Friday, 28 January 2011

LTW Reader Q&A (48); Virtual Match Race call

A LTW readers Q&A about a situation in virtual racing. It’s from Alexander from Harrislee, Germany. He writes:
A friend and me do a lot of sailing in RAL and on Virtual as well. Here we have a virtual Match Race Situation, where we are not sure who is right.
I think that Aquabat infringes rule 16.1. He’s changing course and not giving me enough room to keep clear
He off course thinks completely different and thinks I did not do enough to keep clear ( my boat is Fix oder Nix) . So witch rule applies ?
"Agubat" vs "Fix oder Nix"

Alexander did not tell us which boat was Yellow and which was Blue. I’m assigning Blue therefore to Aquabat (the leeward boat) and Yellow to Fix oder Nix (the windward boat)
After the Yankee flag (one either boat) I would display a yellow penalty flag.
Perhaps you want to analyze the situation yourselves first, before you read my reasoning after the break?

At first we have rule 11. The Yellow windward boat must keep clear. They are on a collision course but still far apart so Yellow keeps clear.
Then Blue changes course. She luffs. Not hard, but steady. She does not break rule 16.1. Yellow has plenty of room to keep clear.
Instead of luffing Yellow chooses to bear away. By doing so she is very much at risk of not keeping clear. But that is her choice!
Blue continues to luff, but again slowly.
When both bows are next to each other Yellow is no longer keeping clear. Penalty on Yellow
After that she gybes and must keep clear while doing that and then under rule 10 must keep clear as port boat
Blue immediately bears away to avoid contact. I cannot see if they hit each other, but she at least complies with 14 
In my opinion Yellow takes to much risk by bearing away, she infringes either rule 11, 13.2 & also 10 and cannot be exonerated under Blues change of course and rule 16.1
Perhaps some of you see this differently?

edited 12:12 / 29/1/2011 jms


  1. good morning jos,

    good to have you back posting!
    first of all, let me wish you all the best for your plans!

    on the situation:
    i agree with you on a pen yellow (fix oder nix) - but when both bows are next to each other, both boats are still on stb.
    so pen yellow (fix oder nix) under 11 here.

    after that, yellow gybes to port and, hence, does not become row at all (this is where im not sure if i understand your post correctly or if i maybe should go for another coffee ;-) ).

    however, right after gybing to port, yellow puts helm the other direction and bears down again (yellow turns right) to gybe around blues stern.
    at the same time, blue bears away and contact occurs between blues stern and yellows hull (about middle).
    so, while blue is row under r 10 and bound only by r 16.1 here, yellow does nothing to keep clear from blue.
    that would be a second yellow penalty in my opinion..

    have a nice weekend, looking forward to meet you again in kiel in summer,

    best regards from germany


  2. You are absolutely right; I've edited my post accordingly.
    Must be those cobwebs still in my brain from long disuse of the rules.

  3. I think there can be only one penalty on Yellow because there is only one Y Flag and the criteria for a double penalty (rule C8.3) are not met.

  4. Yellow (W/Fix) must keep clear [11], which she tries to do by bearing astern of Blue(L/Aqua).
    As Blue continues to luff she gives Yellow more room to keep clear than if she had not luffed. [16.1]
    Blue may protest that (about when the two boats were bow-to-bow) Blue determined that Yellow was not doing enough to keep clear and Blue only continued and increased her luff in order to avert (or minimize damage in) a collision [14], i.e., to move her stern out of Yellow's path.
    Yellow DSQ. [11]
    If this is the case, it is the first of two events.
    Thereafter, as Blue then bears away:
    If there was contact: Blue does not give Yellow room to keep clear. Blue DSQ.[16.1]
    If there was no contact: No foul in the second event.


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