Tuesday, 28 February 2012

ESS 2012 Act 1; Muscat, Oman

I’m in Muscat, Oman for Act 1 in the Extreme Sailing Series 2012. A great venue, with nice summer weather and the Indian Ocean to sail on. That part is going great.

What isn’t working and a bit frustrating is that I’m having problems getting on-line. The internet connections at the hotel and at the venue have to deal with too much traffic and the capacity isn’t nearly enough to accommodate everyone. I’ve been trying all Tuesday when ashore, but with rarely any success. It is now 22:10 hours and I’m back in the hotel. Only 15 minutes so far.

I’ve written this post in Windows Live Writer and uploaded it in the short time I’m able to connect. It also means that I’m having to use any connection, as far as I can get it, for Email. Receiving and sending necessary messages without enough time to write much on the blog. I’m unable to connect long enough to answer comments in a meaningful way. Approving them to be published is already problematic.

This has prompted me to decide to put our LTW Winter Challenge 2012 on hold for the time being. All deadlines are extended with one week. This Friday there will be no new challenge post and the current challenge case is on ‘suspended’. I’m sorry to have to do this, but I see no other way.

We are here in Muscat with six umpires looking after the rules for eight Extreme 40’s. A couple of newcomers have joined the circuit. ZouLou from France, skippered by Loick Peyron (who has sailed E40’s before) and Trifork, a new Danish team, co-skippered by Jens Gram-Hansen. Back are Alinghi, but this time skippered by Ernesto Bertarelli himself, Oman Air, skippered by new comer Morgan Larson, The Wave Muscat, skippered by Leigh McMillan, and Gitane, Red Bull and GAC Pindar. The last three have been competing in 2011 as well and are again skippered by Pierre Pennec, Roman Hagara and Ian Williams, respectively.

It was a fairly light day with 6-10 knots wind and open water, up and downwind courses. Tomorrow the close inshore stadium racing will start, in front of a brand new location for the VIP-tent.

In order to not leave you completely without any rules issues, a situation from today (with a little adaptation) to think about:

120228 ess1 start

Before the starting signal three boats are close to the line. There is an opening in between Red and Grey because Grey is sailing away from Red. Purple decides to go in the opening and gets and overlap with Red fairly close. In position three the distance between Purple and Red is reduced to only half a meter, although Red has luffed in response to Purple’s overlap. Purple realises she is not giving Red the room to keep clear and decides to bear away to open up the distance.

But in position three when Purple was still about 4 meters away, Grey has come up. She’s changed course but within the limitation of rule 16.1. Purple is now boxed in. She has to give room to Red to keep clear, but can’t go down anymore without breaking rule 11 towards Grey. Purple goes down anyway and Grey protests.

Who should be penalized?

Grey has not broken 16.1. When she changed course she gave enough room to Purple to keep clear. Only not enough room for Purple to be able to give enough room to Red to keep clear.

Purple has to give room to Red to keep clear, but can only do so by not keeping clear of Grey…

Come on, decide…

The Yankee flag was already 7 seconds ago.

In the meantime the starting signal has gone and boats are accelerating



Signing off for today with a picture of Alinghi who has new dark sails with the familiar red swirl.



  1. Surely Case 114 answer 2 applies.

    Under 16.1, when Grey changes course she must give Purple room to keep clear. This room includes room for Purple room to give Red room to keep clear of Purple. If as you say, Grey, when she changed course, she gave enough room to Purple to keep clear but not enough room for Purple to be able to give enough room to Red to keep clear then Grey has broken rule 16.1.

    However, Purple then bears away. This change of course is, according to the diagram, MORE than needed for Purple to give room to Red to keep clear. In which case, Purple has broken rule 11 and cannot be exonerated under 64.1(c) as she was not compelled to do so by Grey breaking rule 16.1.

    Question 1. Did Purple intially give Red room to keep clear when she became overlapped to leeward of Red?

    Question 2 Could Red have done more to keep clear of Purple once Purple became overlapped to leeward?


    1. Answer 1; No she did not
      Answer 2; Red could do no more, In position 2 she luffed but then got locked in by purple and could do nothing else than sail straight.

  2. Rule 19.2(b) "When boats are overlapped, the outside boat (Grey)shall give the inside boat (Purple) room between her and the obstruction (Red, unless she has beeen unable to do so from the time the overlap began". (Not the case in position 3). At that moment, boat Red is a keep clear boat for Purple under rule 15. Grey breaches rule 19.2(b)

    1. Purple put herself in that position. Was Grey obliged to manoeuvre in such a way that she includes room for Purple if that boat is not giving that room?

    2. Purple acquires overlap to leeward of red before becoming overlapped to windward of grey. imo 19 does not apply, since at no point was red an obstruction to purple and concurrently overlap between purple and grey...

    3. Grey boat is the obstruction not Red.
      But that never comes in to play. Red is doing its best to keep clear, only failing because of Purple's actions.
      She can do no more.

  3. Penalize purple, rule 11.

    1. Agreed, yellow flag for Purple (gybe penalty)


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