Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Rule 28 at a Passing Mark

Myrto Antonopoulou
Nationality: Greece
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training

The Sailing Instructions designated Course 2 (Offshore Race) as: Start - Government buoy 1 (port) - Mark (starboard) - Government buoy 2 (starboard) - Finish. No mark was identified as a rounding mark.
Furthermore, they stated that the Race Committee may place a windward mark, displaying a red flag before the warning signal, which boats must leave to port. The red flag was displayed.
The boats sailed the course as shown:

Did they comply with RRS 28.2 (a) in accordance with Government buoy 1?

Created: 18-Oct-20 21:51

Comments

John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Please identify the names of the marks shown in the diagram.

Diagram shows marks in colours Yellow, Green, Grey, and Brown. What is the name given to each in the SI?
Created: 18-Oct-20 22:54
Eric Rimkus
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Does a string representing the boat’s path from the pre-start to the finish, when drawn taut, pass each mark on the required side and in the correct order?
Created: 18-Oct-20 23:52
Paul Hanly
Nationality: Australia
0
Is the windward mark with the red flag the first mark passed after the start on the course as shown? Or is it the one up near the finish line?
Is the Government Mark 1 the mark shown that the boat does not go to? Or the first passed after the start?
You need to identify which mark is which.
Created: 18-Oct-21 03:20
Myrto Antonopoulou
Nationality: Greece
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
0
The Yellow mark, thus the first mark passed after the start on the course as shown, is the windward mark. The Green mark is the Government Mark 1, the one the boats never went to. Th Grey Mark is the Mark to be left to starboard and the Brown Mark is the Government Mark 2.

Created: 18-Oct-21 04:42
Myrto Antonopoulou
Nationality: Greece
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
0
A string representing the boat’s path, when drawn taut, passes the Government Mark 1 on its required side only if that string is extended.
In order to decide if the string passes a mark on the required side according Rule 28.2, does the mark have to be in front of a line at a 90o angle to the string?

Created: 18-Oct-21 05:09
Ric Morris
Nationality: Ireland
0
A red flag was displayed where? On the laid windward mark, or the committee boat?
I'm assuming the government mark was not a laid mark?
Which is gov mark 1 and 2?
Do the SIs say anything about the laid windward mark replacing Gov Mark 1? If not the course has not been sailed.
Created: 18-Oct-21 05:15
Paul Hanly
Nationality: Australia
0
In answer to the original question: No. This mark was never passed to port. It was designated as a mark of the course. It was possible to leave the Windward mark to port, then the GM1 to port then complete the course. Unless the SI's made it clear that if there was a windward mark WM then GM1 was replaced by WM then all the marks must be rounded on their correct side, even if the SI's make one or more of them wrong handed (ie all departing boats must necessarily pass through the course of all approaching boats).
The philosophy in the case given may have been to reduce the risk of boats on the first leg crossing the boats on the first downwind leg which may have had yachts under spinnaker by tending to restrict them more to the right hand (going upwind) side of the course.
Created: 18-Oct-21 05:34
Myrto Antonopoulou
Nationality: Greece
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
0
The red flag was displayed on the committee boat, before the warning signal.
I know the diagram is not so clear, the Green mark is the Government Mark 1 and the Brown Mark is the Government Mark 2.
The SI state nothing about replacing the Government Mark 1 or about the type of the marks.
I am not sure i understand the meaning if a "laid mark". Since the SI do not define the Government Mark 1 as a rounding mark, a assume it is a mark the boats just have to pass on its required side.
Created: 18-Oct-21 05:39
Myrto Antonopoulou
Nationality: Greece
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
0
Paul Hanly
In answer to the original question: No. This mark was never passed to port. It was designated as a mark of the course. It was possible to leave the Windward mark to port, then the GM1 to port then complete the course. Unless the SI's made it clear that if there was a windward mark WM then GM1 was replaced by WM then all the marks must be rounded on their correct side, even if the SI's make one or more of them wrong handed (ie all departing boats must necessarily pass through the course of all approaching boats).
The philosophy in the case given may have been to reduce the risk of boats on the first leg crossing the boats on the first downwind leg which may have had yachts under spinnaker by tending to restrict them more to the right hand (going upwind) side of the course.


Since the SI do not define any mark as a rounding mark, i believe the boats just have to pass on their required side. So, there is no need to round any of the marks. The original question is if, by sailing the course described, the boats passed the Government Mark 1 on its required side.
Created: 18-Oct-21 05:50
Ric Morris
Nationality: Ireland
0
Thank you.

