Sunday, 12 July 2009

Berlin Woman Match Race 2009 | 3

And the final day was done in a flash.
All flights sailed, all penalties done, prize-giving completed and the winner announced!
These three days have gone in a flash. I enjoyed it very much.

Yesterday I already told you about the summer party that was planned for that evening. Well, actually, it was a great success. With a good live band, nice food, good drinks and good company we "stayed and partied" until the next day... It was a little later than I planned, I found my pillow around one in the morning...

Today we sailed for places 7/8, 5/6 in a knock out
We did the Semi-Finals: winner was the first to win 3 points and the of course the petit finals and the finals... Because of time limits we had to shorten those to first to win two points.

While I was umpiring the second petit final I had a contact which was a first for me. The trailing boat rounded quite close behind at the first windward mark and followed the leading boat.
While pulling out the gennaker-pole that pole hit the back-shroud ....
Yankee flag, with contact... Not very difficult: the trailing boat had to keep clear under rule 12.
Penalty on her. But it was surprising to me. Something to watch for, next time I'm umpiring with boats who have retractable poles!

Boarding call has gone out, we leave in 20 minutes.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Berlin Woman MR 2009 | 2

Another long day on the water, fourteen flights.
We finished group B round robin and also did the quarter final round robin (again with eight boats).
It was very exciting and sometimes very close. A lot of pre-starts with many Yankee flags.

I will have to look at the equipment rules.
In rule C73(a) the requirement for a boat taking a penalty is to have the head of the spinnaker below the main-boom goose-neck from the time she passes head to wind until she's on a close hauled course. Something every umpire misses a couple of times before he learns to look for it. But what about a gennaker? The rule says specifically a spinnaker, not down-wind sail or any other description..
I'll have to check the equipment rules to find a definition: Is a gennaker only an asymmetrical spinnaker? Is it even defined... ?

Now I'm getting changed and going to the "sommerfest" they are having here tonight. More then a 1000 guests (members of two clubs who jointly organise this biannually) are expected.. All outdoor, so we all hope the rain will not fall....



Friday, 10 July 2009

Berlin Woman MR 2009

I'm at the "Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee" in Berlin. Here to Umpire in Match Racing - what else!
15 teams of three woman sail in Laser SB3, a fast and agile boat with gennaker.
We had good wind today - sometimes interrupted by heavy rain - and did 13 flights of three matches. We'll have diner in half an hour, just enough time to write a short post.

Today we did two red flag protest- well actually requests for redress. The second one was the most interesting. One of the boats was almost overrun by a passenger-ferry and had to tack with her gennaker still up. Result: a tear in the sailcloth and a lost match.
The passenger-ferry's run diagonal over the lake, are about 50 meter long and very fast. I guess 10 knots or so. There's one who's "infamous" for his inconsiderate behaviour. He does not want to stop, he does not want to deviate from his course one iota. He's bigger, he has right of way and to hell with everybody else...

Anyway, back to our request for redress. The boat claimed she was forced to tack. Let us take that as a fact.

She displayed an Yankee flag and she put up a red flag.
What should the umpires answer and what can the Jury do?

Please leave your answer in the comments including the reason why. I know it's not the same as Fact Finding Friday but at least you get something to think about....

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Wedstrijdcomité materiaal en boten te koop!

Kreeg onderstaande mail van de wedstrijdcommisaris van Blauwe Hand Comité.

Beste Jos,
Jij komt nogal eens ergens bij organiserende verenigingen, daarom het volgende;
Ons comité aan het Beulakerwijde krijgt het steeds moeilijker met bemensing, het lijkt ons het beste de wedstrijdmaterialen op te doeken.

Wij willen verkopen en alles is in bijzonder goede staat.

  • Skiff Carolina 4.80 mtr. / 25 pk bb. handzame boot om merktekens uit te leggen. Robuuste en onderhoudsvrije boot met trailer.
  • Rubberboot YAM 4.80 mtr / 30 pk. bb. schadevrije. Robuuste boot met jockeyseat, stuurstand. schadevrij met trailer.
De beide boten zijn kompleet ingericht met vlaggensets enz. dus inzetbaar op elke positie in het wedstrijdveld.

