Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Club race scenario, racing alongside a continuing obstruction

Andrew Lesslie
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
Hi All,

Our race area is partly in open water and partly in a 'river'.  For evening, summer racing we set courses that start and finish inside this river.  The river has a dredged, deep water channel marked by government markers.  Our SIs state that the government marks are to be left on their correct side and that a line between adjacent markers (2 to 4 to 6, etc.) is a boundary of the sailing area and is to be treated as a continuing obstruction.

Our summer wind is a very predictable sea breeze and we typically sail on a broad reach to the finish.

The scenario we'd like community help with is where a pair of boats is sailing overlapped, with the windward boat against the boundary and a third, faster boat sails between them.   

The wind is from the North, the boats are sailing in a SW direction, the boundary is to the NW of the boats as illustrated below.

boundary issues.png 53 KB


Summary of facts:
At position 1:  W (Yellow) and L (Blue) are evenly matched and are sailing parallel, with W adjacent to the boundary.
At position 2:  O (Green) overlaps W to leeward.
At position 3:  While overlapped to leeward of W, O also overlaps L to windward.

Our question is whether L must make room for O to sail between her and W.

Our current reading of the rules and our questions are as follows:
  • In positions 1, 2 and 3, W is adjacent to a continuing obstruction and cannot alter course to windward without breaking a rule in the SIs.  
    L's Rule 11 rights as leeward boat are limited by rule 19.2(b) and L must give room to W as long as the obstruction continues.  O is clear astern of W and L and must keep clear under Rule 12.

  • In position 2, O becomes overlapped with W and gains rights over W under Rule 11.  However this right is again limited by Rule 19.2(b) and O must give W room as long as the obstruction continues.

  • Between positions 2 and 3, L hails O 'don't go in there, no right to room' or words to that effect, while O hails back 'room for boat at obstruction', or similar.    But O does indeed 'go in there'.  

  • In position 3, O, while overlapped with W also becomes overlapped with L.  W must keep clear of O and L, and O must keep clear of L under Rule 11.  Os and Ls rights over W under rule 11, are again limited by 19.2(b).

  • To avoid contact, L bears off and O sails into the gap.  L is blanketed and disadvantaged.

Questions:
  1. If O sails between W and L, does O foul L under Rule 11?
  2. Are there any interpretations or cases which oblige L to make room for O, other than Rule 14.

Our thanks to you for sharing your interpretations with us.
Andrew Lesslie
on behalf of Spinnaker Sailing and Sequoia Yacht Club.



Created: 20-Feb-29 20:42

Comments

Tom Sollas
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
 Your picture doesn't show where the other channel boundary is. In other words, how much room does Blue have to leeward?

In any case, my off the cuff guess is that Green breaks 11. Basically, per 19.2b, the Blue isn't required to give room to Green, as at the moment Green establishes the overlap, Blue is unable to give that room. Thus, since Blue must bear away to avoid contact, Green breaks 11.

Edit: If there wasn't a course boundary to the windward of Yellow, then USA Appeal 4 would be relevant.
Created: 20-Feb-29 22:16
Andrew Lesslie
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
0
Thank you Tom.  

There is ample room to leeward, the marked channel is in the region of 12-15 boat lengths wide for these fleets.
Created: 20-Feb-29 22:21
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
-1
Under 19.2b, at position 3, yellow is an obstruction to green and blue, thus blue is required to give room to green.
Yellow, a boat underway, is not a continuing obstruction to either, thus the limitation of 19.2c does not apply.
Created: 20-Mar-01 02:27
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
The first thing I would do when looking at this is be very very clear on which boats are ROW, which are keep clear at position 1, 2, 3.   [Then determine the obstructions and based on that which are entitled to room].

Philip, remember, a boat is only an obstruction when ... (from def of obstruction)

“However, a boat racing is not an obstruction to other boats unless they are required to keep clear of her or, if rule 23 applies, avoid her.  A vessel underway, including a boat racing, is never a continuing obstruction.”


Created: 20-Mar-01 03:28
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Andrew I’d review case 29, case 41 and case 117. - Ang
Created: 20-Mar-01 04:30
Andrew Lesslie
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
0
Thank you Ang.  Will do.
Created: 20-Mar-01 05:54
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Andrew, digest those 3 and post the answers to your questions. [as well as US 4 as Tom suggests.]
Created: 20-Mar-01 14:04
Andrew Lesslie
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
0
Thank you to Ang for his Socratic teaching.

This is a big exercise in thinking out loud and walking through the reasoning.    You could skip to the conclusion and then read back if you think my conclusion is incorrect.

