Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Room at the pin?

P
Mays Dickey
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
In light air with heavy current traveling up the course, Blue and Yellow are approaching a large permanent government mark identified in the sailing instructions as the starting pin. The wind direction heavily favors the pin. As Yellow approaches on or just below a close-hauled course from slightly above the port tack layline, Blue, having been sailing close-hauled on starboard several boatlengths below the starting line, tacks onto port, establishing a leeward overlap. 

At the moment that Blue finishes her tack and reaches a close-hauled course on port, the boats are less than one boatlength from the pin. In order to keep clear, Yellow would have had to crash tack to avoid a collision. Instead, Yellow calls for room, bears away slightly & proceeds to sail between the mark and Blue.

Both boats protest. 


Questions: 
1.  What Rule(s) apply?
2.  Does the fact that the pin is a permanent government mark change the analysis?

roomatthestart001.png 77.2 KB






Created: 20-Oct-28 02:34

Comments

Paddy Fitzpatrick
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
Section C rules do not apply at a starting mark surrounded by navigable water or at its anchor line from the time boats are approaching them to start until they have passed them .
Yellow can’t call for or expect room. 
Yellow breaks RRS 11 and RRS 14
Created: 20-Oct-28 03:14
P
Mays Dickey
Nationality: United States of America
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Agree 18 & 19 are off.  However, if Yellow's tack puts her bow into the mark, does Blue break 15?
Created: 20-Oct-28 03:17
Matt Bounds
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Race Officer
0
Rule 18 does not apply (preamble to Part 2, Section C) - unless there is unnavigable water on one side (presumably the left side) of the mark.  For the remainder of this analysis, I'm assuming the mark is surrounded by navigable water.

At position 2, Blue becomes the right of way boat (Rule 11) and Rule 15 applies (initially).
Blue does not appear to alter course, so Rule 16.1 does not apply.
Yellow, a windward boat, did not keep clear of Blue, a leeward boat, breaking Rule 11.
DSQ Yellow.

The size of the mark does matter - but based on the diagram, Yellow had the option to slow down and let Blue pass, or tack out of the way - they had at least 1 BL of time to act.
Created: 20-Oct-28 03:21
P
Paul Zupan
Nationality: United States of America
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It seems to me that at position 2 and right up until position 3, yellow could tack away. And she must or she breaks RRS 11.  But I don't think your diagram matches your description.  So perhaps she was too close to the mark to tack when it was clear she needed to alter course to comply with her obligation to keep clear.
Created: 20-Oct-28 03:23
P
Mays Dickey
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
1
What if we assume that the current makes it such that when Blue finishes her tack, if Yellow were to tack away, she would make contact with the mark?
Created: 20-Oct-28 03:28
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
1
Hi Mays
It looks to me that Blues obligation under RRS15 starts as Blue completes her tack at 2  and since Yellow is more than 1/2 a length to windward she had been given room initially as required by RRS 15. At the same time RRS11 turns on and Yellow need to keep clear of Blue. 
So RRS 11 and RRS 14
Yellow dsq
Created: 20-Oct-28 03:31
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
Looks like we all missed RRS 20
If Yellow asked for room Blue MUST respond by either tacking immediately or hailing YOU TACK. 
So Yellow breaks RRS 20 11 and 14
Blue breaks RRS 20 and 14
Paddy
Created: 20-Oct-28 04:18
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
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I think I over thought that last post. yellow was obviously asking for room at the mark oops 😬 
Created: 20-Oct-28 04:32
P
Mays Dickey
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
Paddy, that's a fascinating catch, I certainly never entertained the idea that 20 would be in play. I think it's clear in the hypo that Yellow's hail meant room to pass inside the mark, but I take your point that such a hail could arguably trigger 20. I suppose that rabbit hole will need to be explored...
Created: 20-Oct-28 04:35
Dusan Vanicky
Nationality: Slovakia
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  • International Judge
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0
This is also a case, where written "facts" and the picture probably do not match. 
I like the "Mays's rabbit hole" be discovered. :-)  
Created: 20-Oct-28 07:35
Matt Bounds
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Race Officer
1
Rule 20 is part of Part 2 - Section C and does not apply at a starting mark surrounded by navigable water.
Created: 20-Oct-28 11:14
Charles Darley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
0
According to the original question, after blue completed her tack (thus becoming right of way boat) yellow would have to crash tack to avoid collision.  That is not seamanlike so that blue broke rule 15.  Yellow is exonerated from consequent breaches of 11 and 31 because they were forced on her as a result of blue's breach of 15.  If yellow and blue collide, it was not reasonably possible for yellow to avoid.  

