Saturday 30 June 2012

Kite Boarding in Turkey; part 3, Bosporus

Instead of continuing at Burc Beach we went on a 'school' trip..

The organizers set up a venue along the Bosporus and invited us all to go and do some 'show' kiting there. It was a fun day. There's were snowboarders, freestyle jumps, course racing and even a guy balancing in water jets:

The snowboard ramp. The guys would accelerate down and then did their jumps after a smaller uphill ramp, landing in the water. They were picked up by a rubber-boat and started all over again.
 Traffic on the Bosporus, from small to huge tankers and container vessels. This is 'push' tugboat.
Our VIP-tent. Free drink and food with an elevated view on the Bosporus
The launching area was concrete/asfalt - not very good for kites - and very small. But the riders managed and with the help of others managed to launch and land their 18m2 kites.
 Brian Lake with his biggest kite weaving between passenger boats and other traffic on the Bosporus.
The passengers - and the crew - must have thought those kiters were mad. Coming so close to their boats. But there were no collisions or entanglements. All riders showed their amazing skills in maneuvering between boats and obstructions.
The water-jets are powered by a jet-ski and this guy balanced on four of them (two below his feet and two on his hands) several meters above the water. He could also jump like a dolphin out of the water. Amazing. If a kiter came too close he blasted them with a water spray.

Like I said, a fun day.
Today we're back at the beach hoping the wind will pick up a little more so we can back to our courses. Five races in, three more to go. Should be possible. For tomorrow Wind-guru predicts 20 knots.

ISAF Q&A 2012-004

ISAF Racing Rules Question and Answer Service; J 025 Q&A 2012-004
Published: 23 June 2012


Two boats, L and W, are overlapped and W is keeping clear. L changes course and W responds promptly. In trying to continue to keep clear, W collides with another boat, vessel or object. There is no contact between L and W. L takes a two-turns penalty and continues to race. W protests.
The protest committee found that L did not give W room to keep clear and that it was not reasonably possible for W to avoid the collision. In addition, the committee found that rule 2 was not broken.


If the collision had caused serious damage to W or to the other boat, the vessel, or the object, or if a person on one of them was injured, would rule 44.1(b) apply to L?


Yes. If it was L's breach of rule 16 when she changed course without giving W room to keep clear that, although indirectly, caused serious damage, rule 44.1(b) applies to L and her penalty is to retire.

Typically this situation happens at the start at the committee vessel. On boat leaves enough room for  windward boat to keep clear below the starting vessel but then - once the bow of the windward boat has passed the stern of the committee boat - starts luffing. The windward boat has no escape!
She can either hit the committee boat or the leeward boat.

 Purple leaves a gab for Red, but luffs at the last moment leaving no room for Red to keep clear
Purple points at the stern of the RC-Vessel - now it's Red's choice to go into a situation where there is no room

If you want to prevent a boat to windward to get in this position, you must point your boat to the stern of the committee boat preventing the 'opening' ever to be there. Otherwise you must give the windward boat an escape route....


Friday 29 June 2012

Kite boarding in Turkey; part 2

Clear Astern and Clear Ahead; Overlap
The definition in the Racing Rules of Sailing says:
Clear Astern and Clear Ahead; Overlap One boat is clear astern of another when her hull and equipment in normal position are behind a line abeam from the aftermost point of the other boat’s hull and equipment in normal position. The other boat is clear ahead. They overlap when neither is clear astern. However, they also overlap when a boat between them overlaps both. These terms always apply to boats on the same tack. They do not apply to boats on opposite tacks unless rule 18 applies or both boats are sailing more than ninety degrees from the true wind.
In Appendix BB (the kite boarding appendix) there's NO change to this definition. The definitions of finish and start are amended so that the kite does not count, but not in clear ahead and clear astern; overlap. There, the kite is part of the equipment and does count for overlap.

