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MR.CLEAN

ISAF RRS, But Not As You Know It

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With World Sailing getting a new name, we thought it might be a good time to use a name we've wanted to use for some time.

 

Attached you will find the new International Sailing Anarchy Federation - Rules for Racing and Sailing.

 

Printed under a Creative Commons license, these rules greatly simplify the traditional racing rules used by other systems without infringing on any of their copyrights.

 

Most importantly, they allow any event or organization who uses them the ability to ignore other sailing governance requirements - nearly every legal professional we spoke to agreed that World Sailing's copyright over their Rules provides the only legal basis for requiring compliance with their internal regulations, and any overreaching would easily be struck down by the courts or legislatures of most any Western nation.

 

For instance, by using the new ISAF Rules for Racing and Sailing rather than the World Sailing RRS, you can hold your own World Championship without running afoul of the World Sailing prohibition on using the word 'World' or 'World Championship.' And that's just the beginning.

 

What do you think of 'em?

ISAF-RRS-New.pdf

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So if there's a regatta in China under these rules all of theChinese sailors have to learn English to say "You Tack" and "Room to Tack"? You elitist fascist pig. :P

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Sitting with the rules gurus at US Sailing one year while they were working to "simplify the rules," it was explained that there are an infinite number of angles that two boats may come at each other, layer on top of that which tack they are on at the time including the angle of the approaches, and it is nothing like the rules of the road for cars.

 

The choice is to have a small rule book, and a massive appeals book to explain the differing angles and tacks, or to have a massive rule book and a small appeals book.

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2.8 needs extending a little...

 

2.8 When rounding a mark

 

2.8.1 A boat that is not rounding a mark shall avoid a boat that is rounding a mark.

 

2.8.2 When rounding a mark a boat shall avoid a boat that is rounding inside her.

 

2.8.3 When a boat has 1 or more boats overlapped inside when the hull of any of them enters 3 boat lengths on approach to the mark, she shall:

• Anticipate the need to avoid the inside boats when she rounds the mark and

• Allow the inside boats space for a rounding inside her.

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Interesting. Pretty neat.

 

Thoughts:

 

1) Looks like sculling is legal?

 

1) No right of appeal. Nothing about what to actually do about protests if a boat doesn't take a penalty, actually.

 

2) No direct equivalent to 15/16 (other than safety/seamanship definitions)

 

3) Nothing about obstructions. E.g. here. Once blue is inside, in position 2, 2.3 applies. As the shore comes out, yellow has to avoid her.

 

post-419-0-18425700-1455817290_thumb.jpeg

 

4) Do they apply to boats in different classes. " boats in a race"?

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Boats are in the same race when the SIs Identify a result or prize they are both eligable for?

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you will always be able to find something 'wrong' with a new set of rules which allows or disallows something we're used to...

the predominant point of view is that one of the impediments to sailboat racing's growth is a complicated rule book... so if that's the issue then the acid test of a new set of rules is, "is it easy to figure out what your rights and obligations are in a situation". I wouldn't get too hung up on if the new rules produce identical results... after all, much of our race course strategy is completely artificial and evolved from exploiting the existing rules... why does starboard have RoW... why not Port? etc.

So for Eds example, blue gybes out, yellow avoids them so as not to run afoul of Seamanlike: Point 1 and blue does their 3.3.1 circles because they blew up Seamanlike: Point 2 & 3.

We'll adapt our racing to any rule set... producing the same sailing outcomes that we currently have isn't the objective... it's how do people know what to do on the race course and if a new set of rules (not sayin' this one in particular) is significantly easier to understand then maybe it represents an improvement.

 

PS. I think the 1.7 bit that says it's illegal to move a boat in a way that "requires repeated movement to sustain it" would probably prevent sculling

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Oh - My - Goodness

 

clean you claim to be a lawyer - wtf?

 

I could not get thru the definitions before I gave up.

 

"Finished

 

A boat has finished when she is over the finish line or when she goes to give assistance

 

Over a line

 

A boat is over a line when part of her hull breaks the line.

 

Race

 

A boat races when it sails to start, leave the marks on the required side – rounding any as

may be required to complete the course in a prompt fashion – and get clear having finished.

 

Sailing the course

 

A boat is sailing the course from when she break the start line after the start signal, until she

has finished."

 

 

 

English - it's not just for breakfast anymore!

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Oh My -

 

I just the rest of it - what there is of it

 

were they all drunk and just went to sleep?

 

I hope so

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I still want to know what the mystery rule 2.4 is. I feel like this rulebook was written by Yossarian, Milo Minderbender, Major Major, and the rest of boys in the 57th Bomb Wing.

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So if there's a regatta in China under these rules all of theChinese sailors have to learn English to say "You Tack" and "Room to Tack"? You elitist fascist pig. :P

THey already have to in an international regatta in any case. They lost 2 protests at the youth worlds becasue they shouted "Protest" in Chinese so absolutely nothing new there.

 

The World Sailing RRS 2013-2016 are translated into Chinese already by the CYA and Chinese is 100% acceptable in a Chinese national regatta - why would Mr Clean't 'version' be any different.

 

SS

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As I've posted fairly frequently, I don't agree that the rules are in any need of major change. They are relatively brief and clear.

But perhaps some comments on Clean's draft will help. Comments run out when I've run out of energy. Regrettably, there's a limit to how constructive the comments are.

Can I first say, that it's not the best piece of drafting I've ever seen, it's got all sort of dated legalese in it: 'in a manner', 'in a fashion', 'as may be required'. All these can be eliminated by applying modern plain language.

It seems to have suffered from a poor process of development in that it has started into final form drafting without reaching clarity and consensus on what each rule is trying to do.

I'm supposing that this ruleset is deliberately following the 'short rules and voluminous cases' approach, because just about every rule and definition uses 'spongy' and imprecise concepts.

International Sailing Anarchy Federation
Rules of Racing and Sailing (RRS)
The Sailing Instructions for the race shall state if these rules apply. By taking part in a race to
which these rules apply, a boat and her crew agree to comply with these rules.
When a boat meets a boat that is not in her race the IRPCAS (International Regulations for
Preventing Collisions at Sea) shall apply.

Why?

What's going to happen when boats in different races are rounding the same mark?
Definitions
Finished

A boat has Finished when she is Over the Finish line or when she goes to give assistance.

So a boat that goes to give assistance 2 minutes after she starts finishes at that time?

Why?
Over a line
A boat is Over a line when part of her hull breaks the line.
Race
A boat races when it sails to start, leave the marks on the required side – rounding any as
may be required to complete the course in a prompt fashion – and get clear having Finished.

Why include 'rounding any as may be required to complete the course in a prompt fashion'? Is a boat that takes an unfavourable shift and does not sail the course in a prompt fashion not 'racing'? But why have this in at all?

'get clear having finished'? get clear of what?


Rounding
A continuous turn made to leave a mark as required to race, leaving it astern on a course to
the next mark.
Safe

You're attaching a special defined meaning to a common english word. this is poor drafting practice: it inevitably confuses readers.
To sail with due care in order to avoid damage to a boat and its equipment, or injury to her
crew.

Here the definition ascribed to an adjective (Safe) is an imperative verb. Try plugging this definition into any of the later clauses that use the word 'safe'. See 'Seamanlike' and 1.2.1 below
Sailing the course
A boat is sailing the course from when she breaks the start line after the start signal, until she
has Finished.
Seamanlike
It's a bit of a niggle, but by defining 'Seamanlike' you are suggesting that there will be an obligation to sail in a seamanlike way. I know that there isn't, but the suggestion is there. The definition seems to be here as a work-around to avoid using the concept of 'room' in the RRS way. It's a very long complex definition, and IMHO the work-around isn't worth it.
It is seamanlike to carry out the safe [To sail with due care in order to avoid damage to a boat and its equipment, or injury to her
crew].
handling of a boat in the manner of a crew that is
prepared for any manoeuvre that may be required to race her in the absence of other
boats.
The following are not seamanlike:
1. Making contact with another boat or object,
2. Sailing with a risk of grounding,
3. Carrying out an unsafe manoeuvre
Start area
The area on the other side of the start line from the first mark of the course.
How far behind the start line might this area extend? 50 metres? 100 metres, 1nm, 500nm?
Tacking
A boat begins tacking when it passes head to wind. It Finishes tacking when a sail on its
centreline would provide motive force.
You're kidding. I defy anyone with anything less than a masters in aerodynamics to apply this.
1. At all times
The rules of this section apply at all times.
Are you sure that these Section 1 rules apply at all times?
Surely there has to be some limitation on 'at all times'? What about when you are taking the boat out for a weekday cruise?
1.1 Giving assistance
A boat shall give assistance to another boat if there is doubt over its safety or that of her
crew.
I don't want to be a smartass, but about 25% of the boats I see out sailing I have doubts about the safety of the boat or its crew.
1.2 Safe racing
1.2.1 A boat shall race in a safe [To sail with due care in order to avoid damage to a boat and its equipment, or injury to her
crew]
manner.
1.2.2 The capability of a boat and her crew to race, the decision to race and to continue
racing is the sole responsibility of the boat and her crew.
Why have you put this crappy bit of risk aversion in here? It's got nothing to do with the way boats race.
1.3 Personal buoyancy
The crew of a boat shall wear adequate personal buoyancy at all times when racing.
So this rule doesn't apply at all times at all: only when racing.
It is the responsibility of each crew member to ensure they do so.
What is the point of this?
1.4 Marks
What is a 'mark'
A boat shall not make contact with what's wrong with 'touch'? a mark of the course.
What's the difference between a 'mark of the course' and any other 'mark'?
And a boat isn't allowed to accidentally hit a blow-up mark at any time? even when she's not racing?
1.5 Equipment and crew
A boat shall race using only the crew and equipment on board when she starts.
1.6 Use of information
A boat shall only use the information that:
Was on board when she began to race,
Was unsolicited or
Is capable of being gathered by any boat in the race with equivalent
instrumentation.

