Forum: Share your SI/NOR language.

SI to identify rounding marks

P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
Rule J2.1(4) requires SI to identify all rounding marks.

'Rounding Mark' is not defined in the RRs.

Where courses are around laid marks, either the diagram or the text description of the course will sufficiently identify rounding marks.

Sometimes where courses are around government buoys or permanently laid marks it may not be obvious.

Do you think that the following Si text is useful?

Marks where the course from the preceding mark to the next mark is not a straight line lying on the required side of the mark are rounding marks. 
Created: 21-Mar-23 17:50

Comments

P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
Hmmm .. I'm not sure John.

I've always read that requirement as a burden on the RC to do their homework and figure out which marks will be touched by the string rule.  [Some of] those are [will be] rounding marks.   Listing which marks satisfy this gives the competitors the rhumbline heading when they can fetch it, and following this, marks not ID'd as "rounding marks" are understood to function as boundary/passing marks.

Using the language you propose would seem to put the burden on the competitor to figure all this out.  I think that burden should be on the RC.

Ang
Created: 21-Mar-23 18:02
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
I'm assuming that the race committee never intends boats to loop any marks.

The  suggested words make no difference to competitors: all they have to do is to leave all marks on the required side.

The only rule that depends on whether a mark is a rounding mark or not is rule 32 concerning shortening at rounding marks.

The only reason I'm puttig the words forward is because Appendix LG, (LG 10.2) seems to add to the requirement of rule J2.1(4) to identify marks, by providing a standard paragraph to list  all rounding marks, and I want to put beyond doubt that the SI identifes all rounding marks.
Created: 21-Mar-27 00:03
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
0
"Straight line" from mark to mark disregards the possibility of obstructions such as points of land interfering.
You would have to dive deeper into the what-ifs.
I like what you have attempted. But I see dangers.
Also: line of sight visibility/fog?
Created: 21-Mar-27 02:47
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Phil,

Thanks for pointing that out.

Do you think that this would work?

Marks that a string representing a boat's track from the preceding mark to the next mark touches are rounding marks.

And Case  145 solves the intervening obstruction problem, as exemplified by the diagram in that Case.


Created: 21-Mar-27 12:35
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
“The  suggested words make no difference to competitors: all they have to do is to leave all marks on the required side.”

IMO it does make a difference if the intent of your suggestion is that this would replace the RC specifically listing which marks are rounding marks. This moves the burden of determining/defining the rounding marks from the RC to each competitor and in doing so opens the possibility that competitors come to different determinations. 
Created: 21-Mar-27 14:14
P
Benjamin Harding
Nationality: Hong Kong
Certifications:
  • International Judge
0
John,

I'm sorry.  I'm still trying to work out what it is you're trying to solve with this extra wording.

Can you explain the problem again?

What's wrong with the good old "All marks are rounding marks unless otherwise indicated', or the little (r) or (p) to denote rounding or passing?





Created: 21-Mar-28 05:02
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Ben,

The purpose of the provision is to put beyond doubt what marks are rounding marks, without listing them and taking the risk of getting the list wrong.

'... round all marks ...l' and 'all marks are rounding marks' are dangerous generalisations except for laid mark W/L, Triangles and Trapeziod courses, where thy are clearly superfluous in any case.

Angelo,

The provision does not increase the obligations on boats:  as long as they leave all marks on the required side, they will round all rounding marks and leave all marks on the required side without rounding them (assuming that it is not intended for any marks to be looped).

The only time the issue will ever arise is when the race committee shortens at a mark in accordance with rule 32, in which case, if a request for redress arises the boats and the race committee can get out the charts and settle whether the mark was a rounding mark or not, by applying the rule.
Created: 21-Apr-02 13:01
P
Angelo Guarino
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
0
John, I’ve been thinking about how to better convey what I’m trying to say.  Allow me me try an analogy of sorts .....

Joe is a counter-intelligence agent for his country.  They know someone has been selling secrets.  Under their laws, anyone who sells their nation’s secrets to their enemy is a traitor.

One morning, Joe’s supervisor gives Joe a list of suspects and says, “Joe, I want you to go through this list and figure out and identify which of these suspects are traitors and report back to me”.

That very afternoon, Joe returns the list to his supervisor unchanged or remarked except that he attached a note to the list stating, “The traitors are those on this list who sold secrets to our enemy.”

This is what I mean by shifting the obligation and burden from the RC to the competitors.

—————

In your OP you state that “rounding marks” (“RM”) are not defined in the RRS.   True, RM’s are not listed in defined terms, but I’d argue they are defined to a great extent in the RRS. 

First “marks” in “rounding marks” is italicized, therefore it carries the definition of Mark within it. 

