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Well it’s that time in the Olympic Cycle once again when Word Sailing updates the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) and from January 1st 2021 we will all be dancing to the tune of RRS2021-2024 just when some of us have finally got to grips with the finer points of 2017-2020 (or not!)

So is it once again a fillip for publishers coffers or are there any meaningful amendments?

If I have missed any changes, I apologise up front and I would advise sailors to read them for themselves as it is the competitors obligation to comply with the rules relevant at the time. Some of the changes may appear to be change for change sake but on re-examination in many cases have removed opportunity for any ambiguity. 

In this first article we will look at the actual rules which are applied “at the time” on the race course and will cover the “administration” stuff in Part 2

INTRODUCTION

One has to go no further than the ‘Introduction’ to find the first one, “Hails”. 

Since the year dot, the only (officially) acceptable language for making a hail has been English, protests have been thrown out at World Championship level simply because the hail was in the sailor’s own language. Now, and coming into line with the global leveling of the racial playing field, a required hail can be in a different language although English is always OK.

This means that a young sailor doesn’t have to learn a foreign language to exercise their rights on the race course if it is a regatta up to, say, national level.  However, it still has to be reasonable that the hail is understood by all boats affected. A new can of worms to be opened perhaps. Maybe World Sailing will one day recognise that ‘tone’ is often as important as the actual word and look into the overly high number of protests that are declared invalid due this technicality, but that’s just this writer’s opinion. (I assume World Sailing still allows opinions.)

A few changes in terminology also appear in the Introduction, what were previously titled ‘World Sailing Codes’ and ‘Cases and Calls’ are now labelled ‘World Sailing Regulations’ and ‘Interpretations’. 

In definitions there are few alterations which is probably a good thing as some sailors still haven’t fully learned them from 2017-2020 (or earlier). However the first one to note is that now the definition for finishing has had “after starting” inserted reminding us all that if we haven’t started we can hardly finish or hasn’t been correct in “sailing the course” . In the current rules is states the rule number (28.2) and not the words.

Marks now include any object intentionally attached to the object or vessel so no more claiming that touching a fender on the committee boat isn’t actually a mark touch. Anchor lines are still exempt however.

Mark room now includes room to round the mark without touching it,  understandable perhaps. Under “Obstruction” the rule referred to is 22 instead of 23 giving a hint of a rule change ahead.

“Proper Course” is now expanded from ‘to finish as soon as possible’ to ‘to sail the course and finish as soon as possible’. Seems a bit of words for their own sake as a boat cannot “Finish” until it has correctly sailed the course in any case but once again removing any ambiguity from the definition.

The definition of Rule  has been expanded slightly by stating that ‘World Sailing Regulations’ are considered rules rather than naming them individually and as WS Regulations can be changed at any time leaves the door open for changes and additional regulations mid cycle otherwise the same as before. In effect although the wording is different the meaning remains the same.

Then we have a brand new definition “Sail the Course” which actually defines the parameters of the good old string test with a clarification on gate marks making it clear that the gate has to be sailed through and not round.

BASIC PRINCIPLES

Under sportsmanship there is an expansion of the wording from ‘when competitors break a rule they shall take a penalty’ to when a boat breaks a rule and is not exonerated she shall promptly take an appropriate penalty or action’. (Ed – Action could , for example be a scoring penalty)

FUNDAMENTAL RULES

Rule 2 Fair Sailing. I’m glad to see that the grey area allowing either a DSQ or a DNE for competitors found to have breached this rule has been removed. From Jan First those caught and found to be not sailing fair will have the score Disqualification Non Excludable for that race. 

For some reason Rules 3 & 4 have been flipped although it is perhaps logical that a boat decides to race (Rule 3) before agreeing to accept the rules (Rule 4) Other than the numbering change there is no difference.

Rule 5 is now for the organisers and officials specifically stating they too are governed by the rules. Gone are Rules 5,6 & 7 regarding Doping, Betting, corruption & Discipline and these areas are wrapped into Rule 6 “World Sailing Regulations which cover these areas and then some.

