved.
John
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Old 09-28-2005
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two collisions in one night, I''''m not happy

..That''s whether not wheather...the edit function on this boad doesn''t seem to work.
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Old 09-28-2005
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two collisions in one night, I''''m not happy

This reminds me of a funny story that happened when I was a kid.

I have an Uncle who should never set foot on a boat. While not a particularly timid man, sailing makes him nervous. He does not fear heeling or the other things that often make first time sailors nervous, but his is the simple fear of getting hit by another boat. He only sailed with us on a couple occasions back when I was a kid in the 1960’s. On the most memorable day, it was a windy day in summer on Long Island Sound. As each boat seemed to close with us, he would point and warn, “That boat is going to hit us.” Each time, we would look and usually realize that there was no problem and then say, "Don''t worry, it always looks closer than it really is." But oddly enough, he was close to right three separate times while we were out that day.

The first close call was young woman steering an old steel powerboat. She was alone in the cockpit and obviously had not steered much. As the two boats closed with each other she developed ‘object fixation’ and began altering course ever so slightly to stay locked onto a collision course with us. As she rapidly approached, we began hailing her, and even blew the horn as she clearly was tracking us. As she grew closer we could see that the expression on her face was sheer panic. Yet, she stood essentially frozen, her eyes locked on our boat, aiming at our midships. At the last moment, a man came diving out of the cabin and spun the wheel; veering astern, only missing us by a few feet.

Later that day, we were beam reaching up the Sound and my uncle points at a large black schooner off in the distance and again said, “That boat is going to hit us.” Again, my father explained that it always looks like that from a distance but boats rarely actually hit. Still and all, this big black boat seems to be heading our way. As the boat looms closer, we realized that the boat in question is the then brand new Schaefer Brewery owned replica of the yacht ‘America’. As she draws closer she really seemed to be ‘hunting’ us. At the last minute we turn up and she turns down but just then a gust hits laying us both over and slows ‘America’s’ swing away from us. We pass a couple boat lengths (our boat’s length not theirs) apart. It turns out that they were filming a documentary and had people waving madly on board and a camera crew recording when the boats they passed waved back.

Despite the close calls, we returned safely to the mooring and were lounging comfortably in the cockpit. My uncle was just starting to calm down, when he looked astern and saw a 22 foot Ensign beating through the mooring area. This was the normal way that an Ensign would approach to pick up her mooring and so it meant nothing to us. Sure enough, the boat passed very close astern and then as we all sat there watching, rammed amidships a neighboring boat in the next row of the mooring field with a massive rig jarring crash. We all just sat that slack jawed as my uncle’s worst fears were realized if not on our boat, on a neighbor''s.

A few weeks later, I told this story to an acquaintance at the yacht club. He knew the boat and had heard about the incident. In a reassuring way he said, “You won’t have to worry about him for the rest of the season. ‘They’ took his boom.” As this acquaintance explained, the collision we witnessed was this guy''s third collision in as many weeks. As it turned out, the fellow who rammed the boat near us was a brand new sailor. He’d been through a course on sailing, had bought an Ensign and had gone racing.

In his first couple races he’d hit two boats and then hit the boat in the mooring field that we witnessed. A couple of the senior members of the Ensign fleet decided that they needed to do something. In the middle of the night they stole his boom.

This was not exactly as cruel as it sounds. For the rest of the season members of the Ensign fleet made a point of inviting him sailing with them. Whenever posible they coached him on boat handling and sail trim, even making sure that he had a chance to steer on the way in from and out to the race course. I could not wait to find my Dad and tell him this juicy story.

A few years later, my Dad was watch captain on a night race up Long Island Sound. During the night, his watch was chatting casually as the boat ghosted in the light evening breezes. As each member of his watch took their turn talking about their sailing experience, one of the crew said he had an Ensign with two booms. Of course Dad asked, “Why do you have two booms?” The fellow explained, “It’s the weirdest thing. Someone had stolen my boom. I filed an insurance claim and they ordered a new boom from Pearson. It took months to get the new boom, but a few weeks after the new boom showed up, the folks who stole my original boom mysteriously returned it. The insurance company didn’t want either of the booms so I now have two booms.”

