Monday 27 December 2010

(pillow)Case of the week (35/11) – 59

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)

This is a catch-up post (originally slotted for week 52/10)

(pillow)Case picture


Rule 18.2(a), Mark-Room: Giving Mark-Room
Rule 18.2(b), Mark-Room: Giving Mark-Room

When a boat comes abreast of a mark but is outside the zone, and when her change of course towards the mark results in a boat that is in the zone and that was previously clear astern becoming overlapped inside her, rule 18.2(a) requires her to give mark-room to that boat, whether or not her distance from the mark was caused by giving mark-room to other boats overlapped inside her.

Assumed Facts

Five boats were approaching a leeward mark dead before the wind. Four of them were overlapped in line with A nearest the mark. The fifth boat, E, was clear astern of A, B and C when those three boats reached the zone. When D came abreast of the mark and turned to round it, E became overlapped inside D. This occurred after E had already reached the zone and before D reached it. E rounded the mark behind A, B and C but inside D, which was able to give mark-room to E.




Was E entitled to mark-room under rule 18.2(a) from D?


Because E was clear astern of A, B and C when they reached the zone, she was required by rule 18.2(b) to give each of them mark-room. Between E and D, however, a different relationship developed. In order to leave room for the three inside boats with their booms fully extended, D had to approach the mark on a course that brought her abreast of it outside the zone. When E reached the zone, she was clear astern of D and D was still outside the zone. Therefore, rule 18.2(b) did not apply between D and E. When D changed course towards the mark, E obtained an inside overlap and rule 18.2(a) began to apply between D and E. E was entitled to markroom under that rule, which D was able to give.

USSA 1982/250



In big fleets this is frequently and issue. While boat D thinks he’s clear ahead and doesn’t have to let any other boat in he never enters the zone until he has luffed. With the increase from two to three lengths zone this issue has marginally “improved”. That is to say it plays out more to the perception of the sailors. But like in this case if there are four or five abreast it still should be considered.

Monday 20 December 2010

(pillow)Case of the week (34/11) – 60

This one of those ‘gab’ Cases between 60 and 53, posted as second post each Monday….

Just read the Case and don’t worry about the order.

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)

(pillow)Case picture


Rule 16.1, Changing Course
Rule 18.1(c), Mark-Room: When Rule 18 Applies
Definitions, Keep Clear
Definitions, Room

When a right-of-way boat changes course in such a way that a keep-clear boat, despite having taken avoiding action promptly, cannot keep clear in a seamanlike way, the right-of way boat breaks rule 16.1.


Summary of the Facts

After A rounded the windward mark to starboard ahead of B and then gybed onto starboard tack, she chose not to sail directly towards the next mark but, for tactical reasons, to reach high above it. To do so, after gybing she luffed sharply, at which point she was bow to bow with B, who was on port tack beating to windward. The boats were now little more than one length apart. B immediately bore away as hard as she could to avoid a collision, but her action was not sufficient. However, A quickly luffed still further and the two passed very close to each other but without contact.
The protest committee upheld A’s protest under rule 10 and B appealed, claiming that A had broken rule 16.1 by failing to give B room to keep clear.


B’s appeal is upheld; she is reinstated and A is disqualified. 
Tactical desires do not relieve a boat of her obligations under the rules. A was free to adopt any course she chose to reach the leeward mark, but she did not have the right to luff into the path of B so close to B that B could not keep clear. Despite B’s bearing away as hard as possible, a potentially serious collision would have occurred had A not taken avoiding action by quickly luffing further. As it turned out, their combined efforts narrowly averted such a collision, but that does not change the conclusion that in this case when A gybed onto starboard tack, became the right-of way boat, and continued to alter course, she did not at any time give B ‘the space [she needed] . . . while manoeuvring promptly in a seamanlike way’ to enable A to ‘sail her course with no need to take avoiding action.’

Therefore, A broke rule 16.1.

Although both boats were in the mark’s zone, rule 18 did not apply because B was approaching the mark and A was leaving it (see rule 18.1(c)). Therefore, A was not entitled to exoneration under rule 18.5(b) for her breach of rule 16.1.

USSA 1975/178


For those who are missing the bouncing ball:

  1. B on port did not keep clear of A, because;
  2. A could not sail her course with no need to take avoiding action, because;
  3. B did not have enough room (space to manoeuvre in a seamanlike way), because;
  4. A as right of way boat changed course directly in front of her, therefore;
  5. B is exonerated because she was forced to break rule 10, and
  6. A is disqualified for breaking rule 16.1.

Now, if you can do this backwards you’ll be able to become a competent PC-member…….

Monday 13 December 2010

(pillow)Case of the Week (50) - 61

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)

And again, don’t look for Case 62 – it also has been deleted.

(pillow)Case picture
Rule 71.4, National Authority Decisions
When the decision of a protest committee is changed or reversed upon appeal, the final standings and the awards must be adjusted accordingly.

May the organizing authority state in the notice of race or sailing instructions that, while appeal is not denied, final regatta standings and awards will not be affected by any appeal decision?


No. Rule 86.1 prohibits changing any part of rule 70 or rule 71 in the sailing instructions. An appeal involves not only the adjudication of a dispute on the meaning of a rule but also, in the event of a change or reversal of the decision of the protest committee, an adjustment of the results of the race and the final standings of the regatta on which the awards are based.

Rule 71.4 states that the decision of the national authority is final, and this decision must be implemented by those bodies subject to rule 85 and governed by the rules: the organizing authority, the race committee and the protest committee.

USSA 1983/252


On average the number of appeals in the Netherlands is about 10 a year.

I was wondering how many a big sailing nation as the USA has each year and if that number has increased since the new US SAILING Prescriptions.

The number of parties in a redress hearing must have grown considerably……


Monday 6 December 2010

(pillow)Case of the Week (49) - 63

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)

Case 64 has been deleted in the Casebook.

(pillow)Case picture
Rule 18.2(b), Mark-Room: Giving Mark-Room
Rule 18.5(b), Mark-Room: Exoneration
Definitions, Mark-Room

At a mark, when room is made available to a boat that is not entitled to it, she may, at her own risk, take advantage of the room.

Summary of the Facts

Two boats, A and B, broad reaching and about to round the leeward mark, were overlapped with B outside. C was further astern. A passed the mark about one hull length to leeward, as did B, leaving ample room for C to round the mark inside them. B, because of her position outside A, was unable to deny room to C, and at no time during the incident sailed a course that would have resulted in a collision with C. No contact occurred. B protested C.

The protest committee dismissed B’s protest stating that C did not break any rule when she sailed between B and the mark and C did not cause B to take avoiding action or prevent B from luffing. B appealed on the grounds that C’s action prevented her from executing her intended manoeuvre, which had been to slow down by bearing away and then to harden up across A’s transom, thereby denying room to C to pass inside.


