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  #31  
Old 08-06-2012
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Re: racing rules question narrow channel

tempest, smackdaddy I think you are right. gentle pressure might be worth ago before deciding to cancel my membership.

Funnily enough he just sent me an email to apologize for pushing my boat into the reeds but still thinks I was wrong for tacking in the middle of the channel.
Now to apply gentle pressure as I feel I have nothing to lose. I'm sending him the link you posted to the ruling from november 2011. He's a national sail referee. at least thats what he tells everyone.

This gentle pressure applied using the findings of ISAF will hopefully make him think twice next time before assuming he knows the rules better than anyone. Anything to dilute his cynical sailing tactics, before I really resign from the club!
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  #32  
Old 08-06-2012
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Re: racing rules question narrow channel

Bobby, I have a couple of questions if you don’t mind? Where are you located? (I’m suspecting not in the USA?) What was the type of boat you and the other guy were sailing on? (model and length please) How wide was the channel? (in boat lengths) And how long was it (how many tacks to pass through it) And, were the weed patches labeled as obstructions?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t there and the protest committee had access to all the facts, not me. It sounds like you tacked over to the weeds in order to avoid ducking that other boat as well as at least one other? I’m inclined to agree with the findings of the committee. After you tacked, how much time passed before you were in the weeds? I’m assuming that the other boat was on the verge of tacking as he too, was only seconds before the weeds himself. Ordinarily, weeds wouldn’t constitute and obstruction. It has been a long time since I read Case 33, but wasn’t that situation where the two boats were beam reaching on a lee shore of a river?

If you feel you are absolutely in the right, you can always appeal the case and try to win it that way. I’m inclined to trust the judgment of the more experienced sailors on the scene. The big thing you should take away from all of this is you need to learn how to duck! If you were able to duck, you would have “owned” all the other boats on your next tack. Work on your tactics and boat handling skills.
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Re: racing rules question narrow channel

Bobby,

I'd hold off on sending him case 33, see George's post above. I'd simply accept his apology graciously and as George says.. improve your tactics, get better! you were, after all, leading at the time you tacked. And as Smack says..go out and win.

When you're the first boat over the line consistently, that will be all the statement you need.
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  #34  
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Re: racing rules question narrow channel

Hi George,

Thanks for the time in replying. Ive added a gif of the exact spot on google earth. the reeds cant be seen on he photo so Ive pretended tat the land was the reed. I was in the red boat and the other guy in the blue boat. the white dots are the course I wouldve taen had I decided on falling away after seeing that I wasnt going to make it in front of the starboard tack boat

Where are you located?
Holland

- What was the type of boat you and the other guy were sailing on?
6.5m open boat called a polyvalk like this one http://www.eilandvanmaurik.nl/cmslib...valk_actie.jpg

- How wide was the channel?
tricky to say because it was between the reeds at the land (to port) and reeds at an island to starboard), the contours of both vary but roughly follow the picture. What also made falling away tricky was I couldnt see the contours of the reed island behind his sail. However assume abut 4 or 5 boat lengths(in boat lengths) where we crossed paths.

- And how long was it (how many tacks to pass through it)
it took 3 tacks for both of us to pass through it completely.

-And, were the weed patches labeled as obstructions? It is acceped they are obstructions because they signify shallow water - keels have been damaged by people who ignore the reeds.

-Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t there and the protest committee had access to all the facts, not me. It sounds like you tacked over to the weeds in order to avoid ducking that other boat as well as at least one other?

No just me and him at the time. I avoided ducking because I was ahead after my first tack in the channel,ducking wouldve brought me to the reedsisland ti tarboard alot quicker than tacking and I wouldnt have been sure I could've made the tack as the contour of the reeds to starboard couldnt been seen as they were behind his sail, but I knew the amount of room reduced cause that was the narrowest point of the channel.

- I’m inclined to agree with the findings of the committee. After you tacked, how much time passed before you were in the weeds?

about 1 minute bf 1 or 2. we were traveling at very very low speed, the boats are heavy.

-I’m assuming that the other boat was on the verge of tacking as he too, was only seconds before the weeds himself.

No when I tacked he wasnt in the middle of the channel, he was approaching and behind me (but to my windward after I tacked under him)


-Ordinarily, weeds wouldn’t constitute and obstruction. It has been a long time since I read Case 33, but wasn’t that situation where the two boats were beam reaching on a lee shore of a river?

sorry, I dont know.

