It’s mid-July and we just had our 4th annual National Event for dinghies. It’s one of the few regattas that I’ve encountered where former Olympic team members like Jen Provan (470s), John Curtis (Tornado) and Allan Leibel (Star) are on the same race course as Junior racers with 2 or 3 years of sailing experience. I’ll let Jason Hearst fill you in on how the regatta went.
I was on the leeward mark boat helping out and, not for the first time, noticed several keelboats cruising and racing through our race course. I realize we have to share the lake; but, is it that difficult to avoid the area where a bunch of dinghies are sailing about? Sure there may be wind where all those dinghies are; but do you want to risk hurting some 12 year old and damaging your own boat? Do you trust that 12 year old to not do anything erratic or to remember the right of way rules?
We can only appeal to a cruiser’s common sense to do the right thing. For racers, if you are reckless in barreling through a race course, you could be subject to a rule 2 or rule 69 violation. There was a recent incident in Europe where 2 Melges 32’s were on port gybe barreling through a pack of Opti’s on starboard. ISAF is investigating. I would encourage race committees throughout the lake to pursue similar action if it happens here. In my opinion, “I’m racing” is a weak excuse for putting a kid’s life in danger.
by Bob Magtanong