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Should WS consider dropping RRS 17?


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 A thread elsewhere got me thinking about RRS17. Could rule 17 could disappear as an unnecessary complication?


The point about RRS17 is that the leeward boat acquires ROW . When the overlap starts the leeward boat is the further back of the two and she cannot change course to windward without windward's stern swinging into her, so windward is protected by RRS 15/16. Once leeward is the further ahead and windward can respond to a change of course by leeward, subject still to 16.1, is it intrinsically wrong that the ROW boat is restricted? Would it be a good thing to eliminate the proper course debate/complication? 


The counter arguments in favour of 17 include, I suppose, that it is a traditional part of the game, and also that it creates a new protest situation with debate over whether the 16.1 protection applied...

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CASE 7 When, after having been clear astern, a boat becomes overlapped to leeward within two of her hull lengths of the other boat, the windward boat must keep clear, but the leeward boat must initially give the windward boat room to keep clear and must not sail above her proper course. The proper course of the windward boat is not relevant.

http://www.jsaf.or.jp/rule/isafQA/20172020WorldSailingCaseBook-[22260].pdf

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Well, yes. With the rules as they stand the leeward boat may not sail above her proper course while the overlap exists. 

I'm suggesting that perhaps this requirement is unnecessary, and the leeward boat should be allowed to change course provided the windward boat is able to keep clear.

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25 minutes ago, JimC said:

the leeward boat should be allowed to change course provided the windward boat is able to keep clear.

potential minefield , A says she could keep clear , B says she could not ....

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2 hours ago, JimC said:

she cannot change course to windward without windward's stern swinging into her,

That sounds like not enough 'room'.

Too close, foul!

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4 hours ago, JimC said:

 A thread elsewhere got me thinking about RRS17. Could rule 17 could disappear as an unnecessary complication?


The point about RRS17 is that the leeward boat acquires ROW . When the overlap starts the leeward boat is the further back of the two and she cannot change course to windward without windward's stern swinging into her, so windward is protected by RRS 15/16. Once leeward is the further ahead and windward can respond to a change of course by leeward, subject still to 16.1, is it intrinsically wrong that the ROW boat is restricted? Would it be a good thing to eliminate the proper course debate/complication? 


The counter arguments in favour of 17 include, I suppose, that it is a traditional part of the game, and also that it creates a new protest situation with debate over whether the 16.1 protection applied...

Changes the game somewhat, makes it harder to defend downwind as it open up passing lanes both sides.  Would be a right pain in handicap racing if your're the fast upwind, slow downwind boat being shoved all over the ocean by fast downwind boats trying to pass you by "luffing and leaving".  

 

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7 hours ago, JimC said:

Well, yes. With the rules as they stand the leeward boat may not sail above her proper course while the overlap exists. 

I'm suggesting that perhaps this requirement is unnecessary, and the leeward boat should be allowed to change course provided the windward boat is able to keep clear.

 The windward boat still needs to keep clear, even if the leeward boat sails above what is considered proper course. Windward can always protest. 
 

A lot of the confusion (myself included) stems from the wording that says that leeward shall not sail above proper course. Which makes it sound like a windward boat would all of a sudden have rights over a leeward boat. That’s not the case. Windward still needs to keep clear, even if she thinks leeward is above proper course. 

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16 hours ago, JimC said:

Well, yes. With the rules as they stand the leeward boat may not sail above her proper course while the overlap exists. 

I'm suggesting that perhaps this requirement is unnecessary, and the leeward boat should be allowed to change course provided the windward boat is able to keep clear.

Maybe they just don't want faster boats being able to choose which side they overtake on and then use that ability to shove a slower boat all over the race course.

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12 hours ago, Captain Jack Sparrow said:

 The windward boat still needs to keep clear, even if the leeward boat sails above what is considered proper course. Windward can always protest. 
 

A lot of the confusion (myself included) stems from the wording that says that leeward shall not sail above proper course. Which makes it sound like a windward boat would all of a sudden have rights over a leeward boat. That’s not the case. Windward still needs to keep clear, even if she thinks leeward is above proper course. 

Exactly.  If I go faster in my agile craft at a hotter angle than your tub, and I happen to be below you, my proper course might make you think you're on an upwind leg.  A boat that  protested me found this out, to his chagrin.

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No.  Enough stupid people doing stupid things on the race course.  Much like allowing hunting in stbd port crossings was stupid (Oh but they do it in the America's Cup) there is no reason to make a rule change that will encourage people to push positions into collisions.  Just no. 

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On 7/1/2020 at 5:07 AM, Captain Jack Sparrow said:

 The windward boat still needs to keep clear, even if the leeward boat sails above what is considered proper course. Windward can always protest. 
 

