Tuesday 29 September 2009

LTW Readers Q&A | 029 Overlap?

Last Monday I received the following questions from a LTW-reader. Since there is still the possibility this might go to an appeal, I'll restrict my answers to his questions.


RE: Overlap, Luffing Rights, necessary contact, etc.

Situation:  two boats at the start 15-10 seconds before the start on the verge of being overlapped.  Leeward Boat (L) has ~ 45º rake in bow. Windward Boat (W) has a  45º reverse transom and wide flat step in transom.

L has more speed than W.

L claims "overlap," W responds with "no-overlap."

L luffs and makes contact near center of transom causing damage to W.

L protests under Rule 11 - believing that they were clearly overlapped at the time. Claimed contact was necessary to prove overlap.

W protests under Rule 12 and 14 - believing that the instance the point of contact occurred L was clear astern and made no attempt to avoid contact.

Q1: is there an imaginary vertical plane that two boats cannot intersect?  I.e. if the bow swings over a transom, but does not touch is that considered contact? A spinnaker pole or boom over another boats side with out physical contact, etc.

Q2:  Since this incident occurred by two boats approaching the starting line from a point to leeward of the lay-line of the starboard or committee boat end of the line, is there any way this can be construed as "Barging."


In answer to your first question I've looked at CALL UMP 7:


That vertical plane does exist to determine the overlap, but even when there is an overlap, like in the call above and one of the boats changes course to pass behind the other, the keep clear boat is keeping clear.

The test if a boat is keeping clear is always done according to the definition:

  • Can the row boat sail her course with no need to take avoiding action?
  • And if on the same tack & overlapped: Can the leeward boat change course in both directions without immediately making contact with the windward boat.

Both test-questions are answered positive, even when the bow (or bowsprit) swings over the transom.


I'm not an expert in language but in my understanding "barging" is something only a windward boat can do. That boat is sailing lower then a leeward boat and does not want to luff in fear of crossing the line too early or not being able to pass the mark on the correct side. By barging he forces the leeward boat to bear away, in compliance with rule 14 - to avoid contact. A barging boat ALWAYS breaks rule 11 and possibly rule 2.

In the situation you describe the leeward boat luffs. I would not consider this barging by the windward boat. Not on the lay-line to the starboard-end of the start-line and not if it happened leeward of that lay-line.


Sunday 27 September 2009

iShares Cup 2009 Amsterdam | 2

Race 11: DNF x6
Race 12: DNF x6
In these very light conditions on the water between the Veemkade and Java-island in Amsterdam the Xtreme 40's struggle to get in within the time limit. The first boat free and clear of all others, has the freedom to find every puff and can, on occasion, get ahead very far.
The time limit to finish after the first boat finishes is only five minutes.

Friday there were only one or two, but yesterday the number of boats that did not manage to get a finish place increased. Mitch Booth from Holmatro suggested in the skippers meeting to increase the time limit. The RO insisted that everybody - every skipper - should agree on the change. Specially because this would be a mid series change.

The final proposal was to take 50% of the sailed time as the time limit. For a race of 15 minutes that would mean 7.5 minutes, for a race of 20 minutes a time limit of 10 minutes, and so-on.
That would also have the advantage that even in changing conditions the time limit was appropriate. A good proposal.
But as I said, not all skippers agreed. We revisited the subject in the post-race briefing, but again no consensus. Perhaps it will be decided in this mornings briefing.

If not this event, definitely something to consider for next year.

How about your experiences with time limits? Ever been to late? Was the finish closed by the time you got there? Or perhaps you've had a request for redress about it?

Saturday 26 September 2009

iShares Cup 2009 Amsterdam

At the iShares cup in Amsterdam only one man is very busy at this moment. And has been for the last 48 plus hours. That is the repairman! On both days there were big crashes resulting in a lot of damage. Hopefully Oman Red can sail again this afternoon. iShares cup

We have to deal with the redress in the mean time. There's no doubt that Oman Blue is entitled to redress. Their scoring was, trough no fault of there own, made significantly worse by physical damage because of the action of a boat that was breaking a rule of Part 2. BT hit them, sailing on Port. But the tricky part is in how much redress.

