Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Leeward boats right of way

Diana Pipe
Which boat has right of way?
A- close hauled on starboard
B - running by the lee on starboard.
Are both to leeward of each other?
17158079001508733899182720733869.jpg 1.17 MB
Created: 24-May-16 02:18

Comments

Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
1
The way you have drawn it each boat is on the other's leeward side.
The other way, with B coming down on A, neither is on the leeward side of the other.
The only rule that covers these situations is 14, non-contact.
And national ranked judges have DSQ'd both.
My solution is a Sailing Instruction:
"A boat sailing by the lee shall keep clear of a boat sailing upwind on the same tack."

Created: 24-May-16 03:03
John Wade
Nationality: United States
-3
The downwind boat is the leeward boat, and is therefore the give way boat.
Created: 24-May-16 13:39
John Wade
Nationality: United States
-2
My mistake, The downwind boat is the leeward boat and there fore the stand on boat.
Created: 24-May-16 13:46
Murray Cummings
Nationality: New Zealand
3
John Wade,
I suggest that a reading of the RRS definiiton "Leeward and Windward" may alter your opinion.
Created: 24-May-16 14:26
P
Michael Butterfield
Nationality: United Kingdom
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
  • International Race Officer
2
Like the SI but this is a change to a rule of part 2 and is not permitted.    This would be a sensible inclusion in a new rule book.
Created: 24-May-16 15:19
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
1
That SI is not a change to Part 2, as no other rule applies (except 14).
I actually had planned to amend it thus:
"Unless RRS 11 applies, a boat sailing by the lee shall keep clear of a boat sailing upwind on the same tack."
And yes, the original would be a good RRS 11.2.
Created: 24-May-16 15:50
Tom Sollas
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
By the definition of Leeward and Windward, B's leeward side is her port side, the side the main is on. By RRS 11, A is on the same tack and to leeward of B, thus B is windward. You can apply the same logic to A, in that B is to leeward and thus A is to windward. Therefore, per RRS 11, A must keep clear of B, and B must keep clear of A.
Created: 24-May-16 17:37
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
1
Philip, I agree with Mike B.  Writing a rule that designates one boat as the keep-clear boat vs another boat adds a rule to Part 2/Section A or adds to an existing rule of Part 2/Section A.  I would argue that adding a rule to Part 2, changes the rules of Part 2 though addition.
Created: 24-May-16 17:39
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
If a national authority so prescribes, the restrictions in rule 86.1 do not apply if rules are changed to develop or test proposed rules.
Created: 24-May-16 17:49
Sam Wheeler
Nationality: United States
0
It seems like this situation could also arise with a boat sailing DDW instead of by the lee (diagrams 1 and 2 below), or potentially even on a broad reach (diagram 3), so writing a rule that is specific to boats sailing by the lee wouldn’t necessarily solve the problem. Or am I missing some way that these scenarios differ from the original post and have a more straightforward answer?

I would propose amending Rule 11 with the addition in bold:
11. ON THE SAME TACK, OVERLAPPED
When boats are on the same tack and overlapped, a windward boat shall keep clear of a leeward boat.  If neither boat is on the leeward side of the other boat, or if each boat boat is on the leeward side of the other boat, a boat sailing a greater angle from true wind shall keep clear of a boat sailing a smaller angle from true wind.

image.png 735 KB

(edited to slightly improve the diagram and propose a solution - sorry for being dumb and switching the boat letters though)
Created: 24-May-16 17:54
John Wade
Nationality: United States
0
Murry, windward/leeward definition does not addressed this situation. Since both are on the same tack, and previous to the diagram, the boats would have been on on a collision course, boat B would have been to leeward of A and therefore is the leeward boat, or right of way boat, and A must  keep clear.
Created: 24-May-16 18:47
John Wade
Nationality: United States
0
Sorry again,  I got my letters backward. A is downwind of B, and is the leeward boat.
Created: 24-May-16 19:00
Tom Sollas
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • National Judge
2
John you are half right. I described this briefly earlier, I'll do so again but with more detail here.

The key here is reading very closely the definitions and the rule.

If we read the definition, we can know which side is the leeward side and which side is the windward side of each boat. Per the definition (which is a rule), A's leeward side is her port side, and B's leeward side is also her port side.

Next, let's read 11 very closely:

When boats are on the same tack and overlapped, a windward boat shall keep clear of a leeward boat. 

So, let's apply that to the original picture. Per the definition of overlap, A and B are overlapped with each other, therefore the rule applies. Next, starting with B, as A is to her leeward side, she is therefore the windward boat, and per RRS 11, she shall keep clear of A. Next, we look at boat A. As B is to A's leeward side, she is therefore the windward boat, and therefore per RRS 11 shall keep clear of B.

