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Help please

I would like a little assistance understanding some of the finer points of racing rules. I just cant seem to get my head round a few points and was hoping for some clarification.

1. Mark room at a gybe mark.
Boat A and Boat B are approching the mark on the same tack, (Starboard)and will leave the mark to Port, gybing and sailing for the finish mark 75deg from the current leg. (The finish is a hook around the start / finish line)
Boat A is ahead but Boat B gains an inside overlap, at the zone. Boat A moves over to give boat B room at the mark.

Is Boat B then entitled to sail any course she wishes?
If both A and B gybe but boat A gybes faster and collides with boat B, what is the correct procedure.

Following the gybe boat B now ahead (but still overlapped), is the windward boat, must she keep clear of boat A, or does the mark room continue untill the overlap no longer exists?

At what point does the 'mark room' finish and the standard keep clear rules resume?

I ask this for clarification so that I do not make another 'pigs ear' at the gybe mark and I apologise to anyone (ahem) who may, or may not have been involved in a similar incident to that described (allegedly your honour). I will strive to understand the rules, and would welcome an open discussion.

Best regards

Tony

Re: Help please

I'm no expert, but I would interpret it this way...

If boat B has an overlap on entering the zone, she would normally have a right to make a decent racing rounding...i.e. she could make a wide entry and a sharp exit. In the case you describe boat B is also the leeward boat and so has ALL the rights in this case...boat A must keep clear.

If boat A gybes and collides then she must do a 720 - she did not keep clear during a gybe, and even if the gybe were completed before the collision, she is now on port, and EVEN if the P/S were reversed and she were gybing onto starboard, boat B could protest that she were not given time to keep clear. Again, A doesn't have a leg to stand on!

I'm not sure about the rules exiting the zone. I would guess that once B were clear of the mark, A could then luff her but better get clarification from someone who really knows

Re: Help please

Peter, thanks for the reply, I fully agree that in this case Boat A (whoever that may have been) was at fault and should have kept clear, during the gybe and whilst at the mark. I am not sure how long this is supposed to last for?
Also Boat B, having got the overlap has 'right of way, or mark room' BUT....I am a little confused about her responsibility at the mark.
I was under the impression that she must make her turn in a seamanship like manner and sail straight for the next mark. (In this instance that is exactly what happened, but Boat A still caught her rear quarter, following an over enthusiastic gybe) However, there is a suggestion that Boat B, if she so wished, could have continued on her course (delaying the gybe for as long as she wished) and thereby forcing Boat A to continue also.
This is the bit I am not really clear on. Tactics not being my strong point. (If I had a strong point that is!)
Tony

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Re: Help please

18.4 Gybing
When an inside overlapped right-of-way boat must gybe at a mark to
sail her proper course, until she gybes she shall sail no farther from
the mark than needed to sail that course.

AND

17 ON THE SAME TACK; PROPER COURSE
If a boat clear astern becomes overlapped within two of her hull
lengths to leeward of a boat on the same tack, she shall not sail above
her proper course while they remain on the same tack and over-
lapped within that distance, unless in doing so she promptly sails
astern of the other boat.

So the answer I THINK (I'm not a rules guru) depends on 1. Did B get the overlap while within 2 boat lengths of A? - in which case she must sail her proper course and cannot luff A all the way to the Blackcock,
and if yes to 1 then 2. What is her proper course? - e.g. if she is an asymmetric and the course to the next mark is almost a dead run then she could make a case that her proper course is to stand on a bit before gybing.

I had hoped that the new rules would make things clearer but they seem to be more confusing. Can anyone tell me why 18.2 (a) and 18.2 (b) are not rolled into one? No doubt there's a good reason but what

Re: Help please

Oh and after leaving the mark behind 'Room' no longer applies.

Re: Help please

I think the answer here is 3 boat lengths.

The 'mark rules' apply to this distance aroubd the mark, and the boat length involved is that of the larger boat (I think....).

After this normal rules apply again (I think....).

Lets hope this shows that I have actually learnt something on the start racing course - although as anyone who was on it will tell you I do still have a tendancy to panic and shout 'BOAT' when in doubt......!!!!

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Re: Help please

Tony, I congratulate you for having the courage to bring this into open discussion, as too often I have seen breeches of the rules, and basic rules such as port and starboard, and no turns or action taken.
Your situation is perhaps not altogether quite as clear-cut as it might seem at first. I have been to two recent discussions on the new set of rules amendments, one was headed by a senior ISAF umpire / judge and the other by a senior RYA umpire / judge; and as far as I can see interpretations may be a lot clearer after some protests.
B is inside boat, Rule 18, and that is it and from my view of the incident I don’t think 18.4 was broken. ‘Mark Room’ after the mark is quite a varied section. As for 18.2(a) and 18.2(b) there is too much to discuss in the forum. If there is a collision there has been an ‘error of judgement’! There was contact and turns should have been done by A – I believe.
It is important to realize the size of a zone of three boat lengths radius; three Fifteens is a 60 feet zone – obvious yes – but just think about it, it is quite a long way, almost a cricket pitch. Also think of the reason for the new ‘zone arrangement’.
There are different interpretations on what is the correct course for B to take to the mark and I would not be too sure that Peter is right. If you look up the definition of ‘Mark Room’ it is to sail ‘to’ the mark. Make of that what you will.
It is difficult to do proper justice to such a situation on the forum. If this was a ‘protest discussion’ you would have rulebooks, boats / marks / wind, protest case law etc to hand. You just can’t do this on the forum.
Lastly, I would suggest that members look at your comment on the finish line, the finish line we had last Sunday and the implications of this on safety and the rules. Remember the rules are there to make sailing safer.
Giles

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