Monday, 28 February 2011

(pillow)Case of the week (09) – 49

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)

(pillow)Case picture


Rule 19.2(b), Room to Pass an Obstruction: Giving Room at an Obstruction
Rule 63.3, Hearings: Right to be Present
Rule 64.1(c), Decisions: Penalties and Exoneration

When two protests arise from the same incident, or from very closely connected incidents, they should be heard together in the presence of representatives of all the boats involved.

Summary of the Facts

In a moderate to rough sea and a fresh breeze, S, close-hauled on starboard tack on her proper course, converged with PW and PL, overlapped and broad reaching on port tack on a different leg of the course. The rigging of PW and S touched, in spite of S luffing sharply in an attempt to avoid a collision, but there was no damage or injury.



Two protests arose from this one incident and were heard separately. In the first protest, S v PW, the latter was disqualified under rule 10. The facts found in that hearing did not mention PL. During the hearing of the second protest, PW v PL, PL stated that she knew that S was converging with PW and PL, that PW would be likely to need room from PL to avoid a possibly serious collision, and that the situation was developing rapidly. PL was disqualified under rule 19.2(b) for not giving PW room between her and S, an obstruction. PW appealed the decision of the protest committee disqualifying her for breaking rule 10.


In cases of this kind, the two protests should be heard together in the presence of representatives of all the boats involved. This ensures that all of them hear all of the testimony given to the protest committee about the incident, as required by rule 63.3. Had this procedure been followed, the protest committee would have learned that the collision between PW and S arose from the inability of PW to bear away because PL did not give her room to do so, and, as provided in rule 64.1(c), PW would have been exonerated from her breach of rule 10. PW’s appeal is upheld, and she is to be exonerated from her breach of rule 10 and reinstated. The protest committee’s decision to disqualify PL for breaking rule 19.2(b) was correct.

RYA 1981/6



There are ways to ensure that cases like this are heard together. But it does mean that the person receiving the protest forms – or the one planning the hearings – at least has a basic understanding of the process.

He/She must run trough the following checklist:

  • Have any of the boats on the forms the same numbers?
  • If so, are they the same class?
  • if so, did the incident occur during the same race?
  • if so, compare the incidents described on the forms and look for similarities – if in doubt ask one of the panel members to help.
  • If still in doubt, call the parties involved to come at the same time and ask them.

It is easier to separate if the protest is not about the same incident, than to join, if they are.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Fact Finding Friday Animation 11.3

Right. Lets combine a couple of things. I've made a animation from a incident on the water here in Muscat.
It was a little bit tricky because one boat hardly moves at all, but I did the best that I could.
The rules are under addendum Q direct judging and the Blue boat protested right after position 10. There was serious damage to the hull of Blue. The left top corner of the stern of the port hull was breached an a hole circa 5 centimetres was opened. They could finish the race, and it had no effect on their speed, but the boat had to be repaired before it could race again the next morning.

I'll give you one fact already. There was 5 to 6 seconds between completion of the tack by Blue and the collision.

Please write the facts found, a conclusion and a decision as if you were not on the water, but sitting in the protest committee, hearing about this incident after the races, in the room.
And don't forget about rule 14

Monday, 21 February 2011

A map, a compass and not much else....

The writing assignment by Tillerman about 'navigation' immediately triggered a memory from a long, long time ago. Please forgive the lack of a new Casebook post this monday, I couln't help myself.....

A map, a compass and not much else....

Strangely enough I learned a valuable lesson about navigation not on the water, but on land. I was 23 and in training for...... the Army. Having been able to postpone for several years to finish school, I ended up doing 'draft 82-1'. That was in January 1982 and I remember it being a cold winter, with not much snow, but lots of wind. After a month or so in classrooms and exercise-yard at the barracks in Utrecht, we were send out on our first bivouac. And part of that two weeks living in a green tent, was being hauled out of bed and dropped somewhere in the middle of the night with a map and a compass.
Four recruits with sleep depraved eyes and shivering in the cold winter air, were told they had 24 hours to get back to camp. And off went the truck, with the rest of the group, who would be dropped a couple of clicks away with - no doubt - the same grunted instructions by the Sarge.

Being bold as ever, I convinced my fellow 'Indians' that I could navigate. I had used compasses before to Sail the Seven Seas (once, going from IJmuiden to Lowestoft), was infinitely knowledgeable on longitude and latitude (52 something by 4 and a half) and could calculate the variation to the second.....
So I got the goodies in my - thankfully with green mittens covered - hands.