  • 5x baan merktekens -geel- elk 1.20 mtr. rond in doorsnee. Dit zijn drie zeeankerboeien, robuust onderhoudsvrij en opblaasbaar, dus klein in de winterberging
  • 2x plastimo (150cm hoog). kompleet met kettingen en blokken. enz.
  • (alu)stokboeien (startlijn bijvoorbeeld)
  • portofoons
  • drie vlaggensets kompleet (50x70cm) in koffers,
  • megafoon
  • enz.
  • enz.

Enfin, elk comite kan zomaar kompletteren of geheel nieuw inrichten.

Weet jij een club die interesse zou hebben? Of jij mag het ook aanbieden en je mag best wat verdienen. Indien nodig heb ik van alles digitale fotos
Gerrit Kuper.

Als je belangstelling hebt of jouw vereniging zoekt nog reserve materiaal, stuur dan een mailtje naar het blog mailadres, dan geef ik je het mailadres van Gerrit.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

ISAF Rapid Response Calls & Q&A's

One new RR MR-call and a bunch of new Q&A's have appeared on the ISAF site:

ISAF Rapid Response Match Race Call 2009-003
is about light breeze and a strong current taking an inside boat outside the zone before her proper course is to gybe.... Rules 18.4 and 17 are discussed as well as proper course

Then three Q&A's:
Racing Rules Q&A 2009-031
How may scoring mistakes be corrected after a regatta?
Answer: By the RC actually almost always.

Racing Rules Q&A 2009-032
When is a boat 'sailing on another leg'?
When does rule 23 come into play?

Racing Rules Q&A 2009-033
'How early must a boat start taking action to avoid a collision?'

This last one is from an incident at the iShares cup in Venice. We discussed it at length in the jury and there was a split. The chairman send it in first to the RYA-Appeals panel but since they don't meet until September then to the Q&A-panel of ISAF.

It is not entirely the answer I expected and - with all respect - the Q&A panel fails to give a clear enough answer, in my opinion.
But I will change the way I think about rule 14 with this as a guideline.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Obstructions – Speed Marks?

In answer to my question in last Saturday's post Mike B send me this:

This is regrettably we should have an answer to, and so it should be considered at some length.
The place to start (as always) is with the definition.

Here we have the unusual words “could not pass” no reference to damage, or seamanship, these are in other definitions and rules.

Clearly these cats probably could pass the buoys, even if they scraped over them, if this is the case then they are not obstructions.

The lighter the wind (so the boat has both hulls in the water) and the lower the freeboard the more there is a possibility of the boat being unable to pass over the buoy and the more there is a possibility we would have to consider them as obstructions.

If the cat could not fly over them my maths would indicate a substantial alteration of course would be required. Simply the best answer is to specify in the sailing instruction as to whether these buoys are or are not obstructions.

This gives us an interesting little window on the rules themselves which may be worth the journey.

Rule 19
Here the right of way boat probably has no problem, it is a give way boat who may have the requirement to claim “room”.
Now as soon as room is claimed the “seamanlike way” becomes operative. Hulls in the water with low freeboard, then probably you should avoid the buoy so yes to obstruction and yes to room.

If you are flying a hull, then little course alteration and little in seamanlike problems, so no to obstruction and no to room being much at all.

What then if you were forced to fly a windward hull over a buoy, I would say this was OK.

If you as windward boat boar off and made contact with the leeward boat, you could only be exonerated under 64.1.c. If you could fly a hull can you really say you were “compelled”? Another of this rules complications.

Rule 20.
Now look at the difference in the rules, you cannot hail unless “safety requires her to make a substantial course alteration” a big test, and unlikely to be met.

So no Rule 20 and Rule 19 possibly but be very careful, and this is even if you do call the buoy an obstruction.

Mike B

LTW Readers Q&A | 027 OUTSIDE HELP?

