Rules? There are Rules?
By svsc, Jan 10 2020 12:21AM
"At SVSC we don't take racing seriously", they tell me. And, after hearing of some of the arguments at other clubs, I can see why. One of the pleasures of sailing at SVSC is that most of us would rather loose than win by offending someone else. So why do we need to bother about rules?
Take a look at the basic "Right of Way rules, When Boats Meet":
10 When boats are on opposite tacks, a port-tack boat shall keep clear of a starboard-tack boat.
11 When boats are on the same tack and overlapped, a windward boat shall keep clear of a leeward boat.
12 When boats are on the same tack and not overlapped, a boat clear astern shall keep clear of a boat clear ahead.
13 While Tacking: After a boat passes head to wind, she shall keep clear of other boats until she is on a close-hauled course. ....
Do you get the idea? You have obligations to other boats. Surely, it's only good manners to know what those obligations are - and at SVSC we're nothing if not well mannered.
But too often we don't fulfill our obligations. No matter, you may think: the other person always forgives us!
Well, the rules have something to say about that:
A fundamental principle of sportsmanship is that when competitors break a rule they will promptly take a penalty,
So good sportsmanship requires us to know our obligations and to take the appropriate penalty if we, even inadvertently, break a rule.
Those of us who race, enjoy struggling to handle our boats well and to to understand and utilise the wind. Other boats add obstacles, an extra dimension of interest and provide us with a yardstick against which to judge our success.
The rules ensure we can do it safely and fairly.