Tuesday 31 March 2009

TMC Umpire Platoon

The Middelfart TMC Spring Cup 2009 Open/Woman Umpire group.... with emphasis on GROUP.. is a twelve person Umpire Group made up from 6 IU/IJ and 6 NU.

Probably the biggest "heaviest" umpire group at a Grade 3 event ever. Our chairman is applying to be entered in the Guinness Book of World Records 2009. She - yes the CU is the only woman among this 'platoon' - drives us like a lieutenant should; reveille at 07:00 hours - meetings before breakfast - new calls 15 minutes before we go out and on the water until 18:45, - double penalties, - testing the organisation, - testing the new rules, specially rule 19 for obstructions and asking for feedback on everything. TMC Middelfart will host the European Championship Match Racing later this year and they want to get it right.

I'm having a great time and am sorry it is only two days.

Here's the whole umpire platoon.

I'm typing from the notes I made the first afternoon at 13:43. The sun came out but it took the wind away. We were under AP waiting. With me is a Danish National Umpire who's been doing this for a long time. We've been discussing new wording and calls.

Although everybody is expecting that the changes in the RRS will have an effect on how we umpire, the actual fact is that most calls - if not all - are about the 'usual' row rules. And about rule 15 and/or 16. Mark rounding and obstructions don't seem to be that difficult any more. Inside or Clear ahead gets mark-room. No issue.
Rule 19 has simplified the pre-start manoeuvres round the starting vessel. If you get an overlap, the outside boat must be able to give room, otherwise she doesn't have to. No zone, umpires don't have to say when boats have passed and revert 'back' to row-rules. The row-rules stay in effect and therefore it is simpler and easier to follow.

Also, conditions at this event were very light, so that gave us all - sailors and umpires - a change to catch up with the changes.

On Sunday I ended up on the Woman's course. They were expected to finish earlier and would give us a time to leave a little earlier - the trip back home would take about 8 hours...

I have tried to video a pre-start as promised in a previous post. You can watch the result below:

You will hear us comment on the windward boat getting in between the starting vessel and the leeward boat. Expecting to double penalty her, we watched closely. But leeward never could reach windward! Windward pulled it off and wins the match. Bold, scary, almost breaking rule 11 but legal. As long as she is keeping clear, she can use the room that the leeward boat leaves her.

I want to thank everybody. Being able to participate in such an event, is one of the reasons why I love umpiring....


Monday 30 March 2009

Links on Monday: Boats and VOR Request for Redress

Just to let you know I've returned from Denmark yesterday - were I attended Spring Cup 2009, a match race event in Middelfart - very late. I've tried to catch up with mails this evening and just have time to write a short blog post before looking for my pillow....

Thibaut send me a short mail and announced on his website developments with his diagram program "Boats": He writes: A small teaser so that you know what's cooking for next version of Boat Scenario. Next version already has:

  • Tabbed view to have multiple scenarios open
  • Trimmable sail angle
  • optional laylines drawing
  • Printing support including PDF generation of the formatted call
  • Overlap lines
  • and the Export of an Animated GIF
Looks very cool and the GIF is certainly very good for presentations.

Next: Tefefonica Blue seeks redress
From the official noticeboard:
Request for Redress
Boat Requesting Redress: Telefonica Azul ESP 12
Represented by: Bouwe Bekking

Telefonica Azul claims that the Race Committee and/or Organising Authority made an improper action or omission by locating the start line and 2nd passing mark of the course (mark d) in an area where at least 1 uncharted shallow area existed.
Telefonica Azul hit one such uncharted shallows that was 0.23 nm from the start mark (and 2nd passing mark) of the course, prior to the start of Leg 5. Furthermore, the Race Committee and/or Organising Authority failed to supply a port with adequate depth to allow Telefonica Azul back into the harbour. This resulted in a 3 hour delay in getting back to the marina to begin
repairs resulting from the grounding. Delays due to the grounding and the delay in returning to port resulted in Telefonica Azul starting leg 5 approximately 19 hours after the start signal.
This delay had direct impact on Telefonica Azul’s position at the New Zealand scoring gate and at the finish.
Signed: Bouwe Bekking, 29 March 2009

Remember rule 62.1? A request for redress shall be based on a claim or possibility that
- a boats score in a race has been made significantly worse,
- through NO fault of her own
- by an improper action or omission of the race committee or organizing authority

The jury will need to find answer to each of these conditions before it can award redress;
Was the 19 hours loss significantly to have influence in the scoring? Or were there perhaps other contributing factors?
If the shallow water was uncharted, how can the sailors expect that the RC could know about that? Is it the responsibility of the RC to send out a sounding-chart mapping boat of the start area? Is this an omission, for which the PC can be blamed?
Should the OA have provided harbour access with sufficient depth for returning boats ? Could that be seen as an omission?
Is hitting something under water something the sailors could have avoided? Was it close to shore and could logically be deducted that something might be there - even only a reasonable assumption?

If all these questions lead to a redress: what should that be?
For instance if the Jury award redress for 19 hours. The delta between Green Dragon (28/03/09 18:15:40) and Telefonica Blue (29/03/09 03:55:00) is 9 hours 39 minutes and 20 seconds. That would make TB 4th instead of 5th!

I'll keep you updated or you can look for news on the VOR-site.

Friday 27 March 2009

Fact Finding Friday | 005 - Kingston Kitten v London Lion

From “the Room” by Brass.


The aim of this series is to practice judges' skills in writing Facts Found, Conclusions and Rules Applicable, and Decisions as required by rule 65.1. These are not intended to be 'difficult' rules problems: concentrate on the writing skills. You are not expected to 'discuss' the rules or the scenarios, or enter into 'what-if' considerations. I suggest you write against the clock, and include a note of your time taken when you post your answers on LTW, to compare with others.

Hearing and Evidence

You are the scribe for the protest committee of the LTW Yacht Club, which races in Port Liberty Roads. You have received a written protest, decided it is valid, and have heard both parties and witnesses as shown. Write Facts Found, Conclusions and Rules Applicable and the Decision for this protest. Please post your effort on LTW, for us all to share and learn. Don't be shy.

Description of Incident – Kingston Kitten v London Lion

The description of the incident from the protest form is as shown.

Kingston Kitten is a semi-sports boat with asymmetrical spinnaker, about 10m LOA.
London Lion is a 30 Square Meter yacht, about 12m LOA.
(A 30 Square Meter yacht is a Scandinavian 'skerry-cruiser', similar in style to 'Meter' boats, but rated on Sail Area)

Wind conditions were 10kts, gusting 18kts. Sea conditions smooth.


The Hearing

Kingston Kitten's Description of the Incident

We were approaching the leeward mark on starboard tack. London Lion was approaching on port tack therefore she had no overlap.
I called for London Lion to keep clear as I was right of way boat. London Lion ignored my call and continued on port tack.
London Lion gybed at the mark, and I luffed up towards my new proper course as I was entitled to do.
London Lion hit Kingston Kitten about two meters from our stern.

Protest Committee's Questions to Kingston Kitten

Q. As you approached the leeward mark was London Lion clear astern of you at any stage?
A. No.

Q. Was there any damage?
A. No.

London Lion's Description of the Incident

I was steering London Lion. Both boats were coming into the leeward mark to be rounded to starboard, Kingston Kitten on starboard, London Lion on port.
London Lion had an inside overlap on Kingston Kitten.
Kingston Kitten hailed 'starboard'. I hailed 'room'.
I thought that Kingston Kitten was going to give me enough room to get round the mark.
Just as we completed our gybe and were rounding of the mark , Kingston Kitten hit London Lion on the after quarter.