B’s appeal is dismissed. When B entered the zone she was clear ahead of C, so rule 18.2(b) required C to give B mark-room. Rule 12 (and later rule 11) also required C to keep clear of B. B was not required to give C mark-room. However, B, because she could not prevent it, allowed C room to sail between her and the mark and the protest committee found that she was not in a position to do otherwise. When C sailed between B and the mark C broke no rule.

When a boat voluntarily or unintentionally makes room at a mark available to another that has no rights to such room, the other boat may take advantage, at her own risk, of the room. The risk she takes is that the boat entitled to mark-room may be able to close the gap between her and the mark while sailing her proper course. In that case, the boat entitled to mark-room will be exonerated if she breaks a rule of Section A or rule 15 or 16 (see rule 18.5(b)), and only rule 14 will inhibit her if she makes a rapid and aggressive attempt to close the gap between herself and the mark.

RYA 1984/1


I wonder how many re- writes this call has gone through since 1984. And now with the latest change in wording with ‘mark-room’, it still works. Shows that not THAT much has changed in the way regatta rules are used on the water.

How’s that saying again: “You Snooze, you Loose”?

And talking about saying:
You have to click over to Tillerman’s post on Paul Elstrøm: What Did Elvstrøm Say?

Perhaps a genuine htg rules-nerd can find the answer…


Monday 29 November 2010

(pillow)Case of the Week (48) - 65

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)
(pillow)Case picture


Sportsmanship and the Rules
Rule 2, Fair Sailing
Rule 30.3, Starting Penalties: Black Flag Rule
Rule 69.1, Allegations of Gross Misconduct: Action by a Protest Committee

When a boat knows that she has broken the Black Flag rule, she is obliged to retire promptly. When she does not do so and then deliberately hinders another boat in the race, she commits a gross breach of sportsmanship and of rule 2, and her helmsman commits a gross breach of sportsmanship.
Summary of the Facts 

At the start of race 4, A was clearly about three to four hull lengths on the course side of the starting line. Rule 30.3 was in effect, so the race committee disqualified her without a hearing. A, although she knew she was over the line at her starting signal, continued to race and covered B for the first part of the first beat. B protested A for breaking rule 2.

The protest committee confirmed the disqualification of A under rule 30.3. It also decided that, by continuing to race and cover B when she knew that she had broken rule 30.3, A broke rule 2.
As required by rule 90.3(b), it penalized her by making her disqualification not excludable. Later the same day, acting under rule 69.1, it called a hearing alleging that the behaviour of A’s helmsman in hindering B was a gross breach of sportsmanship and of rule 2. It decided that the helmsman had committed the alleged gross breaches, and excluded him and disqualified A from all races of the series. A appealed the protest committee’s decisions.


A’s appeal is dismissed.

A was correctly disqualified from race 4 for breaking rule 30.3. The protest committee found as fact that A’s helmsman knew that he had been on the course side of the starting line at the starting signal; that he had broken rule 30.3; that he was, therefore, already disqualified; and that he had seriously hindered another boat in the race.

A clearly committed a gross breach of sportsmanship (see Sportsmanship and the Rules) and of rule 2, and the protest committee acted properly under rule 69.1 in excluding A’s helmsman and disqualifying A from all races of the series.

RYA 1984/7


What is the difference between a boat that has started to soon and is OCS, with this boat, you might ask? Both are already DSQ-ed from the beginning – never having started the race.

The difference is in the knowledge of the helmsman/crew of this boat. He knew he was breaking a rule and still covered another boat. If you cover someone you better make sure you haven’t broken or do not break any rule, because if you do it is ‘go directly to rule 2’ for the PC.

Please go back to Case 78 – if you have doubt about that.
And it happens at professional sailing events. See this post: X40 Trapani 2010 – Team Racing?

Monday 22 November 2010

(pillow)Case of the Week (47) - 66

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)
(pillow)Case picture


Rule 64.1(a), Decisions: Penalties and Exoneration
Rule 85, Governing Rules

A race committee may not change, or refuse to implement, the decision of a protest committee, including a decision based on a report from an authority qualified to resolve questions of measurement.

Assumed Facts 

A race committee protests a number of boats, under rule 60.2, for measurement defects. The protest committee, after a hearing, concludes that it is satisfied that there is reasonable doubt about the interpretation or application of the elevant class rules. Acting under rule 64.3(b), it refers the matter to the class association, as being the appropriate authority qualified to resolve such questions. The class association reports that all the boats concerned have broken a class rule, and the protest committee, accepting the report, disqualifies the boats. The race committee then refuses to implement these decisions because it alleges that for various reasons they are unfair.


May the race committee change or decide not to implement the decisions of a protest committee, whether or not these decisions are based on a report made under rule 64.3(b)? If not, who may take what action?


Rule 85 states that the race committee shall be governed by the rules. A race committee has no jurisdiction over a protest committee and is not entitled to change or refuse to implement any decision that the protest committee may have made. Rule 64.1(a) provides that a protest committee’s decision to  penalize must be implemented.

In this case, the race committee and each boat protested by it are the parties to the hearing. Under rule 66 a party may ask that the hearing be reopened on the grounds that the protest committee made a significant error or that significant new evidence has become available. Also, under rule 70.1, a party may appeal the protest committee’s decision or its procedures.

RYA 1984/16


Monday 15 November 2010

(pillow)Case of the Week (46) - 67

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)


Part 2 Preamble
Rule 69.1, Allegations of Gross Misconduct: Action by a Protest Committee
When a boat is racing and meets a vessel that is not, both are bound by the government right-of-way rules. When, under those rules, the boat racing is required to keep clear but intentionally hits the other boat, she may be penalized for gross misconduct.
Summary of the Facts

Under the government right-of-way rules applicable, W, a boat that was racing, was required to keep clear of a sailing vessel to leeward, L, that was not racing. W wished to sail a lower course to a mark and hailed L, which refused to respond. W then intentionally hit L by bumping her boom against L several times, thereby causing damage.
L informed the race committee of W’s behaviour. The race committee protested W, and a hearing was called. W was disqualified for breaking rules 11 and 14. W appealed on the grounds that the racing rules did not apply, and consequently the protest committee was not entitled to disqualify her.


W’s appeal is dismissed. The preamble to Part 2 of the racing rules makes it clear that, when W met L, W was required to comply with the government right-of-way rules. Moreover, W was also subject to the racing rules other than those of Part 2. W did not comply with the government rules and, by intentionally hitting and damaging L, committed a gross breach of not only a rule but of good manners as well.
The decision of the protest committee is upheld, but W is disqualified under the government rule applicable and not under racing rule 11 or rule 14. Both those rules are rules of Part 2, which would have applied only if both boats had been intending to race, were racing, or had been racing. W also committed a gross breach of the government rule and a gross breach of good manners, so the protest committee would have been entitled to call a hearing under rule 69.1.

