Saturday 31 January 2009

Understanding the RRS through 2012

Since we are on the subject of books and I realize that a Dutch translation is of limited interest to many of my blog readers, I'm writing this post to tell you about the new book by Dave Perry: Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing through 2012.

I ordered my copy from the US and it arrived two weeks ago. I've been reading parts of it since then. First of all, this is a very thorough book. It covers everything. From basics principle of how to use the language in sail racing, to the intricacies of rule 18 and 19. Perhaps a bit overwhelming for the beginner, but then again, there's no need to read it from cover to cover in one go. You can use it as a reference book and read parts you're interested in or you have had issue with.

Dave frequently uses the question and answer style; a little fish with a funny nose asks a relevant question and Dave answers it, explaining the rule in the process. Not at all the dry and stuffy style you would expect from a book about 'rules'.

Plenty of pictures, drawn by Brad Dellenbaugh, and clear and complete explanations.

This book is for the sailor who wants to know it all. For the judge who wants to have a clear reference book. It is also very useful for anybody who's first language is not English to get enough practice to be able to express your opinion to an International Jury. It will take some time to read it all, but it is worth it.

If you are just starting out, I would opt for 'Rules in Practice 2009-2012' I reviewed earlier, but if you have a year or two under your belt, this is a very good alternative. In any case - they complement each other very nicely - so there's room for both, on my shelf.

The book can be purchased from US SAILING ( It took about two weeks to receive it from US SAILING and the shipping and handling was just under US$20. The cost of the book is US$32.50.

Thursday 29 January 2009


Been very busy with final corrections. The translation of Bryan's Rules in Practice 2009-2012 is almost finished. I've just mailed my final comments on the pages, back to the publisher. When the layout is finalized tomorrow, it will go to the printers and the book should be ready at the HISWA, our annual biggest boat show in the first week of March.
Here's the cover:

Ben erg druk geweest met de laatste correcties. De vertaling van Bryan's boek is bijna klaar en gaat de tilel: "Handboek Zeilwedstrijdregels 2009-2012" krijgen. Ik heb zojuist mijn laatste commentaar op de bladzijden teruggemaild naar de uitgever. Morgen wordt de laatste hand gelegd aan de layout en dan gaat het naar de drukkerij. Als alles goed gaat is het beschikbaar tijdens de HISWA, de eerste week van maart.

Wednesday 28 January 2009

US SAILING Appeals Book for 2009-2012

Received from US Sailing:

For immediate release
Dave Perry
January 25, 2009

The US SAILING Appeals Book for 2009-2012 is now available to members online at no cost at
It has been completely updated to conform to The Racing Rules of Sailing for 2009-2012. In addition, it has been re-formatted into a one-column format that makes it much easier to read.

Readers of previous editions will notice changes to Appeals involving rules 18 and 19, i.e., situations at marks and obstructions. In addition, sixteen Appeals have been added since the 2005-2008 edition, and six Appeals have been deleted.

The online edition does not contain the ISAF Cases. The ISAF Case Book can be linked to from the US SAILING Appeals Committee web page. When this online edition was posted, the ISAF Case Book for 2009-2012 had not been published; therefore the Index of Abstracts of Appeals by Rule Number in the current online edition does not include abstracts from the Cases. When the ISAF Case Book is published, those abstracts will be added to the Index in The Appeals Book for 2009-2012.

The Appeals Book for 2009-2012 will continue to be published in hard copy, and will continue to include the ISAF Case Book. It can be purchased from US SAILINGs Store at The target date for the hard cover availability is April 1, 2009.


Tuesday 27 January 2009

ISAF Q&A's 2009 for RRS 2009-2012

Three new Q&A's appeared on the ISAF Website today;

Racing Rules Q&A 2009-017
Answering the question about room to tack for a inside overlapped boat. This on is very useful I think, since I'm sure many of the judges have thought about how this would work.

Racing Rules Q&A 2009-018
Is the finishing line ever a Gate?

Racing Rules Q&A 2009-019

Questions about the new definition Fetching.
(can't access this one at the moment > 404 error, I have a message to ISAF outstanding)
(update 22:28 hours: received a new link, document should be available now)

Since the new rules have come out the Q&A's have been coming fast. Al over the world we want to get it right from the start. Nevertheless I predict we will run into situations were we all will have to scratch our head, before we can come up with an answer....

How about you? Do you feel confident with the new rules?


