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Recently did my first beer can. The course called for the start line to be WS. I assumed this to mean the mark W sould be on the starboard side of the boat. We were the closest boat to the mark as we approached it and the Committee boat radioed to tell us that we were approaching the mark on the wrong side. I can only assume that from the committee boats position, it appeared that we were going to pass with the mark on Port. Of course, this totally screwed up what would have been a great start (dumb luck) because we were suddenly distracted, trying to figure out what they were talking about. Was my assumption correct?
 

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Could WS also mean mark S should be to Windward? This is a case of finding the SI's (Sailing Instructions) and reading them to see what each different instruction from the Race Committee means. Maybe the line is between the two buoys W, and S. Maybe WS means a Windward Start (as opposed to a Leeward Start) between the committee boat and a nearby mark that is understood to be the starting line. To provide better answers to your question we need more information than has been provided.
 

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There is no posting for the start line. It is always between the RC boat (RC orange Flag) and a nearby buoy or mark (S). It is almost always into the wind.

What you read was the race course WS, which meant sail directly to
(W)indward and return to the (S)tart mark. A two leg race. Out and back.

You need to read the SI for your club.
 
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