Blog posts tagged in community sailing

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Hello Frostbiters,

I trust that everyone had a great weekend and Nate ran things well in my absence. Before this week's guest blog by Mark, I have two announcements to share.

We have two special events this upcoming Saturday, Rules Clinic, at Seaport School, this Saturday, December 20, 9:30-11am. This will be something of a directed Q&A, so if you have questions, please come to this event.

Holiday Party, at Pier 6, after racing on Saturday. Free sliders, apps, beer specials, etc. We will also be giving out the series 1 awards this Saturday. We will also be presenting the Elvstrom trophy to last year's winners of our annual sportsmanship award.

Now for the guest blog from Mark!

There's always a lot to learn.

First is when the tide is coming into Boston Harbor, the current is often going out. That was true all day on Saturday. There had been enough rain earlier in the week that they were dumping the Charles River. As Jim Watson, my very observant crew points out, fresh water is lighter than salt and the Charles runs out like a stream on top of the heavier incoming salt tide. It hits the East Boston shore above the piers and then angles back across the middle of the harbor. On an incoming tide the stream can be fairly narrow.

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Barge- Move forcefully or roughly. Push, Shove, Force. "We can't just barge into a private garden party." or "Barging in at the start line causes havoc and makes Courageous staff anxious and competitors angry."

Yes, this week's recap is about starts, and in particular, barging. Which there was a lot of this past Saturday. Now, I readily admit that there were starts where the wind clocked well right and the boat was very favored. However, I will tell you what I tell the college sailors I coach: "If it's not gonna work, bail early." That way, you have time to find another starting spot and don't end up doing penalty turns after the signal.

This topic has been covered at length by much better writers and more knowledgeable sailors than myself. I urge everyone to read this excellent article by Dick Rose in the January 2012 issue of Sailing World. I would like to emphasize one thing: there is no rule saying you are entitled to not cross the starting line early. Unless there is an obstruction, such as an RC boat, immediately to windward of you, if a leeward boat heads you up, you have to keep clear, even if that means it will ruin your start and you will be early. The only rule there is windward-leeward. Failure to do this causes accidents, and is the root of the problem that is barging. This is why starting is hard and good starts require practice and planning.

So, please read the article. It is better with a rule book in hand to look at the definitions and rules being cited.

In other news, we have fleet captains! Congratulations to Mark, Pat, and Cole, who were unanimously elected during last week's skippers meeting. Everyone make sure to buy these guys a beer next time at Pier 6. The fleet captain system keeps things running smoothly and has been a great aid to this fleet, but it requires some time of its volunteers, so be sure to say thank you next time you have their ear at the bar, explaining how you were completely screwed at that start.

Updated results are attached here. I made an error when entering the results into the scoring program, giving two boats OCS scores in the first race, when they should have received them in race two. This has been brought to my atention and corrected. My apologies for the mistake. 

We will be giving ourselves a chance to digest the turkey and stuffing this Saturday, but will be returning for week three on December 6. I look forward to seeing everyone then, and wish you all a happy holiday.