Co-existing with charter boats in Fleet 1

Last Thursday evening, several H20’s passed close enough under the bow of a very large charter boat so as to cause them to sound the international danger signal of five short blasts. The privilege we enjoy to race our boats in Newport Harbor is jeopardized by such actions. This has come to a head in the past, causing a charter company to go to the Harbor Patrol, which escalated to the Harbor Commission, which resulted in meetings attended by all the charter companies and yacht clubs. At stake was our privilege. The yacht clubs agreed to work more closely with the charter boats, and race committees are, or should be, in radio contact with charter boats as they approach and cross our racing venues. But there is only so much the race committees can do to help coordinate these activities. Ultimately, it is up to the racers to be respectful of the charter boats right to use the harbor as well. We can take up a very large footprint with 20 or more boats spread out, and without our cooperation, the charter boats would not be able to operate. They do, in fact, have the right-of-way as they are large enough to have restricted maneuverability. As hard as it is to give up an advantage by not passing close to these boats, it is not worth risking the privilege we all enjoy. So, let’s play nice. There are plenty more races…

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