I was impressed by the map! It showed amazing detail. Every road, every green field, every house and every tree seemed to be depicted. And the compass had two flaps you could hinge up, to get a hairline sighting. This would be a singe, I thought. Just had to figure out where we were, take a bearing on the map to the place where our tent was pitched and 'Joe was our Uncle....'

Now, it was a bright night. With our eyes getting accustomed to the dark and a half moon, we could see fairly well....... so we thought. We were on a semi dirt road, hmmmm..... dozens of those on the map...  close to fields and not many lights (houses)
After some turning and wandering, I thought to have found the place on the map.... and off we went.

No roads, no paths or natural lines. No, straight as an arrow across every, eeeh, well across everything. Fence? Climb over it. Ditch? Jump and don't look back. Garden? Well okay, we didn't enter that many gardens, but that was because we were not eager to get the house owner mad at us.... (and there could be dogs).
By keeping both eyes on that marvellous map, I was convinced we would be back in a matter of hours....

Yes, the second from the left
After two hours my fellow 'inmates' started to question my method. Wouldn't it be better to follow this road, they said, so we could get some road signs and check if we were going back to the town our camp was near?

I wish I had listened to them.

But no, I managed to keep my cool and ploughed straight on, never doubting for a second I could be wrong... although something in the back of my mind started to nag...
And that nagging got louder and louder.....

For three hours we wandered trough that cold night in February '82, never anywhere near the place I thought we were on the map, before I got stopped by my 'brothers in arms'. The map was ripped from my hands, the compass was declared superfluous and we started to follow a road until we found a traffic sign with names and distances.....

I remember it took me a while before I could admit to myself that I had failed miserably.
But the evidence was in front of me. We had to go almost 180 degrees back to where we started, before we could reach our camp. The rest of that night and most of the following day, I was walking last in the group, not wanting to have to look into the eyes of my 'brethren'. We came in, dead last of the 5 groups that were dropped that night, just shy of 10 hours later.

Please, my fellow navigators, keep your maps up to date, use every gadget or doohicky you can lay your hands on, but please, take the advice of a fresh recruit, who learned it by the blisters on his feet:

First and foremost, use your eyes and look around!

The world has many many signs - man-made or natural - that can steer you in the right direction.
No compass or map can beat that.

Look for signs first!
And keep looking!


The picture was taken later that fortnight..... They did forgive me enough to trust me with a map again, but not much else.......

(pillow)Case of the week (08) – 50

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)

(pillow)Case picture


Rule 10, On Opposite Tacks
Rule 14, Avoiding Contact
Definitions, Keep Clear

When a protest committee finds that in a port-starboard incident S did not change course and that there was not a genuine and reasonable apprehension of collision on the part of S, it should dismiss her protest. When the committee finds that S did change course and that there was reasonable doubt that P could have crossed ahead of S if S had not changed course, then P should be disqualified.

Summary of the Facts

On a windward leg, P met S and sailed a course to cross ahead of S. S bore away, displayed a protest flag, and hailed P her intent to protest. Both boats were identical 27-foot keel boats, and the wind strength was Force 3. S protested under rule 10, stating that she had to bear away to avoid colliding with P. The protest committee dismissed the protest by S, stating that: ‘The need to change course could not be substantiated by the conflicting testimony of the two helmsmen.’ S appealed.




Rule 10 protests involving no contact are very common, and protest committees tend to handle them in very different ways. Some place an onus on the port-tack boat to prove conclusively that she would have cleared the starboard-tack boat, even when the latter’s evidence is barely worthy of credence. No such onus appears in rule 10. Other protest committees are reluctant to allow any rule 10 protest in the absence of contact, unless the starboard-tack boat proves conclusively that contact would have occurred had she not changed course. Both approaches are incorrect.
S’s diagram, later endorsed by the protest committee, shows that S bore away to avoid contact. P’s diagram, which was not endorsed by the protest committee, showed a near miss if S did not bear away. P did not deny or confirm that S bore away but said that, if she did, it was unnecessary. A starboard-tack boat in such circumstances need not hold her course so as to prove, by hitting the port-tack boat, that a collision was inevitable. Moreover, if she does so she will break rule 14. At a protest hearing, S must establish either that contact would have occurred if she had held her course, or that there was enough doubt that P could safely cross ahead to create a reasonable apprehension of contact on S’s part and that it was unlikely that S would have ‘no need to take avoiding action’ (see the definition Keep Clear).
In her own defence, P must present adequate evidence to establish either that S did not change course or that P would have safely crossed ahead of S and that S had no need to take avoiding action. When, after considering all the evidence, a protest committee finds that S did not change course or that there was not a genuine and reasonable apprehension of collision on her part, it should dismiss her protest. When, however, it is satisfied that S did change course, that there was reasonable doubt that P could have crossed ahead, and that S was  justified in taking avoiding action by bearing away, then P should be disqualified. On the facts, as shown in the diagram and the report of the protest committee, the ability of P to cross ahead of S was doubtful at best. S’s appeal is upheld, and P is disqualified.

