Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

RRS or Colregs

Paul Hanly
Nationality: Australia
The scenarios below will be encountered by sailors racing in waters where there are multiple divisions of one club racing eg most sailing/yacht clubs, and where more than one club races at the same time on the same water eg most Saturday afternoons on most large metropolitan harbours and sometimes lakes or rivers. They address the fundamental question of whether or not the RRS apply between two boats one of which may be overtaking the other.

Consider this Original Scenario: If boat O(vertaking) from club N(orth) which races under the RRS is sailing in Race 1 and is clear astern of Boat A(head) and establishes an overlap to leeward from clear astern less than 2 boat lengths (of Boat O) from boat A which is also sailing in Race 1 from club N, Boat O is entitled to sail up to her proper course. If the overlap is established by O more than 2 boat lengths to leeward of A, then O can sail up past her proper course and right up to luffing to head to wind even if it forces A to sail above her proper course. Hopefully we are all agreed so far.

What if we change the Original Scenario to Scenario 2 so that boat A is sailing in Race 2 of Club N, not race 1? Do the RRS still apply, or do you have to revert to ColRegs and in particular to Rule 13? Is there anything needed in the sailing instructions to require the RRS to apply between boats racing in different races at the same club at overlapping times but possibly sailing different courses but with some legs being part of both boats' courses?

What if we change the Original Scenario to Scenario 3 so that Boat A is sailing in a race of Club S(outh) instead of Club N(orth)? Do the RRS still apply, or do you have to revert to ColRegs and in particular to Rule 13?

And of course if Boat A is sailing but not racing then we racing in boat O are forced to comply with the ColRegs as Boat A is not sailing under the RRS and so we need to consider whether we are approaching from more than or less than 22.5 degs aft of the beam of boat A .
Created: 18-Nov-03 08:27

Comments

Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Paul, I seem to recall a Case or US Appeal that I think touches on this, but can't put my finger on it. I think the scenario in it has boats going around a mark where it's the windward mark for one race and leeward mark for other race. This sound familiar to anyone else? - Ang
Created: 18-Nov-03 13:06
John Sweeney
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Its a trick question-
Friendly, neighborhood Clubs are supposed to coordinate race areas to prevent this scenario.
But in the event, both corrinthian and RRS rules apply; unless they don't, and then of course ColRegs do.
Created: 18-Nov-03 13:24
Murray Cummings
Nationality: New Zealand
1
It matters not whether two boats are sailing within the same race, same club or same division within a race. If they are racing, they are subject to the RRS Part 2.
The RRS would be replaced by the IRPCAS or government rules only if a boat racing meets a boat that is not racing, or if the sailing instructions specify (for example, the SI may state that the IRPCAS apply between the hours of sunset and sunrise).

Created: 18-Nov-03 14:11
Patricia Stadel
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
1
see US Sailing Appeal 97 Silhoutte -v- Air Boss
Created: 18-Nov-03 14:33
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Thanks Patricia, Appeal US 97 was the one I had in mind. - Ang
Created: 18-Nov-03 14:55
Paul Hanly
Nationality: Australia
0
Thanks Ang and Patricia, for the reference to the Appeal US 97 which seems to be directly on point regarding boats competing in different divisions of the same event (presumably with the same organising authority/sponsoring club).

Can anyone provide any guidance (with reference to rules, cases or appeals) about what happens when the two boats are racing in different events organised by different clubs, but both clubs race under the RRS?

This is the real nub of the issue in reality between boats racing on Sydney Harbour, where a number of clubs conduct multi division races on the same water on the same days, both east and west of the Harbour Bridge. The mix runs from Optimists to Lasers to Flying 11's to 12ft and 16 ft skiffs to yachts from 16ft to 50ft.

Would it be different if the boat forcing the other up (Boat O, overtaking to leeward and wanting to sail a proper course higher than Boat A wants to sail because they are headed in different directions to different next marks), was not actually known to be also sailing under RRS? (In Sydney I believe the 18ft skiffs do or did race under the ColRegs, not the RRS, but I may be wrong about that).
Created: 18-Nov-04 01:53
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Paul, I think Murray's comment is on-point.

First start with the preamble of Part 2

The rules of Part 2 apply between boats that are sailing in or near the racing area and intend to race, are racing, or have been racing. However, a boat not racing shall not be penalized for breaking one of these rules, except rule 14 when the incident resulted in injury or serious damage, or rule 24.1.

When a boat sailing under these rules meets a vessel that is not, she shall comply with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCAS) or government right-of-way rules. If the sailing instructions so state, the rules of Part 2 are replaced by the right-of-way rules of the IRPCAS or by government right-of-way rules.

There is nothing in this preamble which delineates boats in the same fleet, race, racing circle, etc. In fact, it seems specifically written to encompass the scenario of multiple fleets within the same circle as well as multiple racing circles. If boats are racing under the RRS, even if they are not racing against each other, Part 2 applies between them. Section A and B are pretty straight forward. I think when you get to Section C, you can get some fuzziness, as you have the issues of RRS 18.1 (a-d) being determined by where a boat is intending to go or go next. Boats on different courses could have different frames of reference there and it can get complicated I think.

That said, Ii the 18ft skiffs are not racing under the RRS, then I think they should be treated the same as a group of family boats going out for a pleasure cruise.

Created: 18-Nov-04 02:58
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
18 footers abandoned Board of Trade rules and came into the RRS fold about 30 years ago,
Created: 18-Nov-04 13:30
Paul Hanly
Nationality: Australia
0
Someone I asked elsewhere advised that RRS 63.8
"A protest between boats sailing in different races conducted by different organizing authorities shall be heard by a protest committee acceptable to those authorities."
makes clear that boats racing in different events/series organised by different clubs/authorities can successfully protest one another.
RRS 3.3 is also relevant in terms of both boats agreeing to subject themselves to the RRS.

A committee member of a club in the area in question (Club N) advised that their club has heard at least one protest from a boat from another club racing in a different event organised by a different club (Club E(ast) against a boat racing in an event of Club N.

Thanks to all who posted
Created: 18-Nov-05 22:26
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