Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Misrounding; LTW Readers Q&A (61)

A Question from Bence from Hungary about radio controlled boats.

I’m writing to you as I’ve got a situation to think over and I’ve got some doubts about it. I’ve been sitting over it for 3-4 days now and can’t make it final. I attached the animation I made to it.

It’s happening in a race for radio-controlled boats. They have a gybe mark to be left to starboard in a triangle course. Two boats are approaching the mark overlapped when reaching the zone (which is 4 hull lengths according to Appendix E). The Yellow one gives enough mark-room for the Blue one as required by rule 18.2(b) but the Blue one makes a navigational error and sails on the wrong side of the mark. From this point on, the two boats are on different legs of the course (as I found in TR CALL 13). The Yellow boat wants to bear away to gybe to the next mark but the Blue one won’t let her. That’s why I’m rather sure that rule 23.2 applies and Blue breaks it as she would normally gybe as soon as possible to return to the right side of the mark and correct her mistake. I’m also sure that according to rule 11, Yellow still has to keep clear of Blue after passing the mark.

Now my doubts: rule 18.2(b) ceases to apply only when the blue boat leaves the zone (rule 18.2(c)).
How does this influence the situation happening still in the zone?
Or (maybe???) after Yellow passed the mark, can we say that rule 18 is no more applicable as it said by rule 18.1(c) (Yellow is leaving it and Blue still has to approach it – but is not doing this so I’m fairly sure that this is a wrong thought)?
If there were a contact between the boats at position 5, which one would you penalize? (maybe both?)
Blue for breaking rule 23.2 and Yellow for breaking rule 11 – as Blue made her course change according to rule 16.1)?

I hope you have an opinion that supports mine or an explanation that will make the situation clear for me.
With Regards, Bence

I think you've solved this situation (almost) correctly.

A few thoughts from me. It does not matter if you look for a way to switch off rule 18 or not. Even if rule 18 is still on, when boats have passed the mark, Yellow is giving mark-room. She still is giving room to Blue to sail to the mark. Blue is not doing that, so it has no effect on the rules situation.
I think rule 18 is off nevertheless, also because boats are no longer required to pass the mark on the same side.

You are correct that Blue breaks rule 23.2. She's interfering with a boat on another leg while NOT sailing her proper course. Yellow is breaking rule 11, by not keeping clear of a leeward boat. Nobody is forcing her to do so, therefore she cannot be exonerated. So again, you are correct in disqualifying both.

If there's contact both boats break rule 14, they both were reasonably able to prevent that, but only Yellow would be penalized for rule 14 if there was no damage.



  1. The leeward boat appears to be sailing a proper course. What therefore has it done wrong?
    Mike B

  2. I had the scenario wrong but have looked again at the diagram.

    This is one of those situatuations that exposes differences between Team Match and Fleet racing.(Especially because of the different course configuration)

    To me 18 is always on, but it does not change the scenario. The leeward boat is ROW and entitled to mark room. The other boat is keeping clear. There is no exoneration so 18 has no bearing.

    The windward boat clearly has to keep clear as windward boat. This is a fundamental.

    The real question is, is the boat on another leg. There may be a definition for match Racing and interpretations for team racing but is it the same for fleet racing?

    Here the windward yacht has not altered course to sail on the next leg, it is arguable the boats are therefore on the same leg and thus 23.2 does not apply.

    If both had passed on the right side of the mark the windward boat should keep clear why should it be different here?

    If you think of a triangular course why should the leg boundry not be at 90 degrees to the windward leg? This puts the boats on the same leg and resolves the problem.

    Mike B

    1. What if the next mark is downwind?
      I disagree with you that the boats are not on different legs. Please have a look at Q&A 2009-032 M005


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