Sailing yesterday in Marine Bay was intense. The shape of the scoreboard has been established and teams are beginning to jockey for position looking for their direct opponent.
We did six or seven flags in total, even a race with three penalized incidents.
Although we were sure about all of them, one mark-touch penalty may have been wrong in hindsight – when we talked to the crew.
The courses were mostly with port rounding's and then the most incidents are happening in the windward mark zone, between a port tacking boat and boats on starboard tack.
Since we use the modified match race rule 18.3, we have to judge exactly when the tack is complete. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the change, here is the short of it:
NORMAL RRS 18.3
Normally a boat that tacks in the zone has – on top of the normal obligation to keep clear while tacking – a few extra restrictions. If the starboard fetching boat has to luff above close hauled to avoid the tacking boat – the latter breaks rule 18.3, even if that happens after the tack has completed. And secondly, if the starboard boat gets an inside overlap, the tacking boat must give mark-room. That is the ‘normal’ fleet racing version of rule 18.3.
MATCH RACE RRS 18.3
In these regatta’s however, we use the modified match race version: If the starboard boat is able to avoid the tacking boat by luffing (even above close hauled) AFTER the tack has been completed, she is obliged to do so. If she can’t luff and avoid, she’s entitled to mark-room, if she gets an inside overlap.
The situation in the animation above is legal in Match Racing and under the ESS version of the rules, but is illegal in ‘normal’ fleet racing.
This basically means that the port tack boat must make a judgement call when to tack. Too early will likely cause trouble in fetching the mark, too late will infringe rule 13 or 15, going trough might cause trouble in rule 10. Timing is critical. And the decision to ‘go for it’, has to be made well in advance.
Tomorrow we’ll have a morning session and an afternoon session….