Sunday 25 January 2009

Tactical Rounding with Mark-Room? | 2

Since we are having a discussion about Mark-room in this post: Tactical Rounding with Mark-Room?, I thought it prudent to give you the exact text the working party - the ones who wrote the new rules 18,19 & 20 - said about this issue:

Mark-Room – A comparison of the old and new rules with respect to what ‘room’ a boat is obligated to give while sailing to or at a mark:

The old rules required boats to give ‘room’. The meaning of ‘room’ for the purposes of old rule 18 was stated in two sentences located in two widely separated places in the rulebook – in the Definitions section in the definition Room and in the preamble to rule 18.
New rule 18 requires that a boat obligated to give room give ‘mark-room’, a new defined term.
The amount of space that constitutes ‘mark-room’ depends on where the boat entitled to receive mark-room is located. Before a boat entitled to mark-room is ‘at’ the mark she is entitled to ‘room to sail to [it]’. While she is ‘at’ the mark, she is entitled to ‘room to sail her proper course’. (The use of ‘to’ and ‘at’ in the definition Mark-Room is discussed in more detail below.)

The old definition of room at a mark was incomplete; the new definition Mark-Room is not. The old definition lacked two important features, both of which are covered by the new definition.
  1. The old definition only granted room for an inside boat ‘to round or pass between an outside boat and [the] mark’, and it was silent on what room, if any, was granted between the time one of the boats entered the zone and the time the inside boat needed space between the outside boat and the mark. The new definition covers both those time intervals.
  2. The old definition stated that it covered room ‘in rule 18.’ Old rule 18 imposed requirements to give room on ‘outside’ boats and also, in old rule 18.2(b), on boats clear ahead or clear astern. However, the old definition only specified room that an outside boat was required to give an inside boat. Thus, it was not at all clear what the obligation to give room meant for a boat clear ahead or a boat clear astern that was required by rule 18.2(b) to give room.

The new term ‘mark-room’ only applies to the space that must be given under new rule 18, and that new rule applies only at marks (including marks that are also obstructions). However, if a mark is a continuing obstruction, then new rule 19 applies and new rule 18 does not. At obstructions that are not marks and at all continuing obstructions (including those that are marks), new rule 19 applies, and it only requires an outside overlapped boat to give ‘room’ and not ‘mark-room’.

The new definition Mark-Room answers a question that competitors have been asking for many years. It makes it clear at what time an outside leeward boat with luffing rights may no longer luff an inside windward boat towards the ‘wrong’ side of a mark. Consider two overlapped boats running on port tack to a leeward mark to be left to port. After one of the two boats is in the zone, the leeward boat is obligated by new rule 18.2(b) to give the windward boat ‘room … to sail to the
mark’ (see the first part of the definition Mark-Room). Inside the zone, if the outside boat were to luff the windward boat to a course taking her to the wrong side of the mark, the outside boat would not be giving the windward boat space to sail to the mark. Therefore, that luff would break new rule 18.2, even if the outside boat later bears off and lets the inside boat sail to the mark. If such an outside boat luffs the inside boat towards the wrong side of the mark before either of them is in the zone, then, provided she complies with rule 16.1 (and, if it applies, rule 17), the outside leeward boat breaks no rule. Under the old rules, there was no clearly defined moment at which such a leeward boat could no longer luff the windward boat towards the wrong side.

The use of ‘to’ and ‘at’ in the definition Mark-Room:

Several experienced sailors, upon reading the new definition Mark-Room, have asked what ‘to’ and ‘at’ mean in that definition. In the Terminology section of the Introduction, readers are told that words such as ‘to’ and ‘at’ that do not appear in italics are ‘used in the sense ordinarily understood in nautical or general use.’

Look in The shorter Oxford English Dictionary and you will find many thousands of words in fine print devoted to ‘to’ and ‘at’. We must ask what those words mean in the context of the definition Mark-Room for a boat that is sailing a course in compliance with rule 28. We picked the words ‘to’ and ‘at’ instead of several alternative words because anyone at all fluent in English has learned to use those two two-letter words accurately in a variety of contexts.
An easy to visualize, land-based analogy may be helpful. Suppose that you are driving your car north towards and then into a traffic circle or roundabout. Cars in the circle are required to drive counterclockwise around a paved ‘island’ in the middle of the circle. You plan to drive around the island until you can exit headed west. First, you drive to a point where the northbound road intersects the traffic circle’s circular road – i.e., to a point at which you can begin to round the paved island. You leave the traffic circle using the exit that takes you to the road headed west. The island is analogous to a rounding mark for a racing sailboat, and your car’s track into the circle, around the island and out of the circle is analogous to that of a boat sailing to and around that rounding mark leaving it to port.

