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#1 Editor

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 04:17 AM

Ask the Tactician

How Close is Too Close?

The first on a series of tactical questions from you the reader to the top ranked American Star skipper, Andy Horton. Should you have a race course question, send it in and we'll get it to Andy.


Q: Situation this summer. I am windward and behind competitor (Harri) is leeward and ahead. We are both sailing Lasers and we agree that my bow and his transom were in line with about a boat length separating us. We are on Port tack. Wind is about 4 Knots. Flat water. A small puff comes in and this causes him to begin his tack.



Harri says “Tacking” and begins his tack. I say no you’re not. He does not hear me (He has tinnitus.), and I bear off slightly to try to close the gap before he can finish his tack. We meet with my bow at his mid-ship and not quite at 90 degrees to each other. I luff to avoid him and then slowly complete my tack. He is worse off as he is slowed by the whole maneuver and ends up behind me. There is no contact, but Harri insists he had completed his tack and was rolling his boat flat and had to luff up to avoid me. As his boat was obscured by my sail, I can not confirm this claim, although it seems that given our beginning positions, it would have been impossible for him to do this.



Is this just one of those times when you need video, or is there some kind of rule-of-thumb for spacing required for a tack?



A: n your specific situation Harri must complete his tack (turn all the way down to close-hauled on starboard) before you need to start avoiding him. You are required to start avoiding him the instant he completes his tack. If you don’t have enough time to avoid him then his tack was too close. On the other hand, you are in the wrong if you don’t immediately start avoiding him once he completes his tack, or you don’t try to do everything in your power to avoid him. You would be wrong, too, if you could have easily ducked him and instead tried to tack (tactical decision) and fouled him by tacking too close. That’s a simple summary of your options under the basic rule.

Now for the hard stuff…. You said, “I luff to avoid him and then slowly complete my tack”. Could you have turned faster at the end of your tack to avoid the situation? If so, this wouldn’t be very good for your case.


Harri however also might have a little problem. It sounds like he tacked so close to you that even if you had tacked immediately and quickly he might have still needed to luff to avoid you. If that was the case then he also broke a rule by gaining right-of-way (starboard tack) and not giving you enough time to keep clear. I can imagine Harri’s response to this, “The boats didn’t hit, so I must have given you enough space to keep clear”. Honestly this is my gut reaction also, but the way the rule is interpreted you need to tack with enough room for the other boat to tack without having to luff to avoid him….



The funniest protest I have ever been in was a tacking-too-close protest. This one should have made it into Dave Perry’s book. We were sailing Mumm 30’s in Newport, RI a few years ago. I was asking a starboard boat if we could cross. They were yelling, "Starboard!" As we got closer, it was clear we would cross, but not by much. Since they clearly wanted us to tack, and because it would be a close cross, the safe bet for us was to tack and not to risk a protest.


So, we tacked in front and slightly to leeward of the starboard boat. They tacked away and started screaming at us saying they were going to protest and a bunch of other things… When we got to the dock, someone on that boat came up to me and said they were protesting. Later, I tried to talk them off the cliff, but they wouldn’t listen and wouldn’t talk about the situation.


My argument was simple: They had wanted us to tack and not cross. (Since we would have been crossing them prior to our tacking, there was a 100% chance they were going to get leebowed and be forced to tack away anyway. This means they must have wanted to go right and not allow us to go right.) That is, in fact, what happened, so what’s the problem?


We went into the room, and in his opening statement the guy representing the other boat said, “Andy tacked in front of us, then we had to luff to avoid him and there was no contact”. The committee looked over at me and asked me to explain the situation. I told them it was word-for-word exactly how the other guy described it and I didn’t need to ask him any questions.

We completed our tack, then he luffed to avoid us, and there was no contact. No rules were broken. The committee disallowed the protest, and the whole proceeding took about 30 seconds.


I don’t think you and Harri have such a cut and dry situation. Sounds to me like both of you weren’t 100% clean. The nice thing is that is also sounds like the two of you discussed the situation and left it on the water, which is nice….


Hope that helps,


Andy

Comments on this article?

#2 celphtaught

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 04:36 AM

i guess the bottom line is always be heard. whos comign to the fundraiser either in burlington on wednesday, or miami on thursday?

#3 rastus

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 04:59 AM

without digging out my rule book i think room to keep clear is defined as two boat lengths. got stung with it once port/starboard, didn't see or hear the starboard boat untill too late in a tack or crash situation tacked inside the 2 boatlength zone no contact still got protested and lost

#4 Christian

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 06:09 AM

without digging out my rule book i think room to keep clear is defined as two boat lengths. got stung with it once port/starboard, didn't see or hear the starboard boat untill too late in a tack or crash situation tacked inside the 2 boatlength zone no contact still got protested and lost





Maybe you should get a new rule book - and read it - there is nothing about any specific distance in the rule about tacking (and keeping clear)

#5 judge

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 09:46 AM

This is a perfect example of why the RRS need to be totally revamped before someone gets killed!! The situation above is a great acedemic/legal argument when the boats are small, one design boats like lasers, 420's, even Stars, and may also be quite relevant in one design fleets of smaller keelboats such as j24's, Melges or even top flight Farr 40's. All this supposes a good working knowledge of [even the simplest] rules.

