Friday, 29 June 2012

Kite boarding in Turkey; part 2

Clear Astern and Clear Ahead; Overlap
The definition in the Racing Rules of Sailing says:
Clear Astern and Clear Ahead; Overlap One boat is clear astern of another when her hull and equipment in normal position are behind a line abeam from the aftermost point of the other boat’s hull and equipment in normal position. The other boat is clear ahead. They overlap when neither is clear astern. However, they also overlap when a boat between them overlaps both. These terms always apply to boats on the same tack. They do not apply to boats on opposite tacks unless rule 18 applies or both boats are sailing more than ninety degrees from the true wind.
In Appendix BB (the kite boarding appendix) there's NO change to this definition. The definitions of finish and start are amended so that the kite does not count, but not in clear ahead and clear astern; overlap. There, the kite is part of the equipment and does count for overlap.

Here's the problem:
The kite is a long way ahead and to the side of the rider. Depending on the length of his lines between 20 to 30 meters. The rider cannot see if his kite past the line abeam from the board in front. And it can change in an instant by just raising the kite or lowering it. The rider in front may be able to see if he pays attention to the kites behind, but he has to concentrate on his own - not interfering with kites in front.
To be able to see definitely if kite boarders are overlapped or not, you need a 'wing' boat to windward at every kite board. And that is clearly impossible.

I'm more than ever convinced that this particular definition also needs changing to work on the water.
We all know that the rules change with overlap from 12 to 11, with addition of limitations rules, like 15. The riders are not able to do this with the current definition.

According to the definition these kite boarders are overlapped; #4 has right of way.  The rider with the hat needs to keep clear.

I heard suggestions from judges and from riders what to use. My vote is on the hull alone. If the kite board is overlapped with another's hull, then the rules should change. Before that the rider has to keep clear under rule 12, including his kite.
Everybody can concentrate on their own kite and does not have to worry about someone coming from behind, until they are very near.

Perhaps something to think about when the new 2013-2016 rules will be published?
Appendix BB will be in that rulebook......



  1. Bruno De Wannemaeker30 June 2012 at 16:10

    Hi Jos,
    we had a similar discussion at the first kite racing hydrofoil event in La Ciotat France earlier this year. All experienced kiters had no problem with teh cuurrent rule and said that if we would limit the overlap only to the hull it would mean that overtaking would become impossible....

    1. Right, that must have been different kiters... The ones I spoke to here, seemed to want a change.
      If a kiter overtakes to leeward he can as soon as his kite overlaps prevent the 'windward' kite from putting his kite down. That is what you are referring too, right?

      Will you be in Germany for the next PKRA event? I would love to have a chat about kiting and the future...


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