To drive the ‘course’ described above, you will first need to drive ‘to’ the circle – that is, to a point from which you can enter the flow of traffic around the island. Once you reach that point, you are ‘at’ the circle. From there you enter the circular road and drive on it until you reach the point at which you leave the circle on the westbound road. Carrying this analogy out onto the water, a boat is sailing ‘to’ a mark until she is in a position close to the mark from which she begins the maneuver of rounding or passing it on the required side. From that time, until she
leaves the mark, she is ‘at’ it.

A boat entitled to ‘room to sail to the mark’ is entitled to the space she needs in the existing conditions to sail promptly in a seamanlike way until she is in a position close to the mark from which to begin the maneuver of rounding or passing the mark on the required side. If a third boat is inside her and she is obligated to give a third boat mark-room, then she must be given space to comply with that obligation. If the mark is moving in large waves, then she must be given space to sail to it without risk of it touching her. While sailing ‘to the mark’ if the boat entitled to mark-room is required to keep clear of the boat giving her markroom, then she is not entitled to the space needed to sail her proper course to the mark – i.e., the course she would sail to the mark in order to finish as soon as possible in the absence of the boat obligated to give her mark-room. However, from the position where she can begin to maneuver to round or pass the mark until she leaves the mark, she is entitled to space to sail her proper course.

You can read the whole paper from the working party (Dick Rose, Ben Altman, Chris Atkins, Rob Overton and Richard Thompson) here: Comparison of Old and New Section C Rules (2).pdf.


Friday 23 January 2009

SPEED & SMARTS (4) #104 New Rules 2009-2012

My copy of Speed & Smarts dropped in the mailbox this week. Most of my readers from the USA who subscribe, will have had their copy weeks ago. But for those that don't, I highly recommend David Dellenbaugh's publication. Very nice graphics, pertinent and concise without missing the anything. I enjoy reading S&S every time, but the ones with the new rules are my favorites.You can subscribe on the Speed&Smarts website for a paper - or an Email subscription.

Also on the site: Two new rules tests.
You fill in true or false for twice 20 questions (Test 1 and Test 2) and if you provide an email address, the correct answers are send to you with an explanation within a minute.
Be warned, careful reading is a must! I had several wrong answers because of too quick reading.


Thursday 22 January 2009

FARR 40s again?

From the Sailgroove website:

Sailing Videos on Sailgroove

Looks like protests will decide at least a couple of finish places in this race!
Crucial in the hearing: were they outside the zone when the gybing and subsequent luffing first occurred? If yes, the most leeward boat will get DSQd. If they where inside the zone the most windward of the three is in trouble. The middle boat should be exonerated in both cases.



Some time ago I was send two pictures with Match Race situations by Luigi.

He stated in his mail: Two cases for your web site:
Wind from top of the page in both situation. MR, so mark must be left to starboard.

Situation 1:

Blue is protesting in position 4 by showing his Yankee flag.
Please indicate which (if any) penalty you would give as a umpire following this situation, using RRS 2009-2012 and why.

Situation 2:

Now Yellow is protesting in position 3.
Again, write which flag you would show and why.


Wednesday 21 January 2009

New ISAF Q&A's 2009: 015 & 016

Isaf posted two new Q&A's on the website:

Racing Rules Q&A 2009-015
About rule 32 and a race committee abandoning a race for any reason. Well, not anymore! The 'any' has been restricted with this answer and rightly so.
(the link on the site is not working at the moment: here's an alternative source: Q&A2009015)

Racing Rules Q&A 2009-016
About shortening of course, finishing when the race committee is positioned at the 'wrong' end.
Get smart, don't depend on the RC doing always the right thing, you have to know the rules!

Furthermore an ISAF Rapid Response Team Racing Call 2009/002 which answers a discussion not long ago on the Sailing Anarchy Forum: A double gybe breaks the proper course 'seventeen' restriction of a leeward boat.

Tuesday 20 January 2009

Tactical Rounding with Mark-Room?

One of my regular readers (Thanks Mike B) send me an E-mail with a case stated by Umpire Jose Ignasio Cantero. He has noticed an interesting difference of interpretation of what a boat can do with Mark-Room:

Mail from Jose:
Dear All,

As usual, any time new rules come into practice, some interpretation is needed, but I think that I am either getting too old, or things are getting more complicated.
For the purpose of Mark-Room and leeward mark tactical rounding for an inside no right of way boat, it seems that there are currently two ways of thinking, the English interpretation and the American one. Basically, the Americans think that tactical leeward mark rounding (sail-wide-come-out-close) is something that the inside no-right-of-way-boat cannot do, whereas the Brits´ opinion is totally the opposite, and so I am including two pdf files taken from two sailing magazines, Sailing World from US (Dick Rose) and Yachting World from UK (John Doerr).
(MarkRoomUS.pdf & MarkRoomUK.pdf)

You may find the different criteria not only in these magazines, but same situation on two newly published rules books: "Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-2012" By Dave Perry/ Brad Dellenbaugh. American Way of Thinking ( TACTICAL ROUNDING NOT ALLOWED)
"The Rules in Practice 2009-2012" By Bryan Willis. English way of thinking. (YES TO TACTICAL ROUNDING).