PART 2

A sizable change to Rule 14 Avoiding Contact. Under the current rule if the contact does not cause damage or injury the right of way boat is exonerated. Under 2021-2024 the way Rule 14 is written is written, any contact is a breach of the rules. A further tightening of the concept of sailing being a non-contact sport. But wait – That element of the OLD RRS 14 has been shifted to RRS 43  as you will see in ‘Episode 2’.

Rule 16.2 Sees the removal of “after the starting signal” from the wording because a boat is not on a beat to windward until after the starting signal in any case so was unnecessary duplication of meaning. Also if the avoidance by the port tack boat is to spin round to leeward instead of sail astern, this is now covered by the changing of “sailing to pass astern” to “sailing to pass to leeward”. Once aain closing an existing loophole in the rule.

Rule 18.1 Has a line added in that 18 switches off once mark room has been given.

Rule 18.3 “Tacking in the Zone” has been changed to “Passing Head to Wind in the Zone”. Seems a strange change until one remembers that there are those who don’t always understand what a ‘tack’ is (Ed – Including some on our very own forums). Even though it is quite clear in RRS 13 No longer any need to understand the technicalities of when a boat actually tacks. It is “when she passed head to wind.

Other than that RRS 18.1 remains unchanged. 

Rule 20 “Room to Tack at an Obstruction” has a sensible new condition is added, 20.4 “Additional Requirements for Hails” When conditions are such that  a hail may not be heard (Ed – perhaps too windy or sails flogging or perhaps boats being too far apart as in Superyacht races) the boat shall (note the word SHALL) also make a signal that clearly indicates her need for room.

Moving on to the final element of “Part 2 When Boats Meet” the first and most obvious deletion is the removal of the ‘Old’ RRS 21 EXONORATION with RRS 22 moving up to RRS 21But don’t despair, Exoneration is maybe no longer RRS21 but it has been moved up to RRS43, placing it in the more logical place alongside Penalties at the time of Incident. We will look at that in Part 2.

Similarly RRS 23, Capsized, Anchored or aground; Rescuing is moved up one to RRS 22  and RRS 24 Interfering with another boat simply becomes RRS 23. No change of wording except that 22.1; 22.2 & 22,3 now become 21.1; 21.2 & 21.3. So no great changes other than of RRS 21 Exoneration becoming RRS 43 Exoneration.

I may have missed some elements (feel free to criticise, I never claim to be perfect)and in Section 2, I will be looking at the rules beyond the sailors’ interaction on the water. - Shanghai Sailor.

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New definition, Sailing the Course, takes the "string rule" out of 28.2 and puts it in the Definitions. I think this was mainly meant to facilitate using the term in other definitions and rules.

Significant change to the definitions of Start and Finish - now based on the hull rather than "hull, crew or equipment in normal position." This change is also reflected in Recalls (29) and Starting Penalties (30). And if you look at the Equipment Rules of Sailing it's clear that a bowsprit is a spar, part of the rig and not part of the hull.

I think consolidating all of the exonerations in RRS 43 is a good move.

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59 minutes ago, TJSoCal said:

New definition, Sailing the Course, takes the "string rule" out of 28.2 and puts it in the Definitions. I think this was mainly meant to facilitate using the term in other definitions and rules.

Significant change to the definitions of Start and Finish - now based on the hull rather than "hull, crew or equipment in normal position." This change is also reflected in Recalls (29) and Starting Penalties (30). And if you look at the Equipment Rules of Sailing it's clear that a bowsprit is a spar, part of the rig and not part of the hull.

I think consolidating all of the exonerations in RRS 43 is a good move.

You are way ahead of me TJ - 

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1 hour ago, Heisenberg said:

With such pedestrian changes, how are the book writers supposed to make any money this go-round?

If budget is a concern Heisenberg you can always download them FREE from sailing.org and carry them as a pdf on your phone :-)

I don't think the Rules Committee sit in a darkened room and make up the changes themselves. Feedback is given during the previous cycle from people who should know and, I understand, this forms the basis for the tweaks

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1 minute ago, TJSoCal said:

I know, you're getting to that...  ;-)

But I thought you'd covered definitions.