Protest Committee Questions to London Lion

Q. How far apart were the boats when you gybed?
A. Two or three meters.

Q. Was there any damage?+
A. No.

Q. What action did you take to avoid contact?
A. When Kingston Kitten luffed towards me, there was no possible action I could take to avoid contact: 30 square meter yachts have long overhangs and if I had tried to luff clear of Kingston Kitten my stern would have swung into Kingston Kitten and made the situation worse.

Kingston Kitten Summing Up:

London Lion was on port and failed to keep clear of Kingston Kitten on starboard.

London Lion's Summing Up:

The definition of overlap says that boats can be overlapped when on opposite tacks downwind. Kingston Kitten and London Lion were overlapped approaching the leeward mark and when the first of us reached the zone, with London Lion inside Kingston Kitten. London Lion was entitled to mark-room. I sailed my proper course at the mark and Kingston Kitten changed course so as to deny me mark-room, and hit me.

Protest Committee's Assessment of the Evidence

Your fellow protest committee members note that the evidence of both parties seems generally consistent.

Thursday 26 March 2009

LTW Readers Q&A | 22

Joost Smit send me an Email and wrote: Please find attached animated GIF of a recent protest. I would like to see your opinion on the following case & questions:


  • Observations on K are all made by Tactician (located at transom)
  • M did not hail for Mark-room, did hail "Port-tack" though while still far out of reach of both K and the zone.
  • K hailed ‘No overlap to M, Overlap to V
  • K had to bear away to stay clear of M
  • K stayed clear of M
  • V did not keep clear of K and had a slight touch without significant damage
  • K immediately showed red flag (tactician) and hailed protest to M, M didn't take penalty turns
  • K hailed protest to V, V took 2 penalty turns
  • M did not show up at protest hearing, and got DSQ by protest committee
  • M asked for reopening of case a week later
  • Protest committee confirmed reopening the case

At second hearing:

  • M questioned validity of protest, not having heard hail and not having seen red flag
  • M questioned "no overlap"
  • Committee did not reach a verdict in second hearing, got postponed to later time.


Q1: Is any evidence significant enough for reopening a case, even after no-show at first hearing?

Q2: Can validity of a protest be questioned at second hearing, even after now show at first hearing? In this case, would it make any difference whether V confirms having seen/heard the protest against M?

Q3: Even though the protest committee didn't give a new verdict in second hearing, how would you judge (facts found, rules applicable, judgment) the abovementioned situation in general, and in case:

  • V declared having seen no overlap between K and M at moment of entering the zone
  • V declared not being able to judge whether or not an overlap had been established.

Q4: Who are allowed "tactical" rounding's and who "seamanlike" rounding's in this case?

Looking forward to your reaction.

Kind regards, Joost Smit


Well Joost, I will try to answer your queries:

A1: Yes, there might be evidence significant enough to reopen. But first I would want to know why the party didn’t attend. If there’s no valid reason for his absence, his ‘new’ evidence would have to be something that was not available at the first meeting, if he had attended.

A2: For example, your second question about validity. I would not go into that, if there was no compelling reason why the party did not attend. He could have raised that issue at the original hearing. The rulebook states that once the protest is found valid the PC shouldn’t go back to that issue, unless there’s truly new evidence in that regard. Regardless if V had or had not heard the hail and seen the flag. Once the decision has been reached, don’t go back there.

If the party has significant new evidence I would also question him about his delay. Why after a week? A request for reopening should be within 24 hours after the decision has been published…..

All in all, the party needs to bring a couple of very compelling, heavy arguments before I would decide to reopen.

A3: From the picture is perhaps possible to precisely determine if there was an overlap at the zone between M and K. On the water it is not. As a PC I would have wanted to know the positions of the boats before they reached position 1.

There is sufficient doubt on whether or not overlap was established to use 18.2(d). If the overlap was long established and just before position 1 has been broken, rule 18.2(d) says that the PC (and the sailors) must assume that it was not broken. In that case M had an inside overlap and right of way. K failed to keep clear and give mark-room.

If there was no overlap the whole time before position 1, then rule 18.2(d) states that there isn’t an overlap at position 1. Then M is not entitled to Mark-room and shall be DSQ-ed. K is exonerated for breaking rule 10 while sailing her proper course at the mark.

A4: M is allowed a “tactical” rounding if she is entitled to mark-room, because she is also right of way boat.
(NB: You write she hailed “Port-tack” but she’s actually on Starboard tack. Remember? The rest of the world uses the windward side of the boat to name the ‘tack’.. i.e. ‘Bakboord = Starboard-tack & Stuurboord = Port-tack, and don’t blame me, they don’t know any better)

K is only allowed a ‘seamanlike’ rounding because she needs to keep clear of V. The corridor she has within mark-room is only a boat length or so wide.

Cheers, Jos.

Wednesday 25 March 2009

UMPIRES at the microphone; Ssssssht, listen!

START: ROLL FILM<<< 22:07:00

DW Match Racing 18 case_1

Yellow UMP: “Starboard Right, Outside Overlap; Approaching Zone.”
Blue UMP: “Port Give; Keeping Clear, Inside Overlap”

DW Match Racing 18 case_2

Yellow UMP: “Zone, Outside overlap; Have to give Markroom. Starboard right”
Blue UMP: “Agreed; Inside overlap entitled to Markroom; Port Give; Keeping clear”

 DW Match Racing 18 case_3

Yellow UMP: “Starboard right; giving Markroom”
Blue UMP: “Port Give, Keeping Clear; Not using Markroom”

 DW Match Racing 18 case_4

Blue Ump; “Gybing, Astern Give, Keeping Clear; Still entitled to markroom”
Yellow UMP: “Agreed, Ahead Right, closing the gab to the mark”

DW Match Racing 18 case_5

Yellow UMP: “luffing, Not giving room, Not giving Markroom”
Blue UMP: “Windward give, not Keeping Clear. Taking Markroom”

DW Match Racing 18 case_6

Blue UMP: “Contact. Windward Give, Not Keeping clear; Hitting Mark”
Yellow UMP: “Agreed, I did not give you Markroom, Yellow broke 18.2(B)”
Blue UMP: “Agreed; I did not get Markroom. Exoneration for not keeping clear and hitting mark? “
Yellow UMP: “Agreed, I forced you”

DW Match Racing 18 case_7

Blue UMP: “Yankee on Blue, Penalty Yellow”
Yellow UMP: “Agreed; Penalty Yellow”

Yellow Flag

Blue UMP: “I’ll make a note; we will check for damages after this match.”
Yellow UMP: “Agreed, I did not avoid contact, did you?”
Blue UMP: “I don’t think I could have done more, I even hit the mark”
Yellow: “Agreed”



Credits; Author: Darryl Waskow, Production/Editing: LTW, Software: TSS. March 25th 2009 -

Monday 23 March 2009

Actors Sought for International SAILING Program Productions

Please print out the Poster below and display at your local club
copy by Wolfgang Hofmann, translation by Erich Michel & LTW

Send your application to RRS-Study ed home dot nl.

Sunday 22 March 2009

Team Heiner Winter Matchracing 2009

Finals on 21/o3/2009:


Four teams: 4th Klaartje Zuiderbaan, 3rd Jurjen Feitsma, 2nd Jeroen den Boer, 1st Roy Heiner. Two Round Robins (save one match) Finals and Petit Finals (best of 3); 11+2+3 = 16 matches.

Forgot to bring a spare battery, so alas no video this time. I’ll try to do better next weekend in Denmark.

Flying a Kite according to the Rules

Did I say anything about the rules?
Yes, I did, didn’t I?

Well, anything it is…..

Google Alert kicked out a reference to Kitemovement. A blog with news and stories about Kitesurfing. On it a post about the new version of the rules for that discipline, including a couple of simplified versions.

