Forum: Rule 18 and Room at the Mark

Leeward mark scenario

Gianni Restano
Nationality: Italy
Certifications:
  • National Umpire
  • National Judge
I looked for a similar scenario in the old posts, but I haven’t been able to find it. It’s somehow similar to WS Cases 2 and 59, but with a significant difference. 


The second sentence of 18.2b says "If a boat is clear ahead when she reaches the zone, the boat clear astern at that moment shall thereafter give her mark-room". The words "the first of them" of the first sentence are not repeated and it’s not specified that the other boat must be outside the zone.

Does it mean that when Green enters the zone, 18.2 (b) turns on in her favor and we should DSQ red?

Thoughts?
Created: 24-Feb-08 19:58

Comments

Tim OConnell
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
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  • Judge In Training
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1
Gianni, the first sentence of 18.2b  says if the boats are overlapped when the first reaches the zone, as per your diagram, then the outside boat gives mark room to the inside. Green has fouled red in your diagram

EDIT; on re-examination, they weren't overlapped. And surprisingly still not at 2. But there's no doubt that Red was first in the zone while clear astern ! ! . Hmmmmm,.. an odd ball. 
Created: 24-Feb-08 20:19
P
Michael Butterfield
Nationality: United Kingdom
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0
They did not look overlapped to me.

Created: 24-Feb-08 20:56
Gianni Restano
Nationality: Italy
Certifications:
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0
I confirm, they only overlap after green enters the zone, that's what makes it special ;-)
Created: 24-Feb-08 21:05
John Christman
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
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4
This is actually a situation that rule 18.2(b) does not cover as neither condition (overlapped when first boat reaches the zone or the boat is clear ahead when reaching the zone), so 18.2(b) does not apply.  So we have to turn to 18.2(a) for the answer, which does apply because 18.2(b) does not.

The application of 18.2(a) does not depend on how the boats entered the zone.  How it applies depends on the instantaneous relationship between the boats.  Remember that rule 18 is all about whether a boat is required to give another boat room and whether a boat entitled to room will be exonerated for breaking a rule while in that room.

So...
Position 1 - The boats are not overlapped and therefore neither boat is entitled to mark-room from the other and rules 12 & 16 would be the basic rules that apply.
Position 2 - The situation hasn't changed.  The boats are not overlapped and neither is entitled to mark-room.
Position 3 - Red is now inside and overlapped with Green.    Red is windward and must keep clear of Green per 11.  Green is limited by 16.  18.2(a) tells us that Green must give Red mark-room and Red will be exonerated for breaking rules 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, & 31 if she does so while sailing in the mark-room she is entitled to.
Position 4 - Red is still overlapped and inside of Green.  Green still has an obligation to give Red mark-room.  Red breaks rule 11 & 31 but is exonerated as she is sailing within the mark-room she is entitled to.  Green fails to give Red mark-room and breaks 18.2(a).
Created: 24-Feb-08 21:08
Anthony Pelletier
Nationality: United States
0
TIm,
As I read the diagram, Red reaches the zone at position 1 and is clear astern.
Gianni, I see the potential ambiguity to which you refer. 
But It seems that WS case 2 and 59 address this. They both say that the condition for 18.2b is not met. So, 18.2a applies and outside needs to give inside room per 18.2a
Case 59 says: "When a boat comes abreast of a mark but is outside the zone, and when her change of course towards the mark results in a boat that is in the zone and that was previously clear astern becoming overlapped inside her, rule 18.2(a) requires her to give mark-room to that boat, whether or not her distance from the mark was caused by giving mark-room to other boats overlapped inside her."
I think both cases make clear that 18.2b does not apply in your scenario and Green owes mark room to Red

Created: 24-Feb-08 21:12
David Battye
Nationality: United Kingdom
Certifications:
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0
At position 1 the conditions for 18.2(b) are not met since the boats are not overlapped and Red is not clear ahead of Green. At position 3 the boats are overlapped and 18.2(a) applies. Red is inside overlapped and entitled to mark-room. Green fails to give mark-room and is penalised.
Created: 24-Feb-08 21:15
Tim OConnell
Nationality: Canada
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0
Anthony. Yes. I didn't use the MK1 eyeball clearly enough at first glance.Thanks. Yes it defaults to 18.2a
Created: 24-Feb-08 21:16
Kett Cummins
Nationality: United States
1
This is a common scenario and 18.2(b) is very clear.  Red should be penalized.  What is slightly unusual about this example is that Red reaches the zone before Green, but that fact has no bearing on the application of 18.2(b).
Created: 24-Feb-08 21:29
Rob Overton
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • International Umpire
0
John is correct. The first of these boats to enter the zone is Red.  Rule 18.2(b) says, in its entirety, "If boats are overlapped when the first of them reaches the zone,
the outside boat at that moment shall thereafter give the inside boat mark-room. If a boat is clear ahead when she reaches the zone, the boat clear astern at that moment shall thereafter give her mark-room."  Note that the rule does not address the situation when the first boat to reach the zone is clear astern, as in this case.  When Red reaches the zone, the boats are not overlapped and she is not clear ahead of Green, so rule 18.2(b) does not apply.  As John says, until the boats become overlapped, neither boat is entitled to mark-room even though rule 18 as a whole applies, which seems strange.  But once they become overlapped, Red is entitled to mark-room, with all that John says as a result.

