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Should WS consider dropping RRS 17?


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1 hour ago, TJSoCal said:

That's a good question - it's possible that rule 17 could apply between Blue and Green.

I would parse the question this way: If Green was not there, could luffing Yellow be a proper course for Blue?

No, because luffing another boat for the sake of luffing them (and not just "I happen to be going this way") is never proper course.  In this case you wouldn't do it in the absence of the other boat.

Yellow has not sailed her proper course, because she's only luffing in response to Blue's luff.  She wouldn't luff in the absence of another boat.

I cannot think of anything in the rules that exonerates Yellow from an R17 violation.  I dunno if there's a case or something that covers it.  But I look at it this way: If you touch a mark because you're keeping clear of another boat, you're not exonerated from violating that rule.  The only exception I can think of is that if A has to keep clear of both B and C, neither B nor C can force them to make a choice between keeping clear of one or the other.  A leeward port-tack boat can't force a windward port-tack boat to hit a starboard-tack boat.  But that's not the case here - it's not that Yellow must keep clear of Green.  There's a specific action that Yellow is not allowed to do; the fact that keeping clear of another boat is what caused her to do that, shouldn't exonerate her.

Moral of the story is, as usual, don't stick your nose in the middle.

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24 minutes ago, coyotepup said:

Yellow has not sailed her proper course, because she's only luffing in response to Blue's luff.  She wouldn't luff in the absence of another boat.

I cannot think of anything in the rules that exonerates Yellow from an R17 violation.  I dunno if there's a case or something that covers it.  But I look at it this way: If you touch a mark because you're keeping clear of another boat, you're not exonerated from violating that rule.  The only exception I can think of is that if A has to keep clear of both B and C, neither B nor C can force them to make a choice between keeping clear of one or the other.  A leeward port-tack boat can't force a windward port-tack boat to hit a starboard-tack boat.  But that's not the case here - it's not that Yellow must keep clear of Green.  There's a specific action that Yellow is not allowed to do; the fact that keeping clear of another boat is what caused her to do that, shouldn't exonerate her.

Moral of the story is, as usual, don't stick your nose in the middle.

I don't agree here.

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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.

Blue is not a boat "referred to the in the rule using the term" since not rule that applies between yellow and blue refers to her proper course, so we do not have to consider yellows course "in the absence of" blue, but in the presence of blue.

Yellows course in the absence of green would still be to luff to avoid blue.

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44 minutes ago, Snow Guy said:

Doesn't matter.  Proper course only applies when you gain an overlap to leeward (being ROW) from behind.  Blue could take yellow all the way to prom if they wanted to in that scenario.

Rule 17 does not apply to Yellow/Blue in that scenario, but it would apply to Yellow/Green.

Rule 17 definitely applies between Yellow and Green, and definitely not between Blue and Yellow.

What efrank correctly pointed out is that rule 17 could apply between Blue and Green if Blue established the overlap on Green from astern within two hull lengths. But Blue can still luff Yellow and by extension Green - in the Blue-Green incident Blue's proper course is what it would be in the absence of Green (the other boat referred to in rule 17) but considering the presence of Yellow (who is not referred to in the Blue-Green rule 17 situation).

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1 hour ago, coyotepup said:

But I look at it this way: If you touch a mark because you're keeping clear of another boat, you're not exonerated from violating that rule. 

If you're sailing within the room or mark room you're entitled to, you do get exonerated from failing to keep clear and/or touching a mark (rule 21).

Regarding Yellow sticking her nose in the middle, suppose that Green is a smaller, slower boat who has made it clear that she's not going to let Y roll her to windward. Blue is a bigger, slower boat so if Y tries to go to leeward she's likely to get stuck in bad air and never get around. Middle starts to look like a good choice, especially if you don't think B will try to luff you.

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4 hours ago, efrank said:

Referring to TJs diagram, I would say yellow did not break a rule, but if blue had overtaken green prior to yellow sticking her nose in there and was obligated to not sail above her proper course  while still overlapped and within two boat lengths of green, it seems like green could protest blue.  I realize the diagram doesn't show how green and blue got side by side, but is what I stated above correct? I.e. if blue had overtaken green to leeward prior to yellow getting between them, does the presence of yellow somehow change blue's restriction to not sail above her proper course?

Yes, what you stated is correct... if blue does not have luffing rights over yellow, which the diagram and description does not tell us, then blue must stop luffing yellow when green is affected.

BTW (to all) luffing another boat is never one's "proper course" which defined as what you would do in the absence of other boats. Luffing to round a mark or avoid an obstruction could be, though.

FB- Doug

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5 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

BTW (to all) luffing another boat is never one's "proper course" which defined as what you would do in the absence of other boats.

Why would luffing another boat, to get her off your air for example, not be proper course?

As has been mentioned, proper course definition says "in the absence of other boats referred to in the rule using the term", not in the absence of any other boats.

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1 minute ago, TJSoCal said:

Why would luffing another boat, to get her off your air for example, not be proper course?

As has been mentioned, proper course definition says "in the absence of other boats referred to in the rule using the term", not in the absence of any other boats.

Because if you include that, then there's no point in having Rule 17.

"Referred to in the rule using the term" is a clumsy wording.

It might be faster to get another boat off your air, or you might just waste a lot of time and distance and be further back than if you'd just sailed along suffering. Happens all the time in fleet racing.

FB- Doug

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

Yellow has not sailed her proper course, because she's only luffing in response to Blue's luff.  She wouldn't luff in the absence of another boat.

I cannot think of anything in the rules that exonerates Yellow from an R17 violation.

I don't agree here.

Quote

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.

Blue is not a boat "referred to the in the rule using the term" since not rule that applies between yellow and blue refers to her proper course, so we do not have to consider yellows course "in the absence of" blue, but in the presence of blue.

Yellows course in the absence of green would still be to luff to avoid blue.

This exposes the fundamental issue:  Does Y's proper course include manoeuvering to keep clear of B?

I suggest there are two approaches to this:

  • Definition of proper course should be read down to include, at the end of the first sentence 'and not break any other rule';  and
  • If Y does not keep clear of B, she will break rule 11 and will need to take a penalty which will not be her fastest course to finish, so keeping clear of B is her proper course
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1 hour ago, TJSoCal said:

Why would luffing another boat, to get her off your air for example, not be proper course?

In one case, it would definitely not be your proper course:  when a rule, such as rule 17, applies and the other boat is a boat referred to in the rule, because the Definition:  Proper Course says so.

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25 minutes ago, Brass said:

In one case, it would definitely not be your proper course:  when a rule, such as rule 17, applies and the other boat is a boat referred to in the rule, because the Definition:  Proper Course says so.

Forgive me, I am not following here.  In our scenario where blue overtakes green to leeward and then yellow overlaps both boats from behind by going in the middle of them, blue would be ok to take yellow up, in which case yellow's proper course is to avoid contact and go up (forcing green up).  As TJ pointed out, if getting out of yellow's shadow would get blue around the course faster then she is also sailing her proper course.  If green protested blue, then green would have to convince the PC that blue was not sailing her proper course.

I think TJ is right because blue's proper course changed when yellow showed up, same as if the wind shifted, or a puff could be seen higher on the water, or riding across a wave would get you to the finish faster.  A proper course is dynamic.

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2 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

 

"Referred to in the rule using the term" is a clumsy wording

FB- Doug

It is clumsy, but it was a fairly recent change. And I think an important one. In the case TJ proposed it is the reason yellow is sailing her proper course when avoiding blue... who is not referred to in the rule.

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In my scenario, there are two possibilities for Blue, keeping in mind that in both cases rule 17 is on between Yellow and Green, so Yellow may not sail above her proper course (the course she would steer in the absence of Green):

1. Blue established her overlap with Green in some way other than from clear astern within two hull lengths. In this case Blue is not bound by rule 17 with respect to either Yellow or Green and can sail above her proper course. She can luff both windward boats up to HTW if she pleases. Yellow's proper course is to respond to Blue's luff.

2. Blue did establish the overlap with Green from clear astern within two hull lengths, so rule 17 is on between Blue and Green, with Yellow intervening. Blue must not sail above the proper course that she would sail in the absence of Green. But rule 17 is not on between Blue and Yellow. Blue's proper course (in the absence of Green) may be to luff Yellow so she's permitted to do so. Yellow's proper course again is to respond to Yellow's luff, so neither Yellow nor Blue are sailing above their proper courses.

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7 hours ago, efrank said:
7 hours ago, Brass said:

In one case, it would definitely not be your proper course:  when a rule, such as rule 17, applies and the other boat is a boat referred to in the rule, because the Definition:  Proper Course says so.