I’ve followed the links and on the website of the International Kiteboarding Association found several to their rules:

ISAF Experimental Kiteboarding Competition Rulebook
International Kiteboarding Association Class Rules
Simplified General Rules
Simplified Course Racing Rules
World Ranking Point System

IKA R15 Determining an overlap must be very difficult.

Seems like Henri and Thibaut need to update there program’s. The pictures shows how to draw a board with a flying kite…..

Zoning Laws

Yesterday, at the Heiner Team Racing Winter series final, I had a conversation with the other umpires about ‘the zone’, specifically when boats of different length are rounding the same mark.

Lots of events locally are multiclass events were this can happen. Now, this is not something new, it happened just as frequently under the 2005-2008 RSS. But because the sharp ‘border’ at which rule 18 switches on and because the zone has become bigger, it might be more of an issue.

This is the situation and questions we asked ourselves:

Yellow is a 8 meter Regenboog and Blue is an Optimist, sailing toward a leeward rounding mark to be left at port. The Optimist is closest to the mark when she reaches the zone of the Regenboog. By the time the Optimist has almost reached her zone, the Regenboog as overtaken her and enters that zone first.

If any, which boat has mark-room and from where? Which rules apply? Which zone applies and why? Has any boat broken a rule? Anyway, you get the drift, a purely hypothetical case.

We did come up with an answer, but I’m not going to tell you. Please consider this in your own time and leave a comment. After a couple of days I’ll do the same or post our answer in a blogpost.

Friday 20 March 2009

Fact Finding Friday | 004 - Georgetown Gertie v Islamabad Isabel and Jakarta Jane

From “the Room” by Brass


The aim of this series is to practice judges' skills in writing Facts Found, Conclusions and Rules Applicable, and Decisions as required by rule 65.1. These are not intended to be 'difficult' rules problems: concentrate on the writing skills. You are not expected to 'discuss' the rules or the scenarios, or enter into 'what-if' considerations. I suggest you write against the clock, and include a note of your time taken when you post your answers on LTW, to compare with others.

Hearing and Evidence

You are the scribe for the protest committee of the LTW Yacht Club, which races in Port Liberty Roads. You have received the written protest as shown, decided it is valid, and have heard both parties and witnesses as shown.

You have comprehensively listed Facts Found and the protest committee members have agreed to endorse the attached diagram, helpfully provided by an IJ who was representing one of the boats at the hearing.


Legend: Blue Georgetown Gertie; Yellow Islamabad Isabel; Green Jakarta Jane; Grey Havana Hannah

Facts Found

  1. Islamabad Isabel and Jakarta Jane approached the windward mark to be rounded on port on port tack, 2 to 3 boat lengths to windward of the port tack layline, Islamabad Isabel to leeward of and overlapped with Jakarta Jane.
  2. Georgetown Gertie approached the windward mark on port tack about 4 boat lengths below the port tack layline, to leeward of Islamabad Isabel.
  3. Havana Hannah approached the windward mark, on starboard tack, one boat length to windward of the starboard tack layline and hailed 'starboard' to Georgetown Gertie.
  4. Georgetown Gertie tacked onto starboard in response to Havana Hannah’s hail.
  5. Georgetown Gertie completed her tack onto starboard clear ahead and directly in front of Havana Hannah, before reaching the zone.
  6. Georgetown Gertie entered the zone on Starboard Tack
  7. Georgetown Gertie, in tacking onto starboard, initially gave Islamabad Isabel room to keep clear.
  8. Georgetown Gertie sailed on starboard tack for 3 boat lengths before reaching the mark
  9. Georgetown Gertie, realising that a collision with Islamabad Isabel was imminent, luffed in an attempt to avoid a collision.
  10. Collision occurred, with both Islamabad Isabel and Jakarta Jane, both on port tack, striking Georgetown Gertie on the port side
  11. The bow of Jakarta Jane struck Georgetown Gertie port side, 5m forward of the stern
  12. The bow of Islamabad Isabel struck Georgetown Gertie port side, 1.7m forward of the stern
  13. Significant damage was sustained by Georgetown Gertie, and she was forced to retire.
  14. Neither Islamabad Isabel nor Jakarta Jane sustained significant damage
  15. Islamabad Isabel then passed astern of Georgetown Gertie, forcing Havana Hannah to luff sharply to avoid a collision
  16. There was no contact between Islamabad Isabel and Havana Hannah
  17. Jakarta Jane cleared herself from Georgetown Gertie, tacked onto starboard, rounded the mark and completed the course
  18. Islamabad Isabel tacked onto starboard, rounded the mark, executed a two turns penalty and completed the course


Write Conclusions and Rules Applicable, and the Decision for this protest. Given the Facts Found and a diagram, you should be able to polish your conclusions and decision off really quickly.

Bonus marks for identifying 'facts found' that are a) irrelevant and b) really conclusions.

Please post your effort on LTW, for us all to share and learn. Don't be shy.

Thursday 19 March 2009

ISAF Q&A 2009-025

In continuation from Q&A 2009-020, this one is again about a three boat situation at a mark. This time at a windward mark.

The questions are about the rights a boat has, while sailing on a proper course as inside boat, while having mark-room from a second boat, in regards to a third. Download the ISAF Q&A 2009-025 here.

In contrast to Q&A 2009-024 these answers are pretty straightforward.

In both scenarios rule 18 does not apply between the boat with mark-room from a second boat, towards a third. Therefore al normal rules apply including restrictions under 15 and 16.

I’m taking both Q&A’s (024 & 025) with me to a presentation I’m giving to a group of sailors tomorrow evening. To see how they react to these – in my opinion fairly frequently occurring – scenarios.


Q&A 2009-025 pictureOn a side note. Both pictures in the Q&A are drawn with boats and symbols I haven’t seen before. It isn’t TSS or Boat Scenario.

And it isn’t Angelo’s Protest Diagram Kit v2.doc.


Does anybody recognize the program these diagrams are made with?



Rob Overton appointed Chairman US Sailing RR Committee



The highly regarded on-line racing rules program developed by UK-Halsey Sailmakers just had its authority made more compelling by the recent appointment of Rob Overton to be the new Chairman of US SAILING’s Racing Rules Committee (RRC). Rob is the author of the answers to all of the Rules Quiz questions, and now he is the US’s chief rule writer.

Having Rob Overton contribute to UK-Halsey’s widely used Rules Quiz program was a deliberate decision made far in advance of his new appointment. He has been a member of US SAILING’s Racing Rules Committee since 1993 and one of just five international rules writers who drafted the new Section C rules that took effect on January 1st of this year. He is a member of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Team Race Call Book Working Party as well as an International Umpire.


“I am really excited to participate with the rules quiz program,” said Overton. “I think it is a great way to learn the rules. Because the quizzes are animated, you get to know the game as well as the rules, and knowing the game is what you really have to learn. Plus the animations makes learning the rules less dry and more fun.”

The changes to the rules were so substantial that the boat “in the wrong” changed in three different quizzes. “With so many sailors depending on our quizzes to understand the rules, we needed someone with Rob’s breadth of knowledge to make sure we got it right,” said UK-Halsey’s President, Butch Ulmer. Rob also served on the small international group that re-wrote the rules of Section C for the 2009-2012 rules.

In the past the Rules Quizzes were sold on a Compact Disk, but that format was too limiting. With modern technology and increased use of the web, we now offer an expanded rule quiz program as a download. The download format allows users to receive numerous free updates with the click of a button. For example, the Rules Quiz program was updated 10 times within the first 6 weeks of 2009. Another advantage of being a download is that buyers do not have to wait on the post office go get the program.

