I doubt that you have 900 foot container ships coming and going around Newport. If these guys were messing with me, then you can bet they were doing the same with the ships and that the pilot's association was all over the CG to reign in the racers, too.
Bottom line, if you are out playing, keep clear of those working, no matter the rules. I'm not going to put my vessel, passengers (up to 49) or crew in jeopardy to avoid some jerk trying to win a race of ZERO importance to anyone but that skipper. Maybe they'll put a star on the wall of the YC with the inscription; "He killed his crew and died trying to win a senseless race".
And just to put things in perspective, I raced on the Bay for 7 seasons, taking first place in class in 5 of those 7, so I have some idea of what racing toy boats in unimportant races is all about. The only reason a skipper would put himself (and his crew) in jeopardy with a commercial vessel is for the thrill, because it certainly is not prudent seamanship.
Let's try this again, as I think you missed my question entirely.
First, we do have container ships in East Passage, but they are not relevant to my question. None around at the time.
Second, I'm not racing. I'm just frequently transiting the passage and meet one of the day sailing schooners out of Newport.
The schooner is under sail, with water clearly exiting the exhaust. They always raise the sails, even if motor sailing for the tourists.
We are on a collision course with the schooner and have stand on responsibilities, according to the ColRegs, no matter whether they are sailing or being propelled by machinery.
That's the scenario.
Out of courtesy, I would try to maneuver to give the working vessel their tack across the passage, but that's not always safe. The passage is often full of boats and most often there is another nearby, who I would impede instead, clearly in violation of the ColRegs, as they would expect me to stand on.
Am I to give way no matter what to a day sailing schooner? That seems to be their expectation, as I've never seen one move. Like I said above, there is nothing about skinny water or narrow channels that's preventing them from tacking. If there were, I'd fully get it and would be clearly required to give way and those around me should expect me to.
I'm happy to be courteous and try to be, whenever remotely possible. I don't push it, just for the sake of the "rules". However, there comes a point when the schooner needs to give way, as expected, and they never do.
Do you agree with this scenario (not meeting up with racers)?