Regarding the hail and rule 20 (which according to the rule would be for room to tack), rule 20 is part of section C, the introduction to which says section C rules do not apply at a starting mark.  One might argue about whether or not a hailed boat generally is required to respond to an improper hail when rule 20 does not apply.  In this instance, I think blue cannot be penalised for breach of 20.2b.
Created: 20-Oct-28 11:46
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
I can't see how Blue breaks RRS 15!
When Blue completes her tack she is at least 1/2 boat length from Yellow and thus gives Yellow the initial room she is entitled to. Blue does not change course so RRS 16 is not broken. (I think that the Crash Tack was for Yellow to avoid the Mark not Blue).
However if Yellow can get her bow between Blue and the mark, Blue cannot force Yellow into the Mark because that would not be seamanlik. Blue would have to give room to Yellow to avoid the mark.
Unfortunately the diagram and the facts stated are confusing and don't seem to agree (as stated by Dusan)  making it difficult to Judge.
Maybe Mays could edit his diagram for clarity. IMHO Blue put herself into an awkward position. However, if she let Yellow in and gave her Room no one broke a rule. Beers at the bar!!!
Created: 20-Oct-28 12:58
Charles Darley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
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I dont think it matters whether the crash tack is required to avoid blue or avoid the mark. 
Created: 20-Oct-28 13:07
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Charles re: " One might argue about whether or not a hailed boat generally is required to respond to an improper hail when rule 20 does not apply.  In this instance, I think blue cannot be penalized for breach of 20.2b."

As you say, 20 doesn't apply due to the Section C's preamble.  But even if this wasn't a starting-mark, the OP states "Yellow calls for room" .. not "Yellow calls for room to tack [at an obstruction]".  Boats call each other for room all the time, and those calls are not confused with the specific Rule 20 hail "Room to Tack!" .. so Blue is doubly safe from 20.2b based the hail described.

However, had Yellow hailed "Room to tack", Blue must respond via her options in rule 20 and simultaneously protest Yellow for an improper hail and thus breaking rule 20.
Created: 20-Oct-28 14:23
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Race Officer
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
1
There is no fact that enables one to conclude that the boats are approaching the starting mark to start. So we don't know if section C rules apply.

Section C rules do not apply at a starting mark surrounded by navigable water or at its anchor line from the time boats are approaching them to start until they have passed them.
Created: 20-Oct-28 14:46
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
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0
Good catch Mark
Created: 20-Oct-28 14:48
Eric Saenger
Nationality: United States of America
0
I'll assume they were approaching the mark to start, but that does need to be clarified.  
Another thing that was stated was that there is a strong current running up the course.  I'll assume this means towards the top of the diagram.  

So here is my question:  What if the current so strong that Yellow essentially has no escape once Blue tacks?  Meaning that if she tacks the current takes her in to the mark, and if she keeps clear of Blue on the same tack, she hits the mark.  Also; if she tries to slow down, the current takes her in to the mark.

If this is the case (big if, and maybe hard for Yellow to make this case), I would argue that Blue needs to initially provide enough room for Yellow to keep clear of her, as tacking or going behind are not  options.   Blue did provide the room, so, if this were the case, the boats communicated, avoided any collisions, no harm, no foul.  Maybe Yellow's hail was not entirely correct, but she got the message across, and Blue did the right thing by not forcing Yellow in to the mark.

Again, the case indicates that Yellow could have tacked and avoided the mark.  If that were truly the case, she should have done so, but instead, broke rule 11.
Created: 20-Oct-28 15:19
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Andrew, re: "In some club SIs, when hard marks are used these are sometimes designated as obstructions, modifying the Section C Preamble."

Aren't the Preambles of Part 2, Sections A&C, rules of Part 2?