Forgive me, I am not following here.  In our scenario where blue overtakes green to leeward and then yellow overlaps both boats from behind by going in the middle of them, blue would be ok to take yellow up, in which case yellow's proper course is to avoid contact and go up (forcing green up).  As TJ pointed out, if getting out of yellow's shadow would get blue around the course faster then she is also sailing her proper course.  If green protested blue, then green would have to convince the PC that blue was not sailing her proper course.

I think TJ is right because blue's proper course changed when yellow showed up, same as if the wind shifted, or a puff could be seen higher on the water, or riding across a wave would get you to the finish faster.  A proper course is dynamic.

I disagree.

@ 0.5 blue became overlapped to leeward of G from clear astern within two of her hull lengths and rule 17 began to apply requiring B not to sail above her proper course.

At that time B's proper course was defined as her course to finish fastest, in the absence of G, which would be at least not much above her present beam reaching course.

At that time Y would have been on B's windward hip and B might have thought it tactically desirable to luff and defend against Y, but she is not permitted to do this to any significant degree because her proper course is defined with respect to G.

Between @1 and @1.5 Y becomes overlapped between B and G. This does not change B's proper course which remains defined with respect to G.

Had G not been there, or had B not become overlapped on G within two hull lengths, B would have had no proper course obligation, and her proper course might well have been to luff Y high, but that's not the scenario you have adopted.

I don't think TJ was saying that where B was subject to rule 17 her proper course was to take Y up to head to wind:  he was responding to Doug's general assertion that luffing was never a proper course.

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1 hour ago, Brass said:

Between @1 and @1.5 Y becomes overlapped between B and G. This does not change B's proper course which remains defined with respect to G.

This is where our opinions differ. The way I see it there is nothing in the rules to support a "proper course defined with respect to G". There is just a proper course, and rule 17 says that the proper course for B is defined in the absence of G, not with respect to G. So if B's fastest way around the course is to luff Y, that is B's proper course in the absence of G. So what rule has B broken?

 

 

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13 minutes ago, toad said:

B's obligation began with G and at no time did B break overlap so 17 applies regardless of Y's position. 

I agree, but B's obligation is to sail no higher than her proper course which can be affected by Y's position.

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Wow, why make it so complicated, the rules are quite simple :

If blue is overtaken by green or the overlap was established by a tack from green (unlikely in this case) :
Blue can luff as much as she wants (11) and can also close the door to yellow (12).

If blue is overtaking green :
Blue can close the door to yellow (12)  but can't force green to luff (17).

Whatever the situation, yellow has "no rights" apart being given room to keep clear (16) so trying to squeeze in there is a daft move.

Sorry but some of you need to RTFM!

I suspect that once yellow manage to squeeze in between the 2 if blue decides to luff her afterward (that would be daft as she should have done it before, but some people are daft!), despite being right of way she can't do it as she wouldn't give yellow room to keep clear. May be @shanghaisailor can confirm or infirm this.

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15 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

If you're sailing within the room or mark room you're entitled to, you do get exonerated from failing to keep clear and/or touching a mark (rule 21).

Regarding Yellow sticking her nose in the middle, suppose that Green is a smaller, slower boat who has made it clear that she's not going to let Y roll her to windward. Blue is a bigger, slower boat so if Y tries to go to leeward she's likely to get stuck in bad air and never get around. Middle starts to look like a good choice, especially if you don't think B will try to luff you.

That's true, but that applies to a boat that is owed room or mark-room, not a boat that owes it.  What I mean is that (for example) if you owe mark-room to someone and the only way you can give it is to touch the mark, you don't get exonerated for touching the mark.

Anyway, from a tactical standpoint, if we're talking about within two boat lengths (and it's a Rule 17 discussion so we must be) I find it sort of hard to believe that a bigger faster boat will 1) want to shove herself in between two boats in that small of a space and 2) find it difficult to roll a smaller slow boat whether or not the small slow boat tries to stop them.

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12 hours ago, Brass said:

This exposes the fundamental issue:  Does Y's proper course include manoeuvering to keep clear of B?

I suggest there are two approaches to this:

  • Definition of proper course should be read down to include, at the end of the first sentence 'and not break any other rule';  and
  • If Y does not keep clear of B, she will break rule 11 and will need to take a penalty which will not be her fastest course to finish, so keeping clear of B is her proper course

The existence of 44.1b:

"if the boat caused injury or serious damage or, despite taking a penalty, gained a significant advantage in the race or series by her breach her penalty shall be to retire." (Emphasis mine.)

Suggests there are plenty of possible scenarios in which "proper course" (defined as the course needed to sail to the finish as fast as possible, not the course needed to earn you the best position in the results) is to break a rule, take a penalty, and keep moving.  Suppose I port-tack someone right near the finish line, because by ducking them, I'd miss the line and have to turn around anyway and try to get back around to the finish again.  I think that's slower, so I slam the door on them, get yelled at, do two quick turns, and cross.  44.1b says I need to retire, but I did sail proper course, it could be argued.  So JohnMB makes a good point; I didn't take into account the "other boats in the rule using the term" clause.  But proper course could still involve breaking a rule.  44.1b suggests the rule-writers think it could.  The addition of "not break any other rule" therefore would be a very good one.

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25 minutes ago, coyotepup said:

.

Anyway, from a tactical standpoint, if we're talking about within two boat lengths (and it's a Rule 17 discussion so we must be) I find it sort of hard to believe that a bigger faster boat will 1) want to shove herself in between two boats in that small of a space and 2) find it difficult to roll a smaller slow boat whether or not the small slow boat tries to stop them.

I can conceive of the situation with more boats.. Admittedly it won't apply to many on this forum...

That's river sailing, the gap that Yellow taking is the only one between all the boats and banks...

I have reached the mark with both sides of the  fleets calling water off the bank and the middle calling water for the bouy... That was a mess...

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I think its a key point that having acquired right of way very close, middle has got to give windward room to keep clear, and also room to keep clear if middle alters her course. In practice that probably means that windward cannot significantly alter course to keep clear until middle's stern is level with windward's keel.

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2 hours ago, efrank said:

I agree, but B's obligation is to sail no higher than her proper course which can be affected by Y's position.

This is due to the awkward wording of RRS17 IMHO. Yellow gained an overlap to leeward from astern, and this is referred to in RRS17, therefor any boat affected in this situation is a boat "referred to in the rule using the term."

It's obvious that Yellow has no right to force Green to luff. Yellow is not following her "proper course" except by torturing the semantics of the words in the rule. Where in the rules does it say that Blue has the right to force Yellow into a collision or a DSQ with a third boat?

If Blue established her overlap with Green in such a way that RRS17 does not apply (ie has luffing rights although that is an antiquated term), then she is not infringing 17 and is covered by 11 (on the same tack, overlapped) and limited only by 14 (avoiding contact) and 16 (changing course) which begins to have delays and compression problems with more boats involved.

FB- Doug

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36 minutes ago, coyotepup said:

.  But proper course could still involve breaking a rule.  44.1b suggests the rule-writers think it could.  The addition of "not break any other rule" therefore would be a very good one.

This was definitely covered in a call in team racing, proper course is a course that does not break a rule.

Actually I think this comes about through reductio ad absurdum. In principle a boat 'finished' by crossing the finish line and then not continuing to sail the course (or take penalties).

THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT TO ROUND ALL THE MARKS BEFORE FINISHING. You just break rule 28, but you have still finished.

Therefore taken to the extreme (without the obligation to follow the rules  such as rounding all the marks). Proper course would always be just to sail straight to the finish line (even if you had only just started)

However this contradicts several calls and  cases which explicitly talk about proper course to the next mark.

Therefore Proper Course can only mean the course which gets you to the finish fastest without breaking the rules, the alternative is absurd.

 

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I would have to say that we have reached that stupid point in any rules discussion were we are arguing about the tiniest corner of possibility that is irrelevant to most sailors.

Its probably time to stop, even if we had an IJ opine on this I suspect that we could find another who would disagree.

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18 hours ago, coyotepup said:

No, because luffing another boat for the sake of luffing them (and not just "I happen to be going this way") is never proper course.  In this case you wouldn't do it in the absence of the other boat.

Yellow has not sailed her proper course, because she's only luffing in response to Blue's luff.  She wouldn't luff in the absence of another boat.