This sets a 'highest common denominator': whoever has the most complex and expensive setup sets the standard.
1.7 Illegal propulsion
The sails and crew of a boat shall not be moved in such a way that the mechanics of that
movement:
Where should this be 'were' or 'are'? not required to steer the boat and
Cause an acceleration that:
Ceases as soon as the motion ceases or
Requires repeated movement to sustain it.
My head hurts.
2. Avoiding another boat
The rules in this section govern the interaction between boats in a race.so they only apply while racing The rules of this
section shall be taken in order with a lower numbered rule taking precedence over the
others.
A numerical precedence rule certainly isn't simple.
Honestly, your attempts to get round right of way with limitations of giving room and mark-room have resulted in a more complex and longer rule, which puts port and starboard and windward leeward right down the bottom.
2.1 Stationary boats
A boat shall avoid a boat that is not in command, what's wrong with 'not under command'? including but not limited to:
A boat at anchor,
A capsized boat,
A boat that is in the process of recovering steerage after a capsize,
A boat that is giving assistance to another boat or her crew.
Not one of these examples is 'stationary'.
It would be better to say:
'a boat shall avoid:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5. a boat that is otherwise not under command.
2.2 While starting
A boat that is not sailing the course and was not in the start area at the start signal shall avoid
a boat that is sailing the course.
So a boat that was in the starting area at the starting signal, but did not start, or is no longer sailing the course because she has finished (including has given assistance) or because she has retired is not required to avoid a boat that is racing?
2.3 Seamanlike racing
9 out of 10 bozos, seeing this and the defintion of Seamanlike will read no further and will tell you that these rules require boats to sail in a seamanlike way.
A boat shall avoid another boat if a failure to do so would compel that boat to sail in an
unseamanlike manner in order to race.
2.4 seems to be missing in action.
2.5 Having called "You tack"
A boat that has called "You tack" shall avoid the boat that was called until it can race in a
seamanlike manner.
Couldn't you make an exception and put this down with rules 3.1 and 3.2: it refers to a 'call' and readers haven't come to 'calls' yet.
2.6 While tacking
A boat that is tacking shall avoid a boat that is not tacking.
2.7 Port and Starboard, to windward
On a beat to windward a boat on port tack shall avoid a boat on starboard tack.
what does 'on a beat to windward' mean?
2.8 When rounding a mark
2.4.1 When rounding a mark a boat shall avoid a boat that is rounding inside her.
2.4.2 When a boat has 1 or more boats overlapped what does 'overlapped' mean? inside when the hull of any of them
enters 3 boat lengths on approach to the mark, she shall:
Anticipate the need to avoid the inside boats when she rounds the mark and
Allow the inside boats space for a rounding inside her.
2.9 Port and Starboard
A boat on port tack shall avoid a boat on starboard tack.
2.10 Ahead and behind
A boat shall avoid a boat that is ahead of her.
What does 'ahead' mean?
2.11 Windward and leeward
A boat to windward shall avoid a boat to leeward.
What does 'windward' mean? What does 'leeward' mean?
3. Calls and responses
3.1 "Room to tack"
3.1.1 A boat that is called for "Room to tack" shall promptly tack or call "You tack".
3.1.2 A boat shall only call a boat for "Room to tack" when it must tack in order to race in a
seamanlike fashion and is prevented from doing so safely by the presence of that boat. The
call shall be made in good time to allow the boats called the time needed to respond.
3.2 "You tack"
3.2.1 A boat that is called "You tack" shall promptly tack.
3.2.2 A boat shall only call "You tack" to another boat when she has been called for "Room to
tack" by that boat.
3.3 "Protest"
3.3.1 A boat that is called "protest" may sail clear and make 2 turns each including a tack
and a gybe. As a result she will be exonerated for her part in an incident that resulted in the
call.
3.3.2 A boat shall only call "Protest" to another boat when she has a reasonable belief so, it's subjective: a belief that 'she has' How on earth does a protest committee determine that? that
the boats are involved in an incident during which the other boat broke a rule. Why does it matter whether a protest is based on a reasonable belief or not?
The call shall be made promptly and shall be accompanied shortly afterwards either it's 'accompanied by' or it's 'succeeded shortly afterwards' by a red flag
being flown.

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A useful exercise with anything like this would be to go through the casebook and analyse each proposed rule against the situations found there. If the proponents of a new rule set can't be bothered to do some hard yards like that its a pretty good indication about how much effort they're going to put in and how seriously to take the proposal.

 

Mark rounding being arguably the most problematic area even just the mark rounding cases would be a reasonable start.

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A useful exercise with anything like this would be to go through the casebook and analyse each proposed rule against the situations found there. If the proponents of a new rule set can't be bothered to do some hard yards like that its a pretty good indication about how much effort they're going to put in and how seriously to take the proposal.

 

Mark rounding being arguably the most problematic area even just the mark rounding cases would be a reasonable start.

Sorry Jim, I don't agree that the cases are a good start, although I'll admit that if you studied the cases applicable to each rule and definition you might get some pointers.

 

But those who want to change the rules probably already have a pretty good idea what they want to change.

 

I'd suggest the better approach would be to either work through the rules, or better still work through the situations shown on, say the Holt-Allen rules poster, or the Elvstrom diagram, and for each situation where a proponent was dissatisfied with the existing rules, identify:

  • what the supposed problem is;
  • whether the problem is caused by:
    • a concept or straightforward obligation in a rule; or
    • the concept is OK, but the words used are difficult to understand
  • a statement of what the obligations of boats should be, in as flowery, grammatical language as is necessary, not rules-speak (Drafting rules wordings comes later after you have clarified what it is you want to happen).

Desirably, if we were to do this on a SA forum, make each rule or each situation a separate thread where it could be thrashed out.

 

Once we've established what new rules should do, then we could look at structures and strategies for writing the rules, then finally go to a drafting stage.

 

That said, I certainly wouldn't mind the proponents of change trying this approach with mark-room for a start.

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I've previously competed in a sport with more than one governing body, each with their own rules. It was a shit experience. Most people have quite enough difficulty understanding a single set of rules. I wish doom and unmitigated failure to this exercise.

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I get the idea that the point isn't to change the game, but it's to avoid copyright issues with WS's RRS. Specifically to allow anybody to hold a World Championships.

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I still want to know what the mystery rule 2.4 is. I feel like this rulebook was written by Yossarian, Milo Minderbender, Major Major, and the rest of boys in the 57th Bomb Wing.

2.4 is a mini rule ;-)

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Option 1 : Host a World Championship with a new set of grammatically challenged rules that nobody has ever used before with Scot Tempesta and Clean as your international jurors.

 

Option 2: Call your Worlds the Intergalatics.

 

Option 3 : Become a World Sailing International class.

 

The only tempting feature of option 1 would be the international Jury........now that would be a fireworks display and a whole lot of entertainment. The unpredictable decisions would be forcefully issued with colorful language and penalties would involve the winner of the protest buying shots for the losing team and the jury.

 

I think that ISAF juries should have three members, so in addition to Scot and Clean, who would you add to the mix for maximum ruling unpredictability and debate?

Donald Trump ( to ensure equal treatment of competitors irrespective of race, religion or gender and to debate Scot)

Howard Stern (to get to the real facts of the matter)

Bernie Sanders (for wealth based rulings)

Paul Elvstrom ( because anything that Scot and Clean say wouldn't matter)

Giselle Bundchen ( no explanation needed)

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Option 1 : Host a World Championship with a new set of grammatically challenged rules that nobody has ever used before with Scot Tempesta and Clean as your international jurors.

 

Option 2: Call your Worlds the Intergalatics.

 

Option 3 : Become a World Sailing International class.

 

The only tempting feature of option 1 would be the international Jury........now that would be a fireworks display and a whole lot of entertainment. The unpredictable decisions would be forcefully issued with colorful language and penalties would involve the winner of the protest buying shots for the losing team and the jury.

 

I think that ISAF juries should have three members, so in addition to Scot and Clean, who would you add to the mix for maximum ruling unpredictability and debate?

Donald Trump ( to ensure equal treatment of competitors irrespective of race, religion or gender and to debate Scot)

Howard Stern (to get to the real facts of the matter)

Bernie Sanders (for wealth based rulings)

Paul Elvstrom ( because anything that Scot and Clean say wouldn't matter)

Giselle Bundchen ( no explanation needed)

Snaggy

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Option 1 : Host a World Championship with a new set of grammatically challenged rules that nobody has ever used before with Scot Tempesta and Clean as your international jurors.

 

Option 2: Call your Worlds the Intergalatics.

 

Option 3 : Become a World Sailing International class.

 

The only tempting feature of option 1 would be the international Jury........now that would be a fireworks display and a whole lot of entertainment. The unpredictable decisions would be forcefully issued with colorful language and penalties would involve the winner of the protest buying shots for the losing team and the jury.

 

I think that ISAF juries should have three members, so in addition to Scot and Clean, who would you add to the mix for maximum ruling unpredictability and debate?

Donald Trump ( to ensure equal treatment of competitors irrespective of race, religion or gender and to debate Scot)

Howard Stern (to get to the real facts of the matter)

Bernie Sanders (for wealth based rulings)

Paul Elvstrom ( because anything that Scot and Clean say wouldn't matter)

Giselle Bundchen ( no explanation needed)

Snaggy

 

He could only text in.

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LOL easily addressed

 

To be fair I didn't spend a couple of hrs on a wet winters evening to draft this so that a couple of fellas could feel good about them selves and call them selves World Champions for a year. To be honest if WS got their shit together and shut down use of the words "Grand Prix" too that would be just fine with me... if only the biggest offender wasn't a WS vice president. As rightly pointed out anything pretentious enough to call its self a World Championship needs the kind of infrastructure around it that WS provides.

 

I did it because I was truly appalled at what was going on in New South Wales right now and wanted to show some support. Fair play to Ed and CLEAN for rattling the saber.

 

I'm equally appalled, although not unsurprised, by the allocation of budget with in WS to Olympic sailing. I see an increasing influence of "high performance" thinking in youth sailing and the taking over of the administration of the sport by people with a similar back ground and thinking. In other sports this has not been a good thing. It's lead to the grass roots of the sport being seen as little more than a revenue generator. The kind of thing that seems to be happening to Club X at the moment.

 

Our sport has been increasingly shackled over the last decade in ways that in many cases can be argued as a good thing. But at the same time they have increased the potential for draconian power from above. The "we see no ships/we will enforce our own rules if we choose to" response from WS with respect to the Youth Worlds simply wasn't good enough and speaks of a complacent and uncountable governing body.

 

For the sake of the continued existence of our sport as little more than the shared enjoyment of spending time on the water (and then in the bar) the shackles need loosening a little I feel.

 

Stating the obvious grammar isn't a strong point. If you have the gift then you have something of great value and benefit. Simplification wasn't on my mind either, although I can see why it would be a motivation to get involved in something like this. Certain elements of the WS RRS are so tied up in the language involved that it's hard to replicate them entirely. But I stand by the "ISAF RRS" as a first attempt at a none derivative alternative to the WS RRS that functions in a way that would be largely, although not entirely, familiar to any one racing under the World Sailing version.

 

How would you develop it? I agree that an open forum for discussion, Creative Commons and source control would be the way forward

How would you support it? For the grass roots sailing that actually need this the protest system is non functional, an alternative is needed. Perhaps their are lessons from sailx that could be drawn to allow an alternative RRS to be supported with out the confrontation of the protest room.

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Rgeek what is happening in NSW that is particularly appalling at the moment?

http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?showtopic=171501

 

A club that chose to withdraw from National Authority and thus ISAF/WS affiliation has been reminded that it has lost all the benefits of NA/WS affiliation, including the right to use the RRS. Clearly one of the great corruption scandals of our time.

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Not sure anyone suggested it was dirrectly. Some locla apperacek gets to throw the

 

 

Rgeek what is happening in NSW that is particularly appalling at the moment?


http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?showtopic=171501

A club that chose to withdraw from National Authority and thus ISAF/WS affiliation has been reminded that it has lost all the benefits of NA/WS affiliation, including the right to use the RRS. Clearly one of the great corruption scandals of our time.

 

And it's all good. If they want a few hard yards done to get sailing round the cans on a Sunday evening again then I'll give them a dig out. No more than that.

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How would you support it? For the grass roots sailing that actually need this the protest system is non functional, an alternative is needed. Perhaps their are lessons from sailx that could be drawn to allow an alternative RRS to be supported with out the confrontation of the protest room.

 

And there are alternatives available. Nothing to stop anybody using the RYA's advisory/arbitration procedures, AFAICS. Using the rules that work and are generally accepted.