US Appeal 4 states that when a boat intervenes between two others on the same tack, her proper course is to keep clear of the leeward boat.
I'll take from this that our boat O's proper course is to keep clear of our boat L. 

Definition of Obstruction states that a boat racing is not an obstruction to other boats unless they are required to keep clear of her
Our boat W is required to keep clear of both L and O under rule 11 when we get to position 3, so W is not an obstruction to O.

Case 29
states that A leeward boat is an obstruction to an overlapped windward boat and a third boat clear astern. The boat clear astern may sail between the two overlapped boats and be entitled to room from the windward boat to pass between her and the leeward boat, provided that the windward boat has been able to give that room from the time the overlap began.
As I read this I conclude that it's not W that is the obstruction, but L, and importantly the text that I've made bold is applicable because in our case the windward boat has not been able to give that room based on her proximity to the continuing obstruction.   Question:  is it correct to read this as Os entitlement to room doesn't exist, because W is unable to give it?

Case 41
is not quite the same context as our case as the overlap is created a little differently, but we can read it for our position 3, once the three boats are overlapped.  I'll substitute the labels we've used in our scenario into the case and I've struck through the part which is different. 
"When O becomes overlapped with W, the applicable rules change: BL becomes overlapped with A because BW is between A and BL (see the fourth sentence of the definition Clear Astern and Clear Ahead; Overlap); rule 12 ceases to apply; L and O obtain right of way under rule 11 over W, so W ceases to be an obstruction to O and L, and L becomes an obstruction to O and W; initially, rule 15 requires both L and O to give W room to keep clear; and, as soon as she is able to do so, W is required by rule 19.2(b) to give O room to pass between W and L.
I've underlined 'as soon as she is able to do so'. "
She is unable to do so for as long as the continuing obstruction exists.    So from this I read that under Rule 11 applies, O is required to keep clear of L, W is required to keep clear of O and L as soon as she is able to do so, which would be after the continuing obstruction has ended.

Case 117 this one looks very like our scenario and asks pretty much the question we're trying to ask.  I'll again change the boat labels to match our diagram.   

Question 1
If L becomes overlapped to leeward of W while O is clear astern of W, is L required to give O room to pass to leeward of W?

Answer 1
No. When L becomes overlapped to leeward of W, she obtains right of way over W, and therefore W is no longer an obstruction to L and O. For that reason, rule 19.2(b) does not apply between L and O. Instead, rule 11 begins to apply between L and W, but L is initially required by rule 15 to give W room to keep clear. O continues to be required by rule 12 to keep clear of W and by rule 11 to keep clear of L.

After L becomes overlapped to leeward of W, L has right of way over both D and O. Therefore, at that time L becomes an obstruction to W and O and, if O becomes overlapped with W, rule 19.2(b) begins to apply between W and O. Rule 19.2(b) requires W to give O room to pass between herself and L unless W has been unable to so from the time that O's overlap with W began.

Conclusions (and I invite your comments).
In our position 2, W must keep clear of L under Rule 11 but has been unable to do so since the beginning of the overlap due to proximity to the continuing obstruction.  L is giving W room at the continuing obstruction under 19.2(b) 
O is overlapped to leeward of W and W must keep clear of O under Rule 11 but is unable to do so from the beginning of the overlap.  O must give W room at the obstruction under 19.2(b).

In our position 3, as soon as O overlaps L to windward, O must keep clear of L under Rule 11 and W is required to keep clear of L and O, unless she is unable to do so.

1- If O contacts W, O fouls W by not giving room at the obstruction, Rule 19.2(b).
2- If O contacts L, O fouls L by not keeping clear under Rule 11.
3- If L alters course to avoid contact with O, a protest made by L against O under rule 11 would be successful.
4- The hails are immaterial.






Created: 20-Mar-01 18:09
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
2- If O contacts L, O fouls L by not keeping clear under Rule 11.
3- If L alters course to avoid contact with O, a protest made by L against O under rule 11 would be successful.

The boundary is a continuing obstruction. Does 19.2(c) enter into it between L and O (Blue and Green, respectively)?

In the original diagram:
At 1, O is clear astern and required to keep clear of L
At 2, O becomes overlapped between L and the obstruction. Is there room for O to pass between L and the obstruction? (check the definition of room)
At 2, what is the situation between W and O (Y and G) with respect to ROW and entitlement to room?