We can also visit the following blog-page, where we have two authors ( Butch Ulmer & Rob Overton ) commenting Rule 18, and again same situation. We are having a International Team Racing Regatta in Las Palmas, from Jan 29th till 31st, so what criteria shall we umpires apply?

And also, for IU with higher knowledge in English Grammar, can you explain to me the real meaning of the following phrases, used in the definition of Mark Room:
TO the mark & AT the mark?

"Mark-Room Room for a boat to sail to the mark, and then room to sail her proper course while at the mark"

How do we understand "to sail TO the mark" (in the ZONE)?
If we are in the middle of the down wind leg, the words TO THE MARK are easy to understand, (in example, rule 17 issues like "luffing rights" vs "proper course TO the mark"), but if we apply this meaning for the word TO while at the zone, we will never be able to do a tactical rounding on the leeward mark (sail initially wide, come out close). Should we consider that we are AT the mark whenever we are in the zone, then leeward mark tactical rounding would always be possible.

Thanks for your time, keep waiting for your comments
Jose Ignacio Cantero

Mike's answer:
Tactical Mark Rounding
I cannot only comment for myself on this topic.
I had worked on the assumption there had not been a “Game Change” and that a Right of Way boat could do a tactical rounding and one just entitled to “Mark Room” could not. I was surprised to see a contrary view in the Yachting World magazine.

I have looked of the comments of Rob Overton and believe he was on the sub - committee that wrote the rules so he should have an idea of what was intended. I believe that sailing to the mark is exactly that, the ability to put your boat adjacent to the mark by sailing in the space needed to do that in the existing conditions when manoeuvring in a seamanlike way. When “AT” or adjacent to the mark you can then sail a proper course. There is no precedent for saying “AT” means adjacent but it must somewhere near. It also gives a very good concept to work from.

This will only ever be an idea until there is an ISAF Q&A.

What else could lead you to this conclusion?
Well if the keep clear boat was to be allowed to do a tactical rounding this could easily have been provided for by the rule makes. If the Rule said “Room for a boat to sail her proper course to and at the mark” it would be clear. As this was not chosen we can only assume a different result was intended.
The problem as I see it was with the interface with RRS16. Under the old rules, RRS 16 did not apply to a ROW boat at a mark 18.2.d. The new rules do not give a boat ROW as the old rules did so any exoneration in the new rules to a just a ROW boat would not work.

We thus get the concept, of the proper course at the mark, when you would expect the additional manoeuvring to round the mark, to be exonerated for all entitled to “mark room”.

It should be noted that while the ROW boat approaches a mark or sails “TO” it RRS 16 provides protection to the other boat as that boat is given room to keep clear. If the ROW boat thus manoeuvres to do it’s tactical rounding there is protection for the Keep Clear other boat.
Now what would the position be if we allowed the boat only entitled to “Mark Room” to make a tactical rounding? There would be a time when she would move in the direction of the ROW boat without any of the protection RRS 16 gives in the other circumstance. This would not be sensible and confirms the give way boat cannot make a tactical rounding as most of the authors agree.

I hope this assists.
Mike Butterfield

I agree with Mike. There should be no game change, so only a ROW inside boat can do a tactical rounding. With the difference in the definition for two separate parts (TO and AT) within the zone, the rule makers intended that there was a separation, as there was in the 'old' rules.
You can do a tactical "swing wide-cut close" rounding when you have mark-room AND right of way, but not if you have mark-room as a keep clear boat.

You can give your opinion by voting in the poll (front page, right hand top of the side bar) and/or by writing a comment on this post.