CYA 1981/58


Probably the most talked about case in the book. One that is a little hard to get your head around at first, but essential for any hearing. For sailors even harder, I think, because is should dictate how to behave on the water – sometimes contradictory to what ‘feels’ right.

The principles in this case have an impact on every situation where one boat has ‘to keep clear’ of another.

I suggest you read it again.

ESS 2011: Muscat, Oman Act 1; Race (Media) Day 1

Each morning around 10:30 we have scheduled a informal meeting with competitors to talk about there issues with rules and racing. The meeting is called: "Coffe with Umpires". Instead of a formal debrief after racing each day, we found that the morning after, is a much better time to address the sailor's issues and questions.

This morning we talked to a couple of skippers about the first day racing (Sunday) and there views.
Main point they brought up, had to do with a port boat tacking in front of a starboard tack boat. As you might know cats have a 'hard' time to go trough a tack. They loose practically all speed and turn very slowly.
The rule dictates that once you are on a close hauled course - regardless of your speed or sails filled - rule 13 is off and you become the right of way boat, clear ahead under rule 12.
The delta in speed is however sometimes very high. A starboard tack boat may approach with 15 knots and will have little time (even if there is enough distance) to respond.
Coupled with the fact that visibility to leeward is practically zero when a hull is flying, the tacked boat is in all intends and purposes "suddenly there"

We explained that the tacked boat does have an limitation beyond rule 13. Once she has become right of way boat, she then must give the keep clear boat - the one coming from behind with great speed - enough room to keep clear in a seamanlike way. Depending on the delta, the waves and circumstances, that is not only distance, but also time to react.
Speccially when the staboard boat has a overlapping windward boat, room to keep clear includes room for the windward boat to luff, before the leeward boat can.

The fact that visibility is very low is not something that is considered in the rules. It still is the responsibility of the starboard boat to keep an adequate lookout.

We will have to discuss this in our team, but personally I already think that I will adjust my perception of how much room the starboard boat needs.

I'll try to post FFFA 11.3 later today, hopefully.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

ESS 2011: Muscat, Oman Act 1; Practice day

Three practice races today, with not all competitors sailing, unfortunately - or, in our case, fortunately, because we were only with 1,5 umpire boat. The last two of our team still have to arrive, and we had to miss some racing because of tow 'duty' to one of the teams.

Spending the day in this beautiful venue brought back memories from 30 years ago when I was also on the 'Arabic Peninsula'. Working as a young trainee at a building site in Dubai, we drove in our car to Oman on a short holiday trip and had a look at the Indian Ocean. That was in 1979.
A lot has changed, since then. But not the friendly Omanie people and the pride they took in their country.

As for the sailing and the teams, I have the distinct impression this will be a season where more than other years the goal will be "to win!". Everybody has been training very hard, has been preparing the boat as best as they know how and is sort of more serious then ever before.

We need to be at our best tomorrow - not only because of that, but also because of more than before, the eyes of the sailing world will be on this series - as a prelude to the AC45 events. more then one team here, has AC aspirations. We will see how that goes.

But for now, I predict more emotions, more risk taking and more hearings.
It wouldn't surprise me at all, if that already started here in Oman.

Even the Safety-guys are beginning to pick up on the fact that safety issues they are unable to enforce, but are written in de NOR of in the SI, can be protested and sorted out in the Jury-room.

Now I'm hitting the sack- and hope to catch up some of that sleep I missed yesterday. It's gone eleven already.