Suddenly, Dad realized who he was sailing with. When he later told me the story he said he was really relieved to have a dark night so that the man with two booms could not see the trouble he was having holding a straight face.

Good luck with your problem child.

Jeff
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Old 09-28-2005
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two collisions in one night, I''''m not happy

Jeff,

Thanks for the delightful story to read while I sat eating my lunch! I think it was wonderful that those guys found a way to work with their problem child...stealing his boom for a while yet asking him sailing to do some "teaching"...what a great solution to a frustrating problem.

bobbi
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Old 09-30-2005
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two collisions in one night, I''''m not happy

There seem to always be a few in every fleet, and generally their reputations don''t help them in the protest room even when they are "right." I was recently on a race where a particular navigation buoy had to be left to starboard. (In fact, even if not required, a prudent sailor would leave it to starboard because of the depth of water and submerged rocks.) Well, Mr. Enjoyable decided to risk the bad water and left it to port. Up went our flag (he wasn''t within hailing distance.) When we caught him at the next mark and advised we wer protesting him, he screamed, "Only an idiot would leave that buoy to port." (We were inclined to agree. It seemed the shoe fit.) Upon crossing him again on the next tack, he screamed at us that he left the mark on the correct side. We can only surmise that his crew must have advised him that he would be alone in the protest room, for when he rounded the mark, he headed for home and a DNF.
The same guy used his engine 4 times to get off the ground in another race and then interfered with a number of boats that were still racing. He never fessed up, but since he finished DFL, nobody bothered to protest. We just try to stay as far away from him on the course as possible.
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Old 10-08-2005
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two collisions in one night, I''''m not happy

That was a great story.Maybe it was this guys grandfather.
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Old 11-18-2005
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two collisions in one night, I''''m not happy

UNFORTUNATELY I WAS ON THE BOAT.
No collisions just tactics

When I was about 5 years old my grandad and I entered a dinghy race. It was the national race of the particular class of dinghy. Right at the start a big fog cloud came down as the starter gun went off. There was a little confusion and then a restart signal. The race was restarted, but no one could even see the start line throuhg the fog, let alone the course. We ended up sailing in amongst moored boats. Then went off for about an hour or so sail around the harbour. Then decided to go back across the finish line of the race we would have been in, just for fun before going home. In doing so we won by a good few minutes. My grandad never let on to anyone and would not allow me to discuss our tactics with anyone. The trophy has sat in his lounge now for over 20 years.
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Old 04-24-2006
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It was my second time racing in my 39 foot Beneteau Oceanis sailboat, and I had very experienced racing crew on board - but they were experienced with racing on other sailboats. This was their first time racing on mine. The vast majority of the racing fleet consisted of sailboats in the range of 20 to 30 feet, with sailboats that were tuned for racing and crews that were very experienced with their boats.

My sailboat is rigged and loaded for cruising, so the other sailboats were passing us quickly toward the next mark.

As we approached the next mark, one of my crew excited shouted for me to round the mark NOW, expecting that we could get our boat upwind from the others who had rounded the mark widely. There was room for us, but I turned too quickly and then the genoa got caught as we turned in our tack and ended up with the genoa backing against the main sail. The genoa is larger than our mainsail, so the boat came to a stop and started drifting down-wind onto the mark, which was a very large metal buoy.

We touched the buoy near the back of the boat and at a very slow speed, so there was no damage other the impact to my ego.

Now we were obligated to take a self-imposed penalty and make a full circle around the buoy. With the genoa freshly freed from its death grip, I could have continued my turn to port and gone around the buoy quickly.

Then I saw a number of remaining boats in the racing fleet bearing down toward the same buoy. If I continued my turn to port I would have the right of way over them, but I would have slowed them down forcing them to avoid me.

Since I only race once or twice a year, and the approaching boats race every week, I told my crew to tack again, and I got us well away of the mark to avoid interfering with the regular racers. By the time I got us back to the mark and did our penalty turn around the buoy, I figure we had lost 4 minutes or more.

We placed dead last in the race, but we didn't hit anything else and we did not get disqualified. My decision (to give up our place in the race to let the regular racers continue without being impacted by my error) was respected by my crew and by the other racers. It is, and should be, a gentleman's sport after all.

We've been invited back to additional races, but next time I'll avoid getting too close to the mark.
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