 

http://www.rya.org.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/Racing/RacingInformation/RacingRules/RYA%20Guidance%20-%20Rules%20Disputes%20-%2012.14.pdf

 

RYA Racing Rules Guidance Booklet - 01.15 v2.pdf

post-419-0-29206300-1455992460_thumb.png

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I’m just a toy boat guy, but I spent the better part of a forty year career reading, writing, interpreting and testifying about documents that were directive in nature. Based on that experience, my take on the current RRS is that its production heavily relied on the services of a doctor with a flashlight.

That being said, whining about them doesn’t make things better. I wholeheartedly agree with Brass that in any attempt to produce a superior version you need to carefully figure out what you want the rules to do before you start pounding out text. There are basic principles buried in the hodgepodge of rules, definitions, cases and interpretations that is the current “structure.” These need to be extracted, stated explictly, and discussed (to exhaustion, usually); then the wording of specific clauses is straightforward.
In my view, the most basic of these principles is the definition of fair sailing. This is the “meta rule” that individuals who have to adjudicate cases fall back upon when the text of the rules is silent or ambiguous regarding the situation at hand. In the current RRS this is Rule 2:
“A boat and her owner shall compete in compliance with recognized principles of sportsmanship and fair play. A boat may be penalized under this rule only if it is clearly established that these principles have been violated. A disqualification under this rule shall not be excluded from the boat’s series score.”
This is pretty iffy to uses as a basis for adjudication. It was a little better in the old days. If we look at the definition of fair sailing in the 1959 rules (that merged the NAYRU and IYRU versions) it reads:
“A yacht shall attempt to win a race only by fair sailing and superior speed and skill. However, a yacht may be disqualified under this rule only in case of a clear-cut violation of the above principles and only if no other rule applies.”
Even with the circular reference, I think this version is superior in that it states how races should be won — “superior speed and skill” and as such ties into other principles such as “seamanlike” and “proper course.” These tie accomplishment to ability on the water instead of The One Weird Trick That Wins Races Every Time.
Another principle of interest was expressed by Harold Vanderbilt in his chapter on rules in “On the Wind’s Highway,” and that is that a rule should be simple enough that a skipper can use them to determine a course of action in real time. It’s not clear that this principle can be fully applied to mark roundings, which have been problematic since the Satanita Decision, but the current combination of 18, 21 and 14a&b is pretty extreme in the other direction, as well as encouraging bumper boats. The issue that has to be resolved here, as I see it, is whether dogfighting at the mark is permitted or encouraged or whether the principle is “get in line, get around without interfering with other people, and then try to get ahead of the other guy.”
And speaking of Vanderbilt, for the two or three of you who have read this far and still have an interest in the topic, I’ve scanned and uploaded the rarest in my collection of historical rules documents, the little pamphlet he wrote in 1944 that ended up as what are now known as the “Vanderbilt Rules.” He was no dummy (he invented the game of Contract Bridge) and while I’m not arguing that we revert to those rules his thoughts are worth study. The file can be downloaded from:
I apologize for its size (26M) but a relatively high-res bitmap was the only way I could get the tiny type of the footnotes to come across.
Cheers,
Earl

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How would you support it? For the grass roots sailing that actually need this the protest system is non functional, an alternative is needed. Perhaps their are lessons from sailx that could be drawn to allow an alternative RRS to be supported with out the confrontation of the protest room.

 

And there are alternatives available. Nothing to stop anybody using the RYA's advisory/arbitration procedures, AFAICS. Using the rules that work and are generally accepted.

 

http://www.rya.org.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/Racing/RacingInformation/RacingRules/RYA%20Guidance%20-%20Rules%20Disputes%20-%2012.14.pdf

 

attachicon.gifRYA Racing Rules Guidance Booklet - 01.15 v2.pdf

attachicon.gifRYA Racing Rules Guidance Booklet - 01.15 v2-1.png

 

Lovely. That'll do.

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@earl: It's not as if the history of yacht racing is exactly abundant with sportsmanship. It's such a loaded phrase in any case. In some cultures "sportsmanship" means competing with out breaking the rules, and if you can find an ingenious interpretation then good for you. In other cultures it means "with out unduly upsetting anybody by being rude or doing something they hadn't thought of first or with out asking permission"

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And speaking of Vanderbilt, for the two or three of you who have read this far and still have an interest in the topic, I’ve scanned and uploaded the rarest in my collection of historical rules documents, the little pamphlet he wrote in 1944 that ended up as what are now known as the “Vanderbilt Rules.” He was no dummy (he invented the game of Contract Bridge) and while I’m not arguing that we revert to those rules his thoughts are worth study.

 

Interesting. Do think they look less neat/clear than modern rules. Much wordier.

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And speaking of Vanderbilt, for the two or three of you who have read this far and still have an interest in the topic, I’ve scanned and uploaded the rarest in my collection of historical rules documents, the little pamphlet he wrote in 1944 that ended up as what are now known as the “Vanderbilt Rules.” He was no dummy (he invented the game of Contract Bridge) and while I’m not arguing that we revert to those rules his thoughts are worth study.

 

Interesting. Do think they look less neat/clear than modern rules. Much wordier.

 

That seems to have been the style back then, where they combined rule and tutorial. Whether or not that's a good idea is a topic for discussion.

 

Cheers,

Earl

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@earl: It's not as if the history of yacht racing is exactly abundant with sportsmanship. It's such a loaded phrase in any case. In some cultures "sportsmanship" means competing with out breaking the rules, and if you can find an ingenious interpretation then good for you. In other cultures it means "with out unduly upsetting anybody by being rude or doing something they hadn't thought of first or with out asking permission"

Precisely. That's why I think the focus should be on "seamanship," which admittedly has ambiguities of its own.

 

Cheers,

 

Earl

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I’m just a toy boat guy, but I spent the better part of a forty year career reading, writing, interpreting and testifying about documents that were directive in nature. Based on that experience, my take on the current RRS is that its production heavily relied on the services of a doctor with a flashlight.

 

I'm not at all sure what you mean by that. Is it some half-smart way of saying that the drafters had their head up their arse?

 

If so, I suppose you mean that there are unjustifiable inconsistencies and obscurely written provisions.

 

Would you care to state which you think most prominent?

That being said, whining about them doesn’t make things better. I wholeheartedly agree with Brass that in any attempt to produce a superior version you need to carefully figure out what you want the rules to do before you start pounding out text. There are basic principles buried in the hodgepodge of rules, definitions, cases and interpretations that is the current “structure.” These need to be extracted, stated explictly, and discussed (to exhaustion, usually); then the wording of specific clauses is straightforward.

 

In my view, the most basic of these principles is the definition of fair sailing. This is the “meta rule” that individuals who have to adjudicate cases fall back upon when the text of the rules is silent or ambiguous regarding the situation at hand.

 

Rule 2 does not 'define' fair sailing. Despite the title (which does not form part of the rule (Definitions: Rule (a) ...' but not titles'), Rule 2 addresses sportsmanship and fair play.

 

Your refer to it as a 'meta-rule'. That would be a 'rule about rules'. These would be ground-rules for development of concepts and drafting of new rules texts.

 

I certainly would agree that 'fairness' should be a principle applicable to both concepts and rules texts: 'Rules should be fair'

 

I would suggest another important meta-rule or principle of drafting: 'Rules should relate to what boats do or omit to do, not to what competitors think, or know or may intend'.

In the current RRS this is Rule 2:

 

“A boat and her owner shall compete in compliance with recognized principles of sportsmanship and fair play. A boat may be penalized under this rule only if it is clearly established that these principles have been violated. A disqualification under this rule shall not be excluded from the boat’s series score.”

 

This is pretty iffy to uses as a basis for adjudication. It was a little better in the old days. If we look at the definition of fair sailing in the 1959 rules (that merged the NAYRU and IYRU versions) it reads:

 

“A yacht shall attempt to win a race only by fair sailing and superior speed and skill. However, a yacht may be disqualified under this rule only in case of a clear-cut violation of the above principles and only if no other rule applies.”

 

Even with the circular reference, I think this version is superior in that it states how races should be won — “superior speed and skill”

 

The rule as you cited does NOT say 'races shall be won only by superior speed and skill'. It says 'races shall be won only by fair sailing and superior speed and skill'

 

I submit that determining what is 'fair sailing' other than 'superior speed and skill' is no less 'iffy' than determining a violation of recognised principles of sportsmanship and fair play.

 

and as such ties into other principles such as “seamanlike” and “proper course.”

 

I absolutely dispute that 'seamanship' and 'proper course' are principles. 'Seamanlike' is a term used in the definition of room, which appears on a very limited number of rules (15, 16, 18, 19, 20). There is no rule that obliges a boat to sail in a 'seamanlike' way. Nor should there be. Proper course is a defined term that appears in even fewer rules.

 

These tie accomplishment to ability on the water instead of The One Weird Trick That Wins Races Every Time.

 

Another principle of interest was expressed by Harold Vanderbilt in his chapter on rules in “On the Wind’s Highway,” and that is that a rule should be simple enough that a skipper can use them to determine a course of action in real time.

 

This looks like a worthy aspiration, but sometimes it may conflict with another principle, namely 'Rules should be comprehensive, with no loopholes'

 

It’s not clear that this principle can be fully applied to mark roundings, which have been problematic since the Satanita Decision, but the current combination of 18, 21 and 14a&b is pretty extreme in the other direction, as well as encouraging bumper boats.

 

Creating an entitlement for an inside boat to have room to round a mark, limited by a condition that entitlements to room should not flick between boats at too close a point to the mark, has indeed been problematical. Yes, it involves quite complex interactions between rules as presently written.

 

But, I'll say it again, my observation is that the vast majority of protests arise from misjudgement of time and space on the water, or deficient boat-handling, NOT from inability to understand rules and determine required actions.

 

And I completely fail to understand how rule 14 which says 'A boat shall avoid contact with another boat' can be said to 'encourage bumper boats'.

 

The issue that has to be resolved here, as I see it, is whether dogfighting at the mark is permitted or encouraged

 

FWIW, I don't think what goes on around marks can be appropriately described as 'dogfighting': it's not in the same league as what goes on with dial-ups, bounces, pushes etc in MR/TR. The 3BL zone is specifically designed to slow things down and enable skippers to concentrate on one thing at a time.

 

or whether the principle is “get in line,

 

What would a rule that tells competitors who gets into line first and next look like?

 

get around without interfering with other people,

 

Likewise, how many hundred pages of case law is it going to show what is and is not 'interfering'?

 

and then try to get ahead of the other guy.”

 

OK, I understand the concept: that is, take away competition around marks, that is, the places where good boat and sail handling count the most. ISTM that would be unattractive to many sailors.

 

And speaking of Vanderbilt, for the two or three of you who have read this far and still have an interest in the topic, I’ve scanned and uploaded the rarest in my collection of historical rules documents, the little pamphlet he wrote in 1944 that ended up as what are now known as the “Vanderbilt Rules.”

 

Thanks for that.

 

I note that these are significantly different in organisation and phraseology (but not different in principle) from my 1953 copy of the NAYRU rules, which I had always believed to be 'Vanderbilt Rules'.

 

Have you anything in between that traces the evolution?

 

He was no dummy (he invented the game of Contract Bridge) and while I’m not arguing that we revert to those rules his thoughts are worth study. The file can be downloaded from:

 

http://bit.ly/1RU81mk

 

I apologize for its size (26M) but a relatively high-res bitmap was the only way I could get the tiny type of the footnotes to come across.