Here's the problem:
The kite is a long way ahead and to the side of the rider. Depending on the length of his lines between 20 to 30 meters. The rider cannot see if his kite past the line abeam from the board in front. And it can change in an instant by just raising the kite or lowering it. The rider in front may be able to see if he pays attention to the kites behind, but he has to concentrate on his own - not interfering with kites in front.
To be able to see definitely if kite boarders are overlapped or not, you need a 'wing' boat to windward at every kite board. And that is clearly impossible.

I'm more than ever convinced that this particular definition also needs changing to work on the water.
We all know that the rules change with overlap from 12 to 11, with addition of limitations rules, like 15. The riders are not able to do this with the current definition.

According to the definition these kite boarders are overlapped; #4 has right of way.  The rider with the hat needs to keep clear.

I heard suggestions from judges and from riders what to use. My vote is on the hull alone. If the kite board is overlapped with another's hull, then the rules should change. Before that the rider has to keep clear under rule 12, including his kite.
Everybody can concentrate on their own kite and does not have to worry about someone coming from behind, until they are very near.

Perhaps something to think about when the new 2013-2016 rules will be published?
Appendix BB will be in that rulebook......


Wednesday 27 June 2012

Kite boarding in Turkey–part 1

I'm at a PKRA World Cup event (again) this time in Kumkov Burc Beach. It is on the European side of Turkey on the edge of the Black Sea, very near the entrance of the Bosporus. Today was the first day and we had fantastic wind to do the kite boarding. Three upwind downwind races in quick succession and now the freestyle riders are doing their jumps and loops. I’m here as an IJ to chair the Protest committee. So far no work today – no protests.

I talked to the riders and others about the sport and about the rules. And helped with the finish. The biggest problem at the finish in these circumstances is to recognize the number on the riders. They are issued with a pullover with a big black number, but the finish is outside the surf and about a 100 meters from the beach. Even with binoculars it is sometimes impossible to see. The number is on their backs and if the wind angle is towards shore, like here, they face the beach with their back away from you.

PKRA Word Cup 2012 Turkey Day 1 - start1

I racked my brain how to improve this, but have not found he answer. Everything I suggested was shot down as to disturbing to the kite performance – like putting a sail number on the kite. The material is similar to spinnaker cloth and any stickers would drastically impact the bending. Streamers between the lines just would interfere with looping and might vibrate the lines, as do any other flags or stuff on the lines.

For now we just look at the kite – colour and make – and write those down. When the riders return to the beach we run around sorting out numbers and pray and hope we get it right. Preliminary results have been published and no requests for redress as of yet. There are several similar kites in make and colour, so that is a relief for the finish committee….

If any of you have suggestions how to improve the identification, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.


Monday 25 June 2012

(pillow)Case of the week (26/12) - 07

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Case book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2011. All cases are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The cases are copied from the Casebook, only the comments are written by me.)

(pillow)Case picture

Case 7

Rule 11, On the Same Tack, Overlapped
Rule 14, Avoiding Contact
Rule 15, Acquiring Right of Way
Rule 16.1, Changing Course
Rule 17, On the Same Tack; Proper Course

When, after having been clear astern, a boat becomes overlapped to leeward within two of her hull lengths of the other boat, the windward boat must keep clear, but the leeward boat must initially give the windward boat room to keep clear and must not sail above her proper course.

Summary of the Facts

About 200 yards (200 m) from the mark, L became overlapped to leeward of W from clear astern. L was less than two of her hull lengths from W. The two boats then sailed alongside each other, about one-and-a-half hull lengths apart, until they were 80 yards (80 m) from the mark. At this point, L luffed slightly to sail directly to the mark, a luff that did not affect W. W maintained a steady course. L never became clear ahead. W’s boom touched L’s shroud, although without damage or injury, and L protested under rule 11. L’s protest was dismissed, and she was disqualified on the grounds that she had not allowed W enough room to fulfil her obligation to keep clear as required by rule 15. L appealed.

Case 7 diagram


L’s appeal is upheld. When L became overlapped to leeward of W, W became bound by rule 11 to keep clear of L. At the same time, L was bound by rule 15 to allow W room to keep clear, but that obligation is not a continuing one, and in this case the overlap had been in existence for a considerable period during which W certainly had room to keep clear.

