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Rules - "Virtual" Obstruction


TJSoCal

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The finish line for our race courses is inside a channel bounded on either side by rock jetties. In a typical breeze, boats will approach the channel marker buoy (surrounded by navigable water) from the last upwind mark on starboard, jibe in the vicinity of the channel marker and proceed down the channel on port. Sailing Instructions state that a line connecting the channel marker buoy and a series of midchannel buoys is a continuing obstruction in accordance with RRS 19.2 and says that no boat shall cross said line. This requires racing boats to stay to the right side of the channel.

A, B and C are approaching the channel marker. A has already jibed onto port. B is on starboard overlapped inside A. C is on starboard and obtains an overlap inside/leeward of B at about 1 to 1.5 boat lengths from the channel marker buoy.

A gives B room to pass the channel marker, but not enough room for B to allow C to pass inside. In order to avoid contact with B or the channel marker, C cuts just inside the channel marker taking it to starboard rather than to port and enters the "obstruction" area. C immediately crosses to the proper side of the channel and jibes, ending up clear ahead of A and B. C displays a flag and protests A and B, but withdraws the protest before finishing (neither A nor B take penalty turns).

Boat D, about 300-400 yards behind, observes C crossing on the wrong side of the channel marker/continuing obstruction and protests C for breaking the Sailing Instruction and RRS 28.2. D displays a protest flag and carries it across the finish line, and informs C on the dock after the race of their intent to protest.

What says SA?

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Questions:

In the OP you state that the SI's define a continuing obstruction using the channel marker as one end, do they also state (or infer) that is it also a mark of the course?

(e.g. is there a statement that the marker must be left to port for example or does the SI just define and obstruction)

This has an effect on R28.2 obviously.

 

Clearly C Broke the SI, by crossing the obstruction, presumable they will claim that they did so because A and B did not give them room. this will come down to details.

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It's pretty clear that C broke the obstruction. If they feel that they were avoiding a collision, and that A or B are at fault, then they should protest A and/or B. Since they withdrew their protest, they should be deemed to be in the wrong.

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19 minutes ago, JohnMB said:

Questions:

In the OP you state that the SI's define a continuing obstruction using the channel marker as one end, do they also state (or infer) that is it also a mark of the course?

(e.g. is there a statement that the marker must be left to port for example or does the SI just define and obstruction)

This has an effect on R28.2 obviously.

 

Clearly C Broke the SI, by crossing the obstruction, presumable they will claim that they did so because A and B did not give them room. this will come down to details.

The course description was Start - Upwind 1 - Downwind - Upwind 2 - Finish. The channel marker and midchannel buoys are not specifically designated as marks.

SI only describes the continuing obstruction and prohibits crossing the line connecting the buoys, it does not specify on which side the channel marker is to be left. The apparent intent is to keep boats on the right side of the channel and not "dip" to the left side between the buoys. If you sailed down the wrong side of the channel you would not be able to get to the finish line without crossing the defined obstruction line at some point.

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If you are going to start trying to negotiate whether or not you have to travel down the jetty on the correct side, see RRS 2 and 3. Part 2 of the RRS, boats racing must comply with International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCAS) or government right-of-way rules. (I.E. travel down the jetty on the right side - ALWAYS!) There has been much discussion about this locally, ironic for something so simple. Part 3, by participating you are agreeing to the rules outlined in the SIs and Course charts. 

Simple solution would have been for C to spin a 360, and protest A for not giving both B and C room to clear the obstruction. (B would have been exonerated for A not giving enough room for all boats to clear.) Since C did not sail the course defined under the SIs, they should retire since she did not correct her error (forced or not) before finishing the race. I'm assuming boat D protested that by not completing the course in the SIs, boat C gained an unfair advantage. 

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5 hours ago, SailSoCal said:

If you are going to start trying to negotiate whether or not you have to travel down the jetty on the correct side, see RRS 2 and 3. Part 2 of the RRS, boats racing must comply with International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCAS) or government right-of-way rules. (I.E. travel down the jetty on the right side - ALWAYS!) There has been much discussion about this locally, ironic for something so simple. Part 3, by participating you are agreeing to the rules outlined in the SIs and Course charts. 

Simple solution would have been for C to spin a 360, and protest A for not giving both B and C room to clear the obstruction. (B would have been exonerated for A not giving enough room for all boats to clear.) Since C did not sail the course defined under the SIs, they should retire since she did not correct her error (forced or not) before finishing the race. I'm assuming boat D protested that by not completing the course in the SIs, boat C gained an unfair advantage. 

Sorry. Just to clarify... I was speaking of RRS Part 2 and Rule 3 in my comments above. I also would have a question for C since the overlap was achieved so close to the continuing obstruction (1 to 1.5 boat lengths), taking into account 19.2b and c. Would boat C have tried to take that inside route if the continuing obstruction had been a rock wall and not a series of jetty markers?

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5 minutes ago, SailSoCal said:

Sorry. Just to clarify... I was speaking of RRS Part 2 and Rule 3 in my comments above. I also would have a question for C since the overlap was achieved so close to the continuing obstruction (1 to 1.5 boat lengths), taking into account 19.2b and c. Would boat C have tried to take that inside route if the continuing obstruction had been a rock wall and not a series of jetty markers?

C did not sail down the wrong side of the channel, only cut inside the channel buoy as much as needed to avoid contact with B and the buoy and immediately crossed to the correct side of the channel. 