I was just referring to the exonerations (god i hate that word, every time i type it i have to use the spell checker - one of my bogie words) and i typed my response to you with a smile on my face. Good to see someone else that is interested to read the changes. I think in the main the tweaks improve the rules and make it all more logical

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I think the change to 16.2 is more significant than you mentioned - it's considerably narrowed.

Current 16.2 applies "after the starting signal" - so from the start until the boats are no longer racing, on all points of sail. New 16.2 will only apply "on a beat to windward."

Current 16.2 prohibits stbd from changing course (if...). New 16.2 will only prohibit stbd from bearing away. I can't remember the details but I recall someone presenting a scenario where a starboard boat could run afoul of 16.2 by heading up in a perfectly reasonable (i.e non-hunting) maneuver. New wording eliminates that possibility. 

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4 hours ago, Editor said:

Rule 20 “Room to Tack at an Obstruction” has a sensible new condition is added, 20.4 “Additional Requirements for Hails” When conditions are such that  a hail may not be heard (Ed – perhaps too windy or sails flogging or perhaps boats being too far apart as in Superyacht races) the boat shall (note the word SHALL) also make a signal that clearly indicates her need for room.

I hope this means superyachts carrying cannon. 

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55 minutes ago, herdingbats said:

I hope this means superyachts carrying cannon. 

Most superyacht regattas (probably all) include in the instructions that yacht may signal hails by radio.

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3 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

I think the change to 16.2 is more significant than you mentioned - it's considerably narrowed.

Current 16.2 applies "after the starting signal" - so from the start until the boats are no longer racing, on all points of sail. New 16.2 will only apply "on a beat to windward."

Current 16.2 prohibits stbd from changing course (if...). New 16.2 will only prohibit stbd from bearing away. I can't remember the details but I recall someone presenting a scenario where a starboard boat could run afoul of 16.2 by heading up in a perfectly reasonable (i.e non-hunting) maneuver. New wording eliminates that possibility. 

Good point but current 16.2 doesn't prohibit starboard tack boat from changing course, it states the starboard tack boat must give the other boat room to keep clear. That is quite a difference.

I know of a number of defence attempts where the starboard tacker claimed they were headed and HAD to bear away - it just complicates the hearing. Perhaps 16.2 wording is to hammer home that you cannot bear away if it means the port tacker hasn't got room. 16.1 really should cover pretty much all occasions and 16.1 contains 2 definitions which are crystal clear.

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(a) When conditions are such that a hail may not be heard, the boat shall also make a signal that clearly indicates her need for room to tack or her response.

So they used the word SHALL.  Meaning "must".  And they didn't define the signal.  The next rule allows the race comittee to define a signal, but doesn't require it.  So what constitutes a signal?  In the case of kiteboards, they specifically lay out a proper signal (arm circling up in the air).  Why leave this so ambigous in the case of sailboats?  If I decide my signal is hoisting a pair of crotchless panties I found in my V-berth this morning, does that constitute a valid signal?  In this case it would appear it does.

This leaves the door open for a large number of misunderstandings.  It seems like a definition of signal could have clarified this rule.  For instance, hailing while pointing in the direction to be tacked, unless the race comittee has otherwise defined the signal (or something like that).

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7 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

Good point but current 16.2 doesn't prohibit starboard tack boat from changing course, it states the starboard tack boat must give the other boat room to keep clear. That is quite a difference.

I know of a number of defence attempts where the starboard tacker claimed they were headed and HAD to bear away - it just complicates the hearing. Perhaps 16.2 wording is to hammer home that you cannot bear away if it means the port tacker hasn't got room. 16.1 really should cover pretty much all occasions and 16.1 contains 2 definitions which are crystal clear.

What about then starboard tacker is lifted, such that a port tacker that was in the process of safely crossing now cannot but also has nowhere to go to keep clear. If I read this change right it is now OK for starboard to point up and protest whereas previously this was disallowed. Is this the correct interpretation of the new rule?

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43 minutes ago, Grrr... said:

(a) When conditions are such that a hail may not be heard, the boat shall also make a signal that clearly indicates her need for room to tack or her response.