Rule 17 applied to L because, as the diagram shows, she had been clear astern before the boats became overlapped and was within two of her hull lengths of W when the overlap began. L was justified in changing course to sail directly to the mark, provided that she did not sail above her proper course; it is L’s proper course that is the criterion for deciding whether she broke rule 17. According to the agreed diagram, L at no time sailed above her proper course. Just after position 3 L luffed slightly. Clearly there was room for W to keep clear, and so L did not break rule 16.1. L broke rule 14 because she could have avoided contact with W, but she cannot be penalized because there was no damage or injury. W is disqualified under
rule 11, and L is reinstated.

RYA 1963/10


Like I have stated in previous posts, it is the right of way (leeward) boat that decides what the proper course is. If she has a reasonable argument why she sailed that course, she does not break rule 17. Only when it is absolutely crystal clear that she would not have done the same – in absence of the other boat – then rule 17 might be broken.

This certainty becomes greater the closer to the mark the boats are.

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Finished or not?

A boat in a short regatta (half an hour) crosses the finish line as 7th boat and just after her bow has passed the line, she touches the finish  mark. The Race Committee on the pin-end finish boat see the boat touch the mark. They inform the other finish boat and a note is put on the finish list.

The boat crosses over the line and some heated argument on board is heard by the RC-people. They lose sight of the boat and concentrate on the next boat(s).

The boat returns to the finish line a couple of minutes later and is seen to sail downwind through the line towards the last mark.


After five minutes the finish window (time limit) runs out and because the next race is scheduled to commence as soon as possible, the committee boats leave their station and go down to the starting area. While they motor down, they see that same boat beating upwind.

The next race is started twenty minutes later after a short postponement because of a wind shift and all boats participate.

After racing the scoring is published and the boat who had touched the finish mark is scored DNF. The PC receives a request for redress within the protest time limit from that same boat, claiming she had finished.

What should they do?
Is that boat finished or not, and what should their score be?

Definition: Finish A boat finishes when any part of her hull, or crew or equipment in nor­­mal position, crosses the finishing line in the direction of the course from the last mark, either for the first time or after taking a penalty under rule 44.2 or, after correcting an error made at the finishing line, under rule 28.1.

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Sportsmanship in other Sports

I'm currently looking at other sports to see how they handle 'verbal' abuse of the referee/umpire in a field of play. I think I might need some help.

The rugby rules are pretty straightforward. From the IRB Laws of Rugby Union 2012:
(s) All players must respect the authority of the referee. They must not dispute the referee’s decisions. They must stop playing at once when the referee blows the whistle except at a kick-off or at a penalty kick following admonishment, temporary suspension, or send-off.
Sanction: Penalty kick

 I've been told that this works extremely well in Rugby. If you only look crosseyed towards a referee you'll get a penalty.

In Tennis, from 2012 FRIEND AT COURT, The USTA Handbook of Tennis Rules and Regulations: Misconduct:
  • Visible or audible profanity or obscenity
  • Abuse of racket, balls, or equipment
  • Verbal or physical abuse of a player or official
  • Receipt of coaching
  • Abusive conduct by a player or a person associated with a player (USTA Regulation IV.C.10. refers to this situation)
  • Retaliatory calls (obviously bad calls made in retaliation for the opponent’s calls)
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct (any other conduct that is abusive or detrimental to the sport)
  • Failure to follow the instructions of an official (Violation of any USTA Tournament Regulation (USTA Regulation IV.C.20.)
Violations shall be penalized as follows: First Offense: Point, Second Offense: Game, Third Offense: Default

If there are any of you who - besides Sailing -  participate in other sports where a referee or umpire is taking decisions in a field of play, please have a look at your rulebook and tell me what is written  about verbal abuse towards officials.

Monday 18 June 2012

(pillow)Case of the week (25/12) - 08


(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Case book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2011. All cases are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The cases are copied from the Casebook, only the comments are written by me.)