Obviously, C would not have taken that course if it had been a physical continuing obstruction. Arguably, A and B would have behaved differently as well. And C acknowledged that this was a breach of the SI. 

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16 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

The finish line for our race courses is inside a channel bounded on either side by rock jetties. In a typical breeze, boats will approach the channel marker buoy (surrounded by navigable water) from the last upwind mark on starboard, jibe in the vicinity of the channel marker and proceed down the channel on port. Sailing Instructions state that a line connecting the channel marker buoy and a series of midchannel buoys is a continuing obstruction in accordance with RRS 19.2 and says that no boat shall cross said line. This requires racing boats to stay to the right side of the channel.

A, B and C are approaching the channel marker. A has already jibed onto port. B is on starboard overlapped inside A. C is on starboard and obtains an overlap inside/leeward of B at about 1 to 1.5 boat lengths from the channel marker buoy.

A gives B room to pass the channel marker, but not enough room for B to allow C to pass inside. In order to avoid contact with B or the channel marker, C cuts just inside the channel marker taking it to starboard rather than to port and enters the "obstruction" area. C immediately crosses to the proper side of the channel and jibes, ending up clear ahead of A and B. C displays a flag and protests A and B, but withdraws the protest before finishing (neither A nor B take penalty turns).

Boat D, about 300-400 yards behind, observes C crossing on the wrong side of the channel marker/continuing obstruction and protests C for breaking the Sailing Instruction and RRS 28.2. D displays a protest flag and carries it across the finish line, and informs C on the dock after the race of their intent to protest.

What says SA?

The channel marker buoy is NOT defined in the SI as a mark, either expressly or by inference.

The line, beginning with the channel marker buoy to the first of the midchannel buoys is defined by the SI to be an obstruction, and a continuing obstruction at that.

Rule 18 (mark-room) does not apply.  Rule 19 Room to Pass an Obstruction does apply.

B is initially overlapped inside A (opposite tacks irrelevant, both boats sailing more than 90 degrees from the true wind (Definition:  Clear Astern and Clear Ahead, Overlap)).  When C becomes overlapped inside B, if she is not already, she also becomes overlapped inside A (boat between overlaps both (Definition: Clear Astern and Clear Ahead, Overlap)).

When overlapped boats are at the obstruction, the outside boat shall give the inside boat room to pass between her and the obstruction unless she has been unable to do so from the time the overlap began (rule 19.2( b )).  Room includes space to comply with obligations under the rules of part 2, which includes rule 19 (Definition:  Room).

B is required to give C room to pass between her and the obstruction (rule 19.2( b )).

A is required to give B room, including space for B to give C room to pass between her and the obstruction (rule 19.2( b ), and Definition:  Room).

A does not give room for B to allow C room to pass between her and the obstruction.  A breaks rule 19.2( b ).

B does not give C room to pass between her and the obstruction and breaks rule 19.2( b ), but was compelled to do so by A breaking rule 19.2( b ), and is exonerated by rule 64.1( a).

Boats are required not to cross the line between the channel marker buoy and the first midchannel buoy (SI).

C crossed that line.  C broke the SI.

C was compelled to cross the line as a consequence of A breaking rule 19.2( b ) by not giving B and C room to pass between her and the obstruction.  C is exonerated for breaking the SI by rule 64.1( a ).

Summary

A broke rule 19.2( b ).

B and C broke rules but are exonerated because they were compelled to break those rules by A breaking rule 19.2( b ).

On valid protest, penalise A.

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16 hours ago, Nice! said:

It's pretty clear that C broke the obstruction. If they feel that they were avoiding a collision, and that A or B are at fault, then they should protest A and/or B.

Why?

16 hours ago, Nice! said:

Since they withdrew their protest, they should be deemed to be in the wrong.

With respect mate, nonsense.  There is nothing about 'deeming' in the rules, the cases or the Judges Manual.

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I agree that rules 19.2 a and b apply. 

(b) When boats are overlapped, the outside boat shall give the inside boat room between her and the obstructionunless she has been unable to do so from the time the overlap began.

(c) While boats are passing a continuing obstructionif a boat that was clear astern and required to keep clear becomes overlapped between the other boat and the obstruction and, at the moment the overlap begins, there is not room for her to pass between them, she is not entitled to room under rule 19.2(b). While the boats remain overlapped, she shall keep clear and rules 10 and 11 do not apply.

Sorry, I would argue that and overlap achieved 1 to 1.5 boat lengths before a continuing obstruction does not provide enough time for the outside boats, A and B, to give room to C. TJSoCal admitted that had that been a wall and not a "Virtual" Obstruction, C would not have tried to force an inside overlap on A and B. Based on that admission, the bold part of rule 19.2(c) above applies. That to me is an admission that there was NOT enough room already under 19.2b. So C, coming from clear astern at 2 boat lengths was obligated to keep clear in this scenario. And not entitled to exoneration by rule 64.1( a) as there was not room for boats A and B to give room to C under rule 19.2(c). 

Note that the result of this maneuver was not that the three boats maintained an overlap down the jetty after boat C sailed across the line between the channel markers, but by breaking the SI, boat C was able to sail clear ahead of boats A and B and by doing so, gaining a clear advantage. 

To say that an overlap achieved less than 2 boat lengths from a continuing obstruction provides outside boats time to give room when it does not already exist is not a precedent we want to set. That is dangerous. Someone in the future would try to force that rule when there is an actual physical hazard there, not a virtual one, and boats will crash! It does not matter that the continuing obstruction in this case was a virtual one. Treat it the same way you would a sea wall. 