I cannot think of anything in the rules that exonerates Yellow from an R17 violation.  I dunno if there's a case or something that covers it.  But I look at it this way: If you touch a mark because you're keeping clear of another boat, you're not exonerated from violating that rule.  The only exception I can think of is that if A has to keep clear of both B and C, neither B nor C can force them to make a choice between keeping clear of one or the other.  A leeward port-tack boat can't force a windward port-tack boat to hit a starboard-tack boat.  But that's not the case here - it's not that Yellow must keep clear of Green.  There's a specific action that Yellow is not allowed to do; the fact that keeping clear of another boat is what caused her to do that, shouldn't exonerate her.

Moral of the story is, as usual, don't stick your nose in the middle.

well, the whole avoid collisions at all cost rule will trump basically everything.  Just sayin..  It will depend on the PC

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2 minutes ago, JohnMB said:

I would have to say that we have reached that stupid point in any rules discussion were we are arguing about the tiniest corner of possibility that is irrelevant to most sailors.

Its probably time to stop, even if we had an IJ opine on this I suspect that we could find another who would disagree.

Well, I dunno, I've seen this situation of three boats abreast on an off-wind leg many times. It's not that unusual for the leeward most boat in the line-up to decide she wants to luff everyone to the moon.

Let me put on my old-guy curmudgeon hat <sigh... ahh that fits perfectly> the rules used to address this specifically. IIRC the wording was something like any boat's luffing rights must include all boats affected by her luff, or she couldn't do so. With "mast abeam" and so forth, it was awkward.

<takes hat off... sigh>  I don't know if the rule-writers intended to remove this proscription, and give blanket luffing rights. But it doesn't matter, nor do match-racing rules, or team racing rules, what matters is what the rules actually say. Generally I like to encourage the idea that the racing rules are pretty simple. This time, I'm not going to say that!

FB- Doug

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1 minute ago, Steam Flyer said:

Well, I dunno, I've seen this situation of three boats abreast on an off-wind leg many times. It's not that unusual for the leeward most boat in the line-up to decide she wants to luff everyone to the moon.

I think in most cases this is pretty clear. What I think is less obvious is the weird one which involves:

Blue becomes overlapped with Green within 2 BL to leeward and is subject to R17. wrt Green.

Yellow then becomes overlapped with green within 2BL to leeward of green  and is subject to R17 wrt to Green, but is overlapped to windward of Blue,

Blue remains within 2 BL of Green.

Blue luffs claiming her proper course is to keep out of yellows wind shadow.

 

Now personally I think Blue has a legitimate argument. R17 doesn't say Blue is not allowed to luff green, it says she is not allowed to sail above her proper course, when proper course is defined as fastest in the absence of green but not in the absence of yellow.

BUT I think this is an unusual case. More often if there is room for yellow to sail between Blue and green safely, Blue would not remain within 2 BL of Green, and R17 would turn off between them.

 

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Just now, JohnMB said:

I think in most cases this is pretty clear. What I think is less obvious is the weird one which involves:

Blue becomes overlapped with Green within 2 BL to leeward and is subject to R17. wrt Green.

Yellow then becomes overlapped with green within 2BL to leeward of green  and is subject to R17 wrt to Green, but is overlapped to windward of Blue,

Blue remains within 2 BL of Green.

Blue luffs claiming her proper course is to keep out of yellows wind shadow.

 

Now personally I think Blue has a legitimate argument. R17 doesn't say Blue is not allowed to luff green, it says she is not allowed to sail above her proper course, when proper course is defined as fastest in the absence of green but not in the absence of yellow.

BUT I think this is an unusual case. More often if there is room for yellow to sail between Blue and green safely, Blue would not remain within 2 BL of Green, and R17 would turn off between them.

 

Green and Yellow are both affected and therefor referred to in the rule. They are not absent. I would respectfully suggest that you have to seperate the clauses of the sentences of the rule in order to justify that any boat's "proper course" ever includes luffing another boat for tactical reasons; and that if this is the way the rule is interpreted, then you might as well drop RRS17 as it will not ever apply. An appeals case on this would be best way to resolve it.

It would also be common for Green and Blue to disagree about how/when/where their overlap was established. If they were more than two boats lengths apart when they first became overlapped, then no RRS17 does not apply and Blue is only constrained by RRS14 and RRS15.

FB- Doug

 

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1 minute ago, Steam Flyer said:

Green and Yellow are both affected and therefor referred to in the rule. They are not absent.

 

 

Where is Yellow referred to in R17 as it applies to Blue?

R17 does not apply between Blue and Yellow.

R17 applies between Yellow and Green, and between Blue and Green.

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6 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

 I would respectfully suggest that you have to seperate the clauses of the sentences of the rule in order to justify that any boat's "proper course" ever includes luffing another boat for tactical reasons; and that if this is the way the rule is interpreted, then you might as well drop RRS17 as it will not ever apply.

 

I'm pretty sure I have seen a case which talks about changing course as a result of a wind shadow.

And I don't agree that if tactical luffing is allowed as part of proper course that R17 would never apply. Go back to the simple 2 boat case, L becomes overlapped with W, within 2BL, L is subject to R17. L's proper course will not be to luff W, that tactical option would not make sense if W was not there.

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5 minutes ago, JohnMB said:
8 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Green and Yellow are both affected and therefor referred to in the rule. They are not absent.

 

 

Where is Yellow referred to in R17 as it applies to Blue?

R17 does not apply between Blue and Yellow.

R17 applies between Yellow and Green, and between Blue and Green.

If it applies between any two, and either of those two is affected by a third, then it applies between all.

It does not apply between Yellow and Blue, but when Yellow has to curtail her response to Blue's luff because of RRS17 and the presence of Green, then it certainly is affecting the situation between Yellow and Blue... seems to me that might as well be referring to the rule.

FB- Doug

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1 minute ago, Steam Flyer said:

If it applies between any two, and either of those two is affected by a third, then it applies between all.

I do not agree. Rules apply between pairs of boats. This is fundamental to the operation of the RRS

 

Oh and on tactical stuff. case 134 is good. Its talking about hoisting a kite or not. and it allows that a boat could choose to not hoist a kite for tactical reasons and still be sailing her proper course.

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Just now, JohnMB said:

I do not agree. Rules apply between pairs of boats. This is fundamental to the operation of the RRS

 

Oh and on tactical stuff. case 134 is good. Its talking about hoisting a kite or not. and it allows that a boat could choose to not hoist a kite for tactical reasons and still be sailing her proper course.

Correct. And if Yellow has to limit her response to Blue's luff because of the presence of Green and RRS17, then RRS 17 is affecting the situation between Blue and Yellow.

Thanks for the reference, I will look up Case 134

- DSK

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13 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Correct. And if Yellow has to limit her response to Blue's luff because of the presence of Green and RRS17, then RRS 17 is affecting the situation between Blue and Yellow.

Thanks for the reference, I will look up Case 134

- DSK

Yellow doesn't have to limit her luff her proper course includes keeping clear of blue.

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2 hours ago, Panoramix said:

Wow, why make it so complicated, the rules are quite simple :

If blue is overtaken by green or the overlap was established by a tack from green (unlikely in this case) :
Blue can luff as much as she wants (11) and can also close the door to yellow (12).

If blue is overtaking green :
Blue can close the door to yellow (12)  but can't force green to luff (17).

Whatever the situation, yellow has "no rights" apart being given room to keep clear (16) so trying to squeeze in there is a daft move.

Sorry but some of you need to RTFM!

I suspect that once yellow manage to squeeze in between the 2 if blue decides to luff her afterward (that would be daft as she should have done it before, but some people are daft!), despite being right of way she can't do it as she wouldn't give yellow room to keep clear. May be @shanghaisailor can confirm or infirm this.

Actually, thinking twice about it and after reading the definition of obstruction again, once yellow is in the gap, I think that green is considered an obstruction has she has right of way. As a consequence once yellow is in the gap, blue can't luff her not because she has to give her room to keep clear but because of rule 19.2

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Eh? Green never has right of way. As soon as there's an overlap between yellow and green then yellow has right of way. 

 

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17 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

Actually, thinking twice about it and after reading the definition of obstruction again, once yellow is in the gap, I think that green is considered an obstruction has she has right of way. As a consequence once yellow is in the gap, blue can't luff her not because she has to give her room to keep clear but because of rule 19.2

Blue can luff yellow, if she does it slowly and possibly tells yellow she is doing so,  that would give yellow time to ease sheets and drop out of there.

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50 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

Actually, thinking twice about it and after reading the definition of obstruction again, once yellow is in the gap, I think that green is considered an obstruction has she has right of way. As a consequence once yellow is in the gap, blue can't luff her not because she has to give her room to keep clear but because of rule 19.2

Nope, blue is the obstruction, green has to give yellow room to keep clear of blue.

