Thursday, 1 September 2011

LTW Readers Q&A (53): Rule 42

Agnes from Budapest has a question about rule 42. That rule is unique in the rulebook, in that it has his own 'special' interpretations - not in the Case-book but separately. In answering questions about rule 42, I always first grab my copy of those (Rule 42 Interpretations 2009-2012)

I would highly appreciate your and your readers' comments on a Rule 42 problem I faced recently.

The 470 class rules ([9636].pdf) say
"C.1.1 RULES
(a) The following RRS 2009-2012 rules shall apply as amended below:
(1) If the average wind speed is above 8 knots, measured at deck level, the race committee may permit pumping, rocking and ooching after the starting signal. (change of RRS 42.2(a), RRS 42.2(b), RRS 42.2(c)). The signals will be made according to RRS P5."
Rule 42.1 last sentence say "Her crew may adjust the trim of sails and hull, and perform other acts of seamanship, but shall not otherwise move their bodies to propel the boat."

Let us consider rocking. My reading is that class rule C.1.1(a)(1) changes RRS 42.2(b) to mean that 'rocking is permitted' (above 8 knots etc.). On the other hand Rule 42.1 prohibits a set of body movements that propel the boat and in my opinion body movement that induces rocking is one of these prohibited actions.

My question - Shall the judges penalize a boat on the water when they see that the crew of this boat is standing on the foredeck, grabbing the mast with his hands, and rolls the boat back and forth vigorously? (Wind died suddenly but flag "O" is still in effect on a windward leg.)

Many thanks for any kind of comments and thoughts.

Well Agnes, this is how I see it:
Looking at the Interpretations of Rule 42, I read under 42.2:
42.2   Prohibited Actions    
          Without limiting the application of rule 42.1, these actions are prohibited:    
          (b)     rocking: repeated rolling of the boat, induced by    
               (1) body movement,    
               (2) repeated adjustment of the sails or centreboard, or    
               (3) steering;   
This rule has been been "switched" off by the RC, they have permitted rocking after the starting signal.
Rocking, i.e. repeated rolling of the boat, induced by body movement is now permitted!
Any body movement!
It does not say you have to sit (or hang in the tapeze) or be anywhere specific, before you can use your body to induce repeated rolling of the boat. So standing on the fore-deck, grabbing the mast is permitted in my opinion, as long as flag O is in effect.

42.1 may prohibit actions not listed in 42.2, but rocking is listed, so that doesn't cover your example.

Just my two cents.
Anybody else?


1 comment:

  1. I think Agnes has a good point.

    Rule 42 is structured as follows:

    42.1 General prohibition, with some limitations and permission under rule 42.3 and 45.
    42.2 Specific, more detailed prohibitions, 'without limiting the application of rule 42.1
    42.3 Specific permissions.

    In particular, rule 42.2 catches, for example, repeated acts of seamanship, which might 'coincidentally' have the effect of pumping or rocking, or some uncontemplated way of achieving pumping, ooching, rocking scullng or tacking repeatedly (PROST - thank you Danielle)that could be done without moving bodies.

    I think the 470 class rule 'misfires': as well as switching off rules 42.2(a), (b) and (c), it also needs to switch off, to the extent necessary the rule 42.1 bit about moving bodies to propel.

    The class rule needs to say 'this changes rule 42.1 [to the extent ...].

    I think it's regrettable, as the class association's intent is pretty clear, but as 'rules technicians' isn't it our business to pay attention to trifles?


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