Thursday, 22 January 2009


Some time ago I was send two pictures with Match Race situations by Luigi.

He stated in his mail: Two cases for your web site:
Wind from top of the page in both situation. MR, so mark must be left to starboard.

Situation 1:

Blue is protesting in position 4 by showing his Yankee flag.
Please indicate which (if any) penalty you would give as a umpire following this situation, using RRS 2009-2012 and why.

Situation 2:

Now Yellow is protesting in position 3.
Again, write which flag you would show and why.



  1. First, lets take the mark away. In situation 1, the luff is legal and yellow keeps clear. In situation 2, its plain port/starboard and blue is not keeping clear.

    Now, if we put the mark back, how do things change? In situation 1, rule 18 applies and yellow must give mark room to blue. At position 3 blue is at the mark and cannot sail her proper course. Penalise yellow.

    In situation 2, rule 18 does not apply. 18.1a. The other rule which might change the simple port/starboard is 23.2. Except when sailing her proper course, a boat shall not interfere with a boat taking a penalty or sailing on another leg. Yellow is not sailing her proper course but she is on the same leg as blue. Neither have rounded the mark. Penalise blue.


  2. Situation 1

    @1 B right, Clear Ahead, Zone Clear, Have mark-room

    Y Agree, keeping clear

    @2 B right, Leeward, have mark-room, will lose mark-room when I pass HTW

    Y Agree, keeping clear

    @3 B right, Leeward, have mark-room, will lose mark-room when I pass HTW,

    Y Agree, Still keeping clear, If you pass HTW I'll have you

    @4 B Y Flag, you are not giving me room to sail my proper course at the mark

    Y Disagree: your mark-room does not include room to tack, I'm keeping clear Green Flag?

    B Disagree I have now passed the mark and am on the downwind leg, you are still on the upwind leg, you are interfering with me and not sailing your proper course Yellow Flag?

    Y Agree Yellow Flag - Penalise Yellow

    Situation 2

    @1 Y right stbd, rule 18 OFF, take tht mark away

    B Agree, keeping clear

    @2 Y right stbd, you need to keep clear

    B Agree, keeping clear, I will need to start changing course soon

    @3 Y Y Flag, right, stbd, You did not keep clear Blue Flag?

    B Agree, I wasn't doing enough, Blue Flag Penalise Blue.


  3. Brass is right. I had forgotten that in situstion 1, blue is not entitled to room to tack.

    My quick search found nothing on the transition point from one leg to the next. Is there guidance on this?


  4. Situation 1
    I disagree with Brass. Blue may have passed the mark but she is not on the downwind leg as she has not 'crossed the line' C7.2(c).
    Yellow has given mark room and is keeping clear. Mark room does not include room to tack in this situation. No rule broken.Green and white flag.
    Situation 2
    Again Blue has not crossed the line C7.2(c) so both are on the same leg.Blue penalty Rule 10.
    But why are we dreaming up cases like this? Will it ever happen? Maybe in team racing but unlikely in match.

  5. I am a bit confused by the responses to situation 1.

    I would agree that blue is not entitled to tack at the mark because she is not an inside windward boat.

    But how then, can yellow be penalized under rule 18 for failing to give room to blue to tack, (which is blue’s proper course), when blue is not entitled to room to tack ?

    Would it be correct to say that yellow instead breaks rule 17 because blue’s proper course is to tack?

  6. The problem with some of the responses is that they are not correct. How do you get a red faced emoticon?


  7. I don't feel red-faced. I'm rusty with umpiring, but i use these exercises to get un-rusty.

    Anon, thanks. Both Wag and I missed rule C7.2(c).

    So it's just a dial-up, with the added risk of the mark just astern of both boats if they begin to back down.

    I guess the tactics are that B quickly falls off to stbd and gybes (being careful to remain within the zone). B doesn't lose mark-room by gybing and will be exonerated from any breach of rule 13/C2.4 while gybing and from any breach of rule 10 as she goes for the mark, completes sailing around the mark and off she goes rejoicing.

