Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Rules along a Continuing Obstruction

P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
A forum member drafted a post a while ago (that we held-back due to our forum rules) based upon an experience they had on the race course.  We've since let some time pass and I've restructured the questions a bit in the following 2 scenarios. 

In the drawing, North is up/top.

Scenario #1: True Wind @210deg (as shown)

2 boats are on port, running along a harbor marked by buoys A,B,C, with Yellow clear-ahead of Blue at #1. The SI's define this area as an obstruction.  If both boats were to continue along the obstruction on port, their the proper course would be to gybe on to starboard as they pass Buoy C to head to the finish.

Blue hardens-up sailing away from Yellow and catches a fresh breeze.  Blue gybes back onto starboard on a collision course with Yellow and starts yelling "Starboard!" as they approach.  Yellow holds her course on port, close along the obstruction.  At #6, Blue gybes back onto port and protests Yellow.

Questions:
  1. Is Blue's Protest upheld? Why/Why-not.
  2. Does Rule 19.2(c) apply?

Scenario #2: True Wind @275 deg (not shown)

Same scenario, but the true-wind is just forward abeam of both boats at #1.  At #5, Blue throws her main over and sails by-the-lee toward Yellow between #5 - #6.  Does the outcome change?  Why?


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Created: 20-Nov-18 17:44

Comments

Charles Darley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
1
First scenario, 19.2 does apply.  Boats are overlapped (see definition), yellow is entitled to room, protest dismissed.

Second scenario, as the question is written, blue is sailing on starboard less than 90 degrees from the true wind so the boats are not overlapped, Yellow has broken Rule 10.  However, blue has to be sailing by the lee, not just holding out the boom.  In light of what a judge on the water might see, It might be found either that the boats were overlapped,  Judging true wind to be 85 degrees, not 90 or more is difficult.  Alternatively it might be found blue was not sailing by the lee, but the boom was being held out (perhaps not if she has an unstayed mast).  If blue is found to be on starboard and not overlapped, I think yellow needs quite a lot of room to keep clear.  Her option is to slow which would take time.  I expect the facts found, based on a normal protest, would likely not favour blue.
Created: 20-Nov-18 18:20
John Christman
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • National Judge
  • National Umpire
1
In both cases
  • RRS 19 applies as the boats are at an obstruction and the other conditions are not met.
  • RRS 19.2(a) isn't relevant as this obstruction can only be passed on one side.
  • RRS 19.2(b) may or may not apply.
  • RRS 19.2(c) does not apply as the overlap was not established in the manner described.

1) Blue does not prevail.  The conditions for RRS 19.2(b) are met. The boats are sailing more than 90 degrees from the true wind and thus are overlapped by definition even though they are on opposite tacks.   Blue as the outside boat has been able to give Yellow room since the overlap began.  However, if Yellow does not sail as close to the obstruction as she dares then she is not sailing within the room to which she is entitled under 19.2(b) and is not exonerated by RRS 21 for breaking RRS 10.  

2) If you are talking about the apparent wind being just forward of Yellow's beam then answer to 1 applies as the true wind must be aft of Yellow's beam.  If you are talking about the true wind being forward of the beam, then the boats are not overlapped per the definition, RRS 19.2(b) does not apply, and this is a simple RRS 10 situation and Blue prevails.
Created: 20-Nov-18 18:35
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
Not finding Cases or Appeals regarding determining windward side of boat sailing by the lee, as suggested for scenario 2.
Any help?
Created: 20-Nov-18 18:43
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Philip, see def: Leeward and Windward. Ang
Created: 20-Nov-18 18:53
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Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
John C, I added “True” to wind specification in the scenarios to be clearer. - Ang
Created: 20-Nov-18 18:57
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
Yes, of course. So what is Charles reference to judgement regarding boom held out?
Created: 20-Nov-18 18:58
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
1) Blue does not prevail.  The conditions for RRS 19.2(b) are met. The boats are sailing more than 90 degrees from the true wind and thus are overlapped by definition even though they are on opposite tacks.   Blue as the outside boat has been able to give Yellow room since the overlap began.  However, if Yellow does not sail as close to the obstruction as she dares then she is not sailing within the room to which she is entitled under 19.2(b) and is not exonerated by RRS 21 for breaking RRS 10.

Agree with this, Yellow must press down as close as she can to the obstruction (which in this case is a defined area, not a physical object) while Blue is on starboard but Blue may not force Yellow into the obstruction. As soon as Blue gybes Yellow becomes leeward ROW and may head up to open the distance from the obstruction if she pleases.
Created: 20-Nov-18 19:13
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Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Philip, Charles is likely referring to some MR/TR Calls ..

TR G1:
TR G3:
MR G5
Created: 20-Nov-18 19:21
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
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0
Thanks. Just what I was looking for.
Noting that each is authoritative solely for Team Racing or Match Racing.
Created: 20-Nov-18 19:37
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John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Agree that the difference between the two scenarios is the difference in the definition of Overlap between boats sailing more than and less than 90 degrees from true wind.