(pillow)Case picture

Case 8

Rule 42.1, Propulsion: Basic Rule
Rule 42.2(d), Propulsion: Prohibited Actions

While reaching at good speed, a boat does not break rule 42 when her helmsman, anticipating and taking advantage of waves generated by a passing vessel, makes helm movements timed to the passage of each wave. This is not sculling but using the natural action of the water on the hull.

Summary of the Facts

Two small dinghies, A and B, were reaching at about hull speed in an 8- knot wind. A large power cruiser passed by rapidly on a parallel course to leeward, creating several large waves. As each wave reached A’s quarter, her helmsman moved his tiller across the centreline in a series of course changes rhythmically timed to the passage of the waves under his boat.

This was done only during the encounter with the waves generated by the cruiser. B protested A under rule 42.2(d) for sculling. The protest committee disqualified A and she appealed.


A’s appeal is upheld. She is to be reinstated.
The action, while repeated, was not forceful. Any gain in speed did not result directly from the tiller movement, but from positioning the boat to take advantage of wave action, which is consistent with rule 42.1. To do so, a helmsman may move his tiller as he thinks best, provided that his movements do not break rule 42.2(d).

USSA 1962/91


If you have ever been on a Laser or Laser Radial course watching the boats in a beat when there are waves due to some wind, you will see this ‘rhythmic’ tiller movement all the time. It is the fastest way the hull moves trough the waves. Up the front and down the back. The helm moves his tiller to enforce this, but the tiller blade itself does not generate ‘energy’. His or her body moves as well to keep the boat flat, in the same rhythmic wave pattern.

The same movements would be considered illegal when there are no waves.

Saturday 16 June 2012

Protest HVMG

I'm at the Kieler Woche (again) and since there's no match racing here this year, I'm sticking to protests and rule 42 issues.

I'm giving you one I heard from one of my fellow judges. (NOT from this event)

The boats are high (VMG) speed boats - catamarans or skiffs - who sail a fairly high angle downwind. The wind speed is about 20 knots, so they are flying over the water. Two port boats (overlapped) encounter a starboard boat.

After seeing that the starboard boat has passed astern, the Purple boat took a penalty turn (one for this class is enough, R44 is changed)
Green protested Blue.

What is your decision and why?

Thursday 14 June 2012

Rule 61.1(a) Informing the Protestee

A must read!

A well written post by Brass on the Sailing Anarchy forum about hailing and displaying the red flag.
Go and have a look:

I'm off to Kiel tomorrow for a week of Judging and protest at the Kieler Woche:

Rule 18.5 and exoneration

I’ve been thinking about the intricacies of rule 18.5 and exoneration for breaking rule 16 by the right-of-way boat AT the mark.

Picture this situation:

120614 R18.5 markrounding

Red and Purple approach a leeward mark to be left to port. Purple enters the 3BL Zone first and Red must give markroom. Purple sails a course not directly to the mark but a boat length beside it, to be able to luff and come out ‘high’ next to the mark. She leaves a gab.

Red close astern sees that gab and uses it, to get inside, all the time keeping clear until position 5. Purple luffs very hard in position 5 (breaking rule 16.1) up to head to wind. There’s contact but no damage.

Both boats protest. (with hail and red flag). The PC declares both protest valid.
Red claims that Purple broke rule 16.1 by luffing very hard at the mark and should NOT be exonerated under 18.5(b) because she was not sailing her proper course. It was too soon to tack round the mark.

Purple claims she was prevented from sailing her proper course – already in position 5 – because Red came inside without having markroom and she wanted to “shut the door” .

Have a look at Case 63 (

Please give me your opinion.


Monday 11 June 2012

(pillow)Case of the week (24/12) - 9

(This is an instalment in a series of blog posts about the ISAF Case book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2011. All cases are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The cases are copied from the Casebook, only the comments are written by me.)

