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The penalty for any infringement by the way is a 360 deg turn. It this tight racing we have now it is far, far better to back off than lose 3 or 4 places doing a penalty turn you could have easily avoided.
I should like to start the ball rolling with a couple of obvious ones.
1. Starboard boat has Right Of Way (ROW).
This is the most basic rule of all and must be adhered to at ALL times with NO exceptions. Boats on Starboard tack have ROW over any on Port tack, up or down wind.
2. Giving Mark Room to the inside boat.
Without getting into drawn out discussions and technical explanations, it simply means allowing the inside boat at a mark to have room to make ‘their’ turn without being rammed by you. Now this topic usually spirals down into overlaps and distances out from a mark that an overlap occurs etc etc. blah, blah.
This is making something easy to understand more complex than it is.
If there is a boat or any part of a boat between you and a mark, give them plenty of room to make ‘their’ turn. ie, dont start making your turn until they do.
There are a couple of times during a race where this is likely to occur. At the starting line and tacking in front of another boat right in front of a mark
Again, common sense and etiquette tells you what must happen here.
At the ‘favoured’ end of a starting line if there is no room between the boat closest to the mark and the mark itself DON’T try to push in. Instead, move further down the line and start there. You will avoid the ‘rafting up’ and conflict that often occurs in that situation and you are also much more likely to get cleaner air and a faster start.
At any mark, don’t try to cut in (barging) between another boat and the mark itself by tacking right in front of that other boat. It’s poor form, is penalised by the RRS and is unnecessary. Ducking under them or sailing further past their line before tacking yourself will often result in you being in a better position on the next leg anyway.
Ok, there is a start, now it’s up to you to voice your opinion on good and simple rules to follow that will make our sailing experience more enjoyable…..
Another thought …
The more I do this, the more convinced I am that the percentage sailing strategy is to avoid congestion and keep looking out in front of your boat at all times. A distance of anything up to 5 metres ahead will alert you to incoming dangers that might cost you distance, places, or the race itself