See RRS 86.1(b) and Def: Rule
Created: 20-Oct-28 18:44
Emiliano Bolgeri
Nationality: Guatemala
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Club Race Officer
0
First we don't know if they are in regatta or not. there's no flags or starting signals.
The section C does not apply because the mark is defined as the pin at the SI. 
There's no 15, nor 16 because there was room to keep clear
there's no 17 (proper course)
Yellow had plenty of room to keep clear or avoid the pin or blue boat.
I think is a classic "barging" case. To me, Yellow DSQ by R11
Created: 20-Oct-28 19:48
P
Danielle Lawson
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
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@Mark Townsend, the image is called "roomatthestart" -- doesn't that make it a fact? :)
Created: 20-Oct-28 19:51
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
Emiliano I agree it’s a barging scenario. However, Blue left enough room for Yellow to get her bow between her and the mark. Blue cannot luff Yellow into the mark, so Blue must give Yellow room to avoid the mark. If there is no collision and Yellow doesn’t hit the mark then neither boat breaks a rule.
No one DSQd. 
Created: 20-Oct-28 22:51
Rick Myers
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
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0
Rule 20 cannot come in to play as it is a rule of section C.  The weather boat is clearly in peril.  That being said there is a special place in hell for a bit that causes a competitor to hit something as damaging as a government mark.  I don’t think that blue could break any rule other than 15 or 14 in this scenario. 

Someone could attempt to create an argument that blue breaks 15 by putting yellow in a situation where she cannot keep clear of her without hitting the mark but I don’t think that would be successful. 
Created: 20-Oct-29 00:42
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
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Paddy, what rule prevents Blue from maintaining her course and forcing Yellow into the mark?

I agree that Blue shouldn't do so, she should bear away, give room (which Yellow is not entitled to) and protest. 

I'm also wondering, in the context of pre-start maneuvering, what's the difference between a "crash tack" and a prompt maneuver to meet an obligation to keep clear. Yellow should have seen this coming and been ready to keep clear when Blue established ROW. 

In terms of the rules I don't think it makes a difference whether the pin is a government mark or a small spar. Yellow is not entitled to room at either a mark or an obstruction. But if it's a government mark it's even more important that Blue give room & protest rather than driving Yellow into it. 
Created: 20-Oct-29 04:05
Charles Darley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
0
When blue completes her tack she is required  at that moment to give yellow room to keep clear. Yellow does not need to begin keeping clear (unless to comply with 14) until blue completes her tack. Room to keep clear is room to manoeuvre promptly in a seamanlike way. The initial post said she would have needed to crash tack to keep clear. That is shorthand for tacking so quickly that it is un-seamanlike. Also, it is not seamanlike to hit a mark. 
Created: 20-Oct-29 17:20
Rick Myers
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
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  • Club Race Officer
  • National Judge
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Is there a place in the rules where blue is required to be concerned about yellow’s relationship to the pin? 

18 and 20 Are off. 
I can’t get myself to a point where 15 gives them any protection.  

I agree that Blue should not force yellow to hit the mark.  Maybe that’s a rule 2 issue if they force them into the mark but I’m not even sure about that.  
Created: 20-Oct-29 17:28
Charles Darley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
0
If, after blue completes her tack, yellow cannot keep clear by manoeuvring promptly in a seamanlike way, she has not been given the room blue is required by 15 to give. The crash tack would not be seamanlike. Tacking promptly but unavoidably hitting the mark would not be seamanlike. If blue bears away so that yellow can avoid hitting her and/or the mark, blue gives yellow room to keep clear. No penalty. 

I dont think this is a rule 2 issue, rather a misjudgement by blue
Created: 20-Oct-29 17:54
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Race Officer
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
2
If after Blue completes her tack and she becomes overlapped to leeward of Yellow, there is no seamanlike action that would enable Yellow to keep clear, Blue breaks rule 15. Yellow breaks rule 11, but is exonerated under rule 64.1(a). It is not seamanlike to hit a mark. Also Blue did not give Yellow space to comply with her obligations under the rules of Part 2 and rule 31.

The relevant rules are the definition of room and rule 15
ROOM
The space a boat needs in the existing conditions, including space to comply with her obligations under the rules of Part 2 and rule 31, while maneuvering promptly in a seamanlike way.

15 - When a boat acquires right of way, she shall initially give the other boat room to keep clear, unless she acquires right of way because of the other boat's actions.

World Sailing Case 114 Question 3 and 4 are relevant.
When a boat is entitled to room, the space she is entitled to includes space for her to comply with her obligations under the rules of Part 2 and rule 31.