So they used the word SHALL.  Meaning "must".  And they didn't define the signal.  The next rule allows the race comittee to define a signal, but doesn't require it.  So what constitutes a signal?  In the case of kiteboards, they specifically lay out a proper signal (arm circling up in the air).  Why leave this so ambigous in the case of sailboats?  If I decide my signal is hoisting a pair of crotchless panties I found in my V-berth this morning, does that constitute a valid signal?  In this case it would appear it does.

This leaves the door open for a large number of misunderstandings.  It seems like a definition of signal could have clarified this rule.  For instance, hailing while pointing in the direction to be tacked, unless the race comittee has otherwise defined the signal (or something like that).

I'm thinking of fitting car indicators to the boat ... will that work?

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, gaw said:

What about then starboard tacker is lifted, such that a port tacker that was in the process of safely crossing now cannot but also has nowhere to go to keep clear. If I read this change right it is now OK for starboard to point up and protest whereas previously this was disallowed. Is this the correct interpretation of the new rule?

 

I don't thinks so.

R16.2 applies when P is sailing to pass to leeward of S on a beat to windward.

In this situation if S is lifted and points up, P will be knocked and have to bear away, and the separation gets more not less.

The situation you describe (P crossing safely, and then S getting lifted and leaving no-where for P to go) sounds like P is crossing S's bow (i.e. passing to windward).

 

 

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4 hours ago, gaw said:

What about then starboard tacker is lifted, such that a port tacker that was in the process of safely crossing now cannot but also has nowhere to go to keep clear. If I read this change right it is now OK for starboard to point up and protest whereas previously this was disallowed. Is this the correct interpretation of the new rule?

See 16.1 now & new

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5 hours ago, Grrr... said:

(a) When conditions are such that a hail may not be heard, the boat shall also make a signal that clearly indicates her need for room to tack or her response.

So they used the word SHALL.  Meaning "must".  And they didn't define the signal.  The next rule allows the race comittee to define a signal, but doesn't require it.  So what constitutes a signal?  In the case of kiteboards, they specifically lay out a proper signal (arm circling up in the air).  Why leave this so ambigous in the case of sailboats?  If I decide my signal is hoisting a pair of crotchless panties I found in my V-berth this morning, does that constitute a valid signal?  In this case it would appear it does.

This leaves the door open for a large number of misunderstandings.  It seems like a definition of signal could have clarified this rule.  For instance, hailing while pointing in the direction to be tacked, unless the race comittee has otherwise defined the signal (or something like that).

You will find many events will specify in NoR or SIs an alternative signal. It is not appropriate to define An alternative signal in the general RRS as different types of racing have different alternatives. For example in match racing (enshrined in Appendix C) Arm signals are used. In SuperYacht racing because of ‘exclusion zone’ type distancing VHF radio is used and as mentioned kite boarding also has an alternative. So the wording of the rule is, in my view, correct.

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19 hours ago, Editor said:

Since the year dot, the only (officially) acceptable language for making a hail has been English, protests have been thrown out at World Championship level simply because the hail was in the sailor’s own language. Now, and coming into line with the global leveling of the racial playing field, a required hail can be in a different language although English is always OK.

 This means that a young sailor doesn’t have to learn a foreign language to exercise their rights on the race course if it is a regatta up to, say, national level.  However, it still has to be reasonable that the hail is understood by all boats affected. A new can of worms to be opened perhaps. Maybe World Sailing will one day recognise that ‘tone’ is often as important as the actual word and look into the overly high number of protests that are declared invalid due this technicality, but that’s just this writer’s opinion.

Note that this only applies to hails required by the rules, and I think there are only three (or maybe only two):

  • "Protest" (61.1(a))
  •  Room to tack at an obstruction (note that the wording for this hail is not specified, so presumably could be in a language other than English under the current rules) (20.1, and not strictly speaking required either)
  • "You tack" (20.2(c))

So under the current rules a sailor only needs to know three words in English. Just like a tennis player doesn't have to be fluent in French to declare a score of l'oeuf. But I think the change does make sense for events that are conducted almost entirely in a language other than English, especially if otherwise valid protests are being thrown out.

I can't agree that "tone" should be considered. I'd hate to be on a jury and having to ask "I see what you said, but what tone did you use?" In my opinion the requirement to use the word "protest" is pretty well known and understood. If you get fouled and have a protest thrown out because you didn't use the word "protest" in your hail, I think that's just you paying your stupid tax.

