Right of way at the finish? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 06-19-2006 Thread Starter
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Right of way at the finish?

I was approaching the finish line yesterday ,on starboard, flying the chute. Another boat came in on a port tack , slightly ahead of me then turned down right in front of me. I took his wind and we started overtaking him. I didn't want to go below him so I started to pass on his port side. He started to head me up and at that point I was very close to the pin end of the line and was afraid he was going to push me off the course, so I went below and lost all wind and missed 3rd by 1/2 second.
Question: Does he have to give me room to finish even if I'm the overtaking and windward boat? In this situation I would have been pinned if I had decided to stay to windward of him and might not have been able to stay on the course.
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post #2 of 17 Old 06-19-2006
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Was this other boat on port tack the entire time? I think this takes precedence over the windward leeward and overtaking rules ... could be wrong but ...

I hope you protested him.

Mike
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post #3 of 17 Old 06-19-2006
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I was faced with similar situation once, but I was the ahead boat on port tack. We were approaching a round-off buoy when this starboard tack boat came up my stern, rob my wind and proceed to collide onto my stern rail. I discussed this with an off-duty race official who promptly told me I was in the wrong for not giving way to a starboard tack boat, nevermind he's upwind, nevermind he robs my wind and I've no steerage, nevermind he is so-call over taking. He is starboard tack and I'm port tack and that settles it, he has the right of way. I came away with bent stern rail and bruised ego. So moral of the story, "starboard tack rules".

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post #4 of 17 Old 06-19-2006 Thread Starter
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I guess my real question is... Do they have to treat the mark as an obstruction irrespective of proper tack, or over taking vessel, and give me room too finish?
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post #5 of 17 Old 06-19-2006
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If in fact you were on starboard and they were on port, you had right of way, and should not have had to alter course to avoid him. If he forced you to deviate from your intended course he has fouled you.
If he had gybed cleanly in front of you, and became leeward boat on the same tack/gybe, the onus falls to you to keep clear.
However, if you then became overlapped approaching the finish, he cannot "stuff you up" and force you on the wrong side of the finish line (like he could to a barging starting boat).
As I write this it occurs to me that the 2 boat length circle may apply to the establishment of the overlap like it does at any other mark.

Fun, huh?
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post #6 of 17 Old 06-23-2006
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Lets all try to remember also what defines a starbord or port tack. I for one grew up thinking it was defined by the side of the vessel the wind is coming from. If coming over port side is a port tack.... WRONG! A port tack is defined by the boom pointing to stbd side of vessel. Thus two vessel can be going downwind with booms on opposite sides and the one with boom on stbd is on a port tack. It is even poosible in this situation that the wind on the port tack boat is coming from the port side astern (a little bit anyway).

So moral is Stbd tack has right of way. If you are unsure and are on port tack while other vessel is on stbd then IGNORE ALL OTHER RULES YOU THINK YOU KNOW and GET OUT OF THE WAY! The other boat probably has ROW. If you ever challenge a stbd tack boat while you are on a port tack you had better know the rules inside out because you are likely wrong.

My 2 cents from being DSQ in a situation where several rules seemed to be in play. In my case I afterward approached a national level judge with the question and his answer was STBD has ROW and nothing else mattered in that case. I then took a voluntary DSQ.

Mike
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Last edited by mikehoyt; 06-23-2006 at 02:16 PM.
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post #7 of 17 Old 06-23-2006 Thread Starter
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I'm clear on P/S rules but lets just assume two boats on the same tack even. and lets assume his proper course isn't toward the pin end i:e he has his pole up against the head stay trying to push the windward boat(me) off the course. It's my understanding that irregardless of the tack you cannot prevent someone from crossing the finish line.
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post #8 of 17 Old 06-23-2006
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He can push you past the mark, BUT

HE has to go past the mark too!

If you have inside overlap at the two boat length circle, he MUST let you in.

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post #9 of 17 Old 06-23-2006
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If a boat on starboard is just laying the finish pin, say, I don't think he's under any obligation to let a port tack boat in. The port boat would, if necessary, have to take the stbd boat's stern and then finish. At least that's how I would read it. If you're port and try to muscle in, if he has to alter course I think you're toast.
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post #10 of 17 Old 06-23-2006 Thread Starter
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I belive the old rule was you could force them off the course but you had to go with them then fight your way back to the line and cross.Apparantly that changed a few years ago (I've only been racing for a couple of years). I'll have to look it up but I'm pretty sure if your overlapped at he finish and cant duck the other boat they have to let you through.
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