Match Race Call D1 is relevant. The relevant rules are definition keep clear and definition room, rule 11 and, rule 16.1. I recognize it is a match race call, but the none of the applicable rules are changed from those used in fleet racing, so the interpretation remains valid.
Created: 20-Oct-29 18:08
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Mark, we can also lean on Q&A-4 of Case 114
Created: 20-Oct-29 18:16
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Race Officer
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
0
Thanks Angelo... I thought there was a case as well, but couldn't immediately find it... no diagram!! I think both question 3 and question 4 are relevant. Question 3 is at the committee boat end but the same logic applies.

Facts for Question 3
The mark at the starboard end of the starting line is surrounded by navigable water. When approaching the starting line to start, L and W are overlapped on starboard tack. L is sailing a course that will pass sufficiently far from the mark that there is space for W to sail between L and the mark. W sails into the space that L freely gives. After W is alongside the mark L luffs, and by luffing promptly in response W keeps clear of L. However, in order to keep clear of L, W is compelled to touch the mark.
Question 3
Does L comply with rule 16.1?
Answer 3
No. W is required to keep clear under rule 11 and, as stated in the preamble to Section C, she is not entitled to room under rule 19 or mark-room under rule 18. However, when L changes course W is entitled to room to keep clear of L under rule 16.1, including the space W needs to comply with rule 31. L's change of course compels W to touch the mark. L breaks rule 16.1 and, under either rule 21(b) or rule 64.1(a), W is exonerated for her breach of rule 31.
Assumed Facts for Question 4
The same as the facts for Question 3 except that rule 31 has been deleted by the rules of Appendix B or F or by the sailing instructions, and the mark is a committee boat or other substantial object.
Question 4
Does L comply with rule 16.1?
Answer 4
No. A boat entitled to room under rule 16.1 is entitled to the space she needs to maneuver in a seamanlike way to keep clear. Touching such a mark risks damaging either the boat racing or the committee boat, and taking such a risk is not seamanlike.
Created: 20-Oct-29 18:28
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
1
Blue completed her tack at position 2, over two boat lengths from the start line. Blue also tacked about a boat length below the layline so would have to (and would be entitled to) pinch up to the pin after completing her tack.

I'd say that Yellow had sufficient room between 2 and about 2.9 to complete a seamanlike tack. In a prestart situation it would be reasonable to expect her to be ready to do so instantly, especially as she observed Blue approaching and tacking for the line. As drawn I think Blue met her rule 15 obligation to initially give Yellow room to keep clear and Yellow broke 11.

Created: 20-Oct-29 18:32
Anders Rydlöv
Nationality: Sweden
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0
Agree with Tim, from the drawing this is barging. No 15 no 16. Note: luffing is always easy so no typical 15 situation (if not for the mark). 

One clip I watched many times is this from 2014, Hansen vs Williams. Big crash! Check it out!  https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=196980684828753    
16.1 or barging?
Created: 20-Oct-29 23:57
Rick Myers
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
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Hi Mark.  Agreed with respect to 16.  It’s clear that a boat can’t “close the door “ if the room is freely given.  My question and the question in this senario seems slightly different as it is solely a 15 issue. 
Most boats could tack out of that situation in almost any condition is a seaman like manner.  
How much latitude would a jury give to a protestee that claims that they were forces to sail below the starting mark in this situation.  
Would yellow be penalized in a protest if blue gave them room to pass the mark and protested? It is unlikely that in the typical barging situation that the weather boat would not be dsq. 

Created: 20-Oct-30 00:40
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Race Officer
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
1
The diagram and the written facts differ, but I think the conclusion should be the same. The diagram shows the boats more than one boat length from the pin and the written facts say the boats are less than one boat length from the pin.

The written facts state  
At the moment that Blue finishes her tack and reaches a close-hauled course on port, the boats are less than one boat length from the pin.
It is only at the moment that Blue completes her tack that Yellow needs to keep clear under RRS 11. Prior to Blue completing her tack she must keep clear under RRS 13. Once Blue completes her tack she shall initially give Yellow room to keep clear. If Yellow can tack to starboard and miss the mark she must tack.

In the unendorsed diagram there appears to be sufficient space for Yellow to tack and clear the mark provided there is no strong up course current. However, there are two additional written facts that appear to be of significance.
In light air with heavy current traveling up the course, Blue and Yellow are approaching a large permanent government mark... 

It was light air, let's assume 6 knots. We don't know the boat type, but let's assume a J105 (LOA 10.5m 34ft 6in), which has a upwind VMG of 3.26 knots in 6 knots of wind.