(pillow)Case picture

Case 9

Rule 10, On Opposite Tacks
Rule 18.1(b), Mark-Room: When Rule 18 Applies
Definitions, Proper Course

When a starboard-tack boat chooses to sail past a windward mark, a port-tack boat must keep clear. There is no rule that requires a boat to sail a proper course.



Two close-hauled boats on opposite tacks meet at a windward mark to be left to starboard. S has adequate room to tack and round the mark with due allowance for wind and current but instead of tacking, S holds her course with the intention of forcing P to tack to keep clear. Can P disregard rule 10 if she considers S to be sailing beyond her proper course and to have sufficient room to round the mark?


No; rule 10 applies. Rule 18.1(b) states that the boats are not subject to rule 18 because they are on opposite tacks and the proper course for one of them (S), but not both, is to tack. Therefore, when S chooses to hold her course, P must keep clear. While in certain circumstances boats are prohibited from sailing above a proper course there is no rule that requires a boat to sail her proper course.

RYA 1964/2


The synopsis of this case states that there is no rule that requires a boat to sail a proper course. Do not read that too literary. There’s no rule in this case that does that, but there are rules that require a proper course from the r-o-w boat. For example rule 18.4 (gybing at a leeward mark) and of course rule 17 – in part – because the right of way boat shall not sail higher than her proper course.

But back to Case 9.

This situation is frequently used in Match Racing. All mark roundings are starboard roundings. And to force the Port tack boat to tack, the Starboard boat sometimes continues past the mark. Starboard has to time her approach exactly, to pull this off. Because to defend, Port can duck Starboard and tack fast, becoming the inside boat.

Monday 4 June 2012

(pillow)Case of the week (23/12) – 10

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

(pillow)Case picture


Rule 20.1, Room to Tack at an Obstruction: Hailing and Responding
Rule 64.1(b), Decisions: Penalties and Exoneration
Rule 64.1(c), Decisions: Penalties and Exoneration
Definitions, Obstruction

When two boats are involved in an incident and one of them breaks a rule, she shall be exonerated when a third boat that also broke a rule caused the incident.

Summary of the Facts

As P approached the mud flats, she tacked onto port. M, on starboard tack, immediately hailed and then hailed again when one hull length away, since it was apparent that P was trying to cross ahead and a collision would be inevitable. When there was no response to her hails, M tacked, hailing S as she was going about. S tried to respond but there was contact. P retired promptly after the incident because her crew believed she had gained an advantage over M and S who had lost considerable time as a result of the contact between them. S protested M under rule 10. The protest committee, commenting that M had sufficient time to take avoiding action to keep clear of both P and S, disqualified M under rule 14.

M appealed, asserting that the protest committee erred in suggesting that she, a right-of-way boat, was obliged to keep clear of P. Furthermore, after her second hail, had she borne away and then P finally responded by tacking, contact would have been likely. M also alleged that S had not given M room to tack as required by rule 20.1.

pCase 10


P broke rule 10. When she retired promptly after the incident, she took the applicable penalty and is not to be penalized (see rule 64.1(b)).

S was subject to rule 14, but did not break it as it was not possible for her to avoid contact. Rule 20.1 did not apply between M and S because, according to the definition Obstruction, P was not an obstruction since M and S were not required to keep clear of P.

M, in the circumstances, took proper action to mitigate the effects of P’s error of judgment. Both M and S were the innocent victims of P’s breach of rule 10. M broke rule 13, but is exonerated under rule 64.1(c). M’s appeal is upheld. M is to be reinstated.

RYA 1964/8


I have a question for you, regarding this third boat.

We all know that a procedure has to be stopped and restarted when the PC has found that a third boat might be involved and might have broken a rule. That usually means that the whole hearing is pushed to the next day, in order to locate and protest that third boat.

Have any of you ever been in a protest where the third boat was not or could not be identified. Both parties agree on the facts found, they agree that the third boat was the ‘root’ cause of the incident, but can’t remember which boat it was.

Did you still exonerate the ‘middle’ boat? Without finding the guilty boat and penalizing her?


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