Does the scenario change if Y and G are both faster than B (and G is faster than Y), thusly:

boundary.png 56.6 KB
Created: 20-Mar-01 19:05
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
It is an odd perversion to conclude that W(yellow), unable to keep clear, is not "an object that can be safely passed on only one side," i.e., an obstruction. 
As W is an obstruction, L(blue) is able to and therefore must allow O(green) to pass on the same side.
Created: 20-Mar-01 19:40
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
It is an odd perversion to conclude that W(yellow), unable to keep clear, is not "an object that can be safely passed on only one side,"

Yellow is able to meet her obligation to keep clear, provided that she is given the room to which she is entitled. And the definition of obstruction says definitively that she is not one unless both Blue & Green are simultaneously required to keep clear of her.
Created: 20-Mar-01 21:44
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
Please explain how Yellow, unable to luff into the continuing obstruction, can keep clear of Blue who establishes a tight leeward overlap from astern.
Created: 20-Mar-01 22:08
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Andrew,

I would word your conclusions slightly differently.  Look at my #4 as they are the conclusions I think I'd write in this scenario (  Also notice, I used the suggested wording for #4 from the RRoS website which you can find under "tools"

As always, I'm open to critique or redirection if I get something wrong.

Let's assume Green wins the trifecta at position #4 (not shown) and manages to hit Yellow while simultaneously Blue alters course to avoid contact with Green. 

Also, prior to position #1, let's establish some preconditions, that:
  1. when Yellow and Blue first reached the continuing obstruction, Yellow was entitled to the 19.2(b) room inside of Blue
  2. that the proper course for Yellow between positions 1-4 is not to fall-off to leeward and sail away from the wall (this removes questions regarding rule 17)


  1. At Position #1:
    1. Yellow is windward, overlapped with Blue 
      1. -> Yellow must keep clear of Blue via rule 11
    2. Green is clear astern of both Blue and Yellow 
      1. -> Green must keep clear of Blue and Yellow via rule 12
    3. Yellow is inside overlapped with Blue at the closest edge of a continuing obstruction 
      1. -> Yellow is entitled to room from Blue to pass between Blue and the obstruction via rule 19.2(b) (and see preconditions)
    4. Because both Yellow and Green must keep clear of Blue, Blue is an obstruction to both Green and Yellow (but Blue is not a continuing obstruction)
  2. At Position #2:
    1. Green becomes overlapped to leeward and outside of Yellow relative to the continuing obstruction
      1. -> Green is now ROW and Yellow must keep clear of Green via rule 11, and 
      2. -> Green must initially give Yellow an opportunity to keep clear via rule 15 (which Green does).
      3. -> Green being outside overlapped with Yellow, must give Yellow room to pass between her and the obstruction via 19.2(b)
    2. Green is still clear astern of Blue
      1. -> Both Green and Yellow must keep clear of Blue, therefore Blue is still an obstruction to both Green and Yellow.
  3. At Position #3: 
    1. Green becomes overlapped to windward of Blue
      1. -> Green still must keep clear of Blue, but now under rule 11  rule [19.2(c)] instead of 12
      2. -> Blue continues to be an obstruction to both Yellow and Green, as both [Yellow] must keep clear of Blue via rule 11, [Green via 19.2(c) (see below)]
    2. Since the time the overlap began with Green at position #2, Yellow has not been able to give Green room to pass between Yellow and Blue, Blue being an obstruction to them both
      1. -> Therefore, Green is not entitled to room from Yellow to pass between Yellow and Blue via 19.2(b)
    3. Blue must give Green room to pass between Blue the continuing obstruction via 19.2(b)
      1. -> Yellow must keep clear of both Green and Blue
        1. -> Yellow is not an obstruction to either Green or Blue, therefore
        2. -> The 19.2(b) room Green is entitled to from Blue does not include room to pass Yellow as Yellow is not an obstruction and is not part of the continuing obstruction (Phillip .. note this one!)
        3. Absent Yellow, Blue is providing Green plenty of room to pass the continuing obstruction.
    4. At Position #3, there is not enough space for Green to pass between the CO and Blue 
      1. -> use test of freezing Blue in position and progressing Green and Yellow forward in their relative places
      2. -> Green must keep clear of Blue, 19.2(c) applies between Blue and Green relative to the CO 
      3. -> Rules 10 and 11 no longer apply between Green and Blue as long as they remain overlapped
  4. At Position #4 (+ Conclusions): Green continues without changing course, contacts Yellow and Blue bares away to avoid contact with Green, no damage or injury
    1. Green does not alter course and makes contact with Yellow 
      1. Yellow failed to keep clear of Green, a boat to leeward, and broke rule 11
      2. Yellow is exonerated for breaking rule 11 by rule 21(a) because Yellow was sailing within the 19.2(b) room she was entitled to
      3. Green, the outside boat at an obstruction, failed to give Yellow room to pass the obstruction, despite being able to do so since the overlap began, and broke RRS 19.2(b). (NOTE: Yellow's room to pass between Green and the obstruction included space for Yellow to comply with her obligations under rule 11 and 14)
      4. Green, the right-of-way boat, did not act to avoid contact when it became clear that Yellow was not keeping clear.  Green broke RRS 14
    2. Blue alters course to avoid Green
      1. Green failed to keep clear of Blue, a boat to leeward, and broke rule 11
      2. Green, an inside overlapped boat at a continuing obstruction not entitled to 19.2(b) mark-room, failed to keep clear of Blue, the outside boat, and broke Rule 19.2(c)