One of the more subtle changes in this latest version of the RRS has been the removal of what was rule 41(a)
"A boat shall not receive help from any outside source, except:
(a) help provided for in rule 1;"

As I understand it this had been interpreted as meaning that a crew falling overboard could be rescued by a RIB or another boat and put back on board without penalty, as long as the boat stood by rather than sailing on. The old 41(a) has now disappeared from the rules. Does anyone know why?

Last weekend I was judging on the water at a windy sportsboat event. Several crew went overboard, usually following a broach on the run. A boat losing a crew would have recover to from the broach (which seemed to take an inordinately long time), take the spinnaker down then sail back to recover the crew.
A crew in the water, especially near the wing mark as spinnakers are hoisted, and even more so at the leeward mark, is very definitely in danger, not from drowning but from being run over by an only just in control competing boat. As a judge I felt it my duty to recover crew.

This happened twice:
  • one crew did not want to be rescued as they did not want to penalise their boat and fellow crew members (until I pointed out that there was little difference between scoring last place or DNF);
  • the other crew were reminded that, under the new rules, they should retire. They did not do so, arguing that they had not been asked if they required assistance.
In discussion with other judges, we envisaged protesting, which would have almost certainly resulted in a penalty for deliberately breaching a rule (rule 2), but decided that it was better to work towards a long term solution.

I feel that rule 41 as it is at present puts judges, marklayers and patrol boat crew in an invidious position. A temporary fix would be to add a specific sailing instruction. A more permanent solution would be to change the rules.

I would be grateful to hear your thoughts on this matter.

There are a couple of options as far as I can see.
The first one is strictly go by the rules and consider picking up a crew member always as a breach of rule 41. The boat has no other choice then to retire. It could sail on and hope that nobody will protest, but like you state, it then also breaks rule 2 by deliberately breaking a rule and not take a penalty. A protest committee should then consider a DNE...

There's a small "loophole":
What if you consider Rule 47.2:
"......A person leaving the boat by accident or to swim shal be back on board before the boat continus to race"

Anybody can fall off by accident. If that person is picked up by it's own boat and that boat then continues to race, no rules have been broken... So only the fact that that same person is picked up by a safety-boat or jury-boat for that matter, would make it illegal?

Also rule 1 states that a boat or competitor SHALL give all possible help to any person or vessel in danger.

So now we have the curious situation that in order to comply with the rules, a competing boat has to pick up another's crew and thereby forcing that boat to break rule 41.

In my opinion there can be an argument made, that - as long as no progress in the race is made - any person in danger should be picked up by any boat available and then can be retrieved by the racing boat. No rules broken, no penalty.
Unless I see a case or Q&A or appeal stating the contrary, that will be my policy in such cases...

Please don't hesitate to comment if you are of the same or different opinion.

On a different note: I must apologies to Brass for not posting his Fact Finding Friday protest last Friday. I must confess to have forgotten all about it in the hassle with the iShares Cup. I promise to post this Friday!

Monday, 6 July 2009

iShares Cup 2009 Hyeres | Third Day

The final day brought a victory to Oman Red - Masirah. They consistently were in front of the fleet or even winning races. Before the final - double points - race they were 14 points ahead of BMW-Oracle. Congratulations to Pete Cummings and his crew...

As umpires we used the same system as we did yesterday.. Three on the line behind the boats before the start, mostly watching the distances between boats windward-leeward. Then the one at the committee-end went to the right, the middle one up the beat and leftish and the third umpire also on the left side peeling off halfway to go to the windward mark.
The middle one stationed below the windward mark, calling overlaps if possible, the right one behind the boats on the layline and one umpire boat above the windward mark.
As soon as some of the boats passed the mark the middle one went down with them to go to the gate. Below the gate in the middle to see mark roundings . The right umpire came down to call overlaps if necessary...
This system worked well when we got the hang of it and knew where to go to see most of the incidents without being in the way.
I'm sure we missed things and greened incidents where an infringement occurred, but 8 out of ten calls could be answered that way.

Looking at the statistics and going over the rules, 7 out of ten penalties were for breaking rule 13.
Even with these experienced skippers and the way these big catamarans work, tacking seems to be the main issue - rules wise..

