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it’s all chinglish to us

csabi

We often pride ourselves with being so “modern” with, for example, every four years updating and refining the rules of our sport to suit sailing as it is today.

I came across a club handbook the other day that actually included their version of the Racing Rules of Sailing. The language was a little less direct perhaps but instantly recognisable as sailing rules.

For example : When yachts close hauled shall be approaching a shore, and be so close that the leeward most Yacht cannot tack clear of the one to windward of her, and by standing on would be in danger of running on shore, the Yacht to windward shall, on requested, immediately go about ; the yacht requesting her to do so shall also tack at the same time.

The modern version Rule 20 is really just a tidy up of the above.

Their version of Rule 69 is equally ‘quaint’ “Wilful fouling will be considered so entire a breach of the rules” (stern stuff) that the member will be will be liable to be kicked out.

And so it goes on. There was even an element of their own ‘Offshore Special Regulations’ – Rule 14 – All Yachts of the 1st class when competing for prizes shall carry a Life Buoy on Deck. My how safety has improved over the years.

Ratings cheating was controlled by yachts marking their waterline length on the hull with marks that “neither of which marks shall at any match be immersed”. No short measures there.

The club was Shanghai Yacht Club but don’t go running off and saying bloody Chinese making up their own rules or ‘it is obviously a Chinglish translation’.

In fact the Shanghai Yacht Club was a pre-war expats yacht club in China. Which war? Well the rules above come from the club handbook of 1873 so I reckon that makes it pre Boer War. The club folded in the mid 1930’s with Shanghai’s invasion during what the Chinese call the Japanese War of Aggression although one of the club yachts from the 1920’s can still be found in Langkawi, Malaysia.

Organised sailing in Shanghai ceased until 2001 when a group of expats founded the Shanghai Boat & Yacht Club (understood to be the first members run sailing club in China since the Second World War) on a lake near the city.

 

csabi

November 8th, 2017

http://www.camet.com/

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