Can't figure out ROW from Racing Rules of Sailing - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 09-09-2008 Thread Starter
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Can't figure out ROW from Racing Rules of Sailing

My green crew and I sailed our first regatta on Labour Day weekend and had fun, but did get yelled at a couple times on the course (I figure that means we must have been doing something right...)

One situation came up though that I can't seem to figure out from the Racing Rules of Sailing.

Boat A is on a downwind leg, spinny flying and the mainsail on the port side (i.e. Boat A is on a Starboard tack). Boat A is sailing her "proper course" directly at the downwind mark in a group of boats from her PHRF fleet.

Boat B is in a faster PHRF fleet and already around the downwind mark, now beating back upwind toward Boat A (and the others) on a close-hauled Starboard tack.

Crew from Boat B starts yelling "Starboard". Crew from Boat A yells back "Starboard!". The boats do end up safely passing one another with a boat length to spare, but with some colourful exchanges between crews.

Who should give way to who? The Racing Rules only seem cover boats on the same tack going in relatively the same direction. But the leeward boat is supposed to keep clear of the windward boat, correct?

In this case, does Boat A as the "windward" boat have RoW? Or is this similar to a starting sequence situation where the leeward boat can force the windward boat "up" across the line (in this case Boat A is screwed being less maneuverable with the spinnaker up)
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post #2 of 15 Old 09-09-2008
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Both on starboard, leeward boat has rights. Spin crew is screwed. However, if its heavy wind, leave a touch more room around the spin boat if she's rockin. Cutting it close and having them round up into you isn't the fastest way to get to the mark. lol
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post #3 of 15 Old 09-09-2008
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my opinion:
both boats on the same tack, leeward boat has RoW, spinnaker has nothing to do with it.

Starboard over port
Leeward over windward

I sail.
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post #4 of 15 Old 09-09-2008
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Boat B would have ROW. This is a situation where both are on Starboard, one off wind and one beating. The Leeward boat then has the rights. This is the one situation where Windward/Leeward rules apply on opposite courses. The admiralty rules would also likely apply because if you draw it out, Boat A is likely coming from Boat B's starboard side, unless it was a standard spinnaker and Boat A was truly running DDW. If it was an Assym, for Boat A to claim Starboard, he'd have to be crossing from Boat B's Starboard bow to Port.

To the OP, were the boats on reciprocal courses or was there a crossing situation?
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post #5 of 15 Old 09-09-2008 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieCobra View Post
To the OP, were the boats on reciprocal courses or was there a crossing situation?
I'm not sure I understand the question exactly, but both boats (both PHRF fleets) were sailing the same windward/leeward course. The course was not supposed to "cross", but Boat B could take whatever course it wanted to get back to the upwind mark, IMO.

Thanks for the clarity guys. I guess the Section A, Rules 11&12 just got me confused as it didn't seem like there was an "overlap", and depending on which way you look at it, either boat could be considered "clear astern" of the other.
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post #6 of 15 Old 09-09-2008
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Originally Posted by DoomDahDoomDoom View Post
I guess the Section A, Rules 11&12 just got me confused as it didn't seem like there was an "overlap", and depending on which way you look at it, either boat could be considered "clear astern" of the other.
In this instance the rules concerning overlaps, etc do not apply (those kick in at mark roundings and when boats heading the same direction are passing/overtaking). It was strictly a windward/leeward question. Boat B was to leeward and had rights. This is a VERY common crossing situation on a windward/leeward race course, so get used to it.

What might have caused confusion was the leeward boat shouting "starboard" at you. They should have shouted "leeward boat" since you were both on the same tack.


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post #7 of 15 Old 09-09-2008
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First of all, huge kudos to you for turning to the rulebook. Keep that up and you'll be fine.

Your original post did have one glaring error. I'm going to assume it's a typo when you said you thought windward had rights over leeward, you got that backwards.

The entire rulebook is just layers and layers of refinements of the 3 basic rules: Starboard has rights over Port, leeward has rights over windward, at roundings inside has rights over outside. Obey these three rules and don't barge at the start and everything will be fine.

Oh yea, as someone else stated, in your example the boat that was closehauled should have hailed "Leeward", not "Starboard".
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post #8 of 15 Old 09-09-2008
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Originally Posted by ne57301 View Post
First of all, huge kudos to you for turning to the rulebook. Keep that up and you'll be fine.

Your original post did have one glaring error. I'm going to assume it's a typo when you said you thought windward had rights over leeward, you got that backwards.

The entire rulebook is just layers and layers of refinements of the 3 basic rules: Starboard has rights over Port, leeward has rights over windward, at roundings inside has rights over outside. Obey these three rules and don't barge at the start and everything will be fine.

Oh yea, as someone else stated, in your example the boat that was closehauled should have hailed "Leeward", not "Starboard".
Yep DON'T BARGE. We had an interesting incident between two J boats last week and they actually collided and got tangled up pretty bad. I always hate that sound of fiberglass and pushpits. Funny thing is we were the leeward boat but crossing well away from the committee boat and then three other boats up wind of us tried to barge the start. We peeled off early as J sailors are cowboys, then an S2 peeled of but the windward J hit the committee boat and then the other J boat and got tangled..

Barging results in smashed fiberglass and bent stanchions!

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post #9 of 15 Old 09-15-2008
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Not sure if this is a discrepancy as nobody has mentioned it yet (also, don't have rule book to hand but I'm sure of this thanks to a protest won ) but you can't call for water on a windward mark based purely on overlap. Port and starboard also apply and take precedence.

So:
Overtaking boat keep clear
Windward boat keep clear
Port gives way to starboard
Overlap comes second to starboard rule at weather mark
All boats MUST give other boats ROOM AND OPPORTUNITY to keep clear and obey the rules - that means you can't abuse the rules to make competitors do a penalty.

These rules also apply on a start line. Don't get yourself trapped as the most windward boat with several others screaming "UP UP" at you when the black flag is flying and you've ten seconds to go!
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post #10 of 15 Old 09-15-2008
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If you were ultimately clear by a boat length, what was all the yelling about? Is that not normal spacing when racing (and the reason I don't race like that)?

Can someone post a link to a clear definition of barging, and in particular how it relates to a numbered rule?
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