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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

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Ballard Sailor

Rules Question - OCS

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Ok, so, O.C.S.  On Course Side or Over early as we all seem to call it.  By definition it is basically any portion of the boat or crew on course side of the starting line when the starting gun goes off.

My question: at what point can a boat be on course side?  Must it be in the minute before a start, in that last instance, or within the 5 minute preparatory?  I can't seem to find an answer to this anywhere online.  If you go through the starting line, are early, is there a period of time that is too early to be considered OCS and rather will be scored a DNS?

It seems a silly question until you know that a race I will be doing has a sailing instruction stating that over early boats need not come back as they will have X amount of time added to their finish.  So by definition, how early can a boat start and still be considered OCS and not DNS?

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Seriously?  

Thats cheating in my book.  Yes, we've all thought of it.  Like we've all thought about robbing a bank.

Technically.... You are racing from your preparatory signal.  So cross the line one moment after that flag goes up and keep going.  

Best of luck.

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A boat must be on the pre-start side of the line at the start only.  Before the start, unless the sailing instructions say so, a boat can be on the course side of the line.  This is a great tactic when the line is very biased to do a dip start.

As for how early a boat can be in front of the start line and be considered OCS.  The answer is when it is obvious the boat does not intend to start correctly, then it is either DNS or deliberately breaking a rule to get an advantage and RRS 2 comes into play.

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As longue as 'I', 'X', or black flagge do notte replaice 'P' flagge in starteng sequense, theire our no restrictiones.  If you our on the proppere side of liine when starteng gun goese off youre goode.                 

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40 minutes ago, Ballard Sailor said:

It seems a silly question until you know that a race I will be doing has a sailing instruction stating that over early boats need not come back as they will have X amount of time added to their finish.  So by definition, how early can a boat start and still be considered OCS and not DNS?


This SI is nonsense. (please post exact wording to verify)

 

The definition of start requires that a boat is on the pre start side of the line at some point after the starting signal and before starting.

Quote

A boat starts when, having been entirely on the pre-start side of the starting line at or after her starting signal, and having complied with rule 30.1 if it applies, any part of her hull, crew or equipment crosses the starting line in the direction of the first mark.

if the SI modifies this definition there are some serious issues. and no good answers.

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It's a fun, low key island race.  Don't take the instruction too seriously.  Just looking for a definition of when a boat can be scored as OCS rather than DNS

Sounds like if a boat crosses the start line between the prep (4 minute) and the start they are considered to be OCS, correct?

FYI - I'm not saying I'm going to do this, I wanted to get a definition before I mentioned the discrepancy to the race chair - which I just did.

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1 minute ago, Ballard Sailor said:

Sounds like if a boat crosses the start line between the prep (4 minute) and the start they are considered to be OCS, correct?

No, thast incorrectte.

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11 minutes ago, Ballard Sailor said:

It's a fun, low key island race.  Don't take the instruction too seriously.  Just looking for a definition of when a boat can be scored as OCS rather than DNS

Sounds like if a boat crosses the start line between the prep (4 minute) and the start they are considered to be OCS, correct?

FYI - I'm not saying I'm going to do this, I wanted to get a definition before I mentioned the discrepancy to the race chair - which I just did.

No, it hasn't started.

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12 minutes ago, Ballard Sailor said:

It's a fun, low key island race.  Don't take the instruction too seriously.  Just looking for a definition of when a boat can be scored as OCS rather than DNS

Sounds like if a boat crosses the start line between the prep (4 minute) and the start they are considered to be OCS, correct?

FYI - I'm not saying I'm going to do this, I wanted to get a definition before I mentioned the discrepancy to the race chair - which I just did.

The problem is that if you are scored OCS you never started, therefore you cannot sail the course and cannot finish.

If you were not on the right side of the line sometime after the start signal you cannot sail the course. If they messed with this, then in principle you can go out and sail the course right now, and then once they set up the finish line cross it. they have to finish you, if you cross just after the start signal they have to award that as your finish. If they mess with this definition there is no 'automatic' definition to say when the earliest you can start is. very possible answer is WRONG

You ARE OCS any time you are on the course side of the start line, you are scored OCS if you are on the course side at the start gun and never come back to start.

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To the OP, you should also be familiar with Z, Black, and U flags.  In essence, they each restrict a boat from being OCS within one minute of the start with varying penalties.

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I sail a race that has a similar rule.  A boat that crosses the line up to 1 minute early will have 2 minutes added to their finish time.  There is a very good reason for that rule in this particular race as some of the boats are not very maneuverable.  Some boats take the penalty, which would be 1 minute if you time it just right, just to avoid the congestion at the start.  If the SI don't specify the equivalent of the 1 minute window, it should be corrected.

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Coastal Classic in NZ adds a 20% time penalty for boats that start early, not sure if returning behind the line is an option

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2 hours ago, Snaggletooth said:

As longue as 'I', 'X', or black flagge do notte replaice 'P' flagge in starteng sequense, theire our no restrictiones.  If you our on the proppere side of liine when starteng gun goese off youre goode.                 

Well

Oil

Beef

Hooked.

 

I understood Snagglese...

Ain't liquor GREAT?

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This is how it was handled at Hammo this year;

SI's

Quote

 

13 - Recalls

13.4

A yacht retuning to start after being signalled as OCS may, at the discretion of the race committee be given an elapsed time penalty of 5 minutes or greater in lieu of returning to start correctly. If applied, this will be communicated by VHF or on the water by an RC vessel. This alters RRS 28.1

 

Same, same, but different. My interpretation is that the yacht must be returning to the start. This allows RC to keep start area clear. Note: the start area is in a restricted channel. Also have landing aircraft to contend with. 