However try and transpose the above situation to a mixed fleet of keelboats, in terms of both boat size/type, and skipper experience, and you have a recipe for disaster. My view has been that there needs to be two sets of rules for different types of events. They must not be inconsistent, but there needs to be a simpler set of Part 2 rules for the "Average Joe" fleet to avoid the sort of carnage that is becoming all to common on the race course.

When I have tried to inform people about the Part 2 rules my advice has always been to use the rules as a shield rather than a sword, but people will always over-reach themselves and the current rules encourage this. The rules are built for top class small boat racing and the're fine for that purpose, but they are too complex for most weekend sailors, and can encourage aggressive sailing which can have tragic results,especially in the mixed keelboat fleets that many of us sail in.

And yes, I know that people shouldn't play in a sandpit that's too big for them, and if they do they can only expect the odd mouthfu; :huh: but hey, someone is going to get hurt, and it shouldn't need to happen.

Sorry 'bout the rant, but this has been a problem for some time, and it's only getting worse! :(

#6 Al.

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 10:24 AM

there's no requirement to leave someone room to tack- this is omething that is exploited but, crucially, not changed by Match and Team racing. The only room that you must give is for them to be able to make a course change without immediatly hitting you- wiggle room. As pointed out, if someone to leeward of you tacks, you do not have to take ANY avoiding action until they are trimmed on their new course. IF that then leaves you with no time to get out the road, it is THEIR fault.

I'm a bit worried by this though:

I bear off slightly to try to close the gap before he can finish his tack


I think this may be a foul? Anyone able to back me up/shoot me down?

#7 snipeguy

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 10:46 AM

I think this may be a foul? Anyone able to back me up/shoot me down?

I'm the actual Harri in this scenario and after reading Andy's analysis, I think it boils down to whether I finished my tack in time or not. Of course I'll say I did and Leigh will say I didn't. All I can remember is that it was close.......real close. As for Leigh bearing of just as I tacked, yeah, I'd like to know about that too.

#8 Presuming Ed

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 10:52 AM

I'm a bit worried by this though:

I bear off slightly to try to close the gap before he can finish his tack

I think this may be a foul? Anyone able to back me up/shoot me down?


Rule 13: WHILE TACKING
After a boat passes head to wind, she shall keep clear of other boats until she is on a close-hauled course. During that time rules 10, 11 and 12 do not apply. If two boats are subject to this rule at the same time, the one on the other's port side or the one astern shall keep clear.

15 ACQUIRING RIGHT OF WAY
When a boat acquires right of way, she shall initially give the other boat room to keep clear, unless she acquires right of way because of the other boat's actions.

16 CHANGING COURSE
16.1 When a right-of-way boat changes course, she shall give the other boat room to keep clear.

16.2 In addition, when after the starting signal a port-tack boat is keeping clear by sailing to pass astern of a starboard-tack boat, the starboard tack boat shall not change course if as a result the port-tack boat would immediately need to change course to continue keeping clear.


So, while L is tacking, and W is RoW boat, 15 doesn't apply because W has acquired right of way because of L's actions (tacking). While tacking, L is required to keep clear of W. But 16 states that should W change course after L has passed head to wind and before she's on starboard (and therefore made W RoW boat), then W has to give L room to keep clear.

I.e., IMHO, W can't bear away into L and hit her as L tacks - you can nick some space, but not too much...

It all changes once L has completed her tack, and is on starboard. Then, as has been stated, S is RoW boat, and P must keep clear, assuming that S has completed her tack in time for P to keep clear.

#9 Presuming Ed

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 11:13 AM

This is a perfect example of why the RRS need to be totally revamped before someone gets killed!! The situation above is a great acedemic/legal argument when the boats are small, one design boats like lasers, 420's, even Stars, and may also be quite relevant in one design fleets of smaller keelboats such as j24's, Melges or even top flight Farr 40's. All this supposes a good working knowledge of [even the simplest] rules.

However try and transpose the above situation to a mixed fleet of keelboats, in terms of both boat size/type, and skipper experience, and you have a recipe for disaster. My view has been that there needs to be two sets of rules for different types of events. They must not be inconsistent, but there needs to be a simpler set of Part 2 rules for the "Average Joe" fleet to avoid the sort of carnage that is becoming all to common on the race course.


Well, IMHO, it's not the rules that make people push the limits, it's a desire to win, competitiveness etc. You'll always have people who are prepared to push harder than other. The thing about the new rules is that should there be a foul, culpability can be a bit hazy - depending on the circumstances of the altercation.

There are two ways of looking at this. On one hand, you can say that it's crazy to have a situation where a RoW boat can be penalised for hitting a give way boat. If there's contact, then the give way boat was clearly at fault and should be penalised.

Or, you can say that it takes two to tango - contact between boats needs more than one boat to occur. If you make culpability hazy, then it discourages people from pushing the limits. So, for example, if you say that as long as a starboard boat can cross a port tack boat, then the crossing is good, then people are going to push crossings - which is fine until it doesn't work, and you have a nice wedge shaped hole on your port quarter. The option is to say that if you push a crossing too much and it goes wrong then to some degree you can be found culpable, then it makes people slightly more wary about pushing crossings.

