racing rules interpretation - SailNet Community
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racing rules interpretation

Need clarity on a start situation. Appreciate input.

Race Situation - just after the start.

Two boats - A and B are just passing start line. Boat A is closer to line on STBD tack, Boat B is 3 boat lengths behind also on STBD tack.

Boat A is close hauled. Boat B is on close reach, gaining on Boat A and now overlapped - at first Boat B is about 20 feet next to Boat A. Boat B begins to pinch higher - Boat A forced to luff - then Boat B hits Boat A.

Time/distance sequence is below:

Time 0:00 - Boat A is 3 boat lengths ahead of Boat B - both boats on STBD tack.

Time 0:45 - Boat B is 1 boat length behind Boat A - both boats on STB tack - approximately 35 feet of the port stern of Boat A

Time 1:10 - Boat B's Bow is now at Boat A's stern - approximately 20 feet from stern of Boat A

Time 1:20 - Boat B is 100% overlapped with Boat A - approx 10 feet from Boat A

Time 1:23 - Boat B begins to drift and hits Boat A - as Boat A attempts to Luff.

There are NO other boats within 5 boats lengths ahead, behind, or leward of the two boats. Winds are 20 knots, gusting to 24- seas 3-4 feet

Boat Lengths - Boat B is 30 feet. Boat A is 27 feet.

Question - in this situation - who has to give way? How does one resolve rules 11, 12 and 17?

Thx.
rperret is offline

Old 06-17-2007
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racing rules interpretation

Assuming I'm understanding this scenario correctly... Per rule 17.1: Since boat B was within 60ft (i.e. two of boat B's hull lengths) to the leeward of boat A at the time the overlap was established, boat B should not have sailed above her proper course while they remain overlapped within the two hull lengh distance.

Now the question is... Was boat B sailing above her proper course? If she was luffing then the answer would be yes, but that is often difficult to prove. If boat B can point higher than boat A and was sailing a proper course, then boat A is out of luck and must give way to B.

Rule 14 (avoiding contact) may apply here and overrule the above depending on the actions of each boat just prior to the contact.
mvk is offline
Old 06-18-2007
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Situation must be clarified. Had the starting signal been raised or not?
At what point? Your timeline would appear to be after the start, so it is NOT a starting situation.

Boat B on a close reach, must have crossed close behind A at greater speed and then came up to close hauled on a windward beat. B has complied with rule 12.

This now puts B in the leeward, favored position. Rule 11 says A must now keep clear. And the timeline shows B slowly came up under A complying with rule 15.

Since you didn't say B was luffing up (which she is NOT entitled to do) one can only assume she sailed a higher course. And therefore,B complied with 17.1 maintaining her proper course.

Considering the sea conditions, you didn't say how the contact was made or if damage or injury occurred. perhaps a sudden wave or gust caused them to come together. Hard for a boat to just "drift" to windward ???

Therefore, one must assume that A did not take sufficient action to remain clear of B and should have tacked away sooner. (No other boats were nearby).
You didn't say if a protest was lodged, so possibly no penalty was invoked.
IMHO rule 11 applies and A should have taken whatever penalty was stated in the SI's.
maxmunger is offline

Old 06-26-2007
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It sounds like Boat A should have filed a protest. It would seem that if Boat A was forced to luff then it was trying to follow rule 14(avoiding contact)