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 already exist is not a precedent we want to set. 

Doesn't set a precedent does it. It all depends on the circumstances of the individual situation.

I don't see how 19.2c applies: the overlap was made before the boats reached the obstruction. The rules make no mention of zones for continuing obstructions, one must assume deliberately so. In the UK see RYA Case 1968/11.

So the PC must decide whether in this case A (and B ) were able to give room when the overlap began. If A was able to give room and failed to they should be penalised. If A was not able to give room then C is not exonerated for breaking the SI and should be penalised. This will doubtless depend on (amongst other factors) whether the boats were travelling at ten boat lengths per second or one boat length per minute.

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First, let me say that rule 19.2( c ) works best with boats sailing more or less parallel to a continuing obstruction and is, to say the least, sometimes difficult to apply at ‘ends’ or 'projections' in continuing obstructions.

Any protest conclusions on rule 19.2( c ) are going to need some hard facts about existing conditions and distances between boats, at various points.

To get a little more concrete here’s one diagram that I think fits OP scenario.

59622e4a458a6_BoatsatDefinedObstructionLine.thumb.png.09140cd8bc6d1706738925f68f0a219c.png

I must admit that when I did my analysis at Post 9,  contrary to good practice, I did not consider the fundamental right of way rules.  If it happened anything like as diagrammed, B is right of way boat over A at the mark (rule 10), with no rule 18.4 obligation to gybe.  C, likewise, from @3, when A has gybed and C has become overlapped to leeward of B, is right of way boat over both B and A.  As diagrammed, C is being a voluntary marshmallow by bearing away:  all she needed to do was come up on B to find out if B would respond and keep clear or not.  OK, might be a bit different if the channel was narrow and A was already close to the starboard boundary of the channel.

I should also stress that in my analysis, I make no conclusion about whether A failed to give rule 19.2 room to C.  A’s rule breach consists of not giving B room, including room for B to give room to C.  Readers might like to consider the mirror image scenario with A approaching on port and gybing onto starboard.

Shown below are some comments on SailSoCal’s post.

Thank you to SailSoCal for raising some very interesting issues about rule 19.2( c ).

21 hours ago, SailSoCal said:

I agree that rules 19.2 a and b apply. 

(b) When boats are overlapped, the outside boat shall give the inside boat room between her and the obstructionunless she has been unable to do so from the time the overlap began.

(c) While boats are passing a continuing obstructionif a boat that was clear astern and required to keep clear becomes overlapped between the other boat and the obstruction and, at the moment the overlap begins, there is not room for her to pass between them, she is not entitled to room under rule 19.2(b). While the boats remain overlapped, she shall keep clear and rules 10 and 11 do not apply.

Sorry, I would argue that an overlap achieved 1 to 1.5 boat lengths before a continuing obstruction does not provide enough time for the outside boats, A and B, to give room to C.

As a generalisation that opinion is inconsistent with guidance provided in Case 21:  see the example of a maximum amount of space that may be needed in bold.

The term ‘existing conditions’ deserves consideration. For example, the inside one of two dinghies approaching a mark on a placid lake in light air will need relatively little space beyond that required for her hull and properly trimmed sails. At the other extreme, when two keel boats, on open water with steep seas, are approaching a mark that is being tossed about widely and unpredictably, the inside boat may need a full hull length of space or even more to ensure safety.

It’s also worth taking a look at Match Racing Calls B12, B13 and B15:  they all illustrate situations at about 1.5 boat lengths or less.

 TJSoCal admitted that had that been a wall and not a "Virtual" Obstruction, C would not have tried to force an inside overlap on A and B.

Where?

In Post 8 TJSoCal said:

C did not sail down the wrong side of the channel, only cut inside the channel buoy as much as needed to avoid contact with B and the buoy and immediately crossed to the correct side of the channel. 

Obviously, C would not have taken that course if it had been a physical continuing obstruction. 

That’s nothing like ‘admitting’ that C would not have attempted to take an inside berth.  This is NOT a mark-room situation where ‘late inside overlap’ applies.

Based on that admission, the bold part of rule 19.2(c) above applies.

What boats woulda/coulda/shoulda done has no effect on whether rule 19.2( c ) applies.  The conditions for rule 19.2( c ) to apply are stated in the first four lines that you have quoted in bold above.

That to me is an admission that there was NOT enough room already under 19.2b

As I have diagrammed it, @3, B had ample time and space to harden up astern of A and give C room.  No doubt there are other detailed positions of boats where this would not be the case.

 So C, coming from clear astern at 2 boat lengths was obligated to keep clear in this scenario.

Based on my diagram (and I would genuinely welcome a look at an alternative diagram, which DID show compliance with all the criteria of rule 19.2( c )), assuming we agree that C and A (and B ) are at the obstruction @3:

  • Was C clear astern and required to keep clear?  Before A gybed @3, C was clear astern on the same tack and required to keep clear (rule 12);
  • Does C ever become overlapped between A and the obstruction?  No:  this criterion for rule 19.2( c ) is not met.
  • At the moment the overlap began was there room for C to pass between A and the obstruction?  @3 there are about 3 boat lengths between C and A:  that is ample room for C to pass between A and the buoy:  this criterion for rule 19.2( c ) is not met.
  • Conclusion:  two of the three criteria for rule 19.2( c ) are not met, rule 19.2( c ) does not apply:  C is entitled to room under rule 19.2( b ), and is NOT required to keep clear of A.

