Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Applicability of rules for RC boat which is both a mark and an obstruction

George Gregory
Nationality: Canada
Given a RC boat which is both an obstruction and a mark, and assuming section C is in effect. Is it correct to say that the only rules that apply from Section C at the RC boat are 18 and 20?

Interpretation: Because the RC boat is both an obstruction and a mark, 18, 19 and 20 from section C would apply. Except that, 19 stipulates that it does not apply "when the obstruction is a mark the boats are required to leave on the same side". So that would only leave 18 and 20?

Thank you
Created: 20-Mar-08 13:45

Comments

P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Just a points for thought George. 

  1. Section C is always in effect, unless you are racing under an Appx that changes portions of Appx C as per rule 86.1 as Section C is an element of Part 2. 
  2. What would make an RC “boat” an obstruction?  Are you thinking just because of its size (very rare) or are you thinking based on its location (up against a shoal line). If the latter, then that’s a navigable water issue and possible continuing obstruction issue. 

What did you have in mind? 


Created: 20-Mar-08 14:19
George Gregory
Nationality: Canada
0
Hi Angelo, thanks for getting back to me.

1. Section C rules also do not apply [...at a starting mark surrounded by navigable water or at its anchor line from the time boats are approaching to start...] I just wanted to be clear that in my hypothetical scenario, this was not the case, and that Section C rules did apply.
2. Yes, because of its size. Is it really that rare? I thought a small size motor-boat was big enough to be considered an obstruction.

To get back to my question. Hypothetically speaking, if an RC boat is a mark and also big enough to be considered an obstruction, would only rules 18 and 20 apply? (I'm only considering Section C rules for now)

The reason I bring this up is I'm wondering if rule 20 should have the same statement as rule 19 does, which would make it NOT applicable when [the obstruction is a mark the boats are required to leave on the same side, or...], which would in effect make rule 18 the only rule applicable. This would be equivalent to saying that when an obstruction is also a mark (the boats are required to leave on the same side), we treat it as a mark and not as an obstruction. The way the rules are written now, they are treated partly as a mark (18) and partly as an obstruction (20), and I'm not sure if that is intended.
Created: 20-Mar-08 15:26
Jerry Thompson
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Umpire In Training
  • Regional Race Officer
  • Regional Judge
0
George, 

I believe the RC signal boat can be both an obstruction and a mark, but not at the same time.  For example 2, 3, 4 minutes before the start boats are maneuvering all around the signal boat.  At that time the signal boat does not have a required side to pass so it is not a mark (so no rule 18), but rather an obstruction and during that time rules 19 and 20 are in play.

On the approach to the start, the RC signal boat does have a required side, but as you pointed out, the Preamble of Section C tells us that Section C rules do not apply when boats are approaching the marks to start so no Rule 18.  What is the approach to start?  Not defined, but depends on the conditions and the boats competing.  For example in very light wind the approach to start may take 45 seconds.

Thanks
Created: 20-Mar-08 15:51
George Gregory
Nationality: Canada
0
I believe the RC signal boat can be both an obstruction and a mark, but not at the same time.

Well, IF that's the case, it simplifies things and I think your argument makes a lot of sense.

Except, I'm still not convinced the RC boat cannot be both a mark and an obstruction at the same time. Take the definition of mark:

[ An object the sailing instructions require a boat to leave on a specified side,] AND [a race committee boat surrounded by navigable water from which the starting or finishing line extends].

So, according to the statement before the "AND" (in the definition above), you are correct, as boats, before the 2/3/4 minutes before the start, are not required to pass it on a specific side. BUT, according to the statement after the "AND", I would beg to differ. In my opinion, this makes the RC boat (given that its surrounded by navigable water and at one end of the start/finish line), both a mark & an obstruction. As per the definition, would you not agree? Or is my logic at fault?

To further push my point, rule 19 states that:

Rule 19 applies between boats at an obstruction EXCEPT when the obstruction is a mark the boats are required to leave on the same side, or

Which implies that it can be both? (whether at the same time or not, is hard to tell... That is the question!)
Created: 20-Mar-08 16:56
Jerry Thompson
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Umpire In Training
  • Regional Race Officer
  • Regional Judge
0
George,

My thinking was, unsure at the this moment, that the starting line was only a starting line as the boats approach to start.  A boat can cross from the pre-start to the course side many times while racing, Prep to just before the signal, and not start. 

But Rule 31 is a fly in the ointment.  Rule 31 states in part "While racing, a boat shall not touch a starting mark before starting".

So, if a boat while racing touches the RC signal boat, as you point out a mark by definition, 3 minutes before the start she breaks Rule 31.  But, what if she touches the pin 3 minutes before the start?  Three minutes before the start the pin (inflatable, hip-pity hop, etc) does not have a specified side boats are required to leave and does not, in my opinion, at that time meet the definition of a mark.  Only as boats approach to start does the pin have a required side.  To make matters worse, what if an RC boat is anchored at the pin end?  By definition the RC boat would be a starting mark and Rule 31 would apply while racing.

