Saturday, 4 July 2009

iShares Cup 2009 Hyeres | First Day

Friday was exiting. We did six races on he open water in front of the harbour with course configuration E: that mend Tim (the PRO) made one up, involving the grand-stand on the pier, a start line (doubling as windward passing gate), a leeward gate and of course a windward mark.

Because of the nature of this event, these were laid out very close together: A three lap race only lasted 15 minutes> You can guess the carnage at the first windward mark. Boats piling in there three abreast... shouting for water, touching each other and waiving Yankee flags.
In the middle of this we needed to find a place where we could see enough to make a judgement, but still were not in the way - let alone be run over by an Extreme 40.

I must confess we did quite a few green flags just because we were not able to be in a position to give a fair call... It did get better after a few races...Our policy is that rather then give a penalty on a yankee flag and call where we are not sure who infringed the rule, we green that.
Green does not always mean there are no rules broken it also means the umpires could not see or are not in agreement.

The closeness to shore also mend we had a lot of markers and other buoys in the race area. Along the coast at a distance of about 300 meters are yellow markers to indicate a speed limit area. (No more then 5 knots or something, inside the yellow buoys). On top of that a exclusion zone for the beach and big red marks to indicate the racing area...
Together with the white and black iShares cup buoys it was sometimes hard to see where the course was..

As a rules issue I have a question for you: The yellow speed limit buoys were about 75 cm wide and 50 cm high: Can you tell me if they are an obstruction or not?

More later,


  1. Surely they are an obstruction if hitting one might cause damage (to either the boat or the bouy) or slow the boat appreciably?

  2. @Al
    Not altogether. Something quite small can still cause a lot of damage if you hit it at high speed, but still not count as an obstruction...

  3. These bouys seem analogous to a narrow pole we have where we do our club racing.
    For catamarans, we should probably treat it as obstruction because to avoid it from a length away they have to make a big turn for a catamaran.
    For the monohull dinghys it is not an obstruction (although it would be dangerous to hit) because it is easy to pass either side. We do not need to call for rule 19 room to safely race past this pole. Rule 16 protects us from being forced into the pole at the last moment.
    Thanks, Jos, for posting the SIs, and sorry if this is a duplicate post -- the comment form behavior is confusing.
    -Keith OHara

  4. I would say that for a 40 foot monohull, an object, in this case a bouy that is 75cm wide, is not an obstruction since the 40 foot monohull would only need to alter course by about 1.8 degrees, when the boat was 1 boat length from the bouy, in order to pass the bouy safely. And, if the boat speed were 6 knots the boat would have about 3.9 seconds to make the necessary change of course.

    But then, a multihull is a bit beamier and is probably going a bit faster than a monohull. So,
    if the 40 foot multihull's speed is 10 knots it only has 2.4 seconds to make the change of course.

    Hmmmmmm? Good question Joseph.

    Boy I hope I got the math straight.

  5. @ Keith & Dick,
    You have both made the distinction between something that can be an obstruction for a multihull but not for a monohull.
    If the markers were a bit less high... then a multihull would be able to pass over them and the need to avoid them with a by a substantial course correction would vanish..

    Obstructions are "defined"in the RRS and therefore only something that confirms with that definition, can count as one.


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