When you least expect it!

At the Atlantic Coast Championships recently my son (Steve) and I were sailing in race 2 after just getting a 5th and pleased with that in a fleet of about 30 boats. In race two, we were about 5-6th again and only had to get around the leeward mark to go to the finish. Approaching the leeward mark rounding I was a middle boat and things were tight.As we rounded I ducked my head down for some reason and when looking up again I saw the boom of the inside boat in MY BOAT! All of a sudden the boats began to separate and the inside boat's main sheet was around my neck! Well, in a flash I was in the water and being dragged. I soon popped up with hiking stick in one hand and a main sheet in the other; only it wasn't mine! My son Steve and Moxie were out of control with him strugglung to get on top of things, and I was hanging off the end of the other boat somewhat dazed. Larry Vitez in a sportsman like way invited me aboard, but I decided to swim for my own boat with Judges escorting me along the way. I finally caught up, and Steve dragged me aboard. We pulled things together and finished last. The inside boat was given redress for not going off and leaving me. How could he? I had his main sheet :-)! Lesson learned 1. Give more room to the inside boat! 2. Don't wear your good glasses - they're gone 3. You need your life jacket when you least expect it!!!!!!!! Had it not been for the PFD I'm sure I would have drunk some of the Cheasapeak Bay maybe more than I would have liked. Bill Ross, FS/5210 Commodore FSSA


Glad to hear that you the survived without any injuries (except

Glad to hear that you the survived without any injuries (except for your glasses). I have a couple of rule questions about this incident: 1. Would this be consider a collison, i.e. two boat touching - his boom/main sheet touched you (or you touched it), is that the same as touching your boat? 2. If it is considere a touch (collision), shouldn't there have been a penalty involved?

Rules Question 1.

Rules Question 1. Yes, this was contact. The boom touched my boat, and the main sheet of the boat next to me was in my hands. It qualifies as contact in both respects. 2. Yes, there should have been a penalty on me since I was the outside boat and did not give the inside boat enough room to jibe under the rules. The inside boat did not protest. Technically I should have done a 720 but we were so far behind, there wasn't a prayer of our catching back up. We headed to shore to make repairs to the hiking stick. On the way we passed through the finish line and took a last place. A DSQ would have given us only one more point. That night I spoke to Larry about the incident and suggested that he request redress ( Rule 1.1) since he had me along side and wanted me to get into his boat. The incident cost him about 10 places. He applied and was given 10 points which put him back in the position he was in just prior the the incident. Good question :-) Bill Ross, FS/5210 Commodore FSSA

Bill Ross  F/S 6020

Chairman FSSA National Championship Committee