I'm going home this evening - couldn't get a flight out earlier.
iShares cup will go to Cowes and to Kiel, before I join up again with the umpire team in Amsterdam in September. Thanks guys, for a great weekend!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

iShares Cup 2009 Hyeres | Second Day

First race, first upwind, first crossing...... a bang and a crash, right in front of us between Ecover (on port) and Renaissance (on starboard). Rule 10; Yellow flag penalty on Ecover.
That part was easy enough.

But after the race, going over to Renaissance, we were told and could see that not only the rudder housing but also the rudder stock (the helm connecting the blade to the tillerbeam) was broken.
No more racing for Oman Renaissance. That race, they could only finish by sitting on the leftover part of the stock all the way back on the port hull. Loick Peyron did a fantastic job keeping the big cat going and finishing second. (They were in first place when this happened)

They had to go in and start repairs... In between races we discussed what kind of redress they were entitled to... which should not only be fair to all competitors but also followed ISAF guidelines.. If you remember, there's a Q&A about redress: Q&A 2007-001 which states that a boat' score should be in majority from sailed races.

This is what the panel found and concluded after the hearing:

Facts Found:
In race 7 Renaissance was on starboard tack close hauled on the first beat to windward. Ecover was on port tack close hauled going astern of Renaissance. Ecover hit Renaissance on the port rudder with the bow of her port hull. Renaissance finished in second place in race 7. There was serious damage to Renaissance. Renaissance was unable to race in races 8 to 13 because of the damage sustained.

Conclusion and Rules that apply:
Ecover as port tack boat did not keep clear of Renaissance a starboard tack boat, thereby breaking rule 10. Redress is granted based on rule 62.1(b): physical damage because of an action by a boat that was breaking a rule of Part 2 .

Ecover is DSQ in Race 7 (already decided on the water).
Based on results from races 1 to 7 Renaissance is awarded average points for races 8 to 13, with the total points rounded down to the nearest whole number. There will be no further redress considered for this incident.

It did mean that Renaissance is now in second place overall. They scored an average of place 3.3 in the first seven races and that means 7.7 points times 6(races) = 46.2 rounded down to 46.

Both the Oman boats are currently in first and second place...
We will find out today if they keep that place....


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,

Thursday, 2 July 2009

iShares Cup 2009 Hyeres | Departure

It has been some time since I last posted. In Kiel we made long days after the Match Race as well. Out on the water for rule 42 and red flag and - once ashore - almost straight into protest hearings or arbitration. I did not find the time to sit down and write anything sensible, let alone surf the net to find new and interesting things about the rules.
I use a feedreader to follow the many blogs I'm subscribing to and the number now only says: 1000+ unread messages.. We drove back home Sunday evening and Monday in the office the work had of course piled up. What else can you expect after nine days…. Several planned meetings on Monday-, Tuesday- and Wednesday evenig prevented me from writing blog….. I do hope you can forgive me..
I'm sitting at the Rotterdam airport waiting so I can board flight HV6081 to Toulon/Hyeres. It's now 17:54
I'm going there to umpire in the second iShares cup in 2009. I'm counting on a decent connection and an hour or so free time in the mornings, so I can catch up - not only with blogging but also with mails, whom I - save urgent ones - had to ignore.
Some of have asked to see the SI's and I managed to get a set on-line: iShares SI 2eAmm

On the judges front I received an E-mail from ISAF to remind me that I will have to renew my application for International Judge. Time has flown by… it is already four years. The E-mail described a new application system. I will have to fill in a n on-line pdf-form with all relevant information and then submit that to ISAF. I did have a look and I can't save the form on my computer so I could fill it in at my leisure… I can only print it.
I'll have to do that and then find and gather all information before I - it has to be done in one sitting - fill in the electronic form.
There are a few footnotes which I do not yet understand.. I'll come back to those...

I am also preparing some issues left over from Kiel. Interesting protests and discussion, I hope.
There's one where a boat is keeping clear but not giving mark-room - at least that is what I think.

Watch this space.

(PS: this has been published as soon as I was able to get on-line - which was at the airport actually, after all)
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