Jon Caisson Bozeman
S/V Little Miss Magic, Pirates Cove, AL
LittleMissMagic is offline
Old 06-27-2007
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Boat A was the keep clear boat. There is no rule or limit upon her manuver to avoid. The rules limit the ROW Boat B from going beyond head to wind, but not Boat A.
maxmunger is offline
Old 06-27-2007
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Perhaps some confusion arises from the changes to the rules on luffing.
When the overlap is established B has row and A has to keep clear. However B is changing course and must under 16 allow A room to keep clear by acting promptly in a seamanlike manner.
Also under 15 when acquiring row she must allow the other boat room to keep clear.
It is not clear whether at 1.10 B was overlapped and 20 feet away or directly behind 20 feet. It seems the former given the time to gain a boat length.
Since it took ten minutes to gain an extra boat length and move in to 10 feet away A had ample opportunity to keep clear as B was entitled to harden up while maintaining her proper course ie move from a close reach to a beat.
Under rule 11 A must give B room to change course so must tack out.
"Keep Clear
One boat keeps clear of another if the other boat can sail her course with no need to take avoiding action and, when the boats are overlapped on the same tack, if the leeward boat could change course without immediately making contact with the windward boat."
I would have thought the changes to the rules on luffing were to enable a faster boat to pass to leeward. If B was only marginally faster A managed to hold her there but ultimately has to give her room.
chris_gee is offline
Old 06-27-2007
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I do not have the rule book with me at this time to verify my comments. But as I recall, you can not force the windward boat into a luff regardless of how high you (the leward boat) can sail. If you are carrying speed enough to come through the leeside, wouldn't you want to continue to foot off slightly and get a safe leeward. Seems to me that would be faster and a bit more prudent. If you wanted to tack that should have happened sooner, prior to the overlap.

Jeff

I don't understand how you would be drifting windward into A with a 20 knot wind. Something else is going on here.
6string is offline
Old 06-28-2007
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Please note - there are no rules on "luffing". No boat ever acquires "luffing rights". Boats are required to either give room or to keep clear. Multiple overlaps especially in large one design fleets are matters of keeping clear to avoid contact not agression.

There is no rule that allows one boat to luff another. It is a holdover from years past. It is primarily a defense before the start where there is no proper course.

Luffing is associated with deliberately forcing another boat to windward. I think an arguement could be made that "luffing" is illogical if not illegal. At least after the start. Proper course is defined as the course one would sail in the absence of other boats. So, would one just luff up occaisionally or randomly in order to finish as soon as possible? Why then would one do it with another boat present?
Rule 17 makes it specifically illegal from close astern. This is a proximity question facilitating boat safety. If approaching from far below, on a higher course, why not foot off a bit, pass below or pinch up and pass astern and then resume proper course ahead of the slower boat?
Except at mark roundings (governed by rule 18) such distant overlaps are infrequent and avoidable.
maxmunger is offline
Old 06-28-2007
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[quote=6string]I do not have the rule book with me at this time to verify my comments. But as I recall, you can not force the windward boat into a luff regardless of how high you (the leward boat) can sail.

The leeward boat can sail as high as she likes, provided she's on her proper course. A Soling on an upwind leg, for example, might routinely head 15º higher than a Catalina 30 with old sails. Tough luck, Catalina, if you find a Soling to your leeward.

If you are carrying speed enough to come through the leeside, wouldn't you want to continue to foot off slightly and get a safe leeward.

If you're already sailing faster than another boat and going through their lee without having to foot off, why would you want to foot off and lose distance to windward?

Seems to me that would be faster and a bit more prudent.

Not if you want the windward boat to tack towards the "wrong" side of the course, and by taking him up you can make him tack. If you foot off and pull away, he may be tempted to continue along with you to the favored side of the course

If you wanted to tack that should have happened sooner, prior to the overlap.

Right. The leeward boat doesn't want to tack. He's headed towards the side of the course he wants to be on. He wants to mess up the windward boat and make him tack.

There's a lot going on in this situation, and the "facts" of the case are vague enough to allow for some gray areas. Did anyone (such as A?) do his turns for not keeping clear? Why did B hit A? Did B do any turns for having contact with another boat? Was there damage? Was it severe (in 20 knots of wind, maybe it was.) Proper course is another gray area. What might be the proper course for one vessel could be a luffing impossibility for another. Was there a protest? What did the PC decide? With such a big bucket of worms as this thread brings up, you may want to take up fishing instead.
paulk is offline
Old 08-08-2007
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[U][I]B is changing course and must under 16 allow A room to keep clear by acting promptly in a seamanlike manner. [U][I] agreed
jboatjack is offline

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