It's like the IRPCS - where there's no such thing as a RoW boat, there's only the stand on boat. The responsability to avoid collisions lies with both boats - IRPCS rule 17.

#10 dogwatch

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 12:20 PM

Sorry 'bout the rant


So if you've finished ranting, how, specifically, would you reword the rules to avoid this problem? If, as you say, there is a problem.

#11 deckersr

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 01:21 PM

[quote]Is this just one of those times when you need video[/quote]I think this is one of those times. Since this is a forum there are limitations on how the testimony is presented. First off, I would want a diagram and some plastic boats. If I was on the PC I would be asking a lot of questions re position of boats, speed of boats, speed of the maneuvers etc. I don't think the facts quite fit together as presented here.


[quote]Harri says “Tacking” and begins his tack.[/quote]He says he is tacking, but that hail is not required nor binding. In hindsight we know he did tack, but at the time this occurred you didn't have the benefit of hindsight. He is simply changing course and must comply with rule 16.1. When he began his course change, the new orientation of the boats made you overlapped, and being windward you must keep clear. You are given temporary relief by Rule 15.

Not until he passes head to wind is he actually tacking and at that time becomes burdened (Rule 13). We have no testimony regarding speed/position of boats at the time he crossed head to wind or when he came to a new close hauled course.

[quote]I say no you’re not. He does not hear me (He has tinnitus.)[/quote]I'd say you squandered your temporary time with your hail and however long it took you to realize he didn't hear you.

Now, you should be keeping clear but . . .
[quote]I bear off slightly to try to close the gap before he can finish his tack[/quote]. . . not keeping clear, this could be a problem. And do you mean tack in the "past head to wind" definition or in the "every part of the maneuver after Harri said he was tacking" definition? Video or testimony could help sort this out.

And this is the inevitable outcome
[quote]We meet with my bow at his mid-ship and not quite at 90 degrees to each other.[/quote]


[quote]I luff to avoid him and then slowly complete my tack[/quote]He is on starboard now, you better do something to avoid him. He need not have his sails trimmed to have completed the tack. Rule 10 applies, but also rule 15 again.


[quote]I luff to avoid him and then slowly complete my tack. . . There is no contact[/quote]Okay, you did avoid him, good, but the slowly part could be a problem. Harri satisfied rule 15, you had room to keep clear.


[quote]Harri insists he had completed his tack and was rolling his boat flat and had to luff up to avoid me[/quote]He may have had to luff up to avoid you, but in this case it was part of his rule 15 obligation (and rule 14). Did you maneuver too slowly to keep clear? Maybe he could have you chucked.


[quote]As his boat was obscured by my sail, I can not confirm this claim[/quote]What can't you confirm, the completion of the tack, or the luff to avoid, or both?
There are several facts that could be clarified had you seen better or if there was another witness or video. Also, don't know what facts were left out of your scenario that you or Harri could bring to the table but simply haven't because this is a hypothetical not cross examined testimony. Although, this is more in line with how an appeal is viewed ie the facts that are documented are the facts.


[quote]. . . although it seems that given our beginning positions, it would have been impossible for him to do this.[/quote]This isn't the only thing that seems unlikely to me. I'm having trouble with this and some other speed/position/timing issues.

Based on what we have here, I do not think Harri tacked too close. Other evidence could sway that decision the other way.

#12 snipeguy

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 01:35 PM

Based on what we have here, I do not think Harri tacked too close.

You're cheque is in the mail.
H. :P

#13 TinkerSailor

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 02:26 PM

You're cheque is in the mail.
H. :P

Not so fast guys! Let us look a little more closely at the facts as I have described them and which do not seem to be in dispute??

When I meet Harri I was footing off slightly and we met at an angle of less than 90 deg. As we all know Lasers tack through about 90 deg and this points to the probability that Harri had not yet finished his tack. We also need to take into account the conditions (flat water, light wind). Anyone who has a clue about how to race a Laser knows that a good roll tack results in a long tack. What I mean by this is that you roll your boat flat while bearing off on your new tack and you are not finished tacking until you are flat and on course. The fact that your sail may be full is not an indication that you are done tacking.

By this is a great discussion. Almost as good as a protest room!

As for the danger of footing off in this situation we must remember that I am sailing a small and maneuverable boat in light winds and low speed. I don’t think I compromised any safety and I think what I did is perfectly acceptable under these conditions. I bore off to illustrate the fact that he was tacking too close IMHO.

Leigh

#14 ChiGuy

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 03:27 PM

What I mean by this is that you roll your boat flat while bearing off on your new tack and you are not finished tacking until you are flat and on course. The fact that your sail may be full is not an indication that you are done tacking.


According to RRS, you have completed your tack when you're on a closehauled course (rule 13). It seems that is well before what you think a tack is completed on a Laser. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Lasers generally point pretty high, even in light air.

