Room to tack diagram very similar to the position discussed.

Room to tack diagram very similar to the position discussed.

On Thursday I was still contemplating¬† a yacht’s response to a call for room to tack. Rule 19 gives only two options for a call for room to tack. The first is for the hailed yacht to tack and then the hailing yacht must promptly tack too. The hailing yacht must tack even if she subsequently gets a lift that would carry her above the obstruction. If she does not tack she would be subject to a protest and would lose. The other option is for the hailed yacht to call “You tack” if she is prepared to give the hailing yacht room to tack and avoid her in a seaman like manner. A yacht that is not given safe room to tack and avoid a collision would win a protest as the hailed yacht has assumed responsibility for giving room. The particular circumstances which have left me perplexed was a response to our call for room to tack to being met with a response to “go behind.” Now “Go behind” is not a valid response although in a protest it might be accepted that it was shorthand for “You tack and please try to go behind if you can.” I did not anticipate that we would be able to complete the tack and go behind in a seaman like manner but was left with no choice but to attempt the manoeuvre. We did clear the stern of the hailed yacht but not in a seaman like manner. The hailed yacht might argue well you cleared our stern so our call was good, ignoring all the alternate possibilities if we had not cleared. The sharp tack and bear away might not have been possible if the breeze had been a couple of knots stronger.¬† In most cases the windward right of way yacht can tack and be in either a clear ahead position or at worst in a leeward position As for the rest of the race we did better as the breeze faded and those caught out on the course in fading breeze had a particularly slow trip home. We have been there before and I felt empathy for Soundtrack and Ausreo. Soundtrack in particular had been with us at Goat Island and must have found a lot of holes on the way back. At the front of the fleet Captain Beck scooted away early and managed to stay in front of the aircraft carrier, Flashback, who has sailed in a very flash manner this past two weeks. The light air conditions on Thursday was an opportunity to take the mainsail of Passion X and have the reef points on the luff moved aft to match the position of the reef¬† lines further back on the boom than is usual. We have three sets of single line reefs that can be managed from the cockpit and with the third reef in the sail meets Category 4 requirement. It is a 50 m2 sail made from heavy Hydranet radial and that makes it a handful for one person. I was fortunate to have the help of a fellow club member for the take off but was not so lucky for the refit. I did use the 2:1 main halyard to winch the sail up onto the boom but there was still a bit of man handling needed to fit all the slugs in the track and re attach all the lines. I stopped a couple of times for a rest and still managed to have it all packed away by 4:00 pm. Included in my refitting exercise was testing the bottom two reef positions which meant hauling the mail to almost full hoist. It was a very civilised process swinging on the mooring and enjoying a cool beer from the fridge which by luck I had left on for the day.

No 1 reef point now in the correct position

No 1 reef point now in the correct position

No 2 reef point also moved aft

No 2 reef point also moved aft

Another job ticked off the list was replacing the nozzle head on the transom shower. At $14.95 this will be one of the least expensive luxuries on board. During the day I heard from the crew on Sirocco who had the embarrassment to be knocked overboard by the boom during an unplanned gybe. They are all well and thankful for the assistance from the crew of GWhizz who plucked them from the water and for the crew of Dreamer who stood by in case extra aid was needed. It is a timely reminder to practice crew retrieval.

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