Sometimes good sportsmanship means…

Published on January 9th, 2024

by Kim Couranz, SpinSheet magazine
Sailing is a unique sport for many reasons, including that in most regattas our fellow competitors are our “on-the-field” referees. Yes, deeper dives into incidents can take place through the arbitration, protest, and/or appeals processes. And some regattas do have on-the-water umpires to monitor actions and enact penalties. But for the most part, the initial “hey, you did something wrong” comes from another competitor.

It may be a fine line between using the rules to your advantage on the racecourse and breaking a rule, but there’s still a line. Whether it’s a Racing Rules of Sailing Part 2 “When Boats Meet” incident, or a perception that a competitor has gone beyond what is allowed in Rule 42 (Propulsion), it’s on us as sailors to holler out.

The Corinthian ethic of doing your penalty turn(s) if you have violated a rule has been instilled in most (but unfortunately not all) sailors thanks to good coaching and watching the examples set by those who sail with integrity. You did wrong? You spin. How dizzy you get depends on what you did and where you did it, but it’s an easy way to accept responsibility and avoid the protest room. – Full report

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