#15 hdglightning

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 03:44 PM

Leigh,
The big problem in this situation is that at the time that Harri tacked, you had not bore off. So, in the end both of you were making a change of course at the same time. Harri was give way boat as a tacking boat, and you were ROW boat that was making a change in course. In both situations the boats must give time and opportunity for the other boat to keep clear, and Harri has the additional responsibility of once he becomes ROW, giving you time to keep clear.
In my opinion, both boats comitted fouls. Harri tacked in a position that may or may not have been clear to tack. Without definate proof and a diagram, I would have to rely on the information given. Since you "bore away" into him, and were only 1BL apart, then I would say he did not have room to tack AND to give you room to keep clear once he became ROW boat. Though this is questionable as if he was only 1bl apart, then it is unlikely that he could have completed the tack even as much as you indicated....but I would prob toss him.
You on the other hand comitted 2 fouls. The first is that you changed course and did not give the other boat opportunity to keep clear. The same reason Harri gets kicked for tacking too close is why you get kicked. Once he starts tacking he is give way, but if you also change course then you have to do so to allow him to keep clear. If you had held course, then you would have been ok...but the change presents a problem.
Second foul is not responding right away. You can't do a "slow tack". You have to keep clear. Sorry...but admitting that you slowly tacked, and his testimony that he had to luff to keep clear, puts you in a bad position. The burden is for you to keep clear, not to do it in a tactical way. If you could have tacked faster to keep clear, then you should have. By not doing that, then you are not keeping clear of the Stbd boat (regardless of how he gained ROW), and as such you are chucked. Again, by admitting you did a slow tack, you did not leave yourself any wiggle room. A normal tack may have you keeping clear of Harri, and Harri still luffing to give you room. But we don't know that...all we know is that you responded "slower" than normal, resulting in Harri having to luff to keep clear. That again puts you in a bad spot.

My ruling would be to chuck both boats.



Not so fast guys! Let us look a little more closely at the facts as I have described them and which do not seem to be in dispute??

When I meet Harri I was footing off slightly and we met at an angle of less than 90 deg. As we all know Lasers tack through about 90 deg and this points to the probability that Harri had not yet finished his tack. We also need to take into account the conditions (flat water, light wind). Anyone who has a clue about how to race a Laser knows that a good roll tack results in a long tack. What I mean by this is that you roll your boat flat while bearing off on your new tack and you are not finished tacking until you are flat and on course. The fact that your sail may be full is not an indication that you are done tacking.

By this is a great discussion. Almost as good as a protest room!

As for the danger of footing off in this situation we must remember that I am sailing a small and maneuverable boat in light winds and low speed. I don’t think I compromised any safety and I think what I did is perfectly acceptable under these conditions. I bore off to illustrate the fact that he was tacking too close IMHO.

Leigh



#16 TinkerSailor

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 04:19 PM

Leigh,
The big problem in this situation is that at the time that Harri tacked, you had not bore off. So, in the end both of you were making a change of course at the same time. Harri was give way boat as a tacking boat, and you were ROW boat that was making a change in course. In both situations the boats must give time and opportunity for the other boat to keep clear, and Harri has the additional responsibility of once he becomes ROW, giving you time to keep clear.
In my opinion, both boats comitted fouls. Harri tacked in a position that may or may not have been clear to tack. Without definate proof and a diagram, I would have to rely on the information given. Since you "bore away" into him, and were only 1BL apart, then I would say he did not have room to tack AND to give you room to keep clear once he became ROW boat. Though this is questionable as if he was only 1bl apart, then it is unlikely that he could have completed the tack even as much as you indicated....but I would prob toss him.
You on the other hand comitted 2 fouls. The first is that you changed course and did not give the other boat opportunity to keep clear. The same reason Harri gets kicked for tacking too close is why you get kicked. Once he starts tacking he is give way, but if you also change course then you have to do so to allow him to keep clear. If you had held course, then you would have been ok...but the change presents a problem.
Second foul is not responding right away. You can't do a "slow tack". You have to keep clear. Sorry...but admitting that you slowly tacked, and his testimony that he had to luff to keep clear, puts you in a bad position. The burden is for you to keep clear, not to do it in a tactical way. If you could have tacked faster to keep clear, then you should have. By not doing that, then you are not keeping clear of the Stbd boat (regardless of how he gained ROW), and as such you are chucked. Again, by admitting you did a slow tack, you did not leave yourself any wiggle room. A normal tack may have you keeping clear of Harri, and Harri still luffing to give you room. But we don't know that...all we know is that you responded "slower" than normal, resulting in Harri having to luff to keep clear. That again puts you in a bad spot.

My ruling would be to chuck both boats.


Interesting... Your argument has holes. If you have decided that Harri never completed his tack then he never gained ROW. This being the case I never needed to keep clear and how I did my tack is of no concern. The fact that there was no contact is proof that I gave him room to keep clear.

