Forum: Match and Team Racing Rules

Match Race Call G2 - Giving Room To Drop A Spinnaker

P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
MR G2
A leeward boat must curtail her luff long enough for the windward boat to drop her spinnaker if she luffs the windward boat above the point where her spinnaker will stay filled and drawing.

I was wondering if those with MR officiating experience would comment on MR-G2 .. how it plays-out and is communicated between boats on the water.  
  1. How is this first-opportunity to drop requested/given and then taken or waived-off?  
  2. How is that opportunity "documented" (for lack of a better description) such that after that time is passed, further opportunities are known to be unavailable?

Also, I'm surprised that this concept has not been brought forward into Fleet Racing in a WS Case.  Just as we surmised in the RRS 31 SI removal discussion here, that hitting a mark is not part of room's "maneuvering .. in a seamlike way", MR G2 seems to imply that luffing a boat under spin beyond where her spinnaker collapses, and keeping her in that state, is also not seamanlike to some extent. 

Has anyone applied this concept in a Fleet-Racing scenario?  If so, can you share some of the details?

I'm interested in reading your experiences and insights.
Created: 19-Sep-07 13:43

Comments

Phil Mostyn
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
2
Hi Angelo,

The answer to Q1 is  the first opportunity comes and goes briefly as the the boats manoeuvre and respond. The assessors in all this are the umpires not the sailors. The sailors know that each of the 2 umpires are calling “their” boat and deciding between them on an on going basis, whether leeward is giving room and windward is keeping clear.
Leeward is always conscious that windward might drop her kite as she luffs, and windward knows she can’t just fire the halyard, that she must perform a standard type drop. Both are very conscious that if windward fails to win a penalty when she drops her spinnaker, that her race is done, with leeward sailing away and windward head to wind with her spinnaker in the water. It’s a high risk action to perform.

The answer to Q2 is contained in the first line of the Q1 answer. The moment of opportunity comes and goes and like “beauty” the answer is in the eyes of the beholder - in match racing’s case, the umpires. Because it matters not what the sailors think, it’s the umpires opinion that counts.

And this is the underlying reason why match racing Calls don’t officially apply to fleet racing where you don’t have umpires to make the decision on the spot. 

In response to your query about seamanship being in doubt, the answer to Call G2 question 2 makes abundantly clear that  once room has been given to drop a spinnaker but not taken, no rule is broken if a boat so luffed is caused to pass head to wind with her spinnaker still up. Seamanship does not come into consideration.


Created: 19-Sep-07 15:44
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Both are very conscious that if windward fails to win a penalty when she drops her spinnaker, that her race is done, with leeward sailing away and windward head to wind with her spinnaker in the water. It’s a high risk action to perform.

Thanks Phil. Could you elaborate on the dance there in windward winning her penalty?  I’m trying to play it out.  

So L starts her luff of W and for one reason or another is able to carry her spin higher.  W’s spin starts to collapse, maybe collapsing and filling. At that point, W knows she can head down to fill and douse? If L doesn’t give W room at that point, that’s how W wins the penalty? 


Created: 19-Sep-07 16:13
Phil Mostyn
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
3
Hi Angelo,

So L starts her luff of W and for one reason or another is able to carry her spin higher.  W’s spin starts to collapse, maybe collapsing and filling. At that point, W knows she can head down to fill and douse? If L doesn’t give W room at that point, that’s how W wins the penalty?

No, I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that at all. Windward must continue keeping clear, so she can’t bear away to “fill and douse” as you ask, because by bearing away she would fail to be doing everything she can to keep clear and break rule 11. But she can continue to respond by luffing, and at the point at which she can’t keep the majority of her spinnaker filled and drawing, she can drop her kite & Leeward must give her room to drop her spinnaker. 

The Call says in part......”Whether or not Yellow (Windward) drops her spinnaker at that time, she is still required to keep clear”

By initiating the manoeuvre, Leeward has control and often is ready to douse or partly douse her own spinnaker as she begins to luff and Windward should be prepared to respond and an early partial douse is one of her defence options.