A lot of the confusion (myself included) stems from the wording that says that leeward shall not sail above proper course. Which makes it sound like a windward boat would all of a sudden have rights over a leeward boat. That’s not the case. Windward still needs to keep clear, even if she thinks leeward is above proper course. 

I know people get confused by the distinction between the rights of the ROW boat and limitations (obligations to give various kinds of room, and rule 17 course limitation) placed on those rights, which are then entitlements due the non-ROW boat.

I think there are two solutions:

1. Gain a better understanding of the rules (at least the Part 2 rules, which are only 6 pages)

2. Don't press your rights or entitlements unless you're sure you have them (and if you're not sure, see #1)

20 hours ago, Panoramix said:

I think the main interest of this rule is that when boats are reaching kite up the leeward boat can't force the windward boat to broach.

 

It doesn't really accomplish that. A sport boat can still come up underneath a symmetric boat and legally luff her higher than the symmetric boat can carry, as long as the sport boat can support that she's not above her proper course.

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7 minutes ago, TJSoCal said:

It doesn't really accomplish that. A sport boat can still come up underneath a symmetric boat and legally luff her higher than the symmetric boat can carry, as long as the sport boat can support that she's not above her proper course.

It might happen in some border cases but 99% of the time :

In VMG mode the proper course of an Asym boat is low enough for a symetric kite to be carried. On a reach from point A to B, the proper course is a straight line so unless the sym kite boat misjudged the wind angle there should be no problem.

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4 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

It might happen in some border cases but 99% of the time :

In VMG mode the proper course of an Asym boat is low enough for a symetric kite to be carried. On a reach from point A to B, the proper course is a straight line so unless the sym kite boat misjudged the wind angle there should be no problem.

Fair point.

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21 hours ago, Panoramix said:

I think the main interest of this rule is that when boats are reaching kite up the leeward boat can't force the windward boat to broach.

 

Um No....

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Because broaching is part of the game.  If you decide to to go above me, dam straight I will take you to the moon.  If you broach, well, your problem....

  

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Just now, shaggy said:

Because broaching is part of the game.  If you decide to to go above me, dam straight I will take you to the moon.  If you broach, well, your problem....

  

Are you the kind of guy who keeps shouting at everybody imaginary rules and end up disqualified afterward ?

Rule 17 is applicable when you pass underneath, so if you pass me underneath, you aren't allowed to luff me up if that's above proper course.

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25 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

 On a reach from point A to B, the proper course is a straight line 

Sometimes the proper reach course from A to B is high w/jib then low with kite. Have had that demonstrated to me a time or two.

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2 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

Are you the kind of guy who keeps shouting at everybody imaginary rules and end up disqualified afterward ?

Rule 17 is applicable when you pass underneath, so if you pass me underneath, you aren't allowed to luff me up if that's above proper course.

No, but once I break the overlap I can do what I like.  I race 99% OD btw, so if your arguing from a PHRF view, well, it's PHRF...  

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2 minutes ago, Dex Sawash said:

Sometimes the proper reach course from A to B is high w/jib then low with kite. Have had that demonstrated to me a time or two.

True....

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1 minute ago, shaggy said:

No, but once I break the overlap I can do what I like.  I race 99% OD btw, so if your arguing from a PHRF view, well, it's PHRF...  

Good luck passing underneath in a OD fleet then breaking the overlap. Assuming that you've managed this, why would you want to luff the other boat? I'd just use my superiour speed to finish ahead!

If you go underneath downwind, you are going to get stuck at some point in the shadow of the other boat, so some could be tempted to start a luffing match to force the other to broach but that's prohibited....

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Your statement 

34 minutes ago, shaggy said:

I think the main interest of this rule is that when boats are reaching kite up the leeward boat can't force the windward boat to broach.

is simply false.  The rule is not there to prevent broaching.  Anything you say beyond that is irrelevant.  

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34 minutes ago, shaggy said:

The rule is not there to prevent broaching.

Well that kind of brings us back to the question in the original post. Why do the rules prohibit a boat which has established an overlap to leeward from luffing as she pleases? Why is the rule different if the overlap was established from clear astern rather than some other way?

What would be the consequence if rule 17 was eliminated?

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If you claim your proper course is higher than the boat that you just overlapped to leeward, why did you overlap to leeward?

Only reason is to annoy the hell out of the other boat which is not very sportsmanlike, there is another rule about that. If you just want to pass them the high side is nearly always better.

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1 hour ago, TJSoCal said:

Well that kind of brings us back to the question in the original post. Why do the rules prohibit a boat which has established an overlap to leeward from luffing as she pleases? Why is the rule different if the overlap was established from clear astern rather than some other way?

What would be the consequence if rule 17 was eliminated?

Fast boat overtakes to leeward, pushes slow boat leading another class many boat lengths to windward for no other reason than because he can, slow boat now has terrible downwind angle to the mark and is passed by rest of his own fleet.