Concerning the change of course. I footed off as soon as he said "tacking" At that time he was ROW boat until he passes head to wind. There was no need for me to hold my course; I needed only keep clear of him. If he had stopped at Head to wind I would have had to respond to his luff but he went past HTW and we did not meet until he was past HTW. At this time he is give way boat and had to luff back to HTW to avoid me while I had to do the same on the other tack. Right now he has fouled me and I am not required to do anything other than keep clear and avoid damage. How I complete my tack is my business. I am not even required to tack! I could have simply luffed up until there was no contact and stayed there.

In my opinion this is not a Port V.S. Starboard situation. I realize that we will never come to a satisfactory resolution but I don't want to create more misconception along the way.

Love all the response guys.

Leigh

#17 J Buoy

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 04:37 PM

Without diagrams it's all speculation, however it sounds to me as if you did everything possible to not avoid the Starboard tacker until it would make it appear as if he tacked too close. He gave you a courtesy hail and instead of using that information to keep clear you decided to use it to try and prove he's tacking too close.

If you were in the conditions and positions that are described it's hard to think that there wouldn't have been enough time to keep clear once he was on the new tack.

#18 hdglightning

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 05:12 PM

Leigh,
Actually...based on the testimony presented (love that legal stuff), Harri did complete his tack. That was not in doubt, nor argued by you. In fact you state that you could not see him due to your sail being in the way. So in the end we have to take Harri's word that he completed the tack, again he said she said... As to your "90 degree" issue, that would be good except that 90 degrees from what? Both of you changed course, so it is not evidence to me. Again, no diagram...so we are working on words...

Also, since both boats were changing course, and both boats at some time during the process were ROW boats, then BOTH boats must keep clear AND give the other boat time to keep clear. By bearing away in a close situation with the express intent to narrow the distance, you are putting yourself in a BAD situation. Most juries would remember this and not look kindly on it. Tactically or rules, you are contravening the intent of the rules, which is to keep boats apart. Even so, Harri is just as fault in this situation as you are since his tack is also narrowing the distance. The question is that when he decided to tack (And started) was there enough room, or did your manuver close the gap to prevent it (your stated intent). Either way we cannot know since both boats were manuvering. As such, both boats have the burden to keep clear.
If you had simpl;y held course you would have been in a better light! And a better position in the room.

So, since there is no evidence to the contrary of him not completing his tack, then we are discussing if he gave you enough time to respond. Again, we can't argue the completion of the tack, only if he gave room to keep clear. There was no contact, he did luff to keep clear (his responsibility), so I would say yes he did keep clear. But he did it in a manner that is doubtful, and on that I would DSQ him. I am not saying he did not complete his tack though!

It is on that that you are incorrect though. You have to respond and PROMPTLY. That means turning in a manner that keeps clear. If you do not turn fully, and sometimes hard vs slow, you are fouling him. You are not doing everything to keep clear of the boat. Simple. YEs your turn rate IS an issue.

You are also required to tack if that is necessary. Again you are 100% wrong in thinking that you could have (as port boat) simply gone head to wind and stayed there. Nope...Harri (regardless of how he gained ROW/stbd) IS ROW boat. Your obligation is to stay clear, and to do so in a manner that keeps you clear. You can't park head to wind and say "I'm keeping clear". Nope...even if he had not tacked, you might have to tack to stay clear...sorry. So even though he is tacking, you again have to avoid contact, which might also require tacking. Again, sucks...but true. IN this case we have to assume the tack was complete, so the idea is that you now must take action to avoid the ROW boat, and the ROW boat must give you time to keep clear. So you have to tack, tack immediately, and tack in a manner that is "correct". A slow tack is not correct in this situation.

The simple problem is that too many people combine tactics with rules. They are separate, and should be treated as such. Sometimes it sucks that you have to tack fast, but you have too, even if a slow tack is tactically better. In your case that is 100% true. You responded in a tactical manner, not in a rules manner.

One thing that is required of both boats, is to prevent contact, sail correct, THEN protest. You don't sail "your rules" just because another boat comitts a foul. You still have to respond, then you protest.


Interesting... Your argument has holes. If you have decided that Harri never completed his tack then he never gained ROW. This being the case I never needed to keep clear and how I did my tack is of no concern. The fact that there was no contact is proof that I gave him room to keep clear.

Concerning the change of course. I footed off as soon as he said "tacking" At that time he was ROW boat until he passes head to wind. There was no need for me to hold my course; I needed only keep clear of him. If he had stopped at Head to wind I would have had to respond to his luff but he went past HTW and we did not meet until he was past HTW. At this time he is give way boat and had to luff back to HTW to avoid me while I had to do the same on the other tack. Right now he has fouled me and I am not required to do anything other than keep clear and avoid damage. How I complete my tack is my business. I am not even required to tack! I could have simply luffed up until there was no contact and stayed there.

In my opinion this is not a Port V.S. Starboard situation. I realize that we will never come to a satisfactory resolution but I don't want to create more misconception along the way.

Love all the response guys.

Leigh



#19 Emu

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 05:16 PM

...you did everything possible to not avoid the Starboard tacker until it would make it appear as if he tacked too close.

Actually, it sounds like Leigh worked to discourage Harri from tacking too close. Footing down to him is not a foul, as long as Leigh keeps clear while Harri's still leeward boat, and lets him keep clear after Harri's HTW. Leigh does not need to give Harri room to complete his tack.

