Monday, October 15, 2007


I'm not very good at foreign languages so can someone please answer the following question for me...

If a British sailor on starboard tack on a beat is on a potential collision course with a port-tacker he will hail, "Starboard!" when a few boat-lengths away to let the port-tacker know he is there.

I discovered at the Laser Masters Worlds that, in similar circumstances, an Australian sailor will shout something that sounds like,


What the hell is he saying?


Anonymous said...

Literal translation (or Littoral). "Oh No, we got beaten by England in the Rugby World Cup"

Anonymous said...

At a guess he's trying to let you know he's there.
(did it work)

Anonymous said...

Well done on the worlds result - was on the other side of the bay for the Europe euros in July and didn't even get near midfleet...

Definitely a problem of sailing in an international. In more cynical moments (at least in the very youth dominated Europes) I wonder if these are taught 'intimidation noises' to try and bluff people into tacking (but maybe the masters are a bit more sporting...).

Certainly makes waving a port tacker across almost impossible (even with the friendliest smile on you face!).

Mal Kiely [Lancelots Pram] said...

As an Aussie, when it comes to speech, most of our conscious thoughts are distracted when we're busy, you know. At least he was being polite that time. You may hear a 'starboard' call sounding more like, "getouddatheferkinwayyabasstard!" instead! hahahahaa
Intimidation? Absolutely. You know us Aussies... all bluff and a weak bite :) [grins happily]
Mal :)

Tillerman said...

Thanks for all the advice. And I just assumed it meant, "Please feel free to tack on my lee bow, old chap."

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