The UK-Halsey’s Rules Quiz program has several other advantages. The animations can be played at full-screen size and users can adjust the speed of the animations. A members-only section, named The Lifted Tack, provides instructional videos, a blog and a PDF library. In many of the videos, which were show at Butch Ulmer’s rules seminars, you see the quizzes being used to teach the rules, an approach which makes the explanation and tactical considerations much easier to understand. Currently there are seven videos as part of the program and more will be added shortly.

For those who want see a stripped down version of the rules program, take our quizzes online for free at: http://www.ukhalsey.com/ To buy the full Rules Quiz program for $55, ($40 for owners of UK-Halsey Sailmakers’ prior Rules Quiz CD) go to the UK-Halsey secure online store.


My congratulations to Rob with his appointment. I wish him all the best to resolve the – no doubt – many questions this year’s new rules will bring.

Like in the press release I too find the change in the rules much more substantial, then first anticipated. The flurry of ISAF Q&A’s recently published, proves that a lot of questions have to be answered. And some of the answers need careful study to understand the logic behind them.

We will need all the ‘GURUS’ to take the lead!

Wednesday 18 March 2009

FTBD (16)

Not a lot of new things this month, but still I want to keep in with tradition and declare “Flog The Blog Day” once again. You know what to do…

I’ve changed the lettering of the front picture into Flux Architect to get in line with the bottom logo. (It was in Fanboy Hardcore). There’s a whole world of “Fonts” out there, almost to big to understand. Seems you can now make your own font from your handwriting if you so desire. Not for long we will type on our keyboards and get a old-fashioned handwritten message. http://www.yourfonts.com/

ruledjms Oh, some else that has returned: Moleskin Notebooks. You may have noticed the use of a couple of icons to that effect. I just bought the black Squared Notebook… beside the soft cover cahiers I’ve been using. Moleskine and Moleskine History

What else? Oh yes, the list. Not much progress there I’m afraid. And I’m still having trouble in getting to answer my mails… Sorry about that, to everybody who’s still waiting. I’ll get to you all .. eventually, I hope.

But don’t let that be a deterrent to send in your mails. I just have to use my time more efficiently.

I’m very happy with the new Fact Finding Friday series by Brass. He’s certainly putting some effort into them, don’t you think? I hope all Protest-writers out there, are using this opportunity to practice…

As the men from Monty Python Flying Circus would say: “Now for something completely new”

Since the new sailing season is about to get started here in the northern part of the Low lands, I will be going to events more and more. That means I’ll be less likely to have access to the blog or have time to write on it, during weekends. To compensate, I would very much appreciate your help!

Please send me (a) picture(s) of the event you are attending as a sailor or as an official (RC-member, RO, Judge, Umpire or whatever). The only thing I ask, is that in some way it has to involve the rules.

A mark-rounding to illustrate the use (or misuse) of mark-room. A boat with a red flag. The lady or guy from the protest desk receiving the form. The cover of your rulebook in the frame. Anything, but with a “rule-reference”. You can even just write a funny byline with the picture about the rules…..blueUmpiresquad from Essen 2008

Guess what color penalty was favorite with THE BLUE UMPIRE SQUAD FROM ESSEN 2008

Upon returning from my own event, I’ll sort those out and publish them on the blog with your story or one-liner attached. I will also try to use my own camera to that effect. If you don’t have a camera, ask a fellow sailor or official to snap one with his or hers. I’ll even accept a (very) short comic strip.

16 months LTW. Somehow we will get trough the next month as well…….

Tuesday 17 March 2009

LTW Readers Q&A | 21

Hello Jos,

I have a question for your blog.

I had a discussion with some UMP and JDG about situation under rule 18.3. The rule book says "if rule 18.3 applies .. rule 18.2 doesn't". My question is about rule 18.5.

Q: If a boat is under 18.3 and 18.2 is OFF ..is rule 18.5 still applying?

If one part of rule 18.3 switches off rule 18.2 and the "mark room" right, this means rule 18.5 can not be applied also, because it is written "When a boat is taking mark-room to which she is entitled, she shall be exonerated..."

Seems when rule 18.2 is switched off we have to come back at "normal" rules without the exonerations of 18.5. So the boat inside bearing can infringe rule 16 and have no rights at any exoneration...???

Best Regards,

Luigi Bertini

Well Luigi,

I've had a look at the exact wording in rule 18.3: And you're right that, if all the requirements of rule 18.3 are met ( i.e. boats on opposite tacks approaching a mark and one of them changes tack and is subject to rule 13 in the zone when the other is fetching the mark) , then rule 18.2 is switched off.

That means that the tacking boat can not claim mark-room as inside boat and is subject to all other rules. She either becomes row-boat under 11 with restrictions under 14, 15 and 16, and an additional restriction under 18.3. That is, she may not cause the other boat to sail above close-hauled to avoid her or prevent the other boat from passing the mark on the required side.

In this situation she has no "use" for rule 18.5, she never gains mark-room, therefore cannot be exonerated other then by 64.1(c).

She can also become keep clear boat, if the fetching boat becomes overlapped inside her.

Again in that situation all normal rules apply and she does not gain mark-room, therefore again has no "use"for 18.5. She then must keep clear under rule 11.


If the fetching boat establishes an inside overlap, SHE is the boat who is entitled to mark-room. She then also has the "protection" of rule 18.5!

That rule does not state that only mark-room gained from a rule 18.2 is to be considered. No, if a boat taking mark-room to which she is entitled - however she got it -, she shall be exonerated....|
The inside boat is given mark-room in 18.3(b)....

So, in answer to your question; if rule 18.3 is applicable and rule 18.2 is not, rule 18.5 is still applying for the fetching boat that establishes an inside overlap.

All the best,

Duke City Model Yacht Club - Guide to Getting Started in Racing

Earl Boebert, Commodore of Duke City Model Yacht Club, send me this guide for beginning model boat racers:

He writes:
The target audience is individuals who have built their first R/C boat and are intimidated by the rules. I hope you find it of some small interest, and of course comments are always welcome. Download link: Intro Guide to Getting Started in Racing

From the document:
I n t r o d u c t i o n Welcome to the Duke City Model Yacht Club. Our primary activity is racing two classes of boats, the Soling One Meter and the RG65. Both classes use the same rules as the “big boats,” called the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) which includes an Appendix that adjusts the rules for radio control sailing. The purpose of this document is not to make you an expert on the rules or to teach you how to exploit the rules to your advantage in a race; rather, it is teach you enough to enable you to stay out of trouble. The rest is up to you.

Earl has been using the Protest Drawing Kit from Angelo, I wrote yesterday about, to clarify his writings with appropriate diagrams.

Red overlaps, Green, who overlaps Yellow, who overlaps Blue. Green and Red then also overlap Blue by the RRS Definition of “overlap.” Red, in particular must give the other three boats mark-room. If Blue came up from behind, she is entitled to mark-room from Yellow only if it is possible for Yellow to give it. (RRS 18.2(e)).

My experience in judging or umpiring model boats is very limited. This piece will give me some insights in what the differences are between them and any normal fleet race.

Earl would appreciate your comments, to improve his writings. Use the comments button or send him a mail (you can find his Email address at the end of the guide)

Monday 16 March 2009

Protest Diagram Kit | v2.0

Angelo Buscemi send me an Email with an updated version of his Protest Diagram Kit. It's a word document with pre drawn boats, marks, zones and sunder, which can be used to create diagrams on protest situations. I've posted about his efforts in this post: Forms (2)

In his mail he writes: No major changes – I just added a three boat length zone and updated the instructions for those who use Microsoft Word 2007.

