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Gorge etiquette review: SHARE
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 2534
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2021 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally Agree with Biff here. Look around before you drop in.
Look around before you jibe. Look around while you ride swell.
If you're on the swell, it's yours, but give way (share the water),
if two or more have a chance to catch it. There'll be another swell.

The parking has been uncrowded at the Hatchery this year, but
collisions and near misses on the water have been prevalent.

The last time I saw this much aggression on the beach or on
the water was in about 1992. If you do something boneheaded,
make sure the other person is not hurt, apologize (and offer
restitution for damage). A little humility can
quickly diffuse an escalating situation.


-Craig


biffmalibu wrote:
Sharing applies to swell-riding. It's been addressed before. I agree it deserves a refresher. So many windsurfers, kiters, etc. have never surfed! Look upwind, let the swell-surfer ride. Why? Because 1) they are underpowered and consequently less-able to avoid than you (the fully-powered). 1.5 corollary) I guarantee you the swell-rider is tireder than you (relaxing in your harness lines) are. Do you really want to take a chance with a tired swell-rider dodging YOU? While underpowered? Just look downwind and bear off hard. Or pick a safe distance away, unhook, and start surfing yourself. There is often space. And it's very fun to share a party wave (if you are unhooked and in control). And 2) the point of big swell is to do something with it. And that is to surf it. It is a tautology. 3) Esthetics=morality. Wasting a surfable swell by running someone off it is a capital offense, an offense against humanity and a crime against beauty.

Look upwind. A lot. Especially on big fat days. And give way to the swell-surfer who is having a good time doing something underpowered yet a lot of fun.


Last edited by cgoudie1 on Sat Aug 28, 2021 1:03 pm; edited 2 times in total
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20814

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2021 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's an alternative, at least in the Gorge: ride the swell not only powered to the max but hooked in. Of course, this is not only fast as hell, but also goes against the grain, so the onus is on that rider to avoid hitting a baffer wearing blinders.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20814

PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2021 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe 10 people have heard that wishful (and counter-marine law or counter-ROW) thinking, with maybe 5 of them agreeing*. I never even begin to count on it. One of the few reasons and circumstances in which I closely watch other sailors' patterns and paths is in open water in nice swell. I can't see faces out there, but if a sailor's body language, the direction she's facing, and her wake imply she wants to take a swell instead of just bulldozing it, I try to very definitively swerve the heck out of her way to leave her no doubt that she can jump, slash, jibe, or crash without worrying about hitting me. If there's one swell, there's almost always another one waiting for me a row or three upwind or downwind.

* When luffing/gliding down the swell or blasting down it WFO, or pinching high upwind to regain lost ground to repeat the previous downwind riff, we're sailing against the grain defined by the baffers and lawnmowers ... i.e., the majority, especially during tourist season. Don't legal and moral obligations and our own personal safety considerations trump what WE consider "ours"?

Caveat: if a swell is THAT great and I catch it first, how about returning the favor and getting the hell out of my way this time? And, PLEASE, when we're driving hard upwind towards the apex of the roller coaster, don't just assume we're not going to instantly carom off a swell from way upwind to DEEP downwind in the space of a heartbeat. We do and we will, and no matter how hard we look (if there's time), we may not see you tailgating in our blind spot as we turn 110 degrees at full power in the space of your blink.

THIMK.

cgoudie1 wrote:
If you're on the swell, it's yours
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20814

PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2021 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe 10 people have heard that wishful (and counter-marine law or counter-ROW) thinking, with maybe 5 of them agreeing*. I never even begin to count on it. One of the few reasons and circumstances in which I closely watch other sailors' patterns and paths is in open water in nice swell. I can't see faces out there, but if a sailor's body language, the direction she's facing, and her wake imply she wants to take a swell instead of just bulldozing it, I try to very definitively swerve the heck out of her way to leave her no doubt that she can jump, slash, jibe, or crash without worrying about hitting me. If there's one swell, there's almost always another one waiting for me a row or three upwind or downwind.

* When luffing/gliding down the swell or blasting down it WFO, or pinching high upwind to regain lost ground to repeat the previous downwind riff, we're sailing against the grain defined by the baffers and lawnmowers ... i.e., the majority, especially during tourist season. Don't legal and moral obligations and our own personal safety considerations trump what WE consider "ours"?

Caveat: if a swell is THAT great and I catch it first, how about returning the favor and getting the hell out of my way this time? And, PLEASE, when we're driving hard upwind towards the apex of the roller coaster, don't just assume we're not going to instantly carom off a swell from way upwind to DEEP downwind in the space of a heartbeat. We do and we will, and no matter how hard we look (if there's time), we may not see you tailgating in our blind spot as we turn 110 degrees at full power in the space of your blink.

THIMK.

cgoudie1 wrote:
If you're on the swell, it's yours
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 8888
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2021 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

....and another thing that I do, that most should IMO, is to do your upwind pinching on the outside if possible. I know it reduces swell time, but there's nothing more annoying than someone pinching right through the swell zone on a crowded day.
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 2534
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2021 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amen!