One way to parse this rule is to observe that because of the geometry, the boats eventually become overlapped because the boat that was outside the zone when the other boat entered has to turn toward the mark to round it. If, when the first boat enters the zone, she is clear astern of the other, then she will eventually get mark-room.  This is the actual statement of current rule 18.2 for match racing, and will be the phrasing of the same rule for all racing, come 2025.
Created: 24-Feb-08 21:31
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Gianni, FWIW, I “think” I remember seeing this scenario in the Rule 18 Rewrite Committee’s collection of scenarios they used when looking for “game changes” in the rewrite. 
Created: 24-Feb-08 21:32
Anthony Pelletier
Nationality: United States
0
Kett Cummins,
18.2b Is clear and it does not apply. John Christman (NJ) gave a very nice detailed explanation. 
John: I think you were in my "zoom room" for my recent judges seminar. Nice to run into you here. Very clearly explained. 
Thanks again. 
Actually, I think Rob may have been in the group of judges in the seminar also. 

Created: 24-Feb-08 21:40
Kett Cummins
Nationality: United States
2
I respectfully think John is wrong.

At Position 2, the situation indeed changes...  Green reaches the zone and, per the second sentence of 18.2(b), any boat clear astern of her must give her mark room.

This scenario happens all the time, just with the boat tracks scooted over a few feet so you can't really tell who gets to the zone first - which doesn't matter anyway.

Any way you slice it, Red was not overlapped when either boat reached the zone and she should not go in there.
Created: 24-Feb-08 22:04
Anthony Pelletier
Nationality: United States
0
Kett, you should read WS appeal 2 and appeal 59. World Sailing and US Sailing appeals decisions are authoritative interpretations of the rules. 
Created: 24-Feb-08 22:18
Rob Overton
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • International Umpire
2
Kett,  the rule reads "When the first of them reaches the zone, ...".  Green is not the first of the two boats to reach the zone, so whether or not she is clear ahead of Red at that moment is irrelevant.  Red is entitled to mark-room under rule 18.2(a).

I'm actually pleased to see that people disagree about how current rule 18.2(b) works, as that justifies the change we'll be making for 2025: 

"(a) When the first of two boats reaches the zone,
          (1) if the boats are overlapped, the outside boat at that moment shall give the inside boat mark-room;
          (2) if the boats are not overlapped, the boat that has not reached the zone at that moment shall give the
          other boat mark-room.
     When a boat is required to give mark-room by this rule, she shall continue to do so for as long as this rule
     applies, even if later an overlap is broken or a new overlap begins." 

This change has been approved by the World Sailing Racing Rules Committee for the 2025-2028 RRS.  One strong argument for it was that it doesn't change the game -- it just states clearly what is already true in almost all cases.  (The case where the current and future rules differ is if Red sails past the mark and Green goes in between Red and the mark, in which case, if they become overlapped, Green currently gets mark-room whereas in 2025 Red will continue to be entitled to mark-room by the last sentence of the new rule.)
 
Created: 24-Feb-08 22:29
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
Is this situation not covered  precisely and simply18.2(a)?

Created: 24-Feb-08 22:35
Anthony Pelletier
Nationality: United States
0
Thanks for that additional clarification, Rob. I thought Gianni identified the ambiguity that the rewrite is intended to fix. He noticed that the phrase "when the first of them reaches the zone" was not repeated in the second sentence of 18.2b and therefore might not apply to the second sentence. The appeals made it clear that it does. The rewrite makes that more clear in the rule. 
Thanks again for your input.

Created: 24-Feb-08 22:41
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
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1
If 18.2b is clear, it is in that its second sentence refers to A boat, not THAT boat (of the first sentence).
18.2b applies, as Green is clear ahead when she reaches the zone. Red must swing wide and keep clear.
Created: 24-Feb-08 23:14
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Rob re: " current and future rules differ is if Red sails past the mark and Green goes in between Red and the mark, in which case, if they become overlapped, Green currently gets mark-room whereas in 2025 Red will continue to be entitled to mark-room by the last sentence of the new rule."

Ahh .. that's the drawing I remember then .. it had Red overstanding and Green turning tight and coming inside Red.
Created: 24-Feb-09 00:04
John Christman
Nationality: United States
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I think part of the confusion about the second sentence of 18.2(b) is when you try to apply it at the moment that Green enters the zone without considering where Red is at that moment.  In this case, Red is already in the zone at that point in time.

We can only look at whether 18.2(b) applies between Green and Red at the moment that 18 begins to apply, which is the moment that the first of the pair of boats enters the zone.  That is your snapshot in time to determine the relationship between the boats.  In this case Red is clear astern and so 18.2(b) does not apply. 