And not entitled to exoneration by rule 64.1( a ) as there was not room for boats A and B to give room to C under rule 19.2(c).

If rule 19.2( c ) had applied, then obviously C wouldn’t have a leg to stand on and A would not break rule 19.2( b ).  As I have diagrammed it, rule 19.2( c ) does not apply.  Again, I would be happy to see a diagram that illustrates the application of rule 19.2( c ) you contend for.

Note that the result of this maneuver was not that the three boats maintained an overlap down the jetty after boat C sailed across the line between the channel markers, but by breaking the SI, boat C was able to sail clear ahead of boats A and B and by doing so, gaining a clear advantage.

Whether C gained an advantage or not is irrelevant.  Either boats broke rules or not.  Either they are entitled to exoneration or not.  There is not the slightest suggestion in rule 64.1( a ), that a boat can only be exonerated if she gains no advantage.

To say that an overlap achieved less than 2 boat lengths from a continuing obstruction provides outside boats time to give room when it does not already exist is not a precedent we want to set.

I don’t know who ‘we’ are.  I’m quite happy to rely on Case 21, and the several other cases about room.

That is dangerous. Someone in the future would try to force that rule when there is an actual physical hazard there, not a virtual one, and boats will crash! It does not matter that the continuing obstruction in this case was a virtual one. Treat it the same way you would a sea wall. 

 

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On 7/8/2017 at 9:53 AM, SailSoCal said:

If you are going to start trying to negotiate whether or not you have to travel down the jetty on the correct side, see RRS 2 and 3. Part 2 of the RRS, boats racing must comply with International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCAS) or government right-of-way rules. (I.E. travel down the jetty on the right side - ALWAYS!) There has been much discussion about this locally, ironic for something so simple. Part 3, by participating you are agreeing to the rules outlined in the SIs and Course charts. 

This seriously misquotes the RRS Preamble to Part 2

The rules of Part 2 apply between boats that are sailing in or near the racing area and intend to race, are racing, or have been racing. However, a boat not racing shall not be penalized for breaking one of these rules, except rule 14 when the incident resulted in injury or serious damage, or rule 24.1.

When a boat sailing under these rules meets a vessel that is not, she shall comply with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCAS) or government right-of-way rules. If the sailing instructions so state, the rules of Part 2 are replaced by the right-of-way rules of the IRPCAS or by government right-of-way rules.

The whole point of the preamble is that the RRS do NOT require boats racing to comply with IRPCAS between themselves (except for rule 48, Fog Signals, Lights and TSS).  The general law might require them to comply with rules of IRPCAS that do not conflict with the RRS (Juno v Endeavour): maybe IRPCAS rule 19( a ) is one of these, but non-compliance with IRPCAS is not, ipso facto, a breach of the RRS.

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Brass, your diagram is essentially correct (patting myself on the back for giving a good text description...)

I'm not sure if C obtained an overlap on A or not, except to the extent that B was overlapped with both A and C. And I would say that B would have been able to give room at 2 - 3 except for the presence of A. 

I would also say that C winding up clear ahead was a result of having the inside track and clear air, not a result of cutting the corner. If C had been given room and passed the buoy on the correct side she probably still would have been clear ahead. But I also agree that's irrelevant to whether rules were broken or exoneration was warranted. 

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8 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

Brass, your diagram is essentially correct (patting myself on the back for giving a good text description...)

I'm not sure if C obtained an overlap on A or not, except to the extent that B was overlapped with both A and C. And I would say that B would have been able to give room at 2 - 3 except for the presence of A. 

I would also say that C winding up clear ahead was a result of having the inside track and clear air, not a result of cutting the corner. If C had been given room and passed the buoy on the correct side she probably still would have been clear ahead. But I also agree that's irrelevant to whether rules were broken or exoneration was warranted. 

As I said, under rule 19, nothing depends on C being overlapped on A.  C's entitlement is to room from B, B's entitlement is to room from A, including room to give room to C.

That said, once C was overlapped on B to gain C's entitlement, and B was overlapped on A to gain B's entitlement, then, B, as the intervening boat must have made C overlapped on A.  But also, once A gybed, boats on opposite tacks converging downwind to an incident are nearly always overlapped (by geometry), and as diagrammed, C was overlapped on A from the time A gybed.

Thinking about why B and C didn't resolve this by simply taking their right of way.  Let me repeat the diagram

  • 59622e4a458a6_BoatsatDefinedObstructionLine.thumb.png.09140cd8bc6d1706738925f68f0a219c.png

 

I think boats behaved as they did because they treated the channel mark buoy as a mark, at which rule 18 applied.

Taking that approach:

Between @1 and @2 A is clear ahead of B, B is clear ahead of C, all on starboard tack.  B is required to keep clear of A, C is required to keep clear of B (rule 12).

@1, B reaches the (3BL) zone.  Rule 18.2 applies:

  • between B and A, it's rule 18.2( a ):  whichever boat is inside at any time gets mark-room, mark-room can change with overlap (Case 2), B and A are not overlapped at this time so neither is entitled to mark-room yet.
  • between B and C, it's rule 18.2( b ):  B, clear ahead at the zone gets mark-room which continues after any subsequent changes in overlap, B's entitlement begins when she reaches the zone and continues.

@2 A reaches the (3BL) zone, clear ahead of B and C.

  • between B and A, no change:  B will become entitled to mark-room when she becomes overlapped, but she isn't overlapped yet.
  • between B and C, no change:  B is entitled to mark-room and will continue to be entitled to mark-room.