 

Cheers,

 

Earl

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And speaking of Vanderbilt, for the two or three of you who have read this far and still have an interest in the topic, I’ve scanned and uploaded the rarest in my collection of historical rules documents, the little pamphlet he wrote in 1944 that ended up as what are now known as the “Vanderbilt Rules.” He was no dummy (he invented the game of Contract Bridge) and while I’m not arguing that we revert to those rules his thoughts are worth study.

 

Interesting. Do think they look less neat/clear than modern rules. Much wordier.

 

That seems to have been the style back then, where they combined rule and tutorial. Whether or not that's a good idea is a topic for discussion.

 

Cheers,

Earl

 

 

I've long said that the current RRS themselves are not bad, just that that can be very ambiguous and situation dependent. I've advocated for just this sort of thing to have a short tutorial or at least diagram accompanying each rule that lays out a common situation in the application of that rule. It doesn't need to be War & Peace and describe every possible situation. But just a common one or a common situation where the rule could be confusing.

 

The RRS is in many ways TOO short and to the point. My biggest beef with the current RRS is that to have a real understanding of how they actually work on the water, you need to be pretty conversant with the appeals, case book, and call book to really understand how they actually work in all but the most simple P/S situation. I think with each rule, there could be a simple diagram or two with a short paragraph or two that explains the application of the rule using a common example.

 

Furthermore, I would take out all the extra stuff like match racing, windsurfing, etc and have a single rule book for sailboat fleet racing. All those other disciplines should have their own stand-alone book. I don't care if some of those rules are repeated or not from discipline to discipline. I'm sure there are some rules that are the same for pee-wee football and NFL football - but you don't see a common football rulebook that covers every subset of the sport.

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@earl: It's not as if the history of yacht racing is exactly abundant with sportsmanship. It's such a loaded phrase in any case. In some cultures "sportsmanship" means competing with out breaking the rules, and if you can find an ingenious interpretation then good for you. In other cultures it means "with out unduly upsetting anybody by being rude or doing something they hadn't thought of first or with out asking permission"

Precisely. That's why I think the focus should be on "seamanship," which admittedly has ambiguities of its own.

 

Cheers,

 

Earl

 

OK so no equivalent of Rule 2. Where do we stand on "moral" rules such as not interfering with a boat on another leg, anti hunting, requiring a proper course when an overlap is established to leeward from astern?

 

 

... too much consideration for keeping team racing interesting if you think about their needs so agree with zero focus for that and match racing.

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The RRS is in many ways TOO short and to the point. My biggest beef with the current RRS is that to have a real understanding of how they actually work on the water, you need to be pretty conversant with the appeals, case book, and call book to really understand how they actually work in all but the most simple P/S situation. I think with each rule, there could be a simple diagram or two with a short paragraph or two that explains the application of the rule using a common example.

 

There are, as I'm sure you know, quite a few sources for that sort of thing. I'm not sure one extra book would add that much?

 

post-419-0-64886300-1456159146_thumb.jpg post-419-0-49765400-1456159154_thumb.jpg post-419-0-71739100-1456159161_thumb.jpg post-419-0-22853400-1456159171_thumb.jpg post-419-0-96675900-1456159184_thumb.jpg post-419-0-84333600-1456159192_thumb.jpg (Also available as an ebook with animations).

 

US Sailing's app for apple

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I've always thought in order to make the rules most clear they should be written from the first-person perspective (" when approaching the mark on port you may not tack within 3 boat lengths of the mark unless you are able to keep clear of all the other boats racing after you have tacked") rather than from a 3rd person perspective (" when a boat approaches a mark on port it blah blah blah blah blah."

 

It just makes it clearer to the skipper what his own obligations are not what the other skipper has to do in response to his own maneuverings.

 

I would also get rid of the protest flag crap and the failure to avoid crap

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I feel I owe Brass a response to a few of his comments and an answer to his question, so in a probably futile attempt a simplification I have pulled them out and labelled them.

Brass: “I'm not at all sure what you mean by that. Is it some half-smart way of saying that the drafters had their head up their arse?”
Response: No, it’s a half-smart way of criticizing the closed, opaque, and arbitrary way the current rules are produced.
Brass: “I absolutely dispute that 'seamanship' and 'proper course' are principles. 'Seamanlike' is a term used in the definition of room, which appears on a very limited number of rules (15, 16, 18, 19, 20). There is no rule that obliges a boat to sail in a 'seamanlike' way. Nor should there be. Proper course is a defined term that appears in even fewer rules.”
Response: In my opinion, it is not the number of rules in which a term appears that determines its importance, it is the number of times the rules using the term are involved in protests. By this criterion Rule 18 is at or near the top of the list.
The meaning of Rule 18 includes by reference (italicized text) the definition of “mark-room”
The definition of “mark-room” includes by reference (italics) the definition of “room.”
The definition of “room” includes the plain wording “while maneuvering promptly in a seamanlike way” (added in 2012).
The definition of “mark-room” also includes by reference (italics) the definition of “proper course.”
So whether you call them a “principle” or “criteria” or something else, I do not see how you can avoid treating the terms “prompt and seamanlike way” and “proper course” as basic to the meaning of one of the most-cited rules in the book.
Brass: “And I completely fail to understand how rule 14 which says 'A boat shall avoid contact with another boat' can be said to 'encourage bumper boats’.”
Response: I was referring to second half of Rule 14, clause b, which expands directly to:
“However, a right-of-way-boat or one entitled to “room” or “mark-room” shall be exonerated if she breaks this rule and the contact does not cause damage or injury.” (This also was added in 2012.) I don’t see how you can read this as anything but a hunting license.
Brass: “I note that these [rules in the pamphlet] are significantly different in organisation and phraseology (but not different in principle) from my 1953 copy of the NAYRU rules, which I had always believed to be 'Vanderbilt Rules'.
Have you anything in between that traces the evolution?”
Response: Here is the history given by Robert Bavier (the U.S. rep to the negotiation) in his 1959 book:
“THE HISTORY OF THE NEW RULES
These changes in the rules did not come overnight. For manyyears, yachtsmen have realized the need for change in the racingrules. And as far back as 1935, one of them, Harold S. Vanderbilt, set about doing something to change them. Assisted by asmall group of yachtsmen, he rewrote the racing rules in full and published his new code in 1936. It was some time before these rules commanded any great following, but, in 1941, Commodore Harold F. Pitcairn, of the Lake George Yacht Club, persuaded his club to race under the so-called Vanderbilt Rules. They met with considerable favor and were used there in successive yearsthereafter. With this one successful example to point the way,a growing number of clubs and the Intercollegiate Yacht Racing Association tried the rules and, by and large, favored them.
By 1946, the Vanderbilt Rules had so strongly indicated a need for change in the official rules that a committee on revision of racing rules was appointed by the N.A.Y.R.U. It was roughly at this time that an abortive effort was made to interest the International Yacht Racing Union in the new rules.These efforts met with failure, perhaps because of an undiplomatic way of presenting our case. At that time all yachting nations sailed under the same rules, and for Americans to branch out with a different code was a difficult step to take. The N .A.Y.R.U. committee on revision, however, was sufficiently sold on the new rules to risk going it alone.
In 1947, a revision of the racing rules was published by this committee and designated by the N.A.Y.R.U. for optional use. Although they embodied most of the features of the Vanderbilt Rules, they had been reworded and somewhat altered. A great number of yachtsmen throughout the country sailed under them in 1947. Their reaction was definitely favorable, though need for slight further revision was indicated.
In the fall of 1947, therefore, the committee revised the new rules; the revision being primarily one of further simplification and greater clarification of wording. The definitions and the right-of-way rules were adopted in the winter of 1948 as the official yacht racing rules in this country. In the winter of 1949, a few changes were made in these definitions and right-of-way rules and in the supplementary rules. The Government Right of Way Rules were also revised and became an -official part of the N.A.Y.R.U. Rules. In 1953 a few more changes were made, based on the experience with the 1949 code. No major changes were made in the N.A.Y.R.U. code from 1953 to 1959. During those years, however, the Rules Committee of the I.Y.R.U. began adopting a number of the American Rules, although remaining basically different because of their reluctance to adopt a few of our basic rules, particularly the one which gives starboard tack right of way in almost every situation.
The I.Y.R.U. was sufficiently impressed, however, to form a New Rules Committee to study our rules and, if possible, to devise a code which all countries would accept, including our own.”
Bavier then goes on to praise various individuals for their efforts and their cooperation.
In closing I want to reiterate that the purpose of my original posting, probably made insufficiently clear, was to say that *if* you wanted to produce a document superior to the RRS, the way to do it was through an orderly and transparent process that accepted inputs from the widest practical set of individuals. Further, this process should start with a discussion of relevant issues, then produce a narrative that set out aims and limits (Conops, if you are up on your systems engineering jargon) and then, and only then, should you do the heavy lifting of actual prose. My references to the current RRS were intended to give examples of the sorts of things I thought should be considered in the issues phase of the process.
Cheers,
Earl

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Brass: “I note that these [rules in the pamphlet] are significantly different in organisation and phraseology (but not different in principle) from my 1953 copy of the NAYRU rules, which I had always believed to be 'Vanderbilt Rules'.

Have you anything in between that traces the evolution?”
Response: Here is the history given by Robert Bavier (the U.S. rep to the negotiation) in his 1959 book:
“THE HISTORY OF THE NEW RULES
These changes in the rules did not come overnight. For manyyears, yachtsmen have realized the need for change in the racingrules. And as far back as 1935, one of them, Harold S. Vanderbilt, set about doing something to change them. Assisted by asmall group of yachtsmen, he rewrote the racing rules in full and published his new code in 1936. It was some time before these rules commanded any great following, but, in 1941, Commodore Harold F. Pitcairn, of the Lake George Yacht Club, persuaded his club to race under the so-called Vanderbilt Rules. They met with considerable favor and were used there in successive yearsthereafter. With this one successful example to point the way,a growing number of clubs and the Intercollegiate Yacht Racing Association tried the rules and, by and large, favored them.
By 1946, the Vanderbilt Rules had so strongly indicated a need for change in the official rules that a committee on revision of racing rules was appointed by the N.A.Y.R.U. It was roughly at this time that an abortive effort was made to interest the International Yacht Racing Union in the new rules.These efforts met with failure, perhaps because of an undiplomatic way of presenting our case. At that time all yachting nations sailed under the same rules, and for Americans to branch out with a different code was a difficult step to take. The N .A.Y.R.U. committee on revision, however, was sufficiently sold on the new rules to risk going it alone.
In 1947, a revision of the racing rules was published by this committee and designated by the N.A.Y.R.U. for optional use. Although they embodied most of the features of the Vanderbilt Rules, they had been reworded and somewhat altered. A great number of yachtsmen throughout the country sailed under them in 1947. Their reaction was definitely favorable, though need for slight further revision was indicated.
In the fall of 1947, therefore, the committee revised the new rules; the revision being primarily one of further simplification and greater clarification of wording. The definitions and the right-of-way rules were adopted in the winter of 1948 as the official yacht racing rules in this country. In the winter of 1949, a few changes were made in these definitions and right-of-way rules and in the supplementary rules. The Government Right of Way Rules were also revised and became an -official part of the N.A.Y.R.U. Rules. In 1953 a few more changes were made, based on the experience with the 1949 code. No major changes were made in the N.A.Y.R.U. code from 1953 to 1959. During those years, however, the Rules Committee of the I.Y.R.U. began adopting a number of the American Rules, although remaining basically different because of their reluctance to adopt a few of our basic rules, particularly the one which gives starboard tack right of way in almost every situation.
The I.Y.R.U. was sufficiently impressed, however, to form a New Rules Committee to study our rules and, if possible, to devise a code which all countries would accept, including our own.”
Bavier then goes on to praise various individuals for their efforts and their cooperation.
In closing I want to reiterate that the purpose of my original posting, probably made insufficiently clear, was to say that *if* you wanted to produce a document superior to the RRS, the way to do it was through an orderly and transparent process that accepted inputs from the widest practical set of individuals. Further, this process should start with a discussion of relevant issues, then produce a narrative that set out aims and limits (Conops, if you are up on your systems engineering jargon) and then, and only then, should you do the heavy lifting of actual prose. My references to the current RRS were intended to give examples of the sorts of things I thought should be considered in the issues phase of the process.