Maybe not likely, but pretty plausible, and legal without Rule 17.

It's a good thing IMO that a faster boat can't use his speed as a weapon against a slower one, besides for the sake of getting to the finish quicker.

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1 hour ago, BOI Guy said:

If you claim your proper course is higher than the boat that you just overlapped to leeward, why did you overlap to leeward?

Only reason is to annoy the hell out of the other boat which is not very sportsmanlike, there is another rule about that. If you just want to pass them the high side is nearly always better.

Better for who? If I'm the boat getting passed I'll generally try to discourage the other boat from the high side, especially if they're significantly bigger. So I guess one rationale for rule 17 might be to reduce the risk of the clear-ahead boat from protecting her clear air.

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4 minutes ago, coyotepup said:

Fast boat overtakes to leeward, pushes slow boat leading another class many boat lengths to windward for no other reason than because he can, slow boat now has terrible downwind angle to the mark and is passed by rest of his own fleet.

Maybe not likely, but pretty plausible, and legal without Rule 17.

It's a good thing IMO that a faster boat can't use his speed as a weapon against a slower one, besides for the sake of getting to the finish quicker.

I don't remember off the top of my head but I seem to recall a WS case that says that deliberately hindering another boat "just because you can" (which is to say, with no potential to improve your own position or score) is unfair sailing and a breach of rule 2.

Unless a faster boat had some ulterior motive (like maybe helping out a buddy in the slow boat's fleet) I don't know why the faster boat would do that. Seems like they'd be hurting themselves against their own fleet.

That said, a slower boat could still wind up stuck above a slightly faster, higher boat and pushed way off of her desired line, and that would be legal with (as long as the faster boat sailed no higher than her proper course) or without rule 17

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The point is that the boats have crossing courses, and the rule allows the leeward boat to maintain its course if it is coming up from more three boat lengths to leeward. The windward boat cannot force the leeward boat to head off. If the windward boat does not want to get carried up (resulting in an even worse angle for them, as coyotepup suggests) they should let the leeward boat get past them as quickly as possible and head off across the leeward boat's stern. transom.

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3 hours ago, Panoramix said:

It might happen in some border cases but 99% of the time :

In VMG mode the proper course of an Asym boat is low enough for a symetric kite to be carried. On a reach from point A to B, the proper course is a straight line so unless the sym kite boat misjudged the wind angle there should be no problem.

No, a boat's "proper course" is in the definitions, and that's not it.

Since such a course will result in finishing faster, a boat's proper course may definitely include "up in the lulls and down in the gusts."

FB- Doug

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12 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

Well that kind of brings us back to the question in the original post. Why do the rules prohibit a boat which has established an overlap to leeward from luffing as she pleases? Why is the rule different if the overlap was established from clear astern rather than some other way?

What would be the consequence if rule 17 was eliminated?

With 17 in place if you are in a marginally faster boat you pretty much have to go above and risk being luffed.  You need to be a lot quicker to be able to get through to leeward.  

Without 17 you could get an overlap to leeward move forward as far as you are able before their wind shadow gets to you, luff the windward boat until their kite collapses and then bear away quick and clear your air to complete the pass.  Basically the reverse of the "luff and leave" defense. 

Great for the overtaking boat, but a succession of fast downwind boats doing that to a boat that is quick upwind (and hence ahead at the windward mark) but slow downwind is really going to ruin their day. Will cost them a lot more than just getting rolled to windward.  

Arguments for and against, but pretty fundamentally changes the game downwind I think.  

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10 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

No, a boat's "proper course" is in the definitions, and that's not it.

Since such a course will result in finishing faster, a boat's proper course may definitely include "up in the lulls and down in the gusts."

FB- Doug

Yes but that's not enough to make somebody broach!

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46 minutes ago, Flaming said:

With 17 in place if you are in a marginally faster boat you pretty much have to go above and risk being luffed.  You need to be a lot quicker to be able to get through to leeward.  

Without 17 you could get an overlap to leeward move forward as far as you are able before their wind shadow gets to you, luff the windward boat until their kite collapses and then bear away quick and clear your air to complete the pass.  Basically the reverse of the "luff and leave" defense. 

Great for the overtaking boat, but a succession of fast downwind boats doing that to a boat that is quick upwind (and hence ahead at the windward mark) but slow downwind is really going to ruin their day. Will cost them a lot more than just getting rolled to windward.  

Arguments for and against, but pretty fundamentally changes the game downwind I think.  

Exactly.

On top of this without rule 17 racing rules would become contradictory to COLREGS (rule 13 d) whereas now they are mostly complementary. Although theoretically possible, I think that's bad because it would confuse some.

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Rule 17 is there for a reason.

Racing hasn't changed much since it was put there.  We don't need no steeekin match racing shit in fleet racing.

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1 hour ago, astro said:

Rule 17 is there for a reason.

