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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  

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This is a hypothetical situation, I had a conversation recently where one sailor was talking about Rule 17 and how the leeward boat determines its own proper course and how the windward boat must stay clear. That's pretty basic stuff, and on the water, the windward boat certainly must stay clear, even if she feels the leeward boat is wrong (thats what protests are for, rather than a collision). He was saying that if he was overtaking a boat to leeward he would start coming up and trying to force a foul, and that the rule book essentially will defer to his actions because the windward boat, in its protest, would have to demonstrate that the leeward boat was above its proper course, and that he, the skipper of the leeward boat, determines proper course. I think he's abusing the rights given to him by the rule book but maybe I'm wrong.

 

 My first question is, if the leeward boat is clearly trying to come up to force a foul, and the windward boat stays clear but feels that the leeward boat is sailing above a proper course (best  course sailed to the next mark/finish in the absence of other boats), how would windward prove that in the protest room? This is one design sailing so there are not differing angles under spinnaker for best VMG.

I've read all the ISAF cases and they all basically say that the leeward boat determines proper course and windward boats proper course is irrelevant. I understand that. But having a sailor in the local fleet who is intent on using the rulebook as a weapon (in fleet racing, mind you), makes me wary about the possibilities of protests with this particular person in the future. Any constructive thoughts/input would be appreciated.

My second scenario/question is as follows: Two One-Design keelboats with symmetrical spinnakers sailing downwind, same tack. Leeward begins to overlap windward, and her spinnaker collapses. Leeward luffs up to windward to refill spinnaker. Windward stays clear, protests on Rule 17. Leeward claims luffing to refill spinnaker was her proper course at the moment. It goes to the room, and leeward loses the protest. The committees reasoning was that in the absence of other boats on the course, leewards spinnaker would not have collapsed and she would have not had to luff to refill it. 

Agree or disagree with the protest committee? If disagree, why so?

 

Thanks!

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On the first scenario:

  • If leeward is trying to "force" you to break a rule, they're still initially required to give you room to keep clear (Rule 15). So as long as you come up with them you can't be forced into a foul.
  • Proper course is not the course they would sail in the absence of all other boats, but only in the absence of other boats subject to the rule using the term (in this case, windward in a rule 17 situation)
  • I can see a situation, even in one design, where one boat may legitimately feel that her proper course is higher than another boat's. Maybe based on trim, weight placement, etc. So I think generally in a rule 17 situation windward would need to provide fairly clear evidence that leeward was obviously well above proper course in order to win the "he-said, she-said" in the room.

If you have a competitor who habitually tries to use rule 17 as a weapon, I think you have two options:

1. Protest him every time you think he's sailing above proper course. Sometimes he'll win, sometimes he'll lose, but he'll have to go to the room every time.

2. Try inviting him to pass you to weather instead. Then you (as leeward) can take him up to head to wind if it pleases you.

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2 hours ago, Captain Jack Sparrow said:

My second scenario/question is as follows: Two One-Design keelboats with symmetrical spinnakers sailing downwind, same tack. Leeward begins to overlap windward, and her spinnaker collapses. Leeward luffs up to windward to refill spinnaker. Windward stays clear, protests on Rule 17. Leeward claims luffing to refill spinnaker was her proper course at the moment. It goes to the room, and leeward loses the protest. The committees reasoning was that in the absence of other boats on the course, leewards spinnaker would not have collapsed and she would have not had to luff to refill it. 

Agree or disagree with the protest committee? If disagree, why so?

Agree with the protest committee decision, if not exactly the reasoning you have described. It's not other boats in general, it's just the other boat referred to in the rule (Definitions:  Proper Course)

When L is blanketed by W and her spinnaker collapses, her fastest course will probably be to heat up and refill it, but this would never have happened in the absence of W (the other boat referred to in rule 17).

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2 hours ago, Captain Jack Sparrow said:

I've read all the ISAF cases and they all basically say that the leeward boat determines proper course and windward boats proper course is irrelevant. I understand that. But having a sailor in the local fleet who is intent on using the rulebook as a weapon (in fleet racing, mind you), makes me wary about the possibilities of protests with this particular person in the future. Any constructive thoughts/input would be appreciated.

What rule 17 says is that the rule is broken if L sails above her proper course, not that the rule is necessarily broken if W sails above her proper course.