Green also has to keep clear of yellow.

R17 is a limitation on yellows right of way, it doesn't change right of way

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2 hours ago, JohnMB said:

This was definitely covered in a call in team racing, proper course is a course that does not break a rule.

Actually I think this comes about through reductio ad absurdum. In principle a boat 'finished' by crossing the finish line and then not continuing to sail the course (or take penalties).

THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT TO ROUND ALL THE MARKS BEFORE FINISHING. You just break rule 28, but you have still finished.

Therefore taken to the extreme (without the obligation to follow the rules  such as rounding all the marks). Proper course would always be just to sail straight to the finish line (even if you had only just started)

However this contradicts several calls and  cases which explicitly talk about proper course to the next mark.

Therefore Proper Course can only mean the course which gets you to the finish fastest without breaking the rules, the alternative is absurd.

 

Interestingly, the 21-24 rules will update the definition of proper course to include sailing the course.

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1 hour ago, JimC said:

Eh? Green never has right of way. As soon as there's an overlap between yellow and green then yellow has right of way. 

 

Indeed, I am not sure what I was thinking! ... just overthinking.

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44 minutes ago, The Q said:

Blue can luff yellow, if she does it slowly and possibly tells yellow she is doing so,  that would give yellow time to ease sheets and drop out of there.

Yes I suppose that it is it. If I were blue such a move would never come across my mind, I would either close the gap before yellow come in there so that yellow slows green as well or let yellow in expecting the pain to be as short as possible.

The situation is rather academic though as it is unlikely that boats stay in each other smoke for a long time.

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And this is why we need rules.

proper course luff.jpg

Keep it simple,  Y has no luffing rights on G and B has no luffing rights on Y.  G is obligated to keep clear of Y and Y is obligated to keep clear of B, in this situation the offending boat(s) are B and Y on G because in no dimension of space and time is either B or G sailing a proper course to the next mark.  At this point it gets a bit fuzzy for me as I am not a IJ but G can protest both Y and B, Y can protest B, Y should get exonerated as she did not have to anticipate B breaking rule 17. 

B, well we have all sailed with B's, probably calls himself captain, yells random rules at people, never shouts a round at the bar, always has the best gear but finishes mid fleet.

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4 hours ago, coyotepup said:

Interestingly, the 21-24 rules will update the definition of proper course to include sailing the course.

I'm not sure that's really a fundamental change. It looks like all they're really doing is moving the string rule (rule 28.2) into a definition, which facilitates incorporating it into other definitions & rules. But including it explicitly in the definition of proper course does solve the theoretical issue that JohnMB pointed out. 

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1898290173_Rule17.thumb.jpg.1cc049be1c25de867220d40334bd1d23.jpg

Here is a clip from Dave Perry's Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing through 2016.  I don't think anything changed in 2017 for this situation.  Anyway, I'm done.  Thanks for all the responses and discussion.

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5 hours ago, toad said:

And this is why we need rules.

proper course luff.jpg

Keep it simple,  Y has no luffing rights on G and B has no luffing rights on Y.  G is obligated to keep clear of Y and Y is obligated to keep clear of B, in this situation the offending boat(s) are B and Y on G because in no dimension of space and time is either B or G sailing a proper course to the next mark.  At this point it gets a bit fuzzy for me as I am not a IJ but G can protest both Y and B, Y can protest B, Y should get exonerated as she did not have to anticipate B breaking rule 17. 

B, well we have all sailed with B's, probably calls himself captain, yells random rules at people, never shouts a round at the bar, always has the best gear but finishes mid fleet.

Why doesn't B have luffing rights on Y?  B has all the luffing rights in the world.

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On 7/3/2020 at 8:14 PM, 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. 
 

Yes. The removal of 17 in Match racing removes the protection a leading boat has from the trailing boat gaining a leeward overlap and being able to come up. It is not a tactic for all situations as when the trailing boat establishes the overlap it has to allow the leading boat room firstly under 15  (but initially is a short period of time) but also when she luffs (changes course)  she has to giver the other boat room(16.1). The closer L is to W then the less chance there is of W having room to keep clear and if L overlaps and then luffs when she is too close to W for W to have any chance to keep clear then it is all on L.

In the "good old days" it was fairly (sorry replace fairly with relatively) easy to defend a downwind lead by gradually coming up as the behind boat overlapped to windward.

Conversely, if both boats came round the final top mark and sailed starboard gybe with trailing boat overlapped to leeward (you might have to draw this :-)) especially with aso kites then the trailing boat would be unlikely be able to do anything. When they come to the layline to the finish the leeward boat HAS to gybe away otherwise they would be sailing "above their proper course" which is to bear away and gybe to the finish.

I had exactly this some years ago and when W flew the Y flag i had to give a penalty on L. He (L) was furious, threw his teddies out of the pram, told me at high volume to F*** off and was generally unhappy and not concentrating on his sailing. W had dropped their kite but L was so angry at me he hadn't, he gybed and in the breeze laid his boat flat leaving W (now L on port tack) to sail round him and take the match.

When we got ashore he was still clearly unhappy but i called him over, sat him on the dock, used a wallet for the committee boat, water bottle for the pin and 2 cigarette lighters for the boats and as soon as i pointed out "proper course" beyond the layline a light came on and he apologised profusely.

So how could he have got out of that?

Simple - hold back, don't overlap, but as starboard he would have been able to prevent the lead boat gybing onto Port and sailed him to the moon if he had wanted.

With no 17 (now) he could sail him up and up (as long as he gives room to keep clear) so that 'defence' of 17 has disappeared and of course the chance of a boat further to windward getting in the way is pretty small unless you have multiple matches in the same flight.

It does mean that the lead boat has to defend BOTH sides of the boat now and not just the windward side

Now - take that to fleet racing with luffing from behind because 17 is removed and L could luff W but W then potentially has another boat to his W or perhaps in big fleets multiple windwards. Real potential for a major clusterfuck especially if the breeze is up during a beer can handicap race.

Try and sort that little lot in a protest room with all the different tales and perspectives, it can be exciting enough with just 2 boats in a match race with umpires right there and sailors close to the top of the game.

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55 minutes ago, coyotepup said:

Why doesn't B have luffing rights on Y?  B has all the luffing rights in the world.

B has rights on y but is still constrained by 17 on g, that hasnt turned off. y is also constrained by 17 on g but g has to keep clear.  Someone who knows the rules better can clarify but g becomes an obstruction to y,  and you can’t luff somebody into an obstruction

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14 hours ago, Panoramix said:

Wow, why make it so complicated, the rules are quite simple :

If blue is overtaken by green or the overlap was established by a tack from green (unlikely in this case) :
Blue can luff as much as she wants (11) and can also close the door to yellow (12).

If blue is overtaking green :
Blue can close the door to yellow (12)  but can't force green to luff (17).

Whatever the situation, yellow has "no rights" apart being given room to keep clear (16) so trying to squeeze in there is a daft move.

Sorry but some of you need to RTFM!

I suspect that once yellow manage to squeeze in between the 2 if blue decides to luff her afterward (that would be daft as she should have done it before, but some people are daft!), despite being right of way she can't do it as she wouldn't give yellow room to keep clear. May be @shanghaisailor can confirm or infirm this.

Thanks for landing me in it Panoramix ;)

One of the complications with this part of the rule book is the sailor’s lack of understanding of the definition of proper course.

In general it is the course a boat would steer to sail the course in the shortest time, ie fastest if there was no one (or a rule) in the way of that feat. Referring to rules guides like Elvstrom or Perry and of course to World Sailing’s Case Book one should bear in mind that prevailing conditions and boat type  and performance have bearings on the proper course. In fact Case 46 reminds that even course relative to wind (or other conditions) has an influence on deciding whether a boat is sailing above proper course or not.

One assumption frequently made with RRS 17 is that if a boat is luffing (you) above their proper course when “17 is on” you can sail merrily on and if there is any contact it is on him (L). Not so! Although L may not have rights under 17 W still has obligations under 11 and if it went to the room, if 17 was adjudged to have been breaking 17 he would be flicked but so would W under 11.

What should be done is W avoids therefore meeting their obligations under 11, flown the flag, hailed protest (satisfies 61.1(a)) and takes L to the room.

Some comments

Post 89 “You cannot go above close hauled” Sorry, incorrect, if you have rights under 17 you can go head to wind if you want – it’s not fast but you can. The only time you cannot go above close hauled in a mark rounding situation is if you came in on port and tacked in the zone. If you have mark room under 18 you have mark room – if you have to shoot the mark then those above (and outside you) have to shoot the mark PLUS you. I agree with other comments that sailing above close hauled is not the same as sailing past had to wind – then inside the zone 18.3 switches on.

