Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Championnat Du Monde de Voile

First stage in the Match Racing World Tour in Marseille, France
I’ve arrived in Marseille after a short flight. The weather is nice and warm and hopefully the thermal wind will provide enough breeze to start racing tomorrow.
Reading the SI, I came across an instruction I haven’t seen before:
“3.5 Spinnaker Pole restrictions.
After the warning signal, the bowsprit shall not be extended until the boat is on a downwind course and shall be retracted at the first reasonable opportunity when not in use. A breach of this rule is not open to protest by boats, but is subject to action by the Umpires in accordance with RRS C8.2. This changes RRS C6.2 and C8.2. The Umpires will try to warn competitors before penalising for not retracting the bowsprit at the first reasonable opportunity.
Unless the head of the spinnaker is above the intersection of the headstay and the mast, the bowsprit shall not be considered for the purpose of overlaps and finishing.”
We haven’t discussed this in our meeting yet, but for sure this needs some additional explanations. Do we warn them each time, or do we do it once per boat?
Unless the spinnaker (gennaker on these boats) is almost all the way hoisted – the distance between the intersections and the top of the hoisted spinnaker is only 40 cm – the bowsprit does not count for overlap or finish.
I wonder if we (and the wing as well) can remember each time to check.


  1. This seems superflouous- the definitions of finish and overlap already specify "equipment in normal position". Presumably the intent is just to define what "normal position" is strictly rather than leave it open to interpretation- not that it should be that hard to interpret?

  2. In my opinion the pole is still in normal position when first the spinnaker is dropped. It (must) will be retracted as soon as reasonable possible, but in that time it should count for overlap or finish under the normal rules.
    These sailing instructions change that.
    We are working trough several scenarios to determine what the consequences will be.
    For instance, two boats downwind, with spinnaker up, there's an overlap. The trailing boat drops its spi (head is now just below the intersection) and then hits the leading boat with its pole.
    Who's at fault and gets the penalty?

  3. Ah, I see. I didn't quite think it through that way- I'm used to boats whereby the pole out and tackline are the same thing- and often the haltyard as well- so the poll automatically shoots back as soon as the sail starts to drop- I fully understand why larger boats don't do this though.

  4. The pole has ben there long enough to be seen so windward has to keep clear of it, but the umpires won't count it for an overlap if boats enter the zone or the RC when the boat crosses the finishing line.


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