One of my regular readers (Thanks Mike B) send me an E-mail with a case stated by Umpire Jose Ignasio Cantero. He has noticed an interesting difference of interpretation of what a boat can do with Mark-Room:
Mail from Jose:
As usual, any time new rules come into practice, some interpretation is needed, but I think that I am either getting too old, or things are getting more complicated.
For the purpose of Mark-Room and leeward mark tactical rounding for an inside no right of way boat, it seems that there are currently two ways of thinking, the English interpretation and the American one. Basically, the Americans think that tactical leeward mark rounding (sail-wide-come-out-close) is something that the inside no-right-of-way-boat cannot do, whereas the Brits´ opinion is totally the opposite, and so I am including two pdf files taken from two sailing magazines, Sailing World from US (Dick Rose) and Yachting World from UK (John Doerr).
(MarkRoomUS.pdf & MarkRoomUK.pdf)
You may find the different criteria not only in these magazines, but same situation on two newly published rules books: "Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-2012" By Dave Perry/ Brad Dellenbaugh. American Way of Thinking ( TACTICAL ROUNDING NOT ALLOWED)
"The Rules in Practice 2009-2012" By Bryan Willis. English way of thinking. (YES TO TACTICAL ROUNDING).
We can also visit the following blog-page, http://www.ukhalsey.com/blog/ where we have two authors ( Butch Ulmer & Rob Overton ) commenting Rule 18, and again same situation. We are having a International Team Racing Regatta in Las Palmas, from Jan 29th till 31st, so what criteria shall we umpires apply?
And also, for IU with higher knowledge in English Grammar, can you explain to me the real meaning of the following phrases, used in the definition of Mark Room:
TO the mark & AT the mark?
"Mark-Room Room for a boat to sail to the mark, and then room to sail her proper course while at the mark"
How do we understand "to sail TO the mark" (in the ZONE)?
If we are in the middle of the down wind leg, the words TO THE MARK are easy to understand, (in example, rule 17 issues like "luffing rights" vs "proper course TO the mark"), but if we apply this meaning for the word TO while at the zone, we will never be able to do a tactical rounding on the leeward mark (sail initially wide, come out close). Should we consider that we are AT the mark whenever we are in the zone, then leeward mark tactical rounding would always be possible.
Thanks for your time, keep waiting for your comments
Jose Ignacio Cantero
Tactical Mark Rounding
I cannot only comment for myself on this topic.
I had worked on the assumption there had not been a “Game Change” and that a Right of Way boat could do a tactical rounding and one just entitled to “Mark Room” could not. I was surprised to see a contrary view in the Yachting World magazine.
I have looked of the comments of Rob Overton and believe he was on the sub - committee that wrote the rules so he should have an idea of what was intended. I believe that sailing to the mark is exactly that, the ability to put your boat adjacent to the mark by sailing in the space needed to do that in the existing conditions when manoeuvring in a seamanlike way. When “AT” or adjacent to the mark you can then sail a proper course. There is no precedent for saying “AT” means adjacent but it must somewhere near. It also gives a very good concept to work from.
This will only ever be an idea until there is an ISAF Q&A.
What else could lead you to this conclusion?
Well if the keep clear boat was to be allowed to do a tactical rounding this could easily have been provided for by the rule makes. If the Rule said “Room for a boat to sail her proper course to and at the mark” it would be clear. As this was not chosen we can only assume a different result was intended.
The problem as I see it was with the interface with RRS16. Under the old rules, RRS 16 did not apply to a ROW boat at a mark 18.2.d. The new rules do not give a boat ROW as the old rules did so any exoneration in the new rules to a just a ROW boat would not work.
We thus get the concept, of the proper course at the mark, when you would expect the additional manoeuvring to round the mark, to be exonerated for all entitled to “mark room”.
It should be noted that while the ROW boat approaches a mark or sails “TO” it RRS 16 provides protection to the other boat as that boat is given room to keep clear. If the ROW boat thus manoeuvres to do it’s tactical rounding there is protection for the Keep Clear other boat.
Now what would the position be if we allowed the boat only entitled to “Mark Room” to make a tactical rounding? There would be a time when she would move in the direction of the ROW boat without any of the protection RRS 16 gives in the other circumstance. This would not be sensible and confirms the give way boat cannot make a tactical rounding as most of the authors agree.
I hope this assists.
I agree with Mike. There should be no game change, so only a ROW inside boat can do a tactical rounding. With the difference in the definition for two separate parts (TO and AT) within the zone, the rule makers intended that there was a separation, as there was in the 'old' rules.
You can do a tactical "swing wide-cut close" rounding when you have mark-room AND right of way, but not if you have mark-room as a keep clear boat.
You can give your opinion by voting in the poll (front page, right hand top of the side bar) and/or by writing a comment on this post.