Flog the Blog Day (39)

What is this? Flog the Blog Day? Never heard of it....
My faithful readers might still have a vague recollection, something from way, way back then, when the icecaps were melting, and the hunters finally could get out again to get some 'fresh' meat.

For all the new readers and as a reminder for all others: Flog the Blog Day is one day, each month (always on the 18th) where I try to post about the blog. Some future plans, some questions about new features, some thoughts on blogging. But the biggest contributors to Flog the Blog Day are YOU.
You are invited to tell me what I'm doing wrong, what is absolutely an affront to your senses or maybe plain stupid.
Don't spare the rod, tell me.

I'm already a day late, and it will not get better, I'm sorry. Yesterday I arrived at 04:30 local time ( 01:30 my time) and this morning I went to the venue at 09:30, sorting out ribs, helping with the preparation and going out on the water for some practice races.

Hopefully I will have some time tomorrow. FFFA 11.3 will just have to wait....

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Extreme Sailing Series 2011; Act 1: Muscat, Oman

As always I'll try to pick up on the rules issues and blog about them. But since this is the first in the series, I need to be a little careful before I 'blast' away. We have again updated the umpire guidelines - to accomodate what is now called 'STADIUM SAILING'

Tomorrow I'm travelling - I hope to post FFFA 11.3 if can get a connection somewhere. Otherwise it will be Saturday before I can hook up at the event site. Please be patient, but stay tuned.

In the meantime have a look at the ESS Website:

Doing circles is slow

Everybody has an opinion about what the rules should be. Yesterday I posted the "automatic translation" version, whereby the rules went from English to Russian to Japanese to Hungarian to Portuguese to Dutch and back to English, resulting in Brands instead of Marks. (We are it wrong...)
(And, whatever you do, don't, I repeat, do not click on the link provided in that post. You will be sorry if you do)

Today we have a simplified version, written in 2002 by Hugh Elliot from the USA. I met Hugh at my IJ seminar back in 2004. We keep in touch on an irregular basis and he comments on my LTW scribblings now and then. He still writes, a little more elaborate, on his blog called Thoughts Not Slogans. I liked this post in particular: Thought for the Day. But then I've read THHGTTG.

For now, back to Hugh's beginning - at that time he hadn't progressed to rule 42:

Hugh’s Rules of Sailboat Racing
Kids and Small Boat Tacticians
(With help from Fred Hagedorn
US SAILING Olympic Sailing Committee Chairman 2001 - 2004)

  1. Don’t hit other boats. Collisions are slow and arguments are slower.
  2. Keep out of the way of boats in front of you.
  3. Port tack boat usually has to stay out of the way of everyone else.
  4. Windward boats must stay away from leeward boats.
  5. The inside boat gets to go round the mark first.
  6. Don’t hit marks. Doing circles is slow.
  7. Don’t hit the committee boat. First, it is a mark (see Rule 6) and second, it really makes them mad.
  8. Nothing good ever happens on a layline.
  9. The port tack layline is a very ugly place.
  10. Control your own destiny: stay out of the Protest Room. Protest Committees are uncontrollable: with a 100% solid case, you have a 50% chance of being DSQ

I'm not 100% sure what to make of the last one - safe it to say he has learned a lot ...... at that seminar :-)

Thanks Hugh!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

We are it wrong, all of us. NEW Racing Rules all surfers/sailors!

I have to say, I had a sleepless night, these new rules are very difficult, even for an 'independent sports professional', like I hope to become.

To illustrate, this is rule 3:
3. When wind of the same and do not overlap, boat, another boat is overtaking the change must have a course to avoid a collision.
For those of you not familiar with the new RRS lettering: all bold printed words are now in a definition.
And wat about this one? Rule 6:
6. If you have the right of way and prepare for a ride, you must give the possibility of other boats.
But my absolute sleep-depraving bloody 'ing favourite is rule 7:
 7. When you reach the two length zone of a brand, you have to overlap the inside boat room to round the obstacle.
Now you have been warned. Better prepare and read all 10 rules here: RRS sailing you need to know!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


I have been updating my LinkedIn and Facebook Network today, as well as preparing for events in China and India (Visa applications in a short time frame is a hassle!)

Anyway, during my wanderings I came accros a picture which I do want to share with you:
Since my own boat is a "Valk" it caught my eye.

Valken in the Seventies?

If you click on the caption you can find the page where I got it from. The description states it's from the SNEEKWEEK in the Seventies....