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17 hours ago, Ballard Sailor said:

It's a fun, low key island race.  Don't take the instruction too seriously.  Just looking for a definition of when a boat can be scored as OCS rather than DNS

Sounds like if a boat crosses the start line between the prep (4 minute) and the start they are considered to be OCS, correct?

FYI - I'm not saying I'm going to do this, I wanted to get a definition before I mentioned the discrepancy to the race chair - which I just did.

Incorrect. At the starting gun or some point afterward the entire boat and crew must be behind the starting line. When it crosses the starting line, they have started. Position of the boat prior to the starting gun doesn't matter, unless addressed in SI's or by I or X flags. 

It sounds like your sailing instructions are just prescribing an alternative time penalty to OCS boats than returning to start properly. There are valid reasons to do this (like not interfering with subsequent class starts), but you can't game it to your advantage, nor should you. 

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On 9/23/2017 at 9:14 AM, Ballard Sailor said:

Ok, so, O.C.S.  On Course Side or Over early as we all seem to call it.  By definition it is basically any portion of the boat or crew on course side of the starting line when the starting gun goes off.... and does not return to the pre-start side of the starting line and then cross the starting line after the starting signal

My question: at what point can a boat be on course side?  Must it be in the minute before a start, in that last instance, or within the 5 minute preparatory?  I can't seem to find an answer to this anywhere online.

No, there is no limit in time before the starting signal as to when a boat may be on the course side to be scored OCS.

If you go through the starting line, are early, is there a period of time that is too early to be considered OCS and rather will be scored a DNS?

Nothing prescribed in the rules or in race management guidance.

As a matter of practicality, if a boat crosses the starting line before she is racing (before her preparatory signal), say she starts with a preceding division, or maybe just sails through the line before the starting signal and never comes back, the race committee might not count her as a starter.  The process usually used by race committees is to observe and list boats that cross the line during their starting sequence, observe boats returning and delete those that return correctly from the list, then score those left on the list as OCS.

A boat that comes to the starting area (and thus is not DNC), but is not around for her start, may be overlooked by the race committee.

It seems a silly question until you know that a race I will be doing has a sailing instruction stating that over early boats need not come back as they will have X amount of time added to their finish.  So by definition, how early can a boat start and still be considered OCS and not DNS?

Makes no difference:  OCS is just a special subcategory of DNS and is scored the same (in the standard scoring model:  rules A4.2 or A9).

 

On 9/23/2017 at 9:59 AM, Ballard Sailor said:

It's a fun, low key island race.  Don't take the instruction too seriously.  Just looking for a definition of when a boat can be scored as OCS rather than DNS

Sounds like if a boat crosses the start line between the prep (4 minute) and the start they are considered to be OCS, correct?

No, she could cross the starting line some time before her preparatory signal and still be OCS.

FYI - I'm not saying I'm going to do this, I wanted to get a definition before I mentioned the discrepancy to the race chair - which I just did.

 

On 9/23/2017 at 10:11 AM, JohnMB said:

The problem is that if you are scored OCS you never started,

Correct.

therefore you cannot sail the course

Correct

and cannot finish.

Incorrect:  any boat that complies with the definition of 'finish' has 'finished':  she might be scored, other than in her finishing place or time, for example, OCS, DNS, SCP etc, but she has still 'finished'.

You ARE OCS any time you are on the course side of the start line, you are scored OCS if you are on the course side at the start gun and never come back to start.

 

On 9/23/2017 at 9:54 AM, JohnMB said:

The definition of start requires that a boat is on the pre start side of the line at some point after the starting signal and before starting.

Quote

A boat starts when, having been entirely on the pre-start side of the starting line at or after her starting signal, and having complied with rule 30.1 if it applies, any part of her hull, crew or equipment crosses the starting line in the direction of the first mark.

if the SI modifies this definition there are some serious issues. and no good answers.

SI can't change a Definition (rule 86.1), so you can't make it so that a boat that is OCS is taken to have 'started'.

What you can do in SI is:

  1. Change rule 28.l so that it doesn't require a boat to start in order to sail the course:  may be you could say 'crosses the starting line not more than one minute before her starting signal'.  or
  2. change the score attributable to OCS, to maybe a time penalty:  if you do this you need to put something in to limit how early a boat can cross the starting line, maybe 'not more than 1 minute before her starting signal' or 'while racing (i.e. not more than four minutes before her starting signal), then make sure that the penalty is more than 1 minute or 4 minutes.

 

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You are correct, i did not mean finish

What I means was that if you have never started you cannot sail the course.

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Here's how SSS handles it in the Three Bridge Fiasco:

1. If any part of a boat's hull, crew or equipment crosses the starting line during the five-minute period before its assigned start time:
a. It will receive a 20-minute penalty without a hearing. This modifies RRS 63.1 and A5.
b. It need not return to start properly, but shall proceed to sail the course. This modifies RRS 28.1 and 29.1.
 
There are 300+ boats starting, going in either direction they choose, so we don't want people trying to correct an OCS. That's the only reason for the blanket 5-minute rule.

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This is how the Round the Island Race handles OCS. 

10.1.2 RRS Appendix A4.2 is changed in that a boat that remains OCS will be scored with a time penalty of 5% of the boat’s elapsed time rounded to the nearest second, unless the Race Committee decides that the boat has gained a significant advantage in the Race, in which case she will be scored as OCS. 

The phrase significant advantage leaves it to the discretion of the committee, and the penalty is low to try and get those who might not race often to not try to go back in the face of the next 100 boat start with 1000 boats waiting  

 

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