KNWV 2/1982


One from the Lowlands; KNWV is the abbreviation of Koninklijk Nederlands Watersport Verbond.

It has been and still is sometimes very crowded on the inland lakes here in Friesland. Racing boats must share the water with all kinds of tourist - and recreational boats. It must be clear that the applicable government right-of-way rules are in effect between those two groups.

When I have a look on the water however, the shouting and cussing sometimes gives me the impression that racing sailors think they are entitled to the water all by themselves.

Beware, what was valid 30 years ago still applies!

Monday 8 November 2010

(pillow)Case of the Week (45) - 68

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)



Rule 62.1(a), Redress
Definitions, Racing
The failure of a race committee to discover that a rating certificate is invalid does not entitle a boat to redress. A boat that may have broken a rule and that continues to race retains her rights under the racing rules, including her rights under the rules of Part 2 and her rights to protest and appeal, even if she is later disqualified.
Summary of the Facts
In a long distance race, boat A protested boat B under a rule of Part 2 and boat B was disqualified. B requested redress. She stated that it had come to light in a protest hearing after an earlier race that A had failed to revalidate her rating certificate and therefore had been ineligible to enter the long distance race. B further claimed that since A was ineligible when she entered that race she was not racing in it; therefore B had no reason to take a penalty or retire, nor did A have the right to protest under rule 60.1.
The protest committee denied B’s request for redress, stating that the invalidity of A’s rating certificate did not change the fact that she was racing within the terms of the definition and so was entitled to her rights under the rules of Part 2 and her right to protest under rule 60.1. B appealed.

B’s appeal is dismissed. The failure of the race committee to discover the invalidity of A’s rating certificate and prevent her from racing was not an improper omission which worsened B’s finishing place within the meaning of rule 62.1(a).

Therefore, the protest committee properly denied B’s request for redress. A was a boat ‘intending to race’ prior to her preparatory signal and a boat racing thereafter. The rules of Part 2 applied to her and to all other boats that were racing. The principles of sportsmanship require a boat to take a penalty when she realizes that she has broken a rule, but if she continues racing she retains her rights under the racing rules, including her rights under the rules of Part 2 and her rights to protest and appeal.
The rules of Part 2 govern all boats that are racing, whether or not one of them is later disqualified for some reason.

CYA 1978/40


Same is valid when someone starts to early. They score an OCS – long before the race has finished – or – even that boat is finished. But that still does not mean they can’t protest someone else or that that boat should not be kept clear of when she’s right of way boat.

The case does not state if the boat with the invalid certificate was disqualified after that was discovered. But I think not. A request for redress or a protest for that matter does not permit the PC to go outside the alleged incident.

For that to happen someone should protest her first.

Monday 1 November 2010

(pillow)Case of the Week (44) - 69

(This is an installment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.) 

(pillow)Case picture


Rule 42.1, Propulsion: Basic Rule

Momentum of a boat after her preparatory signal that is the result of being propelled by her engine before the signal does not break rule 42.1.

Assumed Facts

In a flat sea and 1-2 knots of wind a boat enters the starting area under power shortly before her preparatory signal at a speed of 5-6 knots. At the preparatory signal she is moving at the same rate of speed but no longer motoring. At 2.5 minutes before her starting signal she hoists her sails and slows to 2 knots.


Does she break rule 42.1?


No. A boat begins racing at her preparatory signal. During the period in which the boat was racing she was using wind as a source of power as required by rule 42.1. Her motion also resulted from momentum created by engine power that propelled her before she began racing. Nothing in the rule requires that a boat be in any particular state of motion or non-motion when she begins racing. Therefore rule 42.1 was not broken.

USSA 1986/269


She is however subject to rules of part Two. (See the preamble of that part)

That means that if she motors trough another racecourse in order to get to her start – she most likely will infringe rule 23.1 and can be DSQ-ed for it.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Ready for AC 34 and Extreme Sailing?


Are you ready for the future?
This question is for all PC and Jury members. Next year in the room you will be asked about the leeward and windward hull, the turning circle of a cat and - where did you park your umpire boat?

Are you ready for that?

You can be!
You will be ready with this brand new magnetic boat set.

With no less then eight (8!) catamarans, two umpire boats, five marks, a Race Committee boat and wind and current indicators. All packed in a sturdy box for transportation.
The box is big enough to house your regular mono-hull boats as well.

Specially made for easy use on a magnetic board with true to scale mainsail.

Those of you who want this tool kit please contact edmcewan ed googlemail dot com for details on price and postage.
Get them now.
Be ready.

PS: There are also several other multi-hull classes sailing today!

Monday 25 October 2010

(pillow)Case of the Week (43) – 70; Blocks 2

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)


Case 70

Rule 11, On the Same Tack, Overlapped
Rule 18.2(b), Mark-Room: Giving Mark-Room
Rule 18.5(a), Mark-Room: Exoneration
Definitions, Mark-Room

An inside overlapped windward boat that is entitled to and is receiving mark-room from the outside boat must keep clear of the outside boat.

Summary of the Facts

L and W, both about 14 feet (4 m) long, were sailing on starboard tack at about 4 knots, approaching a windward mark to be left to starboard. The boats were overlapped with W, the inside boat, slightly ahead. W requested mark-room and L replied, ‘Mark-room will be given when needed’. Subsequently, when 20 feet (6 m) from the mark, the boats made contact beam to beam. No damage or injury occurred. L protested W, alleging that W broke rule 11.

The protest committee disqualified L for not giving W room to sail to the mark after she asked for it. L appealed.


Before and at the time of the contact, rule 11 required W to keep clear of L and rule 18.2(b) required L to give W mark-room. While W was sailing to the mark, she broke rule 11 by sailing so close to L that there was a need for L to take avoiding action. The diagram accepted by the protest committee showed that, from the time W reached the zone until contact occurred, L was giving W room to sail to the mark. Therefore, W’s breach of rule 11 was not a result of L having failed to give W mark-room. For this reason, W is not exonerated under rule 18.5(a) for breaking rule 11.

Both boats could easily have avoided the contact, and so both broke rule 14. However, the contact caused neither damage nor injury and, because L was the right-of-way boat and W was entitled to mark-room, neither is to be penalized for breaking rule 14 (see rule 14(b))

L’s appeal is upheld. She is reinstated in her finishing place and W is disqualified for breaking rule 11.

USSA 1988/273


LTW Umpire Call (9)

An umpire call send to me by Philippe Gomez. He wrote in his mail:
Attached a situation witch occurred during training with some good sailors. Nobody agreed on the decision

Yellow, inside right leeward at the zone
Blue is faster, breaks the overlap and is able to gybe in front (position 2,3)
Yellow touches the mark on her own in pos 3, then bears off sharply and collision occurs with Blue (pos 4),
The U are satisfied that touching the mark was not due to Blue not giving room;
The U are satisfied that there was not  room enough for Yellow to round in pos 4;

There's a Yankee flag on both boats. What is your decision?
  • answer 1: display blue flag AND yellow and red flag
  • answer 2: display ONLY yellow and red, because its the same rounding incident
  • answer 3: display the net result of double penalty for Blue and single for yellow,  ie: blue flag in absence of outstanding penalties
  • answer 4; display only yellow and exonerate Blue if it was impossible for Yellow to catch Blue without pushing the mark.
I'll refrain from commenting until a few of yours are in.

