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From the Boathouse: The race (and right-of-way) is on

January 10, 2013|By Mike Whitehead

Ahoy!

The good news is that early registration for this year's Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race, with this year's theme, "Wanna Race?," is open. The world's largest international yacht race is returning to attract the weekend just-for-fun sailors. This race is your opportunity to sail 125 nautical miles from Newport Beach to Ensenada with the fleet, and a peace of mind that you will be safe crossing the border with other boaters.

"You can be involved in the greatest yacht racing event in Southern California at any level, from cruising class to the fastest maxi's and multi-hulls," said Chuck Iverson, who is the commodore for the Newport Ocean Sailing Assn. He continued, "The kickoff party on Sunday to the world famous pre-race fiesta on the Thursday night before the Friday morning start, it will be a great time on and off the water."

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The south-of-the-border activities are now hosted at the Hotel Coral and Marina, just north of the town of Ensenada. Sailors should plan to attend one of the seven safety seminars that will be held at various yacht clubs and West Marine stores from San Diego to Ventura. You can register and find more information at http://www.newportto

ensenada.comor on Facebook. I hope to see you south of the border at the Coral.

My tip of the week is a rules-of-the-road mini-quiz, which was originally published in the January newsletter of http://www.blueskynews.com, by Capt. Rags Laragione.Laragione, who is the president of the Maritime Institute asked in the newsletter:

Two powerboats are in a crossing situation. Do you know which one has the right of way?

The correct answer is nobody. Before we delve further into this befuddling answer, let's draw an interesting contrast. With cars, there are some absolutes about who has the right of way.

On the water, however, it's a totally different thing.

In the U.S. Coast Guard's official rules of the road, the term "right of way" is not used at all in the international rules and is mentioned only once in Rule 9 of the inland waterways Section 1 — and only then in reference to the specific situation where downbound and upbound power vessels are operating in narrow channels or fairways on the Great Lakes or western rivers, or water specified by the Secretary.

Other than that, there is no reference to "right of way" anywhere else in the manual.

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