Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Recrossing a finish line

Robin Gray
Nationality: United Kingdom
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • International Race Officer
  • National Race Officer
For our Club and Winter dinghy racing we race around fixed marks, starting from a a committee vessel (to give a windward start) and finishing at a fixed line.  This line is not very long (around 150m) and we do not want boats who have finished to come back over the line and preventing the Finish officials from seeing sail numbers of finishing boats.  This is the SI as currently written: "After starting correctly, the finish line between the orange pole at the battery in the North dinghy park and the black mark F shall rank as an obstruction except when finishing or completing a round.  Boats contravening this SI will be scored DSQ without a hearing.  This changes RRS 63.1, and A5." 
The problem that has arisien is that a boat having finished (and cleared the finish line and marks) could then sail down through the line with the defence that they were no longer racing and no longer subject to the SIs.  How do we and is it possible to make this instruction bullet proof?

Created: 22-Sep-15 11:01

Comments

P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Robin, are there other marks that can be used to create a “clearing line” such that you could require boats that have finished to cross or proceed to?  If so, maybe you could instruct all boats to stay out of the area defined between the FL and this CL with the [DP][NP] designation, just like many do when defining a “starting area” and telling boats whose warning signal has not been given to stay out of. 
Created: 22-Sep-15 11:05
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
PS … the RC could also protest boats no longer racing under RRS 23.1 as DSQ is still available to a PC for such a boat. Do that a couple times, the problem might be solved quickly. 
Created: 22-Sep-15 11:19
Gordon Davies
Nationality: Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
5
One point:
Your SI reads -  After starting correctly, the finish line between the orange pole at the battery in the North dinghy park and the black mark F shall rank as an obstruction except when finishing or completing a round.  
As the line is an obstruction rules 19 or 20 would apply. However this SI does not prohibit a boat from crossing the line.
It would be safer to write:
After starting boats shall not cross the finish line in either direction except when finishing or completing a round. After finishing and clearing the line a boat shall not cross the finishing line in either direction while any boat is still racing or until the race committee abandons the race. After starting the finish line is an obstruction except when a boat is finishing or completing a round. 
Created: 22-Sep-15 11:33
Tom Erik van Strien
Nationality: Netherlands
Certifications:
  • Regional Race Officer
  • Regional Judge
  • Regional Umpire
  • National Race Officer
  • National Measurer
  • Club Judge
  • Club Race Officer
0
Aside the rulings I would suggest to narrow down the finishenline.  40-60 metres is more than enough snd would solve the incidents you describe.
Created: 22-Sep-15 12:59
Theodor Beier
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
Agree with Tom Erik, even a 40m finish line is generous.  I am surprised that the line sighter and recorder on your RC are not rebelling at a 150m line.  In addition, if you use two marks to denote a shorter finish line and separate it from the down wind rounding mark, your problem should disappear and give finished boats less reason to want/need to recross the line.
Created: 22-Sep-15 14:21
Murray Cummings
Nationality: New Zealand
0
What would happen in the case of very light wind and an adverse current near the finish, where a boat is head-to-wind in an attempt to "shoot the line"?  The bow of the boat  only just crosses the line (ie the boat finishes) before the boat drifts backwards.  The skipper, not able to determine if the bow actually did cross the line, eventually gets the boat moving forward again and sails across the line to finish (unaware the boat has already been recorded as finished).  Wouldn't such a SI result in a DSQ for the boat?

Created: 22-Sep-15 14:54
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
0
Absent wind or current conditions like Murray describes that would lead to a boat shooting the line to finish & then drifting back onto the course, it seems like most racers prefer to sail above the line to get clear of the finishing marks. Is this an observed problem in your fleet or are you trying to solve a hypothetical? 

I agree that designating the line as an obstruction isn't sufficient. And I think we've had a few threads that have illustrated how complicated it gets when you try to prohibit boats from doing something at a start/finish line while still allowing them to do what they must do. If you're not careful you could wind up making any boat that finishes subject to DSQ without a hearing. 
Created: 22-Sep-15 15:46
Patricia Neri
Nationality: United Kingdom
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
  • National Judge
1
Perhaps your SIs could say:  boats not racing shall not pass through the finishing line. 
Created: 22-Sep-15 16:19
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
-1
Brava, Patricia! 
(Except that boats not racing are not subject to the SI.)
Created: 22-Sep-15 19:22
Robin Gray
Nationality: United Kingdom
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • International Race Officer
  • National Race Officer
0
Thanks for all the replies - this is for club racing - the line is fixed - we cant make it any shorter or the boats would need wheels.  Tide/current is also not an issue   The real point of the question was about making a rule/SI that can be in force even though the boats are no longer racing and therefore rules do not apply see definition Racing.  Not sure this is solvable
Created: 22-Sep-15 20:20
Theodor Beier
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
Make your SI a modification to RRS 23.1.  According to the preamble of Part 2, RRS 23.1 is still in effect after a boat finishes.  If the re-crossers are interfering with recording finishers, a case can be made that a re-crosser is "interfering with a boat that is racing".  Just a bit of expansion to the comment made by Mr. Guarino. 
Created: 22-Sep-15 20:54
Robin Gray
Nationality: United Kingdom
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • International Race Officer
  • National Race Officer
0
Thanks Theodor that was one of my first thoughts too but RRS 23.1 being a Rule of Part 2 can not be changed.
Created: 22-Sep-15 20:58
Theodor Beier
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • National Judge
-1
You are not changing it; merely adding interpretation.
Created: 22-Sep-15 21:08
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
1
Why would SI (which is a rule) not apply to a boat that was participating in the event but not racing?