Racing hasn't changed much since it was put there.  We don't need no steeekin match racing shit in fleet racing.

Help us out here.

What do you think the reason is?

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7 minutes ago, Brass said:

Help us out here.

What do you think the reason is?

How about to prevent chaos and damage?

To prevent stupid and overly aggressive luffing?

To prevent fast downwind boats repeatedly shafting those ahead?

How about the general concept that the overtaking boat keeps clear?

How about the maintain some sanity to Performance Handicap fleets?

That enough?

 

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Is there anyone here who has actual real world experience of sailing without RRS17 in match racing? It would be interesting to hear how they find it. 
 

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1 minute ago, JimC said:

Is there anyone here who has actual real world experience of sailing without RRS17 in match racing? It would be interesting to hear how they find it. 
 

I have experience racing with people who don't know or follow the rules, RRS17 included.

Does that count?

FB- Doug

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3 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

I have experience racing with people who don't know or follow the rules, RRS17 included.

Does that count?

FB- Doug

Yes.  So have I. 

Most sailors could not tell you what Rule 17 was.

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5 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Does that count?

Only as an argument for ditching as many complications as possible from the rules...

 

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2 minutes ago, JimC said:

Only as an argument for ditching as many complications as possible from the rules...

 

I'm pretty sure that has been the aim for many years now.

The RRS as they are now are pretty fucking good.  They have been honed over the decades to be pretty good.

People are still asking for a 'plain English' version, when I think that is what we have.  So the problem is not that the rules are complicated, it is that people do not invest the time to understand them.   Lazy cunts who would rather bully others with their ignorance.

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17 minutes ago, JimC said:
24 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Does that count?

Only as an argument for ditching as many complications as possible from the rules...

Funny thing, I don't see the racing rules as "complicated." Do you participate in any other sport? Compare the rule books. The rules governing actions between boats is 7 pages of wide-spaced type.

One problem with simplifying the rules is, when do we stop? It's arguable that ditching RRS17 would be simplifying them, yet as several have noted, it would be a significant change in the tactical part part of the game. And the more we change the rules, the less people are inclined to learn them.

I was joking, sort of, saying about racing with people who just don't know / don't care about the rules, but it's uncomfortably close to truth

FB- Doug

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Just now, Steam Flyer said:

Funny thing, I don't see the racing rules as "complicated."

No, I don't see the rules as especially complicated, and I think the framers have done a good job over the years. They are certainly way better than the mast abeam days. However its hard to argue with the premise that plenty of people do find them complicated in application. I don't suppose those people have read colregs either... I think the fewer special cases we have in the rules the better and there's little doubt that proper course is a concept some have trouble with, simply because it is so nebulous. 18.4 is another that might be worth thinking about.

I'm not very convinced about the luffing arguments. The counter is that with the current rule the windward boat is motivated to do as little as possible to keep clear of leeward, whereas if you removed the proper course requirement on leeward windward might be inclined to seek as much separation as possible in order to get leeward out of their hair as soon as possible. That's why I'm interested to hear how the match race folks find it in practice. 

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40 minutes ago, JimC said:

No, I don't see the rules as especially complicated, and I think the framers have done a good job over the years. They are certainly way better than the mast abeam days.

We've certainly agreed on that over the years

40 minutes ago, JimC said:

 However its hard to argue with the premise that plenty of people do find them complicated in application. I don't suppose those people have read colregs either.

I'll argue it.  Claims that the rules are 'complicated' or 'difficult to understand' are usually post-hoc rationalisations for breaking them.  Sure there are some competitors who haven't read the rules, of those, some have gained sufficient understanding from what they have been told or seen to stay out of trouble, some haven't.

Problems, such as they are, I suggest are caused by complicated interactions between rules deliberately contrived by competitors to gain advantage, that is 'rules chess'.  Consider the double gybe under rule 17 for example.  I think most of us agree that that's part of the game and an attractive part at that.

40 minutes ago, JimC said:

.. I think the fewer special cases we have in the rules the better and there's little doubt that proper course is a concept some have trouble with, simply because it is so nebulous.

Maybe, but ISTM that rule 17 has a good place in mixed fleet racing

I think the main reason they canned it in MR was that you could have a situation where a boat became overlapped to leeward then it was Y Flag Green Flag Y Flag Green Flag Y Flag Green Flag ... all the way down the leg as the windward boat hopefully tried to convince the umpires that leeward was above proper course, and that, with matched one design boats, and just two of them, it wasn't worth the trouble.  Mixed fleet racing is different.

40 minutes ago, JimC said:

18.4 is another that might be worth thinking about.

So inside overlapped starboard tacker, with the red mist on, can sail the outside boat to Antarctica before gybing, just because she can?

No thanks.

40 minutes ago, JimC said:

I'm not very convinced about the luffing arguments.