The rules are in flux throughout the manoeuvring. As Leeward luffs, she is required by rule 16 to continue giving Windward room to keep clear. And rule 11 requires Windward to continue keeping clear by responding throughout the luff. If in keeping clear Windward is required to respond in an extraordinary way to continue keeping clear, Leeward is not giving room and breaks rule 16.

An important point that Call G2 is making is that deciding to the leave one’s spinnaker up when tacking is not extraordinary.

Match racing is all about tactics. Using the rules to one’s own advantage. To deliberately catch the opponent out. It’s an aggressive form of sailing in which many of the manoeuvres might be considered unseaman-like In fleet racing, so I suspect that sailors might not agree with this aspect of the call - which is just another illustration of why MR Calls are only authoritative in match racing.

I really hope this helps.

Phil.


Created: 19-Sep-08 05:58
Phil Mostyn
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
3
Angelo,

Warming to the topic; 

This manoeuvre often occurs when the Leeward boat has a penalty outstanding and attacks Windward seeking to:
(a) Inflict a penalty on Windward and so cancelled out her own penalty,
(b) establish sufficient room during the luff to be able to tack and complete her penalty while remaining  close to or even in front of her opponent, or
(c) establish a sufficient lead so as, later in the match, attempt to complete her penalty turn.

Created: 19-Sep-08 06:33
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Phil .. very helpful in my understanding of the MR Call and why it is worded and constructed as it is.  Thanks a bunch - Ang
Created: 19-Sep-08 12:11
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
It’s an aggressive form of sailing in which many of the manoeuvres might be considered unseaman-like In fleet racing, so I suspect that sailors might not agree with this aspect of the call - which is just another illustration of why MR Calls are only authoritative in match racing.

So your last point goes to one of my last points/questions in my OP.  I can see some potential arguments that fleet-racing W could make, being forced to HTW under spin without opportunity to douse, as being forced to maneuver unseamanlike. There is potential damage to expensive spinnakers and the unpredictable nature and forces of a spinnaker suddenly catching air on different sides  of the boat.  This would be even more so in a blow where getting into a broaching cycle is a risk. 

It interesting to consider that the interpretation of what is seaman-like could/would change based on this context, and if so, in what other ways and in other conditions do we as judges or competitors adapt our concept of “seamanlike”?
Created: 19-Sep-08 12:53
John Mooney
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Umpire
  • Regional Race Officer
3
Angelo, one way that the context changes is that in a match race, there are (theoretically) no other competitors around, so one may relatively safely do things that wouldn't be seamanlike if there were other boats close by to worry about. Tacking with a kite up might be one such maneuver - trying it in moderate air in a match race would be much safer and more seamanlike than trying it in a fleet.

I submit, though, that maybe the most important reason for the difference is that in an umpired race, you have knowledgeable and unbiased observers determining what "seamanlike" is, not self-interested and busy competitors. "Unseamanlike" is a term that fits US Justice Potter Stewart's famous description of pornography; it's difficult to define, but "I know it when I see it." As an eyewitness watching an incident unfold in real time and fully aware of the context, an umpire can call something much closer than a judge must, because the judge is reconstructing the incident from testimony and other evidence.
Created: 19-Sep-09 13:07
Phil Mostyn
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
0
Hey John, very well expressed!
Created: 19-Sep-09 14:03
Grant Baldwin
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • National Umpire
0
Agree with all that both Phil and John have offered here. We had a deep discussion of this maneuver during one of this year’s USMRC debriefs. Competitors were vitally interested in knowing when L's obligation to curtail her luff begins. When one considers whether this interest is academic or tactical, it should be noted that in Match racing, W rarely douses her kite in these situations. She (W) will wish to use this call (and protest under it) to reverse or limit L's advantage. Good umpire teams, properly positioned, have already decided whether L correctly curtailed her luff AND gave room to W to douse her kite. W was also thinking about using her kite douse to hang a penalty on L (if L was playing her too close and contact between L and W's kite occurred). This is a high risk, high reward play for W, but something our sailors were beginning to consider as a situational play. It should also be said that you have to be sure your umpires are in position, or you're a dead duck.

As Phil so ably pointed out, Match racing is different...
Created: 19-Nov-04 19:03
[You must be signed in to add a comment]
Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more