Monday 19 January 2009

LTW Readers Q&A | 17

This is the second time someone is asking me about rule 19.2, so I think it's time I wrote about it. I received the following mail from Sen about it:
Dear Mr. Jos M Spijkerman;
I always appreciate your great work in LOOK TO WINDWARD and take pleasure to watch the website and emails this year too. I am very sorry to have troubled you so often, but I have to send such a stupid question again.
I would be very happy to receive your reply. But please don't regard this as an obligation because I know well you are very busy.
Thanks in advance.
Sen Yamaoka
Question about the rule for Passing a Continuing Obstruction.
Old rule: 18.5 Passing a Continuing Obstruction While boats are passing a continuing obstruction, rules 18.2(b) and 18.2(c) do not apply. A boat clear astern that obtains an inside overlap is entitled to room to pass between the other boat and the obstruction only if at the moment the overlap begins there is room to do so. If there is not, she is not entitled to room and shall keep clear.
New rule: 19.2 Giving Room at an Obstruction
19.2(c) While boats are passing a continuing obstruction, if a boat that was clear astern and required to keep clear becomes overlapped between the other boat and the obstruction and, at the moment the overlap begins, there is not room for her to pass between them, she is not entitled to room under rule 19.2(b). While the boats remain overlapped, she shall keep clear and rules 10 and 11 do not apply.
Is this any difference between the old rule 18.5 and the new rule 19.2(c)?
I think there are no change in principle and only change into new wording.
If so, I can understand easily the new rule.
But there is a not clear sentence for me in the last part of rule 19.2(c) as follows; While the boats remain overlapped, she shall keep clear and rules 10 and 11 do not apply. I can't understand this.
1. Who is she? Is she the boat which became overlapped from clear astern?
2. Where is the situation? Did they overlap before passing a continuing obstruction or when they overlapped?
Please let me know your explanation.
Dear Sen,
Thank you very much for your continuing interest in my little corner of the world wide web in reading 'Look to Windward'. It is not a burden at all to answer such a gracious and courteous Email. Your question is far from stupid and deserves some explanation. I will try to give you my opinion and invite others to 'chip-in' with their insights.

In my opinion there is a difference between the old 18.2 rule and the new 19.2(c) rule, other then in wording and numbering.
In 18.2 a boat on the run on starboard tack, catching up a boat clear ahead on port tack, both beside a continuing obstruction, had right of way. The port ahead boat had to keep clear. (Or gybe, so she would become row boat)
When these boats were on the same tack, the clear ahead boat had only to give room when, at the moment the clear astern boat established an inside overlap, there was room to pass between the outside and the continuing obstruction.
The new rule 19.2(c) adds something to this. Basically it is still as before, but now the boat from clear astern (the keep clear boat under rule 12) has an added restriction. Quote: "While the boats remain overlapped, she shall keep clear and rules 10 and 11 do not apply." The 'she' in this sentence is the boat from clear astern. Like in the old rule she has to keep clear but now she also cannot claim any right of way, under rules 10 or 11.
Under the old 18.2 rule she could (for instance when on a run) gybe and claim right of way as starboard tack boat, because there was no longer an overlap. That loophole has been closed by the new rule.
She now first has to become right of way boat astern of the other boat. Then the ahead boat must keep clear and give room if an inside overlap was established. The latter was also possible under the old rule.

This change - with the added closing of that small loophole - was the consequence of the change in the definition. Boats can now also be overlapped when sailing more then ninety degrees from the wind on different tacks.
Since the preamble of Section C in the old rules - stating that in case of a conflict between rules in Section A and C, Section C took precedence - is gone, the conflicting rule(s) (RRS 10 and 11) have been named, and switched off, in the rule themselves.
In practice I think the rule will play out the same as before.
If you are of a different opinion, please don't hesitate to comment.

Sunday 18 January 2009

FTBD (14)

Flog the Blog Day 14; blogging for one year and two months;


On my projects/to do list:

  • screen and archive bloglist;
  • screen and clean up downloads and files;
  • update popular post list;
  • competition for new blog cover photo;
  • write E-book: Handbook for PC's;
  • add and update label explanation pages
  • write a couple of posts about changes in Match Race call book.
  • answer the long list of mails still pending
  • write about rule 69
  • ...........
  • ......

Anything you want to add?


Saturday 17 January 2009

Rulesmaster Racing 2012

My publisher was handed a CD-Rom at the London Boats show asking him to look into it's application abroad (specifically in the Netherlands). He send me the disk asking me to have a look. The CD-Rom contains a program designed to learn the Racing Rules 2009-2012 made by a company called RulesMaster.

I've spent the better part of this morning going trough the various presentations and quizzes. Very interesting. There's a part for beginners and a more experienced Racers Guide. Each rule is explained by a very pleasant English voice complete with 3D animations and colored subtexts. You can look up the rules by clicking on the underlined words.

After each chapter you can take a quiz to see if you've mastered the content.It gives you the relevant Cases if applicable and explains why an answer is wrong.

It covers the whole rulebook, but not the Appendices. It concentrates on rules in part 1 and 2.

Compleet with searchable database in three different forms: Table of Contents, Index and ISAF Index.

Also on the CD-Rom are a protest form and a brief summary of the changes in the 2009-2012 rules.

