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Right of Way: Sailor and Kiter on Opposite tacks

 
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tsokat



Joined: 15 May 1997
Posts: 326

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:55 am    Post subject: Right of Way: Sailor and Kiter on Opposite tacks Reply with quote

I think I am pretty clear on right of way rules, but would like some feedback on two situations that have come to mind when sailors and kiters are on opposite tacks, one in the surf, one not.

1. In Surf
In waves, it was always my understanding that it was the duty of the person on the wave to steer clear of the person going out, particularly if the person going out is on starboard. See, ie, PWA Wave Rule 3.9.1 (a). Perhaps this was derived from surfing, in which it has always been the duty of the wave rider to avoid the people paddling out. Of course, when you are going out you should always use your best effort to avoid being in a position where you are in the way of a wave rider. However, at Waddell at least, where the prevailing wind has the outgoiing person on starboard, some local kiters have attempted to rewrite the rule to be that the outgoing person, even if schlogging out, has a duty to jibe and return to the beach and try again. This just doesn't work for sailors.

2. Non-Surf
Kiter is on starboard, sailor is on port. How far downwind of the kiter are we supposed go when yielding? 100 feet? Some kiters seem to think so, although most want to go downwind of you regardless of the tack to avoid having to raise ther lines.
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theq



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 636

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've touched on exactly what was happening when a kiter and I almost met face to face, at speed, on Monday. This happened at Leo Carillo. My situation was complicated by the fact that we both in the channel between our marked out buoy-line, and one of our resident reefs. I was on the port, but taking off on a rather nice set wave, and was forced, via the buoy-line rock channel, to go where I was going. He was in a similar situation.
With kiters, it's so hard to tell when they're going to start their transition. I thought he was still on a port. Granted, I was splitting my concentration between the kiter, the set wave, and the rock. Suddenly, he was coming at me but his attention was port-side. That delay is what made it such a close call.
Kiters' transitions are much quicker, and are initiated with little or no obvious signs, at least that I can pick up. In other words, they can be on a port tack, same as the windsurfer, and suddenly, with little warning, they're on a starboard. A windsurfer shows their intention by bearing off or heading upwind for a tack. It's not so instantaneous. To me, this situation negates the right-of-way, to some extent, of the kiter on the starboard, as a split second ago, he was on a port. It's like having it both ways, IMHO. I don't know if there's any way to eliminate this situation, short of making the kiters wear helmets with turn signal indicators on them, or have perfect telepathy bestowed upon all others.
I share your desire for input on such things.
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kurtmagness



Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While riding on a wave you should avoid hitting anybody going out regardless of what tack your on. Even though techinically starboard tack has right-a-way over port tack per sailing rules, those same rules say when push comes to shove, to not insist on your right of way. Some windsurfers and most kiteboarders do not come from a sailing background so they are not even aware of the starboard right a way over port tack. Kites can raise their lines to avoid things pretty easily. One of the biggest fear a kiter has is to wrap their lines around something. So most are pretty aware of where their lines are. Kiters downwind of other kiters should keep their lines low while upwind kiters should keep their lines high. That way you can overlap and not get tangled up. I think most people are intimidated by kites because they do not understand the dynamics of the kite. Seems like they are out of control most of the time with them whipping the kite all over the place. Also a lot of younger kiters have missplaced agro attitudes and seem to care less about rules. Same can be true of some surfers. More kiters seem to come from a surfing background and windsurfers seem to come from sailing backgrounds. The main rule should be safety first.
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gregorvass



Joined: 21 Nov 1996
Posts: 1108
Location: Behind You

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

going out starboard tack has the right of way since both are powered by same wind.
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cherrywood182



Joined: 30 May 2005
Posts: 56
Location: San Mateo

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a longtime windsurfer. I took a yacht skipper class a few years ago and was surprised to learn, that not only does the starboard vessel have right of way - the starboard vessel is obligated, as the stand-on vessel to NOT CHANGE SPEED OR DIRECTION. The port vessel must alter course to avoid a collision. Now there is a tricky situation when neither vessel changes position, then at the last minute, BOTH vessels are obligated to change course to avoid a collision. So, if you insist on your right of way up to the very last minute and in so doing cause a collision then you are liable in maritime court. The definition of "last minute" is for maritime lawyers to decide. I don't know what the situation is in waves since I don't surf.
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pzwinakis



Joined: 03 Aug 2000
Posts: 42
Location: Santa Cruz

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sailor on Port, Kiter on Starboard: Kiting at Waddell if the sailor is a good sailor then close as they want if they don't hit me, it's fine. If it's a weekend (surf) warrior, a mile away isn't far enough.

For you folks that only sometimes sail in the surf. Don't go quoting sailing rules. If a person is on a wave and your path going out through the surf will interfere with their riding, give them a break and hold-up a second. the person (kiter or sailor) probably waited a while for that wave so cut them some slack no matter what the rules are.
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Epenrose



Joined: 05 Nov 1997
Posts: 398

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aggressive dangling is n0t a sport.

Treat with same respect as boogie boards, run right over while cursing.


Turn and do the same again if suspicious shorts seen over wetsuit and it isn't a parade day.
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flykatcher



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arrow Rolling Eyes

The rider(Kiter or Sailor) GOING OUT thru the surf has right of way
AS LONG AS HE HOLDS HIS COURSE.
Thats critical for the whole thing to work properly.

If the rider on the way out changes course even once , all bets are off and the preson on the wave can and should take the initiative....since the rider on the way out did not do so first. Its the responsibility of the rider going out in other words to dictate that initial line first and stay with it.

If the rider going out has held his course after clearing the previous wave on the way out, and then the rider coming in still acts like its his right of way on the wave, then that rider on the wave is acting selfishly no matter if its a kite or a sail. There is room to work with, so work with it. Rider going out can be a little less stubborn and give some room, especially if its a sweet wave.
I have 20 years worth of sailing Hookipa and Waddell amongst many other places....and thats the way things work in the surf. Kite or no kite.
The people that think they are above that simple rule make their own cause so much harder. Kite or no kite.

Weekend warriors of either type need need to steer clear altogether until they learn how to mix in.
Don't think its ok to be in the middle of the action if you are unable to blend in or stay out of the way.

Sailing rules need not apply in the surf.....in places on the other tack where the guy is going out on port that rider going out should have the right of way just the same.

Its simple, and its a code that has to be applied and honored for it to work.

If nobody follows it, well alright then, snakes away..... Twisted Evil
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derekd



Joined: 12 Mar 1994
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="flykatcher"]Arrow Rolling Eyes

The rider(Kiter or Sailor) GOING OUT thru the surf has right of way
AS LONG AS HE HOLDS HIS COURSE.
Thats critical for the whole thing to work properly.

That's right.

Surfing: guy on the wave has the right of way..everybody else, get out of the way.
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