Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

44.2 and "as soon after the incident as possible"

Jim Archer
Nationality: United States of America
44.2 After getting well clear of other boats as soon after the incident as possible, a boat takes a One-Turn or Two-Turns Penalty by promptly making the required number of turns in the same direction, each turn including one tack and one gybe. When a boat takes the penalty at or near the finishing line, she shall sail completely to the course side of the line before finishing.

I couldn't find a case interpreting the "as soon after the incident as possible." Last week a boat started the race and hit the start mark. They sailed on positioned as the most windward boat of the fleet. Another boat hailed "protest" and flew a flag, and did that perhaps as much as a minute later. The offender then sailed on several more minutes and finally did a one turn penalty. The wind was light, although strong enough that boats could maneuver.

So it seems that the boat that protesting boat did not do so quickly enough, but let's set that aside. After the race, the protesting skipper did not file any protest but was criticized for hailing protest. Her skipper was told "Oh, they would have done their turns, they just needed to get some boat speed first." I came to the defense of the skipper, saying that they are supposed to take their turns right away and that they had opportunity to do so.

The question is, can a boat taking a one or two turns penalty wait until conditions are better, or she has more boat speed, even if she is already clear of the fleet and can do so without obstructing another boat? It seems to me "as soon as possible" means that she should start to get clear and start her turns, even if the wind is light. Other people seem to think "as soon as possible" provides more flexibility. I couldn't find a case on it.

Further, if a boat hits a start mark and does not do a turn, and no one protests, it seems like that's a done deal and although good sportsmanship dictates that they do, they can't be penalized.

Thoughts?
Created: 18-Jul-09 20:03

Comments

Peter Johns
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Umpire
0
CHeck the US Appeals, there was an incident several years ago that went to Appeal and the incident as you described is NOT “as soon as possible”.
Created: 18-Jul-09 21:24
John Christman
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Umpire
  • Regional Race Officer
0
"As soon after the incident as possible" means just that. From the moment the incident is over and the boats are no longer in contact and everyone is safe, the offending boat must begin to do whatever they have to do to get clear of the other boats and start to take their penalty. This may mean taking down the spinnaker, letting their sails luff to stop the boat and let others sail by, sailing past the mark, or tacking/gybing out of a favorable position, whatever it takes is what they need to do. They may *not* wait to get up to speed, wait for a good wind shift, carry the rest of the fleet beyond the layline, wait until after they have taken the spinnaker down and rounded the mark, or any other action of continuing the race. Once their focus is no longer related to the incident and its aftermath then it must be on taking the penalty. If it isn't they have not done it as soon as possible.
Created: 18-Jul-09 21:29
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Fleet Measurer
1
Jim .. I'll offer a few more breadcrumbs to the destination that Peter just sent you.
  1. Make sure you are logged-into the racingrulesofsailing.org website.
  2. At the top, click the "RRS" pull-down and then choose "Rules"
  3. You will see a grey banner and to the right you will see "Rx". Click that and make sure you choose "USA" (this controls which jurisdiction's prescriptions/Appeals you are viewing).
  4. At the left, you will see the RRS's broken into sections, find the section that include RRS 44
  5. Under each RRS, you will now see hyperlinks to WS Cases and Appeals for the jurisdiction you choose (you can change "Rx" to different places and see other area's appeals).
You will find a US Appeal there that discusses it.

Ang
Created: 18-Jul-09 21:35
Bill Handley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
I agree with the earlier comments that the boat does not begin to meet the requirements of 44.2. RYA 2015/1 states the the requirements of 44.2 are absolute and goes on to say ,,,"The first requirement is to get well clear of other boats as soon after the incident as possible " It does not say that a boat should sail on until she can take the penalty with minimum damage to her position.
I would also consider the Basic Principle which says....." A fundamental principle of sportsmanship is that when competitors break a rule they will promptly take a penalty " Here the boat acknowledges that she has broken a rule and not promptly taken a penalty and if it were found as a fact that she had delayed the penalty to mitigate it's effect then a DNE under rule 2 would be an appropriate penalty.
Created: 18-Jul-09 21:46
Donald Radcliffe
Nationality: United States of America
0
I tried to follow the breadcrumbs and they led me to a US Case 60 "Withdrawn for Revision".
Created: 18-Jul-10 02:44
Mike Alison
Nationality: New Zealand
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • National Umpire
0
At the Rio Olympics a lady in Laser Radial was DSQ when she failed to do her penalty as soon as possible. She had not yet reached the zone at the top mark and did the turns after rounding the mark and exiting the zone on the next leg. 10 seconds was deemed too long!!
Equally I have DSQ a sailor for the same thing and not sailing clear....they couldn't complete the turn because RC boats were in the way....clearly they didn't get well clear
Created: 18-Jul-10 04:05
Mike Alison
Nationality: New Zealand
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • National Umpire
0
Guys,
I was looking for something else tonight....Check out Case 108.