    As long as B remains in the zone, Y can't hunt her.

    Is that looking better?



  8. Dick,

    Anon cleverly demolished Wag's and my attempts to look after Blue in situation 1. @4 no rule is broken Green Flag.

    Rule 17 never comes into play. For rule 17 to apply one boat has to become overlapped from clear astern within two boat lengths to leeward of another. In this case Y becomes overlapped from CASTN but to windward of B. Remember, when rule 17 applies, the only proper course that is relevant is the course of the boat with the rule 17 obligation. The other boat's course or proper course are not relevant.


  9. Brass,

    Thanks for commenting. I am not fluent with the differences with the match racing and team racing rules as I work to increase my knowledge of the basic rules. Which, as you have said, is why we engage in these exercises.

    Let me try my question again so that from an answer given it will be clear to me that rule 17 does or does not apply.

    If we take away the mark in the diagram, my read on 17 is, as you say, that blue cannot sail above her proper course if blue were to have obtained the overlap to leeward of yellow from clear astern. But, in this example blue does not gain the overlap to leeward from clear astern but rather yellow, the windward boat, gains the overlap to windward from clear astern so that blue is not limited or restricted by rule 17 and can sail above her proper course.

    Dave Perry says the following in his book “Understanding The Racing Rules Of Sailing.

    “The only time L is "limited" is when she becomes overlapped to leeward of W from clear astern within two of her lengths of W. That's it! The "limit" does not apply when L overlaps W when more than two lengths apart or when W becomes overlapped to windward of L…”

    I don’t think things change if we put the mark back in the diagram. So, is not yellow still required to keep clear by 17 so that blue can sail above his proper course or, not even above it but merely sail just his proper course?

    And now, if tacking is blue's proper course, can he be restricted by yellow to not being able to sail that proper course in which case yellow breaks rule 17?

    Of course if blue does tack to sail his proper course he may break rules 13 and 14 and not be eligible to be exonerated because he is not compelled to tack.

    I agree that blue is not permitted to tack (his proper course) at the mark by the definition of Mark Room because he is not an inside windward boat but, why is blue not entitled by rule 17 to sail his proper course, which is to tack? Rule 17 does not say a boat entitled to sail it’s proper course cannot tack.

    And then, would an option for blue, other than the gybing maneuver you describe, be not to tack and protest yellow under 17?

  10. Oops. I just realized that if what I just said is true then would that permit a leeward boat, not limited by rule 17, to protest a windward boat for overstanding a layline because he was not being permitted to sail his proper course, the layline?

    I think I must agree I have a wrong interpretation but as a protest committee what rule can be cited or interpreted in my findings and conclusions to support a decision and dismiss the protest of a protestor who would make such an argument that tacking on a layline is not a proper course he is entitled to sail?

  11. Dick,

    Are you the Dick posting on the BISF blog? If so, would you please PM me on Sailing Anarchy so we can correspond one to one?

    Let me recommend you get into umpiring. It's the best and fastest way to improve your rules knowledge. In one day umpiring, you will probably have to decide 5 to 20 rules incidents and the rest of the time, you will be continuously analysing boat positions (the way I did in my first response), with ongoing feedback from a senior umpire who you will be paired with. Your grasp of the rules will improve exponentially. Then the sausage sizzle afterwards .... The vast majority of MR/TR incidents rely on the normal rules, so its not as if you are moving too far away from fleet racing.

    Next, 'take the mark away'. 'Take the mark away' is shorthand for applying rule 18.1(a) and (b). You only 'take the mark away' when boats are approaching a mark on opposite tacks, or approaching with one above and the other well below the layline, so that she will have to tack to get round the mark. Generally, once you have 'taken the mark away' you decide the incident without 'putting the mark back'.