Saturday 23 October 2010

Never to old, always learning

The event in Bayone is coming to an end. Today we'll hopefully do the Finals and Petit finals. The last four are sorted and we can go racing as soon as the wind will let us. It's very soft at the moment.

In the last couple days we've been discussing several subject related to either mistakes or omissions by the OA, RC or us. Mistakes by sailors are penalized on the water, they get flags. The others involved in an event need to sort this out themselves and need to do better next time. The axiom 'Never to old to learn' comes to mind

I'll explain: The barberholer for the spinnakersheet has two purchases, but somehow a boat got changed to only one. Verbal instructions at the beginning of the event to the sailors, stating that they always should be two - how well intentioned they might be - have not the same 'weight' as written instructions.

In the protest and subsequent request for redress that came up, when one of the sailors brought this to our attention, the sailor on the infringing boat claimed, he could not change it back to two because he is not allowed to change the boat - written in the sailing instructions - and besides the line was to short for two purchases anyway.
Although we found that he not should have sailed with this configuration, we could not find a rule that he broke. Consequence of not putting things in writing. It had no influence on the outcome of the match, not in these light conditions. But the boats were no longer equal - something that is sort of mandatory in Match Racing. The race stood.
Next time we will make sure that things are written down.

The next up was something we - as umpires - did wrong. For one of the races we were in the wing position to check the entry of the yellow boat. And on the four minute sound signal the boat was over the line by maybe two meters. We measured the pole on the starting vessel, not the bow, but it was clearly entering too soon.

Of course we signalled as such to the umpires and a yellow penalty was given. The sailors were not happy and said something back we could not understand. As it was not our race, we didn't inquire untill after they finished - loosing the match on a penalty at the finish - what they were talking about.

The sailors claimed that the sound signal was late - several seconds late, perhaps even three seconds after the flag was raised. When they said that, I must admit I realised with a dreaded feeling, that I hadn't watched the flags, but solely had judged the entry on the sound signal. (*(^%(*&#!)

We told the crew that we would enquire. But also asked why they had not raised a red flag, requesting redress?

After we asked the RC they confessed that the sound may have been a second or two behind the flag. So the boat did not enter too early in all likelihood. Of course there were other factors determining the outcome of the race- more penalties, yellow as well as blue -  but for certain that first one had an impact.
Learning we might have made a mistake, we went back and informed the match race umpires. It is their prerogative to do something if they feel it should be done. Normally there's no redress from a umpire decision, so they decided that they would not. But we talked to the sailors afterwards and apologized for our mistake.
I'm greatfull for there gracious response.

I'll watch the 'ing flags from now on, that is for sure!

How about you?
Any mistakes you want to share, that made you learn the 'hard' way?

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Observers in Match Race Master de Espana

Today I umpired in Bayone, Spain for the Master de Espana, a grade 2 event.

This is the first time I worked with observers on board of the boats in stead of a wing boat. On the stern of these Beneteau boats an observer stands behind the backstay and signals clear, overlap or contact, using hand signals. An outstretched arm sideways, means clear, a raised arm means overlap and tapping on top of the head, means contact. After a few initial problems this system works well. You don't need to hear the wing, the signal is right in front of you and it is always there.

The observers are all girls/ladies who sail or even have match raced. They stand at the back holding on with one hand and signalling with the other. Some have hooked themselves to the boat, others use a line from side to side behind there backs. They all have an overlay-vest which is yellow or blue - just flip inside out and you have the other color. All have been issued with corrector weights so they are all equal.

Today was a light day with not so much wind so the manoeuvres were fairly slow. All the observers could do there work without a chance they would fall overboard. But what if the wind picks up and one of them would?
They are not part of the crew, so the rules governing a boat not to continue in the race without its crew, do not apply.  I bet however that the other boat - specially when loosing - would request redress. If only because of the weight difference. Also, a boat needs to help anybody in danger... But, most times the observers would probably be picked up fairly quick by an umpire, so how much danger can there be?

We discussed the issue among the umpires and decided we would only deal with this issue when it occured. But a little thinking before hand, is never wasted.

What do you think?

Should redress be granted to the looser, if an observer is missing from the winning boat because she fell in the water. Do the circumstances why she fell play a factor?
Or should we write a Sailing Instruction declaring that the observer should be regarded as part of the crew in reference to rule 47.2?

Monday 18 October 2010

(pillow)Case of the Week (42) – 71; Redress

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)


Case 71

Sportsmanship and the Rules
Rule 29.1, Recalls: Individual Recall
Rule 62.1(a), Redress
Rule 64.2, Decisions: Decisions on Redress

A hail is not the ‘sound signal’ required when flag X is displayed. Answers to questions arising from requests for redress after a procedural error by the race committee.
Summary of the Facts

Boats A and B were near the port end of the starting line and very close to the line at the starting signal. The race committee, believing that both had been on the course side of the line at their starting signal, displayed flag X and hailed both sail numbers.

Neither A nor B heard the hails or saw flag X but continued racing and their finishing places were recorded. Preliminary results were posted showing A and B scored as OCS.
A promptly requested redress, citing as grounds that the race committee failed to make the required sound signal and that she did not see a flag or have any other reason to believe that she did not start correctly. The protest committee heard A’s request. The committee did not find as fact whether or not A or B was on the course side of the starting line at the starting signal. However, when the committee learned that B was next to A, it gave redress to both boats, stating that they were to be scored in their finishing places and, where appropriate, other boats’ scores were to be adjusted downwards. This done, C, which had finished behind A and B, requested redress in her turn, claiming that the race committee’s omission of the required sound signal had made her score significantly worse by causing two boats which failed to start properly to be scored ahead of her. C’s request was denied and she appealed.
In commenting on the appeal the race committee asked several questions.

Question 1
Did the hail of sail numbers constitute a sound signal?

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Match Racing with Extreme 40s

Yesterday we did some Match Racing with the Extreme 40 in Almeria.
I must admit I had quite some expectations about this. What would it be like in terms of manoeuvrability, with the slow tacking and the accelerations these big catamarans can generate? Would we be able to keep up?

Unfortunately the wind was very low, maybe 4-5 knots, and that restricted the speed and manoeuvrability severely. All dail-ups where greened as Port did everything it could after SB initiated the collision.
Also every boat that won the controlling position at the start, ended up winning the match.

In the three matches only one penalty was given. And that was for a boat interfering with another one, on a different leg of the course - and that boat was not sailing on her proper course.

