Is racing at night through channels common? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 45 Old 09-19-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Is racing at night through channels common?

I sent a message to the club. No Reply. It wasn't caustic, just clear.

I know people in the racing community here, but I'd rather not go that route.

The only thing that would make me feel better is a note from the club or skipper saying something to the effect of: "sorry about that, was not our intention to wreck your evening!"

That's all they need to say.
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post #12 of 45 Old 09-19-2016
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Re: Is racing at night through channels common?

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Originally Posted by arf145 View Post
Yes, plenty of room for racers-- with other racers. Just because a boat is racing this doesn't put every sailboat in the vicinity in racing mode where clearing "civilians" by 15 feet is OK. Just reading it ticks me off.
Not that I put it past someone racing to pass that close but, I agree with Roverhi, that the seriousness of the event is probably magnified by not seeing the boat racing until the very last second and being surprised. I was pleasure sailing yesterday in about 1/2 mile visibility and looked around crew on the bow and saw a boat where I thought there were none. They were still far away with no chance of collision but still seeing a boat where you thought there were none is a shock.

It was probably another Friday night race that the dwindling daylight hours caught up to. Except for offshore races or end of season every race I have participated in was in daylight.

Some racers will be uncool, but generally the boats that I have raced on we will not get close to boat not racing, because they are unpredictable. We usually communicate with a non racing boat. In the case here we would yell to "Ninefingers" "Hold your course, you are fine." We will state our intention or sometimes ask them to alter course a little bit, with the warning there are 25 more boats behind us. Generally unless our tactician is the "French Guy", we are very courteous to non racing boats and even more so to very large boats in the channel.

I liken a cruiser passing through a race course as having a yuppy being in the wrong part of town. Just because you don't like the way people around you look does not mean you are in immediate danger, but to feel comfortable it is best to stay away. Someone passing two boat lengths in front of you is a non issue to a racer but a near miss to a cruiser.

I am sure it has happened but I have never seen a collision between a racer and non racer. I have seen quite a few racers rubbing paint, including two T-bones last week. Neither caused fatalities and all 3 of the boats continued racing, for the weekend. The boat that dropped out was T-boned by a 55 foot cruiser who was racing. The owner of the 42 foot boat he hit probably could have raced but might have had enough for one day or maybe racing all together.

Jordan
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post #13 of 45 Old 09-19-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Is racing at night through channels common?

I know what you are saying with regards to racers knowing their closing distances, but this was dark, not sunset, but dark, with an enormous amount of light pollution giving mixed signals, traffic lights on shore, etc...at one point I confused a plane on the nearby runway with a boat.

If I had trimmed my sails 30 seconds earlier, I don't know how he could have detected my increase of 1/2 knot in speed.

Again, I will say that I did not see him so I am to blame as well. I was reefed in 10 knots of wind just to be cautious.

There was verbal commotion on his vessel after passing, (not laughter), so perhaps some of his crew were surprised as well. Most of the boats that passed my port side, (which was easier to see), had 4 to 5 people on the rail. Those boats would have crew members that could easily see me. The boat that passed my bow had only one person, (captain).who could see me due to his large genoa.

It's just seemed all too unnecessary.
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post #14 of 45 Old 09-19-2016
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Re: Is racing at night through channels common?

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Originally Posted by jephotog View Post
I liken a cruiser passing through a race course as having a yuppy being in the wrong part of town. Just because you don't like the way people around you look does not mean you are in immediate danger, but to feel comfortable it is best to stay away. Someone passing two boat lengths in front of you is a non issue to a racer but a near miss to a cruiser.
Some cruisers may liken racers to a motorcycle gang weaving around highway traffic. Perceptions differ.

We're all supposed to follow the rules.

Your point about how close is "too close" is very well taken. The approach you describe is courteous. Well done. You may need to lean on the "French guy." *grin*

sail fast and eat well, dave S/V Auspicious

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Re: Is racing at night through channels common?

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Some cruisers may liken racers to a motorcycle gang weaving around highway traffic. Perceptions differ.
Agreed, I was a cruiser this weekend motoring out of Newport Beach and there was a dinghy race blocking the entire harbor. You should have heard me berating those inconsiderate racers to my crew. On the drive to the marina I had a motorcycle on the freeway. Standing up doing a wheelie. He started in the right lane and at one point was on my Stbd Stern, so I could not get over, then passed me and proceeded to weave across all lanes. I called 911.

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We're all supposed to follow the rules.
Absolutely, as long as you don't hit or impede someone you have followed the Colregs to the law. The "too close" thing is subjective. I have heard a boat yell a blood curdling "STARBOARD" when another boat passed within 5+ boat lengths ahead. The crew sitting on the rail broke out laughing. The cruiser thought he just escaped death the racers thought the man dragging his dinghy while wearing his Captain's hat was a bit timid.

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You may need to lean on the "French guy." *grin*
We just hang our head in shame, while secretly smiling. He is a good tactician and what he says is usually right but just said in an obnoxious french way in an obnoxious french accent, and we get to blame it on the French. Think of Knights of the Holy Grail.



https://youtu.be/9V7zbWNznbs?t=27s

The one time he was both polite was a night Dennis Conner came aboard. After the end of the race we did a tour of the harbour where DC told us the history of boats in the harbor ending with SV Dorade which went on to win the Pacific Cup that year. When our Frenchie helped Dennis with the proper pronunciation of Dorade, we found out How Dennis feels about the French. In case you are wondering, Dennis is not a fan.
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Re: Is racing at night through channels common?

It was dark, the crossing may not have been as close as it seemed.
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Re: Is racing at night through channels common?

I managed to skirt the Friday Night Races in Havre de Grace last week, which meant I had to go well out of the channel, cruise very close to the rocky shoreline, then get back into the channel so I could pass beneath the Amtrac Bridge. I'm amazed that there are not more accidents during the races, especially when you consider the number of fairly, evenly matched boats involved, all making the turns at about the same time. Some were just inches apart, there was lots of yelling, and for the most part, I guess they were having fun. It's just not my idea of fun, probably because I'm an old fart!

Gary
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Re: Is racing at night through channels common?

Before digging into the racer too much, was there a marine exclusion zone or notice for the race? At least in the US it is very common for serious races to have permits with the USCG to exclude non-race boats from certain waters during the race.

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Re: Is racing at night through channels common?

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Before digging into the racer too much, was there a marine exclusion zone or notice for the race?
I don't think the location of the race is at issue. It's the proximity of the boat racing when he was the stand on boat. I don't think he is going to call the coast guard and say, when I was sailing in the "no sail" zone I was cut off by a racer. I am assuming since the OP was there it was a legal sailing zone. It would be like calling the police and complaining, 'I was just in that neighborhood to buy some meth and I got mugged!'

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Re: Is racing at night through channels common?

"we are racing" seems to create brass spheres on racers that take on anyone as they yell to the clueless and confused

Rules it seems, are made to be broken and only apply to the "others"

I do have some experience in this so I do know some of what I speak.

I'll never forget the bow of the 10,000 lb boat about to t-bone my starboard winch location, when they were about 5 feet close, my wheel finally responded enough for the hard turnto starboard kiss and finish rounding the nun, as the oncoming boat's crew all stood up yelling "Denise you are wrong" while making the strike a glancing blow rather then a crash.
opposing wind and current had me dead in the water with full sails up. (150 genny too)

I've seen this same scene many times over the years as they "race"

My "experienced" crew of one said they won't hit you Denise" after he said.. they actually did hit you!"

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Last edited by deniseO30; 09-20-2016 at 12:39 AM.
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