Originally Posted by rhr1956
Don't hit anybody...Check. Bring beer...Check. Is that all?
Jebus... no wonder cruisers complain that racers are irresponsible.
Look my friend, it isn't rocket surgery but there is a little more to it than "don't hit anybody". Knowing right of way technicalities is a bit important.
1. Know the starting sequence (flags, sound signals).
2. Know what VHF channel the race committee is on (if they use VHF)
3. Just as in general navigation, boats on stbd tack are the "stand on" vessel, boats on port tack must give way.
4. You MUST leave room for your competition, within 3 boat lengths of the mark. You cannot just cut them off.
5. You should have studied your club's NOR (Notice of Race) and Racing Instructions. They usually publish this on the club's website. Each race will have specific rules, in addition to the general racing rules that the sailing world observes.
This is the minimum that you should do, even for a casual club race. If you decide you like racing your own boat, I encourage you to read a little deeper into the RRS (Racing Rules of Sailing). Good luck!