Clearly, the rule-makers decided that the wording wasn't as clear as it should be, hence the rule change.
Created: 24-Feb-09 00:05
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
-1
John I think that the confusion is trying to apply to 18.2(b) to this situation when it just does not apply. 
This situation is adequately covered by 18.2(a)
Created: 24-Feb-09 00:15
Rene Nusse
Nationality: Australia
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Seems straight forward .
18.2(a) applies because 18.2(b) doesn't.
As it is a bit unusual, here is another example of 18.2(a) applying simply because 18.2(b) doesn't.
18-2-a-1.jpg 40.9 KB
Created: 24-Feb-09 02:04
Stewart Campbell
Nationality: Australia
1
I can't see why R18.2(b) does not apply.
"If a boat is clear ahead when she reaches the
zone (i.e. Green), the boat clear astern at that moment (i.e. Red) shall thereafter give
her mark-room."
At P2, it seems to me that Red is clear astern at the moment when Green reaches the zone. And Green is not clear astern when Red reaches the zone. I think I support Kett and Philip. But I admit that, having respect for the other commentators, I might be persuaded otherwise (But I don't see it at present).
Created: 24-Feb-09 02:25
Anthony Pelletier
Nationality: United States
0
Stewart: have you read the relevant appeals? I really think they clearly support what the two National Judges are saying. If you have read them, I would like to hear what you think is unclear about rule 18.2b not applying. If you haven't read them, well, that may be why you don't understand. 

Created: 24-Feb-09 02:58
John Christman
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
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-1
As previously mentioned, you need to look at WS Cases 2 & 59.  This explains the way that rule 18.2(b) is to be applied in this situation.

This is the summary from Case 2:
If the first of two boats to reach the zone is clear astern when she reaches it and if later the boats are overlapped when the other boat reaches the zone, rule 18.2(a), and not rule 18.2(b), applies. Rule 18.2(a) applies only while boats are overlapped and at least one of them is in the zone.
Created: 24-Feb-09 02:59
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
-1
Stewart when red reaches the zone he is clear astern of green red is neither clear astern of green or overlapped with green therefore rule 18.2(b) does not apply. 
At 2 red is still clear astern of green. 
At 3 red is overlapped and inside of green at that point rule 18.2(a) turns on and green must give mark room to red. 
Well that’s how I see it
Paddy 
Created: 24-Feb-09 03:24
Thomas Hampton
Nationality: United States
1
This scenario is probably one of the less common ones encountered in mark roundings. I understand and agree with John Christman’s analysis, except for one issue. If you look at the diagram closely, green is in the zone at position 2. As drawn, her port beam is just inside the zone circle. I realize this would be impossible to determine in real time on the water, but for discussion purposes, green is in the zone and clear ahead at position 2. Therefore, it seems to me that 18.2(b) would apply and red would owe green mark room. If green was offset a little further to the left and became overlapped prior to entering the zone when she turned toward the mark, I agree that 18.2(a) would apply and 18.2(b) would not. What am I missing here.
Created: 24-Feb-09 03:42
Kett Cummins
Nationality: United States
1
John - The summary of Case 2 seems to have no connection with the facts and decision of Case 2.  The text of the decision of Case 2 actually supports my position.  It never says that the second sentence of 18.2(b) does not apply, and yet, the summary somehow does?!

Paddy - You guys continue to skip over Position 2 as if nothing happens, but that's where Green hits the zone and activates sentence 2 of 18.2(b).

This is the craziest thread I've seen here.  18.2(b) says what it says, how the heck do you just ignore that?!

If these boats are shifted just a few feet to the right, the issue of who reaches the zone first becomes extremely subjective.  The logical - and very common and easy to gauge - conclusion is that the boat clear ahead should have mark room!

Again, my disclaimer is that Rule 18 is the worst rule in sailing!!!

Kett


Created: 24-Feb-09 03:47
Stewart Campbell
Nationality: Australia
0
John, you quote "and if later the boats are overlapped when the other boat reaches the zone," - but that is not true in this case. When the other boat (Green) reaches the zone, they are not overlapped.  I.e. at P2, when Green reaches the zone, Red is clear astern.  I don't think the meaning extends beyond the instant that Green first touches the zone. You seem to be using a meaning "and if later the boats are overlapped AFTER the other boat reaches the zone,". Do we have a different understanding of the meaning of the English language? "When" is a moment in time, "After" is a period of time. The logic seems that if they are overlapped at the moment when the outer (i.e.Green) hits the zone, then there is no room for the inner (i.e. Red) to alter course behind Green to take the outside position. But if she (Red) is clear astern, then she must take the outside lane. American English vs British English?
Created: 24-Feb-09 03:50
Bob Lewis
Nationality: Canada
1
I think you will find that the wording of case 59 and to a lesser extent case 2 seems to cover the issue.  However, as noted, in neither of these cases is the second boat to reach the zone clear ahead at that time.  These cases are therefore not on point and their musings that 18.2(b) does not apply are “oberta dicta” as the lawyers would say and those comments do not form a binding precedent.  A protest committee should be free to conclude that the second sentence of 18.2(b) applies directly here.   But be careful, if the facts were such that there was an overlap when the first boat reached the zone and yet the second boat was clear ahead when it reached the zone, then both boats would owe each other mark room.
Created: 24-Feb-09 06:39
Chris Hogan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
  • Regional Umpire
1
Dear John, Rob and Anthony, 
I am new to judging so I may have missed something here. 
I don’t understand how WS case 59 supports your interpretation that “We can only look at whether 18.2(b) applies between Green and Red at the moment that 18 begins to apply, which is the moment that the first of the pair of boats enters the zone.”