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I like the addition to "Mark Room" that specifically includes the phrase "without touching it"

I had someone argue to me this past weekend that, as a boat owed room by a boat that had tacked in the zone, since we didn't hit the mark and we didn't hit them that they had given us enough mark room. I'd hate for the burden of proof around Mark Room to be such that you have to collide with the outside boat or run into big metal bell buoys or day markers on rock piles in order to prove your case that you weren't given enough room. 

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26 minutes ago, jackolantern said:

I like the addition to "Mark Room" that specifically includes the phrase "without touching it"

I had someone argue to me this past weekend that, as a boat owed room by a boat that had tacked in the zone, since we didn't hit the mark and we didn't hit them that they had given us enough mark room. I'd hate for the burden of proof around Mark Room to be such that you have to collide with the outside boat or run into big metal bell buoys or day markers on rock piles in order to prove your case that you weren't given enough room. 

If you were able to round on the correct side and didn't touch the mark or the other boat, what was your argument that you were not given mark room?

I don't think you have to touch either to "prove" you weren't given mark room (note that you're exonerated from breaking 14 (as long as no damage or injury) or 31 if you do, but still...). You can always bail out to the wrong side of the mark and protest if you think there's not enough room given and trying to go in there would be dangerous.

It's not as definitive as contact so creates a "he said-she said" dilemma for the PC but hey, that's what they get paid for ;-)

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19 hours ago, shanghaisailor said:

If budget is a concern Heisenberg you can always download them FREE from sailing.org and carry them as a pdf on your phone :-)

I don't think the Rules Committee sit in a darkened room and make up the changes themselves. Feedback is given during the previous cycle from people who should know and, I understand, this forms the basis for the tweaks

I was being ironic.

Still, after playing this game for 50 odd years, I'm amazed at the complexity of the rules and "turd polishing" that goes on (see "tweaks"). If the rules are essentially meant to keep boat from colliding, say that without obfuscation. The entire rewrite conducted a couple of decades ago didn't simplify the game. The rules remain convoluted and difficult to interpret, even for the most seasoned racers. It is a shame because it drives people away from an already dying sport.

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1 hour ago, TJSoCal said:

If you were able to round on the correct side and didn't touch the mark or the other boat, what was your argument that you were not given mark room?

I don't think you have to touch either to "prove" you weren't given mark room (note that you're exonerated from breaking 14 (as long as no damage or injury) or 31 if you do, but still...). You can always bail out to the wrong side of the mark and protest if you think there's not enough room given and trying to go in there would be dangerous.

 It's not as definitive as contact so creates a "he said-she said" dilemma for the PC but hey, that's what they get paid for ;-)

We had to turn down, adjust our course, and sail below our PC to the next mark to avoid contact

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17 minutes ago, jackolantern said:

We had to turn down, adjust our course, and sail below our PC to the next mark to avoid contact

I'm not able to get a picture of this in my head. My gut reaction says that mark room doesn't include room to sail your proper course to the next mark, and that generally if you are owed room by a boat who tacked inside the zone they should also be keeping clear of you as the windward boat to your leeward. (I may have the wrong picture but  I can't picture how they tacked in the zone,  owe you room and have right of way.)

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23 hours ago, Editor said:

“Proper Course” is now expanded from ‘to finish as soon as possible’ to ‘to sail the course and finish as soon as possible’. Seems a bit of words for their own sake as a boat cannot “Finish” until it has correctly sailed the course in any case but once again removing any ambiguity from the definition.

Disagree, a boat can definitely finish without sailing the course.  They just get scored NSC (a new addition to the scoring abbreviations in the appendix.)  It's always been up to the race committee to take finish times without determining whether the finishing boat pulled its string correctly; that gets sorted out later if another boat saw them miss a mark or otherwise not sail the course. 

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18 hours ago, TJSoCal said:

If you get fouled and have a protest thrown out because you didn't use the word "protest" in your hail, I think that's just you paying your stupid tax.