If you look at Q&A 2007-01 it states that out of the counting races in a boat’s series score, the majority of scores should be based on finishing positions in completed races. The crash took place in the fourth race. Oman Sail Masirah scored a DNF, a 7th and a 3rd in the first three races.
There were 8 races sailed on Friday. Going with the Q&A we can't give them redress for more then three races, not before they've actually sailed five.
So, the outcome is that we will count the next two races - whenever they are sailed - to calculate the average, and award that to the five missed races on friday.
The press is pushing us, because they want to know where Masirah stands, but this is the best we can do.

Saturday 19 September 2009

Umpire Seminar GBR 18-22 Nov 2009

One of the judges at this event told me that the Umpire Seminar in November in the UK will be the very first TEAM Race Umpire Seminar. I've published about upcoming seminars a couple of days ago, but had no idea this was such an unique event.

Since one of my goals this winter is to learn more about Team-race umpiring, I'm very tempted to go. I want to see how they do it, across "the pond" in the UK, a team race nation if there ever was one. The reason I have this goal is that the umpire system we use in one of the few team race events we do have here in the Netherlands (Five against five with 'Regenbogen' in Holland-Friesland), is no longer working. The action is getting so tight and fast and the sailors are getting so good in there rules-knowledge, that simply following the boats of one team with five umpire boats is not enough to be in the right places at the right times. We are missing too much. Perhaps I can learn something to use next year.

I'm surprised this wasn't advertised with big letters on the ISAF site. At the moment the entry stands at 6. Not enough.

There are a couple of snags.
First one is that the deciding date is Monday the 21st. If by then enough people have entered (minimal 10 persons) the seminar will be held, if not, it will be cancelled. So I need to decide in a couple of days. I can't check about free days at work before Monday, so that is cutting it close.
I've already send in an Email expressing my interest, so I hope they will give me the time to decide.

Second snag is the costs. I'm already an Umpire - don't need another seminar to become one. But to attend I need to pay 375 pounds for the seminar. Add flights (Schiphol - Heathrow), bus to Oxford, Bed&Breakfast for five days, parking at Schiphol and travelling to the airport by car, the total cost runs up just short of a thousand Euro. That is very expensive for a bit of education.

The seminar instructors will be Jack Lloyd and John Doerr, two of the best Team-race umpires. I'm sure I can get a lot out of those two.
I better start checking flights and B&B's.....
To be decided...

In the meantime: If you want to go yourself? Click on the link:
18 Nov 09 - 22 Nov 09; International Umpire Seminar, Great Britain
Oxford Sailing Club, Great Britain.

Friday 18 September 2009

Flog the Blog Day (22)

Another 18th, so another FTB-day.
As usual, don't spare the rod.

Please keep on sending me your cases, questions and experiences. I might reject to post them - it still is my blog - but most likely you get your words published. And then around 570 subscribers will read it. The count has gone down a little. Not surprising, since I'm not posting daily any more.
But good enough. Perhaps I'll get more inspiration in winter again.
If you have something to contribute: rrs-study@home.nl

I'm currently at the Open Dutch Championship for Olympic Classes in Medemblik. We had a nice day on the water with three races on all courses. Nice breeze, sunshine and not too many yellow flags.

Heard a new case from my fellow judge which I'm glad to share with you:
In a race - bigger boats - a crew member falls overboard while the boat is sailing clear to take a penalty. The boat does one turn including a gybe and a tack, picks up the crew member and does it's second turn (with a gybe and a tack) straight after. There is hardly any time lost with picking up the crew member out of the water... The turns are done almost immediately after each other.
The boat continues and subsequently wins the race.

There's a valid protest on rule 47.2 by another boat.
What is your decision?

I might postpone posting comments with the answer to give everybody a chance to find the answer. You will have to respond before end of this regatta - Sunday evening, okay?

It looks like we don't have any protest today. End of protest time for all classes have expired...
Only requests for redress if the scoring is faulty.


Wednesday 16 September 2009


I think I'm deformed.

A couple of days ago I was participating in the finals of a friendly club competition. 60 boats in two groups, 20 clubs with three boats each and team results are calculated to determine the winner. Otherwise a normal fleet race on a normal "old school" Olympic course; Triangle-Sausage-Traingle-Sausage-etc. until an upwind finish.

It is set up as a competition with very low entry-level. Everybody can compete. Boats are from the local commercial rental company, who sponsors the event by asking a very reduced fee. This competition is an initiative from the regional board of our NA. (District Noord). With it, they promote regatta-sailing and hopefully some of the participants will go-on in a one-design class.
I was asked to come, because one of the regular team members had other obligations.

