Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Taking a Penalty in Match Racing III; (MR03)

Right, as it is Tuesday I'm posting another piece about taking a penalty in Match Racing.
This time the leading boat does not have five or six boat lengths advantage to do her penalty on the starboard lay-line, like I wrote about in Taking a Penalty in Match Racing II (MR02).

The Blue boat is right on the tail of the Yellow boat, who has an outstanding penalty. It is the second upwind leg of the match and instead of trying to hook the trailing boat on the run, Yellow lays a 'trap' at the windward mark.



She makes sure she enters the zone clear ahead - so Blue has to give her mark room.
Arriving at the mark Yellow luffs head to wind but does not tack. She stays head to wind and Blue is forced to go behind her to the outside. Yellow deliberately slows down. She may even use a big rudder movement to do so.

As soon as Blue gets an overlap to leeward of Yellow the second part the definition of mark-room comes in effect. Yellow has mark-room, including room to tack. If she inadvertently passes head to wind and is subject to rule 13, that is no longer a problem. She loses mark-room when she does, but it is not hard to keep clear, bearing away from Blue. Blue sails around her. Yellow lets that happen, but speeds up just enough to prevent Blue from passing in front of her.
Yellow has passed the line separating the upwind leg from the downwind leg. The correct penalty to take is now: passing head to wind and bearing away to a course lower than 90 degrees from true wind.

Yellow controls Blue and sails outside the zone. (Remember, you are not allowed to take a penalty inside the zone of a rounding mark). Outside the zone Yellow luffs, giving room to Blue under rule 16.1 and slows down again.  If Yellow's timing is right, Blue will get ahead more.

As soon as she's able to pass safely behind Blue (and can keep clear as tacking boat) Yellow passes head to wind and bears away clear astern of Blue. She has now taken her penalty and can sail downwind to the finish.
Blue will also tack and bear away on port or only bear away on starboard, but whatever she does, she is again trailing boat. Yellow has 'shed' her penalty and has not lost any ground.

Even if Blue decides to tack away after the initial luff by Yellow, there's is no problem. Yellow can then also tack and bear away. As soon as she has done that, she is again ROW leeward boat

Basicly this is the same manoeuvre as done in the dail-up after entry. Then Blue tries to get behind Yellow to be able to sail to the right hand side of the pre-start area. In this manoeuvre the roles may be reversed, but again one boat is trying to get behind the other, while sailing head to wind.

If you've understood my explanation above, I've a question to you:
Can  a boat take a penalty while sailing backwards?

12 comments:

  1. That is such a weird but cool question...

    On a windward leg, I would say yes. Given enough backwards speed, one might be able to take a penalty as per C7.2(a)(1).

    On a downwind leg, still theoretically yes, but one would have to go up to close to head to wind, start sailing backwards, then change tack and bear away to do it according to C7.2(a)(2).

    Is there any plausible scenario where either of these would be a good choice??

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    1. If in this situation above Blue never came in front of Yellow, Yellow would no be able to pass head to wind and bear away.
      If both boats then start to move backward, Yellow could then potentially pass head to wind and bear away going backwards and away from Blue. The timing has to be perfect and the distance created big enough so that when the sail fills again after reaching the 90 degree angle, Yellow has enough room to go up again or bear away further to give room to Blue to keep clear....

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  2. In the match race penalty kill at the windward mark, instead of tacking to Starboard as shown in your diagram, Blue might tack to Port and jibe around with right of way on Starboard. But he still has to give mark room to Yellow as Yellow returns and enters the zone from upwind, even if Yellow is on Port

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    Replies
    1. Agreed. In all cases Yellow has done her penalty without at least losing head-way towards Blue.

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  3. This is a good one - thanks, I love this stuff. Taking a penalty while moving backwards sounds like a boat handling feat, but it seems OK rules-wise, as long as she complies with C7.2 (I think it is possible to "tack" while moving backwards).

    Question - In position 12, yellow has passed head to wind. If she were to then alter course to Stb, pass head to wind again, then bear away to a downwind course, will she have properly completed her penalty? Rule C7.2(a)(2) includes the phrase "she shall tack". Some argue that a "tack" is from close hauled to close hauled. As an Umpire in Training, I’m under the impression that a “tack” starts when a boat passes head to wind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The penalty is not valid. Have a look at the Call book MR8

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  4. A very good and match-race-like way to take a penalty. Good explanation too

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very good explanation of the whole move... but i have a question. If Yellow when luffing in position 9 passes again the line separating the two legs, is she still taking her penalty?

    Steviekouris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once you've passed the leg separation line, you cannot 'unpas' it. You are sailing on the next leg of the course (downwind leg) and can take your penalty anywhere. (Except in the zone of a rounding mark.)

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  6. This is a smart move. Is there any reason why blue would wait until 13 to tack and bear down onto proper course when she could have done it at 10?

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    Replies
    1. No, Blue could have tacked in position 10. But then Yellow would have done the same immediately, shedding her penalty and with a bit of skill would have come out as ROW-leeward boat in front.
      If they entered the zone again, Yellow would have to give mark-room to Blue but she has not lost ground and was still ahead.

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