He gave you a courtesy hail and instead of using that information to keep clear you decided to use it to try and prove he's tacking too close.

There's no such thing as a "courtesy hail". It was an effort to get Leigh to start keeping clear before Harri had starboard rights. The proper response is "Taking boat shall keep clear!"

Leigh's only problem is the "slowly complete[d] my tack". Why did he tack? To keep clear of a starboard boat? Then he should do it promptly. If he tought Harri had not completed the tack, he should luff to avoid contact and protest.

#20 Emu

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 05:29 PM

... The question is that when he decided to tack (And started) was there enough room, or did your manuver close the gap to prevent it (your stated intent)...

Harri decided to tack, hailed his intent, luffed to head-to-wind, and only then was he "tacking". A lot happened in between, and it sounds like he should have reconsidered.

#21 TinkerSailor

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 06:03 PM

Actually, it sounds like Leigh worked to discourage Harri from tacking too close. Footing down to him is not a foul, as long as Leigh keeps clear while Harri's still leeward boat, and lets him keep clear after Harri's HTW. Leigh does not need to give Harri room to complete his tack.
There's no such thing as a "courtesy hail". It was an effort to get Leigh to start keeping clear before Harri had starboard rights. The proper response is "Taking boat shall keep clear!"

Leigh's only problem is the "slowly complete[d] my tack". Why did he tack? To keep clear of a starboard boat? Then he should do it promptly. If he tought Harri had not completed the tack, he should luff to avoid contact and protest.


Hi Again.

The reason I tacked was because that was the most pragmatic action at the time. The two of us were head to wind and slowing down. Harri did not look like he intended to return to Port tack and I would have had to push him down to continue on Port tack. Rolling over to Starboard provided my best option to returning to sailing and trying to win the race. I was unsuccessful Harri ended up winning I think.

#22 rastus

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 06:14 PM

Maybe you should get a new rule book - and read it - there is nothing about any specific distance in the rule about tacking (and keeping clear)

rules are open to interpretation by the protest commitee and i havent seenit in the rule book either

#23 J Buoy

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 06:36 PM

Actually, it sounds like Leigh worked to discourage Harri from tacking too close. Footing down to him is not a foul, as long as Leigh keeps clear while Harri's still leeward boat, and lets him keep clear after Harri's HTW. Leigh does not need to give Harri room to complete his tack.
There's no such thing as a "courtesy hail". It was an effort to get Leigh to start keeping clear before Harri had starboard rights. The proper response is "Taking boat shall keep clear!"

Leigh's only problem is the "slowly complete[d] my tack". Why did he tack? To keep clear of a starboard boat? Then he should do it promptly. If he tought Harri had not completed the tack, he should luff to avoid contact and protest.


It's funny how we all read the same thing and came up with differing conclusions and you somehow subsequently decided I was wrong.

There is such thing as a 'courtesy hail' as it in fact was made as listed in the description. I agree that it doesn't exist in the rule book, but that's not what I said. In this case I said it sounded to me like he used the hail to begin to prevent a tack from Harri rather than prepping to keep clear. AGAIN, without diagrams we're all spewing speculative BS.

So, show me the diagram as to where W and L were to begin and then where the tack was initiated and completed before you determine something and tell me I'm wrong.

#24 Grind4Beer

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 07:25 PM

Hrmm,

TS, when you said that you were both head to wind and slowing down, at that point the other boat had *not* passed head to wind, and is merely luffing you, not yet tacking. That doesn't seem to fit your earlier description.

While luffing, they can luff at will but owe you opportunity to stay clear (16.1). If they pass head to wind first, then they are tacking must do (have done) so in a manner that keeps clear of you (13). However, if you passed head to wind first (tacked) to escape that luff, then you picked up the burden of keeping clear, even if they pass head to wind at the same time or immediately afterward, because you're to port and astern (13).

As for how close is too close? ...

From what I've seen, the PCs usually consider the conditions. With J24s in 5kt-flatwater our turning arc is about a boatlength in radius, so a cushion of 1.5-2 lengths ahead more than the separation abeam is the bare minimum until the separation is 3 lengths or more. In 25kt-chop, with crews on the rail, numbers like 2+ lengths ahead and 4 lengths separation might be more like it. (Although I'd admit that with experienced racers, those separation numbers are generously large. And I thought the J24s were chippy about that until I saw the Opti starts last year.)

But the PCs have seemed erratic on whether the port-burdened boat ie required to anticipate the course and position of the newly starboard boat. Even the full-keel cruisers are usually somewhere close to close-hauled within a few lengths. Maybe the rules should have some sort of clarifying detail, like the presumed-or-not overlap at mark roundings.

G4B

#25 Captain Graybeard

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 08:37 PM

Sounds to me that you were behind at the start of this maneuver and possibly being pinched off; and since it was light air, it would be hard to hold your port lane for very long long. When this dude decided to tack, I would think that you would have been relieved and, in fact, footed down a little to encourage him to continue his maneuver as now you have a clear lane. Tacking with him would have meant you would likely be in a covered position with little option to separate and win the race. You should have stayed on port, split a little and then made your tack. If you wanted to go left, you should have tacked beefwhore him. IMHO......