No rule or case says that L's opinion is determinative  of what her proper course is.

In a protest hearing it's up to W to bring evidence what course L was sailing and to explain to the protest committee why that was not L's proper course.

It's then open to L to explain why the course she was sailing was her proper course.

Between one-design boats a starting point may be that they would both have the same proper course on the same leg, but L can readily bring arguments about different rig set-ups, crew weight, ability, observation of wind and tide, that explain why her proper course was different from W's.

See Case 134

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Your friend argues that,

Quote

....he, the skipper of the leeward boat, determines proper course... 

Well, not really.  The PC will listen to testimony from both sides, including witnesses, and determine for themselves what the leeward boat's proper course was at the time.    

To answer your first question, in the protest room I would ask the leeward boat why they came up when they established the overlap.  Assuming they lie (a breach of rule 2) and say something like "because the wind got light and I had to head up to maintain VMG" you might point out how convenient it happened right when the overlap started.  Obviously witnesses might help.  Hopefully the PC has some racing experience and can see through BS.

For the second question:  The leeward boat came up because their spin collapsed.  Why did the spin collapse?  Because of the windward boat.  So the leeward boat would not have sailed that higher course in the absence of the other boat.  I agree with the PC.

BTW, remember that proper course is defined only by  the other boats referred to in the rule using the term.  For example L & W are running down wind and L established an overlap to leeward and from astern of W.  Down the course are several boats coming up wind and L decides that he should head up to avoid a potential wind shadow from those boats.  This is ok, because it's L's proper course.  L would have headed up to avoid the wind shadow of the other boats even if W wasn't there.

 

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In scenario 2, L has to initially give W room to keep clear (rule 15), and may not sail above her proper course (rule 17) 

Should the wind lift, then the proper course might be either to head up for constant wind angle, or to gybe if sufficient lift while giving W room to keep clear (Rule 16) 

 

At what point, if at all,  is the choice to gybe a requisite proper course, such that W can protest if L delays gybing? 

application could be to ride a specific competitor (W )out to the side and force them to follow back, while allowing other boats to move ahead, to where the choice that allowed other boats to pass might be indication of non proper course, assuming the proper is to score the best you can?

 

 

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Different question: in mixed fleets where different boats may have very different VMG. Assume L is VMG reaching and W would like to sail deeper. 

What feasible argument can W make that L is above proper course, as long as there is some progress being made toward the mark? 

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1 minute ago, LionessRacing said:

Different question: in mixed fleets where different boats may have very different VMG. Assume L is VMG reaching and W would like to sail deeper. 

What feasible argument can W make that L is above proper course, as long as there is some progress being made toward the mark? 

 

About the only argument that W can make to demonstrate L was sailing above her proper course would be that L altered course upwind when it was tactically convenient for her, relative to W. Other arguments are all just pissing & moaning. L is allowed to determine her proper course by reason of a large number of factors and W's opinion on all of them except one ("did L do this for tactical advantage") are totally irrelevant.

I heard a protest years ago wherein a windward skipper said "I beat L all the time so I'm a better sailor and I told him his proper course was to head down." That was about all I needed to hear.

FB- Doug

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10 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

I heard a protest years ago wherein a windward skipper said "I beat L all the time so I'm a better sailor and I told him his proper course was to head down." That was about all I needed to hear.

But what was your decision? to agree with the logic, or to find the condescension unbelievable ? 

 

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9 minutes ago, LionessRacing said:

But what was your decision? to agree with the logic, or to find the condescension unbelievable ? 

 

The leeward skipper was on a steady course that intersected with W, he was slightly ahead and they both protested each other. IIRC we DSQ'd both because they collided and neither boat attempted to avoid the other.

FB- Doug

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1 minute ago, Steam Flyer said:

The leeward skipper was on a steady course that intersected with W, he was slightly ahead and they both protested each other. IIRC we DSQ'd both because they collided and neither boat attempted to avoid the other.

 

Seems harsh, if the L was ahead and to leeward, he would not have been required to alter course on the premise that W would do so, until it became obvious that W was was not. As W would have been able to simply head up a small amount to avoid collision, they were clearly able to do so, and L would have reasonably expected them to, up to the "oh Sh*t" moment. 