Thank you for that.

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Brass: “And I completely fail to understand how rule 14 which says 'A boat shall avoid contact with another boat' can be said to 'encourage bumper boats’.”

 

Response: I was referring to second half of Rule 14, clause b, which expands directly to:

 

“However, a right-of-way-boat or one entitled to “room” or “mark-room” shall be exonerated if she breaks this rule and the contact does not cause damage or injury.” (This also was added in 2012.) I don’t see how you can read this as anything but a hunting license.

This rule has come an awful long way from 1961, when rule 32 - Avoiding Collisions provided that "If rule 38.1 applies [a right of way yacht with luffing rights] may collide with the other yacht'.

 

That rule went on to say 'But whatever rule applies, if she makes no attempt to avoid a collision which results in serious damage she may be disqualified'.

 

I don't agree that the current rule in any way encourages boats to fail to avoid contact.

 

If a boat through carelessness or incompetence fails to avoid contact, then she assumes all the risk that the contact will result in damage or injury, which, except in the case of small dinghies which can be held apart by hand, is not a risk which she can control.

 

If any boat deliberately breaks rule 14, then she breaks rule 2, whether or not rule 14(B) exonerates her from breaking rule 14.

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Brass: “And I completely fail to understand how rule 14 which says 'A boat shall avoid contact with another boat' can be said to 'encourage bumper boats’.”

 

Response: I was referring to second half of Rule 14, clause b, which expands directly to:

 

“However, a right-of-way-boat or one entitled to “room” or “mark-room” shall be exonerated if she breaks this rule and the contact does not cause damage or injury.” (This also was added in 2012.) I don’t see how you can read this as anything but a hunting license.

This rule has come an awful long way from 1961, when rule 32 - Avoiding Collisions provided that "If rule 38.1 applies [a right of way yacht with luffing rights] may collide with the other yacht'.

 

That rule went on to say 'But whatever rule applies, if she makes no attempt to avoid a collision which results in serious damage she may be disqualified'.

 

I don't agree that the current rule in any way encourages boats to fail to avoid contact.

 

If a boat through carelessness or incompetence fails to avoid contact, then she assumes all the risk that the contact will result in damage or injury, which, except in the case of small dinghies which can be held apart by hand, is not a risk which she can control.

 

If any boat deliberately breaks rule 14, then she breaks rule 2, whether or not rule 14( B) exonerates her from breaking rule 14.

 

You're probably right for big boats, I was showing the limits of my experience.

 

A common problem I have seen is one where a boat with rights gives way to avoid contact and the other boat claims that she is simply taking room freely given under Case 63. This in turn encourages "love taps" on the part of the boat with rights to "validate" the existence of a foul.

 

All radio sailing, all I have ever done.

 

Cheers,

 

Earl

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I feel I owe Brass a response to a few of his comments and an answer to his question, so in a probably futile attempt a simplification I have pulled them out and labelled them.

Brass: “I'm not at all sure what you mean by that. Is it some half-smart way of saying that the drafters had their head up their arse?”
Response: No, it’s a half-smart way of criticizing the closed, opaque, and arbitrary way the current rules are produced.

I can't agree that the updating and production of the RRS is closed, opaque and arbitrary.

 

The RRS and changes to the RRS are approved by WS Council (WS Reg 28.1.1). The WS Council consists of the WS President and 7 Vice Presidents, elected by Member National Associations (MNA) every four years at the WS General Assembly, plus 28 members nominated by regional groups of MNA and several ex-officio members.

 

The WS Racing Rules Committee is responsible for advising and making recommendations to WS Council about the RRS (WS Reg 28.1).

 

The Racing Rules Committee (RRC) consists of a Chair, Vice Chair and 20 other International Judges, nominated by WS Member National Associations (MNA) (WS Reg 5.1).

 

The RRC considers submissions to update or change the rules, produced by itself, MNA, WS Class Associations, and other WS Committees, and makes recommendations to the council.

 

All submissions, each consisting of a paper showing the proposed changes and the justification supporting the proposed change is published on the WS Website.

 

The consideration of submissions by the RRC is documented in the minutes of RRC meetings which are published on the WS Website.

 

The decisions of WS Council based on the recommendations of the RRC are then documented in the Council minutes, which are published on the WS Website, and approved changes or rewrites are then published and distributed to MNA.

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Brass: “I absolutely dispute that 'seamanship' and 'proper course' are principles. 'Seamanlike' is a term used in the definition of room, which appears on a very limited number of rules (15, 16, 18, 19, 20). There is no rule that obliges a boat to sail in a 'seamanlike' way. Nor should there be. Proper course is a defined term that appears in even fewer rules.”

Response: In my opinion, it is not the number of rules in which a term appears that determines its importance, it is the number of times the rules using the term are involved in protests. By this criterion Rule 18 is at or near the top of the list.
The meaning of Rule 18 includes by reference (italicized text) the definition of “mark-room”
The definition of “mark-room” includes by reference (italics) the definition of “room.”
The definition of “room” includes the plain wording “while maneuvering promptly in a seamanlike way” (added in 2012).
The definition of “mark-room” also includes by reference (italics) the definition of “proper course.”
So whether you call them a “principle” or “criteria” or something else, I do not see how you can avoid treating the terms “prompt and seamanlike way” and “proper course” as basic to the meaning of one of the most-cited rules in the book.

I certainly can't disagree that a somewhat more in-depth analysis than the mere number of rules in which the defined term 'room' appears is valid.

 

However, I would suggest that, if we're undertaking a more sophisticated analysis, we need to go at least one step further than the (incontrovertible) assertion that rule 18 is a very frequently protested rule.

 

One issue would be, in what proportion of rule 18 protests is the concept of 'seamanlike' at issue? In my experience:

  • a fair proportion of rule 18 protests are about whether rule 18 applied at all, not about some degree of space that was given;
  • a further significant proportion rest on the proposition that insufficient space was given, regardless of whether manoeuvre was seamanlike or miraculous or whatever.

But I have to admit that the concept of (at least) not putting a boat in a position that she needs to manoeuvre in an unseamanlike way to keep clear or avoid contact is pretty fundamental.

 

Seamanlike, while amplified in Cases 21 (last paragraph) and case 103 seems to be a fundamental concept whose meaning is so readily understood that it is rarely discussed except, seemingly, in the context of assertions that some boat or other has been 'unseamanlike' and thus has broken a rule.

 

But I don't think the concept of Seamanlike or Seamanship should be too much elevated

 

No rule obliges a boat to sail in a seamanlike way, nor can (or IMHO should) this be inferred from the present rules.

 

To cast a set of rules around express use of the word 'seamanlike', as Clean's draft does, IMHO puts the concept far too high.

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Brass: “And I completely fail to understand how rule 14 which says 'A boat shall avoid contact with another boat' can be said to 'encourage bumper boats’.”

 

Response: I was referring to second half of Rule 14, clause b, which expands directly to:

 

“However, a right-of-way-boat or one entitled to “room” or “mark-room” shall be exonerated if she breaks this rule and the contact does not cause damage or injury.” (This also was added in 2012.) I don’t see how you can read this as anything but a hunting license.

This rule has come an awful long way from 1961, when rule 32 - Avoiding Collisions provided that "If rule 38.1 applies [a right of way yacht with luffing rights] may collide with the other yacht'.

 

That rule went on to say 'But whatever rule applies, if she makes no attempt to avoid a collision which results in serious damage she may be disqualified'.

 

I don't agree that the current rule in any way encourages boats to fail to avoid contact.

 

If a boat through carelessness or incompetence fails to avoid contact, then she assumes all the risk that the contact will result in damage or injury, which, except in the case of small dinghies which can be held apart by hand, is not a risk which she can control.

 

If any boat deliberately breaks rule 14, then she breaks rule 2, whether or not rule 14( b )exonerates her from breaking rule 14.

 

You're probably right for big boats, I was showing the limits of my experience.

 

A common problem I have seen is one where a boat with rights gives way to avoid contact and the other boat claims that she is simply taking room freely given under Case 63. This in turn encourages "love taps" on the part of the boat with rights to "validate" the existence of a foul.

 

All radio sailing, all I have ever done.

I find it absolutely alarming that terminology from more than 20 years ago, 'love tap' and 'validate a foul', which the rules have been specifically changed to get rid of, are still walking around like zombies.

 

A right or way boat does not have to hit the give way boat to prove that she has not kept clear (Case 50).

 

OK, so it seems that for radio sailing boats the scantling to mass ratios are such that the risks that hull to hull contact will cause observable damage are much less than for keelboats, so what may be an underlying assumption of risk distribution in rule 14 may not be working. If that is the case, Planet Radio Sailing might care to consider some modifications: maybe delete rule 14( b ) altogether? Alternatively go the other way, turn back the clock and make rule 14 apply only to serious or significant damage. That would have to be done through Appendix E: you can't change a rule of Part 2 through SI (Rule 86.1).

 

If the reason that a right of way boat has left space for a give way boat to get around a mark inside her is that she initially changed course to avoid contact with the give way boat (and this was reasonably necessary), then if she doesn't like what happened, she should protest the give way boat for not keeping clear.

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I'm not sure where this discussion has got to in the last few posts, but this draft is a complete mess, as far as I can see. I think I agree with Brass on this.


The drafted 'ISAnarchyF' rules look like some group activity at the Sailing Academy for dinghy sailors on a no-wind day. Simply cutting out the difficult parts and regurgitating the rest in baby-speak will not make things better for the sailing world. That's for sure.



While I wholly applaud the effort made, I wonder what the real motive is here. Is this a result of a wider crusade against WS? So far this thread seems to have focused on how displeased some contributors are with the WS or their MNA, rather than the simplification of the rules.


Or is it really an attempt to reduce rule-breaking and improve rule understanding? If so, let's stick to that discussion, and take any crusade out of the discussion.



Look, the current rule-set is a result of many years of competitiveness! That is, competitors try their best to find advantages within the rules, and so rules need adding and tweaking.


Add to the natural competitiveness, the nature of the sport which is one of the most 'Open' sports imaginable (on a scale where a greater number of variables is more 'open'). 'Open' sports have more possibilities of play, and therefore require more rules. (It's the openness which I love about it..so many things could happen..)


Add to that, the fact that generally we don't have 'Umpires and Referees' until the race is over, so the onus is on the players to know the rule book. (Unlike say 'The Laws of Rugby', which boasts an impressive 212 page rulebook, but most of which is applied by the referees.)


To try and improve the current rule-set requires a thorough understanding of the current intended purpose of each rule, and so the evolution of the rule-book (or a very astute abiltiy to play out scenarios in one's head), and a general understanding of how rules / laws are constructed, the conventions used, and the meanings and significance of the words used.


