It was a beautiful clear sunny day in the 80’s, good even for Tucson this time of year.
We had four Vic’s and the debut of the Micro Magic. The MM is on loan from John Albertson of Green Valley a long time friend of PMYC. The MM got an approved rating from three of the attendees. It sailed respectively, able to keep up with the Vics in very light air.
There was no racing today as I forgot to bring the marks. My mind is out of the groove after not sailing for six weeks. But, no one cared. We sailed and chatted. When two boats came together a little competition developed. Comments were made about one boat or the other sailing well but no one really cared. It was a pleasant day to be on the pond.
We are going to move ahead with the purchase five MM’s. Graupner is currently quoting 4-5 week lead time.
I am going to contact Graupner to clarify how we best order boats.
Read the MM building instructions provided by Graupner.
These rules are labeled the “PMYC Racing Rules” because they a drastically modified version of the official rules of racing.
That is intentional as they accommodate what our members have clearly communicated during the past year (2016) — that learning the official rules is difficult and they just don’t want to be bothered. One Club member suggested that we do “Casual racing”. That essentially meant that following the official rules of racing was optional.
Using a set of optional rules or having rules that are not obeyed because they are not known to skippers is a recipe for chaos. It can never be known for sure whether the boat that beats you did so by clean sailing or bending or breaking the rules and not acknowledging it.
So, we need some defined discipline for our racing. The remainder of this post is an attempt to provide discipline in an easy-to-understand form. The PMYC rules take precedence over the international rules of racing. I believe they will work well for PMYC. My sense is that they are easy to learn.
Note that they will not work for racing outside of PMYC as they are in significant conflict with the official rules of racing.
The PMYC Racing Rules have received one, very brief, review at the Feb. 3, Club meeting. I think they were judged as reasonable; at least not unreasonable. They are subject to ongoing review and modification by the members so that we can have some pond discipline that our skippers are comfortable with and willing to sail by.
The biggest challenge of the PMYC Racing Rules is that they require voluntary compliance. And, compliance is easy because about the only behavior that is penalized is a collision. And, a collision requires both/all parties involved to “take a turn”. The notion of penalizing all boats involved in a collision probably seems a bit unfair. There is validity in that notion. However, without imposing some greater set of rules, which you have all resoundingly rejected in the past these rules are just intended to allow everyone to have fun. If you are an innocent bystander, be patient. Take your turn and move on. The next time around your closest competitor will be taking the turn.
Here is something to think about. The secret to not having to sail by any rules is to stay clear of everyone.
PMYC Racing Rules
- Starboard tack boat has right-of-way over port tack boat
- Windward boat stays clear of leeward boat
- Over the start line early – round the mark on either end of the start line and restart. While returning to the start line stay out of the way of all boats that have started.
- Hitting the boat to leeward of you while attempting to squeeze between another boat and the starboard mark on the start line; barging, is prohibited – take a turn.
- Light contact between or among boats; anywhere on the course including at marks – allowed
- All other contact between two or more boats; anywhere on the course including at marks – both/all involved boats take a turn – no discussion needed. The rationale is that one boat fouled and one boat failed to avoid a collision. We don’t know nor care which boat did what. If there is any doubt about whether it was a light hit , it is assumed to be in this category – take a turn.
- Boats not racing are expected to stay clear of those that are racing. However, boats that are on the course and not racing are obstacles – stay clear of them. If you hit one you have fouled; take a turn.
- When approaching a wall or other obstacle (debris in the water, a boat not racing) you will give boats around you the room to clear the obstacle. Failure to do so is a foul – take a turn.
- Penalty turns are to be taken within a very short time (a minute or so) after a foul. Get clear of other boats to do it and understand that while executing a turn you do not have any right-of-way over other boats. Collisions during the penalty turns will not penalize the right-of way boats.
- Failure to voluntarily take a turn when you don’t comply with the above behaviors can lead to broken tempers and a better boat might possibly loose through no fault of her own. You can’t be forced to take a turn but remember that, from the Racing Rules of Sailing: “A boat … shall compete in compliance with recognized principles of sportsmanship and fair play”.
- Insert the PMYC weed clearing rule here