I'm a little sympathetic with Astro's arguments here.  While in a 'pure' sense it may not be necessary, having rule 17 there serves as an additional measure to 'hose down' people engaging in pointless luffing duels.

40 minutes ago, JimC said:

The counter is that with the current rule the windward boat is motivated to do as little as possible to keep clear of leeward, whereas if you removed the proper course requirement on leeward windward might be inclined to seek as much separation as possible in order to get leeward out of their hair as soon as possible.

I don't see it like that.  I think if it wasn't for rule 17, you would have some dope, with an ill-remembered bit of the Boys Big Book of Yacht Racing Tactics 1985, about 'luffing rights' will follow W up and keep sticking it to them until they both arrived in Algiers without a passport.

40 minutes ago, JimC said:

That's why I'm interested to hear how the match race folks find it in practice. 

See my comment above.  I'd also remark that Match Racers usually do understand tactics and won't muck around.

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1 hour ago, JimC said:

No, I don't see the rules as especially complicated, and I think the framers have done a good job over the years. They are certainly way better than the mast abeam days. However its hard to argue with the premise that plenty of people do find them complicated in application. I don't suppose those people have read colregs either... I think the fewer special cases we have in the rules the better and there's little doubt that proper course is a concept some have trouble with, simply because it is so nebulous. 18.4 is another that might be worth thinking about.

I'm not very convinced about the luffing arguments. The counter is that with the current rule the windward boat is motivated to do as little as possible to keep clear of leeward, whereas if you removed the proper course requirement on leeward windward might be inclined to seek as much separation as possible in order to get leeward out of their hair as soon as possible. That's why I'm interested to hear how the match race folks find it in practice. 

I haven't done match races but I've sailed a bit before the "new rules" ( was that 1998?) and I remember that it could be a bit scary at times. If you remove rule 17, effectively you reinstate the mast abeam situation (that is you sneak from behind far enough to "push out" the other boat. i can understand why match racers like this, as they are all about tactics but in a fleet, I quite like to have a race that is more about strategy and anticipating wind and current.

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Rule 17. is well understood where I sailed,  even if you are in a OD class,  you are sailing in mixed fleets.  8 class starts,  at 5 minute intervals,  and 3 to 6 laps of the course are not unusual.  You are always overtaking someone or being overtaken . Removing the rule would chaos you'd always get some prat sailing beneath you and forcing you up even if not in your fleet. 

Conversely I was sailing and I moved up long before a big boat with 4 times the sail area arrived, he insisted on going above..  We didn't luff him,  we didn't get the chance, he got a big gust heeled over,  impaled his expensive laminate sail on our mast crane and dragging us both past the buoy.. We lost 4 places.. 

As it is if you go over the top as you're much faster,  you'll still get a slower idiot from a different fleet luffing you way up. There are those in the fleets who will always try to stop you overtaking  even if it makes no difference to their position.. 

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8 hours ago, JimC said:

Is there anyone here who has actual real world experience of sailing without RRS17 in match racing? It would be interesting to hear how they find it. 
 

Its also deleted for a lot of 2 boat team racing. However that is mostly done without kites. 

It makes no difference upwind. Downwind it very much changes the (team racing) game, gives the boat astern much more power and keeps races alive much longer than they would otherwise be.

Personally I'd be in favour of binning it for fleet racing. No one knows the rule properly anyway, no one ever protests it successfully, and no one really uses it aggressively so I don't think it would make any difference.

Quote

I don't see it like that.  I think if it wasn't for rule 17, you would have some dope, with an ill-remembered bit of the Boys Big Book of Yacht Racing Tactics 1985, about 'luffing rights' will follow W up and keep sticking it to them until they both arrived in Algiers without a passport.

But why would you do that in a fleet race? It would just guarantee you second last.

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3 hours ago, Quagers said:

 

Quote

I don't see it like that.  I think if it wasn't for rule 17, you would have some dope, with an ill-remembered bit of the Boys Big Book of Yacht Racing Tactics 1985, about 'luffing rights' will follow W up and keep sticking it to them until they both arrived in Algiers without a passport.

But why would you do that in a fleet race? It would just guarantee you second last.

Because:

  1. He's a dope.
  2. He 'enjoys the cut and thrust of close competition'.
  3. The Boys Big Book didn't explain that bit.
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6 hours ago, Brass said:

Because:

  1. He's a dope.
  2. He 'enjoys the cut and thrust of close competition'.
  3. The Boys Big Book didn't explain that bit.

Sure and I'm not saying it doesn't happen. But I'm not sure we need to keep the rule just to accommodate this idiot.

Plenty of people likely to do this sort of nonsense won't even know about R17 anyway.

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2 hours ago, Quagers said:

Sure and I'm not saying it doesn't happen. But I'm not sure we need to keep the rule just to accommodate this idiot.