The ISAnarchyF draft doesn't appear to take any account of the above.


I really believe that any permissive-prescriptive rule-set attempted will eventually face all the same hurdles as the current rule-set. In otherwords, no matter how hard the ISAnarchyF drafters try, in 40 years their rules will look the same as the current set!


If the same effort was put into teaching the world's sailors the definitions (verbatim), we would have half of the protests we currently have. We would be left with 'he-said/she-said' protests where judgement was the only dispute.


I battled hard to get the Definitions to the front of the book. Yet, I still talk to people who don't actually know what it is to 'keep clear'. I still see boats 'Finishing' the wrong way. Sigh!


I say it again....simply cutting out the difficult parts and regurgitating the rest in baby-speak will not make things better for the sailing world. That's for sure.


DW



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Hi dawg, i agree that any RRS will end up roughly defining the same thing. In fact in terms of respecting the history of the sport and 'not changing the game' removing the difficult bits wasn't attempted in any serious way. It was clear enough to me that what had been drafted already covered the scenarios in question. 18 the exception. That said there's no pretence that it is a final answer.

 

There seems to be a range of motivations at play hear. They can all be satisfied.

 

So in terms of discussing each rule and its purpose a beginning has already been made on the quetion of 'sportsmanship'. Does it provide usefyl guidance or is it overly subjective?

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Hi dawg, i agree that any RRS will end up roughly defining the same thing. In fact in terms of respecting the history of the sport and 'not changing the game' removing the difficult bits wasn't attempted in any serious way. It was clear enough to me that what had been drafted already covered the scenarios in question. 18 the exception. That said there's no pretence that it is a final answer.

 

There seems to be a range of motivations at play hear. They can all be satisfied.

 

So in terms of discussing each rule and its purpose a beginning has already been made on the quetion of 'sportsmanship'. Does it provide usefyl guidance or is it overly subjective?

I have to say, first and foremost that getting clear what your rules rewrite project is trying to do is critically important. Is it:

  • to produce a set of rules which achieve the same effect as the WS RRS but use different words so as to avoid WS copyright restrictions; or
  • to produce suggested improvements to clarify and simplify the WS RRS, within the WS framework?

If it's Option 1, then I suggest that it's doomed to unmitigated failure. There's a fundamental principle in drafting and interpreting documents "Change your words and you change your meaning". I see no signs anywhere around Sailing Anarchy of the resources, the skills or the level of application that would be necessary to undertake what would be a massive project.

 

When you say that a beginning to discuss 'sportsmanship' has already been made I suppose you are referring to the several posts you, Earl, myself and a few others have made mentioning sportsmanship in this thread.

 

That falls far short of the sort of structured, in-depth discussion that would be required to specify whether or how best to address sportsmanship in a set of sailing rules.

 

I can only repeat my advice previously given.

 

I'd suggest the better approach would be to either work through the rules, or better still work through the situations shown on, say the Holt-Allen rules poster, or the Elvstrom diagram, and for each situation where a proponent was dissatisfied with the existing rules, identify:

  • what the supposed problem is;
  • whether the problem is caused by:
    • a concept or straightforward obligation in a rule; or
    • the concept is OK, but the words used are difficult to understand
  • a statement of what the obligations of boats should be, in as flowery, grammatical language as is necessary, not rules-speak (Drafting rules wordings comes later after you have clarified what it is you want to happen).

Desirably, if we were to do this on a SA forum, make each rule or each situation a separate thread where it could be thrashed out.

 

Once we've established what new rules should do, then we could look at structures and strategies for writing the rules, then finally go to a drafting stage.

 

 

@earl: It's not as if the history of yacht racing is exactly abundant with sportsmanship. It's such a loaded phrase in any case. In some cultures "sportsmanship" means competing with out breaking the rules, and if you can find an ingenious interpretation then good for you. In other cultures it means "with out unduly upsetting anybody by being rude or doing something they hadn't thought of first or with out asking permission"

 

Just for openers, your second proposition is not about any modern serious competition notion of sportsmanship: it's about manners, rudeness or 'gentlemanlike' conduct. It has no effect on the fairness of the competion.

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What was 1?

 

Half a dozen on here have been chewing over the rules for the best part of a decade. The current wording of mark-room, which was a reduction of Q&A answers, first appeared here.

 

If we take the approach you suggest we might jump straight to the rules in the 80s?

 

If not i suggest we start with a discussion on the fundamental purpose of the rules.

 

I tend to agree in terms of modern sportsmanship. There is sn issue of aggression to consider though?

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What was 1?

My apologies should have just been two points

  • to produce a set of rules which achieve the same effect as the WS RRS but use different words so as to avoid WS copyright restrictions; or
  • to produce suggested improvements to clarify and simplify the WS RRS, within the WS framework?

If we take the approach you suggest we might jump straight to the rules in the 80s?

I think it would be crazy to discard the massive plain languaging done in the 1995 rewrite. Also bear in mind that, by now people are familiar with the structure and numbering.

 

If people want to wind back the 'risk allocation' then discuss that in terms of concepts and obligations, and propose whatever conceptual changes they want, or specify whatever new end-state they advocate.

 

If you structure the future discussion around the rules, the purpose of doing so, initially, is to provide a framework of scenarios in which to discuss how the rules should work, not to critique the wording of the existing rules.

 

If not i suggest we start with a discussion on the fundamental purpose of the rules.

I've stated some propositions in various posts

 

The RRS are written to facilitate close competition between small manoeuverable sailboats with skilled crews. Contact between boats is forbidden but the rules are not designed for the avoidance of collisions.

 

But I do have a suspicion that the rules never were, and are not now designed to facilitate rules-chess duelling: The rules are designed to allow boats to race closely, competitively and fairly against one another, manoeuvering at close quarters, rewarding excellent boat handling and judgement. The potential for rules-tactics is a by-product, not a desired end-product. Even in Match Racing, coaches say "you need to win the race, not win the protest".

 

The rules facilitate intense competition between boats costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I tend to agree in terms of modern sportsmanship. There is sn issue of aggression to consider though?

Sailing is a serious competitive sport. Competitors are expected to show aggression against other competitors. For a more extensive discussion of this see http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=9463&KW=psychological+dominance&PID=1322743&title=rule-69-what-are-the-limits-intimidation#1322743

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Some of that sounds like a recipe for sailing in a fleet of 1.

 

"Sailing is a serious competitive sport"

 

Not sure I agree, and to be honest it strikes me as the kind of corrosive influence that has crept in with on over influence Olympic sailing on the sport. For a significant number of recreational sailors the motivation may be something more like (in order):

  1. To gaining a shared experience both with your own crew and that of the other competitors.
  2. To complete a defined objective (sailing the course) as an exercise in being afloat under sail.
  3. To measure your own performance against that of the other boats
  4. And only then to form a ranking and receive pleasure from your position with in that

 

Only 3 and 4 are sport, and only 4 is competitive. 4 is only a motivation for a minority.

 

So that said the rule have a wider purpose and that's to create an environment in which people can do all of that and will come back to do it again. In terms of 4 there is the old Elvstrom saying that you don't win if your fellow competitors acknowledge that you beet them. So there is a requirement that the rules should define something that the majority will agree was a fair measure of performance.

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Well, I definitely am an outsider in all this. Not only am I limited to radio sailing, but my focus is on making the rules intelligible to beginners. This is important at the present time because the advent of the RG65 class and the availability of a kit boat that can be had for under $200 radio and all, assembled in 4-8 hours and which is reliable and sails like a witch has flooded our class with beginners. There are now 500 registered skippers in the class and easily that many or more on the fringes looking in, and no end in sight.

 

As one of the directors of the RG65 Class Owners Association I would very much like to see a decent percentage of the beginners transition into long-term participants in the sport. Handing a beginner a copy of the RRS and saying "here, read this" doesn't do it. The various tutorials don't do it either, because they assume "inside out" control and use diagrams based on an aerial view point which nobody ever sees.

 

So my interest in simplified rules is not because I think they have a hope in hell of appearing, but in trying to reverse-engineer principles out the current "lego block" structure where a foul/no foul decision is based on a bit of this rule, a bit of that rule, a couple of definitions and maybe a case or two. The principles, should I ever discover any, would be used as the basis for an "elevator speech" description, an introductory "how to sail without getting embarrassed by protests," and a set of exercises in which a beginner and an instructor can work through situations in a way that teaches the beginner what various important concepts (port tack, starboard tack, overlap, entering the zone, etc.) look like on the water when viewed from pond side. The current structure of the RRS frustrates those endeavors at almost every turn owing to how the combinatorics of the lego blocks explodes when you try to explain the right and wrong of a particular maneuver. Radio sailing introduces additional complications because of the possible limitations of sight lines and the unlikelihood that there will be a third-party witness -- because you learn pretty quickly not to take your eyes off your boat.

 

I think it is hard for the rules experts, who have grown up with the rules, internalized all the lego blocks, and are adept at putting them together to make a case, to visualize what the RRS looks like to a beginner. So when one brings up an issue you get a lot of "not a problem" or "they're very clear" and so forth. So that's where I was coming from, and now I have to go because the hiatus in long-term project I've been on is about to end, demanding my full attention and then some :-)

 

Cheers,

Earl

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Well, I definitely am an outsider in all this. Not only am I limited to radio sailing, but my focus is on making the rules intelligible to beginners. This is important at the present time because the advent of the RG65 class and the availability of a kit boat that can be had for under $200 radio and all, assembled in 4-8 hours and which is reliable and sails like a witch has flooded our class with beginners. There are now 500 registered skippers in the class and easily that many or more on the fringes looking in, and no end in sight.

 

As one of the directors of the RG65 Class Owners Association I would very much like to see a decent percentage of the beginners transition into long-term participants in the sport. Handing a beginner a copy of the RRS and saying "here, read this" doesn't do it. The various tutorials don't do it either, because they assume "inside out" control and use diagrams based on an aerial view point which nobody ever sees.

 

So my interest in simplified rules is not because I think they have a hope in hell of appearing, but in trying to reverse-engineer principles out the current "lego block" structure where a foul/no foul decision is based on a bit of this rule, a bit of that rule, a couple of definitions and maybe a case or two. The principles, should I ever discover any, would be used as the basis for an "elevator speech" description, an introductory "how to sail without getting embarrassed by protests," and a set of exercises in which a beginner and an instructor can work through situations in a way that teaches the beginner what various important concepts (port tack, starboard tack, overlap, entering the zone, etc.) look like on the water when viewed from pond side. The current structure of the RRS frustrates those endeavors at almost every turn owing to how the combinatorics of the lego blocks explodes when you try to explain the right and wrong of a particular maneuver. Radio sailing introduces additional complications because of the possible limitations of sight lines and the unlikelihood that there will be a third-party witness -- because you learn pretty quickly not to take your eyes off your boat.

 

I think it is hard for the rules experts, who have grown up with the rules, internalized all the lego blocks, and are adept at putting them together to make a case, to visualize what the RRS looks like to a beginner. So when one brings up an issue you get a lot of "not a problem" or "they're very clear" and so forth. So that's where I was coming from, and now I have to go because the hiatus in long-term project I've been on is about to end, demanding my full attention and then some :-)

We had a very long discussion about simplified racing rules in a Y&Y forum here

 

There was more or less a consensus that the existing RRS were suitable for 'serious' racing but that it was possible to develop a simplified subset of those rules that would be consistent with the 'full-strength' rules, but allow beginners to get around the race course without getting into trouble. Beginners having mastered the limited subset, could then progress at their own pace to using the rules more aggressively, as they mastered more complex and interactive scenarios.

