Proper Course

On June 3rd, three E-Scows held three races, twice around with three minute starts and a gate in winds of about 8-10 knots from the northwest.  The course was set off the club with the weather mark near the goal posts.  We would have had a fourth boat, but Rev It Up broke its main halyard.  The best strategy was to avoid the current which was quite strong going out.  While going into the cove avoid the current, there was less wind there.  So, it paid off to tack to port and consolidate your lead by tacking in front of the slower boats that went into the cove.  There was also a major lift as you approached the weather mark which favored going left.

E-Go with Bob Blomquist, Jerry Wheeler, Katheryn Hosey and his sister Loren led most races with Ted Weihe in E-Ticket, also doing well with Bill Pretyka and new comer Cheryl Atkinson.  E-Infinity was raced by Richard Elsishans, Michelle Lee, Bill Kimbell and Vanessa Hamalian, and they did some practice spinnaker work.

After racing and some beer, the group discussed the “Proper Course” rule which is mentioned in three rules: overtaking to leeward, mark room and interfering with another boat.  In general, proper course means the best course to finish as soon as possible, but allows adjustments for gusts and wind shifts.

The rule does apply when overtaking a slower boat, the clear astern boat must keep clear of the slower boat.  If the faster clear astern boat becomes overlapped to leeward within two boat lengths, the leeward boat cannot sail above her course to the next mark.  The leeward boat cannot force the weather boat to alter course if headed for the mark.  It is really necessary to look at diagrams of how the proper course rule applies to better understand it.  The discussion and diagrams will be posted on the E-Scow bulletin board.  But, we are sure that there is plenty of room for interpretations, and help from Herb Larrabee since it is probably one of the most difficult racing rules to understand.


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