In the facts above....The Protestor would in all likelihood find their protest invalid....light winds, no contact and or damage.......a minute is too long.
Additionally......if the above were valid.....the boat touching the start pin broke 31 and 44.2......they didn't as soon as possible take the required turn. Light air or heavy air....it doesn't matter.....it is a penalty not an inconvenience or when I feel like it....the offending boat has gained an advantage by her breach.
If she does the penalty as soon as possible after the start....she now has to sail through the fleet, dirty air etc....instead of being to weather of the fleet she may be last

The offending boat probably deserved at least a DSQ possibly worse
Created: 18-Jul-10 10:06
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Donald re: "breadcrumbs"

The reason I posted my reply like that was that I thought many forum members might not know the effect that selecting the proper "Rx" (Paul's clever "prescription" shortcut) has on what you see when looking at the RRS's on RRoS.org.

If you select Rx="USA" (step #3 in my list), when you look at the rules, the local Appeals are also shown alongside the WS Cases.

For my browser, RRoS.org doesn't seem to save my Rx selection (a behavior already reported to Paul Z) .. so each time you log-in, if you want to see the Appeals as well as the local Prescriptions, then you have to do steps #2 and #3.

Ang
Created: 18-Jul-10 12:30
Jim Archer
Nationality: United States of America
0
Ang, thanks very much. I had not noticed that I can switch jurisdictions like that.

I found the case, US60, but it's not exactly on point. It's close though, and I do agree with the consensus here that the offending boat failed to take her turn quickly enough and that this remedy was no longer available by the time she did make her turn.

So let's dig a little deeper into the protesting boat. What happened is that the committee boat was a small rubber boat sitting at anchor. The offending boat picked up the anchor line and the committee boat was pulled into her hull, but this was not completely clear from where the protesting boat was. As the protesting boat approached the committee boat they asked if there had been contact, the people on the boat confirmed there had been and then the protesting boat put up her flag and hailed the offender.

Given a set of facts like that, is there some leeway in the rule about raising the flag and hailing?

Let's assume there is not, so the protest (if it had been filed - it was not) was dismissed as invalid. Is there another mechanism for enforcing rule 31?

If the protest remained valid, then the offender would have been DSQed for violating rules 31 and 44.2, since she took too much time to do the turn, despite the fact that she did it eventually.
Created: 18-Jul-10 15:11
Al Sargent
Nationality: United States of America
0
On a related note:

Rule 44.2 (one- and two-turn penalties) states that a boat needs to get "well clear" of other boats "as soon as possible".

If one boat fouls another at a windward mark with an offset mark that's about 10-15 seconds away, is it better for them to do their penalty turns:

a) by sailing upwind and doing their turns to windward of the weather mark; or
b) by sailing the offset leg and doing their turns to the left (facing upwind) of the offset mark, assuming port roundings.

My interpretation of rule 44.2 is that option b is better since it takes about as long to sail the offset leg as it does to sail upwind 4-5 boatlengths to get far enough upwind to do their turns without being near the path of other boats sailing the course. Additionally, option b means the boat doing their turns isn't giving bad wind to other boats and is therefore more "well clear" than option a.

However, on the other hand, someone could interpret option b as not compliant with rule 44.2, since the offending boat has sailed an entire leg of the course (the offset) and rounded two marks, before doing their penalty.

Would love to hear guidance from the experts on this forum. Thanks.
Created: 18-Jul-10 15:39
Murray Cummings
Nationality: New Zealand
0
Al,
Taking option b) would mean that a boat would not be starting to get well clear of other boats until having passed the offset mark. Therefore this does not comply with 44.2, as it is not as soon after the incident (at the windward mark) as possible.
It may be that it is faster to get well clear of other boats by sailing downwind (between the weather and offset marks) than to sail upwind, and this would mean that by sailing upwind, a boat is not getting well clear as soon as possible.

Created: 18-Jul-10 22:37
Murray Cummings
Nationality: New Zealand
0
"The offending boat picked up the anchor line and the committee boat was pulled into her hull, but this was not completely clear from where the protesting boat was. As the protesting boat approached the committee boat they asked if there had been contact, the people on the boat confirmed there had been and then the protesting boat put up her flag and hailed the offender."