RRS 11 is very straight forward here. The key is the keep clear in the rule. The rule doesn't say the leeward boat has right of way, it says windward shall keep clear of leeward.  Remember that the rule applies to both boats, and per the rule and definition, this is one of those weird cases where neither boat is the right of way boat, and both shall keep clear of each other. Were this to go to the room, a jury could easily DSQ both boats for breaking the same rule!

There's no need for an SI modification, rule modification or anything. The definitions and the rules clearly cover this case.
Created: 24-May-16 20:04
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
The by the lee situation is different and dangerous. It requires a rules change.
See in the illustration that neither boat is overlapped and neither is on the other's leeward side.
RRS112.jpg 43.4 KB
Created: 24-May-16 20:32
Tom Sollas
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
Nope, those boats are definitely overlapped. The relevant bit in the definition:

One boat is clear astern of another when her hull and equipment in normal position are behind a line abeam from the aftermost point of the other boat's hull and equipment in normal position. The other boat is clear ahead. They overlap when neither is clear astern.

Both boats are AHEAD of the line abeam from the aftermost point of the other boat's hull, not BEHIND. Thus, as neither boat is clear astern, they are overlapped (see the second sentence). Since they're overlapped, and on the same tack, RRS 11 applies as I noted before.
Created: 24-May-16 20:46
Sam Wheeler
Nationality: United States
0
I agree with Tom that in Philip's diagram, the boats are technically "overlapped" under the rules even though they don't overlap under any common understanding of the term.  I disagree that Rule 11 requires either of them to keep clear.  Neither is on the leeward side of the other.  (I agree with Philip that this is dangerous - Rule 14 would still require avoiding a collision, but there's no obvious way to do so when you can't predict which way the other boat will turn.)

I think the same is true in my diagrams 1 and 3 above - since neither boat is on the other boat's leeward side, there is no "leeward boat."  And since a "windward boat" is defined as the "other boat" compared to a leeward boat, there's technically no windward boat either, and Rule 11 does not require either boat to keep clear.

In the original post and in my diagram 2, I think Tom's interpretation would apply and both would be required to keep clear, but I think that can be complicated to apply in practice.  For example, on a crowded racecourse, do other nearby boats need to give both boats room to alter course, even if one of the two is already altering to avoid?  One of the more likely places to run into this is near a windward or leeward mark where some boats that have rounded are meeting others that have not, where clarity as to a right-of-way boat seems like it would be a good thing for all involved.

Relevant definitions:

Clear Astern and Clear Ahead; Overlap
One boat is clear astern of another when her hull and equipment in normal position are behind a line abeam from the aftermost point of the other boat's hull and equipment in normal position. The other boat is clear ahead. They overlap when neither is clear astern. However, they also overlap when a boat between them overlaps both. These terms always apply to boats on the same tack. They apply to boats on opposite tacks only when rule 18 applies between them or when both boats are sailing more than ninety degrees from the true wind. 

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.  However, when sailing by the lee or directly downwind, her leeward side is the side on which her mainsail lies.  The other side is her windward side.  When two boats on the same tack overlap, the one on the leeward side of the other is the leeward boat.  The other is the windward boat.
Created: 24-May-16 21:00
John Eilers
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
1
I have been involved in two collisions with damage; the rule must provide for a burdened, and a sail on boat.
Created: 24-May-16 23:00
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
It is fairly easy to get a singlehanded dinghy sailor to enter a discussion of "carving" by the lee to educate gee-golly geezer judges.
From there it is a small jump to altering course in an unpredictable manner and a skipper concentrating on the wave and boat attitude, rather on keeping a lookout. 
It is not reasonably possible for the boat sailing upwind to avoid contact by predicting the actions of a boat carving downwind. 
But it is reasonably possible for the other boat to occasionally look at what lies ahead.
Unless the boat sailing upwind had tacked immediately before the collision, my doubtful eye is on the boat sailing by the lee.


Created: 24-May-16 23:16
John Wade
Nationality: United States
0
Further to the discussion, I think Tom Solias has the best interpretation of the situation in that both boats are responsible to keep clear. However John Eiler's comment deserves consideration too. Had a collision occurred, might the COLEGS click in? In that case I think they still say that the boat running free shall keep clear of a boat sailing to windward, or words to that effect. Port and starboard were deleted from that rule some time in the late 60s early 70s.
Created: 24-May-17 02:06
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Tom re: "Next, starting with B, as A is to her leeward side, she is therefore the windward boat, and per RRS 11, she shall keep clear of A. Next, we look at boat A. As B is to A's leeward side, she is therefore the windward boat, and therefore per RRS 11 shall keep clear of B."

