Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Room at obstruction

Thomas Barker
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Situation: Short gybing down the shore to avoid tide. Approaching a mark that must be left to seaward as SIs class inshore of it as obstruction.
Incident:
Both boats are downwind with spinnakers hoisted on same leg of race. They are overlapped from about 10 boat lengths from the obstruction.
Boat A is on Stbd and planning to pass obstruction mark to Stbd and head further inshore after
Boat B is on Port, coming from inshore and trying to clear the obstruction mark.
Boat A is the seaward boat.
Boat B calls for water on the obstruction.
Boat A refuses as to give water as they are on Stbd and Boat B can pass behind without going head to wind.
Boat B claims to have water at the obstruction mark and barges in on the mark and gybes after to head back inshore. Causing Boat A to alter course and crash gybe.

Who is in the right?

Update: Thank you for all the input. Just to help clarify some points raised:
The mark indicates the extremity of piling for an old, no longer there, pier (see Stokes Bay Pier). Boats are required to pass to seaward of the mark. The area immediately inside the mark is considered an obstruction as detailed in the SIs.

It is not a mark of the course, nor is on the racing line, just in a place of less tide. It is also not a continuing obstruction

My query was trying to focus on the P vs S situation. To my knowledge - seemingly lacking in this matter - Stbd had rights over port as both entered the zone on opposite gybes.
Created: 18-Jun-28 12:37

Comments

Warren Nethercote
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • International Judge
1
Rule 19.2(b) is clear. They are overlapped, so outside (S) owes inside (P) room.
Created: 18-Jun-28 14:41
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
1
Both boats are both boats are sailing more than ninety degrees from the true wind. They are overlapped (Definitions: Clear Ahead and Clear Astern, Overlapped).

The mark is not a continuing obstruction. Rule 18 applies (rules 18.1( d ), .19.1( a )).

B, on port tack is required to keep clear of A on starboard (rule 10).

A is overlapped outside B when the first of them reaches the zone. A is required to give B mark-room (rule 18.2( b ))..

B, on port, does not keep clear of A on starboard. B breaks rule 10.

A gybes, giving B mark-room.

B, sailing within the mark-room to which she is entitled is exonerated for breaking rule 10 in accordance with rule 21.1.

No penalty required.

Created: 18-Jun-28 14:44
Clark Chapin
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Club Race Officer
0
19 does not apply because the obstruction is a mark.
If the boats are overlapped when Boat A (Starboard) reaches the zone, then Boat B is entitled to mark-room by 18.2(b).
Created: 18-Jun-28 14:45
Bill Handley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
If I understand the situation correctly the mark is on the seaward side of the obstruction and has a required side according to the sailing instructions. If that is the case then the fact that the mark is marking an obstruction is irrelevant and it is rule 18 Mark Room and not Rule 19 Room to Pass an Obstruction that applies.

Assuming boat B was inside and overlapped when either she or boat A first entered the zone then B is entitled to Mark Room which in this context is room to leave the mark on the required side. The fact that she passes the mark and gybes immediately inshore suggests that she is taking no more than the mark room to which she is entitled. When B on port causes A on starboard to gybe to avoid her she breaks rule 10 but is exonerated under rule 21(a) as she is taking mark room to which she is entitled. When A gybes away to give B mark room she meets her obligations under rule 18.2(b).

As described no boat broke a rule - at least that is my opinion on the facts as I understand them
Created: 18-Jun-28 14:52
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
1
Hey John,

The mark is not a continuing obstruction. Rule 18 applies (rules 18.1( d ), .19.1( a )).

Wouldn't that determination require more detail of the underwater contours leading to the mark relative to inside-port boat's position and course to the mark?

In the end, I don't think that determination makes a difference .. inside-overlapped B is owed either mark-room or room to pass the continuing obstruction with either interpretation of the obstruction (given the overlap starts 10 BL's away from convergence).

Ang

Created: 18-Jun-28 15:01
Warren Nethercote
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • International Judge
1
I seem to be the only proponent of Rule 19 here, and I see the logic of 18 under the stricture of Rule 19.1(a), but the original post is not clear as to whether the mark is a mark of the course or a mark defining the obstruction. Perhaps it doesn't matter.

In absence of the area defined as an obstruction inshore of the mark, a boat could take the mark on the wrong side (or be forced to do so) and could correct her error by unwinding. But if she sails on the wrong side of the mark in this case she enters the area defined as an obstruction and breaks the sailing instruction (with no chance of exoneration, except by means of a successful protest). The mark, if a mark of the course and a navaid, may well be an obstruction in its own right, so 19.1(a) could be invoked for the mark, but the defined obstruction is not the mark, whether the mark is a mark of the course or not; instead, it is the area behind the mark, for which 19.2(b) applies.