Second, immediately following “... rounding marks” in J2.1(4) is “(see ... “Sail the Course”).  

Def: Sail the Course (b) states: 

“..a string ... when drawn taught .. touches each mark designated in the sailing instructions to be a rounding mark, ....”. 

Therefore, based on “sail the course” and J2.1(4), RM’s are marks designated and identified in the SI’s to be RM’s. 

J2.1(4) tasks the RC to identify the RM’s.  Your wording seems to hand the list of suspect marks back to the supervisor with a note “see def: Sail the Course” (which is already there in J2.1(4)). 

It folds the logic of rounding marks in both J2.1(4) and “sail the course” back upon itself.
Created: Sun 13:16
P
Benjamin Harding
Nationality: Hong Kong
Certifications:
  • International Judge
0
Ang, I like the analogy.

John's proposal does seem to eloquently bring together the results of all the utterances and mentions of the term 'rounding mark' into one definition.  Indeed, in a rules seminar, his proposed wording might be another way to explain the concept of the 'string rules' to someone who was struggling with the interpretation of the current definition.

However, when I study the protest hearings I have had tabled before me over the years (or have seen or been part of from a racer's point of view), the problems are rarely a misunderstanding of what a 'rounding mark is', but more commonly a mistake in the listing of the required side, or a mistake in the construction of the route by the designer which eventually causes confusion on the water.

For example, take this simple course diagram and description:

(This diagram must be viewed with display with min. 80 characters.)
1------------------------------------------------------------------------------80

                     2                         4
                                         4A
 
 S                                                                      F
          1                    3

John's NOTE: Marks that a string representing a boat's track from the preceding mark to the next mark touches are rounding marks.

Course 1
S, 1(p), 2(s), 3(p), 4(s), F

Course 2
S, 2(s), 4(s), F

Course 3
S, 1(p), 3(p), F

Course 4
S, 1(p), 2(p-pass), 3(p), 4(p-pass), F


1------------------------------------------------------------------------------80

The description and the courses all make sense.

But the most common problematic scenarios are as follows:

1.  Typo Error - When the race committee presents a course with a typo (depicted by the *) thus:

S, 1(p), 2(*p), 3(p), 4(s), F

...the whole race is in jeopardy!  Most of the racers will presume that 2(*p) should be 2(s), and not loop.  But it just takes 1 to sail as per the rules and loop 2.

2.  Ambiguity - When the race committee presents an ambiguous routing where it is not clear whether the string between 2 marks would touch a listed mark in between, thus:

S, 1(p), 2(s), 4A(p), F.

In this case, most of the fleet will presume that a loop was not intended and simply ignore 4A.  Some may believe there was a typo and round 4A to starboard.  The last bunch of smart arses will loop 4A.  Either way, the race is ruined.

With both scenarios John's note doesn't help.  In both the scenario's the problem was created at the poor and errornous presentation of the course description, rather than the actually understanding of what a 'rounding mark' is.

Interestingly, John's wording does seem to help the new sailor in Course 4, by explaining that boats don't need to go near marks 2 and 4 so long as they have 'passed the mark on the required side'.  However, this is more of an alternative explanation for the classroom, since the definition of sail the course implies that clearly.

Lastly, John makes a presumption that a race committee never intends to include looped marks.  However, sometimes loops are definitely intended.

Consider these courses round the islands for a multi-fleet regatta:


(This diagram must be viewed with display with min. 80 characters.)
1------------------------------------------------------------------------------80

                     2

 S                                             F

           1                    3

Small Boats Course:
S, 2(s), F

Big Boats Course
S, 3(p), 2(s), 1(p), 3(p), F

1------------------------------------------------------------------------------80

The RO clearly doesn't want a dangerous conflict at Mark 2 between the small boats and the big boats. So an intended loop is in for the big boats making it a starboard rounding mark for all boats.  I don't think John's wording would work here.

In summary then, the key is that the 'rules gurus' to correctly teach the string-rule concept to sailors and race committees in the seminars, and then as Ang has pointed out, the onus is (and should be) on the race committee to ensure correct and unambiguous course descriptions (which requires painstakingly going through each and every route, and then handing to a 2nd person to double-check).

John? Ang?  Others? Comments welcome!
Created: Mon 00:56
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
-1
John, it is the race officer's obligation to consult the appropriate navigational charts with at straightedge, eyeball each mark to verify they are on station, and verify set marks' positions.
If you expect each competitor to do that job, the place to say so is in the NOR, not the SI. The NOR sets the expectations upon which the competitors base their decision to enter and base their preparations, equipment, and service needs.
Competitors expect you to do your job.  
If there is a question about a mark, name it and declare its status.
Created: Wed 22:55
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