Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Collision with RC boat (vessel)

Aslan Ozcakir
Nationality: Turkey
Certifications:
  • National Race Officer
  • National Judge
After the start, while the yachts are racing on the course, what happens if a yacht collides with the RC boat (unintentionally of course)?

Rule 31 says:
TOUCHING A MARK

While racing, a boat shall not touch a starting mark before starting a mark that begins, bounds or ends the leg of the course on which she is sailing, or a finishing mark after finishing.

Since the incident does not occur during start, would you still consider the RC boat a mark - maybe now the finish mark - or not?

Would be happy to hear your comments.
Created: 17-Sep-18 12:39

Comments

Yves Leglise
Nationality: France
Certifications:
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  • National Measurer
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  • Regional Umpire
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0
See définition of "Mark". The committee vessel is a mark after the start since a boat has to leave it on a required side to fulfill the definition of "start"
Created: 17-Sep-18 13:39
Michael Butterfield
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
  • International Race Officer
0
rrsc31 sets out when the mark is of importance. outside this there is no problem under the rrs. there are collision regulation matters. if the rc vessel is flying the anchor symbol it had rights. if not it may be considered a disguised POWER driven vessel. part 2 preamble says she shall comply with the collission rules so there is a possible breach here. 
Created: 17-Sep-18 13:42
Graham Louth
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
RRS31 only applies if the RC vessel is listed in the description of the course as being a mark that "begins, bounds or ends the leg of the course" on which the boat was sailing when the collision occured. This might be the case if the RC vessel is one end of a line that boats have to pass through on each lap of a multi-lap course for example, but otherwise the RC vessel is only likely to be a mark that "begins, bounds or ends" the first leg of the course (from the start line to the first mark) and the last leg of the course (from the last mark to the finish line) - in each case assuming that the RC vessels is specified as being one end of the relevant line.

But even if RRS31 doesn't apply, that doesn't mean the boat that collided with the RC vessel hasn't broken a rule. The preamble to Part 2 states that when a boat sailing under the RRS meets a vessel that is not, she shall comply with the IRPCAS or government right-of-way rules. An RC vessel isn't (normally) sailing under the RRS, so to my mind the IRPCAS or government right-of-way rules are the ones that (normally) apply in this situation. You then have to ask what the RC vessel was doing at the time of the collision, but if she was anchored I believe it is the racing boat that is required to "keep well clear" (at least under the IRPCAS). If she did not then she has (probably) failed to comply with the IRPCAS and can be protested and penalised for doing so.
Created: 17-Sep-18 14:01
Stephen Ouellette
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Is the RC boat the signal boat?  
Is the RC boat anchored?
Is the RC flying a flag signifying that she is a start line or a finish line and must be left to one side or another on a subsequenty leg of the race?
It would be tough to argue that a boat racing hitting an anchored RC boat did not violate the collision regulations.  
But it is more complicated with regard to RRS 31.
Created: 17-Sep-18 14:04
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Fleet Measurer
0
I would disagree with Yves and are in line with Michaels ...

As you know, you can have more than one "RC-boat" .. sometimes a boat at the end of the starting line and another at the end of the finish-line.  Each boat is a mark when it needs to be passed on a certain side.  Let's assume we have 2 RC's .. one at the start and another at an upwind finish line.  Let's assume a 3 leg course W-start/L/W-finish

The start RC is a mark of the course on the first leg, but the finish RC is not.
Neither boat is a mark on the 2nd leg.
Only the finish-RC is a mark on the 3rd leg.

When not a mark of the course, they are obstructions likely surrounded by navigatable waters.

So it depends on when the collision occures.

Also one would have to pay attention to the string-rule path of the boat.  If a boat passes the RC across the starting line and for some reason swings around doing a circle around (after sailing clear pass the start-rc and it's anchor), I would think that boat has already started and then on the 2nd time around the RC+anchor is simply an obstruction to that boat. 

If on the other hand after starting the boat crosses back across the starting line and then hits it, I'd think that they have "unwound" their start and thus the RC boat is an RC again.

Interested in comments on my last "string-rule" additions ...
Created: 17-Sep-18 14:09
Matt Bounds
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Race Officer
0
Graham pretty much nails it - 
  • An RC boat is not a mark unless defined as such by the NOR or sailing instructions.  (Signal boat, pin boat, mark boat signalling a change are the common examples.)
  • If the RC boat is not a mark and unanchored, then IRPCAS rules apply - the powered mark boat is generally required to keep clear of a sailboat.
  • If the RC boat is anchored and displaying the proper signal (black ball), IRPCAS rules apply, the RC boat is an obstruction and other boats (including sailboats) must keep clear.
Created: 17-Sep-18 14:17
Bill Handley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
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I agree with the consensus opinion here except that the RC boat will be an obstruction to competitors whether she is at anchor or under way assuming that she meets the definition so that a racing boat sailing directly towards her and one hull length from her would have to make a significant alteration of course to avoid her.