Created: 20-Mar-01 22:49
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Phillip re: " Please explain how Yellow, unable to luff into the continuing obstruction, can keep clear of Blue who establishes a tight leeward overlap from astern. "

See my 3.3.1.2 above (and the stuff leading up to it too).  - Ang
Created: 20-Mar-01 22:59
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
Please explain how Yellow, unable to luff into the continuing obstruction, can keep clear of Blue who establishes a tight leeward overlap from astern.

Blue is ROW boat (rule 11), but (as long as Yellow was not clear astern at the beginning of the obstruction) owes room at the obstruction to Yellow (rule 19.2(b)). So Blue can establish a tight outside overlap but if Blue tries to luff Yellow into the obstruction Blue breaks 19.2(b) 
Created: 20-Mar-02 02:23
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
1.
I mis-applied the colors. I meant:
Please explain how Yellow, unable to luff into the continuing obstruction, can keep clear of Green who establishes a tight leeward overlap from astern.
2.
I would urge you to read 15 and tell me when Green has begun giving yellow an opportunity to keep clear.
Created: 20-Mar-02 02:32
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
1
Ang, I see position 3 differently:

I agree that Green is overlapped outside Yellow and has ROW but owes Yellow room at the obstruction under 19.2(b)

Green was clear astern of Blue and required to keep clear of her (rule 12). Green at position 3 becomes overlapped between Blue and the obstruction. This, I think, turns on 19.2(c), which turns off 11 between Blue & Green.

Room includes the space a boat must have to meet her obligations under Part 2 and Rule 31. The room that Green would need from Blue (if she were entitled) includes room to meet her 19.2(b) obligation to Yellow. That much room does not exist at the time that Green establishes the overlap with Blue. So there is not room for Green to pass between Blue and the obstruction.

That being so, Green is not entitled to room from Blue and Green is required under 19.2(c) (not 11) to keep clear of Blue. So if Blue has to bear away to avoid contact Green breaks 19.2(c). And if Yellow has to head up into the boundary obstruction to avoid contact with Green, Green breaks 19.2(b).

Blue's hail of "no room, no rights" is correct, and Green should not have gone in there.
Created: 20-Mar-02 02:36
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
1. I mis-applied the colors. I meant:
Please explain how Yellow, unable to luff into the continuing obstruction, can keep clear of Green who establishes a tight leeward overlap from astern.
2. I would urge you to read 15 and tell me when Green has begun giving yellow an opportunity to keep clear.

It's really the same answer between Green and Yellow. Green overlapped to leeward has ROW under 11, but is obligated to give Yellow room at the obstruction under 19.2(b). So Green cannot luff Yellow into the obstruction.

And in this instance Green established the overlap to leeward from within two hull lengths clear astern of Yellow, so rule 17 is on and even without the obstruction, Green cannot sail above her proper course. 
Created: 20-Mar-02 02:42
Andrew Lesslie
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
0
Thank you to everyone who has put thought and time into this.  
It's very much appreciated.

Andrew
Created: 20-Mar-02 04:00
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
 Tim I think you are correct and I will later go back and edit my post.  How does this look now? - Ang