Call the PRO and whoever drafted the SIs into the room to give evidence (i.e. provide an opportunity to apologise)

Then...

The boats did not leave Gov Mark 1 on the required side.
No error by the race management leading to the boats failing to leave Gov Mark 1 to port

All boats DNF.
No opportunity for redress.

... if someone had the balls to protest out an otherwise fair race that is.
Created: 18-Oct-21 05:52
Myrto Antonopoulou
Nationality: Greece
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
0
Ric Morris

Thank you for your comment. I agree that boats never left Gov Mark 1 on the required side, it is just not easy to explain that. Most boats would say that since the Gov Mark 1 is on the port side of the extension of the string, they compiled with RRS 28.2.

Furthermore, i do not agree that boats are DNF. They finished according the definition, they just broke 28.2. So, only if they were protested, the PC would DSQ them for breaking 28.2.
Created: 18-Oct-21 06:11
Paul Hanly
Nationality: Australia
1
Hi Myrto. My answer is still no. They never left that mark to port at any time at any distance during the race.
Created: 18-Oct-21 06:13
Ric Morris
Nationality: Ireland
1
They must leave them on the required side in the required order. The windward mark has no sequence, but Gov Mark 1 does.

Yes DSQ rather than DNF, I was being too nice given that the whole fleet made the same error

If this is part of a series I'm wondering if an amendment to the SIs might change the number of discards
Created: 18-Oct-21 06:19
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
It is not necessary to draw the marks to scale, i.e., tiny.
I would consider 3mm diameter as a minimum, in a presentation such as this, so that colors can be identified on all devices.
Created: 18-Oct-21 06:43
Phil Mostyn
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
1
Hi Myrto,

Seems to me that as long as the Red Flag signal was correctly displayed, the course was as follows:

Start, passing;
Windward mark (to port)
Govt. buoy 1 (to port)
Grey buoy (to starboard)
Govt. buoy 2 (to starboard)
Finish.

Accordingly, (a) If the starting line is the one with the RC vessel;
(b) If Government buoy 1 is the green buoy that must be passed to port;
(c) if the line drawn in the diagram is the course sailed;
Then a boat sailing that course did not satisfy rule 28 because she did not pass Govt. buoy 1 on her port hand - she passed it on her starboard hand...

Phil.
Created: 18-Oct-21 08:08
Myrto Antonopoulou
Nationality: Greece
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
0
Phil Mostyn

Thank you for your answer.
Created: 18-Oct-21 08:42
Greg Dargavel
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • National Judge
0
Seems to me this shows, yet again, the perils of using "may" in sailing instructions.
Created: 18-Oct-21 14:31
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
1
Could you explain why giving a race committee discretion in managing races by use of the word 'may' in SI is problematic?

Regardless of whether the red flag was displayed, the SI, as recounted by Myrto, required boats to pass the green Gov Mark 1 to port immediately in sequence before passing the grey laid mark to starboard.

The track illustrated did not do this and shows a breach of rule 28.2.

The language of the SI, as far as we have seen, did not cause the problem.
Created: 18-Oct-21 22:10
Paul Hanly
Nationality: Australia
0
Would a boat have complied if it went to GB1 first then passed the windward mark leaving it to port and then completed the course?
From what we have been told the order in which to pass the Windward mark to port was not specified.

Also I understand the confusion in calling it a windward mark but then having a mark further windward on a similar compass heading from the start line that has to be rounded after the windward mark. Tradition is that a mark called a windward mark is, other than a nearby clearing mark perhaps, the most windward mark on a course, or at least on a leg of the course.

It seems to me that there may be an unwritten tradition at the club not properly written into the sailing instructions, ie the windward mark if laid is to replace GB1. Only a regular competitor at that club on that course could know that.

The SI's could be reviewed to ensure that they accurately represent to a visitor unfamiliar with the club's courses exactly what the course is in each circumstance.
Created: 18-Oct-21 22:34
Greg Dargavel
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • National Judge
0
Re: using "may".... in general it is problematic as it raises uncertainty. Yes, even if there is a signal attached to it.

If we could see the actual SI wording, rather than the summary, Myrto that would be most helpful. Also, was there a diagram of the course in the SIs?