@2 C reaches the zone, rule 18.2 applies (Case 2 again) and whichever of boats A and C become overlapped inside will become entitled to mark-room.

@3 A gybes onto port tack and becomes overlapped on both B and C (all sailing downwind, opposite tacks irrelevant)

  • A is required to keep clear of B and C (rule 10)
  • A is required to give mark-room to B, overlapped inside (rule 18.2( a ))
  • A is required to give mark-room to C, overlapped inside (rule 18.2( a ))

@3 C becomes overlapped to leeward of B, 1.5 BL from the mark (this is the classic late inside overlap): B is required to keep clear of C (rule 11), but B is sailing within the mark-room to which she is entitled (less than 1 BL to the mark, sailing to the mark), so, if B does not keep clear of C, she is exonerated by rule 21( a ).

@4:

  • C bears away and gives B mark-room
  • B gybes, sailing no further from the mark than needed to sail the course, in accordance with rule 18.4, and sailing within the mark-room to which she is entitled;
  • B is now overlapped on the same tack as A, and required to keep clear of A (rule 11), but will be exonerated if she fails to keep clear of A by rule 21( a );
  • B is now on opposite tacks to C and still required to keep clear of C (but now under rule 10), and still entitled to exoneration if she fails to do so.
  • A gives B mark-room (and, as diagrammed, B does not fail to keep clear of A)
  • (as diagrammed) B does not fail to keep clear of C
  • C passes the wrong side of the mark and is making a rule 28 error, which she can later correct.
  • A was required to give mark-room to C, but C, in giving mark-room to B, makes space available to A to sail the course that she does, even though she is not entitled to it, and A is entitled to take advantage of that space (Case 63).

Summary

No rules broken, although C needs to correct her rule 28 error.

On valid protest, penalise C if she does not correct her rule 28 error.

Better SI

There is absolutely no benefit in defining the line as a continuing obstruction: it just adds complexity.

SI could define the channel marker buoy as a mark, and the line to be an obstruction.

That would play nice and simply.

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1 minute ago, Brass said:

I think boats behaved as they did because they treated the channel mark buoy as a mark, at which rule 18 applied

or possibly some treated it as a mark and others didn't, hence confusion...

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On 7/8/2017 at 3:58 AM, Brass said:

Boats are required not to cross the line between the channel marker buoy and the first midchannel buoy (SI).

C crossed that line.  C broke the SI.

C was compelled to cross the line as a consequence of A breaking rule 19.2( b ) by not giving B and C room to pass between her and the obstruction.  C is exonerated for breaking the SI by rule 64.1( a ).

 

Minor question,

Was C compelled to cross the line, since she could have come back around without crossing the line does she loose her opportunity to be exonerated here?

 

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53 minutes ago, JohnMB said:

Minor question,

Was C compelled to cross the line, since she could have come back around without crossing the line does she loose her opportunity to be exonerated here?

 

Good question.

C was overlapped with B so was unable to turn to starboard without causing contact, and on a broad reach so slowing by easing sheets to pass behind B was not possible. C held course and hailed for room until her bow was nearly at the channel marker buoy, so it seems likely that even with a hard turn to port her momentum would have carried her across the line connecting the channel buoys. But theoretically possible, I suppose, that C could have spun out to port, not crossed the line and come back around to pass on the correct side. I guess it would be up to the PC to determine whether that constituted "compelled" to break the SI or not.

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16 hours ago, JimC said:

or possibly some treated it as a mark and others didn't, hence confusion...

That's true, it does seem to be a broad misunderstanding within the fleet. Note that D's protest included Rule 28.2 so D assumed it was a mark.

It has been suggested that in the future the channel marker buoy should be designated as a mark.

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56 minutes ago, JohnMB said:

Minor question,

Was C compelled to cross the line, since she could have come back around without crossing the line does she loose her opportunity to be exonerated here?

The OP description of the SI says that the SI say that 'no boat shall cross said line.'  What I think the SI drafters wanted to say was that no boat shall sail on the port side of the line.

I was trying to structure my analysis so that C broke the letter of the SI, and then got the exoneration that she deserved.

As I diagrammed it, there may have been room for C to gybe, and circle around to pass the end of the line behind A and B.  Alternatively, B and C might have been a little more compressed, so that when C avoided the buoy, she could not, in a seamanlike way, avoid crossing the line.  Protest committee would need to find some facts to decide either way.

Certainly agree that this analogous to a boat being forced inside a mark:  nothing compels her from circling round and rounding on the required side, so she is can not be exonerated for the rule 28 breach.

I see that OP has responded to this:  in the particular circumstances described, OP thinks that it was not possible for C to avoid crossing the line, so in that case, yes she was compelled to break the SI and gets exoneration.  Given the particular wording of the SI, if she was compelled to cross the line she has no need to circle back.  OTOH, if there had been sufficient room to gybe clear of the line, if C crosses the line, she does not get exoneration, and circling back won't fix anything.

 

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11 minutes ago, TJSoCal said:

It has been suggested that in the future the channel marker buoy should be designated as a mark.

See my comment on Better SI

16 hours ago, Brass said:

Better SI

There is absolutely no benefit in defining the line as a continuing obstruction: it just adds complexity.

SI could define the channel marker buoy as a mark, and the line to be an obstruction.

That would play nice and simply.

 

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18 minutes ago, Brass said:

I see that OP has responded to this:  in the particular circumstances described, OP thinks that it was not possible for C to avoid crossing the line, so in that case, yes she was compelled to break the SI and gets exoneration.  Given the particular wording of the SI, if she was compelled to cross the line she has no need to circle back.  OTOH, if there had been sufficient room to gybe clear of the line, if C crosses the line, she does not get exoneration, and circling back won't fix anything.

