Wednesday, 9 February 2011

To Hail or not to Hail..

My Google alert - although a little late - kicked out a link to an article in Sailing World by Dick Rose
There are only two rules where hailing is mandatory, in rule 20 and in rule 61.1 of the racing rules. For 'room to tack' approaching an obstruction and 'protest'.

If you want to know why Dick Rose's count ends up at five, you will have to read: Five Important Hails

A small quote from the piece:

“Tack or cross?”
In many fleets these days, the hail you hear most often is, “Tack or cross?” It’s most often made by a port-tack boat on a windward leg that would like to cross in front of a starboard-tack boat, but isn’t sure she can do so without forcing the starboard-tack boat to alter course. The hail is shorthand for “Waive me across your bow and, if need be, bear off to let me cross.


  1. Two points...

    Does Dick mean "waive" or "wave" (totally different words in Dutch I believe)?

    "Waive" makes some sense in this context but it's an unusual way to use the word (and he does it several times in the full article.) "Wave me across your bow" would be much more common colloquial English.

    How surprising that Dick didn't warn about a third party protest against P!

  2. Waive:
    [+ obj] : to officially say that you will not use or require something that you are allowed to have or that is usually required ▪ She waived her right to a lawyer. ▪ The university waives the application fee for low-income students.

    1 : to move your hand or something held in your hand usually in a repeated motion in order to signal or greet someone [no obj] ▪ We waved to our friends through the window. ▪ They waved at us. ▪ She was waving in the direction of the bridge. [+ obj] ▪ We waved goodbye [=waved as a way of saying goodbye] to them and drove away. ▪ The traffic cop waved cars through. [=waved in a way that told drivers to continue driving through a particular area] ▪ We offered to help but he waved us off. [=he waved as a way of telling us that he did not want help] ▪ We tried to wave down a taxi. [=to get a taxi to stop for us by waving at its driver] + 5 more

    Didn't catch that at all - but then E is not my native language...

    Ooh, the third party Protest issue with tack or cross is not done yet. .....

  3. I am amazed that someone of Dick Rose's stature is advocating hailing in the expectation that:

    1. it will deceive the other boat about closeness (first paragraph page 2); and

    2. it will distract the other boat's crew and 'buy you the gain of a few feet' (fifth dot point page 2).

    I think if this is your intention when hailing, you are so close to rule 2 that it's not funny.

  4. a) Wave, not waive.

    You make big sweeping hand movements across - from your leeward to your windward side, making sure port has seen you. You want them out of the picture.

  5. Yes Brass, I thought that advice about how to deceive the other boat was somehwat unsportsmanlike and was surprised that Dick would recommend it. Is this article rally by Dick Rose or is it a spoof? It's not April 1st is it?

  6. Never occurred to me that shouting loudly so as to panic the other boat into a quick tack was unsporting although I do see the point. If the port boat was keeping a proper lookout, the matter would never arise.

    I sail an old keel boat so 'tack or cross' is not used. Perhaps its an American thing anyway. The possibility of third party protest certainly puts the cat among the pidgeons.


  7. For heavens sake! The port tacker is telling the starboard tacker that if he really wants to go left, he should let him (that is the port tacker) cross. If Starboard insists on his right of way, Port will tack in his face with a tight lee bow (thereby forcing the starboard tacker to tack out to the right.) If Starboard really wants to go left, he should allow Port to cross (wave him across)(hence the Tack or Cross hail from Port meaning "Will you allow me to cross or do you want me to tack in your face and force you to tack?).

    The hail has nothing to do with the rules, but does have a lot to do with tactics for BOTH boats and is just communications between competitors. One of these boats is probably wrong in his assessment of the correct way to go, but if starboard really thinks that he wants to go left, he should wave port across and do a little duck.


  8. @Steve
    I suggest you hop over to the POST below and learn why we rule-nerds have a hard time with waving - however the spelling might be......

  9. Wow. Some of them get a bit touchy.

    I think it is perfectly OK for the third party to protest. Provided they tell the truth, they should attract no criticism.

    I think the key is in the definition of keep clear. 'can sail her course with no need to take avoiding action'. Course is not defined, notably it is not proper course. It can be deduced from the last bit of the definition and rule 16 that course does mean a straight course. If P could have kept clear when S altered course, then S did not need to take avoiding action. Protest dismissed.

    If there is doubt over whether or not P could have kept clear, last point of certainty is she could. Protest dismissed.

    The trouble is that S is likely to leave her change of course late so she can get a lift as she crosses behind P. In these circumstances P could not keep clear if S did not alter. S needed to take the avoiding action of ducking so P did not keep clear. Dsq P. I do not like it because (unless there is illicit team racing) I think competitors should be able to make these choices.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...