Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Is Crew Standing at the Shrouds Breaking any Rule?

P
Paul Zupan
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • National Judge
  • Regional Umpire
[Question posted on Facebook]

I [Alan Dowler] have an obscure race rule question that nobody seems to be able to definitively

The boat in question is a Holland 11 meter one design.  It is a fixed keel sports boat . It's class dictates no stanchions or gunwale attached safety rails.

I regularly position one of my crew of 6, at the windward shroud base to clear the crowded cockpit , view and tune the self tacking jib, and keep a watch for other competitors. The remaining crew sit legs over gunwale between me at tiller helm aft , and the forward most crew member at the windward shroud / chain plate position As this vessel has a self tacking jib, the forward crew member steps through the gap between mast and jib leech at each upwind tack .

Question ; A competitor has threatened to protest the positioning of my foremost crew member, who stands on the deck at the shroud base , holding on to the shrouds for balance, pre and post tacks , and on occasions for sustained periods if there is heavy traffic requiring frequent visuals and calls to skipper. ( note, sails sweep low to deck on this vessel and once heeled, it is a difficult boat to view to leeward, from under the boom)

The crew positioned at the shrouds, whether standing or sitting , is NOT using the shrouds as leverage or as a device to hang out from the gunwale further than would otherwise be the case --- if standing , they are at all times vertical --- they are not using the shrouds to pull the vessel down flat --- their positioning is simply a practical , logistical solution , through necessity to be vigilant in traffic , diligent with jib tuning, and uncluttered for the rest of the crew aboard who traverse from side to side through the cockpit .

Is this situation breaking any general keelboat rules ?? ( mixed fleet, not racing in class ) We have scoured every rule publication we can find, but nothing references this.To repeat, this vessel's class rules do not allow for stanchions or safety rails/cables The bulk of these vessels in Australia are sailed at RPAYC Sydney, and on Lake MacQuarie

Thank you for your help

Created: 19-Nov-17 18:32

Comments

Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
1
With no lifelines installed, I see no RRS 49 limitations whatsoever, unless the shrouds were specially designed to enhance hiking.
Indeed your crew could leverage like crazy, if it could help. Except that might bring the sport into disrepute. :)
I often wished the rule was otherwise while hanging by hand and ankle over the side of a Shields sloop.
Created: 19-Nov-17 20:06
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
I agree with Phil.

If anyone wants to prohibit hanging off the shrouds an express Class Rule, NOR or SI is required.
Created: 19-Nov-17 21:55
Greg Dargavel
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • National Judge
0
I totally concur with the previous responses. I would very much like to hear what rule the potential protestor plans to cite. (OK knowing s/he doesn't need to cite one, I'll rephrase....) what rule the potential protestor believes is being broken.
Created: 19-Nov-17 22:02
Steve Schupak
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Umpire
0
The one key fact missing is whether you're racing in a handicap fleet, and it's rules may prohibit such action, or one design where the class rules seem to allow it?

Steve
Created: 19-Nov-18 02:45
David Clinnin
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
The class rules are relatively vague on the topic, but I see nothing there that would prohibit using the shrouds simply for balance.

 7.3.4 Permitted hiking. While sitting on the boat the spine shall not lean out more than vertical and no part of the thigh shall be outside the sheerline. 
Created: 19-Nov-18 03:05
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
OK, sitting is not standing.

But I don't think the class is going to like it.

Here's an example of a SI that does prohibit hiking from the shrouds, from the World Sailing Standard Match Racing Sailing Instructions
https://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/2017WorldSailingStandardMatchRacingSaililngInstructionsJanuary2017-[21723].docx

2.22 The use of the shrouds (including any inner shrouds) above the lower bottle screw (turnbuckle) to facilitate tacking or gybing, or to aid the projection of a crew member outboard is prohibited.

Those wanting to get het up about 'unfair advantage' should be aware of the note to that SI

Use only when the OA provide the boats and then only when necessary to prevent damage to the shrouds or shroud caps.
Created: 19-Nov-18 04:08
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
To Alan from FB ....you should send an inquiry to your local fleet Measurer (if you have one) or the OD’s Nat’l or International Tech Committee. That’s what they are there for (I’m both local and on Nat’l TC for the J/105s).  Most OD TC’s can issue Rule Interpretations to the entire fleet clarifying the question for everyone. - Ang
Created: 19-Nov-18 13:31
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Fleet Measurer
0
David, when we look at the CR, I think one of the issues is the use of the word “hiking”, rather than “crew position”. 

If you asked me for a definition for “Hiking”, I would say ...

Hikingto position all or part of a crew’s body, outboard of the vertical projection up from a boat’s gunwale, for the purposes of changing the angle of heel of the boat in that direction.

That said, others might have a materially different definition and that is the problem with using “hiking” in the CR.

If we take my definition, according to the CR, a crew can be in any position and holding onto any boat-component as long as no part of the crew’s body breaks the vertical plane extending up from the gunwale. 
Created: 19-Nov-19 13:36
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