-If you feel you are absolutely in the right, you can always appeal the case and try to win it that way. I’m inclined to trust the judgment of the more experienced sailors on the scene.

well I would too except they are in the same team and frequently push the rules in their favour.

-The big thing you should take away from all of this is you need to learn how to duck! If you were able to duck, you would have “owned” all the other boats on your next tack. Work on your tactics and boat handling skills.

If I'd have ducked I would've immediately have had to tack after he passed see dots on image) as I wouldve been a few seconds from sailing into the reeds island to starboard. The contours changed and the channel gets to its narrowest point. Exactly how close it was impossible to tell because the island was behind his sail. Like I said I was ahead on port tack by about 5m and the boats are 6.5m so I had to give way to his starboard tack. Tacking in front and under is the standard option in competition as ducking from such a lead would require giving up windward territory and more time to execute the ducking perfectly, (which is not possible when sailing singlehanded as I was). after my first tack I didnt really have alot of time left to decide what to do even though we were travelling at 1 knot towards each other( if that!!).
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Old 08-07-2012
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Re: racing rules question narrow channel

the scale on the googe maps picture I posted actually shows that the narrowest point was 100 metres between isalnd and headland (approximately where I tacked). However with the reeds growing before the island and overhanging trees the sailable width is pobably half that (that said it mustve been 5 boats lengths wide easily). with regards to the contour of the island, it points in from the point the blue boat tacked, narrowing the navigable area. This narrowing to my starboard, hidden behind his sail, was not something anyone would want to fall away into. But like I said I couldnt see the exact contour of the reeds, I just knew there would be less space. And of course tacking before and under a boat is the usual thing to do when ahead but must give way. Had I not been in fron, I wuld certainly have dipped as I would've had room and would been able to see oncoming island and reeds clearly, and I wouldnt have been sailing higher in the channel. Yet falling away from the lead poition would've forced me to sail towards an unsighted island and consequently forced me into an immediate tack away from the reeds. Had I dipped the blue boat and tacked to avoid the island reeds, blue would've passed me later on board tack and not have had to give way. This is why I believe blue was so furious that I didnt dip. He knew his gain was less than he had wanted, a major falling away on my part would've ensured he would not have been in a position to give way to me after his following tack onto port tack. I knew this too. Blue was furious enough to immediatey play judge hury and executioner when I requested room as we approached the land reeds to port (blue said before the committe later: "you were not allowed to tack, it was a narrow channel, I did not have to give you room, you had to fall away"). However His sketch that my boat was next to the reeds and that I tacked into the reeds, did not match with reality, as confirmed by the witness. I was in the middle of the channel and did not tack into the reeds. This was also confirmed by the simple facts that I had completed the tack and accelarated to his boat speed before requesting room (to get up to speed takes at least a couple of boat lengths on these boats).

I realise this is my side of the story . Blue didnt say much in front of the committee except this: in his opinion I tacked into the reeds, was not in the middle of the channel and therefore should've fallen away. Despite the commitee saying blues sketch was incorrect, that I was in the middle of the channel and did not tack into reeds, the committe judged that I shouldve fallen away towards the reeds to starboard and that blue should not have pushed my boat.

Hope this helps a definitive interpretation of the sailing rules for this situation. Essentially I cant believe the racing rules force me to fall away when falling away wasnt the only option and certainly not the safest option at the time.

Last edited by bobbylockes; 08-07-2012 at 07:26 AM.
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  #36  
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Re: racing rules question narrow channel

I'm watching the match races at the olympics and its incredible. Based on the way these competitors tack every 30 seconds and the way they give room, I definitely did not break any rule by tacking under him. Tacking below and in front is the bread and butter of these match race. Following the behaviour of the olympiads he would've immediately tacked away (but understand why he didn't because he would've had to put in another quick tack and lost too much ground. )

I had to give way which I did and he had to give room when I ran out of water. It's that simple. That he then pushed my boat into the reeds is just a straight forward DSQ. How on earth can the rules be bent to justify that I was wrong to give way by tacking under him in the middle of the channel is beyond me. It's written in black and white. Thats what I thought at the time of tacking. It's a concern that the rules can be interpreted in such a way that a right becomes a wrong. That is proof that the racing rules are not strong enough.

George, much appreciate interest, comments and opinions!