The case does not refer to the moment when rule 18 begins to apply. It focuses on the moment when the first boat enters the zone because it considers only the first sentence of 18.2(b). The case doesn’t even suggest that the second sentence could apply. Rather, it seems from the facts found that when D reached the zone D and E were overlapped, and that therefore the second sentence could not apply between them. 

The words of the rule don’t seem to support your position either. Rule 18 can begin to apply before either 18.2(a) or 18.2(b) begins to apply. For example, at position 1 rule 18 (including rule 18.4) has begun to apply but neither 18.2(a) nor 18.2(b) yet applies. 
Created: 24-Feb-09 08:03
Chris Hogan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
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1
Dear John, Rob and Anthony, 
Further to my post above - As I read it, WS case 2 supports the position that:
  • The questions whether the first or second sentence of 18.2(b) applies are to be determined  separately. 
  • The time at which each question is to be determined is the moment mentioned in the rule, rather than the time when rule 18 begins to apply between them. 
Created: 24-Feb-09 08:52
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
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-1
Thomas re: “green is in the zone and clear ahead at position 2. Therefore, it seems to me that 18.2(b) would apply and red would owe green mark room.”

I think you are missing the “when the first of them reaches the zone” part in the 1st sentence of 18.2(b).  “When” here is a single moment in time for a conditional test: ‘Are the boats overlapped or not?’

The first of them to reach the zone is Red at #1. At that singular moment, they are not overlapped at position #1 so you cannot apply 18.2(b)’s first sentence at position #1 nor anytime after (later at position #2).

PS: scroll up and see Rob O’s post of the new rule 18.  You will see that they reordered the thoughts and put the “first of them enter the zone” first in the logic process, which I think makes it MUCH clearer. 
Created: 24-Feb-09 13:13
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
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Angelo I think Thomas is saying that the second sentence applies at position 2. 
This is a tricky one
Created: 24-Feb-09 13:26
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
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Thanks Paddy .. I misread Thomas’ post. 
Created: 24-Feb-09 13:32
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
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1
Re: Case 2 and Case 59. 

Both of those cases hinge on the fact that when the boat that was clear ahead enters the zone, she is overlapped with a boat already in the zone at that moment.  It is clear from the OP dwg that Green is clear ahead (not overlapped) when Green enters the zone, therefore that key stipulation in both Cases 2 and 59 is not satisfied. 
Created: 24-Feb-09 13:42
Kett Cummins
Nationality: United States
1
Ang,

The proposed new rule 18 does indeed clarify how the rule is to be applied, but I think it makes the rule worse by being even less intuitive.

Under (my interpretation of) the current rule 18.2(b), the distinction of which boat reached the zone first doesn't really matter if one boat is clear ahead.  Green was clear ahead as the two boats neared the mark and Red can reasonably expect to swing wide and give the boat ahead mark room.  Again, I have been in this position many times and, as the trailing boat, it never occurred to me to make the argument that my boat reached the zone first!  Truthfully, that seems like a difficult argument to win anyway.

Kett
Created: 24-Feb-09 13:55
Tim OConnell
Nationality: Canada
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I like the clarity of the new rule. Like the limitations on other rights of way, it limits the rights of being clear ahead at the zone.. i.e. to gain/earn that clear ahead right, just get to the zone first next time !! 😄😄
Created: 24-Feb-09 14:07
Kett Cummins
Nationality: United States
0
Tim - Can you imagine the "hails" between Red and Green in the original example above?!  Oof!

It's much easier to gauge an overlap between boats than it is to gauge a 3-lengths circle for two boats simultaneously.  As a jury member, I would always be predisposed to assume that the boat clear ahead reached the zone first.
Created: 24-Feb-09 14:15
Anthony Pelletier
Nationality: United States
1
Dear Kett,
I want to start by offering a point of agreement: it would be very hard to find these facts. The case would more likely be decided in Green’s favor under 18.2e with the assumption that Green entered the zone first. 
But if this were the diagram endorsed by both, the interpretation given by John and Rob is correct. 
I’m also glad that you agree the new rule to be issued in the next edition makes it clearer. 

On the topic of what is intuitive, however, I don’t think I agree with you. It might be worthwhile to think about the intent and some of the history of rule 18 (and the previous rule 42—yes, I’m that old). 
This rule is written to put limitations on what a right-of-way (ROW) boat can do. The question is: can ROW force a Keep Clear boat to the wrong side of a mark? The answer used to be “yes.” But that was changed many decades ago. 

So, the inside boat at the mark gets room to round. A leeward boat cannot take a windward boat up and “scrape her off” on the mark. 
But then, shouldn’t there be some limitations on that rule? Certainly if we are still far from the mark, the ROW boat can use her position to put her competition in a weaker spot.