There was also a big difference between skippers with match racing experience and skippers without. ETNZ beat her opponent quite easily, for instance. Match Racing is primarily a tactics game, still

You can have a look yourselves on the ESSE Website Video page

All in all not very exciting, I must admit. Less then expected. Hopefully that will change with a little more breeze. The group sailing was spectacular in 15-20 knots. More on that later.

Monday 11 October 2010

(pillow)Case of the Week (41) – 72; Red Flag

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)


Case 72

Rule 61.1(a), Protest Requirements: Informing the Protestee
Discussion of the word ‘flag’.
What is the test of whether an object is a flag within the meaning of rule 61.1(a)?

In the context of rule 61.1(a), a flag is used as a signal to communicate the message ‘I intend to protest.’ Only if the object used as a flag communicates that message, with little or no possibility of causing confusion on the part of those on competing boats, will the object qualify as a flag. A flag must be seen primarily to be a flag.

USSA 1988/277

A red shirt, a red scarf or any fairly decent sized piece of red cloth should be okay, but not a red bailer or a red life jacket.

Sunday 10 October 2010

Housten, we have a problem!

Almeria, day two, In-port racing.

Lots of breeze. lots of action, and .... a BIG communication problem.

Rule 20 - as a safety rule - dictates only two possible responses:
Either the hailed boat tacks or she signals "You tack". No ifs, buts or maybees.

It is bad enough that the Umpires miss the first initial hail for room to tack, but it equally as bad when they miss the "You tack" response. Decisions based on the lack of proper hand signalling will influence the race dramaticly!.

No signal for room to tack and rule 13 will be most likely be infringed.
Only luffing as a response to a hail, will earn you a penalty for infringing rule 20 because you haven't tacked as soon as possible
Not tacking after the hailed boat has responded, again is a rule 20 infringement.

We can definitely say that the communication is the key issue in all these situations

How can we improve that?
We are discussing additional flags, but until now can't agree on that.
It should be one person - the helm - who's signalling, not the whole crew. That we can agree on already
But can we do more?
If you have suggestions, don't hesitate to comment.

Saturday 9 October 2010

Extreme Sailing Series; Almeria 2010, Day 1

Friday the 8the of October was Media Day for the Extreme Sailing Series in Almeria, Spain. The first day of a five day event – final in the series.

Eight boats came to the start, with as newcomers Rumbo Andalusia & Fly Emirates Team New Zealand. And there was another first – for me that was.

I got to sail as fifth man on one of the Extreme 40s in a race! Ecover had a spot for an umpire in the second race. I’ve been with the circuit for four years but this was my first time on a boat. Although the wind could have been stronger – specially with my weight – Ecover did not do so bad with a third place.

I was impressed indeed. Everything but a small part is happening on a bouncing net between the hulls and every minute of the race the four man crew have a task. cranking the sheets, trimming the mast, taking care of the travellers or looking for wind. Discussing tactics, looking for an opening and maintaining a steady racing pace. Creaking and cracking from the spars and mast, trying to get one hull flying, exhilarating from start to finish.

We did end up in a couple of rule situations, but the view from the boat is quite different then the view from an umpire boat, I can tell you that.

I was very glad to have gotten this opportunity, to see the boat tack and gybe, see them luff and bear away, feeling those big hulls slicing through the water.

I’m certainly going to try to go again if possible, but first we will do this event. Keep tuned, the plan is to go match racing as the final race of each day.


As an umpire call I have one which is actually very uncommon. It involves an downwind start and a boat over early trying to return. Here’s the situation:

101009 ESS Almeria 01

Now Windward (Green) is putting up her Yankee flag in position 6; What is your response?

Secondly, would that response change if Leeward (Blue) had a rule 17 restriction?

Thursday 7 October 2010

Bookmarks in the Q&A

ISAF publishes the valid Q&As in a handy booklet. The latest instalment is the October issue .

Many of you use this document exclusive on a laptop when going to an event and will try to find relevant information, when needed by a hearing, by browsing the document. Although the search function in Adobe or other pdf- readers can be utilized to find what you are looking for, there's one feature many of you should consider using.

That feature is called: Bookmarks.

By clicking on that tab on the side, or getting it to display by using the view command, you will be presented with a list of chapters.

By clicking on the + (plus) of - (minus) you can expand or deflate that list. All individual Q&As can be found in that list, neatly categorized in their respective chapters.

The latest Q&As (added in October) are:
Q&A 2010 - 032 
about responding as soon as possible when hailing for room to tack.

and Q&A 2010 - 033 
about the positioning of inner limitation starting marks

Wednesday 6 October 2010

The CYA Judges Newsletter - September 2010

Excerpt from last months CYA Judges Newsletter:

On the lodging of protests by Judges.  Some thoughts for discussion.

Why should the Judges be on the water anyway?

First, it gives them something to do at a regatta, (between the hearing of protests), apart from swapping stories in the comfort of the Club-house. Much more significantly, it allows them to observe at first hand, the wind and sea conditions, the actions of the Race Committee and their supporting flotilla, and the behaviour and demeanour of the competitors.  It also allows them to witness incidents between competitors that may or may not result in their lodging protests against each other.  They may also witness unacknowledged violations of the Racing Rules.  They may see events that give rise to requests for redress.

The presence of Judges on the water has given rise to many arguments as to what their role should be and where its limits may lie. This issue often arises at many major events where the Judges are afloat as observers, usually in pairs, and with or without the responsibility of trying to enforce Rule 42.  There is a variety of possibilities and some are considered below:-

1.   No protests By Judges are permitted

At some regattas, it has been a deliberate policy of the Chief Judge that no protest may be lodged by an on-the-water Judge, however blatant the Rule infringement, and they may only contribute first-hand evidence at the hearing of a valid protest (or request for redress) lodged by a competitor, being (of course) excluded from the Jury while so doing.

I believe this policy to be wrong.  It is in part motivated by the fear that a member of the PC may make a fool of themselves, by producing unconvincing, lame evidence in front of the protestee showing, for example, that the Judges were badly positioned to see the incident.  The presenting of weak evidence would diminish the status and authority of the Chief Judge.  (It also betrays the C.J's lack of confidence in his/her team).

This policy has its effect on the competitors too.  Those who are involved in an obvious Rule infringement in full view of a Judge's boat (e.g. hitting a mark) may feel justified in taking no penalty and sailing on, secure in the knowledge that no protest will ensue.
This is an unhappy situation for Judges.

2.   Judges are required to protest any observed Rule violations, i.e. act as policemen.

Monday 4 October 2010

(pillow)Case of the Week (40) – 73; Fair Sailing again!

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)

Case 73

Rule 2, Fair Sailing
Rule 11, On the Same Tack, Overlapped

When, by deliberate action, L’s crew reaches out and touches W, which action could have no other intention than to cause W to break rule 11, then L breaks rule 2.
Summary of the Facts

W and L were overlapped on starboard tack beating towards the windward mark. The crew of L, who was on a trapeze, reached out and deliberately touched W’s deck with a hand and intimated that W should retire. L protested W. The protest committee disqualified W under rule 11 and she appealed.