 

Numerous approaches and rules aids were discussed, without arriving at a perfected final product.

 

As indicated in previous posts, there are some characteristics of Radio Boats, like the relative unliklihood of damage in some hull to hull contacts that seem to be a bit outside the fundamental paradigms of the RRS. Maybe the Radio Sailing classes should take a more radical approach to the RRS, like the Windsurfers and Kiteboarders have done and not try too hard to just mimic in miniature the full size RRS.

 

It also seems to me that given lags and imprecisions in radio control, when you are relying on 'room' and 'seamanlike' you may be in need of some quite different concepts to those intuitively applied by full-size sailors (rather analogous to to the physical difference in steering characteristics of a big cruising boat with hydraulic steering , to say a TP52 with a tiller).

 

Maybe there is room for very radical rules sets, that look nothing like the existing fleet racing rules. I've been particularly impressed by the Snowboarding events, which race a fixed small number of competitors on a more or less slalom course, on a knock-out, quarter, semi, and finals basis. Note that racing on a fixed slalom course is an excellent way of developing boat handling skills for beginners, at a somewhat lower level than say TR/MR.

 

The 'inside out' model that you refer to, that is, full size racing rules commentaries and interpretations relying on points of view aboard one boat or other, while in Radio Sailing, each 'skipper' is remote from the boats, looking at a low oblique angle towards the boats may be a significant difference from a learning and applying the rules standpoint, but it probably doesn't need to affect the rules themselves. Umpires also view boats from outside the boats themselves, although 90% of umpiring is about umpire boat positioning, which is not an option for Radio Sailors within a fixed shore area beside their pond.

 

In terms of difficulties for beginners in converting visualisation of plan-view diagrams into how they will look on the water-side, I commend PEd's suggestion for videos, and also point out that Boat Scenario has the capacity to rotate a plan view diagram into an oblique view: this may be helpful.

 

As the RRS stand, I would deprecate any attempt to distill 'Principles' from them, but if you reduce the degrees of freedom (for example compare a 100m running race where all competitors are required to remain in their lanes, and race in a straight line, and longer distances where competitors can cross lanes after a certain point), you might more easily get to some 'psuedo-principles' applicable in that more limited situation. Otherwise you might just stick to the structure of:

  • Right of Way rules, (Section A)
  • General Limitations on right of way rules (Section B)
  • Special Limitations at marks and obstructions (Section C) and
  • Unusual exceptional cases (Section D).

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Some of that sounds like a recipe for sailing in a fleet of 1.

 

"Sailing is a serious competitive sport"

 

Not sure I agree, and to be honest it strikes me as the kind of corrosive influence that has crept in with on over influence Olympic sailing on the sport. For a significant number of recreational sailors the motivation may be something more like (in order):

  1. To gaining a shared experience both with your own crew and that of the other competitors.
  2. To complete a defined objective (sailing the course) as an exercise in being afloat under sail.
  3. To measure your own performance against that of the other boats
  4. And only then to form a ranking and receive pleasure from your position with in that

 

Only 3 and 4 are sport, and only 4 is competitive. 4 is only a motivation for a minority.

 

So that said the rule have a wider purpose and that's to create an environment in which people can do all of that and will come back to do it again. In terms of 4 there is the old Elvstrom saying that you don't win if your fellow competitors acknowledge that you beet them. So there is a requirement that the rules should define something that the majority will agree was a fair measure of performance.

 

I disagree with your disagreement. I think Sailboat racing is and can be both competitive and aggressive outside of the Olympic environment. But as with anything there are various levels that people want and are comfortable competing at. I admit, I'm an aggressive sailor. But I don't use the rules as a weapon against fellow competitors and have done my turns when I fucked it up or cut it too close. But, I do like close competitive racing. Pushing the envelope is fun.

 

A few observations in no particular order......

 

  1. I think one of the failings of the current RRS is not so much in wording or concepts or anything, but that IMHO they seem far more suited to dinghies and smaller maneuverable boats that are the norm in Olympic style competitions. I think they are certainly workable for bigger, slower, less maneuverable boats - but they become harder to conceptualize and implement as the craft get more into the realm of a cruising boat trying to be a racer on a Wednesday night as opposed to a pure bred racing boat. Same for the crews as well...... as the level of competence goes up on the crew - the more they will benefit from the rules against a non-hyper competitive beer can crew out enjoying a nice day on the water.
  2. As mixed fleets become more the norm as fleets are shrinking around the country and around the world - the disparity between types of boats and proficiency of crew ending up on the same race course and in the same class becomes more and more common. And therefore more rules conflicts will come into play as the naturally aggressive sailors who are proficient and competent end up in situations with less aggressive sailors who may "know" the rules but who are more interested in a nice day and may not be attune to what's happening immediately around them at all times.
  3. I think one of the hardest issues to deal with are boats competing against each other but which have completely different sailing characteristics. Imagine a J70 type of sport boat competing against a 30+ foot heavy cruiser. A good driver and crew on the sport boat could frack with the cruiser guys all during the start and all around the race course just due to the difference in maneuverability. But beyond that, what is room for one boat to keep clear is not room for the other. And both drivers may not be aware of what the other is and is not capable of doing is also a big issue with a lot if protests. Expecting the J70 driver to intuitively know what the big cruiser guy can and cannot do on the start line wrt to "keeping clear" is a big ask. And vice versa.
  4. I agree with Brass that there may be some utility in having a set of rules for the serious racers and another set of "simplified" rules for the less serious beginners or those who simply don't want to get into situations where boats are that close together. I don't know how you do it, but I think the current RRS is a big turn off for the weekend warrior who is content to just get around there race course with a beer in his/her hand enjoying the day. the biggest issue I see with that "tiered" approach is how you stop an asshole who knows the rules from taking advantage of people trying to be relaxed. There is always some ass out there trying to gain an angle, even in the cruising class type of racing.

Back to the aggressiveness thing. I think it is situational. At least it is for me..... Lets say in a OD fleet with various skill levels and performance levels - I find I tend to modulate my style based on who it is in the fleet I'm encountering. If it is one of the top guys who is on the podium every week - then I'm full throttle aggressive whatever it takes to win based on the tactical situation and within the rules of course. If for some reason I'm at a cross or fighting on the line for space with one of the midpack or back marker guys - I will ease off a bit and cut them some slack. I might duck them or just cross rather than face plant them. Or I might not shut them out at the boat, even though I could. The point being is to know your audience and try not to be a dick to the folks who are still learning and still figuring out some of the basics. But how you could capture that in a set of rules, I do not know.......

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Some of that sounds like a recipe for sailing in a fleet of 1.

 

"Sailing is a serious competitive sport"

 

Not sure I agree, and to be honest it strikes me as the kind of corrosive influence that has crept in with on over influence Olympic sailing on the sport. For a significant number of recreational sailors the motivation may be something more like (in order):

  1. To gaining a shared experience both with your own crew and that of the other competitors.
  2. To complete a defined objective (sailing the course) as an exercise in being afloat under sail.
  3. To measure your own performance against that of the other boats
  4. And only then to form a ranking and receive pleasure from your position with in that

 

Only 3 and 4 are sport, and only 4 is competitive. 4 is only a motivation for a minority.

 

So that said the rule have a wider purpose and that's to create an environment in which people can do all of that and will come back to do it again. In terms of 4 there is the old Elvstrom saying that you don't win if your fellow competitors acknowledge that you beet them. So there is a requirement that the rules should define something that the majority will agree was a fair measure of performance.

 

Wow! Just Wow!

 

So you want to devise a set of rules for sailboat racing that will not be serious and will not be competitive.

 

Once upon a time, 70 to 100 years agoi Yacht Clubs practiced all sorts of nautical manoeuvres that were'nt racing: squadron manoeuvres in company, on command of a flag officer and all that sort of stuff.

 

Service in two world wars pretty much put an end to the taste of sailors for that sort of wannabe Navy activity (along with the gold braid and peaked caps).

 

Some clubs still manage to conduct cruise in company and other similar activities.

 

My first reaction, in true SA fashion was to suggest that you should study the rules of Korf Ball and Tiddlywinks as potential models.

 

But having thought about it a little I now make the same suggestion in all seriousness.

 

If you want to set up a structure for racing that isn't serious, good luck to you, but:

  1. I doubt that people who will pay a million dollars for a boat designed for racing (like a TP52) will be all that interested in non-serious non-competitive racing;
  2. I think that the emergence of separate sets of 'pro' and 'amateur' rules would be a very bad idea;and
  3. it is an even more massive undertaking than rewriting the existing RRS to avoid copyright while achieving the same result. It would need very careful research and consideration to specify the degree of competitiveness sought and then to operationalise that through rules concepts and texts. You will need all the help and outside resources you can get.

IMHO, the RRS play little or no part in the types or styles of racing that Clubs and other organising authorities provide to competitors: it's not the RRS that say you have to race numerous dizzying laps windward to leeward on 3/4 mile legs. And sure this is influenced by some misguided agenda to make sailboat racing more 'accessible' to the media and as a spectator sport, which is a link to the Olympics, but there is nothing forcing club sailing committees to set up Saturday afternoon club racing with no TV cameras within a million miles to look like the Olympics, even if none but a few loud mouthed among their members want to do that.

 

Again, IMHO, there is ample scope for competitors to decide and enact how competitive they want their game to be, within the RRS. If your fleet wants to give boats a pass on a near enough is good enough basis, the discretionary nature of the protest rules allow just that, and if you want to use a bit of social influence to encourage an 'excessively competitive' competor from pushing it too hard, there's nothing, within reason

 

BTW, can you provide a credible citation for the 'Elvstrom saying' you refer to?

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I agree with Brass that there may be some utility in having a set of rules for the serious racers and another set of "simplified" rules for the less serious beginners or those who simply don't want to get into situations where boats are that close together. I don't know how you do it, but I think the current RRS is a big turn off for the weekend warrior who is content to just get around there race course with a beer in his/her hand enjoying the day. the biggest issue I see with that "tiered" approach is how you stop an asshole who knows the rules from taking advantage of people trying to be relaxed. There is always some ass out there trying to gain an angle, even in the cruising class type of racing.

I fear that you have missed my drift.

 

I strongly disagree with the notion of special 'beginners rules' like the WS Introductory Rules, which rely in different concepts and definitions, and require a dedicated race course separate from courses used by boats racing under the full RRS.

 

I favour the development of a simplified subset of the RRS that is easily remembered and understood by beginners, but is absolutely consistent with the existing RRS, and will enable beginners to participate in races with experienced sailors without breaking the rules.

 

For example the simplified version of rule 18 might be 'always give an inside boat mark-room'.

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Some of that sounds like a recipe for sailing in a fleet of 1.

 

"Sailing is a serious competitive sport"

 

Not sure I agree, and to be honest it strikes me as the kind of corrosive influence that has crept in with on over influence Olympic sailing on the sport. For a significant number of recreational sailors the motivation may be something more like (in order):

  1. To gaining a shared experience both with your own crew and that of the other competitors.
  2. To complete a defined objective (sailing the course) as an exercise in being afloat under sail.
  3. To measure your own performance against that of the other boats
  4. And only then to form a ranking and receive pleasure from your position with in that

 

Only 3 and 4 are sport, and only 4 is competitive. 4 is only a motivation for a minority.