The exception in the definition of "obstruction" states that a racing boat can only be an obstruction if the other boats have to keep clear of her. Whilst under IRPCAS a RC vessel under power would have to "keep well out of the way" of a sailing vessel under rule 18(a)(iv) the RC boat is not a racing boat so the exception does not apply to her. The RC boat will be an obstruction whatever she is doing.
Created: 17-Sep-18 14:51
Aslan Ozcakir
Nationality: Turkey
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Race Officer
0
Thanks a lot for your comments, much appreciated.

Is the RC boat the signal boat?  -- Yes it was for start and finish but the incident happened while boats are doing their loops. Not during start nor finish.
Is the RC boat anchored? -- Yes it was anchored.
Is the RC flying a flag signifying that she is a start line or a finish line and must be left to one side or another on a subsequent leg of the race? -- Yes, the finish line was ready and the blue flag was hoisted.

@Matt thanks for the summary.

So with the above information and the course card:

According to me it is a mark for start and finish, but would you still consider it as a mark while the boats are doing their loops?
If it is not a mark but an obstruction (it is anchored) would you (as RC) protest the boat or apply IRPCAS?



 
Created: 17-Sep-18 15:29
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Alsan,

Just to be clear on the rules of the forum .. this isn't an "active incident" right?  We're not supposed to talk about scenarios which are or will likely be a subject of an hearing (protest, redress, etc ..) .. only after it's all said and done .. and nothing here can be used as authoritative.

The RC is only a mark of the course as the boat crosses it to start and crosses it to finish.  All other times it is not a mark of the course based on your courses and diagrams.

That said, I did make a comment regarding the string-rule.  It's important to understand the path that a boat has taken to "hit" the RC as it could be crossing the starting-line or finish-line during the course of the race and not be starting or finishing.
Created: 17-Sep-18 15:56
David Lees
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
0
If the committee boat was the line boat and is still anchored in its starting position, it is a mark of the course until the sailing boat rounds the first mark.  If the boat hits it during that period, she breaks rule 31 and must take a turn to exonerate herself.  Equally, if the committee boat is anchored and marks the end of a leg or is part of the finishing line and the boat is sailing on that leg or sailing on the finishing leg and hits the committe boat, she also breaks a rule and needs to take the same penalty to exonerate herself.
Whatever the committee boat had been doing, if she is no longer anchored and is motoring around the course, she is in the same position as any other boat and the Col Regs apply.  Normally a power boat must keep clear of a sailing boat (although of course there are exceptions) but in any event such contact is not a breach of the rules requiring a penalty as the preamble to Part 2 does not create rules.  If the sailing boat broke a Col Reg and caused damage to the committee boat, she may be liable under the Col Regs to pay compensation for the damage.
Created: 17-Sep-18 15:58
Aslan Ozcakir
Nationality: Turkey
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Race Officer
0
@Angelo,

Just to be clear on the rules of the forum .. this isn't an "active incident" right?  We're not supposed to talk about scenarios which are or will likely be a subject of an hearing (protest, redress, etc ..) .. only after it's all said and done .. and nothing here can be used as authoritative.

This was a real incident but passed.  It is not active.

Sorry if I did something wrong.
 
Created: 17-Sep-18 16:06
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Fleet Measurer
0
No .. you're all good!  We talk about real incidents all the time .. just wanted to make sure this wasn't part of a current, open issue ... - Ang

PS .. I'll take my comment back regarding if a boat did a 360 around the RC after starting that the RC turns into an obstruction ..  it's still a mark bounding that leg.
Created: 17-Sep-18 16:10
Graham Louth
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
1
David

I'm suprised by your statement that a contact that breaches the IRPCAS is not a breach of the rules (presumably the RRS) requiring a penalty "as the preamble to Part 2 does not create rules". Part (a) of the defintion of Rule in the RRS says "The rules in this book, including the Definitions, Race Signals, Introduction, preambles and the rules of relevant appendices, but not titles;" (emphasis added).
Created: 17-Sep-18 16:19
David Lees
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
0
Graham

Good comment, but I think I am right.  I dont think I can be penalised if I breach the Col Regs unless I also break a numbered rule.  In fact some of the Col Regs are in direct conflict with the RRS, e.g overtaking and windward/leeward, so there would be a problem if I could be.