Jim,
R60.1 allows a boat to protest a breach of rule 31 only when she sees the incident. R61.1(a) requires the protestor to display a red flag and hail 'protest' at the first reasonable opportunity after she saw the incident. The first reasonable opportunity to hail would be immediately after she saw the boat touch the mark. Since she neither saw the boat touch the mark, nor hailed immediately, the protest would be invalid.
The race committee could protest the boat that touched the mark as allowed by R60.2. R61.1(b) requires that the race committee inform the boat of their intention to protest after the race and within the time limit of R61.3.


Created: 18-Jul-10 23:23
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Murray,

It may be that it is faster to get well clear of other boats by sailing downwind (between the weather and offset marks) than to sail upwind, and this would mean that by sailing upwind, a boat is not getting well clear as soon as possible.

I think in most cases, in this offset mark situation at the windward mark .. it wouldn't be wise to sail downwind into the port-tack layline and possibly into boats on a beat to windward on port and also possibly into boats ahead of her rounding the offset and doing a gybe set. That space can be crowded and dangerous to try to do spins.

Initially hardening-up on starboard, rising above the rhumb-line between the windward mark and offset and tacking onto port up and away and then spinning above the sailing lanes would be pretty defensible under most circumstances for this scenario I think.

Ang

Created: 18-Jul-11 01:04
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
I disagree.

Presumably the protesting boat saw the protestee very close to the starting mark and saw irregularities in the movement of the protestee and/or the mark to indicate a touch. In despite not seeing the details of the touch, I'd be satisfied that she 'saw the incident '.

I'd also be satisfied that at that time when she saw the incident she formed the intention to protest, because she then asked the race committee for details, which action delayed her hail and flag.

I would not accept that her intention to protest was only formed after her conversation with the race committee and that first reasonable opportunity ran from that later time.

Several Appeals tell us that you don't get "thinking time " before you hail and flag.

So the protest is invalid for not informing, not for not seeing.
Created: 18-Jul-11 01:35
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Fleet Measurer
0
John,

Though RC's don't normally jump in and protest Part 2 violations between boats, when it comes to contact between the RC (and its attachments) and a competitor, would you agree that this is an instance the RC should really step up and protest the contacting boat? I understand they aren't required to, but given the offending boat's hull is shielding the incident, the RC's complement may be the only ones in a position to see the contact.

Ang

Created: 18-Jul-11 02:17
Jim Archer
Nationality: United States of America
0
John, this happened as you said in your first paragraph, that the offending boat and the small rubber committee boat all bounced around like there was not contact but the protesting boat was not sure so he asked. The movement could have been caused by contact with the anchor line alone. I asked him, and he told me it was his plan to protest if the RC confirmed contact but not otherwise. I suppose he could have hailed protest immediately and then withdrawn it if the RC said that there was no contact. I do accept that the delay may not be permitted, but if the standard is that he has to inform immediately upon deciding to protest, then this standard is met. If the standard is that he must inform immediately after the incident, then it is not.

Also I don't think the offending boat intended to deny the contact. However, she may have (1) felt she had time to take the penalty or (2) thought if no one protested she could get away with it. It would seem that if there is not a valid protest then she could have gotten away with it, even if the protesting boat had not withdraw the protest.
Created: 18-Jul-11 03:37
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Ang,

Yes, I think that if a boat hits a race committee vessel that is a mark the race committee should protest.

Jim,

I don't agree that it is appropriate to accept that the boat did not form the intention to protest until having a converfsation with the race committee some time after the actual incident.

As I said before, the fact that she sailed towards the race committee and initiated a conversation with them is evidence that some intent to protest was formed when she saw the incident.

If we allowed boats to say, 'oh, but I didn't form the intention to protest until a minute after the incident, at which time I immediately displayed a red flag' would be to neuter rule 61.1( a ), and the associated rule 44 penalty regime.

USA Appeal US61
Rule 61.1, Protest Requirements: Informing the Protestee

Lido 14 4830 vs. Lido 14 4509

"First reasonable opportunity" means as soon as practicable, not as soon as convenient.

Created: 18-Jul-11 15:12
Jim Archer
Nationality: United States of America
0
Hi John, well the protesting boat was sailing past the committee boat anyhow because she was starting the race and was behind the boat that hit the committee boat. It seems a reasonable position for the protesting boat to have, that they would protest if the RC confirmed contact and not otherwise. Absent some specific evidence a skipper has told a lie, I see no reason to doubt his voracity.
Created: 18-Jul-11 17:11
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