 

Isn't that the nub of this discussion?

Rule 17 is arguably superfluous, it just gums up the works.

And gumming up the works and deterring boats with poor understanding of rules and tactics from pursuing self-defeating luffs is, likewise, arguably, a good thing.

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So I'm thinking that none of you guys have participated in match racing or teams racing where extreme aggression is allowed luffing downwind?

Boat with symmetrical kite being taken up so high they rip the bag trying to keep clear? 

It would be dangerous without Rule 17 in fleet racing.

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5 hours ago, astro said:

So I'm thinking that none of you guys have participated in match racing or teams racing where extreme aggression is allowed luffing downwind?

Boat with symmetrical kite being taken up so high they rip the bag trying to keep clear? 

It would be dangerous without Rule 17 in fleet racing.

If it's dangerous then why allow luffing downwind at all? Rule 17 only restricts luffing when the overlap is established in a particular way (from clear astern within two hull lengths to leeward). Isn't it just as dangerous if the leeward boat started clear ahead, or if the boats were converging and the overlap began when they were further apart? In those instances leeward can still luff up to head to wind if she pleases. 

I kind of think it's the last vestige of the "overtaking boat keeps clear" concept. Right now I'm kind of on the fence as to whether it's necessary or not. 

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6 hours ago, astro said:

So I'm thinking that none of you guys have participated in match racing or teams racing where extreme aggression is allowed luffing downwind?

Boat with symmetrical kite being taken up so high they rip the bag trying to keep clear? 

It would be dangerous without Rule 17 in fleet racing.

But....why would anyone do this in a fleet race? As I said to Brass, all it does is guarantee you second last.

Turning off R17 isn't suddenly going to make fleet race downwind legs like match races because the aims are completely different.

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6 hours ago, Brass said:

Isn't that the nub of this discussion?

Rule 17 is arguably superfluous, it just gums up the works.

And gumming up the works and deterring boats with poor understanding of rules and tactics from pursuing self-defeating luffs is, likewise, arguably, a good thing.

I'm not sure I understand your point here.

If the idiot doesn't understand the rules, then the idiot doesn't know about R17, and so keeping R17 doesn't stop the idiot doing anything.

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43 minutes ago, Quagers said:

But....why would anyone do this in a fleet race? As I said to Brass, all it does is guarantee you second last.

Turning off R17 isn't suddenly going to make fleet race downwind legs like match races because the aims are completely different.

In the mast abeam era, people would sometimes come from behind on the leeward side, try to catch better a puff or a wave to come slightly ahead, shout "mast abeam", head up aggressively to catch clean air and carry on. That was certainly not a ticket to finish second last!

There was even an expression in French for the tactic "Le sortir", word for word translation is "exit him". Like in "Next puff we exit him".

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On 7/2/2020 at 11:21 AM, Panoramix said:

On a reach from point A to B, the proper course is a straight line so unless the sym kite boat misjudged the wind angle there should be no problem.

Please review the definitions.   There nothing about a straight line between two points.   That may be the proper course but it may not be.

Proper Course: A course a boat would sail to finish as soon as possible in the absence of the other boats

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1 hour ago, ExOmo said:

Please review the definitions.   There nothing about a straight line between two points.   That may be the proper course but it may not be.

Proper Course: A course a boat would sail to finish as soon as possible in the absence of the other boats

I know but on a reach, in most cases the straight line is the quickest! You need strong currents or wild wind changes for this to be untrue.

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1 hour ago, ExOmo said:

Please review the definitions.   There nothing about a straight line between two points.   That may be the proper course but it may not be.

Proper Course: A course a boat would sail to finish as soon as possible in the absence of the other boats referred to in the rule using the term 

Not in the absence of all other boats. So when rule 17 is on between W and L, L can't sail above proper course for the purpose of getting W off her air, but can alter course to keep a third boat off her air.

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2 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

Not in the absence of all other boats. So when rule 17 is on between W and L, L can't sail above proper course for the purpose of getting W off her air, but can alter course to keep a third boat off her air.

In practice, IMO in most cases that would be hard to argue successfully in front of a Jury for anything but a slight course alteration. Yes I luffed suddenly, I did push the boat to windward  out but that wasn't my aim, I was just trying to get out of the shadow of this other boat which was 10 lengths away!

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6 hours ago, Quagers said:

I'm not sure I understand your point here.

If the idiot doesn't understand the rules, then the idiot doesn't know about R17, and so keeping R17 doesn't stop the idiot doing anything.

My proposition is that some sailors knowing that there is some sort of a rule about an 'overtaking' leeward boat not luffing may have a beneficial effect in 'damping down' the incidence of ill-considered aggression.