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53 minutes ago, LionessRacing said:

At what point, if at all,  is the choice to gybe a requisite proper course, such that W can protest if L delays gybing? 

Well, a 'choice' is not a 'course'.but I think I get your meaning.

There will come a point where the outside windward boat can present evidence and argument that L's proper course is on the other tack.

application could be to ride a specific competitor (W )out to the side and force them to follow back, while allowing other boats to move ahead, to where the choice that allowed other boats to pass might be indication of non proper course, assuming the proper is to score the best you can?

Your assumption is wrong.

Proper course is the course  a boat would sail to finish as soon as possible (Definitions:  Proper Course).  Sailing another boat, and yourself, down the fleet will not be your proper course.

 

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1 hour ago, LionessRacing said:

Different question: in mixed fleets where different boats may have very different VMG. Assume L is VMG reaching and W would like to sail deeper. 

What feasible argument can W make that L is above proper course, as long as there is some progress being made toward the mark? 

W can bring any evidence from anybody who can give evidence about any of the things listed in Case 134

Definitions, Proper Course
Rule 17, On the Same Tack; Proper Course
A boat’s proper course at any moment depends on the existing conditions. Some of those conditions are the wind strength and direction, the pattern of gusts and lulls in the wind, the waves, the current, and the physical characteristics of the boat’s hull and equipment, including the sails she is using.

 

This mat include other boats in the race, experienced sailors from the relevant classes and her own opinion (backed up by reasons why her opinion is of any worth).

1 hour ago, smokeandoakum said:

Assuming they lie (a breach of rule 2) and say something like "because the wind got light and I had to head up to maintain VMG" you might point out how convenient it happened right when the overlap started.

 

1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

About the only argument that W can make to demonstrate L was sailing above her proper course would be that L altered course upwind when it was tactically convenient for her, relative to W.

Snide or sarcastic submissions about 'convenient' are about the worst way to persuade a protest committee about proper course.

Some hard facts about true wind direction and shifts, courses and speeds and characteristics of boats are what's wanted.

Protestee's course and speed before and after the incident may be very relevant, taking account of any changes in wind speed and direction.

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4 minutes ago, Brass said:

W can bring any evidence from anybody who can give evidence about any of the things listed in Case 134

Definitions, Proper Course
Rule 17, On the Same Tack; Proper Course
A boat’s proper course at any moment depends on the existing conditions. Some of those conditions are the wind strength and direction, the pattern of gusts and lulls in the wind, the waves, the current, and the physical characteristics of the boat’s hull and equipment, including the sails she is using.

 

This mat include other boats in the race, experienced sailors from the relevant classes and her own opinion (backed up by reasons why her opinion is of any worth).

 

Snide or sarcastic submissions about 'convenient' are about the worst way to persuade a protest committee about proper course.

Some hard facts about true wind direction and shifts, courses and speeds and characteristics of boats are what's wanted.

So broadly: lacking a log file of the wind speed and direction, boat boat's headings, "L"'s boat speeds etc to which she could refer and then try to indicate from an analysis of "L"'s polars for the sails she was flying,  "W" is hard pressed to make a fine distinction (< 20 degrees for purposes of argument) on what "L"'s proper course  (highest VMG independent of relevant tactical consideration of expected current/winds) would be. Claiming that "L" was sub-optimally steereed & trimmed would not be convincing, whereas evidence of "L" luffing hard would be.  

 

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28 minutes ago, Brass said:

... assuming the proper is to score the best you can?

Your assumption is wrong.

Proper course is the course  a boat would sail to finish as soon as possible (Definitions:  Proper Course).  Sailing another boat, and yourself, down the fleet will not be your proper course.

would not case 78 apply ?"...a boat may use tactics that clearly interfere with and hinder another boat's progress in the race, provided that, if she is protested under rule 2 for doing so, the protest committee finds that there was a reasonable chance of her tactics benefiting either her final ranking in the event or her chances of gaining selection for another event or for her national team. However, she breaks rule 2, and possibly rule 69.1(a), if while using those tactics she intentionally breaks a rule." or does that only apply to Rule #2

Are there not cases where a boat applies a tight cover to a single competitor and ignores the rest of the fleet? 

per the text in case 134 

"No. A boat’s proper course at any moment depends on the existing conditions. Some of those conditions are the wind strength and direction, the pattern of gusts and lulls in the wind, the waves, the current, and the physical characteristics of her hull and equipment. The sails that she has set are part of her equipment and, therefore, one of the conditions on which her proper course depends. 
...
There is no requirement in the racing rules for a boat to hoist her spinnaker at any particular time or for her to finish as soon as possible. There could be a variety of reasons, including tactical considerations, why a boat would not use a spinnaker. 
(See Case 78 for a discussion of tactics that interfere with or hinder another boat’s progress.)" 
 
