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When Has a Tack Occurred Fluky Winds?
This relates to Radio Controlled Yacht Racing especially, since close trees, buildings, bankings etc can readily cause big wind shifts of short duration, especially in light winds. In the drawing, the Blue boat enters the zone (4 boat lengths) first with Mark Room. The wind is light and fluky. Blue boat tries to shoot the Mark (easy for RC yachts in light winds), beginning at P3. A wind shift at P4 (nominally htw) causes the sails to briefly move from the port side to the starboard side and at P5 returns to the port side. Between P4 and P5 Blue's heading does not change. (disregard the sails appearing to be backed - this is just how the Boats Scenario program does it - assume sails momentarily may have followed the boom) Red claims that Blue was Tacking and has Tacked. Therefore loses Mark Room, and tacks inside the Zone. Red had to go above close-hauled and claimed Blue infringed R13, R18.2(d) and R18.3, maybe R15 also. Blue denies tacking and claims that Blue still had Mark Room and Red failed to give Mark Room. Blue further claims that Blue did NOT "Pass" Head to Wind - but rather that the wind passed Blue's bow. The example was given that a car passes a lamp post but the lamp post does not pass the car. The regular English definition of "Pass" (which is NOT defined in the Rules) is cited to be " "Pass" (which is the root of "passes") is defined as 3. a: to move in a path so as to approach and continue beyond something : move past". [bold added]. If the bow does not move port or starboard relative to the previous heading, how can it be said that the boat "passes head to wind"?The wind passes the bow, but the boat heading did not move. " (Credit to RCLaser03) Note that under "Definitions" 1. Tack is " corresponding to her windward side" 2. "Leeward and Windward - A boat’s leeward side is the side that is or, when she is head to wind, was away from the wind. - " and " However, when sailing by the lee or directly downwind, her leeward side is the side on which her mainsail lies". (i.e. the mainsail side only applies downwind)
The question is "has a yacht tacked if the wind shifts and causes sails to briefly move to the other side then back again". and "Who should be disqualified"
Created: 23-Mar-17 01:54
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R18.2(d) is not a rule you can break, it just turns off R18, which happened at position 5 leaving Blue without mark-room. R15 did not apply as R13 still did. R18.3 didn't apply before or at position 5 (at position 6 maybe, but that's too late).
My view is:
(4) Blue has tacked to port, and so Red has acquired ROW (R13, etc), and so Blue should take a penalty.
(5) Red is required to give Blue room to keep clear (R15), and so Red may also have infringed.
Very rarely though a situation like this is bound to get through. What is a PC to do? We are, AIUI, required to be comfortably satisfied as to the facts found, and then apply the rules. If we stuff up our rule interpretation then an appeal can sort it out. Are there guidelines for when a PC is unable to reach that level of certainty about what occurred on the water?
Also, was there damage? Between 4-5, Red doesn’t seem to have responded to Blue’s luff before the sail flopped and Blue passed HTW at 5. 15 doesn’t apply, but 14 still does. IMO Blue doesn’t change course in such a way that Red couldn’t have anticipated the need to avoid contact, so if there was damage, Red’s possible exoneration under 43.1(a) and 43.1(c) needs scrutiny.
Also, Red let herself get very close to Blue in a boat-to-boat orientation bow-to-stern which severely limited Blue’s ability to maneuver in both directions. Based on the drawing, before the tack at 5, was Red keeping clear under rule 11 (can Blue change course in either direction without making contact immediately before the tack)? How close Red was before the tack, and whether that was too close, also needs determination.
In the case as described, it is not certain the boat went through HTW so it should be presumed that they did not. So the state of the boats did not change. I think Red is going to have a lot of problems here as the windward boat and one required to give room as the situation develops.
We have to recognize that the wind is never constant in either velocity or direction nor is a boat's course constant. This is true no matter the size of the boat. A boat can be "HTW" and both the wind and the boat can change direction slightly without being certain that the boat went through HTW and becoming a tacking boat. It's only when you are certain that it happened that it did happen.
We see these auto-tack and auto flip-flops on a regular basis now.
Our solution is to recognize that we have no control over this, we expect this, we chalk it up to fate, and we pardon one another.
Sail on. It is radio-sailing. No one got wet or got fingers smashed, and no one's gelcoat got scratched.
What allows us to be so generous is that we have a longstanding one-in-three throw-out policy historically necessitated by frequent encounters with both weeds and our welcome newcomers.
I’m making a different point. Our assumption is that Blue is holding her course basically when the wind shifts and puts her on port tack? If so, there is nothing for Red to anticipate, Blue is holding her course and Red, when she was the KC boat, didn’t respond much to Blue’s ROW luff to windward. Red remained on a converging course with Blue.
Assuming that it is found that Blue did tack without changing course, Red has gone from a close, converging KC boat under 11 to a close converging ROW boat under 13 with an obligation to avoid contact.
Blue makes no change of course during this tack, and at 5, it appears it is not possible for Blue to avoid contact, as a turn in either direction puts either her bow or stern into Red.
Red on the other hand maintained a converging course while KC and had ample room to starboard to avoid contact both when KC under 11 and later when ROW 13.
It is not Blue’s tack which “compelled” Red to break 14. Blue basically held her course. IMO 43.1(a) is out. So it’s down to 43.1(c) so Blue needs a “no damage” situation to escape 14.
So, to keep something, you should have had it beforehand.
If blue would have been given the room to keep clear under 11, then, under an hipotetical 13, blue could have been able to keep clear. But with no room to keep, what could she do?
Red just broke 11,and she's clutching at straws to avoid a well deserved DSQ
I’d toss another question out there (as I prepare to duck, run and hide)
Is being head to wind and the wind shifting (momentarily putting you on another tack) .. an “action”? Did Blue “act” when her tack changed?
If Blue didn’t do “an action”, then maybe 15 isn’t off the table for Red?
If 15 applies then Blue initially gets room, which again means Red has to be far enough away so Blue can fall-off away from Red.
The way i look at it:
- Blue luffs, Red under 11 should keep clear (of course, Blue respecting 15)
- both boats get head to wind wind, Red still under 11
- wind suddently shifts on the left, then BOTH boats are on port. Do they tacked, according to the rules? Well, I say, who cares? they are now both on port, wether they liked or not. New rules. Now Blue is under 11. Blue not clear from Red? It means that Red already broke 11 before the wind shift.
So, in short: the wind shift, and the boats get in a different situation, where different rules apply, well, the new rules must be applied. Regardless on how they get there.
If the boat losing its ROW, under the new scenario, is unable to stay clear, it means there was something wrong before.
So, at the end, for me, no issue