Originally Posted by willk
And we wonder why training/certification is compulsory in Europe?
This sort of behavior is outrageous and I can't imagine why commercial traffic should have to bear the responsibility for avoiding flotillas of lemmingesque amateur boatsters.
They are not supposed to be there at that time. Just as they shouldn't be driving the wrong direction on roads, or skate boarding on runways.
Five blasts and be done with it!
I do not know the answer, but I can share some experience from my part of Europe.
I am living in Hamburg, one of the busiest ports in Europe and in the world. I do not know the actual figures of how many yachts (sail) are between the North Sea and Hamburg. An indication could be, that the Marina in the west of Hamburg is considered to be Europe's biggest in tidal waters with 2000+ berths.
We have sailing regattas with up to 150 competitors, from short distance to races down the river and up again. The racing area is the river, ie a channel marked by buoys plus varying space at each side. It is difficult, with lots of tide and difficult weather.
Each and every sailing instruction is referring to colregs, local by-law, and gives commercial traffic right-of-way.
We have not seen incidents like the one at Cowes Week for quiet a while. A reason might be, that the local clubs have established a good relationship with Coast Guard, Port Authority and the Pilots. In practical terms, reps of clubs and authorities meet at least once per year - typically in the winter - to discuss issues. In addition, we are arranging for "get to know" meetings to raise understanding for each other.
The result is, that for many years in a row no near miss or even incident was recorded by pilots, coast guard, or port authority.
In terms of certification, a certificate for vessels with more than 5HP on the engine is compulsory by law. In addition, the German Sailing Association requires skipper to have a certificate issued by the German Sailing Association and valid for the area if racing in Germany.
Maybe the explanation is not certification or a good communication between authorities and yotties. Maybe it is, that the WAFI's are on the Baltic Lake, which is much easier to sail.