Hmmm. I don't know....

We build our boat in 1974 and it was already permissible to fit it with trapeze and with a spinnaker. The boats in the picture have neither.
So my questions to all Dutch LTW-Readers are:
Does anybody recognize this picture?
And if so, what can you tell me about it?
Is it really from the seventies?

Number 430 does not have a valid certificate anymore, but there's a photo of the boat on the class website:

Boot nummer: 838, 528, 833, 699, 503, 430, 84, 528
The caption on that website suggest that the 430 was sailing in the Sneekweek 2010. I can't find her number in the picture, but the sailors might recognize her from her colours.....


Monday, 14 February 2011

(pillow)Case of the Week (07) - 51

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)

(pillow)Case picture
Rule 11, On the Same Tack, Overlapped
Rule 64.1(c), Decisions: Penalties and Exoneration

A protest committee must exonerate boats when, as a result of another boat’s breach of a rule, they are all compelled to break a rule.
Summary of the Facts

The diagram shows the tracks of four large boats from approximately thirty seconds before their starting signal until fifteen seconds before. At position 2, MW was forced to bear away to avoid collision with W, and almost immediately afterwards ML and L were also forced to bear away to avoid the boat to windward. There was no contact between any of the boats. Had W steered a course to keep clear, she would have crossed the starting line before her starting signal. Each boat to leeward hailed the boat to windward, and each protested the boat or boats to windward of her.

The protest committee disqualified W, MW, and ML and justified its action with respect to the middle boats by stating that ‘failure to do so would limit the effectiveness of rule 11 because all boats, except the most windward one, would be immune from disqualification.’ MW and ML both appealed.



Both appeals are upheld. MW and ML are to be reinstated. Both of them, by their hails, attempted to avoid having to bear away, and neither bore away before becoming obligated to do so to avoid contact with the boat immediately to windward. Rule 14 required them to avoid contact if it was ‘reasonably possible’ to do so, and they complied with the rule. Each of them broke rule 11, but each was compelled to do so because W broke rule 11. Therefore, each of them is entitled to exoneration under rule 64.1(c).

USSA 1950/37


W – the terrible – should have been DSQ’d twice, no three times, don’t you think? >-)
But no, there’s only one penalty in the rules. At times I wish it was possible to do less and – as with this case – sometimes I wish to do more.

Is this a Gross Breach of a rule?

Unfortunately I see this all the time when on the committee boat, but :-# as PRO


Sunday, 13 February 2011

Extreme Sailing Series: NOR 2011

I've been studying the NOR and SI's for the ESS. Next week in Oman we will use them in the 2011 series for the first time. The changes that are made to the 'normal rules' are all the result of experiences in the last years, umpiring these fast cats. I hope we now have all 'wrinkles' ironed out

An excerpt from the rule changes:
(You can read the whole NOR here: Extreme Sailing Series NoR 2011-blog.pdf)
1.7 ISAF has been requested to authorise the following changes under RRS 86. 2:
1.7.1 No national authority prescriptions will apply;
1.7.2 ISAF Addendum Q, Umpired Fleet Racing (Medal racing), ISAF Appendix Q, Umpired Fleet Racing (for a series of races), ISAF RRS Appendix C, Match Racing Rules, or Addendum F (a combined set of umpired fleet and match race rules) will apply for umpired races as modified by the Series Sailing Instructions and Regatta Sailing Instructions; and RRS C2.3 is changed to read:
In the definition Zone the distance is changed to three hull lengths.
(MUST remember, MUST remember, also in MATCH RACING!, always THREE!) RRS 18.3 Tacking when approaching a mark will be changed to read:
If two boats were on opposite tacks and one of them changes tack and as a result is subject to rule 13.1 in the zone when the other is fetching the mark, rule 18.2 does not thereafter apply. If, once the boat that changed tack has completed her tack,
(a) the other boat cannot by luffing avoid becoming overlapped inside her, she is entitled to mark-room, the boat that changed tack shall keep clear and rule 15 does not apply;
(b) the other boat can by luffing avoid becoming overlapped inside her, the boat that changed tack is entitled to mark-room. 
(This is straight from App. C (Match Racing) and has been implemented for several years already) When rule 20 applies, applies, the following arm signals by the helmsman are required in addition to the hails:
(a) for ‘Room to tack’, repeatedly and clearly pointing to windward; and
(b) for ‘You tack’, repeatedly and clearly pointing at the other boat and waving the arm to windward.
(Now this change is because we had so much trouble last year with this issue!) Rule 23.1 is changed to ‘If reasonably possible, a boat not racing shall not interfere with a boat that is racing or an umpire boat.’
(Finally, they also have to avoid US, if possible) Rule 18.2(e) is changed to ‘If a boat obtained an inside overlap from clear astern and, from the time the overlap began, the outside boat has been unable to give mark-room, she is not required to give it.’  
(Did you notice what has been left out?. Makes it a little easier, if they can't, they can't and don't have to) Rule 13 is changed to
13.1 After a boat passes head to wind, she shall keep clear of other boats until she is on a close-hauled course.
13.2 After the foot of the mainsail of a boat sailing downwind crosses the centreline she shall keep clear of other boats until her mainsail has filled.
13.3 While rule 13.1 or 13.2 applies, rules 10, 11 and 12 do not. However, if two boats are subject to rule 13.1 or 13.2 at the same time, the one on the other’s port side or the one astern shall keep clear.
(Again from App. C> but now all the time, in all the races) RRS Race Signals and RRS 26 are changed. Signals and start sequence timing will be defined in the SSIs/RSIs.
(How is that again? What don't the people watching understand? They do not understand P and Class flags nor no 2 and 3 minute signals? Right! We will now use coloured flags (PINK even) with Any 'ing M can understand THAT!)