W’s appeal is upheld; L is disqualified and W reinstated. Because L could sail her course with no need to take avoiding action and there was no risk of immediate contact had L changed course in either direction, W was keeping clear of L. Therefore, W did not break rule 11. The deliberate action of L’s crew, which could have had no other intention than to disqualify W, broke rule 2.
RYA 1971/6


Tuesday 28 September 2010

LTW Reader Q&A (47); Practice Race

Hi, Jos

I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning and almost daily and I think it’s very interesting. Great job. I’ve got a question about Appendix P but I can’t remember if there is a post about it. This is the question:

As stated in the Sailing Instructions, Appendix P will apply.
There is a Practice Race scheduled in the Sailing Instruction. The scheduled program is as follows:
Day 1:    Measurement and Practice Race
Day 2:    Races. 1st warning signal at 1200
Day 3:    Races. 1st warning signal at 1200
Day 4:    Races. 1st warning signal at 1200

Boat Yellow is penalized under Appendix P (P1) in Practice Race. Does it count to determine the number of times she has been penalized in the regatta? And what about if the same boat Yellow has a Second Penalty in the Practice Race? Must she then retire from the Practice Race? According to Appendix P it seems to be clear that the boat must retire.

More: Does the practice race count on the boat total points?

In most of the Sailing Instructions there is no reference to the Practice Race about Appendix P or Score for a boat. It’s supposed that the Practice Race is this, a practice race. But this is a common sense, not a rule in the Sailing Instructions.
What do you think?

Thanks for all the lights you put on the RRS.


Like you already guessed, a practice race is nothing more than that. A chance to try out the water, try out the conditions, see what the race committee boat looks like, how they they organize their flags etc, etc.

Everybody behaves as if it is an actual race – to create conditions as similar as possible to the the real thing - but it has no impact on the regatta or series.

No points are scored – although the committee may publish a result. Again, that way they can test that too.

If someone is penalized in the practice race for breaking rule 42, she can do her turns or not. The judges will try to look and penalize exactly as they would in the ‘real’ series, but if the sailor does not turn, the boat will perhaps be recorded in the results as DSQ, but the points don’t count. And it also does not count as a first penalty in Appendix P. Nor does a second or a third. Many sailors should find out what the limit is in the practice race and not be afraid of a penalty. That way they can avoid going over the limit in the real series. For a second penalty she may retire, but if she does not, all that will happen is that the boat might get a DNE recorded in the results. Again, that does not count in the regatta, so nothing is lost.

I urge all sailors who are penalized in the practice race once, twice or whatever, to talk to the judges after the race. So they can exactly find out what the judges saw and what they deemed the sailor did, that broke rule 42.

I’ve never had a protest from an incident in a practice race. Any DSQ that might be given has no impact on the series.

There’s one rule that might have influence on the series score – rule 23.1. If a boat that is NOT racing interferes with a boat that is racing in the practice race, theoretically that might result in a DSQ in the first race (See rule 64.1(d)).

Thanks for you encouragement and kind words. Keep on reading LTW and spread the word….

Monday 27 September 2010

X40 Trapani 2010 – Team racing?

Chasing the Extreme forties yesterday in perfect sailing conditions we were confronted with an unusual situation.
image Before the race one of the sailors asked us a question: “Can I slow down an opponent when it’s no longer influencing the results in this regatta, but only on the total series result?”
In order to slow down an opponent – bringing him to the back of the fleet, so he gains points which will result in a lower ranking – you have to use match race tactics. Covering his airflow, preventing him from tacking, making him give you room when needed, etc.

You need a lot of skill to do this effectively and even more skill to make sure you don’t break any rules while doing it.

Normally in any fleet race everybody will sail as fast as they can to the finish without worrying to much about other boats. At the end of the race some do consolidate there place by covering the boat directly behind them, but that’s about it. There are however – what else is new - exceptions.

If you’ve been following the (pillow)Cases, you will have seen Case 78. In that Case a boat directly went for her opponent and made sure that opponent ended up at the back of the fleet. That is allowed as long as it is reasonable that doing so will benefit the result of the boat in the series. AND – this is a big AND – if the boat breaks a rule in order to achieve that objective, it not only breaks that (row) rule, but it also breaks rule 2.
If the PC draws that conclusion, the decision must be a DNE. The question how deliberate the infringement was also needs to be addressed.

(pillow)Case of the Week (39) – 74; Fair Sailing?

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)


Case 74

Rule 2, Fair Sailing
Rule 11, On the Same Tack, Overlapped

There is no rule that dictates how the helmsman or crew of a leeward boat must sit; contact with a windward boat does not break rule 2 unless the helmsman’s or crew’s position is deliberately misused.
Summary of the Facts
W was overtaking L in sub-planing conditions on a close reach. L luffed slightly, the helmsman’s back making contact with W just forward of the shroud. At this point the hulls were about an arm’s length apart. Neither boat took a penalty. At the subsequent hearing, the protest committee disqualified L under rule 2, stating that W was correctly trimmed with full sails and her crew sitting by the leeward shroud. ‘Contact’, it continued, ‘could only have been made if L’s helmsman was sitting out flat.’ In the prevailing conditions this was significantly beyond the normal sailing position required.’ L appealed.

L’s appeal is upheld; she is reinstated and W disqualified under rule 11. In Case 73 it is clear that L’s crew deliberately touched W with the intention of protesting her out of the race. In this case there was no such deliberate action by L. There is no rule that dictates how a helmsman or crew must sit and, in the absence of deliberate misuse of his positioning, no breach of rule 2 took place.

RYA 1993/2


Saturday 25 September 2010

Extreme Sailing Series Europe: Day Two in Trapani

Action packed day in Trapani
Most of the calls the sailors make we can answer, but unfortunately the game is so fast and we can only be at so many places we also do miss one occasionally. The one where the camera got hit none of us saw.

LTW Readers Q&A: Mark-room in ISAF MR Call 2010-004

Dear Jos,

Would you care to publish the following?

Rapid Response Match Racing Call 2010-004 has just been published.


It deals with a boat (Yellow), having rounded the windward mark well ahead and having completed a penalty just outside the zone, now on starboard, approaching Blue who is just finishing rounding the mark on port.
The Call asks and answers the question: ‘Does rule 18 apply between Yellow and Blue?’

Unsurprisingly it answers that rule 18, rule 18.2(a) to be precise, does apply.
I would have thought that this would have been painfully obvious. There are two boats. They are required to leave a mark on the same side. At least one of them is in the zone. None of the exemptions shown in rule 18.1 apply. Of course rule 18 applies.

Of much more interest is what happens when an instant after the last position in the diagram in the Call, when Blue leaves the mark astern and is no longer at the mark.

