Greetings from 3rd place! Sunday was forecasted to be about 13 kts with gusts over 20 – and would say that we mostly got about that (or a bit less) with a few good gusts. It was also sunny and warm, which was a nice contrast to last week. Good to see so many folks out there and thank you to Ethan and Eva for running 6 races!
This was also the first weekend in a long while (at least as per my recent memory) when we had protests – and we had two! This prompted lively rule discussions with witnesses and other interested parties in the parking lot after racing. The one I brought involved Rule 17 (“On the same tack; proper course”) – and in hindsight, should also have included Rule 14, but more on that below. I was heading downwind between two boats and towards the end of our downwind leg (but before the circle) each one thought that they could head towards me and there was contact. Will let the others weigh in on the other protest (if they choose).
Here is a video about Rule 17 that I found particularly helpful, especially the part at the beginning about rights depending on how the overlap occurred and the discussion of “proper course.”
This experience also reminded me of Rule 14 (“avoiding contact”) which generally states that a right-of-way boat does not have to keep clear unless it is clear that the other boat is not keeping clear. In other words, contact does not need to happen for a boat to be in the wrong.
And related – it also reminded me about the importance of communication on the water, not just when super close to other boats, but in preparation for mark rounding, confirming if one can cross on port (or not), etc.
Overall, now thinking that in addition to a tip of the week, it might also be a good idea to discuss rules after sailing, at least from time to time. I know I would find it helpful.
In terms of technique and boat setup, I’ve been trying to focus more on speed over pointing upwind, which means easing my mainsheet quite a bit to keep the boat flat and generally playing it more – and being sure to keep a lot of vang, tight cunningham, and just a couple inches of draft – i.e., not totally strapped. It seems to be helping. Downwind, I’m trying to use my rudder less and weight/sheeting more (thanks for the reminder, Steen!).
Looking forward to next week!