Monday, 22 February 2010

(pillow)Case of the Week (8) - 108

Sixth (pillow)Case in our new series. Keep it under your pillow this week and read it before going to sleep.


CASE 108
Rule 28.1, Sailing the Course
Rule 44.1(b), Penalties at the Time of an Incident: Taking a Penalty
Rule 44.2, Penalties at the Time of an Incident: One-Turn and Two- Turns Penalties

When taking a penalty after touching a mark, a boat need not complete a full 360° turn, and she may take her penalty while simultaneously rounding the mark. Her turn to round the mark will serve as her penalty if it includes a tack and a gybe, if it is carried out promptly after clearing and remaining clear of the mark and other boats, and when no question of advantage arises.

Assumed Facts
In each of the four illustrated situations, a boat touches a rounding mark that she is required to leave to port and then makes a turn that includes one tack and one gybe.

In each situation, does the boat take a One-Turn Penalty that complies with rule 44 and with rule 28.1?

When a boat breaks rule 31, her penalty is usually a One-Turn Penalty. However, if, by touching the mark, she causes injury or serious damage or gains a significant advantage in the race or series, her penalty is to retire (see rule 44.1(b)).
In each illustrated situation she takes a One-Turn Penalty that complies with rule 44.2, provided that :
(a) as soon as possible, and before beginning her penalty turn, she sails
     well clear of any other boats and remains clear of them while making
     her turn;
(b) when she begins her penalty turn she is no longer touching the mark;
(c) she makes her penalty turn promptly after she is clear of other boats.
Rule 44.2 does not require a boat that takes a One-Turn Penalty to complete a full 360° turn, or a turn of any particular number of degrees, and it does not prohibit taking the penalty while making another manoeuvre, such as rounding the mark.

All four illustrated turns comply with rule 28.1. Provided that the string representing the boat’s track when drawn taut lies on the mark’s required side, the boat would comply with rule 28.1 even if (as not illustrated) a penalty turn resulted in the boat making an extra 360° turn around the mark.

(RYA 2005/4)


  1. The two right hand diagrams in case 108 do make me believe that the penalty for breaking rule 31 needs some tweaking - in both these examples the boat effectivel sails a proper course without any penalty except being obliged to leave the mark on the same tack as they approached it. Not exactly a punitive measure.

    Perhaps boats should be required to leave the zone before taking the penalty!


  2. @Gordon
    I agree with your assessment for the top right one. If you hit the mark sailing on port coming up to it, you basicly only have to tack and gybe round.
    For the bottom right I disagree. The boat has to turn back and do a 'not related to proper course' turn. The fact that she does it rounding a mark is beside the point.

    Perhaps we should have a similar rule in fleet racing as we have in match racing: No penalties within two boat-lengths of a rounding mark?
    That would at least make every penalty equal and regardless of how and where you hit the mark.

  3. Having hit mark 1, getting clear of 1A (spreader mark 50m away) and a boat immediately behind (so clear of all others) could you perform your penalty turn by re-rounding 1A using it as a reference point for the circle. A full turn one tack, one gybe is completed but how would you stand against the string rule?


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