The winner is as much determined by luck of the draw - with 60 boats, some of them will be a little older and slower - as by the skill of the sailor. Usually I'm able to sail in the front half, if my boat isn't half bad.

But what I find very very hard to "stomach" are the frequent and blatant infringements of the rules. I know - because of being an umpire - I can see much more then most, but I'm not taking about the intricacies of rule 16 or 18.2. No, simple straightforward rule 10 issues. Port does not keep clear of Starboard. Or windward does not keep clear of leeward. Basic rules, which even a beginner has to know to sail around the course.

Anybody can make a mistake and think he can pass a Starboard boat in front on Port. Then you do your turns and try to catch up again. You wish...
The general mentality is: "As long as there is no damage, I'm clear and free and can sail on".
As in, I have to tack to get to the mark, no matter that a Starboard boat is approaching, so I tack.
Or, I'm sailing a straight line to the mark, so that leeward boat who is below me, has to bear away.
Y-flag on the committee-boat? Never heard of it.
And most of the infringements are accepted by the others. NO protest, NO hails!

Nobody seems to have heard of the basic principle...

I could protest everybody and spend a couple of hours in the "room" explaining. I don't want to do this. It's my leisure time, going sailing on a late summer evening. But my enjoyment is severely impeded by having to shut my eyes al the time.

Am I deformed?
I wonder if other judges and umpires have the same?

Upcoming ISAF Seminars 2009

For International Judge:

21 Sep 09 - 23 Sep 09
International Judges Seminar, Uruguay
Yacht Club Uruguayo

For International Race Officer

25 Sep 09 - 27 Sep 09
Race Management Seminar, Austria
Austrian Sailing Federation, Neusiedl am See, Austria

02 Oct 09 - 04 Oct 09
Race Management Seminar, Argentina
Yacht Club Argentino, Buenos Aires - Argentina
23 Oct 09 - 25 Oct 09

Race Management Seminar, Belgium
Bloso SportsHotel - Ghent - Belgium

23 Nov 09 - 25 Nov 09
Race Management Seminar, Australia
Brisbane QLD, Australia

For International Umpire

07 Oct 09 - 11 Oct 09
International Umpire Seminar, Sweden
GKSS, Talattagatan 10, Langedrag, 426 76 Vastra Frolunda

18 Nov 09 - 22 Nov 09
International Umpire Seminar, Great Britain
Oxford Sailing Club, Great Britain

02 Dec 09 - 06 Dec 09
International Umpire Seminar, Argentina
Yacht Club Argentino, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Thursday 10 September 2009

ISAF Q&A | 036

This Q&A was published on the ISAF website today. It answers when rule 18.3 stops applying.

ISAF Racing Rules Question and Answer Service
Q&A 2009-036

Published: 9 September 2009
At a windward mark to be left to starboard, Blue is fetching the mark and Yellow tacks in the zone as shown in the diagram. Up to position 2 Yellow breaks no rule and will not do so if she continues to bear away to sail to the next mark. However, Yellow luffs and Blue must sail above close-hauled to continue keeping clear. She does so and protests. Does Yellow break a rule?

Yellow and Blue were approaching the mark on opposite tacks. When Yellow changed tack and as a result was subject to rule 13 in the zone when Blue was fetching the mark, rule 18.3 applied. When rule 18.3 applies, rule 18.2 does not thereafter apply. Blue keeps clear as required by rule 11 and Yellow’s luff complies with rule 16. Yellow causes Blue to sail above close-hauled to avoid her. If either boat is still in the zone, rule 18 continues to apply - see the first sentence of rule 18.1 - and therefore Yellow breaks rule 18.3(a).
This answer will also apply to a 'mirror-image' situation at a port-hand windward mark.

The answer is pretty straightforward. It does however, not mean that Yellow has to bear away to the next mark. There's no rule 17 restriction. Yellow can continue on a close-hauled course until BOTH boats are outside the zone, keeping Blue from sailing down. As long as Yellow does not cause Blue above close-hauled.
As soon as they both are outside Yellow can luff again. This means that if this situation occurs, the umpires have to decide if the luffing took place with one of the boats (most likely Blue) is still in the zone or not.
Rule 18.3 continues to apply, therefore determining when boats have left the zone is now a factor.