 

It is an interesting one, in that once C crosses the line circling back does nothing, (and may even cause an additional breach of the SI, if she passes all the way across and then crosses back again.

I'm guessing that the OA would prefer not to have boats trying  to 'unwind' this anyway since the objective appears to be to keep boats out of that side of the channel.

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43 minutes ago, TJSoCal said:

Good question.

C was overlapped with B so was unable to turn to starboard without causing contact, and on a broad reach so slowing by easing sheets to pass behind B was not possible. C held course and hailed for room until her bow was nearly at the channel marker buoy, so it seems likely that even with a hard turn to port her momentum would have carried her across the line connecting the channel buoys. But theoretically possible, I suppose, that C could have spun out to port, not crossed the line and come back around to pass on the correct side. I guess it would be up to the PC to determine whether that constituted "compelled" to break the SI or not.

C was not overlapped until less than two boat lengths from the obstruction. Before that, C could have easily taken the sterns of the other boats involved. Just as would be required at a mark since she didn't have an overlap at 3 boat lengths. Or for that matter starting at the committee boat end of a start line. You would not be cleared if you tried to gain an inside overlap at the committee boat, when no room already existed, at less than 2 boat lengths from the start. 

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1 hour ago, SailSoCal said:

C was not overlapped until less than two boat lengths from the obstruction. Before that, C could have easily taken the sterns of the other boats involved. Just as would be required at a mark since she didn't have an overlap at 3 boat lengths. Or for that matter starting at the committee boat end of a start line. You would not be cleared if you tried to gain an inside overlap at the committee boat, when no room already existed, at less than 2 boat lengths from the start. 

Seems to me that, the buoy being an obstruction and not a mark, C had the right to establish an inside overlap at any point prior to the first boat being "at" the obstruction and anticipate that B and A would give her the room to which she was then entitled. So I think C could have chosen to bail out early, but was not required to by the rules. Same as a starboard tacker upwind can choose to duck and let a port tacker cross, but isn't required to.

A and B had a responsibility to anticipate whether the overlap would be established or not and to be in a position to provide room if it was. If they incorrectly guessed that the overlap would not be established before they were at the obstruction, then they broke rule 19.

If it were a mark, then yes, rule 18 would apply, and if it were a starting mark surrounded by navigable water then yes, rule 11 would apply and rule 18 (a Section C rule) would not.

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2 hours ago, JohnMB said:

It is an interesting one, in that once C crosses the line circling back does nothing, (and may even cause an additional breach of the SI, if she passes all the way across and then crosses back again.

I'm guessing that the OA would prefer not to have boats trying  to 'unwind' this anyway since the objective appears to be to keep boats out of that side of the channel.

I don't think the OA's concern is that much with an individual boat being on the wrong side at the channel entrance and having to unwind. But typical wind in the channel is from port, anywhere from beam to broad reach. So if boats were allowed on the other side, everyone would be over there because that's where the clear air is. As it is boats usually hug the mid-channel line.

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5 minutes ago, TJSoCal said:

 

A and B had a responsibility to anticipate whether the overlap would be established or not and to be in a position to provide room if it was. If they incorrectly guessed that the overlap would not be established before they were at the obstruction, then they broke rule 19.

I don't think this is the case.

A and B were obliged to start giving room from the moment C established the overlap. I don't see that they have to anticipate. If at the moment C gets the overlap they can give room, they must, if not the do not have to. I would say that as soon as C gets overlapped they should be trying to give room, but if they cannot R19.2(c) says C has no right to room.

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I think that because the SIs provide that the virtual obstruction and defining marks are required to be left to port, all of the buoys are marks of the course:

"Mark An object the sailing instructions require a boat to leave on a specified side, and a race committee vessel surrounded by navigable water from which the starting or finishing line extends." (from Definitions.)

Because the SIs require all of the mid-channel buoys to be left to port, rule 18 applies to all of the buoys. In the drawing, under 19.1, 19 would not apply to the first mark:

19.1 When Rule 19 Applies

(a) Rule 19 applies between two boats at an obstruction except (a) when the obstruction is a mark the boats are required to leave on the same side,

Yellow would not have any right to mark-room from Green at the first mark because she did not have an overlap when Green reached the zone

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Full text of the SI:

"A straight line connecting adjacent center of channel marker buoys within the Jetty and the center of channel buoy in front of _______ Restaurant shall be considered a continuous obstruction in accordance with Racing Rule 19.2. NO YACHT MAY CROSS SAID LINE."

So it actually doesn't specify that boats must take any of the buoys to port. Looking more closely at the definition of the continuing obstruction and the location of the finish line, it would be possible to take the channel marker buoy to starboard, sail down the left side of the channel, take the other end of the obstruction (the buoy by the restaurant) to starboard and reach the finish line without crossing the obstruction line. This is also not prohibited by COLREGS as long as appropriate actions are taken to avoid collision with meeting vessels. I'm not sure the text of any local laws but it's not uncommon for sailboats under sail to beat their way out of the channel using the full width.

As an update, due to suggestions following the incident in the OP, the SIs have been amended to make the channel marker buoy a mark to be left to port.

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1 hour ago, TJSoCal said:

As an update, due to suggestions following the incident in the OP, the SIs have been amended to make the channel marker buoy a mark to be left to port.

sounds like a good outcome

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2 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

an update, due to suggestions following the incident in the OP, the SIs have been amended to make the channel marker buoy a mark to be left to port.