Re the diagram (and I have fallen foul of these before) it doesn’t say how the overlap within 2 boat lengths between B & G was established at point 1.

Not always to make an opinion without the sailors there to ask questions of.

Assuming B was ahead she has luffing rights (all the way up to head to wind) on Y & G. The overlap doesn’t break all the way through the scenario so based on B ahead at Point 1 just on the diagram is that G’s protest would be thrown out and no boat would be penalised as they all kept clear of each other.

If however B established the overlap on G at point 1 from behind then she is not allowed to sail above her proper course unless etc etc. Y is just the meat in the sandwich so to speak. As B has forced G to luff she has broken 17.

Y has sailed he proper course as far as is possible but she has obligations to B under 11.

I might be wrong but with regard to her (Y) interaction with G, then B as a right of way boat (not withstanding she is breaking 17 she is still right of way 8nder 11) is an obstruction under 19. Y would be exhonourated.

So Y & G results stand, B – DSQ for breaking 17

I am open to other interpretations – that’s how we all learn :D

Tin hat and flak jacket at the ready.

SS

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27 minutes ago, toad said:

B has rights on y but is still constrained by 17 on g, that hasnt turned off. y is also constrained by 17 on g but g has to keep clear.  Someone who knows the rules better can clarify but g becomes an obstruction to y,  and you can’t luff somebody into an obstruction

In the picture we have no idea if B is constrained by 17 on g.

B is not constrained by 17 on Y.

G never becomes an obstruction to Y.

B is allowed to Luff Y, BUT  IF B became overlapped by G from clear astern (again we don't know from the diag) B is not allowed to sail above her proper course. The is a question about whether B's proper course (fastest to finish with G not there) allowed her to luff Yellow.   I have no idea and the case and call books are not much help. The best  I could find is case 134 that says a boat is allowed to make a tactical choice not to hoist a kite. and thereby sail higher than she would if she hoisted a kite. Slim pickings.

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1 minute ago, JohnMB said:

In the picture we have no idea if B is constrained by 17 on g.

B is not constrained by 17 on Y.

G never becomes an obstruction to Y.

B is allowed to Luff Y, BUT  IF B became overlapped by G from clear astern (again we don't know from the diag) B is not allowed to sail above her proper course. The is a question about whether B's proper course (fastest to finish with G not there) allowed her to luff Yellow.   I have no idea and the case and call books are not much help. The best  I could find is case 134 that says a boat is allowed to make a tactical choice not to hoist a kite. and thereby sail higher than she would if she hoisted a kite. Slim pickings.

I agree JohnMB, one cannot be definitive without knowing how G & B's relationship at Point 1 came about

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3 minutes ago, shanghaisailor said:

If however B established the overlap on G at point 1 from behind then she is not allowed to sail above her proper course unless etc etc. Y is just the meat in the sandwich so to speak. As B has forced G to luff she has broken 17.

 

I think this is the wrong test. It doesn't matter if B forced G to luff, what matters is if B was sailing above her proper course.

R17 doesn't say that leeward cannot luff windward, it says that leeward cannot sail above her proper course. So for example if a boat with a symmetrical kite sails into a leeward overlap with a boat with an assym, within 2 BL and then comes up to a parallel course, its not only stupid its a breach of R17 even if the symmetric boat never luffs windward at all.

 

In dealing with the case of B being subject to R17 wrt to green you have to state why you believe Blue is sailing above her proper course.

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"Rhumb line to the next mark is a beam reach" From the diagram the boats are on a beam reach. It is generally accepted that the Beam reach is the fastest point of sailing so unless there were adverse tidal currents one way or advantage currents the other way then they are on their proper course. If they aren't it is strange all three chose to sail a "non proper course" to the next mark. If it isn't the proper course it would be very easy for a PC to ask for a valid reason why they were all sailing a non-proper course.

This is one of the first questions a good PC would ask of all protagonists when they start the hearing otherwise everything else is a waste of time.

Furthermore please read what I wrote, in fact you quoted it  "If however B established the overlap on G at point 1 from behind then she is not allowed to sail above her proper course unless etc etc". The fact that B forced G to luff shows that she broke RRS17 is a VERY CLEAR test that she sailed up from her proper course.

I think I understand what you are getting at but if B had been sailing a straight course above her proper course for a long way and caused G to luff it would have been very difficult to determine she was above her proper course but the fact she altered course makes it easier to decide if it is worth protesting and for a PC to understand that she did sail above proper course.

Boats don't always luff above proper course to cause an incident. A number of years ago (pre RRS 2017-2020) I was umpiring a match race between 2 FT10s. W was sailing deep and slow with a 'fluffy spinnaker' L was sailing fast and hot with a spinnaker fully drawing. L was coming from behind - 2 parallel courses, 2 identical boats and 2 different opinions how to get to the next mark first ie two different proper course opinions. L clearly had it right as she was overtaking W. Genniker on W touched the shroud of L and W put up the Y flag shouting "Proper Course" along with "Protest"!. They were mortified when I penalised W. They were W and had obligations under RRS11, L was travelling IN A STRAIGHT LINE towards the leeward mark faster than W.

Their displeasure continued ashore until I invited them to read the definition of Proper Course. Then they bought me a beer.

I am well aware of what RRS17 states. In fact what you state is a clear example of the sometimes difficulties of "proper course". A good PC would have to ask her if she had a good 'proper course' reason for sailing the course she did. Was there some shallow water ahead to avoid; a favourable eddy closer to the aso rigged boat;  a fishing net in the water; a lobster pot; a developing more favourable wave train; what was the wind speed, the wave height; might she potentially surf in that piece of water or at the other end of the wind spectrum her kite might need heating up to keep it filling, a collapsed spinnaker dead downwind is far from proper course. I have heard all the reasons/excuses and sometimes it is very difficult to tell fact from fantasy

A proper course is NOT a pre-determined track through the water. It is these sorts of things that can conspire to make proper course decisions such a bugger in the protest room, never mind on the water where the sailors can see what is happening.

I've had it myself when a bigger boat suddenly comes up onto my course and was just about to shout when 1/2 a mile ahead i saw wavelets breaking on the edge of a sandbank - her "proper course"  was FAR from NOT coming up. 

The dangers of not knowing all the picture. Agreed in the absence of no other factors she would be stupid, not only breaking RRS17 but also reducing her VMG (Symmetric boats usually run deeper as you know)

It is just one more complication of racing in a handicap fleet especially where boats are flying one kind of kite or another. Boats run downwind with Code 0, A1, A2, A3 A4, Symmetrical kites - even white sails - ALL with different polars and widely varying Proper Courses. Upwind is SO easy to judge by comparison - he he.

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On 7/9/2020 at 12:05 PM, JohnMB said:
On 7/9/2020 at 9:07 AM, Steam Flyer said:

 

"Referred to in the rule using the term" is a clumsy wording

FB- Doug

It is clumsy, but it was a fairly recent change. And I think an important one. In the case TJ proposed it is the reason yellow is sailing her proper course when avoiding blue... who is not referred to in the rule.

Not new.  That language has been in the definition since the 1995 rewrite.

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21 hours ago, efrank said:
23 hours ago, Brass said:

Between @1 and @1.5 Y becomes overlapped between B and G. This does not change B's proper course which remains defined with respect to G.

This is where our opinions differ. The way I see it there is nothing in the rules to support a "proper course defined with respect to G". There is just a proper course, and rule 17 says that the proper course for B is defined in the absence of G, not with respect to G. So if B's fastest way around the course is to luff Y, that is B's proper course in the absence of G. So what rule has B broken?

I thought you had me there for a minute and I was about to resort to arguing that your interpretation was absurd and made rule 17 useless,

but

Looking again at the definition:

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.

In the case we are discussing, B initially becomes overlapped within two hull lengths from clear astern of G:  rule 17 applies, and G and B are both  'boats referred to in the rule'.

Next Y becomes overlapped within two hull lengths from clear astern of G:  rule 17 applies and G and Y are both 'boats referred to in the rule'.

So both Y and G are 'boats referred to in the rule', and B's proper course is the course she would sail in the absence of both Y and G.

I think that this argument is reinforced by the fact that for Y to suddenly effectively release B from her proper course obligation with respect to B would be absurd and render rule 17 useless.

 

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SS, you are being  a bit fast and loose with your language and assertions here.