#26 TinkerSailor

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 09:09 PM

Hrmm,

TS, when you said that you were both head to wind and slowing down, at that point the other boat had *not* passed head to wind, and is merely luffing you, not yet tacking. That doesn't seem to fit your earlier description.

While luffing, they can luff at will but owe you opportunity to stay clear (16.1). If they pass head to wind first, then they are tacking must do (have done) so in a manner that keeps clear of you (13). However, if you passed head to wind first (tacked) to escape that luff, then you picked up the burden of keeping clear, even if they pass head to wind at the same time or immediately afterward, because you're to port and astern (13).

As for how close is too close? ...

From what I've seen, the PCs usually consider the conditions. With J24s in 5kt-flatwater our turning arc is about a boatlength in radius, so a cushion of 1.5-2 lengths ahead more than the separation abeam is the bare minimum until the separation is 3 lengths or more. In 25kt-chop, with crews on the rail, numbers like 2+ lengths ahead and 4 lengths separation might be more like it. (Although I'd admit that with experienced racers, those separation numbers are generously large. And I thought the J24s were chippy about that until I saw the Opti starts last year.)

But the PCs have seemed erratic on whether the port-burdened boat ie required to anticipate the course and position of the newly starboard boat. Even the full-keel cruisers are usually somewhere close to close-hauled within a few lengths. Maybe the rules should have some sort of clarifying detail, like the presumed-or-not overlap at mark roundings.

G4B


Hi Guys. Ok we need a diagram, however I am not in a position to crate one right now. Check back in a couple of days I will try to work one up.

As for the luffing up HTW thing we arrived side by side HTW because I (believing he had not completed his tack) forced him up by not changing course until it was apparent that we would collide. At this point I was as I said footing off a bit (10 deg maybe) and my bow met his mid ship at less than 90 deg (I am pointed more toward his bow than his stern). At this point we both turn into wind to avoid contact and end up side by side HTW. I flop over to Stbd and he follows shortly after.

As I said in the begining there was only one boat length beween us. He was not pinching me off just yet. We were approaching the Sarboard lay line so I did not want to duck him and bang the corner (winds are very shifty and the corners don't ususally work well where we sail). What I wanted to do was sail him past the lay line and then tack to have a clear lead.

leigh

#27 Emu

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 09:17 PM

... he used the hail to begin to prevent a tack from Harri rather than prepping to keep clear...

Right. Or at least Leigh tried to prevent it. There is no requirement to prep to keep clear. If someone is hailing that they're going to tack, it means they don't think they'll be able to complete their tack and then hail "Starboard". It means they think they're borderline on tacking too close. Encouraging someone to make a borderline tack like that is dangerous. Preventing them is a good idea.

#28 Grind4Beer

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 10:30 PM

TS -

Okay, just to clarify something about how y'all arrived abeam at HTW.

Are you sure the other boat went *past* HTW (from port to stbd), maybe (or maybe not) arriving on close-hauled stbd course before luffing back up to HTW to avoid you? ... Or did he only luff up *to* HTW from his original port close-hauled course? ... (His testimony tends to support the former. Your testimony about bearing off to pin him (you'd just get pinched-off) and tacking slowly confuses the issue.)

The latter is a classic (and legal) way of quickly shaking off a lee-bowed boat when pinching them off isn't ideal, but the former is where things get tricky as to when the other boat is pointed on close-hauled course (not whether their sails are in close-haul trim) and whether you could have reasonably tacked or ducked. The other boat isn't required to keep so clear that you can make the tack or duck which maintains your best boatspeed, but only clear enough that you can *promptly* slam or dive (unless conditions make that unsafe.) In general, if the sails are trimmed that's a pretty good indication that the other boat *is* on course.

U20 -

I wasn't citing those distances as how much clearance is left between boats when the bows-n-transoms finish tight crossings. Those were just rough estimates of gap *before* strategic tacks. When port tackers are dodging starboard boats, all that goes out the window. The local J24 fleet doesn't begin to really pucker until about 3-in abeam or 10-in crossing. It's taken some getting used-to ...

...

#29 sailor24

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 02:38 AM

I see why the differing opinions. I read this many times and changed my mind because of a few details many times. Since we don't have a diagram Maybe TS and SG can agree if these are the true facts. SG luffed to start a tack. SG started his tack by passing head to wind. No issue about "complete" yet. TS bore away as SG began his luff. TS luffed to keep clear of SG who was on the starboard tack side of head to wind. SG was starboard and luffed to stay clear of TS. Both boats then sat head to wind. In both luffs contact would have occurred if no coarse change was made. At the point of closest contact neither boat could have turned towards the other without contact. Subsequently TS started a tack to starboard and SG followed by bearing back towards the starboard tack.

#30 hard aground

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 03:10 AM

Could you cut off the crusts of my next cucumber sandwich? Oh, shit, sorry I thought that said ask the Snacktician. :P

#31 sockeye

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 04:16 AM

After you guys have exhausted this and I read it all, I think It was decided right the first time. Why not just finnesse the tack under LW and endup Leebow?