Did they also eliminate the imaginary continuing obstruction?

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12 minutes ago, allene222 said:

Did they also eliminate the imaginary continuing obstruction?

No. The buoy is now a mark that is also part of a continuing obstruction, which I guess means that Rule 18 doesn't apply (per 18.1d) but Rule 19 does. However, the amended SI defining the buoy as a mark also states specifically that a 3 boat length zone is established for determining right to mark room. So still a bit messy, I guess.

Maybe better would be to define the buoy as a mark, and just state that boats may not cross a line connecting the midchannel buoys but not define that line as a continuing obstruction (the midchannel buoys themselves would probably still rank as obstructions and would have to be taken to port but need not be marks.

Thoughts on that?

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3 hours ago, JohnMB said:
4 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

A and B had a responsibility to anticipate whether the overlap would be established or not and to be in a position to provide room if it was. If they incorrectly guessed that the overlap would not be established before they were at the obstruction, then they broke rule 19.

I don't think this is the case.A and B were obliged to start giving room from the moment C established the overlap. I don't see that they have to anticipate.

I have a problem with ever stating that a boat 'has a responsibility to anticipate'.  No rule says that.  True enough, a give-way boat may need to anticipate a requirement to take action to keep clear, but in terms of the rules, all that is required is that she eventually keep clear:  it may go without saying that she needs to anticipate, but the rules just deal in the outcome.

If at the moment C gets the overlap they can give room, they must, if not the do not have to. I would say that as soon as C gets overlapped they should be trying to give room, but if they cannot R19.2(c) says C has no right to room.

C became overlapped with A and B @3, when A was the best part of 3 BL, and B about 1.5BL from the buoy.  It is well arguable, particularly by A, that they were not yet at the obstruction, and that rule 19 did not yet require them to give room.

Rule 19.2( c ) does not apply in this scenario, C never becomes overlapped between A and the obstruction, and even so, at the moment the overlap began there was room (about 3BL between A and the buoy) for C to pass between A and the buoy).

The get out of gaol provision that might have applied is rule 19.2( b ), last sentence.

Note that the provisions in rule 19.2( b ) and 19.2( b ) are different:

  1. rule 19.2( b ) relies on whether, from the time the overlap began, the boat was unable to give room, that is, the test continues:  if at any time after the overlap began, it becomes possible for the boat to give room, she must do so;  and
  2. rule 19.2( c ) relies on whether, at the moment the overlap begins, there is room  for the other boat to pass between:  that is, the test is instantaneous:  if the test is met at the moment the overlap began, outside is not required to give room, and inside is required to keep clear, even if at some later time the outside boat becomes able to give room.
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2 minutes ago, TJSoCal said:

better would be to define the buoy as a mark, and just state that boats may not cross a line connecting the midchannel buoys but not define that line as a continuing obstruction (the midchannel buoys themselves would probably still rank as obstructions and would have to be taken to port but need not be marks.

Thoughts on that?

Something about creating imaginary things seems like it is distorting the rules and will lead to problems.  If there are a number of mid channel marks, what is the harm in letting boats go where they want but have all the mid channel buoys be marks to be left to port.  That would likely accomplish what the goal is, keep boats on one side, and yet not make something up that is not there.

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8 minutes ago, allene222 said:

Something about creating imaginary things seems like it is distorting the rules and will lead to problems.  If there are a number of mid channel marks, what is the harm in letting boats go where they want but have all the mid channel buoys be marks to be left to port.  That would likely accomplish what the goal is, keep boats on one side, and yet not make something up that is not there.

I'm not sure it would accomplish the goal though. Boats would still probably spend a considerable amount of time on the wrong side of the channel in order to get clear air, and it would likely create more problems at each of the mid-channel buoys as boats tried to dip down to take them to port.

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3 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

Full text of the SI:

"A straight line connecting adjacent center of channel marker buoys within the Jetty and the center of channel buoy in front of _______ Restaurant shall be considered a continuous obstruction in accordance with Racing Rule 19.2. NO YACHT MAY CROSS SAID LINE."

So it actually doesn't specify that boats must take any of the buoys to port. Looking more closely at the definition of the continuing obstruction and the location of the finish line, it would be possible to take the channel marker buoy to starboard, sail down the left side of the channel, take the other end of the obstruction (the buoy by the restaurant) to starboard and reach the finish line without crossing the obstruction line.

This is also not prohibited by COLREGS as long as appropriate actions are taken to avoid collision with meeting vessels.

How does sailing to the left of the midway markers not breach COLREGS rule 9( a ):

(a) A vessel proceeding along the course of a narrow channel or fairway shall keep as near to the outer limit of the channel or fairway which lies on her starboard side as is safe and practicable.

I'm not sure the text of any local laws but it's not uncommon for sailboats under sail to beat their way out of the channel using the full width.

Bear in mind that nothing in the RRS, except Preamble to Part 2, with respect to boats not racing, and rule 48, with respect to fog signals, lights and TSS, requires boats racing to comply with COLREGS.

As an update, due to suggestions following the incident in the OP, the SIs have been amended to make the channel marker buoy a mark to be left to port.

 

12 minutes ago, TJSoCal said:
36 minutes ago, allene222 said:

Did they also eliminate the imaginary continuing obstruction?