Friday, 11 February 2011

Fact Finding Friday Animation; Vol 11.2

For answers to last weeks FFFAnimation, please have a look at the comments with that post. Some where spot on, in my opinion. The trouble with writing good facts is that you also need to include distances.

You must be able to redraw the situation from the facts found alone.
Anyway, onto this weeks episode: From Boris Kuzminov's Photoalbum on Facebook:
(click on picture to see the animation)
In position 7 Yellow is forced above close hauled. And yes, the zone is 4 BL.

Please write down Facts Found, Conclusion and Decision as if you were one of the members that hears Yellow's (valid) protest after the race.
Good luck!

UPDATE 14/02/2011
Like the first post in this series, I'll be waiting to publish the comments until next issue. That way everybody can do this without breaking rule 41, okay? That also gives me the opportunity to come up with some remarks on your entries.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

To Hail or not to Hail..

My Google alert - although a little late - kicked out a link to an article in Sailing World by Dick Rose
There are only two rules where hailing is mandatory, in rule 20 and in rule 61.1 of the racing rules. For 'room to tack' approaching an obstruction and 'protest'.

If you want to know why Dick Rose's count ends up at five, you will have to read: Five Important Hails

A small quote from the piece:

“Tack or cross?”
In many fleets these days, the hail you hear most often is, “Tack or cross?” It’s most often made by a port-tack boat on a windward leg that would like to cross in front of a starboard-tack boat, but isn’t sure she can do so without forcing the starboard-tack boat to alter course. The hail is shorthand for “Waive me across your bow and, if need be, bear off to let me cross.

Monday, 7 February 2011

(pillow)Case of the Week (06) - 52

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2011. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)
(pillow)Case picture


Rule 16.1, Changing Course
Rule 16.1 does not restrict the course of a keep-clear boat. Manoeuvring to drive another boat away from the starting line does not necessarily break this rule.
Case 52
Summary of the Facts

Before the starting signal, the two boats reached away from the starting line.
A, moving faster, passed and was clear ahead of B at position 3. At position 4, A luffed up to close-hauled, intending to tack back to the line, but she found that B also had luffed and worked into position where, had A tacked, there would have been an immediate collision. A then bore away to gybe, only to discover that B had borne away into a position where a gybe would again cause collision. Finally, B gybed and headed for the starting line, leaving A well astern.

A protested B under rule 16.1, claiming that she had been interfered with while in the act of keeping clear. The protest committee disqualified B, who appealed, holding that her disputed manoeuvres were legitimate means of driving a competitor away from the starting line.


B’s appeal is upheld. She is reinstated. B’s actions describe a classic manoeuvre in match and team racing, used to gain a favourable starting position ahead of another competitor. The essential point is that rule 16.1 applies only to a right-of-way boat, which B, at positions 3 and 4, was not.