-Craig

boggsman1 wrote:
....and another thing that I do, that most should IMO, is to do your upwind pinching on the outside if possible. I know it reduces swell time, but there's nothing more annoying than someone pinching right through the swell zone on a crowded day.
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drblanke



Joined: 02 Aug 2006
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2021 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When overtaking, since you are more powered, please pass upwind. I see folks diving offwind from a blind spot to pass people all the time and while fine ROW-wise it is really dangerous. You depend totally on the other sailor to make a last second glance to avoid a collision if they decide to jibe.

If it is a big day, please yield ROW to the newbies so they can pinch up--no beginner likes to bear off in a huge gust.
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Bond1



Joined: 25 Apr 2000
Posts: 163

PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2021 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm about to wrap up my 39th season of Gorge sailing, 32 of them living and sailing here full time. Some of these recommendations don't resonate with me. Like always passing above when overtaking. Not always because it's not always possible or practical. There are other safe options, like yelling out and getting the other sailors attention before passing below, or bearing off so that you can pass far enough below that if the other sailor turns they'll have plenty of opportunity to see you.

The sailor riding swell is not always more tired than the sailor reaching. Good swell riding technique requires very little energy. Less than beam reaching or broad reaching. Swell riding in the Gorge came about not only because it's fun, but because it avoids the two most strenuous points of sail on the big days. You beat then you surf and avoid expending your energy reaching. You never have to broad reach on a big day with lots of current to stay near home. We all know how fun that can be.

If you're reaching and you see a swell rider coming down ahead of you, bearing off, as suggested earlier, is not what you want to do. A good swell rider will project themselves beyond your beam reach in a heartbeat. Bearing off in this situation is a good way to cause a collision. If a collision is imminent, bear off, or do whatever you need to do, but bearing off as an automatic response to a swell rider is a no no. Seasoned Gorge sailors quit doing this a long time ago. A good swell rider will make their intentions known almost immediately, and they'll generally take your position and course into consideration.

I often make eye contact and use hand signals. I'll wave someone in when I can see they want something but are reluctant to take it because of my position. I want everyone to have fun, except for those sailors who always take and never give. They get a few chances then they may find that I'm in their way a lot.

Regarding right of way rules, they still apply in my opinion. Not as a way to push other sailors around, but as a way to avoid collisions when things get tight. Sometimes situations are created by fellow sailors that they're unaware of and people are forced to pass each other closer than they might otherwise choose to do. In these moments we often need to pick a course and hold it. If someone is burdened because they are either overpowered or slogging it needs to be considered. But If I get squeezed and all I can do is hold my course on starboard and let the other sailor pick a course that avoids me all at the last second, I need to be able to count on that working out. So far it has.


Last edited by Bond1 on Sat Sep 04, 2021 12:14 pm; edited 2 times in total
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20814

PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2021 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent commentary, Bond. It brings up many memories -- fond, funny, and neither -- from the water to the ski slopes, from the '80s right up through last week. Don't assume, though, that old geezers like me can hear (noisy helmet + earplugs) a shout or see (my prescription eyeglasses don't fit under my helmet) and interpret ("Hi" to you, too )a wave-in. I just hope that others give me as much room to play as I try to give them.

Just three among many chuckles or smirks you reminded me of:
1. I banked off a swell into a downwind riff at least 200 yards ahead of an oncoming baffer. He panicked so badly that he tripped head over heels over his own gear.
"If you can't stand the heat ...
Find some flatter water and work on your skills".

2. A guy in a full tuck schussing a beginner slope hollered something unintelligible at my beginner wife, and when she didn't dive out of his way quickly enough he center-punched her and never even untucked. Later that day he made an even dumber move: he repeated the entire scenario, center-punch and all. The difference? This time I caught him. That was in 1968, and I'll bet he hasn't done that again.

3. Speaking of taking instead of giving ... A guy on port very deliberately took over my locked-in starboard reach. No biggie ... I just bore off and continued my reach. 10 minutes later, same guy, same hijack, same response. 10 minutes later, same guy same hijacking, but a different response this time because I was on a board that cost me $20 ... roughly 1% of the cost of his board. There is a point at which avoiding collisions at all costs flies out the window.

Some people learn lessons, others must be taught.

Then there are the honest mistakes made even by expert locals who interpret the "rules" differently. Hint: simply being on starboard doesn't inherently give anyone absolute ROW, especially if he's slashing and bashing while the oncoming port sailor is trying to avoid him and hold an unambiguous and predictable straight line (bearing off or even just jumping into the water would have produced a nasty collision).

A pretty good rule of thumb is to always maintain at least a two-mast-length social distance. That makes it pretty hard to hit someone or his gear. (OTOH, if hitting them is your goal, that rule is counterproductive.) Smile
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 2534
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2021 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Amigo, you can share my wave anytime. I trust your skills.
It'll be a party.

-Craig

Bond1 wrote:

I often make eye contact and use hand signals. I'll wave someone in when I can see they want something but are reluctant to take it because of my position. I want everyone to have fun, except for those sailors who always take and never give. They get a few chances then they may find that I'm in their way a lot.

.
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