Doesn't the preamble of Part 2/Section A state that when you determine that Boat 1 must keep clear of Boat 2, Boat 2 has ROW? (Not rule 11)? 

Preamble: "A boat has right of way over another boat when the other boat is required to keep clear of her."

So following your analysis, why aren't both boats both KC and ROW simultaneously?
Created: 24-May-17 02:24
Tom Sollas
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
That’s a great point Angelo. I think, however, that the keep clear in the rule trumps the right of way in the preamble. There’s no appeal or case that covers this that I could find with my limited searching. But given that the preamble doesn’t turn off your keep clear obligations  even though the preamble says you have right of way given the other boat’s keep clear obligation, I think you still must keep clear because the rule says so.

John, you’re thinking of IRPCAS, which only applies between boats racing when the NOR says it does, or between a boat racing and and a boat that is not, nor intending to or hasn’t been racing. See the Part 2 Preamble for specifics.
Created: 24-May-17 04:49
Diana Pipe
0
The situation occurred in very tidal river racing in light and shifty winds.  B had already turned to starboard to go below A( who had another boat to windward of him) to avoid conflict and get round the course quicker!  
If the wind shifts left and A is headed- just slightly then this is a when a close quarters situation could occur. 
If the downwind boat is carving as Philip said then is he not altering his course and would therefore need to give the upwind boat opportunity to keep clear.
Thank you all for your input.  Really helpful to clarify that it's not clear cut..
Created: 24-May-17 08:59
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Tom re: "I think, however, that the keep clear in the rule trumps the right of way in the preamble."

I don't think I'd put it that way (though in the end  the pudding tastes the same). 

Rather I might say that ... OK both boats are simultaneously KC (R11) & ROW (P2/Sect-A preamble) of each other.  Therefore ...

  • Rule 11 states they shall KC each other
  • Rule 16.1 states that if either alters course, she shall give the other boat room to keep clear
  • Rule 14 applies to both. 
Created: 24-May-17 11:49
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
PS ... taking that down the exoneration road. 

  • Both boats are ROW, therefore both have 43.1(c) exoneration available to them (contact w/o damage or injury). 
  • If the one boat alters course, the other boat is entitled to room, therefore that boat has 43.1(b) exoneration available to her. 
Created: 24-May-17 13:00
Murray Cummings
Nationality: New Zealand
1
 Sam Wheeler,
Your diagrams 1,2 and 3 suggest that, at some stage prior to the positions shown, A would have been windward and therefore required to keep clear of B.  As such, A is required to allow B to sail her course without having to take avoiding action and should have taken action to do so before the situations depicted in your diagrams arose. 
Created: 24-May-17 15:01
Rene Nusse
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Club Judge
  • Umpire In Training
0
There are definitions about Leeward and Windward which we should use first in the interpretation of the rules, However, these definitions do not seem to cover the scenarios depicted. Is it then not reasonable to adopt the ordinary meaning in this specific case for defining leeward and windward? One of the boats has to be more leeward than the other. Ie, placing the boats on a line following the direction of the wind. The boat lowest on that line would be the leeward boat if we consult the "ordinary meaning" of the terms. Just a thought...
Created: 24-May-20 05:41
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
No.
Created: 24-May-20 13:42
Murray Cummings
Nationality: New Zealand
1
 Is it then not reasonable to adopt the ordinary meaning in this specific case for defining leeward and windward? 

Only if the words are not printed in italics or bold italics.  ie.  Leeward and Windward = ordinary meaning.  Leeward, Windward and Leeward Windward = as per RRS Definitions.
Created: 24-May-20 14:22
P
Nicholas Kotsatos
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
2
I've had new racers with a dozen days sailing experience ask these same questions. It's time to adjust the rules such that these situations are covered
Created: 24-May-21 14:28
Jim Champ
Nationality: United Kingdom
-1
Its an amusing theoretical situation that comes up from time to time. But in practice, bearing in mind the limitations on how far by the lee boats can actually sail, and what would be happening in the run up to the sketch, I suggest that it's almost impossible for boats to actually get in the sketch position without at least one having broken a rule along the way. And even if the almost impossible does occur, there is still a responsibility on both boats to avoid a collision, and as the running boat cannot turn upwind without gybing it should be obvious to both how to avoid contact.The rules cannot possibly allow for every possible hypothetical situation, nor, I suggest, should they.
Created: 24-May-26 16:48
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
1
Have we heard of any other "hypothetical situations" that the rules "cannot possibly" cover?
When racing practices change, as in the growing practice of "carving," the rules must grow to meet them.
These are dangerous head-on collisions that are clearly the fault of by-the-lee sailors too narrowly focused on their outwardly unpredictable tracks.
Created: 24-May-26 18:27
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