Sunday, 28 February 2010

Sunday Rules Snap | Exploiting Fetching

Some time ago Menno send me a mail about a curious rules issue he had seen on the internet: On the Sailgroove-website in the series Technique Tuesdays, Val Smith explains a ‘loophole’ exploiting the new definition of fetching in the rulebook.

Sailing Videos on Sailgroove

Perhaps you have already seen this.

My question to all LTW readers: Has anybody ever come across this on the water (umpiring) or in the room? Is it being done?

Most regatta’s in my neck of the woods are done in non-tidal waters so there’s very little – if any – current to be exploited. But there must be sailing waters around the world were this kind of ‘fetching’ is possible…..

Thanks Menno, for your contribution. Please keep sending them in.



  1. I think it would be very hard to convince an umpire that the starboard hand boat was fetching the mark.

    More common - a boat on port 2 or 3 boat lengths below the lay line may be fetching the mark - either because a current is lifting them or because, in the case of keelboats, they can luff almost head to wind and shoot the mark (furling the jib as they luff can increase the distance they shoot to windward). Umpires need to know the boats they are umpiring!


  2. I do not see a boat can get away with this interpretation. On the boats own evidence it will say it gets, mark room at best. When level with the mark it has to follow a proper course that is to tack. If if tacks then, it was not fetching so we pelalize for taking mark room to which it was not entitled. If it does not tack to allow the tide to prove it was fetching, we penalise under 11 as the exoneration for the windward boat has gone once it did not follow it's proper course when at the mark.

    Mike Butterfield

  3. I cannot see the point of this. If the boat ahead tacked in the zone, then 18.2a applies, not 18.2b. If the boat behind can get an inside overlap, he is entitled to mark room. If he cannot get the overlap, then the stuff about fetching and 18.3 does not come into play.

    As for taking out, the boat that was behind would be overlapped to windward and hence give way boat.


  4. If 18.3 applies 18.2 a and b do not.

    mike B


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