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Stevenson Sailboat races hazardous to windsurfing

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  • jason.wayne.herring@exgate.tek.com
    Last Saturday (Aug 16) we sailed at Stevenson. Conditions were decent 5.2 for most of the afternoon. The problem was the sailboat races that were occurring.
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 18, 2003
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      Last Saturday (Aug 16) we sailed at Stevenson. Conditions were decent 5.2
      for most of the afternoon. The problem was the sailboat races that were
      occurring. The sailboat race officials placed their Start-line-staging
      buoys right in front of the launch area (Bob's Beach) in Stevenson. There
      were numerous sailboat races conducted while I was there.

      Each time a race was staged, about 20 high-performance 2-man boats would
      jockey for best position on the starting line. While this was happening, it
      was absolute chaos on the water as about 25 windsurfers attempted to weave
      their way through the sailboat fleet that was in constant motion. I saw
      many near-miss collisions, several windsurfers fall-in and nearly get
      run-over by sailboats trying to establish a good position in the staging

      This situation was absolutely absurd. Windsurfers were nearly being run
      over, and the sailboat racers were getting very frustrated with the extra
      traffic hampering their race tactics.

      The solution was obvious to me. So I sailed out to one of the race
      committee power boats to discuss the problem with the race officials. I told
      the race officials in the power boat that we had a real problem, and they
      agreed. I said the solution would be for them to move the
      Start-line-staging buoys upwind about 50 to 75 yards, because I explained
      that unlike the sailboats, most of the windsurfers would only be sailing
      straight out & back (not upwind or downwind) from the Bob's Beach launch
      point. After all, the sailboats were racing from Bob's beach to about a
      mile upwind and then back to Bob's again. What difference would it make to
      trim 50 yards off a 2 mile course? If they wanted to keep the same course
      length, then move the windward mark upwind by 50 yards also!

      My suggestion was met with arrogant defiance! One of the race officials
      said: "we're not moving this course one inch.... we have a permit to be here
      and you windsurfers need to stay out of our way....." They flat refused to
      consider a slight adjustment to their course which would have made the day
      much more safe and pleasant for both the sailboat racers and the
      windsurfers. Instead, race officials and sailboat racers spent their day
      yelling at windsurfers to "get out of the way".

      This chaos went on all afternoon (from noon to 6 PM). I don't see why these
      guys don't get it. Am I missing something? The river is 200 miles long,
      and they have to put a race staging area right in front of a windsurfing
      beach on a busy weekend? Only a slight adjustment on their part would make
      it safe & fun for all, but the race officials are determined to stand their
      ground and put everyone at risk.

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