Last edited by bobbylockes; 08-07-2012 at 01:56 PM.
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  #37  
Old 08-07-2012
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Re: racing rules question narrow channel

Bobby, thank you for your additional information and insights. You certainly have a nice looking boat. You say that it has a keel? I would have thought that most of the boats in the Netherlands would be of centerboard design. In the USA, the roughly equivalent boat would be the Ensign class which is 19 feet long, open cockpit, jib and mainsail but with a full keel. Now, remember that I am just offering comments and what we in the USA like to call “food for thought”. You were there, not I. I’m inclined to disagree with the notion that you were “leading” when you first tacked to starboard. If you were leading, you would have passed safely ahead of the blue boat. At best you were “tied” and of course, the tie goes to the boat on starboard tack. Another way of looking at it was when you were both on the same tack, you would have had to pass through the blue boat to get to the finish line.

Out here in San Francisco Bay, the sailing instructions for each race call out the restricted areas and note the obstructions. In those areas boats are obligated to tack away and give you room. Our restricted areas tend to be rock jetties and It is up to your local YRA to identify weeds as an obstruction. The only analogy I can think of out here are patches of kelp seaweed and I know that racers are not obligated to give room for those. Research the rule book as well as the published cases. They will tell you if the blue boat had to give you room or not. It has been a long time since I did any race management so my memory of the specific rule or nuance is not clear.

If you feel strongly that you were still wronged, you may appeal to your local YRA and then on to your national organization. In the USA, you need pay money up front to do this and you forfeit the money if you lose the appeal. If the blue boat skipper or race committee are acting in an unsportsmanlike manner, you can report them. Out here if an experienced skipper calls “starboard” when he is actually on “port”, he can be banned from racing for up to a year. I can only assume that the penalty for a corrupt race committee is much worse. I would be very careful, because if you were wrong in your accusation, you may find racing very difficult for you in the future.

I still think that your best tactic was to duck the blue boat or duck and immediately tack over to starboard. As I said earlier, I believe that you were actually behind the blue boat and staying on opposite tacks was your best opportunity to pass him. Being leeward of him on the same tack took away all of your options for passing (assuming for a moment that the island wasn’t there). Don’t tack into an overlap, and if you do, make sure that there is enough separation to tack underneath him in order to break the overlap. A well executed duck requires less effort than tacking and with practice, take up far less room than what you showed in your graphic. I was also wonder if you could have sailed up the backside of the “reed island” and tacked through the little channel on the left? Being short handed, this would have been fewer tacks in total and you would have kept your boat speed up.

I agree, the blue boat skipper should have acted more courteously. But he is trying to reach out to you now and I think that you have an opportunity to talk to him. This would be a good time to discuss the rules and find out how he understands them and perhaps you can learn something that you can use in the future. And like Smackdaddy said: “Keep racing”. Your best revenge is beating him so go out, get some regular crew to help you and get back into the fray! I look forward to your next report when you tell us how you pulled off your next victory!
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  #38  
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Re: racing rules question narrow channel

Hi George,

Thanks for your input.

I think I can summize succinctly: The "sailnet racing commitee of this thread" could not reach a conclusion based on the facts presented.

Assuming that the members of sailnet who read this thread in the racing forum are average sailors with average racing experience we may conclude that the racing rules fall short of their audience and do not serve the sport of sailing competition.

I don't know of other sports where average amateur players of the sport cannot reach a conclusive verdict on a ruling. Racing rules have alot in common with the rules of the 21st century financial industry ie anything goes as long as you can get away with it.

This is why people like the national sailing referee on the blue boat push the rules as far as they think they can get away with . That pushing, if left unchecked, is potentially very dangerous. Therefore the rules themselves, due to their ambiguity and subjective nature, must take responsibility for the development of dangerous situations. After all, what one man might consider dangerous another will consider fun.

Last edited by bobbylockes; 08-07-2012 at 07:54 PM.
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Re: racing rules question narrow channel

-I still think that your best tactic was to duck the blue boat or duck and immediately tack over to starboard.

believe me if you were on the boat at the time you and could not see where the reeds where lying because his sail and boat was in the way you wouldve done what the I and the olympiad match racers do, tack below and ahead of the right of way vessel and go for giving him foul wind (upwind foulwind) and also gaining luffing rights.

-As I said earlier, I believe that you were actually behind the blue boat and staying on opposite tacks was your best opportunity to pass him.

I wasn' t behind, but I had to give way. Watch the olympic match racing and you'll see that the port tack vessel that tacks under and ahead of the starboard tack vessel is not only considered ahead but is ahead, with clean wind and luffing rights.