NOT ENOUGH SPACE TO PASS AT #3

At Position #3: 
  1. Green becomes overlapped to windward of Blue
    1. -> Green still must keep clear of Blue, but now under rule 11  rule [19.2(c)] instead of 12
    2. -> Blue continues to be an obstruction to both Yellow and Green, as both [Yellow] must keep clear of Blue via rule 11, [Green via 19.2(c)] (see below)
  2. Since the time the overlap began with Green at position #2, Yellow has not been able to give Green room to pass between Yellow and Blue, Blue being an obstruction to them both
    1. -> Therefore, Green is not entitled to room from Yellow to pass between Yellow and Blue via 19.2(b)
  3. At Position #3, there is not enough space for Green to pass between the CO and Blue 
    1. -> use test of freezing Blue in position and progressing Green and Yellow forward in their relative places
    2. -> Green must keep clear of Blue, 19.2(c) applies between Blue and Green relative to the CO 
    3. -> Rules 10 and 11 no longer apply between Green and Blue as long as they remain overlapped
  4. At Position #4 (+ Conclusions): Green continues without changing course, contacts Yellow and Blue bares away to avoid contact with Green, no damage or injury
    1. Green does not alter course and makes contact with Yellow 
      1. Yellow failed to keep clear of Green, a boat to leeward, and broke rule 11
      2. Yellow is exonerated for breaking rule 11 by rule 21(a) because Yellow was sailing within the 19.2(b) room she was entitled to
      3. Green, the right-of-way boat, did not act to avoid contact when it became clear that Yellow was not keeping clear.  Green broke RRS 14
      4. Green, the outside boat at an obstruction, failed to give Yellow room to pass the obstruction, despite being able to do so since the overlap began, and broke RRS 19.2(b).
    2. Blue alters course to avoid Green
      1. Green, an inside overlapped boat at [passing] a continuing obstruction not entitled to 19.2(b) mark-room, failed to keep clear of Blue, the outside boat, and broke Rule 19.2(c)

Created: 20-Mar-02 14:36
P
Beau Vrolyk
Nationality: United States of America
0
Ang,

A question: In many of these examples it's clear that B is required to give room to Y under 19.2(b). Once G is overlapped with B and G is sailing along the Continuing Obstruction, then B is obligated to give G room under 19.2(b) to continue. 

But, on what basis is B obligated to provide the additional room G needs to get around Y? Once she bears off to pass Y she is the windward boat, she is no longer sailing along the Continuing Obstruction, she is sailing next to Y. 

Is this a situation where once G "gets her nose in" and gains any overlap at all, she is then able to receive room under 19.2(b)? Said another way is this a form of pin-wheel situation that gives room under 19.2(b) to anyone who can gain an overlap regardless of how far out the stack of boats runs?


Created: 20-Mar-03 18:18
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Beau, I started a new thread to parse some of these questions. 
You can find it here:  Racing Alongside a Continuing Obstruction - Part 2

Take a look at those scenarios and see if it makes sense to you. - Ang
Created: 20-Mar-03 18:26
Eric Rimkus
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
I'm not sure I agree with the conclusion here:
    1. Blue alters course to avoid Green
      1. Green, an inside overlapped boat at a continuing obstruction not entitled to 19.2(b) mark-room, failed to keep clear of Blue, the outside boat, and broke Rule 19.2(c)

Green is not "at a continuing obstruction". Yellow can not be a continuing obstruction.

So more simply:
Blue alters course to avoid Green shortly after position 3.  G breaks RRS 11 with respect to B; DSQ G.

The nuts and bolts are that a clear astern boat can not force their way into a space that is to small for them to fit into to windward of a clear ahead boat.  Green's tactical options are 1) slow down and stay behind Yellow and hopefully pass Blue along the continuing obstruction under the protection of 19 before reaching the finish, or 2) bear off and pass to leeward of Blue.  But as drawn, Green has no right to go into the space that she does.
Created: 20-Mar-03 21:41
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Eric .. thanks for your input.  My replies below .. 

 Green is not "at a continuing obstruction".   Yellow can not be a continuing obstruction. 

That's a good catch .. I shouldn't have used the "at" terminology as that is not what 19.2(c) uses.  More properly, I should have used " .. is passing a continuing obstruction ..."

  • 19.2(c): " While boats are passing a continuing obstruction, ...".   I will go back and edit that after I submit my comment here.

From my POV and IMO, these boats are clearly  "passing a continuing obstruction" and I agree Yellow can not be a CO.

The next step is to test 19.2(c) which is done by freezing the outside boat, Blue, at the moment the inside overlap with Green occurs (just before #3), and progress the other boats forward in their relative positions to each other.  In this scenario, you freeze Blue and move Yellow and Green together forward.

It is my determination that there IS NOT room for Green and Yellow to progress forward between Blue and the CO, therefore 19.2(c) applies.  

Because while 19.2(c) applies and they remain overlapped, 11 and 10 do not apply, Green's breaks 19.2(c) by not keeping clear of Blue as required by 19.2(c).


PS ..

In the other thread I've started working on language for 19.2(c) as there isn't any in the Standard Wording ..  you're input has me changing it to incorporate the "passing" language in [ ]'s.

[While passing a continuing obstruction,] Green, a boat which became overlapped from clear astern between Blue and a continuing obstruction, where Green was not entitled to room under 19.2(b) due to the lack of room for Green to pass between them at the moment the overlap began, failed to keep clear of Blue and broke rule 19.2(c).


Created: 20-Mar-04 15:03
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