Having grown up in the UK, my idea of heavy current is maybe slightly more that others. Let's assume it is a spring tide and the the race committee had set the starting line between Hurst Point and Fort Albert in the Solent. The current runs at 3.9 knots at that location during a spring tide.

Therefore the boat's speed over ground is 7.16 knots (3.9 kts current + 3.26 kts boat speed) or approximately 12 feet per second. The J105 will travel 1 boat length in 3 seconds. If after Blue completes her tack the helm decides to tack to pass the mark to starboard, they will be swept onto the mark faster (3.9 knots), than they will move forward (3.26 kts). Therefore they will hit the mark amidships.

CONCLUSION
When acquiring right of way through her own actions, Blue initially gave Yellow room to keep clear, as required by RRS 15.


DIAGRAM of likely out come if Yellow tacks.
image.png 22 KB

   

Created: 20-Oct-30 01:37
Rick Myers
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
  • Club Race Officer
  • National Judge
0
Mark.  I’ll buy that in the rather extreme example you present and I’m buying in to the concept as a whole but I do think that yellow would have to present a very compelling case that they could not tack and keep clear in order to win this protest. 
Created: 20-Oct-30 01:51
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Race Officer
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
0
You don't need 3.9 kts of current to reach the conclusion that Yellow may not have been able to tack.

However, when Blue acquired right of way, she must initially give Yellow room to keep clear. But, Yellow needs to be prepared to maneuver promptly when Blue tacks to leeward of her. Yellow needs to show that even if she had maneuvered promptly and in a seamanlike manner she could not have tacked. She also needs to show that there was no other seamanlike maneuver she could have made to keep clear.

IMHO there are two statements that make me suspicious... that Blue might have been able to tack.  

In light air

Yellow would have had to crash tack to avoid a collision

How do you "crash tack" "in light air". Was Yellow prepared to maneuver promptly when Blue tacked to leeward of them?

You get back to the same issue...

If after Blue completes her tack and she becomes overlapped to leeward of Yellow, there is no seamanlike action that would enable Yellow to keep clear, Blue breaks rule 15. Yellow breaks rule 11, but is exonerated under rule 64.1(a).
OR
If after Blue completes her tack and she becomes overlapped to leeward of Yellow, Yellow could keep clear by acting promptly, Yellow breaks rule 11.


The picture is of a buoy in the Solent in strong current!
image.png 370 KB
Created: 20-Oct-30 03:51
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
I agree with Mark, the answer depends on whether, in the PC's judgment, it was possible for Yellow to maneuver promptly after Blue completes her tack and avoid hitting the pin. If she can then she's obligated to and breaks 11 if she doesn't, but if Blue completes her tack too close to the pin and to Yellow then initial room to keep clear would include room to pass between Blue and the buoy.

But in no case should Blue force Yellow to hit the mark. If Yellow tries to go inside, whether entitled to room or not, Blue should give room and protest.
Created: 20-Oct-30 16:38
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
Tim I would agree with your thinking and conclusions. It appears to me that there are two conversations in this post, one based on the OP diagram where after Blue completes her tack she immediately gives Yellow room as required by 15 and leaves enough room for yellow to enter the gap she leaves at the Mark. 
The other scenario based on the description (which does not reflect the scenario displayed  in the diagram) which says that Yellow must crash tack to avoid Blue. Unless Blue gives Yellow room by bearing away she would break 15. Blue would then be subject to 16.1 if she changes course by coming up again. Blue could not then stop Yellow from passing between her and the mark. 
Created: 20-Oct-31 00:01
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
Well, and Mark is also correct that the current setting Yellow toward the buoy would also be a factor that the PC would have to consider in determining whether Yellow had enough room to keep clear - if a tack would have set Yellow into the mark then Blue did not give enough room. 

But I'm still not sure "crash tack" is relevant here. Surely Yellow in this situation should be ready to tack in a seamanlike manner instantly if she is required to do so.
Created: 20-Oct-31 00:15
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
I very much dislike the term 'crash tack'.  I really don't know what is the difference between a quick tack when a boat wants to make a quick tack and a 'crash tack' when they don't want to make a tack.

What we need to know is:
  • how much space there was,
  • the characteristics of the boats,
  • the existing conditions,
  • details of any unseamanlike actions that were taken to keep clear and why they were necessary (rather than accidental).

Bearing in mind that in many classes and conditions, luffing head to wind to slow or stop, or a tack, all standing without letting off the headsail is perfectly seamanlike.
Created: 20-Nov-01 13:05
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