And it seems like 23.1 would already apply to boats that were returning to/through the course if they interfered with another boat that was still racing. Sounds like OP's problem is not that but rather returning boats' interfering with RC's ability to spot sail numbers of finishing boats.
Created: 22-Sep-15 22:41
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
In Annapolis Maryland, we have the Wed Night Series and the Frostbite series which finish in Spa Creek directly in front of the Annapolis Yacht Club.

The finish line extends the full width of the creek and just past the finish line is a DRAW BRIDGE!

image.jpeg 492 KB


Every Wed, there are well over 120 boats finishing here, turning back and crossing back through the finish line.  The “understanding” is that boats exit back out the creek along the south shore and everyone does a great job staying out of the way and doing their best not to effect boats still racing. 

I’m often on the PC for Wed Night Racing and I can’t think of a protest by the RC or boat alleging  that a boat not racing interfered with a boat racing. Every week, it just works. 

This is all to say that communication and culture can go a long way.  I would put into the SI’s a “finishing area” just like a starting area and state that boats that have finished shall exit the finishing area as soon as reasonably possible and designate this as [DP][NP].  

The above along with RRS 23.1 should give boats and the RC all the tools needed to set the culture and habit of boats to exit smoothly and keep out of the way of boats still racing. 
Created: 22-Sep-16 01:32
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Robin Gray
Said : 
Created: Yesterday 11:01

SI say

"After starting correctly, the finish line between the orange pole at the battery in the North dinghy park and the black mark F shall rank as an obstruction except when finishing or completing a round.  Boats contravening this SI will be scored DSQ without a hearing.  This changes RRS 63.1, and A5."


With respect, because it looks like you have inherited something out of the 1950s,  the general answer to the question 
How do we and is it possible to make this instruction bullet proof?

is

Write SI that tell boats what they shall or shall not do, using those words.

Don't rely on inferences or implications.

Dont use quaint language from IYRU rules long since dead, such as 'rank as'.

Specifically, for this sort of thing:

  1. Say boats shall not cross the line/sail in th  area ...  
  2. Say the line/area is an obstuction.

I think Gordon's wording does the job.


The problem that has arisien is that a boat having finished (and cleared the finish line and marks) could then sail down through the line with the defence that they were no longer racing and no longer subject to the SIs.

As Tim said

Why would SI (which is a rule) not apply to a boat that was participating in the event but not racing?

There's nothing in the RRS that suggests this.  All the RRS that apply only to boats while racing have a preamble 'while racing...'.

Rules apply from the time they are published until the event ends, unless qualified as to time.

The solution to that 'problem' is to get the smarty-pants that are running with it into a protest hearing with a competent protest committee.
Created: 22-Sep-16 04:49
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Theodor Beier
Said Created: Yesterday 20:54
Make your SI a modification to RRS 23.1.  According to the preamble of Part 2, RRS 23.1 is still in effect after a boat finishes.  If the re-crossers are interfering with recording finishers, a case can be made that a re-crosser is "interfering with a boat that is racing". 

Robin Gray
Said Created: Yesterday 20:58
Thanks Theodor that was one of my first thoughts too but RRS 23.1 being a Rule of Part 2 can not be changed.

Theodor Beier
Said Created: Yesterday 21:08
You are not changing it; merely adding interpretation.

I disagree, and agree with Robin.

No way is interfering with the race committee's observation interfering with a boat.

As a judge, any time I see a SI referring to  RRS rule and saying something different from what the rule says, that's changing the RRS.

Rule 85.1
... A change to a rule includes an addition to it. ...

Created: 22-Sep-16 05:05
Patricia Neri
Nationality: United Kingdom
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
  • National Judge
0
Philip, your statement “Except that boats not racing are not subject to the SI” is incorrect. 


Boats that have entered any event, including a club race, that is “governed by the rules as defined in the Racing Rules of Sailing” are subject to such rules throughout the event, not only while racing, and these rules by definition include the SI.


The problem Robin is addressing is: “we do not want boats who have finished to come back over the line and preventing the Finish officials from seeing sail numbers of finishing boats.”