Easy to say for a native English speaker. It is not quite such a natural word to use for a NON- English speaker. We are fortunate that historically English is the language of the nautical and aeronautical world but who is to say that will always be the case. It is natural if an inexperienced sailor who has learned the whole rule book in their own language  when fouled, to shout out in their own language when under pressure. To expect any different is perhaps sliding towards the 'superior race' situation which the whole world is trying to stamp out right now. Having said that, when we umpire races in China most sailors actually already use the word 'Protest'. Perhaps that is for the benefit of the laowei umpires :-)

Not accusing you of anything TJ - far from it - but if our sport expects the developing nations to join in the fun we perhaps have to cut them some slack in this area - maybe we shouldn't - opinion is mixed in this area. The sailors I referred to up thread were very young Chinese at their first Youth Worlds and their protest (which I saw the form for) was pretty cut and dried but thrown out on the technicality that they shouted "Protest" in Chinese in the heat of the moment (and were honest enough to say so in the room). Technically the correct decision by the jury but the rule breaker got away scot free. I saw the look of disappointment on the sailors' faces as they had a pretty strong case apart from the 'own language hail'. This change to 'Hail' is a good step in the right direction, even if "Protest" is always used it shows our governing body is listening.

Tricky area!

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I'm curious - I presume that MNAs print their versions of the RRS in their own languages. If/when they do, do they include the English words "protest" and "you tack" in quotes, or do they translate those words along with the rest of the text?

For the record, although I think requiring those hails to be in English is not too great a burden on competitors I think the new rule is a good thing if it avoids having otherwise valid protests dismissed on such a technicality.

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In a noisy racing situation, where you're not likely to hear much anyway, how do you differentiate "Protest!" (English) from "Proteste!"(French) from "Protesta!"(Spanish) from "Protest"(Polish) from "Protest"(German) from "протест!" (Russian), from "Protest!" (Swedish), from "Protesti!" (Finnish) from "Protest!" (Danish) from "Aihtijaj!" (Arabic) from "Kàngyi!" (Chinese) from "Aihtijaj!" (Urdu) from "Protesto! (Portuguese) from "Diamartrya!"(Greek) from "Etirppu!" (Tamil) ?  If you're in a situation where you might have infringed upon a rule and you hear a yell from a competitor you may have fouled, it should be pretty clear what he's saying, regardless of the language. 

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6 hours ago, PaulK said:

In a noisy racing situation, where you're not likely to hear much anyway, how do you differentiate "Protest!" (English) from "Proteste!"(French) from "Protesta!"(Spanish) from "Protest"(Polish) from "Protest"(German) from "протест!" (Russian), from "Protest!" (Swedish), from "Protesti!" (Finnish) from "Protest!" (Danish) from "Aihtijaj!" (Arabic) from "Kàngyi!" (Chinese) from "Aihtijaj!" (Urdu) from "Protesto! (Portuguese) from "Diamartrya!"(Greek) from "Etirppu!" (Tamil) ?  If you're in a situation where you might have infringed upon a rule and you hear a yell from a competitor you may have fouled, it should be pretty clear what he's saying, regardless of the language. 

I actually agree with you PaulK. (Impressive language skills by the way.) On the odd occasion where I have infringed and the many more times i have heard a shout I would often be hard pressed to tell you if it was protest that was actually shouted. A good or better protest room lawyer would or could use that to their advantage to have a perhaps valid rule breach brushed aside on a technicality. That was the point i was making about the use of "tone". Whatever the language, an angry tone is an angry tone or a frightened tone is  frightened tone. Maybe some sort of sound signal? I don't know. 

That leads, at least in my mind, the frequent breach by some of one of the basic principles of our sport "When a competitor break a rule they will promptly take a penalty" and they don't.

Sailing is a "self-policing sport" and self begins with ones-self. Oh, if only everyone was honest!

I remember one event where a more experienced boat broke a number of rules during the event but no flag so we could do nothing. Finally they were about to be OCS in the penultimate race but pushed down on the leeward boat and there was contact but they saved their OCS. It was light weather conditions so we trickled the judge boat through the fleet until we could ask them if they 'knew' they broke Rule 11 on the start line. They answered yes (silly boys). We then invited them to do a penalty or we would protest them under Rule 2. It perhaps wasn't by the book but they had knowingly cheated.