Angelo gives permission to freely use and distribute this file, in conjunction with volunteer efforts to support and promote sailing and sail boat racing. Thanks Angelo.

Here's the download link: Protest Diagram Kit v2.docx
And a Word 97-2003 version: Protest Diagram Kit v2.doc

Saturday 14 March 2009

Audi Etchells Worlds 2009 Protests

ruledjms For everybody who wants to have a look at how an International Jury writes up protests, have a look at: http://www.rbyc.org.au/sa/protest/default.aspx?ID=18897
In light of our exercises on Fact Finding Friday, a perfect way to read what is required.

Eleven protests were held during the Etchells Worlds 2009 and published on the official Jury notice board. Not only the particulars but the actual facts found. I've had a look and, although some of them are on the short side, all of the pertinent information is there.

And, as per usual, requests for redress take time the most…….

Here’s an example:

Protest Decision Protest Number: 02

Event: Audi Etchells Worlds 2009; Race Number: 2

Protesting Boat: Sail # 1219
Protested Boat: Sail # 994
Protest Details: 2nd windward beat

Facts Found

994 was contacted and declined to attend the hearing.
1219 was sailing to windward on starboard tack approx. 500 meters from the windward mark
994 was port tack on a converging course with 1219
994 hailed: "Cross or tack"
1219 did not respond to the hail
994 continued sailing to windward on port tack
1219 bore away to avoid contact with 994 and passed astern of her
There was no contact
Neither boat exonerated


994 on port tack was required by rule 10 to keep clear of 1219 and failed to do so. There was no obligation for 1219 to respond to the hail of 994. RRS 63.3 (b) applied

Rule(s) applicable


994 DSQ in Race 2

Jury Members

A. Wardle (Chairman), D. Sloan, E. Wold, I Kingsford-Smith & W. Bell .


I hope more and more event-web sites will have the facilities to publish this sort of protest information and that International Jury are willing to put in the extra effort of writing them on a computer.

Friday 13 March 2009

Closed Class Rules; by the Dutch RR Committee

Today on the website of the Dutch MNA, a guideline and "warning" was published about Closed Class Rules. I've posted the text below. In the posting the Dutch Racing Rules Committee explains that with a national class - which are almost all sailing under closed class rules - nothing may be taken aboard which is not written explicitly in the class rules. If the class rules don't mention a GPS, you can't take it with you on board - whether you use it or not. If the class rules don't mention a tell tale, you can't use them and so-on.

If you want to read the whole story, use the Google translate box in the sidebar or Google translate with copy paste.

And to all my fellow Dutch sailors: You have been warned!

From the Watersportverbond website:
De implicaties van “gesloten” klassenvoorschriften

...en de procedures als iemand die voorschriften overtreedt.

Bij een kampioenschap in een nationale klasse in 2008 is een protest ingediend omdat een deelnemer een GPS aan boord had. Hierbij kwam de vraag op tafel wat wel en wat niet mag onder klassenvoorschriften.
Deze vraag is zowel door de protestcommissie als door de reglementcommissie beantwoord. De Zeilraad heeft de vraag ook voorgelegd gekregen, maar kon deze vraag in deze casus om procedurele redenen niet beantwoorden. De Zeilraad heeft de vraag doorgestuurd naar de Reglementencommissie van het Watersportverbond.

Open en gesloten klassenvoorschriften
Om te beoordelen wat wel en niet toegestaan is onder klassenvoorschriften is het heel belangrijk om eerst te kijken over de klassenvoorschriften open of gesloten klassenvoorschriften zijn.
Bij gesloten voorschriften is over het algemeen een regel opgenomen in de zin van , alles wat niet expliciet in deze klassenvoorschriften is toegestaan, is verboden. Bij vrijwel alle nationale klassen komt een regel van deze strekking voor.

Consequentie van gesloten klassenvoorschriften
De consequentie van een gesloten klassenvoorschriften voor een klasse is dat een GPS alleen toegestaan is als dit in de klassenvoorschriften is toegestaan. Staat er in de klassenvoorschriften niks over het toestaan van een GPS, dan mag je een dergelijk apparaat niet aan boord hebben.
Dit geldt ook voor een (elektronisch) kompas, voor tell tales, voor een vaantje, ja zelfs voor een starthorloge. Let dus goed op als je spullen aan mee neemt aan boord in een zeilwedstrijd. Als je in een nationale klasse vaart mag je er vanuit gaan dat de klassenvoorschriften gesloten zijn. Alles wat niet is toegestaan is verboden.
Van geen belang is of je je GPS, kompas, vaantje etc. ook gebruikt, of je een voordeel of een nadeel hebt van het instrument. Als het niet toegestaan is in gesloten klassenvoorschriften, dan mag je het niet aan boord hebben. Ook speelt het geen rol dat anderen het ook gebruiken, immers regel 78 RvW stelt dat de eigenaar en de verantwoordelijk persoon aan boord er voor verantwoordelijk zijn dat de boot blijft voldoen aan de klassenvoorschriften.

De procedurele kant
Natuurlijk is dan ook de vraag hoe je onder de regels moet handelen als iemand met een GPS of een kompas vaart, terwijl dit volgens de klassenvoorschriften niet mag. Zo gauw je dit in het wedstrijdgebied ziet moet je protest roepen naar de betreffende boot (Regel 61.1(a) Regels voor Wedstrijdzeilen. Zeil je in een boot die langer is dan 6 meter, dan moet je ook meteen een rode vlag tonen. Vervolgens moet je na de finish een protest indienen dat voldoet aan de vereisten van een protest. Dat wil zetten je moet tenminste schriftelijk het incident (het varen met de GPS) vermelden inclusief de tijd en plaats waar je dit gezien hebt (regel 61.2 RvW). Het protest moet ook binnen de tijdlimiet bij het wedstrijdbureau worden ingediend (regel 61.3 RvW). De tijdlimiet staat meestal in de plaatselijke Wedstrijdbepalingen vermeld.
De protestcommissie zal je informeren over tijd en plaats van het verhoor. Meestal door middel van een briefje op een bord bij het Wedstrijdbureau. Je hebt het recht om bij het verhoor aanwezig te zijn, dus zorg dat je op tijd op de aangegeven plaats bent. Als de protestcommissie tot de conclusie komt dat een boot die partij is in een protest een regel heeft overtreden, dan moet de protestcommissie die boot uitsluiten tenzij in de wedstrijdbepalingen staat dat een andere straf van toepassing is. De protestcommissie heeft hierbij dus geen vrijheid. In strijd met de klassenvoorschriften een GPS aan boord, betekent een diskwalificatie als de protestcommissie besluit dat de klassenvoorschriften zijn overtreden.

Niet eens met de beslissing van de protestcommissie
Ben je het niet eens met de beslissing van de protestcommissie, ga dan niet bij de uitspraak mopperen of schelden. Er is meestal een procedure om in hoger beroep te gaan. Vraag op een briefje bij het Wedstrijdbureau om een schriftelijke beslissing van de protestcommissie(regel 65.2). Doe dit binnen die hiervoor geldende tijdlimiet (zie hiervoor ook de wedstrijdbepalingen, meestal is de tijdlimiet 1 uur na de mondelinge beslissing).
Stuur vervolgens binnen 15 dagen een brief naar het Watersportverbond waarin je aangeeft waarom je het niet eens bent met de beslissing van de protestcommissie. Houdt hierbij in de gaten dat je niet in hoger beroep kunt gaan tegen de vastgestelde feiten in de beslissing, wel tegen de conclusies of als je vindt dat er verkeerde regels of procedures zijn toegepast (regel 70.1). Voeg de schriftelijke beslissing van de protestcommissie, de aankondiging van het evenement als je die hebt en de wedstrijdbepalingen als je die hebt, bij je brief.