The complete rulebook has been integrated in the program and can be accessed in many different ways from searching words to just reading from chapter 1 trough to the definitions.
I'm impressed by the thoroughness of the whole setup. The structure is logical and the approach uses all the new possibilities of learning trough a PC-program. If you are a beginner it teaches you enough to have fun on the course without getting into trouble. And if you are more experienced it gives you the ins and outs in depth.
It lacks a specific situational approach. And it lacks sometimes a little humor; the rules can be very dry at times. But all in all a very good way to learn RRS 2009-2012.
If you want to know more:

Thursday 15 January 2009

Three Protest in the VOR 2008-2009 |4

An amended decision is published on the VOR notice board about the protest from RMG against Ericsson 4: decision-jury-notice-11.pdf.
The amendment is specifically written to make clear that the protest was only about one issue: Informing the RMG of any changes made to a boat.

Since the Jury concluded that no such obligation was written in the Volvo Open 70 Class rules, the RMG have written a rule amendment: amend11.pdf. Now the circle is closed again and all and every alteration have to be reported.


Wednesday 14 January 2009

Dave Perry Teacing Rules | 2 & ISAF Q&A update

In addition to yesterday's video a bunch of new video links have appeared on the Sailgroove site with Dave Perry teaching about the new rules. I haven't had a chance to see them all, but the ones I did, are certainly insightful. Go to

Also on the ISAF website the 'old' Q&A's have been updated to reflect the changes in the RRS 2009-2012. I already posted about the new ones for 2009, but now the ones starting from 2001 through 2008 have been updated:
Racing Rules Q&A 04-008
Racing Rules Q&A 01-001

I still have to go through these as well to see what has changed.


Tuesday 13 January 2009

Dave Perry Teaching Rules 1

Found on the Sailgroove website:
US Sailing's National Sailing Programs Symposium; Dave Perry teaching the new rules:

I've embedded the video here as well:

Sailing Videos on Sailgroove

The four questions Dave Perry uses to answer most protests:
  1. Who, what, when & where?
    Different classes? What kind of boats? Are they windsurfers?
    Fleet racing? Match racing? Team racing?
    Before prep, during a race or perhaps after finishing?
    Near a mark, at the start or in a leg of the course? Near a shore or other obstructions?

  2. Relationship of boats?
    ROW rules: one of four: 10 Port-Starboard/ 11 Windward-Leeward/ 12 Clear ahead - Clear astern/ 13 Tacking (one or both)

  3. Limits - Obligations?
    Rules 14, 15, 16 and 17: limitations on ROW-boat and obligations on Keep-clear boat, or perhaps on both boats?

  4. Action - what happened
    The actual positions of each boat leading up to, during and after the incident.

From the answers to these questions he draws a conclusion and decides


Sunday 11 January 2009

Sailing Rules!

I don't know who he is. Bob is a very common name. Must be from the US of A if the links are any clue. And he's a judge doing rule 42 stuff on the water.
Anyway, a new rules blog with a posting about rule 18 and markroom: Inside, Outside, Upside Down. Go and have a look.

My take on the rules-question:
In position 1 Yellow not only has to give mark-room, but is also keep clear boat. (RRS 18.2(b) & 10)
Yellow is not keeping clear in position 2, particularly if Blue has to luff to avoid her. (RRS 10)
Although the overlap was broken and a new overlap established, in position 3 Yellow still has to give mark-room AND keep clear, now under rule 11. (RRS 11 and 18.2(c))
And finally in position 4 Yellow is not entitled to mark-room, she's not keeping clear and she's preventing Blue sailing her proper course round the mark. (RRS 18.2(b), 11 & definition of Mark-room)

Yellow DSQ

I do wish Bob all the best with his new blog. I've placed a link on my list.
09:11 hours:
I've just tried to give Bob a heads up about this post by trying to comment on his post; seems to be restricted to team-members only.....


Saturday 10 January 2009

NEW ISAF Q&A's for 2009

No less than fourteen new Q&A's have been published in the ISAF web site
All published on 09/01/09 and based on RRS 2009-2012:

Racing Rules Q&A 2009-001
About the use of a drag reducing substance on the hull before racing.

Racing Rules Q&A 2009-002
About scoring when less then the entered boats actually sail in the regatta and the number of boats in splitting into Gold and Silver fleets.

Racing Rules Q&A 2009-003
Answers a question about what is a "starting area".

Racing Rules Q&A 2009-004
A guideline in judging rules 11 and 16.1 in an overlap situation between two boats on the same tack.

Racing Rules Q&A 2009-005
Tying up some loose ends in case 45 about "hook finishing".

Racing Rules Q&A 2009-006
Interesting! If none of the boats sails the correct course it cannot be scored (RRS 90.3(a)) and must be abandoned. Instead of DSQing all boats after protest.