Although boats that have finished and cleared the finishing line and marks are no longer racing, there are of course many sailing instructions that such boat’s must still comply with.  A few typical examples:


1. RRS 40.1 shall apply at all times while afloat.
2. When instructed by the technical committee, a boat shall proceed immediately to a designated area for inspection.
3. After returning ashore each competitor shall, within the protest time limit, personally sign in on the required form located next to the Official Notice Board.
4. When ashore, boats shall be kept in their assigned places in the boat park.
5. Competitors and support persons shall comply with any reasonable request from a race official.


My proposed SI: “Boats not racing shall not pass through the finishing line” would certainly be binding on boats that have finished and are no longer racing. 
I think it’s a simple and effective solution to Robin’s problem. 

Created: 22-Sep-16 08:40
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
There is always the possibility of CLEARLY AND REASONABLY REQUESTING certain behaviors of sailors as fellow sportsmen, given certain venue situations, and citing sportsmanship.
And a heavy implication of fallback to RRS 2.
Created: 22-Sep-16 08:46
Jim Champ
Nationality: United Kingdom
0
My club has this:
After finishing a boat shall clear the finish line away from the course and shall not re-cross the line in either direction before the last boat has finished. Where the Race Officer or his team observe a breach of this instruction the penalty shall be a payment into the club charity box or disqualification from the race. RRS 63.1 is modified to allow this. The list of current penalty charges will be displayed in the clubhouse.

To my mind   "until the last boat has finished"  puts a sensible limit for when the rule applies, bearing in mind the definition. 
We have the club charity donation for a couple of primarily organisational/technical infringements where a DSQ feels excessive for casual club sailing. 
Created: 22-Sep-17 00:55
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
I like the "till the last boat finishes" line, Jim.
How about this:
"The starting and finish lines are open only to boats INTENDING at that time to start or finish.
"At all other times boats shall not cross the lines in [either] direction, and the lines rank as obstructions.
"A boat in violation of this rule shall keep clear of other boats racing, sail beyond the end of the line, and take a [two-turns] penalty in accordance with RRS 44."
The INTENT provision allows for starting errors and errors at the finish line, including returning to the course after realizing a mistake.
Created: 22-Sep-17 01:55
Gordon Davies
Nationality: Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
0
Many club SIs can be simplified and updated. For instance Jim Champ wrote:
After finishing a boat shall clear the finish line away from the course and shall not re-cross the line in either direction before the last boat has finished. Where the Race Officer or his team observe a breach of this instruction the penalty shall be a payment into the club charity box or disqualification from the race. RRS 63.1 is modified to allow this. The list of current penalty charges will be displayed in the clubhouse.

This could be rewritten:
A boat that has finished and is no longer racing shall not cross the finishing line from any direction while any other boat is still racing, or the race committee abandons the race. A boat that breaks this instruction   may be penalised by the race committee without a hearing . This changes RRS 63.1 and A5.

This makes clear that a boat does not have to entirely cross the finish line from the course side. I

Then, assuming that there are other alternative penalties of this type ofr othe minor pecadillos,  in the SI Penalty System add:

Addendum X lists the rules for which the penalty may be less than disqualification, and the applicable penalties. This changes RRS 64.2 and A5.

Then add the list hat is already posted in the clubhouse.



Created: 22-Sep-17 10:25
Jim Champ
Nationality: United Kingdom
0
The first time I read that I thought it meant the RC abandons the race if someone recrosses the finishing line [grin]. I guess it just goes to show that rule writing is more difficult than we might think. Must be ten times worse for rule translators - there's a task I don't envy. 

I wouldn't have phrased our SI quite like that, but noone seems to have trouble with it which is one definition of satisfactory. Given good faith and no sea lawyers there's going to be a lot of ways to get the same result. 
Created: 22-Sep-17 11:35
Gordon Davies
Nationality: Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
0
Jim, I generally try and use wording that can be found in the rule book, or at very least restrict my vocabulary to words in the rule book. This makes life easy for non-native Enlish speakers (a major concern in poly-lingual Europe!). This also males translation easier.

So perhaps or the race committee abandons the race could have been better written or the race committee signals that the race has been abandoned


 



Created: 22-Sep-17 12:38
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0

'the race committee abandons the race' or 'the race committee signals that the race has been abandoned'

is superfluous.  If the race committee abandons the race, boats are no longer racing.  Definition: Racing.

Deleting those clauses also avoids problems where there may be more than one race.
Created: 22-Sep-17 13:38
P
David Dalli
Nationality: Malta
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
0
Gordon 
"After starting the finish line is an obstruction except when a boat is finishing or completing a round."   Why is this line necessary? 
Created: 22-Sep-19 08:06
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
David,

That condition is necessary because without it a right of way boat could force a give way boat to cross the line, then protest her and have her penalised.
Created: 22-Sep-19 22:11
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