Twijfel bij de protestcommissie
Het komt ook wel eens voor dat de protestcommissie zelf twijfelt. Als de protestcommissie twijfelt over een beslissing in een protest dan kan de protestcommissie vragen om bevestiging of verbetering van zijn beslissing. (regel 70.2). Ook hierbij moet de protestcommissie binnen 15 dagen een brief met zijn vraag sturen naar het Watersportverbond.

De Zeilraad
Een hoger beroep aanvraag en een vraag van een protestcommissie worden bij het Watersportverbond voorgelegd aan de Zeilraad. Dit is een raad van 7 zeer deskundige kenners van het wedstrijdreglement die uit verschillende plaatsen in het land komen.
De Zeilraad zal zo snel mogelijk de hoger beroep aanvraag of de vraag van een protestcommissie behandelen, maar realiseer je dat de Zeilraad ongeveer 1 keer per maand bijeen komt en er normaal gesproken tenminste 2 vergaderingen van de Zeilraad nodig zijn om de Beslissing van de Zeilraad definitief te maken. Overigens zal de Zeilraad in de tussentijd ook gegevens en commentaren opvragen bij alle partijen en de protestcommissie, zie hiervoor Appendix F van de Regels voor Wedstrijdzeilen. De Zeilraad kan beslissen om de beslissing van een protestcommissie te bevestigen, te wijzigen of te vernietigen. Het protest ongeldig verklaren, het protest terugverwijzen voor heropening of voor een nieuw verhoor en nieuwe beslissing door het zelfde of een ander protestcomité (Regel 71.2 RvW).

Bij gesloten klassenvoorschriften zoals die gelden voor vrijwel alle nationale klassen, mag je alleen spullen aan boord hebben die toegestaan zijn volgens de klassenvoorschriften. Staat er niks over in de klassenvoorschriften, dan mag het niet.
Dus als een gps, een kompas, tell-tales of een vaantje niet in de klassenvoorschriften genoemd staan als uitrusting die je aan boord mag hebben, dan mag het niet.
Wil je protesteren, volg dan de formaliteiten, je kunt het niet een ander kwalijk nemen als die zich aan de regels houdt.

Leo Pieter Stoel
Voorzitter Reglementen Commissie

Fact Finding Friday | 003 - Edinburgh Evening v Freetown Forenoon

From “the Room” by Brass


The aim of this series is to practice judges' skills in writing Facts Found, Conclusions and Rules Applicable, and Decisions as required by rule 65.1. These are not intended to be 'difficult' rules problems: concentrate on the writing skills. You are not expected to 'discuss' the rules or the scenarios, or enter into 'what-if' considerations.
I suggest you write against the clock, and include a note of your time taken when you post your answers on LTW, to compare with others.

You might like to try using the Protest Decision Wording tool from LTW.


You are the scribe for the protest committee of the LTW Yacht Club, which races in Port Liberty Roads. You have received the written protest, decided it is valid, and have heard both parties and witnesses as shown. Write Facts Found, Conclusions and Rules Applicable, and the Decision for this protest. Please post your effort on LTW, for us all to share and learn. Don't be shy.

Description of Incident – Edinburgh Evening v Freetown Forenoon

The description of the incident from the protest form is as shown.

Edinburgh Evening is a Sydney 38, 11.6m yacht.
Freetown Forenoon is a Sydney 47, 14.5m yacht.

P3 090313 EEvFF

The Hearing

Edinburgh Evening's Description of the Incident

I was steering Edinburgh Evening.

We were reaching slowly on starboard tack down the start line under easy sheets, about half a boat length back from the line and about three boat lengths from the pin with 10 seconds to the starting signal. We were doing about 3 knots.

First I heard is a hail 'Overlap'.

I turned and saw Freetown Forenoon clear astern of our port quarter about 2 to 3 meters to leeward and sailing faster than Edinburgh Evening. I hailed 'No overlap'

Freetown Forenoon became overlapped to leeward about 2.5 meters away and again hailed 'up'.

Freetown Forenoon then came up towards the wind and crashed into the stern of Edinburgh Evening, damaging the stern railing

From the first hail to the second hail, there was about 3 seconds.

On the second hail I went up.

Freetown Forenoon then came up and continued to come up until contact occurred.

I hailed 'protest' immediately and flew a red flag immediately after the boats were disentangled and Edinburgh Evening was safely under control.

Freetown Forenoon's Questions to Edinburgh Evening

Q. When did you bear away to stay below the line and the pin?
A. I did not bear away.

Freetown Forenoon's Description of the Incident

I was steering Freetown Forenoon for the pin end starting mark, from behind Edinburgh Evening, when Edinburgh Evening bore away to keep below the start line and became overlapped across the bow of Freetown Forenoon. I was unable to avoid collision.

Before the boats became overlapped Freetown Forenoon bore away to get more separation between the boats. Freetown Forenoon was doing about 5 knots.

Freetown Forenoon then came up again.

The overlap was caused by Edinburgh Evening bearing away.

Protest Committee Questions to Freetown Forenoon

Q. How far apart were the boats when they became overlapped?
A. Two or three meters.

Edinburgh Evening's witness evidence

I was trimming the mainsheet on Edinburgh Evening, sitting on the windward deck beside the wheel.

Edinburgh Evening was clear ahead of Freetown Forenoon.

Edinburgh Evening was sailing fairly slowly, reaching towards the pin.

Freetown Forenoon hailed Edinburgh Evening to go up.

Skipper of Edinburgh Evening replied 'make your call when you have an overlap'.

Freetown Forenoon bore away and accelerated.

Freetown Forenoon then came up and contact occurred between the bow of Freetown Forenoon and Edinburgh Evening half a meter forward of the transom.

Edinburgh Evening's questions to Edinburgh Evening's witness

Q. Did Edinburgh Evening bear away across the bow of Freetown Forenoon?
A. No.

Q. On completion of Edinburgh Evening's initial bear away, would collision have occurred if Freetown Forenoon had held her course without change?
A. No. Edinburgh Evening did not bear away.

Q. Once the boats became overlapped, did Edinburgh Evening take any action to keep clear of Freetown Forenoon?
A. The skipper of Edinburgh Evening started to steer the boat up, then when it was obvious that contact would occur, bore away to minimize impact.

Freetown Forenoon's questions to Edinburgh Evening's witness

Q. How long between when the overlap was established and the collision?
A. Between 2 and 4 seconds. There was a very short time between overlap and contact.

Protest Committee questions to Edinburgh Evening's witness

Q. At the instant the boats became overlapped, what was the distance apart of the boats?
A. Not more than 2.5 m.

Q. How long before the starting signal was the incident?
A. About 10 seconds.

Freetown Forenoon's Witnesses

I was tactician on Freetown Forenoon. I was positioned on the aft starboard deck.

Edinburgh Evening was positioned close to the start line and close to the pin mark, waiting to accelerate for the start.

Freetown Forenoon was reaching down the start line about two boat lengths back, with good speed. I intended to hook up to leeward of Edinburgh Evening and drive her over the start line early, then make a good on-time start.

As we approached Edinburgh Evening, I hailed 'you will need to keep up'.

When we became overlapped with Edinburgh Evening I hailed 'up', and I said to my skipper 'don't come up too hard', but Freetown Forenoon's bow kept coming up into the wind.

The boats made contact because Edinburgh Evening did not keep clear.

Protest Committee Questions to Freetown Forenoon's witness

Q. How far apart were the boats when they became overlapped?
A. Two or three meters.

Edinburgh Evening Summing Up

Freetown Forenoon was overtaking from clear astern.
As soon as Freetown Forenoon became overlapped he came up and I had no room to keep clear.
At the last moment I steered down to minimize impact.
Had Freetown Forenoon held a straight course she would have sailed clear to leeward of me.