The timing of a gybe thus could be described as being affected by "wind strength and direction, the pattern of gusts and lulls in the wind, the waves, the current, and the physical characteristics of her hull and equipment." and if there's no reason to force her to hoist a spinnaker, arguably there's little reason to force a gybe "There could be a variety of reasons, including tactical considerations, why a boat would not use a spinnaker." 

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1 minute ago, LionessRacing said:
28 minutes ago, Brass said:

... assuming the proper is to score the best you can?

Your assumption is wrong.

Proper course is the course  a boat would sail to finish as soon as possible (Definitions:  Proper Course).  Sailing another boat, and yourself, down the fleet will not be your proper course.

would not case 78 apply ? a boat may use tactics that clearly interfere with and hinder another boat's progress in the race, provided that, if she is protested under rule 2 for doing so, the protest committee finds that there was a reasonable chance of her tactics benefiting either her final ranking in the event or her chances of gaining selection for another event or for her national team. However, she breaks rule 2, and possibly rule 69.1(a), if while using those tactics she intentionally breaks a rule.

You can't turn this into a vicious circle.

She breaks rule 17 is she sails above her proper course"  then Case 78 does not apply.

For Case 78 to apply the boat must sail wholly within the rules.

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3 minutes ago, Brass said:

You can't turn this into a vicious circle.

She breaks rule 17 is she sails above her proper course"  then Case 78 does not apply.

For Case 78 to apply the boat must sail wholly within the rules.

Ok, except the explicit proviso of Rule #2. Thanks for the clarification

 

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11 minutes ago, LionessRacing said:

Ok, except the explicit proviso of Rule #2. Thanks for the clarification

 

I think what Case 78 is saying is that if a boat hinders another boat for the reasons stated (and does not break another rule in doing so), she has not broken rule 2. So if protested, the PC should cite Case 78 and find that no rule was broken.

In a rule 17 situation, if L continued to sail above her proper course (and past her latest logical jibe point to the mark) in order to hinder W, she would have broken rule 17 (sailing higher and further than she would have in the absence of W) and would be vulnerable to a rule 2 protest as well.

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15 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

I think what Case 78 is saying is that if a boat hinders another boat for the reasons stated (and does not break another rule in doing so), she has not broken rule 2. So if protested, the PC should cite Case 78 and find that no rule was broken.

In a rule 17 situation, if L continued to sail above her proper course (and past her latest logical jibe point to the mark) in order to hinder W, she would have broken rule 17 (sailing higher and further than she would have in the absence of W) and would be vulnerable to a rule 2 protest as well.

I think what lioness is saying is that if a boat hinders another boat for the reasons stated and DOES intentionally break R17 then case 78  explicitly states she has broken R2. (and possibly R69.1(a))

Quote

However, she breaks rule 2, and possibly rule 69.1(a), if while using those tactics she intentionally breaks a rule.

and not just that she is vulnerable to a R2 protest. This is also application of case 78.

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Another proper course situation. Lets say I have worked myself into a position to become inside at the leeward mark ( the leeward mark is still several boat lengths away). I am leeward and on starboard and am overtaking from leeward a group of boats that I know from experience are not going to give me (inside boat) enough room at the mark to make a decent rounding when we get there.

