Sunday, 1 November 2009

Rapid Response Match Race Call 2009-010

In case I'm not able to finish my report on the last day of the Ladies Only Grade 2 Match Race event, this post will appear on the blog before E-mail subscriptions are send out Monday morning.

Have a look at the latest Rapid Response Match Race call, number 2009-010, as published on the ISAF -website

Reduction in speed is NOT in itself an 'action' within the meaning of rule 15!. This might have far-reaching consequences. I'll start thinking about if there are more 'non actions'. Perhaps you can help? Leave a comment if you find one.


  1. Wow. Where do the writers of this match race call get their definition of "action"?

    What about an even more extreme situation: Another boat is following me on a reach directly astern of me, only a few inches astern. Can I just release my sail and cause him to infringe Rule 12?

  2. Even if I can agree that
    "an increase or decrease in speed is not in itself an 'action' within ...
    how can this not been in this case?

    A boat can reduce of increase speed not as a conseguence of an action, but in this case this happened becaused of an action.

  3. This is one I've wondered about before - a ROW boat changing course has to give other boats room (ie time) to keep clear but what is there to stop her taking other action (eg slowing-down as here, suddenly easing the main as a Port boat ducks close, sitting-out hard into a boat close to windward, heeling to cause rigs to touch) to force a penalty?

    I suppose one could try and invoke Rule 2: "sportsmanship" or Rule 14: "avoiding contact" but neither really cut the mustard where one boat is determined to cause an incident.

  4. 15 When a boat acquires right of way, she shall initially give the other boat room to keep clear, unless she acquires right of way because of the other boat’s actions.

    In this context, delineating an exception to a rule, I can see why 'actions' is interpreted to mean only really obvious actions. No fuzzy border around what allows an exception. "Did we overlap because I sped up or because you slowed down?"

    I think the 'actions' and 'non-actions' are a short list. Under each right-of-way rule, how can a boat give another boat right-of way?

    10 tacking or gybing onto port (an action)
    11 turning away from the wind ( ? ) slowing down (not an action)
    12 slowing down (not an action)
    13 passing through head-to-wind (an action)

  5. Actions and non-actions...

    the following two points came to my mind:

    - what about slowing down by backing a sail, without going backwards? maybe not an action

    - 21.3 moving astern by backing a sail. an action? probably.

    According to Call UMP 35, changing the direction (forward/backwards) is a course change.

    To sum it up, would it make sense to state that changing tack or course can constitute an action, but changing speed doesn't?

    This would somehow be an analogy to the definition of keep clear, which only refers to the ROW boat's course and does not require the ROW boat to maintain its speed.

  6. Isn't this matter of interpreting the rules in the context in which they are intended to apply.

    If umpires had to ask whether a boat was slowing itself down, then they would need to become judges of a boats performance. There are many ways of suddenly slowing down which are a lot more subtle than letting out the mainsheet. Often in the pre-start it is a matter of bad technique rather than a deliberate tactic.

    If the rapid response call went the other way, then umpires would have to look at things such as whether a boat has over-sheeted their mainsheet when they turned, or whether they lowered their centreboard when they luffed.

  7. 1.We have a match race problem!!!! There are only 2 boats !!!

    2. have a look at case 78!

    Wolfgang Hofmann

  8. Would have been correct to penalize blue for breaking rule 12?

    If the boat clear astern is so close to the boat ahead so that a (small) decreas in speed of the ahead boat is enough to came very near to contact, so that an avoiding action is urgently required, is the blue boat breaking rule 12 even before yellow slow down?

    If blue has to keep clear from blue because of rule 12, is blue required not to be so close so that yellow can sail her course? And is yellow wntilte to slow down (as conseguence of intended action or not)? And shall has blue be keep clear enough so that she has not came so near to yellow even if yellow reduce her speed?


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