#32 simbert

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 02:44 PM

Hailing back and fore in 4 knots flat water got to be loud.

1) "I say not you're not", seems like he/she wanted to go left
2) "bear off slightly to try to close the gap", proof 1)
3) "luff to avoid him and then slowly complete my tack", he/she wanted to go right now??

MY INTERPRETATION of Andy's answer:
Don't you ever bring this to the room, its a waste of time for everybody.

#33 Emu

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 04:50 PM

...3) "luff to avoid him and then slowly complete my tack", he/she wanted to go right now??

Not all the info was in the first post. From Leigh in post 21:

The reason I tacked was because that was the most pragmatic action at the time. The two of us were head to wind and slowing down. Harri did not look like he intended to return to Port tack and I would have had to push him down to continue on Port tack. Rolling over to Starboard provided my best option to returning to sailing and trying to win the race.



#34 simbert

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 06:11 PM

There is only two option to avoid collision as per Andy's answer, yang the tiller or push the tiller.
Assuming TinkerSailor is the guy asking the question, he/she "was footing off slightly " and then they "were head to wind and slowing down"?
I started to feel that its wasting my time now.

#35 Emu

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 09:23 PM

There is only two option to avoid collision as per Andy's answer, yang the tiller or push the tiller.

...uh, I must have missed that. I'll have to go back and read it again.

...he "was footing off slightly " and then they "were head to wind and slowing down"?

Footing to close the gap with Harri, to try to prevent him from tacking. Then, as the boats were about to collide, both luffed to head-to-wind. Presumably Leigh first yanged, then pushed the tiller.

I started to feel that its wasting my time now.

Well, thanks for taking the time to post.

#36 simbert

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 10:30 PM

Well, thanks for taking the time to post.



Yeah yeah yeah, its anarchy. Gee... tough crowd.

#37 Dude'ness

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 08:10 AM

Re: "... I bore off to close the gap..." or "... I began footing..."

Now I know this was touched on earlier in the thread, but when I scanned through I didn't see this question directly addressed:

Isn't it a clear foul to bear off into a tacking boat (that would have been clear to tack had you not changed course) to the point that you prevent them from tacking (they have to luff up to avoid hitting you)?

BTW, Hey there folks. First time posting.

#38 TinkerSailor

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 02:43 PM

Re: "... I bore off to close the gap..." or "... I began footing..."

Now I know this was touched on earlier in the thread, but when I scanned through I didn't see this question directly addressed:

Isn't it a clear foul to bear off into a tacking boat (that would have been clear to tack had you not changed course) to the point that you prevent them from tacking (they have to luff up to avoid hitting you)?

BTW, Hey there folks. First time posting.


I don’t think bearing off in this situation is a foul. It is only a risky situation. As long as you remain clear of the leeward boat as she luffs to HTW you are safe. After HTW she becomes Give Way Boat and you are safe. If she stops at HTW and then has to maneuver to avoid you then you have fouled her.

For those still interested in this thread I have attached a diagram. I hope that this clears up the mud. The way I see it there are three possible outcomes in a protest room.

1) The PC takes the situation as I have described it and decides that Harri has not completed his tack and therefore is still tacking when the boats meet and must give way. He is thrown out and Leigh is safe.
2) The PC decides that Harri did only just complete his tack but there was not sufficient room for Leigh to avoid hem once Harri became ROW boat. Harri is deemed to have not given Leigh enough room to keep clear and Leigh has failed to maneuver fast enough (slow tack). Both boats are thrown out.
3) The PC decides that Harri had completed his tack and Leigh had room to keep clear but failed to do so. Leigh is thrown out and Harri is safe.

Thing to take into account:
1) Boats traveling at 4 knots cover a boat length every 2 seconds in a Laser.
2) The arcs drawn in the diagram are of a radius of 10 feet.

What it all comes down to is how much room did he need to tack. Thus the question:

How Close is Too close?

For those offering tactical advice that is all very nice but I need to establish some sort of rule of thumb. We can’t have a situation where lee bow boats can just flop over on you and you get screwed.

Leigh
Attached File  November_30__2006.pdf   7.82K   34 downloads

#39 Emu

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 02:47 PM

...Isn't it a clear foul to bear off into a tacking boat (that would have been clear to tack had you not changed course) to the point that you prevent them from tacking (they have to luff up to avoid hitting you)?

RRS 13 says a taking boat shall keep clear. This means letting the other boat "sail her course", i.e. go where she wants, within limits. And specifically, the limit is imposed in RRS 16.1. When changing couse, the ROW boat has to give the tacking boat room to keep clear. But not room to complete the tack. No foul.

#40 Emu

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 02:54 PM

...2) The PC decides that Harri did only just complete his tack but there was not sufficient room for Leigh to avoid hem once Harri became ROW boat. Harri is deemed to have not given Leigh enough room to keep clear and Leigh has failed to maneuver fast enough (slow tack). Both boats are thrown out.

In this case, Leigh would be exhonorated under RRS 64.1.b. Only Harri gets chucked.




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