Balance this possibility against reasons for deleting the rule:

  • it's ill-understood and in effect is a 'social distancing' measure, to a degree relying on [possibly incorrect] perceptions to have a beneficial effect;
  • it's difficult to apply;
  • Rule 16.1 does all the work that's strictly necessary.
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32 minutes ago, Brass said:

Rule 16.1 does all the work that's strictly necessary.

It does not.

17 prevents the boat being overtaken to leeward from being hunted up till it's downwind sails no longer work.

16.1 allows that to happen if the ROW boat yells at them enough.

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'Strictly necessary' I interpret as what is necessary to prevent a give way boat being put in a position where, through no fault of her own, she cannot avoid breaking a rule.

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15 hours ago, Panoramix said:

In the mast abeam era, people would sometimes come from behind on the leeward side, try to catch better a puff or a wave to come slightly ahead, shout "mast abeam", head up aggressively to catch clean air and carry on. That was certainly not a ticket to finish second last!

There was even an expression in French for the tactic "Le sortir", word for word translation is "exit him". Like in "Next puff we exit him".

We would still have R16.1, it sounds like the sort of thing you are suggesting would break that.

8 hours ago, astro said:

It does not.

17 prevents the boat being overtaken to leeward from being hunted up till it's downwind sails no longer work.

16.1 allows that to happen if the ROW boat yells at them enough.

But it has to be given time and space to do so under R16.1. So in practice any sharp quick luff which requires the downwind sails to be dropped will break it.

Are we really expecting an outbreak of slow ponderous luffs which pause while windward drops its spinnaker in Fleet races if R17 is deleted? I'm not convinced.

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On 7/1/2020 at 8:07 PM, Captain Jack Sparrow said:

 The windward boat still needs to keep clear, even if the leeward boat sails above what is considered proper course. Windward can always protest. 
 

A lot of the confusion (myself included) stems from the wording that says that leeward shall not sail above proper course. Which makes it sound like a windward boat would all of a sudden have rights over a leeward boat. That’s not the case. Windward still needs to keep clear, even if she thinks leeward is above proper course. 

Correct - she needs to keep clear and then protest if Leeward sails above considered proper course.(RRS 11)

Also many sailors do not understand proper course (see definition). I remember one match race between 2 x FT10 - I know 17 has now gone from Appendix C but it illustrates the problem. One boat was sailing deep with the Aso 'fluffy'- in other words not pulling fully when another FT10 came in from below, Aso fully powered up, sailing higher and called W up. W didn't respond (she was obligated under 11 anyway) W flew the Y Flag and the look on their faces when we penalised them was a picture.

They grabbed me once ashore and asked what the hell I was playing at. I asked them the definition of "Proper Course" then did they think they were sailing as fast as possible to complete the course if there were no other boats present  (clearly they weren't and actually sailing lower and slower than their proper course as the other boat had rapidly overtaken them on the downwind leg). Also that they still had obligations under 11. Then the light came on.

17 still applies and while some consider it not so relevant in one design, most people in keelboats race in handicap classes. The varying "Proper Courses" between designs already make things complicated enough but as mentioned up thread it would mean that to fly a symmetrical spinnaker on a downwind would put you at the mercy of every asymmetric boat on the water. Mark you with "proper course" in the rule it already does as an aso boat will always run hotter than a symmetrical. 

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Woke early (0445) but my mind was still turning over with this "17" question. Perhaps World Sailing could be lobbied to allow a change to, first of all Rule 86.1 which currently disallows any change to Part 2 of the rules.

The removal of "17" from Appendix C and match racing has brought a new element of excitement to that part of our sport but it must be remembered that match racers tend to be far more rules aware than the average sailor. Perhaps it would be beneficial for certain classes or higher end one design events for them to be able to switch off "17".

On the other hand that might, for some less aware or knowledgeable sailors, just add a further unwelcome complication to their sport and that is the danger.

Besides the "luffing match" is an often overplayed element of our sport in fleet racing in any case with often both protagonists slipping back in fleet terms. Often best to just let the bigger faster boat through then you can get back to sailing your own race all the sooner.

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15 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

On the other hand that might, for some less aware or knowledgeable sailors, just add a further unwelcome complication to their sport and that is the danger.

Besides the "luffing match" is an often overplayed element of our sport in fleet racing in any case with often both protagonists slipping back in fleet terms. Often best to just let the bigger faster boat through then you can get back to sailing your own race all the sooner.

I can understand why match racers like it but for mere mortals, It would be really counter intuitive, I can't think of a sport where the overtaker has a right over the overtaken, same under COLREGS, when you drive your car etc...

I don't think that 17 really prevents a luffing match because that's what you do if you try to defend your standing when being overtaken on the windward side, it mainly prevents aggression from a boat which tried to go under but got stuck there.

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5 hours ago, Panoramix said:

I can understand why match racers like it but for mere mortals, It would be really counter intuitive, I can't think of a sport where the overtaker has a right over the overtaken, same under COLREGS, when you drive your car etc...