The devil is in the details.
Created: 18-Oct-22 02:56
Murray Cummings
Nationality: New Zealand
0
Paul Hanly, Yes. A boat could have sailed straight to GB1, leaving the windward mark to port on the way and would have complied. The way the SI's are described above would mean that boats would also have to leave the windward mark to port on the way to the laid mark from GB1.
Created: 18-Oct-22 05:02
Ric Morris
Nationality: Ireland
1
Given making every attempt to keep a race in is a guiding principle that does give an out. As there's basically no reason for W to be included, and since the entire fleet misinterpreted their intentions, you can potentially say the PRO laid a confusing course and give the fleet redress.

I've been reminded of a similar instance (that I'm not going to quote directly) where redress was given with that reason. It went to appeal and passed muster.
Created: 18-Oct-22 05:24
Myrto Antonopoulou
Nationality: Greece
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
0
Gred Dargavel,
There is no diagramm of the course.

The actual SI wording would be:

"Τhe race committee may, if appropriate, cast a windward mark, to achieve a windward start. The windward mark, if casted, will be at approximately 1 NM from the

starting line. If the RC displays a red flag before the warning signal, the windward mark must be left to port. If the RC displays a green flag, the windward mark must be left to starboard".

Created: 18-Oct-22 06:06
Myrto Antonopoulou
Nationality: Greece
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
0
I also believe that a boat could have sailed straight to GB1, leaving the windward mark to port on the way. There is nothing in the SI to imply that boats would also have to leave the windward mark to port on the way to the laid mark from GB1.

Created: 18-Oct-22 06:12
Myrto Antonopoulou
Nationality: Greece
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
0
In my opinion, since the RC considered appropriate to cast a windwark mark, she could have avoid any misinterpretations by placing it further windwark than the GM1. In that case, if a boat sailed to the windwark mark and than started heading to the (laid) Mark 1, she would have left the GM1 to port on her way.
Created: 18-Oct-22 06:33
Kim Kymlicka
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Umpire
0
So, was this the intended course to be sailed?

If yes, than the W (Yellow) Mark would have been left on the correct side.
Personally, I am not certain why the W and the Red flag was all about, if the RC wanted the boats to sail this course.
Most boats would have figured out the favorite side to sail the first leg.
The Question is about the Green (GB1).
Does anyone see a boat leaving the GB1 on P in the original diagram?

The 'real' question could be what to do with the race, since no boat sailed the posted course.
Created: 18-Oct-24 02:01
Myrto Antonopoulou
Nationality: Greece
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
0

Kim Kymlicka,

This was exactly the intended course to be sailed, which complies with 28.2.

Maybe the reason a Windward mark was casted, was to avoid setting the starting line near another race, held from a different club.

When the Windward mark was casted and before the warning signal, some boats discussed the course to be sailed. Everybody agreed that if they passed first from the Windward mark, than, on their way to the Mark 1, they would leave the GB1 on the correct side. I believe this was a misjudgement, since GB1 was further windward than the Windward mark.

Since no protest was filed, that would lead to a DSQ of all boats for a breach of 28.2, I believe the RC has to score the race, according to RRS 90.3 (and 35).

Created: 18-Oct-24 06:41
Kim Kymlicka
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Umpire
0
Myrto,
This is when it can get into the weeds. The RC could consider abandoning the race. After all, what is the point to DSQ all the boats?
This is not how the RC makes more friends. Did the RC considered this course to be the best practice in race management?
Kim
Created: 18-Oct-25 02:52
Myrto Antonopoulou
Nationality: Greece
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
0

Kim Kymlicka,
So, has the RC the authority to conclude whether the boats complied with 28.2 and, thus, abandon a race, according to RRS 35 and 90.3, without a protest hearing and a PC decision that concludes they committed a breach of 28.2?
Wouldn’t that be against RRS 63.1, even though the RC does not in fact “penalize” the boats?

Created: 18-Oct-25 10:26
Ric Morris
Nationality: Ireland
0
It may have the authority to act, that doesn't mean that it should.
Created: 18-Oct-25 10:29
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
1
Myrto Antonopoulou
said Created: Yesterday 06:41

Kim Kymlicka,

This was exactly the intended course to be sailed, which complies with 28.2.

Maybe the reason a Windward mark was casted, was to avoid setting the starting line near another race, held from a different club.

When the Windward mark was casted and before the warning signal, some boats discussed the course to be sailed. Everybody agreed that if they passed first from the Windward mark, than, on their way to the Mark 1, they would leave the GB1 on the correct side. I believe this was a misjudgement, since GB1 was further windward than the Windward mark.