 

3 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

"Rhumb line to the next mark is a beam reach" From the diagram the boats are on a beam reach. It is generally accepted that the Beam reach is the fastest point of sailing

By whom is it 'generally accepted'?  Is there a case or a call to that effect?

There are a myriad of reasons why rhumb line beam reach is not necessarily proper course, as you have discussed at some length in your later paragraph.

OK, I'll grant you a protest committee would do well to ask a boat with a rule 17 obligation why sailing above the rhumb line was her proper course

so unless there were adverse tidal currents one way or advantage currents the other way then they are on their proper course. If they aren't it is strange all three chose to sail a "non proper course" to the next mark. If it isn't the proper course it would be very easy for a PC to ask for a valid reason why they were all sailing a non-proper course.

This is one of the first questions a good PC would ask of all protagonists when they start the hearing otherwise everything else is a waste of time.

I can't imagine why you would bother asking the windward boat that question:  the obvious answer is 'Because I was keeping clear of L'.  The slightly less obvious answer is 'I had no proper course obligation and I felt like it'.

Furthermore please read what I wrote, in fact you quoted it  "If however B established the overlap on G at point 1 from behind then she is not allowed to sail above her proper course unless etc etc". The fact that B forced G to luff shows that she broke RRS17 is a VERY CLEAR test that she sailed up from her proper course.

I don't know why you choose to use pre-1995 words like 'luff', but the fact that B forced G to luff [change course towards the wind], is, as others have pointed out not the correct test for proper course, and up to  @3 in the diagram, isn't close to proving the point.  If you are talking about luffing up to head to wind, then that's a different matter, and I would agree that that can't be proper course.

I am well aware of what RRS17 states. In fact what you state is a clear example of the sometimes difficulties of "proper course". A good PC would have to ask her if she had a good 'proper course' reason for sailing the course she did. Was there some shallow water ahead to avoid; a favourable eddy closer to the aso rigged boat;  a fishing net in the water; a lobster pot; a developing more favourable wave train; what was the wind speed, the wave height; might she potentially surf in that piece of water or at the other end of the wind spectrum her kite might need heating up to keep it filling, a collapsed spinnaker dead downwind is far from proper course. I have heard all the reasons/excuses and sometimes it is very difficult to tell fact from fantasy

 

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4 hours ago, Brass said:

I thought you had me there for a minute and I was about to resort to arguing that your interpretation was absurd and made rule 17 useless,

but

Looking again at the definition:

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.

In the case we are discussing, B initially becomes overlapped within two hull lengths from clear astern of G:  rule 17 applies, and G and B are both  'boats referred to in the rule'.

Next Y becomes overlapped within two hull lengths from clear astern of G:  rule 17 applies and G and Y are both 'boats referred to in the rule'.

So both Y and G are 'boats referred to in the rule', and B's proper course is the course she would sail in the absence of both Y and G.

I think that this argument is reinforced by the fact that for Y to suddenly effectively release B from her proper course obligation with respect to B would be absurd and render rule 17 useless.

 

I follow your argument, but I think you are leaving out a key word from the rules - other. It is " ... in the absence of other boats referred to in the rule."  So, in the case of B and G, G is the other.  In the case of Y and G, G is the other.  In the given scenario, Y is never the other boat referred to in the rule, so B's proper course would not be considered in the absence of Y.

Absurd it may be, but I would say the presence of Y changes B's proper course, but not her obligation.

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7 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

Furthermore please read what I wrote, in fact you quoted it  "If however B established the overlap on G at point 1 from behind then she is not allowed to sail above her proper course unless etc etc". The fact that B forced G to luff shows that she broke RRS17 is a VERY CLEAR test that she sailed up from her proper course.

I think I understand what you are getting at but if B had been sailing a straight course above her proper course for a long way and caused G to luff it would have been very difficult to determine she was above her proper course but the fact she altered course makes it easier to decide if it is worth protesting and for a PC to understand that she did sail above proper course.

 

With all your verbiage, you didn't actually answer the question.

The fact the B  forced G to luff is not a clear test of whether B broke R17 unless you also explain you thinking about the effect of yellow..... which is what this part of the discussion is about.

Brass and Efanck both deal with this questions (in different ways) you ignore it.

There are two possible interpretations here.

 1 when considering blues proper course yellow is a boat referred to in the rule and

2. when considering blues proper course yellow is not a boat referrer to in the rule

I honestly have no idea which of these is correct, and cannot find clear evidence in the case and call book to back up either strongly.

 

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5 hours ago, Brass said:

I thought you had me there for a minute and I was about to resort to arguing that your interpretation was absurd and made rule 17 useless,

but

Looking again at the definition:

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.

In the case we are discussing, B initially becomes overlapped within two hull lengths from clear astern of G:  rule 17 applies (Between G and B), and G and B are both  'boats referred to in the rule'.

Next Y becomes overlapped within two hull lengths from clear astern of G:  rule 17 applies (between G and Y) and G and Y are both 'boats referred to in the rule'.

So both Y and G are 'boats referred to in the rule', and B's proper course is the course she would sail in the absence of both Y and G. (not sure about this at all)

I think that this argument is reinforced by the fact that for Y to suddenly effectively release B from her proper course obligation with respect to B would be absurd and render rule 17 useless.

 

(I added modifications in in red)

I'm not totally convinced that this is correct. When considering R17 for blue I believe we should only consider G as a boat referred to in the rule.

I also do not think that this renders r17 useless, or releases blue from her proper course obligation, it merely modified the highest proper course blue can sail. I don't believe she can luff as high as shown in the diagram at position 4. But I think she can luff higher than the course she would sail if yellow was not present.

I would argue that the pairwise application of the rules doesn't allow yellow to be considered a boat referred to in the rule when considering R17 between Yellow and Blue. Or to put it another way I cant see why Yellow being subject to R17 with green should matter to blues proper course.

 

NOTE, if yellow never becomes overlapped with Green, she could still interfere with blue, and blue would legitimately be able to sail a higher course to avoid this interference I would argue that it is absurd that yellows effect on Blues proper course should turn off, just because yellow becomes subject to R17 with green.

BUT... I am far from sure on this, and it is entirely possible that your interpretation is correct.

 

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image.png.716bbbd5b4effc651cfe3b6677b6d40a.png

In this case, Blue becomes subject to R17 wrt to green at 2.

At 3 she is sailing higher to get clean air avoiding yellows windshadow, which I believe is a legitimate proper course

At 4 Yellow becomes overlapped with green and is subject to R17 with green. The question I have is why should this suddenly make yellow 'dissapear' when considering blues proper course?

 

 

 

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This has been asked about in a few spots, and never really addressed.  I can provide what I have heard from other officials.  Full disclosure, I am an NJ/NU.

With regard to match racing, I am aware of two reasons R17 was removed.  One was that our customers, the sailors, wanted it.  The other involved  the more challenging areas that umpires were required to judge, that being an overlap both near lay and when the lead boat was attempting to defend her space on the run.  At top level events you usually have a wing boat available in addition to the umpire boat, so the match umps can mind the gap while the wing umps give you the second dimension via the radio. At highly competitive grade 2 events and down, the luxury of a wing boat is not always available, and the match umps have to be in two places at once.  Making the right call in this situation is inconsistent at best.  By removing the rule, it is easier for match umps to preload the situation that is developing, allowing them to properly place the boat and make the right call when an incident occurs and Yankee comes out.

With or without R17, match racing has several other differences from fleet racing.  Typically, in match, rules are used as a sword to control your opponent, whereas in fleet they are a shield intended to keep boats apart.  Match racing typically takes place in borrowed / chartered / rented boats with damage deposits enforced as part of the event, while fleet racing typically takes place in privately owned boats whose owners bear the brunt of all repairs.  In match, luffing is a normal part of the game when trying to prevent passing and shake penalties.

Match racing has an additional mechanism to help make umpire performance more consistent between venues and personnel, a call book.  One call (G2) that has been in the book through at least the past 12 years is the downwind "protect the kites" call, and the initial wording states:

Question 1 - Blue is sailing to leeward of Yellow. Both boats have spinnakers set. Blue luffs Yellow. What are the obligations on Blue and Yellow?

Answer 1 - Yellow is required to keep clear and Blue is required to give Yellow room to respond to her luff. While Yellow is able to keep the majority of her spinnaker filled and drawing she is not entitled to additional room to drop her spinnaker. If Blue continues her luff so that Yellow, in order to keep clear, has to luff beyond the point where she can keep her spinnaker filled and drawing, then Blue must give Yellow room to drop her spinnaker. Whether or not Yellow drops her spinnaker at that time, she is still required to keep clear. If she does not drop her spinnaker at that time, then Blue is not required to give her additional room to drop the spinnaker later in that luff.

