Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fun Scenario 1

Yellow and Blue sailing dead down wind approximately ¾ boat lengths apart. Yellow’s helmsmen looked away for a moment at position 3 and blue gybed without altering course causing their booms to touch. There was no damage or injury.

Who should be DSQ if no penalties are taken?

Intended Answer:

Like it or not Yellow is DSQ for rule 10 in this case.

Unlike tacking (rule 13) there is no rule that says that you must keep clear while gybing. Rule 15 does not apply in this case because Blue is ROW at both position 2 and position 3. She is not aquiring ROW by gybing. Rule 16 does not apply because Blue does not change course. However, I would argue that even if Blue changes course away from Yellow as she gybes she will not break rule 16 if thier booms touch because the course change would not have caused the contact or prevented Yellow from keeping clear. In fact, she would prove more difinitively that Yellow was not keeping clear since even though Blue was moving away from Yellow there was still contact.

The moral of the story here is that if you are Yellow you need to give more space between you and Blue and concern yourself with her boom should she gybe.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rule 19 Scenario 2

Yellow and Blue were sailing toward the finish and Yellow was sailing faster and overtaking Blue. At the zone Yellow was clear astern of Blue. At 2 lengths from the mark Yellow became overlapped with Blue and asked for room at the committee boat. Blue hailed protest and sailed on her course until just before she finished and turned up to give Yellow enough room so that her hull could clear the committee boat but Yellow’s boom hit the committee boat and she hailed protest.

I have posted the definitions on the side bar for your reference when looking at the scenarios.

I have to admit that I called this a rule 19 scenario to highlight that when an obstruction is a mark that rule 18 not rule 19 applies unless it is also a continuing obstruction. In this case the RC boat is not a continuing obstruction so 19 does not apply. I did catch one commenter on this, but most were not fooled.

The Intended answers are as follows:

1. At position 1 who has right of way? - Blue by rule 12

2. At position 1 who is entitled to mark-room? - Blue by rule 18.2(b)

3. At position 2 who has right of way? - Yellow by rule 11

4. At position 2 what rule(s) does Blue break and what rule(s) does Yellow break? - Blue Breaks no rule; Yellow breaks no rule. My reasoning here is that Blue is initially allowed room to keep clear by rule 15 so she is not breaking rule 11 at position 2 because she has not yet had time to react to Yellow gaining right of way, and Yellow is not so close at position 2 that Blue can't keep clear. We can disagree about when exactly when Yellow breaks 18.2(b), but my interpretation is that it will occur when Blue can no longer sail to the mark, and Blue has not yet altered course to avoid Yellow at position 2.

5. At position 3 what rule(s) does Blue break and what rule(s) does Yellow break? - Blue breaks rule 11 and Yellow breaks 18.2(b) and rule 31. Blue did not keep clear of Yellow at position 3 and Yellow did not give Blue mark-room.

6. Who should be DSQ, Yellow, Blue, or both? - Blue is exonerated for breaking rule 11 by 18.5(a) because of Yellow's failure to provide mark-room. Yellow is DSQ for breaking rule 18.2(b). She was compelled to hit the mark by Blue breaking rule 11 and can be exonerated for this by rule 64.1(c), but not for breaking rule 18.2(b)

On the subject of losing exoneration. I do not agree that it is lost when Blue finishes. It is clear that Blue breaks rule 11 because of Yellow's failure to give mark-room even after she finishes. Rule 18 does not have a specific time when it turns off and as long Blue needs mark-room she should be given it by Yellow. I am relying on Dick Rose's paper for this interpretation where he says (see the link on the side bar):

"When rule 18 ceases to apply: The old criterion for rule 18 ceasing to apply (when the boats ‘have passed’ the mark) has been deleted and not replaced. The new rule’s principal obligation, for one boat to give another mark-room, applies until it is no longer needed."

In this case mark-room is no longer needed when Blue clears the finish mark.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Rule 19 Scenario 1

We will now review at a few cases looking at how the new Rule 19 works.

Yellow, Blue and Green were sailing on a run with Yellow and Blue approximately a boat length apart. At position 1 Green is clear astern of both Yellow and Blue. At position 2 Green, sailing faster, obtains an overlap with both Yellow and Blue. When the overlap starts there is not adequate space for Green to pass between Yellow and Blue. After the boats travel approximately 2 hull lengths Yellow must alter course to keep clear of Green. At no time does either Green of Blue alter course.

1. At position 1, who has right of way Yellow or Green?
2. At position 2, who has right of way Green or Blue?
3. At position 3, what Rule(s) were broken by Green?
4. At position 3, what rule(s) were broken by Yellow?