No. The buoy is now a mark that is also part of a continuing obstruction, which I guess means that Rule 18 doesn't apply (per 18.1d) but Rule 19 does. However, the amended SI defining the buoy as a mark also states specifically that a 3 boat length zone is established for determining right to mark room. So still a bit messy, I guess.

Yes it is.  It completely defeats the purpose of making the buoy a mark.  Delete the 'continuing', and maybe even state that the line shall not be taken to be a continuing obstruction.

Maybe better would be to define the buoy as a mark, and just state that boats may not cross a line connecting the midchannel buoys but not define that line as a continuing obstruction

If you do that, without defining the line to be an obstruction, a leeward boat can force a windward boat across the line and protest them for breaching the SI (just like forcing a boat over a starting line early).

Defining the line to be an obstruction prevents this.  Just don't define it to be a continuing obstruction.

 

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44 minutes ago, TJSoCal said:

No. The buoy is now a mark that is also part of a continuing obstruction, which I guess means that Rule 18 doesn't apply (per 18.1d) but Rule 19 does. However, the amended SI defining the buoy as a mark also states specifically that a 3 boat length zone is established for determining right to mark room. So still a bit messy, I guess.

Maybe better would be to define the buoy as a mark, and just state that boats may not cross a line connecting the midchannel buoys but not define that line as a continuing obstruction (the midchannel buoys themselves would probably still rank as obstructions and would have to be taken to port but need not be marks.

Thoughts on that?

Ugh

is there a specific reason they want to hang onto the continuing obstruction? as this is what seems to be the most problematic part of this.

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2 minutes ago, Brass said:

 

 

Good points, and I note that the definition of an obstruction includes "an area so designated by the sailing instructions"

But since "continuing obstruction" isn't specifically defined and so could be taken in the ordinary sense as "an obstruction that continues", couldn't it be argued that the specified area "continues" and should be a continuous obstruction? Unless, as you suggest, you add the language that "it's not a continuing obstruction, because I said so" to the SI. So I would think including the "because I said so" wouldn't be a maybe, it would be necessary.

 

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Since "continuing" appears not to be found as a defined term in the rules, what are generally accepted parameters that would distinguish an obstruction from a continuing one? Such parameters would have to be drawn from ordinary experience, I guess, since we would be supposed to use the term in its ordinary meaning.

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21 hours ago, JohnMB said:

is there a specific reason they want to hang onto the continuing obstruction? as this is what seems to be the most problematic part of this.

Presumably the prohibition of sticking your nose in. AIUI under vanilla RRS19 if you can stick your nose in and get an inside overlap you are entitled to room, but if its a continuing obstruction you are not.

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28 minutes ago, JimC said:

Presumably the prohibition of sticking your nose in. AIUI under vanilla RRS19 if you can stick your nose in and get an inside overlap you are entitled to room, but if its a continuing obstruction you are not.

I think it could still work without the "continuing". If a boat hugged the line, an overtaking boat could not establish an overlap without crossing into the obstruction area. If the boat ahead leaves a bit of room and somebody sticks their nose in and gets an overlap, that's too bad on the boat ahead.

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What does the crowd think of this as a potential SI modification:

  • Channel entrance buoy is a mark, to be taken to port
  • Line connecting channel entrance mark and mid-channel buoys is a continuing obstruction. Rule 19 applies and boats are prohibited from crossing the obstruction line. A boat which crosses may exonerate by taking a one-turn penalty.
  • Rule 18 applies at the entrance buoy mark (this changes rule 18.1d and rule 19.1)

Seems like this would allow for a zone and Mark Room at the buoy, and Room at the obstruction thereafter. I suppose the only possible sticky point would be a boat that establishes an overlap inside the zone but before being at the obstruction--I think that boat would not be entitled to mark room. They would technically be entitled to room to pass the obstruction after rounding the mark, but I'm not sure how they would be able to maintain an inside position to and past the mark without denying the other boat mark room (violating 18.2b)

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You can't change part 2 rules in the SIs. But if the line *between* the buoys is the continuing obstruction, do you need to? Brass is the man for this stuff, but would you be better describing the obstruction as a zone bounded by the marks and two points on shore?

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7 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

What does the crowd think of this as a potential SI modification:

  • Channel entrance buoy is a mark, to be taken to port
  • Line connecting channel entrance mark and mid-channel buoys is a continuing obstruction. Rule 19 applies and boats are prohibited from crossing the obstruction line. A boat which crosses may exonerate by taking a one-turn penalty.
  • Rule 18 applies at the entrance buoy mark (this changes rule 18.1d and rule 19.1)

Seems like this would allow for a zone and Mark Room at the buoy, and Room at the obstruction thereafter. I suppose the only possible sticky point would be a boat that establishes an overlap inside the zone but before being at the obstruction--I think that boat would not be entitled to mark room. They would technically be entitled to room to pass the obstruction after rounding the mark, but I'm not sure how they would be able to maintain an inside position to and past the mark without denying the other boat mark room (violating 18.2b)

You need to get rid of 'continuing '.

Rule 19.1 last sentence disapplies rule 18 AT a continuing obstruction and you can't say that a point terminating a line is not "at"  the line. 

Just say the line  is an obstruction and the line shall not be taken to be a continuing obstruction.

 

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14 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

A boat which crosses may exonerate by taking a one-turn penalty.

Good, as long as it satisfies your port authorities.

But a turns penalty does not 'exonerate'.  Only rules 64.1a, 21, and 14b can exonerate. 

SI can stipulate that a turns penalty is an applicable penalty for purposes of rule 64.1b.

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