So in summary, match racing allows luffing, but not in such a way that kites are getting destroyed, or at least that is the intent.  It doesn't always work.

Extending that to fleet where R17 exists, in some situations L can still luff W, but only if R17 isn't "on".  I can see situations where the protection afforded by R17 has probably saved some owners thousands of dollars in kites.  Then again, we had a situation a couple years back where a F40 tried to roll another to windward (17 off), at which point after verbally warning W not to go where she was, L luffed slowly, held them high, did not break 16, and watched as W eventually heeled to leeward as pressure increased on the kite, eventually causing the kite to contact the rig of L at which point it exploded into confetti.

In short, due to the mixed nature of fleet racing, I would keep 17 and work on educating the competitors how it works and what it means.  Without it, a couple aggressive skippers could really impact the cost of participating in something that is supposed to be, in addition to being competitive, fun.

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@TsunamiMike Please delete the above post for the following reasons:

  • it directly addresses the questions posed by the OP;
  • it contains no misrepresentations of the effect of the RRS.
  • it contains no racial or gender slurs or offensive language;
  • it is bereft of political content

Thank you

 

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9 hours ago, JohnMB said:

(I added modifications in in red)

I'm not totally convinced that this is correct. When considering R17 for blue I believe we should only consider G as a boat referred to in the rule.

I would argue that the pairwise application of the rules doesn't allow yellow to be considered a boat referred to in the rule when considering R17 between Yellow and Blue. Or to put it another way I cant see why Yellow being subject to R17 with green should matter to blues proper course.

I realise that the 'pairwise' or 'each incidence of rule 17' argument is open.

This is one occasion where I think a case would help.

If I had to decide this in a protest hearing, I might well refer it on to an Appeal Committee in accordance with rule 70.2

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9 hours ago, JohnMB said:

 

image.png.716bbbd5b4effc651cfe3b6677b6d40a.png

In this case, Blue becomes subject to R17 wrt to green at 2.

At 3 she is sailing higher to get clean air avoiding yellows windshadow, which I believe is a legitimate proper course

At 4 Yellow becomes overlapped with green and is subject to R17 with green. The question I have is why should this suddenly make yellow 'dissapear' when considering blues proper course?

This scenario is not constructed properly.

@2 B becomes overlapped to windward of G.  Rule 17 does not apply between B and G

@3 Rule 17 does not apply to any boat and B may sail where she likes.

@4 I agree.  Y has become overlapped on G from Clear Astern within 2 hull lengths.  Rule 17 now applies and limits Y.

Nothing makes Y 'disappear' and nothing limits B with reference to proper course.

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42 minutes ago, Brass said:

This scenario is not constructed properly.

@2 B becomes overlapped to windward of G.  Rule 17 does not apply between B and G

@3 Rule 17 does not apply to any boat and B may sail where she likes.

@4 I agree.  Y has become overlapped on G from Clear Astern within 2 hull lengths.  Rule 17 now applies and limits Y.

Nothing makes Y 'disappear' and nothing limits B with reference to proper course.

Whoops i drew blue and yellow  in 1 and 2 on wrong gybe.

Sorry

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10 hours ago, JohnMB said:

 

image.png.716bbbd5b4effc651cfe3b6677b6d40a.png

In this case, Blue becomes subject to R17 wrt to green at 2.

At 3 she is sailing higher to get clean air avoiding yellows windshadow, which I believe is a legitimate proper course

At 4 Yellow becomes overlapped with green and is subject to R17 with green. The question I have is why should this suddenly make yellow 'dissapear' when considering blues proper course?

 

42 minutes ago, JohnMB said:

Whoops i drew blue and yellow  in 1 and 2 on wrong gybe.

Sorry

The only answer I can give is the one I have given before.

G is a boat referred to in [rule 17],

Y is a boat referred to in [rule 17].

B is bound by rule 17 to sail no higher than the 'course [she] would sail to finish as soon as possible in the absence of the other boats [namely G and Y] referred to in the rule using the term [rule 17]

I'd be happy to see a case or an appeal decided on this.

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1 hour ago, Brass said:

 

The only answer I can give is the one I have given before.

G is a boat referred to in [rule 17],

Y is a boat referred to in [rule 17].

B is bound by rule 17 to sail no higher than the 'course [she] would sail to finish as soon as possible in the absence of the other boats [namely G and Y] referred to in the rule using the term [rule 17]

I'd be happy to see a case or an appeal decided on this.

So you dont think it's weird that blues right to sail higher gets curtailed when yellow overlaps green?

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16 hours ago, Brass said:

SS, you are being  a bit fast and loose with your language and assertions here.

 

 

Perhaps Brass but the 100% perfectly correct and complete explanation would take too long, i don't have time to write a book about all the possible permutations.

A couple of things though. Of course there is no Call or Case to that effect, it has nothing to do with racing and is in fact “Generally accepted”. Try reading a few books or hit up bing or google and you will see that is the case.

I know there are a "myriad of reasons" why one course or other is or isn't the proper course but when all boats are sailing the exact same course to the next mark it does strongly suggest that is the fastest course to the next mark. You would "bother" to ask the windward boat the question as a check/cross reference against the answers of the other parties. It would appear strange if the question was NOT asked of all. Have you ever served on a jury? You should know that if you had.

And I use the word "luff" because that is what is generically used in 2020. Could you imagine an umpire in a match race telling his colleague his boat is "changing course towards the wind". By the time you have got that out there could be another 2 manoeuvres so you say "Luffing, Right!" to which your colleague hopefully responds "Luffing, doing all I can" or "I'm not doing all I can - on me". 

Did I say it was the only test for sailing above proper course? I don't think so but it is one of the pieces of evidence a jury may consider,

Anyway, I'm out - going sailing. 

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On 7/3/2020 at 12:40 PM, Brass said:

Help us out here.

What do you think the reason is?

Now we have 15/16 the remaining purpose of RRS17 is to force leeward to gybe for the mark and not sail other boats off the course out of sheer bloody-mindedness.

OK it doesn't have a place in match racing, but that doesn't mean that style of aggressive racing is appropriate for everyone.

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5 hours ago, Brass said:

in the absence of the other boats [namely G and Y] referred to in the rule using the term [rule 17]

I can see the logic, but I'm not at all sure about it. Normally rules are applied separately to each pair of boats. I'm not at all comfortable with the concept that the third boat is or is't considered in proper course depending on which rules are involved. Still, I wonder if the situation is too artificial to be concerned about.   As you say an appeal would clarify. 

10 minutes ago, rgeek said:

Now we have 15/16 the remaining purpose of RRS17 is to force leeward to gybe for the mark and not sail other boats off the course out of sheer bloody-mindedness.

OK it doesn't have a place in match racing, but that doesn't mean that style of aggressive racing is appropriate for everyone.

That's 18.4, which could be the subject for another discussion. I was going to post that one when this dies down.

 

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1 hour ago, rgeek said:

Now we have 15/16 the remaining purpose of RRS17 is to force leeward to gybe for the mark and not sail other boats off the course out of sheer bloody-mindedness.

OK it doesn't have a place in match racing, but that doesn't mean that style of aggressive racing is appropriate for everyone.

There are already a range of Addendum's and rule variations to cope with different versions of the sport.

This thread is bullshit.

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58 minutes ago, JimC said:

I can see the logic, but I'm not at all sure about it. Normally rules are applied separately to each pair of boats. I'm not at all comfortable with the concept that the third boat is or is't considered in proper course depending on which rules are involved. Still, I wonder if the situation is too artificial to be concerned about.   As you say an appeal would clarify. 

That's 18.4, which could be the subject for another discussion. I was going to post that one when this dies down.

 

Still keen to remove rule 17?

As for the rule being applied to pair of boats I agree with you, I think that it is more logical and easier to think "what would I do if I was in the yellow boat?" as the rules have been written to answer this question. Looking from above all boats in one go is a bit artificial and confusing. in the case above the answer is obvious; I am coming from behind so I owe them space, once I get my bow ahead of his stern I am right of way but can't luff due to 17. For blue before the gybe I am not right of way and after the gybe I am and vice-versa for green. Pretty simple if you have (or imagine to have) the tiller in your hands.

By the way what's the boat in your thumbnail?

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I'm keen that removing RRS17 should be considered. In some ways this discussion has just continued to demonstrate problems caused by misunderstanding proper course. I'm not sure I have a strong opinion on whether or not it should be removed. I think there are good arguments both ways.