Freetown Forenoon's Summing Up

After the overlap was established Freetown Forenoon did not come up.
The overlap was created by Edinburgh Evening bearing away.
Freetown Forenoon had only two seconds and could not avoid contact.

Protest Committee's Assessment of the Evidence

Your fellow protest committee members note that the evidence of Edinburgh Evening and her witness, was that Edinburgh Evening did not bear away until after the boats became overlapped and then only to minimize impact after contact was unavoidable. Freetown Forenoon's assertion that Edinburgh Evening bore away across her bow was not supported by any witness.

Thursday 12 March 2009

ISAF Q&A 2009-024

This one you'll need to print out and keep under your pillow for a week! I'm still trying to get my head around the scenario's.

Scenario 1:

2009-024 Sc1a

Separated into two positions:

2009-024 Sc1_1POSITION 1
Yellow and Blue are overlapped when Yellow enters the zone. Green is clear astern of both, but moving faster.

2009-024 Sc1_2POSITION 2
When Blue enters the zone Green and Blue are overlapped. Assume there are no constraints on Yellow and she is free to bear away to give as much room as needed.

Question 1: Is Yellow now required to give more room to Blue so that Blue can fulfill her obligation to give mark-room to Green?

Question 2: Is Green an obstruction to Blue? The definition would appear to indicate that this is the case as Blue is required to give mark-room to Green.

Question 3: If Yellow bears away and gives room so both Blue and Green can pass the mark, has Green broken rule 18.2(b) in relation to Yellow?

Scenario 2:

2009-024 Sc2a

And again separated into two positions:

2009-024 Sc2_1

When Green enters the zone, Green and Yellow are overlapped. When Yellow enters the zone, Blue is clear astern of both Green and Yellow.

2009-024 Sc2_2At position 2 Blue becomes overlapped to windward of Yellow.

Question 1: Is Green an obstruction to Blue?

Question 2: If the answer to Question 1 is ‘Yes’, does Yellow now have to give room to Blue under 19.2(b)?

Question 3: If Yellow gives room, would Blue be disqualified under rule 18.2(b) and (c) if Yellow protested?

Question 4: If the answer to Question 2 and 3 is ‘Yes’, then how can you justify disqualifying a boat when, although she has broken a rule, she is only asking another boat to comply with a different rule?


I’ve deliberately separated the scenario’s and questions from the Q&A, so you can try to answer yourselves, before looking at the findings of the panel.

I’ll give you a hint from the text in the Q&A:
No rule states that, when rule 18 applies, rule 19 does not!

After that, you can read the complete ISAF Q&A 2009-024.

I’m off to work for now, but am sure to have a look at them again in my lunch-break, phew!

Wednesday 11 March 2009

ISAF Q&A 2009-023

A discussion about different aspects of a situation when a boat learns, in an invalid hearing, that she has broken a rule. ISAF Q&A 2009-023

This is pretty fundamental. Reading the premise of the questions I was at first answering differently then the Q&A-panel. Of course should the competitor retire! If he wouldn't, a protest by the PC would be appropriate.

The Q&A answers differently. No protest may be lodged from information gained through an invalid protest. From the Q&A:
"Rule 60.3(a) allows a protest committee to protest for what it learns from a report from the representative of the boat, but not for what it learns from an invalid protest."

And continues:
"If the protest committee believe a competitor may have deliberately broken a rule, or has chosen not to retire or take a penalty despite knowing that he/she has broken a rule, the protest committee should speak with the competitor. If after that discussion the competitor declines to take a penalty despite knowing that he/she has broken a rule, the protest committee should consider acting under rule 69. If, on the other hand, the protest committee believes the competitor may have deliberately broken a rule, the protest committee should act under rule 69."

Pretty steep, don't you think?
If you run across a case like this, you'd better get all the facts straight and be up to par with your rule 69 knowledge in procedures.....

Tuesday 10 March 2009


On Scuttlebutt there's a lively discussion on the complexity of the rules. Comments left and right about the average sailor who does not understand what is written, let alone use it to his or her advantage on the water.

As a judge and rules freak I'm biased. I like the rules and find enjoyment in the use of them. But I spend a great deal of time on them and even for me there are grey areas.

MAST (Broad Reach Marketing - www.broadreachmarketing.net) has published a set of rules which enables a beginning sailor to enjoy a race, without having to spend to much time on learning the rules. THE BASIC SAILBOAT RACING RULES ALL RACERS SHOULD KNOW.

It's a little longer then the set ISAF published last year: Introductory Racing Rules, and a few small flaws have crept in, but basically it's a good start.

If you want people to enjoy racing without having to explain the intricacies of rule 18, give them the link or print a set out for them.

Monday 9 March 2009

ISAF RRS CASE BOOK 2009-2012; Case 25

In preparation for a rules-evening for my local club the KWS, I’ve been reading the New Casebook 2009-2012.

As promised in this post I’m also posting a few observations on LTW:



Rule 11, On the Same Tack, Overlapped
Rule 14, Avoiding Contact
Rule 16.1, Changing Course
Rule 18.2(b), Mark-Room: Giving Mark-Room

When an inside overlapped windward boat that is entitled to
mark-room sails below her proper course while at the mark,
she must keep clear of the outside leeward boat, and the
outside boat may luff provided that she gives the inside boat
room to keep clear.

Summary of the Facts

Two 15-foot (3.5 m) dinghies, IW and OL, were approaching a leeward port-hand mark. IW established an inside overlap on OL well before the boats reached the zone, and OL gave IW space to sail to the mark and then to sail her proper course while at the mark. After IW passed the mark, OL 87
began to luff to her course to the next mark. IW was slower in heading up, and her boom, still well out, touched OL’s helmsman and shrouds. At the time of the contact IW was a hull length from the mark and over 45 degrees below close-hauled. No damage or injury occurred. IW protested OL under rule 18.2(b), and OL protested IW under rule 11.


The protest committee decided that, because IW did not luff to a close-hauled course while she was at the mark, she did not sail her proper course during that time. IW did not deny this but attributed it to her boom-end mainsheet rig as compared to the centre-lead rig used by OL. The protest committee dismissed IW’s protest, upheld OL’s, and disqualified IW for breaking rule 11. IW appealed.


Rule 18.2(b) required OL to give IW room to sail to the mark and then room to sail her proper course while at the mark. Clearly, between positions 1 and 2 OL gave IW room to sail to the mark. At position 2, IW was ‘at the mark’ and between positions 2 and 3 she was entitled to room to sail her proper course. Her proper course during that time was to luff onto a close-hauled course, and OL gave her room to do so. Therefore, OL did not break rule 18.2(b).

When OL luffed between positions 2 and 3, IW was required by rule 11 to keep clear of OL, and OL was required by rule 16.1 to give her room to do so. OL luffed approximately 30 degrees while moving forward two hull lengths. Even with a boom-end mainsheet rig, a boat sailed in a seaman- like way can turn through 30 degrees and trim her mainsail appropriately
while moving forward two hull lengths. Therefore, OL gave IW room to  keep clear and OL did not break rule 16.1.

OL could easily have avoided contact with IW, and so OL broke rule 14. However, she is not penalized for doing so because neither boat was damaged, nor was there any injury.

IW sailed well below her proper course; in fact she sailed a hull length
away from the mark on a course over 45 degrees below close-hauled and,
as a result, took much more space than rule 18.2(b) entitled her to take. Throughout the incident IW was required by rule 11 to keep clear of OL. Shortly before the contact, IW broke rule 11 by failing to keep clear. It was possible for IW to have avoided the contact, and therefore IW also broke rule 14. However, because IW was entitled to mark-room and the contact resulted in neither damage nor injury, she too can not be penalized for breaking rule 14.