Perhaps I dance upon the head of a pin, but the answer is the same in either case.
Created: 18-Jun-28 16:14
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
1
Warren, I think you and I are on the same page (hopefully that acknowledgement doesn't force you to reconsider! lol)

Without more details on the drafts of the boats, the underwater contours leading to the mark as well as Inside-Port's course relative to those contours, I can't see how we can determine if we are talking about mark-room, obstruction-room or continuing-obstruction-room .. but as you say .. given the details provided .. STB ends-up owing "room" for Port to pass between her and the mark no matter how we define it.

Ang
Created: 18-Jun-28 17:10
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
PS .. for contrast, is it interesting to consider an antithetical case? Case 43

Flip the winds and shorelines using Case 43 and taking overlap out of the equation.. but plop a mark along the shore.

Created: 18-Jun-28 17:35
Brent Draney
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
1
Based on the update I think the word Mark was misinterpreted as a mark of the course when it appears is was an object marking an obstruction that was defined as an obstruction in the SI's. I think the same result of B prevailing over A is reached under rule 19 instead of 18.

Did I interpret the Update correctly?
Created: 18-Jun-28 22:35
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Thomas .. thanks for the update.

The mark indicates the extremity of piling for an old, no longer there, pier (see Stokes Bay Pier). Boats are required to pass to seaward of the mark. The area immediately inside the mark is considered an obstruction as detailed in the SIs.

It is not a mark of the course, nor is on the racing line, just in a place of less tide. It is also not a continuing obstruction

So your last point first I think. The RRS's define "Mark" as follows ...

Mark
An object the sailing instructions require a boat to leave on a specified side, ....

So you state the SI's require boats to pass this pier marker on a specific side .. it is therefore a "mark" of the course for the purposes of the RRS's.

Your description of it being at the end of submerged pier is very helpful .. also maybe the picture below.

That's a big dang pier. Also given your description that boats are gybing back into shore after passing it, I think we can assume it's not a continuing obstruction. The shoreline is a continuing obstruction, but the boats aren't "at" the shoreline in this case as the pier is so large.

That said .. it is both a mark and an obstruction .. so I'm with Bill and John's explanations with these further details.

Ang
Created: 18-Jun-29 02:01
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
I think I have to change my mind about whether this is a continuing obstruction or not and agree with Warren.

Continuing Obstruction was discussed in a previous topic What is a CONTINUING OBSTRUCTION ??? in which I have posted an update. In language and logic, a shoreline and a pier projecting from it are a continuing obstruction and Case 33 no longer provides an interpretation to the contrary.

I'm now happy that a navigation mark (presumably a buoy or a pile) that 'indicates the extremity' of an obstruction is part of the obstruction.

So, contrary to my previous post, the navigation mark (whether or not it is specified, expressly or by implication, in the SI as a mark) IS a continuing obstruction. Here are the necessary changes to my previous post.

The mark is not a continuing obstruction. Rule 1819 applies (rules 18.1( d ), .19.1( a )).

B, on port tack is required to keep clear of A on starboard (rule 10).

A isbecame overlapped outside B when the first of them reaches the zone.about 10 boat lengths from the obstruction. At that moment, there was ample room between the position of A and the obstruction for B to pass between them. A is not exempted from the requirement to give B room to pass between her and the obstruction (RYA Appeal 2014/4) A is required to give B mark-room (rule 1819.2( b ))..

B, on port, does not keep clear of A on starboard. B breaks rule 10.

A gybes, giving B mark-room.

B, sailing within the mark-room to which she is entitled is exonerated for breaking rule 10 in accordance with rule 21.1.

No penalty required.
Created: 18-Jun-29 07:06
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Angelo Guarino
said

PS .. for contrast, is it interesting to consider an antithetical case? Case 43

I don't think this is a good contrast.

Case 43 has boats on a beat to windward: Therefore boats on opposite tack are not overlapped. Rule 18 does not apply. Rule 19 does not apply.
Created: 18-Jun-29 07:13
Bill Handley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
Just to make further remarks following the clarification. The end of the pier is unquestionably an object and if the SIs say that it must be passed to seaward then it has a specified side. This means it is a mark of the course - see definition of "mark". As it is a mark rule 18 applies and rule 19 does not.