Since no protest was filed, that would lead to a DSQ of all boats for a breach of 28.2, I believe the RC has to score the race, according to RRS 90.3 (and 35).

Yes, unless the race is abandoned by either the race committee or the protest committee the race committee is required to score the race.
Myrto Antonopoulou
said Created: Today 10:26

So, has the RC the authority to conclude whether the boats complied with 28.2 and, thus, abandon a race, according to RRS 35 and 90.3, without a protest hearing and a PC decision that concludes they committed a breach of 28.2?
Wouldn’t that be against RRS 63.1, even though the RC does not in fact “penalize” the boats?

The race committee might form an opinion that one or more boats did not comply with rule 28. Race committees do not have suitable procedures to take evidence and ascertain facts that are not immediately visible to them, and may not be qualified to conclude whether rules are broken or not.

The grounds for a race committee to abandon a race are listed in rule 32.1. the only one of these grounds that might be relevant here is rule 32.1d

for any other reason directly affecting the ... fairness of the competition

The question that the race committee would have to answer before abandoning the race would be:

how did all the boats sailing the same course, even if it was not the course intended by the race committee affect the fairness of the competition?

In my opinion the answer to that question would be that there was no effect on the fairness of the competition: all boats had a fair race among themselves around the same course.

Therefore the condition required for the race committee to abandon the race is not fulfilled and the race committee may NOT abandon the race.
Created: 18-Oct-25 11:35
Kim Kymlicka
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Umpire
1
John,
I agree with you on all the points. I would not vote to DSQ any boats, if they all sailed the same,albeit, an incorrect course.
If the RC bring this to the PC, and that is the only way to get to DSQ, smart PC would say exactly that and the RC could chalk it up to experience.
In my opinion, to go and DSQ the whole fleet is always suspect. To abandon this race is an option for any RC, but they better have a solid reason for it. In this case, not so much. My original suggestion to consider abandoning was just that, if they could get there. Not having all the details and I do not need them, it could have been a better option than the DSQ route.
This discussion is of course different from the original question: ' Did they comply with RRS 28.2 (a) in accordance with Government buoy 1? '
Kim
Created: 18-Oct-25 22:40
Paul Hanly
Nationality: Australia
1
Myrto, you said way above that the SI's did not define any rounding marks so you did not have to round any, but in practice to sail the course specified you had to change directions effectively almost 180 degrees at GM1 and Mark and you had to change direction about 45 degs at GM2. I am not aware of any need to describe (in the SI's) marks where you double back or make any other substantial change in directions as a "rounding mark". The practicality of the string line drawn tight will make some marks require a very large change in direction and those marks might be called rounding marks in common parlance particularly the most windward and the most leeward marks in a race course. A mark to the side in an Olympic triangle generally passed by gybing during a sequence of two broad reaches is often called the "gybe mark" or "wing mark" mark by competitors, but not in the SI's.
Created: 18-Oct-26 00:18
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0


John wrote:

how did all the boats sailing the same course, even if it was not the course intended by the race committee affect the fairness of the competition?

I think that gets back to your points regarding the limits of the RC to take testimony. IMO, the RC should send this to the PC and have them take testimony. It may be that some boats started sailing the course toward W, but then doubled back or at maybe put themselves in advantaged position for W which was not a competitive position for the course sailed, thus putting those who started sailing the proper course at a disadvantage and thus effecting the fairness.

Also, did I miss something in OP's info? I see where the SI's state that there might be a windward mark laid with a red-flag .. but to Ric's point, its order is never described. There is nothing the RRS's that provides that by simply describing a mark "windward" that it be the first mark rounded in the course sequence.

Ang

Created: 18-Oct-26 11:31
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
1
Angelo Guarino
said
Created: Today 11:31

John wrote:

how did all the boats sailing the same course, even if it was not the course intended by the race committee affect the fairness of the competition?

I think that gets back to your points regarding the limits of the RC to take testimony..

IMO, the RC should send this to the PC and have them take testimony.

How? By protesting a boat or boats? By requesting redress for a boat or boats?

It may be that some boats started sailing the course toward W, but then doubled back or at maybe put themselves in advantaged position for W which was not a competitive position for the course sailed, thus putting those who started sailing the proper course at a disadvantage and thus effecting the fairness.

How about leaving the racing to the racers? If those boats think they should be given redress let them ask the protest committee for it.

But I don't like their chances since Myrto said, in effect that boats rounded the windward mark thinking that it was Govt Mark 1, that is, they failed to round Govt Mark 1 because of their inadequate navigation.

