Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Racing along a continuing obstruction

John Vandereerden
Nationality: Canada
Rejected!
Hello everyone. I am new to the site and would like some advice on a protest I lost and request to reopen the hearing was refused. I was protested under rule 11 while sailing along an island.
FACTS FOUND Conditions: Light air, boats were sailing 2 to 3 kts upstream against a 1 kt current. 1) Mananan (a CS27 ‐ symmetrical spinnaker) and Renegade (a Viking 33 ‐ symmetrical spinnaker) were both on starboard tack, on a tight broad reach under spinnaker, with Renegade clear astern. 2) Renegade was sailing 0.25 to 0.5 kts faster than Mananan and established an overlap close to windward of Mananan. 3) Renegade passed less than 2 meters (hull to hull) to windward of Mananan. 4) Renegade's spinnaker may have brushed Mananan's windward spreader. There was no damage to either boat and testimony regarding the possible contact was contradictory. 5) The elapsed time from when the overlap was established until it was broken was 70 to 140 seconds, during which time the boats traveled 100 to 200 meters.

Diagram of boat is endorsed by committee Committee’s diagram is attached CONCLUSIONS AND RULES THAT APPLY At closest approach between the boats, Mananan could not alter course in either direction without making immediate contact with Renegade. Renegade, a windward boat did not keep clear of Mananan, a leeward boat, breaking RRS 11 in accordance with the definition of keep clear.
DECISION . Boat(s) Renegade is (are) disqualified from race(s) 5 of the Fall Series penalized as follows:

My request to reopen hearing.
November 30 2017 I am requesting the protest hearing held on the evening of November 29 2017 be reopened under rule 66 due to a substantial error on the part of the protest committee. Rule 11 does not apply while proper overlap is achieved and sailing along a continuous obstruction. Rule 19 governs that scenario.

Facts found by the committee.

Conditions: Light air, boats were sailing 2 to 3 kts upstream against a 1 kt current. 1) Mananan (a CS27 ‐ symmetrical spinnaker) and Renegade (a Viking 33 ‐ symmetrical spinnaker) were both on starboard tack, on a tight broad reach under spinnaker, with Renegade clear astern. 2) Renegade was sailing 0.25 to 0.5 kts faster than Mananan and established an overlap close to windward of Mananan. 3) Renegade passed less than 2 meters (hull to hull) to windward of Mananan. 4) Renegade's spinnaker may have brushed Mananan's windward spreader. There was no damage to either boat and testimony regarding the possible contact was contradictory. 5) The elapsed time from when the overlap was established until it was broken was 70 to 140 seconds, during which time the boats traveled 100 to 200 meters.

The five reasons for my request are as follows.

1) I had requested that I demonstrate the positions of the boats on a proper nautical chart as I felt I could not articulate what happened using cut out sailboat silhouettes on a board room table. I was refused this request. 2) I agree with all the facts found other than the spinnaker contact. I am requesting redress on the basis of these facts. Number 5 states that from the time of overlap until it was broken the boats travelled 100 to 200 meters. This is approximately 10 to 20 boat lengths. This distance was travelled in the shallows with Turkey Island to the East . Renegade II was the windward and inside boat, Mananan was the leeward or outside boat. Both skippers indicated we were travelling along the shallows and in fact Mananan made the unsubstantiated claim he hailed us that there was no room for Renegade between the island and his boat several times.

CONCLUSIONS AND RULES THAT APPLY At closest approach between the boats, Mananan could not alter course in either direction without making immediate contact with Renegade. Renegade, a windward boat did not keep clear of Mananan, a leeward boat, breaking RRS 11 in accordance with the definition of keep clear.



3) In the conclusions it states that Mananan could not alter course in either direction without making immediate contact with Renegade. The narrowest point of the channel West of Turkey Island is measured at 500 feet wide on the chart. Instead of falling off to avoid contact, Mananan forced us in the shallows. Both skippers indicated there were no other boat around. As the outside boat, Mananan had over 500 feet of deep water to port to avoid Renegade and not come into contact.

4) Mananan may have felt that he was sailing as close to shore as was safe but that is subjective. Renegade demonstrated that there was plenty of room by establishing an overlap and not only holding that overlap for 10 to 20 boat lengths, but by actually passing Mananan and finishing the race. Ten to twenty boat lengths is well beyond what is required to establish room to pass based on expert opinions from Dave Perry and Trevor Lewis. (attached)

5) Rule RSS 11 does not apply in this case as Renegade clearly established overlap without question by travelling the 10 to 20 boat lengths overlapped before the alleged incident. Rule 19.2b applies in this case and the protest should be thrown out.



I have included supporting documentation in the form of a chart and articles from Dave Perry, and Trevor Lewis with a brief biography of each for those who may not be familiar with them.

This is the refusal.

John:

In response to your withdrawal of your request for redress / request for reopening received this afternoon, Ted asked me to respond on behalf of the protest committee since he is preoccupied with work today.

RRS 66 states, “The protest committee may reopen a hearing when it decides that it may have made a significant error, or when significant new evidence becomes available within a reasonable time.”

The protest committee has considered your request for reopening the hearing conducted on November 29 in light of your submission on December 1. We have decided that your submission does not present “significant new evidence” nor do we believe the protest committee made a significant error. Therefore, your request for reopening is denied.

In drafting the facts found / conclusions / decision of the protest, we did not include those facts /conclusions we believed to be irrelevant to the RRS 11 incident. The additional facts and conclusions are as follows:

Facts Found (regarding RRS 19)

  1. At the time the overlap was established, Mananan and Renegade were near the east side of the west channel on the Canadian side of the Detroit River, west of Turkey Island and approximately abeam of marker DF7. The chart water depth in that area (referencing NOAA Chart 14853, page 8) is 27 feet. The Detroit River was 1.2 meters (3.9 feet) above chart datum on September 20, 2017 (www.waterlevels.gc.ca, Amherstburg station).
  2. The eastern edge of the channel rises sharply to a chart depth of 5 feet (9 feet actual depth) and slopes gently 100 to 200 yards towards the marshy area around Turkey Island. The bottom is mud and sand with substantial weed cover.
  3. Renegade’s draft is 5.5 feet
  4. Both boats were sailing the rhumbline to the finish line which had marker DF8 on the starboard end.
  5. The distance between markers DF7 and DF8 is 500 yards (again, referencing the NOAA chart).
  6. A witness aboard Renegade testified that their depth sounder alarm beep did not sound until Renegade had nearly passed Mananan. The same witness also testified that, “the alarm goes off a lot” due to the prevalence of shallow water in the racing area and that the depth sounder often detects the top of the weeds rather than the bottom.

Conclusions (regarding RRS 19)

At no time during the incident was Renegade in danger of running aground. Mananan was not obligated to provide additional room under RRS 19.2 (b) and did not compel Renegade to break RRS 11.

We consider this matter closed.

Does my depthsounder alarm and sailing through weed beds not give an indication I was in the shallows and rule 19.2 should apply?
Created: 17-Dec-02 15:29

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