In Scenario 2, Y is going to be pretty uncomfortable.  If it is difficult for Y to keep clear of B, B, initially from the time she gybes, must give Y room to keep clear (rule 15).
Created: 20-Nov-18 21:54
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
So I guess in scenario 2, from the time that Blue gybes onto starboard just before position 5 (assuming she's legitimately by the lee and not just holding the boom out to weather) until about 5.8 when Blue begins to gybe back to port, Yellow must keep clear and is not entitled to room to pass the obstruction. It appears that Yellow has room to keep clear through some combination of easing sheets and heading up, so that Blue can cross ahead on starboard and gybe close to the obstruction. If Yellow just maintains course and speed I'd give Blue a good chance of winning the protest.
Created: 20-Nov-19 06:02
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
Is convergence at an obstruction the only instance in which the rules (by interpretation) dictate change of speed, as opposed to change of direction?
Created: 20-Nov-19 15:17
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Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Philip, I seem to recall a Case/Appeal that had something to do with Rule  12  and a boat clear ahead nose-diving and coming to a near stop and whether or not that triggered Rule  16.1 .. but can't seem to put my finger on it.

In the US, we have US33 which states, "To change course means to change the direction in which the boat is heading or moving"

Beyond that, I can't think of a Case/Appeal which conflates 'change in speed' with 'change in course'.  Do you have a Case/Appeal in mind?
Created: 20-Nov-19 17:06
Charles Darley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
0
I think changing speed does not constitute changing course for the purposes of rule 16.  However, changing speed is recognised as an option for a boat required to keep clear or sail clear.  For example, a boat required to sail clear to take penalty turns may have to slow to get clear of boats on either side.
Created: 20-Nov-19 17:12
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Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Charles .. agree with that.  In a previous reply, I attributed your comment regarding sailing-by-the-lee and restraining the boom to a few TR/MR Calls.  Is that what you had in mind? -Ang
Created: 20-Nov-19 17:18
Charles Darley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
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I expect it is.  I often find it hard to switch out of umpire mode.
Created: 20-Nov-19 17:48
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John Allan
Nationality: Australia
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Phil H,

The rules generally deal in outcomes, not in processes:  thus they don't tell boats how  to keep clear, or give room, they just require her to do so.

Charles' example of a boat backing out of a sandwich to begin a penalty is a good one, likewise the example of a boat luffing and slowing to tack behind another in a rule 20 situation.

I've never heard of Angelo's nose-dive example, but there are two MR Calls about slowing, stopping and going astern

Match Race Call B7
Rule 10; On Opposite TacksRule 16.1; Changing Course
A boat changes course and must give a keep clear boat room under 16.1 when she begins traveling in reverse. 

Match Race Call B18
 Rule 11; On the Same Tack, OverlappedRule 12; On the Same Tack, Not OverlappedRule 15; Acquiring Right of Way
An increase or decrease in speed is not in itself an 'action' within the meaning of the second part of rule 15. 


Neither of these Calls relies on any Appendix C rule, so they should be regarded as, at least, persuasive for fleet racing.
Created: 20-Nov-19 21:45
Gordon Davies
Nationality: Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
0
Two small points: 1.A sudden change of speed by a RoW or mark-room entitled boat may mean that it is not reasonably possible for another boat to avoid contact.
2. When an area is designated  as an obstruction rules 19 and 20 apply at that area. However, what rule would a boat break if she were to sail in the area designated as an obstruction? I always advise that any such designated obstruction be specifically designated as an area in which boats shall not sail.
Created: Fri 11:34
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Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Gordon, nice additional points. 

On #2, I’d point out that the absence of such language wouldn’t change the outcome of these scenarios. 

Your #2 comment had me thinking about that language and whether or not you’d include a ‘rule 14(a)exception’ of sorts in it?  

It occurred to me wording that “specifically designated as an area in which boats shall not sail.” could create a “shall vs shall showdown” with “shall not sail” seeming to have more weight than “shall avoid contact ... if reasonably possible”. 

Interesting, the above hadn’t occurred to me before your comment. 
Created: Fri 12:07
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John Allan
Nationality: Australia
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  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
If you want your SI to prevent boats sailing into some area (possibly for reasons of safety or legal compliance), the SI need to do two things:
  1. say 'boats shall not sail into AAA Area';  and
  2. say 'AAA area is an obstruction'.

If you don't include 2, than a right of way boat can force a give way boat into the prohibited area then protest them for breaking the SI.

Making an area a 'prohibited area' does not make it an obstruction.

Making an area an obstruction does not make it a 'prohibited area'

I can't see why you would want to make an are an obstruction if you didn't also want to make it a prohibited area.
Created: Fri 12:37
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Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
John: “I can't see why you would want to make an are an obstruction if you didn't also want to make it a prohibited area.”