ISAF International Race Officer Seminar; Belgium

My E-mail in box showed this message today:

Dear Friends, Race Officers,

I have some places left for the 2009 October International Race Officer seminar in Belgium in October 2009.
Can you forward the info below to interested parties such as your MNA, National Race Officers with international aspirations, friends, websites….
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

From October 23rd till October 25th 2009 the VYF / Royal Belgian Yachting Association organizes the 4th ISAF International Race Management seminar in the Sportshotel in Ghent at the Flanders Sports Arena site.

This ISAF Race Official Seminar aims to improve standards of officiating around the world by increasing the number of officials qualifying for ISAF International Race Officer status. The seminar is followed by the official “ISAF-test” that allows applicants to formally apply for the ISAF-IRO status.

You can find all the information on the Belgian IRO seminar on the ISAF website through this link: http://www.sailing.org/26926.php
The entry form is available on http://www.sailing.org/Official_Entry__Form_1.doc
You can also download the event and social program on http://www.sailing.org/program.pdf
Attendance fee is between 60 and 200 euro depending on the chosen formula.
The ISAF instructors for this seminar are Tomasz CHAMERA (POL) and Ion ECHAVE (ESP).
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Thanks for your help in spreading the word
Good winds and
Kind regards,

Bruno De Wannemaeker
Sportmanager Topsporthal Vlaanderen

Saturday 5 September 2009

Racing Rules Quiz | Racing Rules of Sailing | Racing Information | Information & Advice | RYA

Racing Rules Quiz | Racing Rules of Sailing | Racing Information | Information & Advice | RYA

You can access the questions by clicking the link above.
Email your answers to raceofficialsadmin@rya.org.uk no later than September 12th including your name, address and contact details. The best answer in the opinion of the judges will win an RYA Magnetic Boat Pack.

Shared via AddThis

Wednesday 2 September 2009

Proper Course: Bullet

Proper Course: Bullet
Tillerman asks: Why is winning a race called: "Scoring a bullet"?
Read the answers in the comments before you jump in, either commenting on his post or on this one.

Tuesday 1 September 2009

Wind and Weather Permitting

Saturday during the first day of our anniversary regatta in Langweer I had a big dilemma. The weather forecast predicted a stormy day with force Beaufort 4 to 5 from the west and occasional showers. When we went out on the lake on the committee boat, the wind was already that.
 Langweerder Wielen; Friesland, The Netherlands

I like to go out at least an hour before the first start to get a feel of the wind and conditions. Our lake is not that big, so we have plenty of time to find the right place to lay out our starting line and 'report'-mark and check all the buoys and marks.

During that hour a big squall came trough and in front of that the wind increased even more. We measured Beaufort 6 (about 25 knots). That made me decide to at least leave the youngest - least experienced group - ashore. With the appropriate signal hoisted at our regatta office, the Flits C could stay in - for now.
I was still hoping it would settle down during the day.

But it didn't!. It got worse. Only after a rain shower (or dark cloud) had passed, the wind died down a little and came below 15 knots. But later that day we measured wind speeds up to 30 knots, that's Beaufort 7!

A lot of sailors decided for themselves the wind was to strong and did not go out at all.
We ticked off 110 boats sailing passed the blue 'report' mark next to the starting vessel. Out of 175 entries.
More then a third decided to stay ashore. Well, that does not help in any way to build confidence in a Race Officer, I can tell you that three times.

Of those 110 we started in 18 classes, only half (55!) finished. Either because they themselves decided it was to much or because of capsizing or because of gear failure, they went in without finishing the race.
Mind you, we could see some crews having the time of there lives, with full planing and vibrating hull, 'screaming' across the water. But for others it was just survival.

Consulting the weather guys and seeing the conditions, made me decide soon enough to leave the Flits C ashore and not start them that day. But I doubted the whole day if we should have gone out - or postponed or ... well you know.
With less then one third finishing, I still have those doubts.

My three rescue boats (besides the six of the youth classes) had a very full day. And even the finishing vessel (a converted fishing boat - with a nice flat deck to work off) stayed out after finishing to help to recover a sunken G2.I tried to get a feel from the sailors but received very mixed signals....

Sunday was - fortunately - a perfect sailing day. Nice breeze between 10 to 16 knots and only one rain shower which lasted all of five minutes.

According to the rules I did nothing wrong - but still.....

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Don't change the channel, it IS about the rules!
Received by E-mail on 31/08/09 from David Dellenbaugh:

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David Dellenbaugh
Writer/Narrator, Learn The Racing Rules DVD set
Editor/Publisher, Speed and Smarts newsletter
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