Yes, but not when you are close to rounding. 
How close? 
It used to be the two-boat length circle, now it’s the “zone” which is 3 boat lengths for fleet racing. 
When who gets to the zone? Here the preamble is very clear: “Rule 18 applies between boats when they are required to leave a mark on the same side and at least one of them is in the zone.
So, rule 18 started to apply when Red entered the zone. There can be no doubt about that.
Remember the main goal of rule 18 is to limit ROW action and give inside room to round. 
18.2a says that outside shall give inside room to round unless rule 18.2b applies. 

Does 18.2b apply? And here is the devilishly clever question Gianni has proposed. The wording of 18.2b seems open to different interpretations.  The phrase “when the first of them reaches the zone” is in the first sentence,  but not in the second. Many of us think that the phrase, which is consistent with the preamble quoted above, should apply to all of rule 18.2b.
I think that is the most intuitive interpretation since the rule was written to protect the inside boat trying to round from ROW, not to give more power to ROW. Red got to the zone first and is closer to the mark. The outside boat should give her room. At least that is my interpretation and that of many others

You think “when the first of them” applies only to the first sentence and the second sentence is an entirely different scenario. 
I would never call your interpretation “crazy,” as that would be disrespectful  and inappropriate for this group. Further, I think your interpretation is reasonable. I wasn’t sure myself. 
So I looked at the appeals cases. The people deciding the appeal include those who wrote the rules and they know what they meant. Case 59 makes it clear that the controlling issue is where are boats when the first of them reaches the zone. Thus 18.2a applies, not rule 18.2b. 
Furthermore, the rule-writers saw that there was room for disagreement and decided they should clean up the rule in the next version to make it clear that “the first of them” limitation applies to all of the rule. 

I do think that is a lot clearer.

-Tony
Created: 24-Feb-09 16:50
John Christman
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
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-1
Tony - very well said.
Created: 24-Feb-09 17:06
Kett Cummins
Nationality: United States
1
Tony - Thanks for your considered reply.  I did not mean any disrespect, this thread was making ME feel like I was crazy!  We agree that the current rule 18.2 is poorly written.  The summary conclusions reached in cases 2 & 59 do not seem to align with the content of those cases (particularly case 2), but I suppose it is "case law" regardless.  The new rule 18.2 is definitely clearer on paper.  You bring up an interesting point in asking "what is intuitive?"  Unfortunately, I see a further disconnect between what's intuitive on the printed page and what's intuitive on the water.  In 99.9% of the situations similar to what Gianni presented, Green would prevail.  "Intuitively speaking" clear ahead near a mark counts for a lot!  Giving Red more ammunition to challenge Green does not improve the game.

Best,
Kett
Created: 24-Feb-09 17:32
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
1
John C re: "You think “when the first of them” applies only to the first sentence and the second sentence is an entirely different scenario."

Rule 18.2(b) If boats are overlapped when the first of them reaches the zone, the outside boat at that moment shall thereafter give the inside boat mark-room [...].

It is clearly written that way (only applies to first sentence) as the "first of them reaches the zone" is in a phrase whose precondition for application is "If boats are overlapped".

Honestly, I can see how you are applying the language.  And .. IMO, if the 2nd sentence of 18.2(b) said nothing about either boat entering the zone, I could buy carrying the phrase "first of them reaches the zone" through the 2nd sentence of 18.2(b). 

Unfortunately, the 2nd sentence establishes its own zone-trigger with ".. when she reaches the zone".  Each sentence of 18.2(b) has its own zone-entry trigger.  I don't think you can have 2 triggers for zone-entry operating simultaneously.

 "Case 59 makes it clear that the controlling issue is where are boats when the first of them reaches the zone. Thus 18.2a applies, not rule 18.2b. " ..

Case 59 hinges on a change of course of the boat outside of the zone creating an overlap with a boat already inside.  When the outside boats in both Case 2 and Case 59 eventually enter the zone, they are already outside-overlapped with the boat already inside.  In the OP, Green enters the zone before this change of course and overlap is established.

Thanks to the Rule 18 working group for fixing this!
Created: 24-Feb-09 17:37
Rob Overton
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • International Umpire
1
With apologies, especially to Kett, I'm changing my answer.  There's nothing in that text to imply that the same time applies to the second sentence as to the first, and in fact, I think that was not intended.  So, if Green is clear ahead when she enters the zone, she is entitled to mark-room for the rest of the rounding (unless she tacks or leaves the zone).  Note that this basically can't happen -- if the given diagram were to be changed by a pixel or so in any way, Red would be entitled to mark-room as soon as Green turns to go to the mark and the boats become overlapped.

