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post #1 of 65 Old 06-22-2009 Thread Starter
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Hold your course?

I was racing this weekend and having a great time at our father's day regatta...
An incident did occur that brought up a question...

I was on a starboard tack, the other boat (a friend) was on a port tack. It was clear from our perspective that the port side boat wasn't going to clear us with especially with the wind shifts that were occuring. We yelled starboard, he yelled back 'hold your course'...which I assumed meant make my best heading. The wind shilfted so I headed up higher, and I think he was still trying to out run us instead of ducking?!? Eventually he did duck but as he narrowly passed us he yelled at me 'I said hold your f&*$)ing course'.

Later he said he yelled because he was scared and appologized ... my question is should I have followed the lift as I was on a starboard tack....obviously we need to avoid an accident but when he yelled hold your course my choice as I saw it was duck (and possibly wipe out or head up and crash anyways or clear him on his bow.)

"The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labours hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective". -- Henry David Thoreau
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post #2 of 65 Old 06-22-2009
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You were wrong:

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RRS 16.2 "Changing Course: In addition, when after the starting signal, boats are about to cross or are crossing each other on opposite tacks, and the port-tack boat is keeping clear of the starboard-tack boat, the starboard-tack boat shall not change course if as a result the port-tack boat would immediately need to change course to continue keeping clear."
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post #3 of 65 Old 06-22-2009
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Originally Posted by GreatWhite View Post
....obviously we need to avoid an accident but when he yelled hold your course my choice as I saw it was duck (and possibly wipe out or head up and crash anyways or clear him on his bow.)
If he is planning to avoid you, and you make a sudden last second panicked move as he approaches, like heading down, then you can cause a collision. If he is about to cross your bow and you think you are going to ram him, then pinch up or even tack as necessary, but don't head down. Then file a protest.

If he is crossing your bow already and he is just about there and you have to duck a little, that's easier then tacking, but I think you were describing a situation where you each still had a few boat lengths to go.

Remember, he can't plot a course to avoid striking you if your course in not predictable.

Last edited by jarcher; 06-22-2009 at 12:40 PM.
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post #4 of 65 Old 06-22-2009 Thread Starter
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RRS 16.2 "Changing Course: In addition, when after the starting signal, boats are about to cross or are crossing each other on opposite tacks, and the port-tack boat is keeping clear of the starboard-tack boat, the starboard-tack boat shall not change course if as a result the port-tack boat would immediately need to change course to continue keeping clear."

From the description it sounds like the port boat is trying keep clear by ducking but the rule is saying it is illegal for the Starboard boat to bear off, making it hard for port boat to stay clear. In the case I decribed I headed up slightly which would increase the space IF the boat was trying to duck... the problem was I think the other boat was tring to cross our bow instead of ducking...

"The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labours hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective". -- Henry David Thoreau
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post #5 of 65 Old 06-22-2009 Thread Starter
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If he is about to cross your bow and you think you are going to ram him, then pinch up or even tack as necessary, but don't head down. Then file a protest.


This is exactly what I did (but he asked me to hold my course)...

"The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labours hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective". -- Henry David Thoreau
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post #6 of 65 Old 06-22-2009
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I would think he wanted you to maintain the course you were on and he would maneuver to avoid you so you don't look like 2 people who meet in a narrow hallway and are dancing around trying to get out of each others way. I could be wrong but that is how I understand the statement. I don't know if you were correct or not it is just what it would mean to me.

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post #7 of 65 Old 06-22-2009
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Well he admitted he was scared. If you had to head up to avoid hitting him then that was of course the proper thing to do, although I am having trouble visualizing how heading up as he crosses your bow avoids him. If you headed up to chase a lift then you were in the wrong.

It's up to him how he is going to stay clear. He can duck your stern or if he thinks he can cross your bow without you altering course, then he is free to do that. As long as you are not *forced* to alter your course he is okay.

I did a little more reading, and it seems that this rule change was designed to prevent exactly what you did. You didn't do it to mess with him, you were just taking advantage of a shift, but the effect was the same from his perspective.
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post #8 of 65 Old 06-22-2009
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If he was able to cross in front of you, then you weren't technically on a collision course. It was just a close crossing. If you changed course, you caused it to become a collision course. I'm not savvy enough about the rules to give you chapter and verse, but I'll bet it's in there. If I were crossing in front of someone, and they changed course to intercept me, I might yell too.


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post #9 of 65 Old 06-22-2009
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Wait, was this with you traveling upwind or downwind? I assumed that because you said you were lifted you were both beating...
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post #10 of 65 Old 06-22-2009 Thread Starter
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We were beating (heading up).

"The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labours hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective". -- Henry David Thoreau
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