How NOT To Finish A Race

14 Feb

We've all done it. The finish whistle welcomes you across the line, your race is over, so you ease sheets, crack the cooler, and head toward the barn. And sometimes you suddenly realize you are interfering with boats that are still racing.

In the best case you are just disturbing their air, and you get out of the way quickly, with an apology. In the worst case you get….this.

Here's a summary of what happened (and a long version of the video is here):


The finish line was skewed by somewhere around 10-15 degrees. You can see the yacht club in the distance in the first few seconds of the long version of the video (clearly upwind on starboard tack).

As the videoing boat finishes (Boat A), he tacks onto starboard to head back toward the yacht club. After he finishes he dips back on course side of the line (mainly because of the line bias). As he, boat A, is sailing, he notices the is a port tack boat, Boat B, who has not finished, sailing towards him. Boat A then tries to bear away to "duck" boat B. Boat B, still racing, notices boat A's attempt to "duck" him at the last minute and bears off himself to try to avoid the collision. Boat A altered course so fast that he did not even have time to ease his mainsheet or jib sheet until after the collision. The video tells the rest….

And here is what the result looked like. Ouch. 

There's a great discussion on Sailing Anarchy of what the rules say about who is at fault and how this should be handled. Jump in.


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