Neither can I, my only point is that i don’t think it would have changed the rulings in our scenario as I believe rule 19 applies the same without it and Yellow is entitled to room to pass the obstruction. 

Any comment on the rule 14(a) exception in such language?
Created: Fri 12:50
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Race Officer
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
0
Are buoys A, B, and C marks of the course with a required side? 
Created: Fri 14:49
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
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If designating a "do not sail area" in SI, consider also designating the penalty or remedy.
Created: Fri 15:18
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
>>  Are buoys A, B, and C marks of the course with a required side? 
And are they more than 3 boat lengths apart?
Created: Fri 15:33
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Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Mark, as you can see I didn’t stipulate that in my scenario, so we can assume not and that the backside of the boundary is land and thus only passable on one side. 

That said, we can feel free to play with the scenario and offer different assumptions if you’d like to highlight how the rules might change under different conditions. 

So we can add that the SI’s state:

1) A,B,C define a harbor area boundary that is defined as an “obstruction”. 
2) boats “shall not sail” into the harbor area
3) that boats shall pass A,B,C to starboard.
4) boats that break #2 can take a 2-turn penalty (for Philip). 

PS: 

5) as an alternative, examine if #3) is stated such that the “harbor area defined by A,B,C shall be left to starboard” instead of just the individual buoys. 


Created: Fri 15:36
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
>>  Are buoys A, B, and C marks of the course with a required side? 
And are they more than 3 boat lengths apart?

Not sure that matters if they're part of a continuing obstruction.
Created: Fri 17:06
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Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Tim, I think what Mark is hinting at is that RC’s can create a bit of confusion if they aren’t careful how these areas are defined and buoy-markers referenced in the SI’s. 

This is not that different from the discussions we’ve had regarding “poison start line” language which forbids boats from crossing the starting line during a down-wind leg when the starting/finish line are in the middle of the course. 
Created: Fri 20:13
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John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Angelo,

I agree that in the OP scenario it's irrelevant whether the obstruction area is also designated as a do not sail area, because at no time does any boat sail into it.

Gordon is obviously right to say that a right-of-way boat changing speed may make it not reasonably possible for a give-way boat to avoid contact, so that she will not break rule 14.  If there is contact, however, she will necessarily have broken the relevant right-of-way rule, which is never subject to a 'possibility' limitation.  Where the right-of-way boat slowing so as to cause a collision, the right-of-way boat herself probaly breaks rule 14, and it might be that this breach compelled the give-way boat to break the right-of-way rule and is thus entitled to exoneration under rule 64.1(a).

As to your four point list, I don't see any need to state a required side.  It's enough just to say 'shall not sail into the area'.  I agree with Mark's idea that an obstruction designated by a line joining objects will usually be a continuing obstruction and switch off rule 18, so it's better not to designate the bouys as marks (which you would do by requiring that they, or the obstruction be passed on a specified side).
Created: Fri 21:31
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John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Philip Hubbell
said Created: Today 15:18
If designating a "do not sail area" in SI, consider also designating the penalty or remedy.

Excellent point.

The SI is not a rule of Part 2, so rule 44 penalties will not automatically apply.

The designation of a 'do not sail area' is, to an extent arbitrary, and a marginal breach may have negligable effect on the fairness of competion.

So unless the race committee wants to use the nuclar option of DSQ (possibly to satisfy Harbour Authorities), then a provision allowing a rule 44 penalty, or DP,  or SP for a breach of that SI, or, if you are running Appedix T, a post race penalty is a good idea.
Created: Fri 21:46
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Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
John, the point I was hinting to is that SI can make things confusing if they aren’t done with care.   For instance, consider the following SI’s. 

1) Boats shall not sail into the harbor area defined by bouys A,B,C and points D, E which are points on the shoreline.  The Harbor Area is an obstruction. 

2) Later in the SI’s under Course, Bouys A,B, C are listed as being left to starboard. 

A,B,C are now marks of the course, but they are arguably not continuing obstructions themselves.  It’s not that it can’t be sorted out, but might cause confusion. 

As you point out, better not to list them as marks of the course, and leave the excluded harbor area to stand as an obstruction to sail around. 
Created: Fri 23:53
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Race Officer
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
0
Below is a sailing instruction that I have seen used, which addresses the point John Allan is raising.

Areas That are Obstructions

While racing, no part of a boat's hull shall cross the lines or areas listed below and as shown in the below diagrams: These lines or areas rank as obstructions and are the limit of safe pilotage for the purposes of Part 2 of the RRS. Any boat observed entering or crossing the areas listed below may be disqualified without a hearing. This changes RRS 63.1.
Created: Sat 15:18
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John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Mark,

That SI does not 'solve' the problem I identified, which was that DSQ may be disproportionate to a breach of the rule.

It also makes the Race Committee a tribunal of fact as to an event which they may not have observed.
Created: Sat 21:56
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