Racing Rules Q&A 2009-007
Very clever, but no cigar! Hiking straps, Outboard positioning and RRS 49.1.


Racing Rules Q&A 2009-008
Side of a mark? .... I always look for the side with the X.

Racing Rules Q&A 2009-009
Snafu with gates, shortening and Hobie 16 catamarans. Sometimes it is very good there is a PC to get things back on track.

Racing Rules Q&A 2009-010
Yes, it's very unfair and yes, sometimes even a PC wishes it wouldn't have to do it, but to go the other way would invite a lot more problems. You must sail the course and pass each mark on the required side.

Racing Rules Q&A 2009-011
Answering the dilemma when both parties have credible stories. And make a clear distinction between facts and conclusions. PC's must somehow weigh the evidence and decide one way or the other. Doubts? We have ways to deal with doubt!

Racing Rules Q&A 2009-012
When should the RC protest a boat? The difference between principle and arbitrary.

Racing Rules Q&A 2009-013
One for the scoreboard

Racing Rules Q&A 2009-014
This answer will please multi-hullers and even Moths all over the world!

Friday 9 January 2009

Three Protest in the VOR 2008-2009 |3

An official decision is published on the VOR notice board about the protest from RMG against Ericsson 4:

As you perhaps already have read in Scuttlebutt, VOR-website or elsewhere, the protest was dismissed.
The final (and only) issue decided by the jury was if E4 should have informed the Measurer of the change.
They looked at the class-rules for that and decided there was no such an obligation, hence the dismissal.

Interesting in this process is the fact that other issues - some of them mentioned in the original protest - where not considered. For instance the fact that the overall length of the boat was 2 mm to long (21,502 m1 instead of 21.500 m1) when the replacement screw on the bow was measured. Nor the fact that it was placed a little lower then the original. This illustrates that in a written protest only those issues are decided that are introduced by the protesting party.

If you write a protest claiming that someone broke a rule during a mark rounding and in the subsequent hearing it becomes clear that the boat also broke a measurement rule, that last issue is not decided. You could then protest (again) for breaking a measurement rule and then it would be considered (provided the protest was found valid), but not in the first hearing.

This practice is indirectly the consequence of rule 61.2(b) which states that the incident must be identified.
If you don't mention it in your protest, you can't use it. There is a little leeway. If the incident is about rules of part 2, say at a mark rounding, it does not matter if you use the wrong rule. If at that incident any row rule is broken by any boat, it will be decided upon by the PC. But it must happen during that incident. Not something before or after.

But in measurement issues this principle is much more strictly adhered to. If you don't tell the committee what specifically is wrong with a boat, you will not get a protest hearing. Generally stating that a boat is not complying with the class rules and not tell specifically what is wrong, will result in an invalid protest.
Once you've stated the issue, you then cannot - during the hearing - claim the other also has something else wrong with his/her boat.

Because the RMG wanted the protest only to cover that specific premise - boats should inform the RC about any changes - the jury didn't come to a decision about the other issues.

The last protest - against E3 about sailing into an exclusion zone - is also decided: E3 was penalized with one point deduction. No official paper is published as of yet. You can however get a glimpse of the jury workings on this protest at : Volvo Ocean Race TV

Update 14:20 hours
The second decision is now also published:

Again the issue what the specific protest is about, is a subject of discussion:
From the facts found:
3. At the commencement of the hearing it became apparent that the claim in the original protest (that E3 failed to round the virtual mark ‘Sri Lanka 1’ on the southern side) was replaced by a claim that E3 had, after passing Sri Lanka 1 to port, entered the exclusion zone to the north of the line extending east of Sri Lanka 1.
4. Aksel Magdahl, representing E3, accepted the Jury’s suggestion that the hearing could proceed without the formal need for the Jury to initiate a new hearing.

Which once more goes to show that you better get your facts in order before you write the protest.


Wednesday 7 January 2009

Three Protest in the VOR 2008-2009 |2

And then there were only two!

From the VOR 2008-2009 website: Wednesday 7 January, 2009 11:00 GMT
Telefonica Blue has withdrawn its protest against Ericsson 3, with agreement from the International Jury.

Jury Chairman Bryan Willis received a letter from Richard Slater of Telefonica Blue requesting the International Jury allow the protest to be withdrawn and following discussions, allowed the Spanish team to drop the matter.

"We lodged the protest because Ericsson 3 fouled us but we withdrew it because it could effectively mean losing a point against Ericsson 4," said Telefonica Blue skipper Bouwe Bekking.
"There was a chance that Ericsson 3 could be disqualified which would just bring the other Ericsson boat up but we want to win this race. "The guys on Ericsson 3 got the message and are very happy so that's enough for me. There are so many protests going on in this race but I would like to win this race without any protests so when we hold the trophy we can say we did it just by plain sailing."

