Comment posted 2012 Scottish Islands Peaks Race Oban to Troon – just finished by Gordon.
Pharos was waiting in the bay all morning; we sailed quite close to her while jockeying for the start. Why she decided to leave when it was clear that there was going to be significant traffic in the narrows seems to require explanation. While she could argue she was stand on vessel, this give her no rights if the other boats also are restricted in their ability to manoeuvre, which was the case with these sailing vessels in light or no wind in a restricted channel. I think team SPIE/Capricorn have reason to be less charitable. Pharos is funded from public money.
Gordon also commented
- Thanks for that explanation. I agree that she has a right “not to be impeded” but the essence of this is that Pharos put herself in the position of claiming this right at a point in time where the yachts were already committed to the passage, and because of the light winds, unable to give way to this requirement. As a result I think Pharos at least risked breaching the rule 8 that you describe.
Still, as discussed at the briefing, and regardless of the rules of the sea, the race rules expressly allow the use of engines in such situations, and perhaps this might have avoided a close quarters situation.
I think both parties, and indeed all the race participants should reflect on this and learn lessons. Describing us as WAFIs in tupperware boats really risks polarising the discussion over what is a complex issue. I have had several episodes where professional seamen have not acted with credit to their profession. It does not make me want to insult the professionalism of the others by using disparaging language.
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