Whilst the shoreline is a continuing obstruction the end of an object protruding from the shore line is not so the condition of the final sentence of 19.1 is not met and 19.2(c) does not apply. This point used to be covered explicitly in WS Case 33 but now is only cover implicitly in that the decision in the case is based on 19.2(b) and not 19.2(c). If the ends of the breakwaters in the case were considered to be part of a continuing obstruction the the decision given in response to Q2 would cite 19.2(c). as it cites 19.2(b) this is a clear indication that the end of the breakwater is not part of a continuing obstruction, Because rule 18 applies the boats are overlapped even if they are on opposite tacks (see definition). I see no reason to change my initial view.
Created: 18-Jun-29 07:24
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
John,

I don't think this is a good contrast. Case 43 has boats on a beat to windward: Therefore boats on opposite tack are not overlapped. Rule 18 does not apply. Rule 19 does not apply.

Precisely why I offered it as a contrasting/antithetical case as it seemed the OP was confused why/when STB's rights weren't paramount. This example is opposite in almost every way.

He can think of his same 2 boats coming back up the same shoreline toward the pier mark (back toward finish) .. same port boat tacking back onto port from hugging the shore and heading toward, and on a collision course, with STB at the same mark (both on beats to windward).. and now the port-boat hugging the shore DOES NOT get room. Why?

  • at a mark on a beat to windward on opposite tacks, thus 18.1(a) turns off 18 (no room),
  • if the mark-obstruction is determined NOT to be a continuing obstruction, 19.1(a) turns 19 off (no room)
  • if the mark is determined to be part of a continuing obstruction, opposite tacks to windward means no-overlap this time. Both RRS 19.2 b&c require overlap to get room at obstructions (obstructions and continuing-obstruction) .. so no room again.
.... and thus STB's RRS 10 and RRS 14 for both boats end-up paramount.


Ang

Created: 18-Jun-29 11:39
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Bill .. as usual .. you've got me thinking ..

If the ends of the breakwaters in the case were considered to be part of a continuing obstruction the the decision given in response to Q2 would cite 19.2(c). as it cites 19.2(b) this is a clear indication that the end of the breakwater is not part of a continuing obstruction

When I look at WS33, I also see clearly that in that case the breakwater is not a continuing obstruction but I don't think we can necessarily project that conclusion to the original scenario here (or generalize such that perpendicular protrusions are not CO's).

When I examine WS33, I see boats overlapped sailing toward the seawall, then tacking away (breaking overlap) from the shoreline and toward the breakwater, which formed an 7 BL x 4 BL box. In WS33, there is no sense at all that they are sailing-along something which would take considerable time to pass. Once both boats where on the new tack and overlapped, the end of the breakwater is more clearly just an obstruction IMO and the seawall not an issue really.

In our original scenario .. we have a shoreline (not a seawall) .. so we do have to account for underwater contours .. but we certainly have the ability to be sailing along the shore for a very long time and thus we can satisfy the notion of taking significant time to pass it (the dimensions in question are not just a few BL's).

I'm with you in our case that since Port was sailing-away from the shoreline toward the end of the pier-marker, she was not "at" the shoreline and therefore it was not a continuing-obstruction. The pier in front of her was an obstruction she was approaching.

On the other-hand, what if the boats were on the same gybe (10 BL's from pier).. and our STB boat was close to leeward of the shore-side inside boat (also on STB) .. and outside was keeping inside pinned against the safe-sailing-depth approaching this 90 deg discontinuity (the pier) .. would you then think this pier and shore would then form a continuous-obstruction (albeit with a 90 deg bend) to them both?

To my mind .. they are at it, taking time to pass along it and overlapped with it.

Ang

PS .. I guess what I'm getting at is that determining if an object is a continuous-obstruction or just an obstruction is not simply a property of the object itself, but also involves looking at the boats' relationships to it and to each other?

Created: 18-Jun-29 12:54
Bill Handley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
Ang - my opinion for what it worth is that to an extent whether or not an object is a continuing obstruction will depend on the relationship of the boats to the obstruction. In Case 33 the boats are not looking for room on the shore or even the break waters but on the very end of the break water. As this is only briefly passed it is not a continuing obstruction. In the current case the fact that P sailed to the end of the pier, passed it and immediately gybed back towards the shore suggest that it was an equally brief passing and the end of the pier was not a continuing instruction.

In your imagined scenario if W was sailed close to the shore and then sailed along the line of the pier/break water by L only giving her the minimum room to pass between her and the obstruction then the shore and the break water would be a continuing obstruction. This is different in that the obstruction is the whole of the shore and the pier and not just the tip of it as in case 33 and the case described here.

In any event I remain firmly of the opinion that in this case we are dealing with rule 18 and not rule 19. If there was an above surface structure all the way from the shore to the mark then there would be no need for an instruction to say that you have to pass to seaward of it as it would be physically impossible to do anything else. It can only be that some distance to seaward of the above surface structure there is a submerged obstruction out to the "mark". Boats may be able to sail inside the mark depending on their draft or the state of the tide but the RC (very sensibly) does not want them to do this and so gives the mark a required side for reasons of safety. That makes it a mark of the course according to the definition and rule 18 applies.