Back to your original question.  I can see how a RC Signal boat could be a mark to one boat and an obstruction to other boats at the same time.  But I am having a hard time seeing how the RC Signal boat could be both a mark and an obstruction to a boat at the same time.

Thanks
Created: 20-Mar-08 18:06
George Gregory
Nationality: Canada
0
Hi Jerry,

Thanks for your message. I think I'll have to let this one sit for a while before I can understand it better. You've provided good insight. I'll post again when I have a clearer picture.

Regards,

G.


Created: 20-Mar-08 18:22
Mike Alison
Nationality: New Zealand
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • National Umpire
0
Hey Jerry,
If you have a look at Definitions.....you may wish to reconsider your comments re a boat touching a mark.
regards
Created: 20-Mar-08 18:43
Jerry Thompson
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Umpire In Training
  • Regional Race Officer
  • Regional Judge
0
George, 

In Dave Perry's Understanding The Racing Rules of Sailing, under definition of Obstruction (page 82) he states "A powerboat can be an obstruction if is is large enough.  When a race committee decides to use a powerboat as one end of the starting line, the powerboat becomes a mark also. Notice that it does not cease to be an obstruction. It is always an obstruction, but now it happens to be a mark." 

So you are correct, an obstruction can also be a mark - at the same time.

Page 213 has a diagram showing room at the RC boat (both an obstruction and a mark) before the boats are approaching to start, Rule 19.2(b).

I am thinking clearer now with Mike's prompt above concerning Rule 31 and starting marks.  We agree that by definition the RC boat is a starting mark and if touched after the preparatory signal the boat breaks Rule 31.  As for the port end when an inflatable is used rather than a RC boat, the SIs describe it as a starting mark and therefore if touched by a boat after the preparatory signal, she breaks Rule 31.  I was hung up on it having a side to which it must be passed, but the SIs define it as a starting mark.  J2.1(5) requires that the SIs describe the starting marks.

Thanks,

Jerry
Created: 20-Mar-09 00:25
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
George Gregory
said Created: Yesterday 13:45
Given a RC boat which is both an obstruction and a mark, and assuming section C is in effect. Is it correct to say that the only rules that apply from Section C at the RC boat are 18 and 20?

Interpretation: Because the RC boat is both an obstruction and a mark, 18, 19 and 20 from section C would apply. Except that, 19 stipulates that it does not apply "when the obstruction is a mark the boats are required to leave on the same side". So that would only leave 18 and 20?

Yup, you're quite right.

George Gregory
said Created: Yesterday 15:26

The reason I bring this up is I'm wondering if rule 20 should have the same statement as rule 19 does, which would make it NOT applicable when [the obstruction is a mark the boats are required to leave on the same side, or...], which would in effect make rule 18 the only rule applicable. This would be equivalent to saying that when an obstruction is also a mark (the boats are required to leave on the same side), we treat it as a mark and not as an obstruction. The way the rules are written now, they are treated partly as a mark (18) and partly as an obstruction (20), and I'm not sure if that is intended.

The case when the obstruction is also a mark is covered in the foot of rule 20.1

'In addition she shall not hail if the obstruction is a mark and the boat that it fetching it would be required to change course as a result of the hail'
Created: 20-Mar-09 01:13
Phil Mostyn
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
0
 
Here's a quiz question I prepared based on a Dave Perry Q&A that involved the green boat obstruction. I added in the "pin" starting mark. Apologies to Dave Perry.

image.png 149 KB

The purpose of the exercise was to emphasis the difference in the prestart between dealing with an obstruction and a mark. In the case of the first protest, Blue as ROW under rule 11 could choose on which side to pass the obstruction - Green -  but under rule 19, if Blue passed Green to leeward, she was required to give Yellow room to do likewise. Blue did not give room - Penalty Blue.

Assuming as I did that the Pin starting mark was an inflatable buoy, the pin at 3 minutes before the start, was neither an obstruction nor did it have a required side. When Blue chose to pass the Pin to leeward rule 19.2(b) did not apply and Blue was not required to give Yellow room - protest dismissed!,
 

Created: 20-Mar-09 09:03
George Gregory
Nationality: Canada
0
Jerry T. -- What you say about rule 31 in this context makes sense. You've also confirmed what I thought about the RC boat (if big enough) being both an obstruction and a mark, at the same time.
John A. -- Thanks for confirming my theory. As you mentioned, 20.1 covers the case where the obstruction is also a mark. This addresses my original question spot on.
Phil M. -- You provide a good example of both an obstruction and a mark before the start. This helps having a better idea of the things that can happen before the start.

Thank you all for your valuable input.
Created: 20-Mar-09 20:45
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