    Your discussion and the Dave Perry quote about rule 17 apply whether there is a mark or not, but the point in these situations is that rule 17 just does not come into operation at all because nobody ever becomes overlapped to leeward from clear astern.

    You ask 'is not yellow still required to keep clear by 17 so that blue can sail above his proper course'

    As we have seen rule 17 does not apply at all, but even when rule 17 does apply it does not require any boat to keep clear of another. Rule 17 does nothing but forbid a leeward boat from by exercising her right of way by sailing above her proper course, in a particular situation.

    In situation 1, Yellow is required by rule 11, (not rule 17) to keep clear of Blue throughout, whether Blue sails at, below, or above her proper course.

    You go on to say 'if tacking is blue's proper course, can he be restricted by yellow to not being able to sail that proper course in which case yellow breaks rule 17?'

    Here's the nub of the problem. At the mark Blue's proper course is indeed to tack, but once, in the process of tacking, she passes head to wind (HTW), she will cease to be right of way boat under rule 11 and become give way boat under rule 13. Once she has passed HTW, Blue will be restricted from sailing her proper course by Yellow, because Blue will now be required to keep clear of Yellow. Yellow breaks no rules, especially not rule 17 which never applied.

    Blue's entitlement to sail her proper course at the mark arises under rule 18, not rule 17, but it does not help her in this situation, because the definition of mark-room excludes room to tack.

    You then ask 'why is blue not entitled by rule 17 to sail his proper course, which is to tack? Rule 17 does not say a boat entitled to sail it’s proper course cannot tack'. Rule 17, when it does apply does not entitle a boat to sail its proper course: it forbids a boat, under certain circumstances from sailing above her proper course. The only rule which entitles a boat to sail its proper course is Rule 18, which is subject to the limitations we have just discussed.

    And in answer to your final question, as we have seen above, once B passes HTW, she becomes give-way boat, rule 17 never applies, yellow has broken no rule, and after passing HTW, B will be so close to Y that she must be failing to keep clear, so if B protests she will be penalised under rule 13.

    I hope that this has helped. I'm happy to discuss some more if you wish.

  12. Brass,

    I think your proposed tactic of B falling off to stbd and gybing to pass the mark has a flaw. After B gybes, the boats are on opposite tacks and B no longer has a proper course that requires a tack at the mark whereas Y still does. This would invoke 18.1(b) which turns off 18. B's entitlement to mark room and her protection under 18.5 must therefore cease. B would still be required to keep clear under 10.

    Even without that, Y has the option to tack and then gybe to attack B on stbd. Y's tack would turn off 18.2(b) and we're back to a straight rule 10 situation.

  13. Athwart,

    I agree. Points well taken.

    So all B can do, unless she can draw a foul from Y in the quasi dial-up, is to come out of the dial-up with Y on her hip, and sail off to the NW of the mark, putting distance between Y's course back to unwind and round, then try to break Y's control and get back to the mark: once B gets her nose across the extension of the leg axis, she's on the next leg and Y has to leave her alone.


    Hopefully a real match racer will be along soon and explain how this play is usually done.

  14. This gets more interesting. I hadnt thought about 18.1b switching off 18.

    Y must be on a loser here because she still has to unwind and round the mark whereas blue just needs to leave it on the correct hand.

    Blue's move is to stick with the dial up, being careful not to tack. Then any penalty will be on yellow. When yellow finally gives up and tacks, blue follows so as to end up clear astern or outside to windward. She will be nicely ahead when yellow has rounded. If blue becomes overlapped inside to leeward, she might have a problem. Rule 18 does not apply, 18.1c. Yellow can gybe and luff.

    A competitor or umpire would need to be good to think of all this at the time.


  15. Many thanks for all your answers. The two scenarios happens during a training week with the ItaliaChallange team on two TP52.
    In the first situation my answer was green flag and in the second i penalized Blue.

  16. Sorry I forgot one thing.
    In both situation Yellow had a penalties and the drill was "pair it".


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...