The instant Blue ceases to be at the mark, she is no longer taking mark-room to which she is entitled (to sail her proper course at the mark), and thus she ceases to be entitled to exoneration for breaking rule 10. Blue instantaneously switches from being a boat entitled to exoneration for breaking rule 10 to being fully obliged to keep clear by rule 10, without even the protection of rule 15.

So, to extend the problem diagrammed in the Call, just after Position 4, Yellow luffs, and makes non-damage contact between Y’s port bow and B’s port quarter.

Yellow Y Flags.

What is the umpire’s decision?


Calls only answer a specific question. This one is no exception.

The situation described is so specific that it will only happen once out of a hundred. But it can happen. As long as Blue is not yet past the mark she needs protection from a starboard boat. She entitled to protection under rule 18 . Like you stated, shortly after that she has passed the mark and she no longer needs protection and now can gybe to keep clear. She must do that as keep clear boat. She already can anticipate having to do this while rounding the mark because she's always keep clear boat.
The same is just before Yellow has turned down below ninety degrees. Then she is still on a beat and so there is no overlap, therefore rule eighteen does not apply. Only in those few moments between Yellow turning downwind and Blue passing the mark, rule 18 is in effect. And that is exactly when she needs it.

To answer your call, after Blue has passed the mark and there’s contact
  • If Blue did everything to keep clear, Yellow broke 16.1; Penalize Yellow
  • If Blue did nothing or not enough to keep clear, she broke rule 10; Penelize Blue.

Friday 24 September 2010

Can Crewmembers Sue after a Protest Hearing?

My Google alert kicked out this article by David Weil esq.
Can Crew-members Ignore Race Protest Hearing Decisions and Sue a Boat Owner?

I have some notes on his article, but think it's basicly sound. Please do remember that what you can do after a hearing depends on which part of the world you are.

As to my remarks: It's not the Race Committee who conducts a hearing and gathers evidence, it is the Protest Committee. The Protest Committee can be completely independent from the Race Committee -  and in case of an International Jury, that's even required.
Secondly - in most cases there's an appeals process which can be followed, if the PC makes a mistake or you are not agreeing with their conclusion.

Thursday 23 September 2010

Racing Rules Submissions 2010

ISAF has its conference scheduled for November.
The Racing Rules Committee will vote on the proposed changes in the Racing Rules of Sailing.

Here's a file with all the proposals: ISAF RACING RULES COMMITTEE SUBMISSIONS 2010
The document was prepared by Brass who also added a short explanation and a direct link to the actual submission. (Thanks & Well done)

Rule 20 is one who's most changed....

I've talked to people in that committee and was told nothing will change the first of January.
There are no submissions that are categorized as an "emergency"
All these will - when approved - have an impact on the RRS 2013-2016

I'll try to go over them asap and give you my opinion.

Umpire dilemma

Many events are using a system with coloured windward marks. So the RO can quickly change the direction of the beat. In shifty conditions that might even be often.

With the preparatory signal a corresponding coloured flag is hoisted to indicate which windward mark has to be rounded. But, things being as they are, sometimes the sailors forget which mark to round – because it’s late in the day, because the beat was slow and long, because they were late entering and concentrating on that, instead on which colour was shown… take your pick. Once in a while boats sail to the wrong mark.

As an umpire I also sometimes forget – that’s why I added a couple of coloured clothespins to my kit. At the same time as the flag is hoisted at the entry, I stick one on a visible place (for us – not for the sailors) so I have a reference.

Anyway, sailors going to the wrong mark. As discussed in earlier posts just recently – that mark can be touched, it has no zone, it has no side to which it has to be rounded – it’s not a mark under the rules, at best it’s an obstruction.

But the boats behave as if it is a regular mark, with all the rights and obligations. Rule 18, rule 31.1, everything.

I’ll make my first question a simple one: The Blue boat, clear ahead, touches that wrong mark. The Yellow boat, not far behind, sees this and you see it also. Furthermore the crew of the Yellow boat see you at a place that it’s impossible not to see the touch by Blue.

Yellow shows her Yankee flag, you answer with a green/white flag (In Match Racing a boat cannot protest for rule 31.1).

And then?

What do you do?

If you do nothing you are telling the boats that they can touch (what they think is) a mark. From that they can deduce that this windward mark might be the wrong one….. Is that outside help?

Okay, you say, give them a penalty……

But, what rule have they infringed? On what do you base this penalty?


It’s even more complicated if the boats think that rule 18 is in play. You are umpiring solely under the right of way rules (perhaps, if needed, rule 19), but the boats behave as if there’s a zone, mark-room and everything.

Any call by the sailors MUST be umpired according to the rules – and that is usually as if that mark was not there.

Up until now I’ve solved this dilemma by sticking rigorously to the rules – what else can I do – but I’m not particularly happy with it…….


I’m posting this prepared blogpost from my B&B in Trapani, after a long day travelling. I’m here to umpire an extreme sailing series event.

Monday 20 September 2010

(pillow)Case of the Week (38) - 75; Blocks

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)


Case 75

Rule 10, On Opposite Tacks
Rule 14, Avoiding Contact
Rule 16.1, Changing Course

Rule 18.2(b), Mark-Room: Giving Mark-Room
Rule 18.4, Mark-Room: Gybing
When rule 18 applies, the rules of Sections A and B apply as well. When an inside overlapped right-of-way boat must gybe at a mark, she is entitled to sail her proper course until she gybes. A starboard-tack boat that changes course does not break rule 16.1 if she gives a port-tack boat adequate space to keep clear and the port-tack boat fails to take advantage of it promptly.
Summary of the Facts

Two boats, S and P, were sailing directly downwind towards a leeward mark to be left to port. They had been overlapped for several lengths with S inside and slightly ahead. As S entered the zone, she luffed. As her bow came abreast of the mark she bore away to gybe, and there was contact, but no damage or injury. S protested P under rule 10 while P protested S under rule 18.

The protest committee disqualified P for breaking rule 10. P appealed, asserting that she had given S mark-room and that S had broken rule 18.4.



At position 1, S reached the zone and P was required by rule 18.2(b) to give S mark-room thereafter. In addition, until S gybed P was required by rule 10 to keep clear of S. As S luffed, she was required by rule 16.1 to give P room to keep clear, and until she gybed S was also required by rule 18.4 to sail no farther from the mark than needed to sail her proper course.

The mark-room that P was required to give S was the space S needed in the existing conditions to sail promptly to the mark in a seamanlike way. That space was a direct corridor from S1 to a position close to and alongside the mark on the required side. P gave S that room. However, because S had right of way she was not required to remain within that corridor; she was permitted to sail any course provided that she complied with rules 16.1 and 18.4.

