Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Score 03/09 LTW Winter Challenge

First of all I must apologies for not getting scoring and commenting sooner

It's tax-time in the Netherlands and I had an appointment with my bookkeeper today going over the results of my first year. That took all my time preparing. Luckily I had some post pre- prepared to go on the blog. But the LTW 2012 Winter Challenge got the short end of the stick. I'm satisfied with the comments of my bookkeeper and can do the changes in coming days, so this evening I'm catching up.

The case with the crew in the water was send to me by Jason, who told me it has really happened. Thanks Jason!

There are three rules to consider in this situation. In numerical order 42, 47.2 and 49.2

Most of the contestants went for 47.2, which is the obvious rule.  There is however one consideration to make. What is 'on board'? That is not defined in the rules. Can a person be on board while hanging onto it?
It is standard practice that if you need a definition of something that is not defined in the RRS, you go to the standard use/definition in the (nautical) dictionary.
Webster: On shipboard; in a ship or a boat; on board of; as, I came on board early; to be on board ship.
To me that means, the person should be at least 'out of the water'….
So the boat continues to race with a crew member not on board, therefore breaking rule 47.2 > DSQ.

There is also a breach of rule 42! The wording in the rule states: ......using only wind and water to increase, maintain or DECREASE her speed. Sticking an arm or a leg in the water to slow down for the start is breaking rule 42! Let alone a person.

Finally rule 49.2
You found out in the questions the boat has stanchions…. Logically that would mean that she also had lifelines, and one of you specifically asked this. In order to consider 49.2 you need to know this.
There is a case to be made that a person hanging onto the boat is positioning his body outside the lifelines, and certainly not performing a necessary task. But because of the other two infringed rules, you can also not use this at all.

Some of you also used rule 2. The skipper, by sailing on without recovering his crew, was deliberately breaking rule 47.2.

Hmm, I'm reluctant to go there. I think the skipper just didn't realise he was doing this. He should have, perhaps. But to find this a rule 2 issue I need to be sure. It must be clearly established, like the rule says. I don't blame anyone from bringing it up in the room, but my vote would be no.

I've scored the entries accordingly and commented individually.

The leader and runner up have only 1 point between them. It could be over in three episodes......


  1. Just a question:
    "The wording in the rule states: ......using only wind and water to increase, maintain or DECREASE her speed"

    So if a person stand up on a boat he is decreasing the speed of the boat by the wind resistance that is created? Even if the decrease in speed is minimal is it still considered a breach of Rule 42?

    1. Standing up is technically a breach, but sailors have to be somewhere and since the impact is so little we just don't go there. Because of the greater resistance of water, it has a real effect and then it becomes a rule infringement.
      Yes, I know, that is not consistent, but that's how it is.

  2. Hi Jos, I disagree this time about 42. They did not throw a guy overboard to decrease the speed; it was an accident. If this boat breaks rule 42, then every boat whose a crew falls accidentally overboard, or if their butts touch the water during a puff, should take a penalty turn. I don't think this is the case.

    1. Not the falling overboard and getting back in breaks 42 - the boat is not continuing in the race during that time - but keeping hem there while racing is an infringement over 42.

    2. Ok, I see your logic now. I guess the breach of 47.2 is in the same vein, not by falling overboard, but by staying outside of the lifelines and continuing to race?

    3. Did I write 47.2 above? I meant 49.2

    4. Correct, by staying outside you can make an argument that that is positioning your body outside the lifelines, other than performing a necessary task, which breaks rule 49.2.

  3. Jos,

    I don't think anyone covered whether or not the boat finishes according to the definition of 'finish'. In this case I don't think that they do. Even if they were actively attempting to get the crew member on board (thereby not breaking 47.2) unless they had the crew member back on-board they wouldn't finish until they crossed the line in the right direction with everyone in their 'normal position'.

    1. The definition of finish doesn't preclude someone in a 'not normal' position of finishing. Only that if someone is in a not normal position, that doesn't count as first crossing.
      For example: a crew member goes to the bow and puts his arm forward. He is clearly in a 'not normal' position. Now the boat finishes not when his arm crosses the line but when the first 'thing' (boat, equipment or crew) in normal position crosses the line. In this example that will be most likely be the bow.

    2. Sorry, you are right, the definition addresses what part of the boat determines when a boat crosses the line.

      I guess it just seems a little contradictory that a boat can finish whilst at the same time it is supposed to be not continuing in the race until it picks up the person overboard. It makes a bit more sense when one notes that 47.2 carefully avoids the use of the defined term 'racing'.


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