We have exactly this problem at St Mawes where in the harbour entrance we have St Mawes Cardinal mark on the seaward side of Lugo rock. We did consider creating a no go area between the mark and the shore but as this would require one of more sight lines to the shore to create an area which would then be an obstruction. In the event we just give the mark a required side making it a mark of the course (not perfect because a boat could sail inside the mark and then unwind herself) but the easiest solution.

Hope this helps
Created: 18-Jun-29 17:36
Warren Nethercote
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • International Judge
0
Bill, it is a good illustration of how a race committee might help, or hinder common understanding, through the wording of the SIs. Was the buoy defining the limits of the obstruction listed as a mark of the course, or was it part of the description of the obstruction in "Areas that are Obstructions?" If the former, 18 is easy. If the latter, I think it's 19 whereas you argue, quite reasonably I think, that 18 should apply. What's a poor sailor to do? Hopefully, something sensible.
Created: 18-Jun-29 18:07
Bill Handley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
Warren - I think for the most part we are in danger of furiously agreeing with each other. An object cannot be an obstruction just because it is listed as such in the SIs. It either meets the definition of obstruction and is one or doesn't and isn't - SIs can't change the definition. The SIs may designate an area as an obstruction (see also definition) and that area could involve the mark itself and an area on the landward side. This brings about exactly the problems of taking sight lines etc that I described and the obstruction would be the whole area and the mark, not just the mark itself.

I read the initial set up of this question as meaning that the mark had a required side but I guess it could just mean that because the mark and connected area were designated obstructions the practical effect was that boats were require to pass the mark on the seaward side. If the former it's rule 18 if the latter 19. As you rightly say the devil would be in the detail.

It's all really pretty well academic in this case as the rights and obligations between the boats would be the same in these specific circumstance whether we apply 18.2(b) or 19.2(b).
Created: 18-Jun-29 18:54
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Warren to your point .... I'm wishing US Appeal 83 had a Question 5 ...
Appeal US83
Hypothetical Question 5 for US83:
If ....
.
  1. the SI's made the applicable U.S. government security regulation a rule governing the event,
  2. the security regulations (not the SI's) designate that the "ring of buoys marks the perimeter of each security zone", and
  3. The sailing instructions state that one of these cribs is a mark of the course (as previously stipulated in 'Assumed Facts') ...

Are the buoys that mark the perimeter of the security-zone around the crib marks of the course?

Ang
Created: 18-Jun-29 18:59
Bill Handley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
Ang - having read the case I would say the answer to your question is no bearing in mind that the security regulations do not prohibit you touching the marks, they prohibit you sailing in the zone. The buoys exist only to mark the limit of the exclusion zones which because of the adoption of the security regulations are now obstructions. The area of the obstruction would be determined by linking the outer most point of each buoy with the outer most point of the next one with the exclusion zone being "inside" of the resulting lines. In those circumstances a boat could touch one of the buoys without penalty as long as she did not encroach in the zone in doing so.

Created: 18-Jun-29 19:25
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Bill .. yea .. I'm with your answer on my hypo-Q5 .. but think of what happens to the zone round the mark?

The buoys are 100 yards-out from the mark in the center .. so boats would have to round the mark with no boat ever being able to enter the zone.

Interesting....

Seems the SI's would specifically have to make the exclusion zone and the buoys marking its perimeter marks of the course.

Ang
Created: 18-Jun-29 20:00
Bill Handley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
Ange, can't be done. An area/zone can't be a mark as the definition of mark requires it to be an object. Although unusual I can't see any problem with a mark being surrounded by an exclusion zone larger than the mark zone. The mark could still be passed on the required side (all be it at a distance) and rule 19 would apply to the obstruction zone. I guess you could replace the one mark with all the marks having a specified side but then you would flip from rule 18 as you approached each mark and rule 19 on the bits in between which could prove interesting.
Created: 18-Jun-29 21:10
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
RRS 19 to round ... interesting

Circumferance = 2*pi*radius = 1,885 ft around the mark.

Assuming a boat rounds it by 1/2 the circle = 952 feet or 27 boat-lengths for a 10 meter boat.

Sounds like a continuing obstruction to boot for most boats.

Pretty wild to consider.

Ang
Created: 18-Jun-29 22:08
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Just specify ALL of the boundary markers as marks, to be passed on the same side as the central object
Created: 18-Jun-29 23:50
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