- Being leeward of him on the same tack took away all of your options for passing (assuming for a moment that the island wasn’t there).

Incorrect. a leeward boat ahead yet overlapped by a windward boat has luffing rights and will successfully use them if the leeward boat maintains his clean wind. The windward boat suffers from foul wind from the leeward boat that is ahead yet overlapped, consequently the best opton for the windward boat is to tack immediately. Again, watch the olympic match races and you'll see what I mean.

-Don’t tack into an overlap, and if you do, make sure that there is enough separation to tack underneath him in order to break the overlap.

Under the current rules an overlap exists when the bow of a boat is passed the stern of the other boat. This was the case here, again check out the olympic match races for boats tacking under the right of way boat. leeward boat has got luffing rights that can break the overlap and if the leeward boat is ahead, it also generates upwind foul wind for the windward boat.


- A well executed duck requires less effort than tacking and with practice, take up far less room than what you showed in your graphic.

had I wanted to duck successfully I wouldve had to have decided immediately after my first tack in the channel and even before he;d completed his tack. As I was clear ahead before my first tack in the channel I got up to speed before eyeing up whether or not I would have to give way. Had I assumed I'd have to give way immediately after the tack and assumed incorrectly, I wouldve felt an idiot because one rule in sailing I live by is "never assume". And also, if you are forced to assume, chose the option with the least number of assumptions which n this case was tacking in the middle of the channel.

- I was also wonder if you could have sailed up the backside of the “reed island” and tacked through the little channel on the left?

I agree but unfortunately there is another island windward and perpenducular to the reed island on the picture. So not only would you sail into a wind shadow but you'd also have to fall away to get round it. The other benefit of sailing the narrow channel is that the first mark comes clearly into view. The mark is always floating round behind those islands somewhere and sailors frequently overshoot the mark. The teams who chose not to go through the channel last fridat, over-sailed the upwind mark and had to fall off to it, so the race was quickly split into 2 fleets.

It is the islands, reeds and outcrops of land that make racing on this lake so much fun!

Racing in san franscico sounds like alot of fun. I read somewhere there is a fearsom tide on those waters.
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Old 08-09-2012
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Re: racing rules question narrow channel

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbylockes View Post
I think I can summize succinctly: The "sailnet racing commitee of this thread" could not reach a conclusion based on the facts presented.


Quote:
Assuming that the members of sailnet who read this thread in the racing forum are average sailors with average racing experience we may conclude that the racing rules fall short of their audience and do not serve the sport of sailing competition.
That is not a reasonable assumption. There are some average sailors with average racing experience, but there are also some outstanding racing sailors here who have been racing 40 years or more, serving on race committees, studying the rules, writing published articles, and teaching others. Racers with that much experience are smart enough to know that there are two sides to every story, and we have only heard your side.

Quote:
I don't know of other sports where average amateur players of the sport cannot reach a conclusive verdict on a ruling. Racing rules have alot in common with the rules of the 21st century financial industry ie anything goes as long as you can get away with it.
Are you serious? Even the most knowledgeable baseball afficionados can differ vehemently on whether any given pitch is in the strike zone, and it is easy to disagree with the exact placement of a football at the end of a down, even though a game can turn on that placement being established an inch either way.

Speaking as one who spent a career writing and rewriting laws, I can tell you that you can't solve every problem or right every wrong by writing a new law. You can't write a law or a rule so clearly that it cannot be perverted by someone who is willing to lie to circumvent it. In such case, the problem is not with the rule itself. The problem is with the integrity of the individual. The rules already contemplate that racers are intended to police themselves. That requires honor and integrity. Some folks have it and some do not. One of the greatest dangers with any rule is that someone might try to tinker with it who doesn't understand it. The racing rules have evolved through the efforts of not just average racers, but through the combined efforts of the smartest, most experienced racers in the world. IMO, the rules are not insufficiently clear in this case. What is insufficiently clear are the facts. Fair-minded people want to hear the explanations of both sides, and we haven't heard his side, except as filtered through you.

Based solely on what you told us, it appears that there's nothing wrong with the rules. The problem arose from a person who behaved badly and without integrity. It might have been exacerbated by a protest committee that was intimidated by the prospect of being haranged, demeaned and bullied by the same person. That isn't a problem that can be fixed by re-writing the rules. Diplomacy is needed to correct the problem over the long run, and you have received some good diplomatic advice already.

If you want to win a competition, or a battle, you have to be smart. Your persistence in blaming the rules and trying to change them isn't your route to victory.
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