Created: 18-Oct-26 13:57
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
1

How?

By requesting redress for all racers based upon:

  1. The RC's knowledge strong suspicion (PS: a PC hearing can take testimony to establish this fact) that no racers sailed the intended and posted course AND all racers sailed an identical alternate course.
  2. The possibility that some boats may have sailed, and/or positioned themselves for, the correct and intended course and thus may have been disadvantaged
  3. The possibility that this occurred based upon an action/inaction/omission/miscommunication of the RC on the water, in the SI's or both
The PC then could take testimony to establish the facts regarding 1,2,3 above and determine if any boats were actually disadvantaged and if so, by whose cause and fault ... the racers' and/or the RC's.

How about leaving the racing to the racers?

In general I would agree with that, but not in this case. Something went wrong and in my opinion, if the RC believes that this could have been due to an error on their part (the RC's), I think they should put it to the PC to ensure that what on the surface seems to be a fair race, actually was.

Created: 18-Oct-26 14:14
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
1
Presumably the grounds for redress would be rule 62.1a.

What would be the improper act or omission that the race committee would be contending it committed?

How would boats' failure to accurately navigate to and pass Govt Mark 1 on the side specified in the SI, not be fault of their own?
Created: 18-Oct-27 14:13
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
2

What would be the improper act or omission that the race committee would be contending it committed?
How would boats' failure to accurately navigate to and pass Govt Mark 1 on the side specified in the SI, not be fault of their own?

My position is that it would depend upon the facts-found during the hearing. What we don't have, and what is needed, are facts. I can envision a level of miscommunication on the part of the RC (OTW, in SI's, or both) which negates the "fault" of the racers ... in that, given 2 equally unclear choices from which a competitor must choose, I could see how a PC might determine that you can't lay fault at a competitor's feet for choosing one of them.

Also, it appears that since there is Appeal US 100, (at least in the US) the RC can abandon at any time if it learns something which affected the fairness of the race. Since the time is seemingly unlimited, I would think the avenues for receiving, and the character of, that info to be broad. I've looked in the RM Policies and Racing Manuals, and I don't see anything forbidding the RC from considering the facts-found from a PC hearing in their determination if a race was fair.


Personal Anecdote (not exactly the same situation):

Many years ago, I was in a similar situation here in the Chesapeake Bay. There is the very popular (60-80 boats) late-October race to Baltimore, (even more popular back when this happened) which is a 20-30nm race around gov't-marks from Annapolis, around points in the Bay, and finishing in the Baltimore Inner Harbor. The course-marks are set by, and displayed upon, the RC on the water just prior to racing (certain possible gov't marks are predefined with single-letter designations).

That misty and drizzly morning, the RC used a relatively small 2'x3' dry-erase board to display the letters for 2 separate courses for 6 fleets .. faster fleets taking a longer course, slower and NS boats taking a shorter course. The wetness made the dry-erase pens nearly non-functional and fogginess of the day and the small, thin letters made the board very difficult to read especially since the RC had made it clear that they were going to be stringent in enforcing 100' no-enter starting-area for those fleets not in sequence (extended both directions along the line and behind the line). Also the uneven writing and small cramped letters of the fleets/courses on the board was confusing at best, especially for my fleet.

Well .. you've probably read ahead to the last page .. 1/2 of the my fleet sailed the short course and the other 1/2 the longer course, and due to the lack of visibility and natural separation between those courses, each half-fleet couldn't see what the other half was doing. Also, many competitors "turn and burn" after racing to get back home to Annapolis, and don't hang around at the party ... making figuring-out what happened very difficult.

I sailed the RC's intended long-course for my fleet and was leading that group into the harbor, maybe 15 min from finishing (feeling very proud of myself mind you) when I see one of my competitors coming the other direction under motor rolling his main! OMG! ... I didn't just get beat .. I got creamed! .. and I owe him time!.. then another one passes me just the same .. then another one .. I was going from hero to chump very quickly!

It took me more than a day to finally confirm with a short-course boat what had happened. I requested redress, but the RC also requested redress on behalf of our fleet. It's been more than 10 years, but as best as I can remember, the PC (lead by an experienced USSJ) found that the RC inadequately displayed the course which did not provided a fair opportunity for competitors to race. I can't remember if the PC abandoned the race or if the RC did, but abandon it they did (PS .. a couple weeks later as I remember).

Created: 18-Oct-29 13:59
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