But if we're going to continue down this intellectual rabbit hole, note that this exposes a real (though theoretical) problem with rule 18.2(b):  Suppose, in the diagram at the beginning of this thread, Green is on a reach at position 1, then bears off to the same position 2 as shown.  Then Red is overlapped inside Green when she reaches the zone, and thus is entitled to mark-room.  But when Green reaches the zone, she's clear ahead, and according to my new reading of the rule, she's entitled to mark-room from Red.  So each boat owes the other mark-room, and that's a problem if, say, Green changes course and breaks rule 16.1 or Red breaks rule 11.  It seems to me that, as long as both boats sail within the mark-room to which they're entitled, both are exonerated for whatever mayhem they cause, which is definitely not the intent of the rule!. 

image.png 74.8 KB


Created: 24-Feb-09 17:42
Gianni Restano
Nationality: Italy
Certifications:
  • National Umpire
  • National Judge
0
Thank you all for the comments. I was afraid to post a case that could have been already discussed, but that seems not to be the case. So far I have been enjoying the discussion from the stands, and someone even wrote my question was devilishly intelligent...  What else to ask? ;-)))
 
Let me try to summarize where I think we've come to. I apologize in advance to anyone who will find it incomplete or otherwise lacking.
 
It seems there is growing consensus that a plain reading of the current rule 18.2(b) in itself would/could entitle green to mark room. This is most likely unwanted. I agree with most that the "instinctive" reading most sailors and race officers give of the rule - for historical and for safety reasons - is to take a photograph when the first boat enters the zone, but the way the rule is written does not seem to support this interpretation, as the second sentence isn’t conditioned on the first one. Another clearly unintended consequence of the second sentence not referring to the first boat entering the zone is the distinct case Bob brilliantly brought up: “if the facts were such that there was an overlap when the first boat reached the zone and yet the second boat was clear ahead when it reached the zone, then both boats would owe each other mark room”. This, together with the proposal to change the rule starting from 2025 seem to demonstrate that something is amiss with the current wording.
 
The next step, on which there is less consensus so far, is whether case 59 (and to a lesser extent case 2) allow us to clearly solve the issue.
Case 59’s summary is pretty clear: “When a boat comes abreast of a mark but is outside the zone, and when her change of course towards the mark results in a boat that is in the zone and that was previously clear astern becoming overlapped inside her, rule 18.2(a) requires her to give mark-room to that boat"
We all recognize that WS Cases are authoritative, but – as many pointed out – the scenario described in Case 59 is significantly different from the one we are discussing. I won't go into detail because it has already been explained better than I could.
 
This leaves us with a doubt: is it better to apply an authoritative case of debatable applicability (I dig Bob’s comment on “obiter dicta”), or is it better to apply the rule as it is written, despite knowing that it is lacking and may bring to counterintuitive outcomes (i.e.: different from what most sailors would expect)? I don't have an answer. In a real-world case I would probably go with the flow and opt for the former, maybe requesting confirmation or correction of the decision to my National Authority, according to rule 70.2.
 
Fortunately, this is a largely academic question, since – as it has been correctly pointed out – “this scenario is probably one of the less common ones encountered in mark roundings”, and, I add, it’s even more unlikely that it would be described as such in a hearing’s facts found . Still, I’m grateful for the discussion, as I certainly learned much.

Have I left out or misrepresented anything relevant?
Created: 24-Feb-09 18:07
Anthony Pelletier
Nationality: United States
0
It was I who called your question "devilishly clever," Gianni. I stand by that. I think you summarized the discussion well. Thanks for the question. I might disagree a bit with one conclusion: if there are two different possible interpretations of the rule and one of them makes the rule internally inconsistent (as in, both are entitled to room), the prudent thing might be to decide the other interpretation is correct. 
Glad the ambiguity will be removed in the next edition.
-Tony
Created: 24-Feb-09 18:18
Gianni Restano
Nationality: Italy
Certifications:
  • National Umpire
  • National Judge
0
I might disagree a bit with one conclusion: if there are two different possible interpretations of the rule and one of them makes the rule internally inconsistent (as in, both are entitled to room), the prudent thing might be to decide the other interpretation is correct. 
Fair point. In the end, I don't believe we disagree that much: we would likely take the same decision, even if for slightly different reasons. 
Thanks again,
Gianni
Created: 24-Feb-09 18:55
Kett Cummins
Nationality: United States
0
Gianni - Glad to be of, if nothing else, entertainment value!!!  I would disagree with one thing you mentioned... I think this is actually a very common scenario in the sense that boats approach marks in this way all the time, it just never occurrs to the Reds that there is a chance they might be owed mark room from Greens that are clear ahead - and thank goodness or there would be more "going in there" going on!  As someone else mentioned, the only likely way that Red wins this protest is if Green confirms that Red got to the zone first.  If we were actually sailing in either of these boats, I imagine it would very much "feel" like Green was first to the zone and clear ahead.  This is why I think this rule and its revision both fail the "intuitiveness" test.