However, do, please, come back and show me I'm wrong.
Created: 17-Sep-18 16:25
Graham Louth
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
2
An RC vessel at one end of the starting or finishing line is a mark at all times that it is anchored in position at the end of the line - see definition Mark.

However RRS31 doesn't apply to ALL marks, it only applies to certain marks: a starting mark before a boat starts, a finishing mark after she finishes, and a mark that begins, bounds or ends the leg of the course on which she is sailing while she is sailing that leg.

RRS31 therefore only applies to the RC vessel indicated in the diagrams on the course card: before a boat start, while she is sailing from the starting line to mark 1, while is sailing from mark 1a to the finishing line, and after she has finished. RRS31 does not apply to the RC vessel on any other leg.

I don't see the relevance of the RC vessel being an obstruction unless the boat that collided with it claims that another boat failed to give her room. (There is no RRS which prohibits a boat from making contact with an obstruction just because it is an obstruction).

If the RC is unhappy about the boat colliding with the RC vessel then (in my view) they should protest her for failing to comply with the IRPCAS or government right-of-way rules (assuming that the boat did indeed fail to comply with those).
Created: 17-Sep-18 16:34
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Graham  ... precisely and well said. 
Created: 17-Sep-18 16:36
Bill Handley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
1
With the further information it seems to me that the CB was a mark of the course on the first leg (a starting mark) and the last leg (a finishing mark) but at all other times was just a boat at anchor and therefore an obstruction to racing boats. The simple proof is to ask yourself the question that if during the middle laps of the race a boat had passed "the wrong side" of the CB would she still have sailed the course in accordance with rule 28.1 and as I think we all agree that she would then the CB clearly was not a mark at that time.

The preanble to part 2 applies IRPCAS in this situstion and the relevant part of those rules requires the sailing boat to "keep well out of the way" of the boat at anchor which she clearly did not do therefore breaking that rule. WS Case 109 confirms that in these circumstances IRPCAS apply and WS Case 38 makes it clear that when IRPCAS apply then a boat breaking a relevant rule (or regulation to be more correct) may be penalised under the racing rules. It follows that subject to protest the boat hitting the CB may be penalised.

The question of whether or not the RC would want to protest the boat is more interesting. In rule 60.2 we have the word "may" so any protest is at the absolute discretion of the RC. Looking at the course diagrams it occurs to me that competitors should not have been anywhere near the CB if the course had been set properly and this contact may have resulted at least in part from the poor positioning of the CB. If that were the case I would use my discretion not to protest the boat.
Created: 17-Sep-18 16:38
Aslan Ozcakir
Nationality: Turkey
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Race Officer
0
@Graham and @Bill,

Thanks a lot for your detailed and educational comments, much appreciated!
Created: 17-Sep-18 16:44
Graham Louth
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
David

The preamble to Part 2 only requires a boat sailing under the RRS to comply with the IRPCAS when she meets a vessel that is not sailing under the RRS, but do require her to do so in these circumstances ("she shall"). The conflicts you raise therefore don't arise - if I meet another boat that is sailing under the RRS I apply the RRS; if I meet a vessel that is not sailing under the RRS I apply the IRPCAS. (I'm ignoring the situation where the SIs replace Part 2 by the right-of-way rules of the IRPCAS).

Apart from the definition of Rule in the RRS, the only other evidence for my position that I can present right now is the following paragraph from the RYA Racing Rules Guidance:
 
"In addition, when a boat racing under the RRS meets a boat that is not racing, the preamble to RRS Part 2 makes all relevant rules of the IRPCAS applicable between them and enforceable by protest." (emphasis added).
Created: 17-Sep-18 16:52
Bill Handley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
David Lees
You invited acome back so here it is. You are quite right in saying that there are conflicts between IRPCAS and RRS mainly in overtaking boats and stand on boats changing course. It is for that reason that the preamble to part 2 does not allow the two sets or rules to be applied simultaniously but requires one to fully replace the other in certain circumstances. The circumstances described the pre amble unambiguously applies IRPCAS to this situation.

The definition of "Rule" includes the preambles so IRPCAS in these specific circumstances become  a rule according to the definition. The definition of "Protest" states that it is an allegation that a boat has broken a "rule", It  follows that a boat may be protested and penalised for breaking an IRPCAS regulation when it applies see WS Case 38.

In this circumstance IRPCAS applies betwen the racing boats and the CB. Because the CB is an obstruction rules 19 or 20 may apply between the racing boats. There is no conflict,

Do please come back to me if there is some fault in my logic.

