Monday, May 25, 2009

At the starting signal both Yellow and Blue are over early, and it is an I flag start (Rule 30.1 is in play). At about 4 boat lengths Blue gybes and Yellow tacks back toward the pin end of the starting Line. When Blue reaches the Zone at position 5 Yellow is overlapped inside and to windward of Blue. At position 6 Yellow hails for "mark-room" and Blue hails "no room". At position 7 Yellow's boom hits Blue and Yellow hits the mark. Yellow files a valid protest against Blue and there is no damage or injury as a result of the contact.

What rules apply and how do you decide this case?

Intended Answer:

Rules that Apply - Rule 11 windward keep clear, Rule 14 avoid contact, Rule 31 touching a mark
Rules that don't apply at a starting mark when approaching it to start - Section C (rules 18, 19 & 20). See the preamble to Section C of the rules.

Both boats were circling back to start and were approaching the starting mark to start. Therefore, Rule 18 does not apply to the mark, Yellow is not entitled to mark-room and must keep clear of Blue by Rule 11 (windward boat keep clear). Blue does not change course so Rule 16 does not come into play. Yellow also breaks Rule 31 by hitting the mark, and both Break Rule 14 for not avoiding contact.

DSQ Yellow for breaking Rules, 11, 31 and 14. Blue is not penalized for breaking Rule 14 by Rule 14(b) because there is no damage or injury.

As for exonerating Yellow for breaking Rule 31 for being compelled to hit the mark by Blues breach of Rule 14. I don't see this as Dick does. Yellow would have missed the mark if she had gone on the wrong side and stayed clear of Blue, so it does not look to me that she was compelled to hit the mark by any action of Blue. I do agree that Blue might have been better off avoiding the contact and then protesting, because if there was damage she would be DSQ also.

The question of how many circles one must do for braking more than one Rule. The guideline by US sailing is that it is one penalty per incident regardless on the number of rules broken if breaking the other rules was an inevitable consequence from the incident. I've attached the US Sailing Appeal 65 that addresses this and it explains the principal far better than I can. I find no similar ISAF Case so I do not know how this is defined in other jurisdictions.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Starting Quiz

Using the diagram above, and assuming none of the Rule 30 penalties apply, answer the following:

1. Assuming that the starting guns sounds when Yellow, Blue and Green are at position 1, which boat(s) have started properly?

2. Answer the same question if the starting gun sounds when all three boats are at position 2.

The intended answers are:
1. All three boats meet the definition of starting, however, blue does not sail the course as required in Rule 28.1 Sailing The Course. Blue's string when pulled taught does not pass on the required side of the starting mark after she starts. Green's string loops around the starting mark and it does pass it on the required side as well as the wrong side, but there is no restriction on the string passing on the wrong side as long as it also passes on the correct side. I've attached Case 90 that explains it better than I can. Yellow of course starts properly and complies with Rule 28.1

2. If the gun sounds at position 2 for all three boats only Yellow will meet the definition of Starting. Both Blue and Green fail to be on the pre-start side of the line at or after the starting signal and cross the starting line. Yellow is on the pre-start side after the starting signal and crosses the line so Yellow is the only one that starts if the gun sounds at position 2.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

BSR Protest 23 vs. 14

Below is the decision from the protest committee for the protest in race 3 of the Black Star Regatta for your information.

Facts Found:
1. Bow #14 (Yellow) rounded the windward mark clear ahead of Bow #23 (Blue).
2. #23 overtook #14 between the windward and offset mark and became overlapped to leeward of #14.
3. As #14 rounded the offset mark there was no room between #14 and the offset mark for #23 to pass the mark.
4. #23 hit the offset mark and did not take a penalty.

Rules that apply: 11, 12, 18, 31 and 44

1. There is reasonable doubt that #23 established an overlap before #14 reached the zone. Therefore by Rule 18.2 (d) it is presumed that she did not.
2. #23, clear astern when #14 reached the zone, did not give #14 mark-room to sail her proper course at the mark. #23 broke rule 18.2(b).
3. #23 hit the offset mark and broke Rule 31 but did not exonerate herself as allowed by Rule 44.
4. As #14 rounds the offset mark to her proper course, as windward boat she did not keep clear of #23 and broke Rule 11.

By Rule 64.1(a) #23 is DSQ from Race 3 of the Black Star Regatta for breaking Rules 18.2(b) and 31. #14 is exonerated for breaking Rule 11 by Rule 18.5(b).