Kett
Created: 24-Feb-09 19:11
Thomas Hampton
Nationality: United States
0
I don’t understand the issue first posited by Bob Green: “if the facts were such that there was an overlap when the first boat reached the zone and yet the second boat was clear ahead when it reached the zone, then both boats would owe each other mark room.” Doesn’t 18.2(c)1 preclude that from happening?
Created: 24-Feb-09 20:08
Bob Lewis
Nationality: Canada
0
Thomas,  Rob Overton, at about 5 comments back, has provided a diagram and further discussion on exactly my point.  In this case, if you agree that the two sentence of 18.2(b) are separate (see Angelo’s analysis, that I like) then in the new version of the facts, 18.2(b) gives mark room to both boats at two different points in time.  Since they both got mark room from 18.2(b) then they would both be entitled to the extra protection of 18.2(c)(1)
Created: 24-Feb-09 20:59
Gianni Restano
Nationality: Italy
Certifications:
  • National Umpire
  • National Judge
0
Kett, it's been more than just entertainment, I'm learning a lot thanks to everyone's comments.
if I understand what you're saying, in judging who entered the zone, sailors perceive the zone more like a rectangle than a circle, like in my crappy sketch below.
If that's what you are saying, you might have a point regarding what's more intuitive
240209.jpeg 200 KB
Created: 24-Feb-09 21:42
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
1
Gianni re: “I was afraid to post a case that could have been already discussed, but that seems not to be the case. ”

Thank you for posting the scenario.  I am happy you felt the forum was a welcoming-space to post  … and also happy that we had discussion and discovery along the way. 

That’s what this forum is all about!

Just an FYI for those who don’t know … each new topic is reviewed by Paul or myself and others.  So I hope that everyone feels free to post their questions or ideas.  If they need work before we let it on the forum, we work with the forum member to improve the post first and then let it fly. 

Gianni … great post and great insights gained (at least for the next 11 months!! … Lions and Tigers and New Quads … Oh My!.)
Created: 24-Feb-09 23:54
Thomas Hampton
Nationality: United States
0
Bob,
Thanks for your reply. I reread Rob’s post and diagram. I do believe that each of the two sentences of 18.2(b) stand on their own. And although the rule doesn’t explicitly state it, I also believe those two sentences are binary. By that I mean that only one of them can apply between the same two boats at the same mark rounding. If the first sentence concerning “overlap” is satisfied, then I don’t believe the second sentence concerning “clear ahead” would ever turn on. Since it’s designed to facilitate safe and orderly mark roundings, I don’t think the spirit and intent of rule 18 would support both boats owing each other mark room.
Created: 24-Feb-10 04:51
John Christman
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • National Judge
  • National Umpire
0
And just when I thought I had a good handle on rule 18.  The more I think about it and wrap my head around it, the more I think my understanding is wrong and I am now in Kett's camp.  Thanks for the education!

In Rob's case, as he says, both boats are obligated to give the other mark-room.  18.2(c)(1) doesn't help much as it simply states that if the overlap relationship changes, the obligation still applies.  This actually re-enforces that Green has to give Red mark-room even though the overlap was broken and then re-established.  18.2(c)(2) actually adds a new obligation on Red, that she allows Green room to sail her proper course.
Created: 24-Feb-10 06:31
Vincent Harris
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
0
I spent a couple of hours yesterday thinking, writing, and reading.  Wrestling with my disagreement with Mr. Christman's and Mr. Overton's position and trying to write a well-documented case for disagreement, only to find that they reverse themselves.  Oh, well!  
Basically I was basing my conclusion on the fact that the rules writers (from what I can tell) have gone to great pains to write rules that mean exactly what they say and no more.  That and the fact that in neither the cases that were being discussed was the second boat to reach the zone clear ahead, which is the specific situation that makes this case unique and difficult.

Dick Rose has said that the intention of 18 is to preserve the order of the boats and get them around the mark in an orderly fashion (paraphrasing, since I don't have his words in front of me).  Green is ahead, but Red is "more inside".  Who should round first?  

Green really should sail closer to the rhumb line if he wants to preserve his place.  But we don't know what traffic looks like ahead of him.
Created: 24-Feb-10 15:08
Kett Cummins
Nationality: United States
0
Vincent raises an excellent point that Green may be favoring an outside track because there is more traffic clear ahead of them.  At some point, all those boats trying to stay outside of other boats clear ahead will enter the zone later and later.  So, then does Red take advantage of this situation and dive inside to pick off the Greens they think owe them room by virtue of not getting to the zone first?  Yikes!  A messy situation.
Created: 24-Feb-10 17:48
Richard Jones
Nationality: United Kingdom
0
I think having 18.2a first in the rule confuses things. People read 18.2a and take it on board but the prime rule to be considered first is 18.2b..

Does 18.2b apply yes or no. If no 18.2a applies. The test for whether a rule applies should always come first in my opinion.
Created: 24-Feb-10 19:33
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
In the original diagram I cannot determine which boat entered the zone first.
That matters.
Created: 24-Feb-10 21:48
Vincent Harris
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
0
I believe the diagram is intended to show that Red entered first.  It's bow is right at the circle, and Green appears to be a boatlength away.

Kett:  I think it’s very common for boats to ‘get in line’ outside the zone and off to the right, looking downwind toward the mark.  They then make their turn toward the mark, and at that point they create an overlap with those behind coming down the course nearer the rhumb line, before any of them have entered the zone.  Very common when you have more than a handful of ILCAs, for instance.
 
Most people will understand that they must give room when they make that turn 4 or more lengths from the mark and see the other boat off to port ahead of their beam.  But a boat in Red’s position would be smart to announce it.  This is described with a diagram on pg. 189 of Dave Perry’s latest Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing Through 2024.  I don’t think it creates havoc, but people just need to know and follow the rules.  It’s often moot, too.  Sure, the boat coming straight down to the mark from behind has rights to mark-room, but by the time it arrives, the other boat has passed the mark and is gone.
 
