Friday, 26 August 2011

Fact Finding Friday Animation; Vol 11.5

A little late for Thursday,  but early enough to drop in your E-mail box on Friday.
Another instalment of the almost forgotten Fact Finding Friday Animation series....
This one is with Tornado's, remember them? They were  in the Olympics, once....

Please click on this link to get to the animation: 110826 F11.5

The animation is about a situation just before the starting gun. In position 5 the Tornado Class flag is lowered and the sound signal on the committee vessel is made. Nobody is OCS,
Pink and the Starting-vessel have contact in position 6 and Red and Pink also have a collision just after Pos 6.
Red stops racing and goes to the harbour to repair his boat. Pink does two turns just after having passed the starting line. Red AND the RC protests Pink. Red also requests redress.
You deal with all the parties in one hearing.

Please write down the Facts Found, a Conclusion (with rules applicable) and your Decision. You need to consider RRS 14 since there's multiple contact ....
Good luck.

As always I'll refrain from publishing your comments until the next one, so everybody has the same information.

I'm in Kiel this weekend, driving on Friday. Not sure if I find the time to post, but I will try.


  1. Facts Found

    1 R and P were approaching the starting line to start overlapped on port tack.

    2 R was close hauled on a steady course to pass one or two hull lengths to leeward of the RC boat.

    3 P was initially about three hull lengths to windward of R, reaching towards the stern of the RC boat.

    4 P’s starboard bow collided with the stern of the RC boat and P rebounded off the Committee boat and collided with R.

    5 R did not change course at any time.

    6 R retired with serious damage caused by the contact.

    7 P performed two turns and continued to race.


    A. P, to windward, did not keep clear of R. P broke rule 11.

    B. It was not reasonably possible for P to avoid contact with R as required by rule 14.

    C. It was not reasonably possible for r to avoid contact with P as required by rule 14.

    D. P, while racing, hit a starting mark. P broke rule 31.

    E. P, having caused serious damage, did not take the applicable penalty which, as required by rule 44.1(b) was to retire.


    P is disqualified.

  2. Oops, forgot the redress.


    F. R’s score was made significantly worse through no fault of her own, by physical damage because of the action of P in breaking rule 11. R may be given redress in accordance with rule 62.1(b).


    R is given redress ….
    Insufficient information to decide exactly what redress is appropriate. Probably average points

  3. Pink protested loudly that he would never have hit the committee boat if that had been properly anchored!
    The PC-boat swung out behind its anchor and hit her, not the other way around!
    He did his turns for breaking rule 31, the damage was not his fault!
    He's requesting a reopening!

  4. Just to get some irrelevant matters out of the way first.

    Being forced, or caused, or compelled to break a right of way rule, or any other rule, does not exonerate a boat, unless she was compelled to break the rule by another boat breaking a rule (rule 64.1(c)). Nothing gets Pink off the hook for failing to keep clear of Red under rule 11.

    Certainly the RC Boat is veering considerably around her anchor line, presumably under the influence of wind and current, but, as far as I can see from the animation, she is just swinging pendulum-like: it seems that she is firmly anchored: she is not moving astern: she appears to be neither dragging her anchor nor letting out anchor line: she is just swinging around.

    Rule 27.2 says the RC may move a starting mark no later than the preparatory signal, so by implication, the RC is forbidden from moving a starting mark after the preparatory signal. However, we well know that starting marks move around their anchors: they are never perfectly stationary (‘the broad starting line’). Rule 27.2 does NOT say that the RC must keep the starting marks perfectly immobile. If, as it appears, the RC did nothing by way of manoeuvring the RC boat or adjusting the anchor line so as to ‘move’ the RC Boat, then the RC has done no improper action.

    A RC Boat at anchor is arguably not under command, and certainly restricted in her ability to manoeuvre. A sailboat racing, like any other sailing vessel, owes a duty under IRPCAS rule 18(b)(i) or (ii) to keep out of the way of such a vessel. Use of the term ‘keep out of the way’ in this IRPCAS rule indicates that it is not envisaged that the anchored vessel is expected to remain stationary: wherever she moves to, the burdened vessel is required to keep out of her way.

    It was perfectly possible for boats racing to shape a course sufficiently clear of the swing of the RC Boat so as to keep out of her way: Red did this successfully.

    It cannot be said that the RC Boat veered into the position where contact occurred unexpectedly. @ position 2, the RC Boat was in that position, Pink saw her there, and luffed to slow and give herself options, then as the RC boat swung back, opening the gap, Pink dived into the gap. Sadly for Pink she misjudged it.

    I took into account the fact that the swing of the RC Boat made it impossible for Pink to further bear away and squeak through the gap, when I concluded that it was not possible for Pink to avoid contact, and that Pink, while breaking rule 11, did not break rule 14.

    So what’s left?

    Rule 44.1 says that if a boat that may have broken a rule of Part 2 while racing caused injury or serious damage her penalty shall be to retire. The question thus is, did Pink cause serious damage to Red?

    Pink says that damage to Red was caused by the RC Boat swinging on her anchor line, and that it was not caused by Pink. It is pretty clear that If Pink had not been in the gap there would never have been damage to Red. There was, perhaps a chain of causes: The RC Boat swinging caused Pink to fail to keep clear of Red. Pink failing to keep clear of Red caused contact with Red and serious damage to Red.

    Pink has damaged her credibility by saying that he only reason she did turns was to clear her rule 31 breach for hitting the RC Boat. Facts found were that she did two turns: if she had only been addressing her rule 31 breach, she would have done only a One Turn Penalty. Two turns indicates she knew just fine that she may have broken a Part 2 Rule.

    Maybe, just maybe, if Pink is offering new evidence that the RC did something, like manoeuvring under power or altering the length of anchor line, or setting insufficient anchor line so that the RC Boat was dragging, to cause the RC Boat to move, then a reopening might be on the cards.


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