And it wasn't the first time that team had raced to their OWN rule book. Perhaps they might think again next time we meet on the race course.

As the King is often quoted "If in winning a race you lose the respect of your fellow competitors, you have won nothing." 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think the changes to 18 and mark-room are subtle but profound, certainly from a lay interpretation point of view.

Perhaps this will kill off a tactical rounding under the premise of mark room.  Or indeed a boat that is just overlapped to leward may choose to force a non tactical rounding so as to nip up the inside.  Because once room is given, room no longer applies.  And room only extends to enough space not to hit the mark while they "round or pass it" (emphasis mine). a right of way boat can force a mark-room boat as close the mark as possible without actually hitting it and need only provide as such for them to round OR pass it.  There by limiting the manner that hey can round the mark

IMHO, a right of way boat can now make it very difficult for a mark room boat if they so choose to do so.

 

 

 

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To clarify my argument

The new definition for mark-room is to round or pass the mark.  This can be interpreted in two ways:

1) as a boat entitled to mark-room, I should be given room to pass the mark,  or manoeuvre to round it as is deemed necessary

2) a boat obligated to give mark-room has complied provided the inside boat has been given sufficient room to do one of either passing it, or rounding it, but not necessarily both. 

The key here is mark-room only applies to sailing the course.  to sail the course, I must only leave a track on the required side of the mark.  There is no obligation on the boat providing mark-room for one so entitled to sail "proper course"  only to sail the course, that is to leave the mark on the required side without touching it.  

It would seem a right of way boat that is obligated to provide mark-room need only provide room for the lesser requirements of passing it.  Since passing the mark typically requires less room to manoeuvre than rounding it.  A right of way boat can provide enough room for a mark-room to pass it, but not round it if it is tactical for him to do so.

The bow of a yacht pressed in close proximity to a leeward stern quarter would be sufficient to allow a boat entitled to mark-room to pass it, while insufficiently being able to manoeuvre to round it.

Equally, a boat on starboard gybe into a gybe mark may be able to force a boat clear ahead to stand on if the boat clear ahead does not commence their gybe prior to "passing the mark".  There is existing precedent for this under international case 144

An example of this would be where a boat clear ahead, in providing mark-room to a boat inside her is prevented from gybing until she has passed the mark.  Then is further blocked by a boat clear astern who had previously provided room to "pass the mark" 

A tighter definition might have been:  "room pass the mark and round it as necessary to sail the course without touching the mark." which is what I think the intention of the change is meant to be.   

Or maybe it's not, and the intention to limit tactical roundings and people in general taking the piss at the bouy in the name of mark-room.  Either way, The "Or" in the new definition leaves a level of ambiguity that mark room applies to pass, or round, but not necessarily both.

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7 hours ago, Spoonie said:

It would seem a right of way boat that is obligated to provide mark-room need only provide room for the lesser requirements of passing it.  Since passing the mark typically requires less room to manoeuvre than rounding it.  A right of way boat can provide enough room for a mark-room to pass it, but not round it if it is tactical for him to do so.

The bow of a yacht pressed in close proximity to a leeward stern quarter would be sufficient to allow a boat entitled to mark-room to pass it, while insufficiently being able to manoeuvre to round it.

 

Quote

room to round or pass the mark as necessary to sail the course without touching the mark.

I think you are ignoring the 'sail the course' part of this. If sailing the course requires rounding you have to give room to round. If sailing the course only requires passing, then you only need to give room to pass. 

 

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I'm not sure the round-pass issue is as big as you're making it. To me it looks like a minor language clean-up.

A mark may either be a rounding mark (string required to touch on correct side - 28.2(b)) or a passing mark (must be left on correct side but string need not touch - 28.2(a)). Unless it's clear from the course diagram the SIs should identify which marks are rounding marks (J2.1(5) and L9.2).

So I think they just decided to include "or pass" in the definition of mark room to make it clear that mark room applies at both rounding marks and passing marks. I don't think amount of space required to be given changes depending on whether a boat is rounding or passing the mark.

Mark room currently includes room to sail the course, the only change there is that in the new rules sail the course is a definition whereas in the current rules it would generally be understood as "comply with the requirements of rule 28".