IW’s appeal is dismissed. The protest committee’s decision to disqualify
IW under rule 11 is upheld.


I have a question regarding IW’s infringement of rule 14. According to my understanding, once IW has passed the mark, she is no longer needing mark-room. Which is illustrated by the conclusion that she breaks rule 11 by not keeping clear. How can she be exonerated for breaking rule 14, if she’s no longer a boat entitled to mark room?

Apparently exoneration for a boat, once she is entitled to mark room, goes beyond the need for mark-room itself… perhaps until she’s left the zone?

What is your opinion?


Sunday 8 March 2009

Team Heiner Match Racing Winter Series 2009

Saturday 07 March 2009; 08:43 hours; arrival at Marina Haven; Lelystad, Team Heiner winter series Match Racing with two Max Fun 35s

09:05 hours; briefing with competitors
11:45 hours; Cold but sunny; Yellow; Port, keep clear boat with overlap, keeping clear
Blue; Starboard, right of way boat, holding
11:53 hours; Next down wind leg to the finish
14:01 hours; Blue on port on the layline to the windward mark, keep clear boat. Yellow on Starboard, right of way boat almost "at" the mark. Rule 18 not applicable.

My camera can also do some video. I thought I might try that. You can't zoom in and out while recording, this footage would have befitted from some wider angle shots.
For those of you who are wondering what I'm saying; (Yes, that is me talking to the other umpires in the boat) One boat on Starboard and one boat on Port (Klaartje) approaching the leeward mark. Port has an overlap on the inside and is therefore entitled to mark room.

After getting home and downloading the pictures and video on my computer, I discovered that sound is also recorded. I'll try to make a few "Umpire-speak" sessions in a fourth night (21th March) when this winter series will be concluded.

Friday 6 March 2009

Fact Finding Friday | 002 - Copenhagen Charmer v Dublin Delight

From "The Room" by Brass


The aim of this series is to practice judge's skills in writing Facts Found, Conclusions and Rules Applicable, and Decisions as required by rule 65.1.

These are not intended to be 'difficult' rules problems: concentrate on the writing skills. You are not expected to 'discuss' the rules or the scenarios, or enter into 'what-if' considerations.

I suggest you write against the clock, and include a note of your time taken when you post your answers on LTW, to compare with others.


You are the scribe for the protest committee of the LTW Yacht Club, which races in the Liberty River. You have received the written protest as shown, decided it is valid, and have heard both parties and witnesses, and have recorded the Facts Found as shown.

You realize that you do not have sufficient Facts Found to decide the protest. What questions do you need to ask parties and witnesses to discover the necessary missing facts? You might like to refresh your memory about questions by re-reading Judges Manual 9.18.

Suppose you receive consistent replies to your questions to enable you to decide the protest. Write the additional Facts Found, Conclusions and Rules Applicable and the Decision for this protest.

Please post your effort on LTW, for us all to share and learn. Don't be shy.

Protest Form Section 7 – Description of Incident 

P2 090306 CC-DD

  • Approaching the bend in the river bank Dublin Delight gybed from Starboard onto Port clear ahead of Copenhagen Charmer, who then also gybed onto Port.
  • Copenhagen Charmer sailed into the gap between Dublin Delight and the shore and hailed for room to pass the obstruction.
  • Dublin Delight luffed Copenhagen Charmer into the river bank so that there was contact and both became stuck in the mud.


Partial Facts Found
  • Dublin Delight and Copenhagen Charmer were running towards a bend in the river bank on port tack with Copenhagen Charmer clear astern of Dublin Delight.
  • After her gybe Dublin Delight leaves a gab between her stern and the shore.
  • Copenhagen Charmer becomes overlapped between Dublin Delight and the shore and calls for room to pass.
  • Dublin Delight responds by luffing and there is contact between the boats which results in damage.
  • Both boats hit the shore and get stuck.

You must write two additional facts before you can get to a conclusion. Decide those facts one way or another, and write your protest

As an additional exercise you can think about the questions you need to ask the parties to get to those two missing facts.

Brass will comment after a few days.

Thursday 5 March 2009

LTW Readers Q&A | 20 “How big is the ZONE?”

Received the following question from Sen which is about an issue all clubs will have to face in the coming year. So I thought it interesting enough to share with you:

blogcolorstripe Dear Jos;

I always appreciate your great work in LOOK TO WINDWARD.

Although you may not know, Japan intercollegiate sailing is very popular and has long history over 80 years.

The characteristic is as follows;
Racing classes are only 470 and Snipe, and the format is a fleet racing. By the way, regarding the RRS definition "Zone", I am searching which classes will adopt whether 3 lengths or 2 or 4. The SCIRA (Snipe Class International Racing Association) website says in Standard Sailing Instructions Template 2009;

"Rules: 1.1 The regatta is governed by: .......Under rule 86.1(b), in the definition Zone the distance is changed to two hull lengths."

Whereas the 470 International Association has already announced the 2009 class rules, but there are no description about zone.

Then I suppose 470 adopts new 3 lengths zone.

The Japan intercollegiate sailing championship is held at the same area and the starting sequence is made normally every five minutes because of 3 through 5 races per day. Then it is natural that 470 boats and snipe boats sail and round marks together at the same time.

If 470 adopt 3 lengths zone, how do I conduct as an event organizer or a race officer?

Do you have a good idea? Or is this a stupid question?


IODA Regatta Committee News Feb 09

The introduction of the 2009-2012 Racing Rules of Sailing and some recent work by the Regatta Committee has resulted in some changes to both rules and format for some Continental Championships and to the Worlds. To give you all the opportunity to prepare for these changes and in some instances consider adopting them at National and Club level, we are detailing them here.

The RRS definition of zone has been changed to:
Zone: The area around a mark within a distance of three hull lengths of the boat nearer to it. A boat is in the zone when any part of her hull is in the zone.

RRS 86.1(b) permits the SIs to change the zone distance to two or four hull lengths. This year for all IODA Continental and World Championships, we will adopt the default distance of three hull lengths.

For team racing, IODA will adopt D1.1(a):
D1.1 Changes to the Definitions and the Rules of Part 2
(a) In the definition Zone the distance is changed to two hull lengths


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 very ... busy.

Thanks in advance.

Sen Yamaoka


Dear Sen,

First of all, this is a very good question! I imagine that many Race Officers and Organizers face this same dilemma.

I think it is not wise that a Class Organization decides this issue before talking to the local club who organizes their event. And specially if there are other classes involved in the same event. However commendable it is that they want to make it “easier” for their sailors, by choosing a fixed zone.

The rules specifically state that the zone is the same for all marks and for all boats that use those marks. So one of the classes will have to change the zone for this event.

Three hull lengths was chosen by the working party for a reason! We don’t have the “about to round the mark” in rule 18 anymore. The rule switches on instantaneously when one of the boats is in the zone. And with a zone of two lengths, this leaves not much room for error.

The working party intended the possibility in changing to two or four lengths only for very special occasions. Very fast multihull for example. Not to use them because it’s convenient and less different then last year.

The new rules are something all sailors will have to get use to. Why make it complicated by changing them before they had a change to test them?


I suggest you start a dialog with both classes and present your dilemma. Factor in the place you have to race, the preferences about the course and hope that you can reach a mutual agreed solution. If they can’t decide or are unwilling to compromise, the PRO will have to make a final decision. In my book he’s responsible for the length of the Zone. The SI will reflect that.

With regards,

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