At position 4, B, as windward boat, had to keep clear under rule 11, but A could not tack without breaking rule 13. At position 5, B became the leeward boat with right of way under rule 11. Had A gybed onto starboard tack, A would have been subject to rule 15 and, if she changed course after she was on starboard tack, to rule 16.1. The facts show that neither boat broke any rule.

USSA 1955/63


These manoeuvres – like all match race sailors know – clearly illustrate that having right of way is NOT the same as being in control. Specially in the pre-start all match racers will try to get behind the other boat, and in that position control what the boat clear ahead can and cannot do.

And being keep clear boat has the additional advantage that you are never restricted by rules 15 or 16.

Like last week, a couple more to catch up. Case 67, 66 and 65 are now posted on LTW at weeks 46, 47 and 48


Henry Peronneau (1951-2011)

As appeared on the ISAF Website:
Obituary: Henri Peronneau (FRA)
Henri Peronneau
Henri Peronneau (FRA) has died aged 59
It is with great sadness ISAF reports that Henri Peronneau (FRA) an ISAF International Judge has died after a long battle with illness aged 59.
Henri Peronneau sailed a Nacra 5.7 catamaran. In the early 90's he began taking courses about the race management and judging. He quickly became a national race official and as match racing became increasingly popular where he lived he also became an umpire. Henri's work as an umpire showed him there was a need for better explaining umpire decisions and that he could develop software to help achieve this. As a mathematician, Henri worked on a project to develop such a tool and in 2000 introduced Tactical Sailing Solutions (TSS) to the America's Cup in New Zealand. Since then it has been used all over the world and improved as umpires and uses offered feedback.
In 2006 Henri became an International Judge.
Henri passed away on 9 January 2011. ISAF extends our sincere sympathy and condolences to his wife, two children and two grandchildren.

I also offer my condolences to Henry's family.
Unfortunately we never had the change to meet face to face. I only ever corresponded with him about TSS.
I'm sure we both thought it would happen soon enough......

I'm currently inquiring into what is going to happen with that program and will report back when I know more.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Rules simplification; Sometimes it happens - but not often

Mike Pallazo send me a question that he has been pondering for quite a while now, but just thought to ask:

Why'd ISAF get rid of 17.2?  Was it because nobody ever paid it much mind? 
17.2 Except on a beat to windward, while a boat is less than two of her hull lengths from a leeward boat or a boat clear astern steering a course to leeward of her, she shall not sail below her proper course unless she gybes.
I asked a friend - and member of the RRC - to find the submission back in 2007 that instigated this change.
It was Submission 183-07. (Thanks LP!)

As the reason for deletion this rule from the Racing Rules of Sailing, it states:

Rule 17.2 is redundant. It is also a rule that sailors break when approaching a gybe mark clear ahead of a boat astern and to leeward. In such a situation, the clear ahead boat will bear away to ensure the other boat does not get an inside overlap at the mark. The reason for this bear away is the other boat – it follows that this is not a proper course and the boat breaks rule 17.2. A rule that makes traditional manoeuvring prohibited should be deleted from the rule book.

The purpose of the rule was to ensure that there was at least one passing lane for a boat coming from astern. With the introduction of rule 16 some years ago, passing a boat to windward at some distance became less of a hazard, because when altering course the leeward boat had to give the windward boat room to keep clear, and if attempting to pass to leeward, the other boat would become windward and required to keep clear.

The deletion of rule 17.2 would make the racing rules of sailing simpler.

Don't say rules never are simplified - not often, I grant that - but it does happen.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Rule 42 registration Program: JAVA 42

 A guest post by Frank Koornstra:

Dear readers of LTW,

First of all let me introduce myself. I'm Frank Koornstra, a 26 year-old Umpire who occasionaly does some Rule 42 Judging. Every event I'm amazed at how much time the rule 42 administration is taking, so I thought I'd try to make an application that could do this simple but hour devouring task.

Of course I know that there already are a ton of Excel/Access/whatever-kind of apps for this out there, created by the finest Judges in the field. The only thing about these apps is that they're not publicly downloadable (least of the troubles) but mostly that they're not multi-OS (linux, mac, windows, etc) compatible.

Therefore, I've created Java 42, a java application that will give a solution to the rule 42 administration of a regatta. Because it's a Java app it'll run on almost any OS, as long as you have Java installed (and you probably already have). It's a simple standalone (no install needed) application which (1) registers infringements and check them with a list of competitors if needed; (2) exports a notice for competitors; and (3) exports a notice for scoring. You can import the list of competitors from an Excel- or CSV-file.

