Sunday, 11 January 2009

Sailing Rules!

I don't know who he is. Bob is a very common name. Must be from the US of A if the links are any clue. And he's a judge doing rule 42 stuff on the water.
Anyway, a new rules blog with a posting about rule 18 and markroom: Inside, Outside, Upside Down. Go and have a look.

My take on the rules-question:
In position 1 Yellow not only has to give mark-room, but is also keep clear boat. (RRS 18.2(b) & 10)
Yellow is not keeping clear in position 2, particularly if Blue has to luff to avoid her. (RRS 10)
Although the overlap was broken and a new overlap established, in position 3 Yellow still has to give mark-room AND keep clear, now under rule 11. (RRS 11 and 18.2(c))
And finally in position 4 Yellow is not entitled to mark-room, she's not keeping clear and she's preventing Blue sailing her proper course round the mark. (RRS 18.2(b), 11 & definition of Mark-room)

Yellow DSQ

I do wish Bob all the best with his new blog. I've placed a link on my list.
09:11 hours:
I've just tried to give Bob a heads up about this post by trying to comment on his post; seems to be restricted to team-members only.....



  1. To answer Bob's question. If there was an infringement of rule 10 at posn 1, yellow had the usual choice of actions to avoid it.

    Yellow's best way of avoiding the problem at the mark was not to start from position 1. Once she became overlapped, inside, give way boat, her escape was to go towards the wrong side of the mark and tack.


  2. Yup. Agree with Jos and Wag.

    Y has put herself into a tactically bad position: above the port tack layline on port coming into a bottom mark in traffic.

    Y would have done better to have sailed hotter a little before position 1, crossed B (ahead or astern), gybed and approached the zone on stbd, inside and leeward.

    This is not a new rules issue: under the 2005 rules, leaving aside the rule 10 breach, Y would still have been keep clear boat, inside, with no entitlement to room.


  3. I have a difference of opinion. Definition of Mark-Room states: Room to sail TO the mark... By luffing and taking Yellows stern, she was sailing AWAY from the mark. Blues choice to sail away from the mark does not entitle her to mark-room.

  4. Interesting point. I think Blue's luff was to avoid a collision so it should not disadvantage her. Whilst not sailing straight at the mark, blue was on a proper course towards it.

    I dont think the definition of mark room can be used to turn rule 18 on or off. 18.1 says when the rule applies. Blue was right of way boat and entitled to sail her starboard tack course because of that. Irrespective of whether or not she was entitled to room when sailing to the mark, she was entitled to room when she reached it. Which is when yellow had a problem.


  5. Anonymous said:
    I have a difference of opinion. Definition of Mark-Room states: Room to sail TO the mark... By luffing and taking Yellows stern, she was sailing AWAY from the mark. Blues choice to sail away from the mark does not entitle her to mark-room.

    This raises a couple of interesting issues.

    If B was protesting here, she would doubtless say that the hot angle to the hot port tack layline was her proper course to the mark and her mark-room entitlement to room to sail to the mark means room to sail her proper course to the mark.

    I don't think this is right. If the rules drafters had meant to create an entitlement for a boat to sail its proper course to a mark, they would have defined mark-room as room for a boat to sail her proper course to and at the mark. This they didn't do. So, @2 I agree with Anon that B is not sailing to the mark, and that Y is not failing to give B mark-room (Note, by the way, that just because B is not sailing 'to the mark', she does not lose an entitlement to mark-room: she just doesn't need).

    However, @2, as Jos said, Y is simply failing to keep clear and breaks rule 10.

    @3 the question of whether or not Y fails to give B room to sail to the mark is a little more difficult. I think any boat that gets between a boat entitled to mark-room and the mark (remembering that there can't be more than 3 boat lengths of space to play with), is more likely than not to be failing to give mark-room. Of course the boat required to give mark-room can always try the 'couldn't hit me if he tried' defence, but that just plays out as it does in any other room situation.

    In this case, Y is clearly failing to give B room to sail to the mark because between @3 and @4, B has steered at lest half a boat length below Y to avoid contact.

    @4, of course, Y is not failing to give B room to sail B's proper course at the mark.


  6. At 1 and 2 this is a rule 10 port starboard so I agree in the situation drawn Yellow is DSQ.

    But let us assume Yellow (P) can cleanly cross in front of Blue (S) and enters the zone. Blue can choose to jibe inside Yellow or cross behind. Under the new rules 16 still applies and does not turn off. When Blue jibes she has to give Yellow room to keep clear. If Blue Jibes inside, 18.2 (b) applies and outside Yellow must give inside Blue Mark-Room, but when Blue jibes outside, it’s possible Yellow can’t keep clear, especially if there are other boats ahead exiting the mark. I can easily imagine Blue being a Melges 24 and Yellow a larger slower Racer Cruiser. In this case I would rule no foul: Yellow rounds inside, Blue rounds outside, and Blue gave Yellow room and opportunity to keep clear.

    This scenario would be very dependent on the types of boats, their speed, and ability to maneuver in the existing conditions.


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