 
Created: 17-Sep-18 16:58
Graham Louth
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Bill

Sorry, but to my mind neither WS Case 38 nor WS Case 109 makes it clear that when the IRPCAS apply between a boat sailing under the RRS and a vessel that is not, the racing boat may be penalised for breaching the IRPCAS. Both cases are concerned with the situation where the SIs have replaced Part 2 by the right-of-way rules of the IRPCAS, not the situation where a boat sailing under the RRS meets a vessel that is not.
Created: 17-Sep-18 17:05
Bill Handley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • National Judge
0
Graham
Either IRPCAS apply to a situation or they don't, there is no inbetween situation based on how or why they apply. IRPCAS applied in this situation and in the situations in the relevant WS cases. The fact that one had been applied by SIs and the other by Part 2 preamble is irelevant as in both circumstances the whole of the Part 2 RRS are replaced by IRPCAS.

The WS cases show that when IRPCAS apply then they are rules according to the RRS definition and a boat may be penalised for breaking them under the RRS.
Created: 17-Sep-18 17:37
Stephen Ouellette
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
This discussion is far afield from the question asked-whether the RC boat remains a mark-and the answer is not if it is not a mark to be honored on the current leg of the race.

As for the rest, it really is conjecture, as we don't know the facts of the collision. 
While a violation of the IRPCAS (or ColRegs) might form the basis for a protest, we would need to know more.  Rule 14 generally requires boats to avoid contact and inlcudes boats that are both racing.  This might require a two turns penalty versus a single turn for hitting a mark.  But again, we don't have the facts and there is nothing that can be concluded from the limited facts available..
As for violations of ColRegs, we do not want to start hearing cases for every violation of the rules of the road, pariculalry where it has no actual effect on the race-Which is why we have the RRS. For example, seldom have I observed vessels slowing or making fog signals when racing in limited visibility-which would also be a violation of the ColRegs.  
Created: 17-Sep-18 17:52
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Bill, I would add that Case 67's language is very clear (emphasis added) ..
Decision
W's appeal is dismissed. The preamble to Part 2 of the racing rules makes it clear that, when W met L, W was required to comply with the government right-of-way rules. Moreover, W was also subject to the racing rules other than those of Part 2. W did not comply with the government rules and, by intentionally hitting and damaging L, committed an act of misconduct (see rule 69.1(b)(1) and 69.1(b)(2)
 
The decision of the protest committee is upheld, but W is disqualified under the government rule applicable and not under racing rule 11 or rule 14. Both those rules are rules of Part 2, which would have applied only if both boats had been intending to race, were racing, or had been racing. W also committed an act of misconduct, so it would have been appropriate for the protest committee to call a hearing under rule 69.2.

Note the word "also" showing that the gov't rule was sufficient alone .. but they were still also able to reach into the RSS for misconduct.

Bill, I'd say that pretty much makes your case. 
Created: 17-Sep-18 17:52
Juan Carlos Soneyra
Nationality: Argentina
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Umpire
  • National Race Officer
0
Mr. Aslan

If the boat  of the RC has been defined as a starting mark it should rank as a "MARK" (look for the meaning at Definitions) since the Preparatory Signal till the boat passed the first mark of the course (1) and from the starting of the last leg of the curse (at mark 1A) until the boat crosses the finishing line from the course side and leave the line and the finishing marks.   
Created: 17-Sep-18 21:46
Graham Louth
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Bill - I wasn't disagreeing with your view that a boat subject to the RRS has to comply with the IRPCAS when meeting a vessel that isn't (see my earlier post). In any case Angelo has solved the problem for us by finding Case 67 which deals with the specific situation of interest - when a boat sailing under the RRS meets a vessel that isn't.

David - Does this convince you?
Created: 17-Sep-18 21:50
Paul Pascoe
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • Regional Umpire
  • National Race Officer
1
Anyone who touches our bright shiny new Committee Boat is in in deep dodo no matter what leg of the course they are on!
Created: 17-Sep-18 23:12
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Summation?

Touch (hit w/o damage/injury) RC (or it's extensions, anchor-line, stern-foat) while it is a mark of the course (while it bounds the leg on which boat is sailing) = 1 turn
Touch anchored RC any other time while racing = 2 turns
Touch steaming RC while racing = most likely 0 turns (unless she's decided to drop some fishing lines in the water between races).

Cause serious damage or injury in any of the above cases = retire.
Created: 17-Sep-19 12:44
David Lees
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • International Umpire
0
Graham and everyone

I am of course absolutely convinced.  It will teach me to practice what I always preach: "Don't make a decision without looking at the authorities first."  I have sinned but not for the first time and as sure as eggs are eggs, not for the last.

I'm not going to comment on the substance as this question has gone on long enough.  It has been very interesting and was a good one to raise.
Created: 17-Sep-20 14:24
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