Interesting, what you said above:  “it never occurred to me to make the argument that my boat reached the zone first!”  Yes, but I think the more important question is- were you overlapped when the first of the boats reached the zone?  If that first sentence applies, it’s easy.
  
The new wording of the rule that Rob shows won’t change this situation but cleans-up the rule nicely. 
Created: 24-Feb-10 22:09
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Rob O re: “ It seems to me that, as long as both boats sail within the mark-room to which they're entitled, both are exonerated for whatever mayhem they cause, which is definitely not the intent of the rule!. ”

I took a look at your modified drawing/scenario and it seems like this could be an interesting rules Twilight Zone!

  1. Both boats are entitled to mark-room
    1. Red under 1st sentence and Green under 2nd of 18.2(b)
    2. Both boat’s proper course is to sail close to the mark, so their MR includes room to sail to it. 
  2. Exoneration under 43.1(b) does not include rule 18, 
    1. So if either boat sails within the mark-room they are entitled (sails to the mark) and in the process denies mark room to the other (is in the way of the other), there is no exoneration available to either boat for breaking 18.2(b).
  3. Neither boat is being “compelled” to sail into the MR they are entitled
    1. It’s not obvious to me how 43.1(a) exoneration for breaking rule 18 would apply to either boat. 
  4. Both boats have access to 43.1(c) exoneration by way of their mark-room entitlement. 
    1. They can be exonerated for contact that doesn’t cause injury or damage

That’s a weird one to wrap your head around.  

Only safe bet I see for either boat is to NOT sail next to the mark and not get in the other boat’s lane to that space next to the mark, because if you are in there you are a sitting duck. 

  • Green’s move is to leave room next to the mark for Red, but that’s a trap for Red if Red takes it
  •  Red’s move is to let Green go ahead of her if she can  .. maybe slowing and turning sharply to starboard or bailing on the rounding and doing a spin to port (better than 2 spins for a penalty turn)

PS: As you point out Rob, this is “fixed” in the new 18. 
Created: 24-Feb-11 13:52
Anthony Pelletier
Nationality: United States
0
Kett. With respect to the scenario of boats staying outside the zone before they gybe to round because of traffic ahead: that is exactly the case 59 scenario and it was decided that the boat that entered the zone first on the more direct route gets room from those who were outside the zone when inside entered. That one is resolved. I understand you don't like it. But there isn't much room to argue that anymore. 

This scenario, as Rob pointed out, depends on the exact pixel placement of the drawing that Gianni made to annoy us all. If Green is just slightly wider of the mark such that the overlap is established by the turn before any part of her hull enters the zone, 59 applies and green gets room. 
The scenario where both are entitled to room and are exonerated for mark contact or any boat contact that doesn't cause damage outlined by Angelo seems the most consistent reading of the rule. It also seems like something you want to fix because both boats being entitled to room clearly wasn't the intent.

You have said that you think the new version makes 18 worse. I disagree. I would say that the key reason for the zone is to set a line beyond which rights and obligations no longer change. It would indeed be chaos if my status changes when I'm barely more than a boat length from the mark (as it does for red in this scenario). 
I like that the new rule preserves the idea that rights and obligations are fixed as soon as rule 18 turns on. That's the way I wanted to interpret the rule in this scenario, though I'll admit it required a bit of a stretch to decide that the antecedent of "she" in the second sentence was the first boat to enter the zone in the first sentence. 
In terms of position on the course, Red is "ahead" of Green (closer to the mark). I think the outside shouldn't be entitled to pass them. 

-tony


Created: 24-Feb-11 16:23
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • International Race Officer
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
0
The more frequent application of Case 2 is when multiple boats are running downwind abreast. When the inside boat turns to round the mark all the other boats turn and follow the first boat around. Red owes mark-room to Yellow and Blue, and is owed mark-room by Green, Turquoise and Pink.

Green, Turquoise and Pink usually think they are in the zone before they luff to round the mark. The fact that Red gets to the mark before Turquoise and Pink usually resolves that argument. Red and Green will continue to argue about mark-room as they round the mark.

image.png 43 KB
   
Created: 24-Feb-11 18:01
Rene Nusse
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Club Judge
  • Umpire In Training
0
Is there any consensus that the second sentence in 18.2(b) is qualifying the first sentence or if it stands on its own?
If the latter, I would have expected a 18.2(b)(i) and a 18.2(b)(ii).
Created: 24-Feb-12 06:33
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Rene re:”Is there any consensus that the second sentence in 18.2(b) is qualifying the first sentence or if it stands on its own?”

Read Rob Overton’s response with drawing.  Each sentence of 18.2(b) stands on its own.

However (as Rob also points out) the OP scenario and Rob’s alteration are 99.9% an intellectual academic-exercise only … since the likelihood that a PC would endorse a drawing with boats in such marginal zone-entry/overlap conditions is extreemly small.
Created: 24-Feb-12 14:25
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