Below you can find some screenshots of the app in action. If you like it, you can download it at for free.

Also, you can find links there to register bugs that you might encounter or leave a good idea for the next version of the app. I hope you enjoy it and saves you a lot of time to do more fun stuff!

Kind regards,
Frank Koornstra

If you are using this program, Frank would love to get some feedback and suggestions what to improve.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Fact Finding Friday Animation; Vol 11.1

I'm starting a new series of posts. Derived from the popular Fact Finding Friday - posts by Brass - which were posted on LTW in the past, now with a added feature: Animations!
You'll be presented with a incident by a TSS or Boat Scenario Animation so you can give your opinion on the rules involved.

The first of this series was send by Vladimir Pavlov, Russia, Novorossiysk. He mailed me an animation with FOUR boats. You might need to watch this one a couple of times. :-)

The purpose of this 'exercise' is to write down the facts found, a conclusion and a decision as if you were a member of the protest committee dealing with this incident.

If the animation does not appear, please load the picture in a separate window - that should bring it to 'life'

I'll give you one hint: In my opinion only one boat should be DSQ-ed.

I'll give you my solution next Friday, before the next issue of FFF Animation.
Good luck.


Rule 10 On Opposite Tacks
Rule 11 On the Same Tack, Overlapped
Rule 17 On the Same Tack; Proper Course
Definitions Tack, Starboard or Port

Situation 1:


Yellow is a leeward boat subject to rule 17. She is sailing her proper course, which is nearly 140° from the true wind angle. Blue is keeping clear. From position 1 to position 3, Yellow pulls the boom across the centreline to the starboard side of the boat, and almost immediately pulls the boom back across the centreline to the port side of the boat. The force of the pulling action back to the port side causes the mainsail to completely fill in position 2.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

LTW Readers Q&A (50);

 A LTW-readers Question from way down-under.
"Where they have been sailing al the time" he said between clenched teeth, while rolling his eyes in envy.....

At my club on the Swan River here in beautiful Perth, I sail on two different boats on different days:
  1. a 25ft fractional rigged aluminium custom design sailing in a mixed fleet, and
  2. a Herreshoff 28, a 28ft full-keeled fractional rigged boat (designed in 1942 by L. Francis Herreshoff, the fifth of Nathanael Herreshoff's six children) which sails in class races.
Each boat has a single rod or wire forestay.

My club’s sailing instructions include the following clause:
Spinnakers shall not be used during Mid-Week races or Twilights. For the purpose of this rule a spinnaker is defined as any sail set forward of the mast not attached to the forestay at regular intervals or hoisted in a continuous groove device.
As changing headsails during a race can be a bit of a job with a single forestay, not to mention the loss of power whilst the change is being carried out, I had the idea of using a spare halyard (or the spinnaker halyard on heavy days when we’re too scared to fly a kite or in races designated as Jib & Main only) to hoist a light but strong line attached to the bow as a second temporary forestay to which another headsail could be hoisted, thus enabling the headsails to be quickly swapped if the need arose.

On the basis that the second headsail would be hanked-on to the temporary forestay (& therefore meet the “attached ... at regular intervals” requirement), the only relevant question I can think of is:

Would a halyard & extension thereof that is temporarily fastened to the bow (i.e. not forming part of the standing rigging of the boat) qualify as “the forestay”?

I’m not aware of anything (other than H28 class rules perhaps?) that says a boat can’t have two forestays, but I think the question that will be asked is whether running rigging can be used as a forestay.
I’d appreciate your thoughts or comments.

Col Delane

Let the wind take you to places
your imagination has not yet been.

Well Bruce, eeeeh sorry, Col,

There are a number of rules dealing with sails;
Rule 50.1; Changing Sails: No problem with your set up there;
Rule 50.4; Headsails; also no issue;
Rule 54; As long as you attach your line approximately to the boat's centreline, again no problemo.

I don't see any issue with using a line as a temporary forestay within the rules - unless something is written in the class-rules or the NOR about this.
These SI's prevent you from using a headsail without a forestay.

 Anybody else?

Slap, step back, raise knee, lower knee, step foreward, slap with great big Fish, step back, etc, etc.....
Oooh, sorry, that's English, isn't it?

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