Port and Starboard

I’m frequently asked why we say port and starboard instead of left and right. Well, here’s the short answer – mariners use port and starboard instead of left and right to avoid confusion. When looking forward, toward the bow of a ship, port and starboard always refers to the left and right sides, respectively. In the early days of boating, before ships had rudders on their centerlines, boats were controlled using a steering oar. Most sailors were right-handed, so the steering oar was placed over or through the right side of the stern. Sailors began calling the right side the steering side, which soon became "starboard" by combining two Old English words: stéor (meaning "steer") and bord (meaning "the side of a boat"). Boats had to tie up to a dock on the side opposite the steering oar. This side became known as larboard, or "the loading side." Over time, larboard—too easily confused with starboard—was replaced with port. After all, this was the side that faced the port, allowing supplies to be ported aboard by porters.

But why are port and starboard important to racers? Because:

· Racing Rule #10 says a boat on port tack shall stay clear of a boat on starboard tack
· BCYC’s Race Committee boat is usually located at the starboard end of the start line
· BCYC’s Race Committee boat is usually located at the port end of the finish line
· Racing marks are almost always rounded to port

Racing In April - The third and final Angelman Series race is scheduled in April, along with the second Weiss Series race.

Racing In May – The third and final Weiss Series race is scheduled in May…along with the Harbor 20 Charity Regatta. AND…Taco Tuesdays starts on May 9. For new BCYC members or those who may have not yet experienced a Taco Tuesday, here is a primer:

· The club and Columbia Room open at 4 p.m. and the buffet opens at 5:30 p.m.
· We race from 6-7 p.m. every Tuesday evening for 15 weeks.
· We run two venues…PHRF and Harbor 20.
· PHRF boats sail one race per evening.
· Harbor 20s sail multiple races per evening.
· After racing, we hand out prizes to the top winners.

And then there is the Mexican buffet and raffle. I’m always impressed with the amount and variety of food Chef Georges Rapicault and culinary team provides…and how Staff Commodore Rhonda Tolar comes up with such unique (and delicious) raffle items each week. By the way, anyone can enjoy the buffet and participate in the raffle…you don’t need to race.

Paul deCapua, Sail Fleet Captain