I will suggest that when a leeward boat establishes an overlap from close astern she is constrained from luffing by rules 15 and 16 just as much as 17, and that rule 17 only becomes the sole restriction if the leeward boat gets her nose well in front or the boats are approaching 2bl apart.  It seems to me that a leeward boat creating an overlap close to the windward boat is at grave risk of immediately breaking RRS15, because if when she creates the overlap she cannot immediately change course in both directions, then she has not given windward room to keep clear. There must be a fairly narrow window where RRS 17 applies and 15/16 do not until leeward's stern is sufficiently far ahead of windward's stern that windward can luff to keep clear without risking her stern making contact with leeward.

The boat in the profile is an International Canoe.

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@JimC I was wondering if it was an IC, we don't get those here, I am always a bit envious of all these dinghies you get across the channel.

As for rule 17,on big boats I find it reassuring and intuitive but I am just an amateur.

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20 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

@JimC I was wondering if it was an IC, we don't get those here, I am always a bit envious of all these dinghies you get across the channel.

There are a few ICs in France, and we sailed our European Champs at Club de Voile Hourtin Medoc last year.

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7 hours ago, Quagers said:

This all sounds horribly complicated.

Just delete the rule.

It's not, it just requires a good-faith effort to read the rule(s) as they're written.

If it's now going to be the common justification that any leeward boat's "proper course" is to luff any windward boat to protect her wind, then there is no point in RRS 17. Might as well get rid of it.

FB- Doug

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On 7/3/2020 at 8:14 AM, 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. 
  

Not gonna lie After getting 2/3 of the way through the posts and seeing all but one or two of them being totally useless to your question I didn't read the last 3rd. So sorry if this has been said/addressed already.
I've done a fair bit of team racing in my day, where rule 17 is in practice non-existent even if it's not deleted because my proper course in team racing can include slowing maneuvers, while in fleet racing a slowing maneuver isn't covered in the definition of proper course.

My understanding of the rule is that it exists to prevent the use of aggressive match-racing style moves during fleet races.

Two big scenarios that stick out for me - first scenario: upwind. In team or match racing, if I can hook you (sail in from clear astern, establish overlap, and start luffing), I can luff you to the moon (well almost). I can luff up to head to wind (further than that and I become a "while tacking" boat, and lose my rights), which means you will get luffed past head to wind, and have to tack. This is why so much is done to prevent being "hooked" in match and team racing.
With rule 17 in fleet racing, generally my proper course doesn't include luffing head to wind or sailing above close hauled at all (except that 1% shooting the mark scenario, that one's a gray area), so rule 17 limits my luffing rights upwind to close-hauled and prevents me from hooking someone and forcing them to tack.

Downwind is similar. A common move in team racing is to sit on someone's air who's ahead, reel them in enough to hook them, and then take them way out to the side of the course to allow a teammate through. Similar at mark roundings - I can set a mark trap just before the 3-length circle when rule 18 would kick in and hook a boat and sail them off the course. I could sail them to the bar and I'd be within my rights while team racing, but that wouldn't be productive - typically what happens is I'll sail them past the mark just enough to allow a teammate to round ahead of both of us. So I'm not going more than 2-3 lengths to the side of/past the mark, just enough to put myself in a position where I'm guaranteeing I round before them. So it's a way to convert a "we're neck and neck" setup to an "I'm definitely ahead" setup.
So, without rule 17, I could round the windward mark, sail up behind someone, hook them and shove them up and turn down, and keep passing people all the way down the run like this, get to the leeward mark and hook someone I'm in contention for the series with and sail them 2-3 lengths past the mark (outside the 3 length circle of course), then turn upwind having passed them.

Now, 99% of beer can racers are never going to even think about moves like this - but at major championships, it's quite common for boats to be "match racing" each other.

Rule 17 takes away the ability of boats to use (some) aggressive match racing tactics in fleet racing. For a good match or team racer, things like picking shifts and handling the conditions can frequently take a back seat to playing the tactical game correctly in terms of what determines who wins. Rule 17 exists to keep the emphasis on the strategy and sailing your own race rather than knife fighting. It requires you to pass someone by out-playing the shifts or out-trimming the sails instead of by some cheeky maneuver.

It's similar in a reverse sort of way to the "one swerve" rule in Formula 1: The defending car is only allowed to change lines once to defend a pass. Otherwise you could just sit there swerving back and forth all day and stop a clearly faster car from getting around you.

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On 7/11/2020 at 7:22 AM, JimC said:

I can see the logic, but I'm not at all sure about it. Normally rules are applied separately to each pair of boats. I'm not at all comfortable with the concept that the third boat is or is't considered in proper course depending on which rules are involved. Still, I wonder if the situation is too artificial to be concerned about.   As you say an appeal would clarify. 

That's 18.4, which could be the subject for another discussion. I was going to post that one when this dies down.

 

Agreed. 18.4 = 17. One in the zone, one out

They are both largely one of those "don't be a dick" rules (noting the discussion on luffing boats when they both have kites), along with certain part of RRS18, that about fairness rather than preventing collision and damage.

Once again though the issues around resolving this are tied up with the asymmetry introduced by port/starboard. If you really want to clean up the rules port/starboard has to go.

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2 hours ago, rgeek said:

Agreed. 18.4 = 17. One in the zone, one out

They are both largely one of those "don't be a dick" rules (noting the discussion on luffing boats when they both have kites), along with certain part of RRS18, that about fairness rather than preventing collision and damage.

Once again though the issues around resolving this are tied up with the asymmetry introduced by port/starboard. If you really want to clean up the rules port/starboard has to go.

18.4 still in too.

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18 hours ago, Port Tack Rudder Rule said:

I've done a fair bit of team racing in my day, where rule 17 is in practice non-existent even if it's not deleted because my proper course in team racing can include slowing maneuvers, while in fleet racing a slowing maneuver isn't covered in the definition of proper course.

Urm....not it can't. Except perhaps in some fairly limited circumstances (not sailing into a mark trap in front). It definitely does not include hitting back. From the rest of your post I think you have perhaps done fleet racing with rule 17 turned off. Because what you describe bears little relation to how R17 is applied in team racing (hint: There is no changes to R17, or alternative definitions of Proper Course, in Appendix D)
 
Quote

first scenario: upwind. In team or match racing, if I can hook you (sail in from clear astern, establish overlap, and start luffing), I can luff you to the moon (well almost). I can luff up to head to wind (further than that and I become a "while tacking" boat, and lose my rights), which means you will get luffed past head to wind, and have to tack. This is why so much is done to prevent being "hooked" in match and team racing.

No you can't. Not unless you have sailed past the layline for the windward mark.

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With rule 17 in fleet racing, generally my proper course doesn't include luffing head to wind or sailing above close hauled at all (except that 1% shooting the mark scenario

It doesn't in team racing either.

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Downwind is similar. A common move in team racing is to sit on someone's air who's ahead, reel them in enough to hook them, and then take them way out to the side of the course to allow a teammate through.

This is not a common move, because it breaks rule 17. Covering, establishing an overlap, double gybing, and then sailing someone off, is a common move. But there is a reason you need the double gybe.

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Similar at mark roundings - I can set a mark trap just before the 3-length circle when rule 18 would kick in and hook a boat and sail them off the course. I could sail them to the bar and I'd be within my rights while team racing, but that wouldn't be productive - typically what happens is I'll sail them past the mark just enough to allow a teammate to round ahead of both of us. So I'm not going more than 2-3 lengths to the side of/past the mark, just enough to put myself in a position where I'm guaranteeing I round before them. So it's a way to convert a "we're neck and neck" setup to an "I'm definitely ahead" setup.

In this scenario they start behind you, so rule 17 never comes into it. You absolutely can do this in fleet racing if you feel so inclined (other than due to Rule 18.4).

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So, without rule 17, I could round the windward mark, sail up behind someone, hook them and shove them up and turn down, and keep passing people all the way down the run like this

But unless its a handicap fleet in which you are the fasted boat, or your competitors are idiots, when you luff the first guy the whole rest of the fleet will sail away from you into the distance. And you will finish second last.

If its a handicap race, you might end up first on the water. Then you will finish last on handicap.

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For a good match or team racer, things like picking shifts and handling the conditions can frequently take a back seat to playing the tactical game correctly in terms of what determines who wins. Rule 17 exists to keep the emphasis on the strategy and sailing your own race rather than knife fighting. It requires you to pass someone by out-playing the shifts or out-trimming the sails instead of by some cheeky maneuver.

Boat speed makes you a tactical genius, even in fleet racing. Someone pulling bozo moves like the above will finish far far behind the guy focusing on the shifts and sailing their own race in a fleet race.

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