My proper course in rounding that mark would be to come in a little wide and exit tight ( this approach is the fastest way to round the mark and proceed up the course in absence of other boats). I decide it is necessary to use my proper course rights to sail a little  higher as to allow for my desired rounding. I ask the boats to windward that I have now overlapped to leeward from astern to sail higher allowing me my proper course. They look at me like I have lost my marbles and argue that I am already on my proper course. They do not budge and I protest. We go to the protest hearing. I argue my case stating in order to make the fastest rounding possible I needed to make a little room before the three boat circle. This needed to be done early otherwise I would end up being forced into making just a seamanlike rounding with just enough room to miss the mark. Because a seaman like rounding is not as fast as a tactical rounding, I argue that making a reasonable amount of room prior to the three boat length circle will result in the fastest possible rounding for me. I argue that it was my proper course to move them a bit higher before the three boat length circle so I have the room I want to make a reasonably fast rounding when we finally make the rounding. Keep in mind here I was not attempting to take them to the moon, only enough to make a reasonably fast rounding. What say you about this proper course situation?  

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10 minutes ago, JimB said:

Another proper course situation. Lets say I have worked myself into a position to become inside at the leeward mark ( the leeward mark is still several boat lengths away). I am leeward and on starboard and am overtaking from leeward a group of boats that I know from experience are not going to give me (inside boat) enough room at the mark to make a decent rounding when we get there.

My proper course in rounding that mark would be to come in a little wide and exit tight ( this approach is the fastest way to round the mark and proceed up the course in absence of other boats). I decide it is necessary to use my proper course rights to sail a little  higher as to allow for my desired rounding. I ask the boats to windward that I have now overlapped to leeward from astern to sail higher allowing me my proper course. They look at me like I have lost my marbles and argue that I am already on my proper course. They do not budge and I protest. We go to the protest hearing. I argue my case stating in order to make the fastest rounding possible I needed to make a little room before the three boat circle. This needed to be done early otherwise I would end up being forced into making just a seamanlike rounding with just enough room to miss the mark. Because a seaman like rounding is not as fast as a tactical rounding, I argue that making a reasonable amount of room prior to the three boat length circle will result in the fastest possible rounding for me. I argue that it was my proper course to move them a bit higher before the three boat length circle so I have the room I want to make a reasonably fast rounding when we finally make the rounding. Keep in mind here I was not attempting to take them to the moon, only enough to make a reasonably fast rounding. What say you about this proper course situation?  

If you are leeward, and they don't keep clear they break R11 whether or not you break R17.  As you close on the mark you should be able to make a case that your proper course is not directly at the mark, and as right of way boat  you should be able to force this issue.

Let them decide if they want to protest you for R17 breach.

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On 12/6/2017 at 11:53 AM, JimB said:

Another proper course situation. Lets say I have worked myself into a position to become inside at the leeward mark ( the leeward mark is still several boat lengths away). I am leeward and on starboard and am overtaking from leeward a group of boats that I know from experience are not going to give me (inside boat) enough room at the mark to make a decent rounding when we get there.

My proper course in rounding that mark would be to come in a little wide and exit tight ( this approach is the fastest way to round the mark and proceed up the course in absence of other boats). I decide it is necessary to use my proper course rights to sail a little  higher as to allow for my desired rounding. I ask the boats to windward that I have now overlapped to leeward from astern to sail higher allowing me my proper course. They look at me like I have lost my marbles and argue that I am already on my proper course. They do not budge and I protest. We go to the protest hearing. I argue my case stating in order to make the fastest rounding possible I needed to make a little room before the three boat circle. This needed to be done early otherwise I would end up being forced into making just a seamanlike rounding with just enough room to miss the mark. Because a seaman like rounding is not as fast as a tactical rounding, I argue that making a reasonable amount of room prior to the three boat length circle will result in the fastest possible rounding for me. I argue that it was my proper course to move them a bit higher before the three boat length circle so I have the room I want to make a reasonably fast rounding when we finally make the rounding. Keep in mind here I was not attempting to take them to the moon, only enough to make a reasonably fast rounding. What say you about this proper course situation?  

As far as I know, mark room is room to make a seamanlike rounding, not a tactical one. The outside boats only need to give enough space for the inside boat tonmake the rounding, not enough space to make it tactically advantageous to the inside boat. 

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28 minutes ago, Captain Jack Sparrow said:

As far as I know, mark room is room to make a seamanlike rounding, not a tactical one. The outside boats only need to give enough space for the inside boat tonmake the rounding, not enough space to make it tactically advantageous to the inside boat. 

US Sailing Appeal 20

Mark-room is not defined to allow an inside boat without right of way to sail to a mark in a tactically desirable manner.

But that does not limit a right of way boat entitled to mark-room from making a tactical rounding.

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