Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Double standard?

Rule 19 deals with both “normal” obstructions and with continuing obstructions:
19.1 When Rule 19 Applies Rule 19 applies between boats at an obstruction except when it is also a mark the boats are required to leave on the same side. However, at a continuing obstruction, rule 19 always applies and rule 18 does not.
First a static picture; I’ve designated the top as situation one and the bottom as situation two.

111226 ESS Act9 two

Below the animation of the two situations with three boats sailing along a continuing obstructions end up in exactly the same situation. In both animations the boat behind the yellow boats is in trouble – she has to dump speed to avoid contact. But in both situations she’s not keeping clear under rule 12.

111226 ESS Act9 two

Yellow protests in position 5: Who do you penalize in situation one and who in situation two?
My answers after the break.


In situation TWO: Penalize Light Blue.

In situation two Red already has an overlap when both boats (Light Blue & Red) approach Yellow. Yellow is an obstruction to both boats under rule 12. Light Blue chooses to pass that obstruction to leeward – as she is entitled to, but must therefore give a boat inside overlapped of her (Red) room to do the same. Rule 19* applies between her and Red. Red is forced to break rule 12, because Blue does not give her room to pass, and is exonerated (Rule 64.1(c))

In situation ONE: Penalize Purple.

In situation one Blue gets an overlap with Yellow to leeward before Purple becomes inside boat. Yellow is therefore no longer an obstruction to Blue (Remember? In 2010 the definition of obstruction was changed, in that a boat that must be given room no longer counts). So when Purple does get an inside overlap Blue is not obliged to give room; rule 19* does not apply between Blue and Purple.

*(In both situations rule 19 applies between the Blue boats and Yellow boats).

Did you get the same answer? If not, give me you motive, please.


  1. Lets have some fun!
    Firstly Look at the disappearing obstruction call in Team racing calls F2 this is the ammended call fron the 2009 - 2012 call book 2010 suppliment (on the ISAF) web page.
    Now onward.
    In sutuation 2 does the red boat get exonerated? He could slow and not break a rule, and it could be said if he hailed earlier for water he would have know if the leeward boat intended to respond, and thus protest or sooner.
    This brings the interesting part, when should the red boat hail protest if you agree the leeward boat should give her room. At position 3 the leeward boat in no longer subject to RRS 19 on the leed boat as there is an overlap and she is the leeward ROW boat. If you considered she should have given wared before she would have broken a rule. She can only pe penalised if the Red boat (or other) hails "at the first reasonable opportunity" RRS61.1(a) moving to 5 before the call could be too long.
    Mike B

  2. I cannot see that any rule has been broken. Who is Yellow protesting?

    While the shoreline fits the definition of an obstruction, it is not interfering with any boat. The boats are close reaching parallel to the obstruction.

    Blue overtakes to leeward, so R 17 applies. Yellow continues and Blue does not luff up, so I see no infraction here. When Blue establishes an overlap to leeward of Yellow, Yellow is entitled to room (per definition), but we have no information as to prevailing conditions to infer if room is adequate or not and the absence of such information suggests that the conditions are not relevant and that room requirements were met., .

    Red is catching up from astern, but never overlaps Yellow and so remains keep clear vessel, which she does.

    Red establishes an overlap with Blue and but does not break 19.2.c. Even if Red did break a rule relative to Blue, it is up to Blue to protest her. . .not Yellow.


  3. I think that this is the wrong answer for question 2. At position 3 Yellow becomes a keep clear boat so is no longer an obstruction to Blue. Rule 19 therefore no longer applies. I believe this has become known as the 'disappearing obstruction' rule.
    By reading the rule in this way there is no 'double standard' and the rule becomes consistent.

  4. @Mike B
    The difference between this situation and RR Team Racing Call 2010/002 is the windward continuing obstruction. The Red boat cannot luff to avoid Yellow.
    I suggested that Red is exonerated for breaking rule 12, but perhaps that is wrong like you said, she can slow down.
    I still think light blue breaks rule 19 because she initially does not give room to Red to pass to leeward. If she 'closed the door' after getting an overlap with Yellow I would not penalize her.

  5. @ball_hilary (john)
    In the facts as stated in the case Purple and Red break rule 12 by not keeping clear of the Yellow boats.

  6. @Anonymous(3)
    Yes, the concept of 'disappearing obstruction' is described in RR Team Racing Call 2010/002 like Mike indicated.
    But because there's also a continuing obstruction I dont think we can use it as written.

  7. In the original post there was a statement that purple and red broke R 12. To me that is not a fact, it is a conclusion. I see no facts found. I do not understand why the boat astern breaks R 12 as there was no contact, not even an overlap with Yellow. The boat astern dumped speed to stay clear astern. Yellow was not impeded in any way.

    While I agree that Blue breaks R 19 in case 2, it should be Red that protests Blue, not Yellow, and Red should have protested between pos 2 & 3. Failure to protest promptly may get the hearing against Blue disallowed.

    R 17 applies to Blue, relative to Yellow in both cases, but we have no information as to the location of the next mark and so no opportunity to consider any proper course obligation on Blue.

    So I maintain my original position, We do not have sufficient information to determine an outcome. The diagrams are nice, but do not contain sufficient data nor substitute for facts.


  8. Jos

    In your example the leeward boat breaks RRS19 it is just whether the other boat protests in time.
    Lets look at the way the rules develop.
    When red gets and overlap on the leeward boat
    RRs Sh has to give the leeward boat initially room to keep clear.
    As the leeward boat is sailing a course to pass to leeward of the boat ahead she has chosen her course 19.2.a so she has to give room.
    There is no requirement to call for this room. If the leeward boat does not make active steps to create space then she is breaking RRS19. She could be penalised if she does not bear off. Even if the boats continued as in your diagram in a team race if flagged I would penalise. In a protest in fleet racing.
    None action is not enough there has to be a positive moove away.
    Mike B

  9. Re comment 6.
    Jos, I again, respectfully, disagree. Blue fulfills her obligation to Red at the continuous obstruction and for the reasons stated above she does not have to give room to avoid Yellow. Red should anticipate her problem and slow down to be able to get behind Blue
    Anon 3

  10. It is the obstruction yellow not the continous obstruction that is the problem

    Mike B


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