I don't think that 17 really prevents a luffing match because that's what you do if you try to defend your standing when being overtaken on the windward side, it mainly prevents aggression from a boat which tried to go under but got stuck there.

In a number of match races already no 17 has led to L (having overlapped from behind)  luffing W whereas b4 it was illegal - just sayin'

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25 minutes ago, shanghaisailor said:

In a number of match races already no 17 has led to L (having overlapped from behind)  luffing W whereas b4 it was illegal - just sayin'

I don't doubt it!

I think that there is a bit of a semantic issue, for me a luffing match means that 2 boats keep luffing each other and end up in a far away corner. I imagine that in those match races the luffing didn't last very long as w couldn't defend its position very long. At least that is how I remember the "mast abeam era", may be I am wrong...

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On 7/3/2020 at 3:18 AM, Panoramix said:

Yes but that's not enough to make somebody broach!

My proper course just changed as I saw you heading up to steal my air.  Now my proper course is absolutely to take you up to the frigging moon to defend my air.  If you broach, so be it.  

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38 minutes ago, shaggy said:

My proper course just changed as I saw you heading up to steal my air.  Now my proper course is absolutely to take you up to the frigging moon to defend my air.  If you broach, so be it.  

That isn't the definition of proper course...

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4 hours ago, shaggy said:

My proper course just changed as I saw you heading up to steal my air.  Now my proper course is absolutely to take you up to the frigging moon to defend my air.  If you broach, so be it.  

That would be your IMproper course

FB- Doug

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12 hours ago, shaggy said:

My proper course just changed as I saw you heading up to steal my air.  Now my proper course is absolutely to take you up to the frigging moon to defend my air.  If you broach, so be it.  

Wrong - read the definition. The presence of other boats doesn’t change your ‘proper course’ one little bit. In fact it specifically states it is the course you would sail if there were no other boats about and any tactical considerations have no influence on it

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12 hours ago, shaggy said:

My proper course just changed as I saw you heading up to steal my air.  Now my proper course is absolutely to take you up to the frigging moon to defend my air.  If you broach, so be it.  

How do you get to this situation when you're overtaking to leeward? 

I can see this when the other fellow is trying to roll you to windward and in that case it's legal to take him up, there are no proper course considerations. 

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Rule 17 prevents a reliable tactic of luffing the windward boat before the ROW boat bears away gaining shit loads of boat lengths and clear air as a result.

Precisely why the rule was put there to stop.  It's dangerous and gear breaking.

The OP does not make a case for why it needs to go.  The swinging transom thing is bullshit, not enough room was given if that happened.

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On 7/1/2020 at 10:07 PM, Captain Jack Sparrow said:

proper course

and it's a mine field , as in one's meat is another's poison

 

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3 hours ago, Mid said:
On 7/1/2020 at 8:07 AM, Captain Jack Sparrow said:

proper course

and it's a mine field , as in one's meat is another's poison

Not really.

"Proper Course" is pretty simple, and IIRC the definition hasn't changed in a long time. Racers -should- be familiar with it.

One skipper does not get to decide another's proper course. Any skipper deciding on their proper course can choose a range of courses, as long as they don't justify it by saying "I needed to screw up that other boat." Apparent wind, dodging a bed of kelp, seeking favorable current, etc etc. If a windward skipper thinks that a leeward skipper is full of malarkey in the course he decides is his "proper" one, his recourse is to give way and protest, or he loses. Period. Disagreeing with another boat's proper course is not a license to ignore all the other rules, nor does it confer right-of-way upon one.

Note: Luffing head-to-wind is never anyone's "proper course."

Also Note- definitions are RULES. If you don't know the definitions, you don't know the rules, by definition! Pardon the pun. Not aiming this as an insult to any, just making this point clear.

From: https://www.sailing.org/tools/documents/WorldSailingRRS20172020new-[24067].pdf

DEFINITIONS (p9):

Proper Course: A course a boat would sail to finish as soon as possible in the absence of the other boats referred to in the rule using the term. A boat has no proper course before her starting signal.

 

 

Hope this helps

FB- Doug

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7 hours ago, Mid said:

and it's a mine field , as in one's meat is another's poison

 

4 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

One skipper does not get to decide another's proper course.

QED

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On 7/3/2020 at 7:54 AM, BOI Guy said:

If you claim your proper course is higher than the boat that you just overlapped to leeward, why did you overlap to leeward?

Only reason is to annoy the hell out of the other boat which is not very sportsmanlike, there is another rule about that. If you just want to pass them the high side is nearly always better.

If you are coming from below and hotter you are entitled to continue sailing at the same angle at point of overlap. Even in OD you will be faster than a boat thats flatter until they match you but one very good reason to do so is that you are now inside boat if the mark in on your leeward side. 

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