The protest was one of three due to be heard on Thursday January 8th. Ericsson 3 will still face the Jury to answer a protest from the Race Committee regarding whether the team obeyed all the waypoints in sailing the course for leg three.

In the afternoon, Ericsson 4 will answer charges brought by the Rule Management Group (the measurers) regarding a replacement 'false bow' that was fitted before the start.

Sometimes I get sick and tired of sailors stating that they want to win a race 'out on the water'. As if protests are not part of racing - something to be avoided at all costs and somehow spoiling the game.
One of the first things someone reads in a rulebook is the basic principle: "Competitors in the sport of sailing are governed by a body of rules that they are expected to follow and enforce". I can perfectly understand that Telefonica wants to withdraw this protest to protect it's position against Ericsson 4. Tactically a sound decision.

But don't "cloud" the issue by using the "I don't want to go to the room" argument. Then they are actually saying: "We don't want to follow the rules".


Rules Quiz on BISF-Blog

A couple of interesting quizzes about the new rules on the Bi Star Fleet Blog.
Latest (#2) about a four boat situation at the start.

Tuesday 6 January 2009

Three Protest in the VOR 2008-2009 |1

There are three 'protests' pending in the VOR 2008-2009. I've placed the parenthesis around protest because as far as I can see, there are only two, plus a report from the measurer about a replacement bow on Ericsson 4. (This is according to rule RRS 78.3)

The rule book says a report from the measurer to the race committee is not a protest. The RC must then proceed by protesting that boat (RRS 60.2). The title of the post on the official notice board reads:

Didn't know we has such a beast in the rules... I hope this group is part of the race committee, otherwise it's an invalid protest. You can read the report by following this link:

The two protest are a little more straightforward:
One about not sailing the course from the RC against Ericsson 3. Apparently they missed a mark near Sri Lanka:

Protestor: Volvo Ocean Race; Race Committee (RC);
Protestee: Ericsson 3 (E3) ; SWE 3
Rules RRS 28.1 and Leg Sailing Instruction Addendum 3, 2 (e).

Description of the incident: From evidence supplied by E3 at 0556 UTC 3rd January 2009 the RC, believes that E3 did not round the Sri Lanka 1 mark on the southern side as required in Leg Addendum 3.

The other protest is from TELEFÓNICA AZUL against (again) ERICSSON 3
Boat Protesting: Telefonica Azul ESP 12; Represented by: Bouwe Bekking Skipper
Boat Protested: Ericsson 3 SWE 3

Description of Incident:
  1. 21 December 2008, approx 1800 UTC (0200 local time - UTC+8) at the location 03 11.158N 101 00.033E (1 Fathom Bank).
  2. Telefonica Azul on starboard tack, VMG running. Ericsson 3 on port tack on a converging course.
  3. When boats less than 1 boat length apart, Telefonica Azul bore away in order to avoid contact with Ericsson 3.
  4. Soon after Telefonica Azul bore away, Ericsson 3 crash gybed from port tack onto starboard tack.
Rule(s) alleged to have been broken: Rule 10.

The Jury will meet on Thursday to conduct the hearings and decide the issues.


Saturday 3 January 2009

RRS 2009-2012 Changes

Google Alert came up with a couple of presentations on the changes in the Racing Rules of Sailing.
The first one is by USSailing via the Florida EC-12 Association:
Changes to the Racing Rules of Sailing for 2009–2012

The second one is from Bill Kirkpatrick: Changes to Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-2012

Both presentations are written for the USA, with references to some of the prescriptions. Nevertheless, a good point to start to learn what is new.

Thursday 1 January 2009

Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier!

First of all let me wish everybody a happy New Year. I hope that it will bring you Luck and Health (that's what the traditional wish in my neck of the woods is)

I have been neglecting to post the last couple of days, partly because I wanted a break and partly because I was busy with other things. The translation is finished, save for last editing and layout. I hope to resume posting on a more regular basis from now on...

Some tidbits from last week:
ISAF has published the members of the committees:
ISAF Committee Members 2009-2012

Congratulations to Winsome and Pinta M from the Netherlands for coming First and Third in Division 4 IRC of the Sydney to Hobart.

Check out the quiz on the UK-Halsey blog on the home page.
I’d be interested to see who can get it ALL right.

A protest from Telefinica Azul against Ericsson 3 in the Volvo Ocean Race

I've received several mails last week to which I haven't replied as of yet. Please be patient, I will try to get to them a.s.a.p. As well as answering to comments...

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