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6 hours ago, JohnMB said:

I think you are ignoring the 'sail the course' part of this. If sailing the course requires rounding you have to give room to round. If sailing the course only requires passing, then you only need to give room to pass. 

 

No, I'm very aware of it.  The explicit definition of sailing the course is to leave a string on the required side so that between the start and the finish, when pulled tight, it touches the mark.  The definitions TJ refers to are moved from 28 into the definition.  

I'm wrong for other reasons...

The very literal interpretation of those two definitions is that provided that string touches the mark when drawn tight at the finish, then there is no obligation for the string to touch the mark at the moment the mark is passed.  

In preventing a boat with mark-room from rounding it, but not passing it, provided that boat is later able to still pull the string tight and touch the mark, you are not preventing a boat to sail-the course.  It might be proper-course to immediately round a mark in the direction of the next one, but it is *not* a requirement to sail-the-course.

Case 144 however makes it clear mark-room requires to leave the mark on the required side.  It notes that despite having sailed past the mark the boat in question has not yet left the mark on the required side.  In order to leave the mark on the required side, you ostensibly need to pass the mark in the direction of the course.

I still posit however, the new definitions mean you can force a boat to pass the mark, and not necessarily "round it", provided you provide room to pass and leave the mark on the required side.  The theoretical scenarios for this are going from a tight reach to a close hauled course or a broad reach to a square run where standing on leaves you on the course side of the mark (like the bow pressed against a lee quarter).  Essentially, any mark where the change in course is less than 90 deg.

I agree the practicalities are relatively thin.  but essentially means a right of way boat *may* have greater say in how you round a mark, provided they allow you to pass it

Either way, If I'm questioning it, someone else will... IMHO, the "OR" is unnecessary ambiguity. 

 

*shrug*

 

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1 hour ago, Spoonie said:

No, I'm very aware of it.  The explicit definition of sailing the course is to leave a string on the required side so that between the start and the finish, when pulled tight, it touches the mark.

 

Right, so if the string touches a mark, you have to round the mark to sail the course. (Rounding marks touch the string and Passing marks do not)

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13 minutes ago, JohnMB said:

Right, so if the string touches a mark, you have to round the mark to sail the course. (Rounding marks touch the string and Passing marks do not)

No, you have to leave  the mark on the required side.  There is no immediacy to the requirement of the string touching the mark, only that it must do so at the finish.  There fore, having the string touch the mark, as you sail past it, is not necessary to sail the course.    Being provided room to leave the mark on the required side, is however a requirement of mark-room.

To full fill that requirement, a boat obliged to provide mark-room need only provide enough room for the boat so entitled. to pass and leave the mark in the direction of the course.  

The clear example is boats on a reach on a trapezoid course.  By standing on in the direction of the reaching leg, you will sail past the mark, and leave it on the required side, but the string won't touch.  I can keep going like that all day provided by the time I get to the finish, a tight string will touch the mark.

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On 7/16/2020 at 3:39 AM, The Q said:

I'm thinking of fitting car indicators to the boat ... will that work?

 

 

 

They don't work for most car drivers.  Why would a boat driver be any different?

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36 minutes ago, Spoonie said:

No, you have to leave  the mark on the required side.  There is no immediacy to the requirement of the string touching the mark, only that it must do so at the finish.  There fore, having the string touch the mark, as you sail past it, is not necessary to sail the course.    

You did not read what I wrote.

If, when you pull tight the string it touches the mark,  then you have to round the mark to sail the course.

Look at the distinction between passing mark and rounding mark.

This has nothing to do with where you actually sail, just what the string does or does not touch.

The immediacy is irrelevant to this, it is simply a question of how the course string interacts with the mark

 

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4 hours ago, Hitchhiker said:

They don't work for most car drivers.  Why would a boat driver be any different?

Well BMW and Audi don't make sailing boats... ( though they label some) 

 

( both makes renown in the UK for unused indicators..)

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3 hours ago, JohnMB said:

You did not read what I wrote.

I can assure you I did... but it's moot, because whether I'm right or wrong,  I can't think of a scenario which isn't caught by some other part of 18.    I was kinda hoping the changes would limit aggressive door shutting moves  but they don't...  so carry on.

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