S luffed gradually through approximately 45 degrees while sailing about three lengths forward, and P made no effort to keep clear. Shortly before position 2, S needed to act to avoid P. At that moment P broke rule 10. When S luffed after position 1, if P had acted promptly there was space for her to have manoeuvred in a seamanlike way to keep clear of S. Therefore S did not break rule 16.1.

When S gybed just after position 2, she had not sailed farther from the mark than needed to sail her proper course. Indeed, in the absence of P (the boat ‘referred to’ in the definition Proper Course), S’s proper course might well have been to sail even farther from the mark and higher than she did, so as to make a smoother, faster rounding and to avoid interference with her wind by being backwinded or blanketed by other boats ahead. Therefore S did not break rule 18.4.

Concerning rule 14, both boats broke the rule because there was contact and it was ‘reasonably possible’ for each of them to avoid it. P is therefore disqualified under rule 14 as well as rule 10. However, S cannot be penalized because she was the right-of-way boat when the contact occurred and there was no damage or injury (see rule 14(b)).

P’s appeal is dismissed. She was properly disqualified, and S did nothing for which she could be penalized.

USSA 1976/195

This case illustrates the principle that the right of way rules are not ‘switched off’ by rule 18, like many sailors seem to think. The right-of-way rules always apply! (with an exception in rule 19).
Rule 18 only adds or subtracts something from the room and space a right-of-way boat can take or has. If you imagen the total of rights a right of way boat has as a green block and the total of rights of the keep clear boat as a red block.

Now rule 18 comes into force, represented by a yellow block.

If the right of way boat gets that mark-room, very little really changes. All the things she could do with mark-room are already within the green block. She lost nothing, and she gained a little (exoneration for rule 15 and 16, if…)

However if the keep clear boat gets mark-room the yellow block switches to her side. Part of the rights previously with the ROW-boat now go to the keep clear boat.

PS: Case 76 has also been posted: (pillow)Case of the Week (37) - 76
I'll update the static page with link asap

Saturday 18 September 2010

FTBD (32), (33) and (34)

Flog the Blog Day times three - since I skipped in July and August.
(For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, FTBD is one day each month I invite you to criticize LTW and try to post something about anything other then the rules....)

First let me tell you something about what is happening in my life.
Because of the economical recession, the architectural company I work in, has not enough clients. Our order book is only half filled. That means I will be unemployed - if things do not change very soon - by the first of November. I'm already looking for other work - but without success, so far. (The whole construction business is in deep shit)

Because of this I'm also exploring other avenues - like perhaps starting my own business. I could use my expertise helping people who want to renovate their house. To encourage spending the government has lowered the VAT from 19% to 6% for renovations. Their might be a lot who want to use that opportunity... and I could maybe help them. Working from home, with little overhead, I might be able to do this. Anyway, I'm looking into that.

I also looking into making my blog earn some money. With advertisements, links and stuff like that. Up until now I've always avoided this and have rejected all who asked, but now I'm not sure if I'm missing an opportunity. If I do the latter, I could also make more time for judging and umpiring. And make some money with that too, perhaps.

But I need to reach a lot more sailors and change my posts to suit them, instead of (mostly) officials.

To kick that of, I would need something that puts me on the map. I need to write a helpful book or something .... What do you think, would sailors be interested in  "The E-book of Mark Roundings" or "Never loose another Protest"?
Anyway, just some ideas..

As to LTW - summer is almost over and the weather is cold and rainy again - so less events and a little more time (and motivation) to write. Please, keep sending in your suggestions, questions and observations.
I might make the three year mark after all - only two months to go.


Thursday 16 September 2010


Hyvä LTW-lukijat,

Tämä on ilmoittaa teille, että tästä lähtien kaikki viestit Katsokaa Windward on kirjoitettu minun uusi äidinkielellään.  Olen hyvin onnellinen Suomessa. Maaseutu on kaunista, kaikki tytöt ovat vaaleita ja siellä on paljon ja paljon purjehdus käynnissä.
Ainoa asia kaipaan puhuu muille ihmisille - koska tietoni suomalainen on hyvin, hyvin rajallinen ......

Scuttlebutt 3178

Wednesday 15 September 2010

Rulechanges in the 34th America's Cup?

Do the match racing rules need to be changed for the 34th America's Cup?
The editor of Scuttlebutt asked me this question some time ago and I've been thinking about it, on and off.

I've come up with the following analysis
by looking first at this question:
What are the big(ger) differences between 'conventional' mono hulls and these huge wingsail cats?
  • big acceleration
  • slow tacking - like any multi-hull
  • boats are very wide, with lots of water in between the hulls
  • overall speed
The acceleration issue comes into play, for instance, after a tack. One boat tacking to starboard while a Port boat is keeping clear by passing in front. But due to the acceleration of the Starboard boat, a few moments later Port cannot pass in front any more. Starboard has not changed course after she has completed her tack, so she does not have to give room under rule 16.1. Only rule 15 is applicable. Starboard becomes right of way boat after her tack and initially has to give the other boat room to keep clear. I do not think this warrants a rule change, but falls within the definition of room
The type of boat used and it's characteristics are part of the circumstances and therefore room under 15 must be more in these huge catamarans, then with mono hulls. Sailors need to be aware of it. Umpires need to consider this when asked to judge an issue where acceleration is a factor

Slow tacking then. Will that dictate a rule change?
Let me again illustrate with an example. A boat clear ahead rounds a leeward mark leaving it to starboard and sails four, five lengths upwind before tacking. While she's luffing the trailing boat arrives at the mark, rounds it and heads up. She's changing course around the mark and is now heading straight for the tacking boat. That boat - passed head to wind - is now keep clear boat either under 13 (tacking) or under rule 10 (Port Starboard), but cannot do anything until she's gained speed. 
Meanwhile the other (starboard) boat is sailing three, four lengths in a straight line toward her. A clear port / starboard issue, you say? No, it is not, in my opinion. 

Tuesday 14 September 2010

LTW Umpire Call (9)

A short one. In an umpired match race:

  • Blue leaves the box five seconds to soon and crosses the perpendicular (H)-line at minus 4’05”
  • She touches the pin-end mark at minus 4’03”
  • The preparatory signal is given exactly at minus 4’00”
  • By that time she’s no longer touching the mark.


You are the umpire in that match and you give:

  1. A green flag
  2. One blue flag
  3. Two blue flags
  4. A red and a blue flag
  5. Nothing

Right, you have 20 seconds to decide.
Give me your answer (and motivation) in comment…… please.

I’ll wait a bit before publishing the comments so everybody has a chance to make up his or her own mind.

Don’t forget to whistle!

Monday 13 September 2010

Catching up on Cases IV

Three new (pillow)Cases this time. If I do two next week, we will be on schedule again
As usual, click on the Week link to read the cases.

Case Rule Rules description Week link
Recalls: Individual Recall
Fair Sailing
Series Scores
77 12
On the Same Tack, Not Overlapped, Avoiding Contact
Touching a Mark
Keep Clear

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