 

Right on. How else do you explain that people voluntarily "compete" in non-handicapped events?

 

So that said the rule have a wider purpose and that's to create an environment in which people can do all of that and will come back to do it again. In terms of 4 there is the old Elvstrom saying that you don't win if [unless?] your fellow competitors acknowledge that you beat them. So there is a requirement that the rules should define something that the majority will agree was a fair measure of performance.

 

Wow! Just Wow!

 

So you want to devise a set of rules for sailboat racing that will not be serious and will not be competitive.

 

Once upon a time, 70 to 100 years agoi Yacht Clubs practiced all sorts of nautical manoeuvres that were'nt racing: squadron manoeuvres in company, on command of a flag officer and all that sort of stuff.

 

I don't see any of those things as attractive, and don't know anyone who does. But I see a number of local events that are popular and fulfill the objective cited by @rgeek. I mean, who wouldn't want to sail in an event where once a year the leeward mark is replaced by a float handing out free beer?

 

But having thought about it a little I now make the same suggestion in all seriousness.

 

If you want to set up a structure for racing that isn't serious, good luck to you, but:

  1. I doubt that people who will pay a million dollars for a boat designed for racing (like a TP52) will be all that interested in non-serious non-competitive racing;
  2. I think that the emergence of separate sets of 'pro' and 'amateur' rules would be a very bad idea;and
  3. it is an even more massive undertaking than rewriting the existing RRS to avoid copyright while achieving the same result. It would need very careful research and consideration to specify the degree of competitiveness sought and then to operationalise that through rules concepts and texts. You will need all the help and outside resources you can get.

(1) - you would be surprised. Yes, nobody maintains such a boat for the sole purpose of campaigning it in an event like that, but, guess what, even the big boys come out and play; we tend to see the biggest boat around here once a year.

(2) - there are already special rules for events like this, usually based on the Colregs and an admonition to avoid damage at all cost. Funny thing is, the further away you get from mid-pack in each start, the higher the percentage of boats that race under the RRS at other time, and that that affects the way they actually play the game.

(3) - part of the motivation is a serious desire to grow participation in sailing. Locally, the event that is the most widely known (even among non-sailors) and therefore has won the battle for mind-share, is open-to-all, non-handicap and optimized to meet @rgreeks list of priorities.

 

 

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I agree with Brass that there may be some utility in having a set of rules for the serious racers and another set of "simplified" rules for the less serious beginners or those who simply don't want to get into situations where boats are that close together. I don't know how you do it, but I think the current RRS is a big turn off for the weekend warrior who is content to just get around there race course with a beer in his/her hand enjoying the day. the biggest issue I see with that "tiered" approach is how you stop an asshole who knows the rules from taking advantage of people trying to be relaxed. There is always some ass out there trying to gain an angle, even in the cruising class type of racing.

I fear that you have missed my drift.

 

I strongly disagree with the notion of special 'beginners rules' like the WS Introductory Rules, which rely in different concepts and definitions, and require a dedicated race course separate from courses used by boats racing under the full RRS.

 

I favour the development of a simplified subset of the RRS that is easily remembered and understood by beginners, but is absolutely consistent with the existing RRS, and will enable beginners to participate in races with experienced sailors without breaking the rules.

 

For example the simplified version of rule 18 might be 'always give an inside boat mark-room'.

 

 

That's one of the weaknesses of ad-hoc rules: they tend to not bother with defining mark-room or any prescriptions dealing with marks.

 

But for events like that, inevitably there's a change in the "game", because, as @rgeek outlined, the priorities are different from the start compared to standard "competitive" racing.

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I agree with Brass that there may be some utility in having a set of rules for the serious racers and another set of "simplified" rules for the less serious beginners or those who simply don't want to get into situations where boats are that close together. I don't know how you do it, but I think the current RRS is a big turn off for the weekend warrior who is content to just get around there race course with a beer in his/her hand enjoying the day. the biggest issue I see with that "tiered" approach is how you stop an asshole who knows the rules from taking advantage of people trying to be relaxed. There is always some ass out there trying to gain an angle, even in the cruising class type of racing.

I fear that you have missed my drift.

 

I strongly disagree with the notion of special 'beginners rules' like the WS Introductory Rules, which rely in different concepts and definitions, and require a dedicated race course separate from courses used by boats racing under the full RRS.

 

I favour the development of a simplified subset of the RRS that is easily remembered and understood by beginners, but is absolutely consistent with the existing RRS, and will enable beginners to participate in races with experienced sailors without breaking the rules.

 

For example the simplified version of rule 18 might be 'always give an inside boat mark-room'.

 

 

Fair enough.

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I favour the development of a simplified subset of the RRS that is easily remembered and understood by beginners, but is absolutely consistent with the existing RRS, and will enable beginners to participate in races with experienced sailors without breaking the rules.

 

For example the simplified version of rule 18 might be 'always give an inside boat mark-room'.

But that is not absolutely consistent with full RRS and that is the fallacy of the simplification project. Almost invariably, if you change or remove wording, you change the game in certain situations.

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I favour the development of a simplified subset of the RRS that is easily remembered and understood by beginners, but is absolutely consistent with the existing RRS, and will enable beginners to participate in races with experienced sailors without breaking the rules.

 

For example the simplified version of rule 18 might be 'always give an inside boat mark-room'.

But that is not absolutely consistent with full RRS and that is the fallacy of the simplification project. Almost invariably, if you change or remove wording, you change the game in certain situations.

 

I'm not saying that particular proposal is foolproof, but please give an example of where a boat that obeys that rule would break a 'full strength' RRS and be penalised.

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I favour the development of a simplified subset of the RRS that is easily remembered and understood by beginners, but is absolutely consistent with the existing RRS, and will enable beginners to participate in races with experienced sailors without breaking the rules.

 

For example the simplified version of rule 18 might be 'always give an inside boat mark-room'.

But that is not absolutely consistent with full RRS and that is the fallacy of the simplification project. Almost invariably, if you change or remove wording, you change the game in certain situations.

I'm not saying that particular proposal is foolproof, but please give an example of where a boat that obeys that rule would break a 'full strength' RRS and be penalised.
A boat on the port tack LL tacks inside a starboard boat right before the mark. They are now the inside boat. Do they get mark room in all cases?

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I favour the development of a simplified subset of the RRS that is easily remembered and understood by beginners, but is absolutely consistent with the existing RRS, and will enable beginners to participate in races with experienced sailors without breaking the rules.

 

For example the simplified version of rule 18 might be 'always give an inside boat mark-room'.

But that is not absolutely consistent with full RRS and that is the fallacy of the simplification project. Almost invariably, if you change or remove wording, you change the game in certain situations.

I'm not saying that particular proposal is foolproof, but please give an example of where a boat that obeys that rule would break a 'full strength' RRS and be penalised.

A boat on the port tack LL tacks inside a starboard boat right before the mark. They are now the inside boat. Do they get mark room?

 

Does the outside (S) boat gives the inside boat (P) mark room does she break a rule?

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The thing about the rules is that they haven't been written to be deliberately obtuse, but they have evolved to reflect the realities of boats racing, as can be seen from Mark Rushall's chapter on the history of the rules: http://www.rushall.net/images/stories/pdf/the_racing_rules_of_sailing.pdf

 

In order to simplify the rules, you could simplify racing somehow, but I'm not sure what can be done there. You could revert to having boats starting on moorings, but I'm not sure how much of a benefit that would be and it takes away a significant skill. And there would be a question of costs. But coming up with a different way of arranging courses other than using anchored marks would be difficult.

 

And frankly, if kids can learn the rules, how hard really is it for adults?, It's relatively easy to distill out a few maxims for beginners, which I'm far more in favour of than a simpler set of rules i.e. - don't barge in at the start, tack onto the starboard windward mark layline more than 3bl from the mark. Etc. Keeps people out of trouble until they can learn nuances.

 

Speaking of learning, John Doerr has a good "Green/red/yellow" traffic light system for teaching kids. He gets them walking around the floor of a training room "being" boats, and learning situations. So you set up a wind direction, and have a "boat" on starboard. As RoW, he holds up a green flag. A boat on port holds up a red flag, as give way. 16 also applies to starboard, so she holds up a yellow flag to indicate that he's constrained by that. One person can supervise a complete class and easily see who's right and who's wrong.

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I favour the development of a simplified subset of the RRS that is easily remembered and understood by beginners, but is absolutely consistent with the existing RRS, and will enable beginners to participate in races with experienced sailors without breaking the rules.

 

For example the simplified version of rule 18 might be 'always give an inside boat mark-room'.

But that is not absolutely consistent with full RRS and that is the fallacy of the simplification project. Almost invariably, if you change or remove wording, you change the game in certain situations.

I'm not saying that particular proposal is foolproof, but please give an example of where a boat that obeys that rule would break a 'full strength' RRS and be penalised.
A boat on the port tack LL tacks inside a starboard boat right before the mark. They are now the inside boat. Do they get mark room?

Does the outside (S) boat gives the inside boat (P) mark room does she break a rule?

??? Was there supposed to be an "if" in there? I don't understand the question.

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I favour the development of a simplified subset of the RRS that is easily remembered and understood by beginners, but is absolutely consistent with the existing RRS, and will enable beginners to participate in races with experienced sailors without breaking the rules.

 

For example the simplified version of rule 18 might be 'always give an inside boat mark-room'.

But that is not absolutely consistent with full RRS and that is the fallacy of the simplification project. Almost invariably, if you change or remove wording, you change the game in certain situations.

 

I'm not saying that particular proposal is foolproof, but please give an example of where a boat that obeys that rule would break a 'full strength' RRS and be penalised.

 

 

I can't think of one. However a beginner who thinks being inside boat means that they don't have a obligation to round the mark "promptly in a seamanlike way" could be in for a rude awakening and to that extent your simplification is misleading. In a somewhat different context to "beginner racing", there was a near-collision at speed in a leeward mark rounding in ACWS Portsmouth and many keystokes were expended discussing the limitations of "mark room", illustrating how it isn't always a simple question.

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I'm not saying that particular proposal is foolproof, but please give an example of where a boat that obeys that rule would break a 'full strength' RRS and be penalised.
A boat on the port tack LL tacks inside a starboard boat right before the mark. They are now the inside boat. Do they get mark room?

Does the outside (S) boat gives the inside boat (P) mark room does she break a rule?

??? Was there supposed to be an "if" in there? I don't understand the question.

 

 

Nevermind, I misunderstood. No - S wouldn't break a rule if they gave inside (P) room. But would they break a rule if they didn't? According to R18, it depends.

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I was thinking that for real beginners I'd suggest

Port/Starboard

Windward/Leeeward

Wait until the crush at the start has gone. Starting last on port tack going behind everyone's sterns isn't a bad option

Don't be on the inside coming into marks, and don't come into marks on port tack if avoidable

Let anyone who is on the inside in, and go a bit further, don't shave marks really close

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I was thinking that for real beginners I'd suggest

Port/Starboard

Windward/Leeeward

Wait until the crush at the start has gone. Starting last on port tack going behind everyone's sterns isn't a bad option

Don't be on the inside coming into marks, and don't come into marks on port tack if avoidable

Let anyone who is on the inside in, and go a bit further, don't shave marks really close

 

Add clear ahead/astern - don't ram people up the chuff.

Don't hit people.

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