Rules and protest question

SemiSalt

Super Anarchist
7,815
294
WLIS
The other party explained that they were afraid of t-boning us so they "tracked our stern" (headed up) as a way of avoiding us.

I probably shouldn't guess but....

This is an entirely different situation, but as a port tack boat in a normal P/S situation, if holding course would mean T-boning the starboard tack yacht, I might point my boat at her stern (or just behind) , and head up as she made progress from right to left in front of me.

So in the case at hand, your nemesis may have been tracking the space behind your boat, but hit you due to bad judgement and getting too close. IIRC, the two boats were not sailing the same leg of the same course. I think that's potentially a risky situation because a helmsman makes the easy assumption about exactly what direction the other boat is going. Different legs means a higher chance of making the wrong assumption.

 

allene222

Super Anarchist
3,962
58
SF Bay
The other party explained that they were afraid of t-boning us so they "tracked our stern" (headed up) as a way of avoiding us.

I probably shouldn't guess but....

This is an entirely different situation, but as a port tack boat in a normal P/S situation, if holding course would mean T-boning the starboard tack yacht, I might point my boat at her stern (or just behind) , and head up as she made progress from right to left in front of me.

So in the case at hand, your nemesis may have been tracking the space behind your boat, but hit you due to bad judgement and getting too close. IIRC, the two boats were not sailing the same leg of the same course. I think that's potentially a risky situation because a helmsman makes the easy assumption about exactly what direction the other boat is going. Different legs means a higher chance of making the wrong assumption.
Yes, we were on courses that crossed at about 30 degrees. I was on a beat and he was on a reach.

Both skippers were upset with the RC for starting us both at the same time on crossing courses. We both took evasive actions at the start. I started mid line away from all the other boats. He started a minute early (which is allowed by the rules) and took a two minute penalty so he would be out of the way by the time the rest of us started. But the RC has a difficult task to start up to 100 boats and get to the finish line before the first boat gets there so there is a finish line. There were 10 boats in our start in 5 classes.

 

familysailor

Super Anarchist
3,739
146
San Francisco Bay
I am negotiating with the insurance company so do not wish to discuss details of that here. I will share some things about the hearing in case it would help others in the future.

Their bowsprit overlapped us before their bobstay hit us thus both rule 11 and 12.

The other party explained that they were afraid of t-boning us so they "tracked our stern" (headed up) as a way of avoiding us. You can see they headed up by looking at the shadow on the large jib. With the high resolution pictures we purchased, I measured it at about 15 degrees in the last 9 seconds by looking at the shadow of the mast on the deck. I don't understand the logic of aiming at us to avoid us so anyone does, please share.

Those pictures were shot with a 30mm or 82mm equivalent lens which put the boat taking the pictures about 270 feet away. I determined that from the lens focal length and the mast heights and a little trig suing one of the pictures.

The pictures had very little if any weight in the protest. Rule M7 is worth a read if you want to present photo evidence. I had answers to all those questions but they didn't ask. I volunteered most of the answers when I presented the pictures but they still told me after the hearing that they didn't consider them as important evidence. What they went on was the testimony of the two skippers and my single witness. My strategy was that this was a straightforward case so I didn't want to present a lot of material or have a lot of witnesses. I had an opening statement prepared but the hearing was more questions and answers starting with them having me show what happened with the model boats. I used three boats of each color corresponding to the about 10 seconds that I was able to deduce positions from the photos and the memory of my crew. Seawards version of the position of the boats was drastically different with the 10 second mark having his boat in front of mine and approaching at 90 degrees. I then brought out the picture corresponding to that time to show they were behind me. I don't think the protest committee members "got" the idea that the boat was heading up from the shadow moving but their skipper said he was doing it and it really didn't change the fact that he hit me. They never asked what I did to avoid the collision so I guess what we said about holding our course until it was no longer clear they would not keep clear at which point it was too late to avoid it was sufficient. I think a lot of people think if someone is clear astern and overtaking you that it is up to them to keep clear and near impossible for the overtaken boat to do anything. One last point is that I found out just a few days before the hearing that one of my crew hailed them that we were going to hit as soon as he realized they would not keep clear. He had told me that he said we were going to hit but I had not realized he said it loud enough for the other boat to hear. I didn't recall the hail but the witness I bought did. That may have helped.

In terms of who saw what when, my witness periodically did a 360 scan of the horizon and first took note of Seaward about 4 boat lengths behind us and one boat length to windward. I saw them about 2 boat lengths behind us, way before I remembered seeing them, but I can see from the photos that I am looking back at the 9 second mark.

The main benefit of the photos was that by carefully studying the high resolution shots and zooming in on details, I was able to piece together some of the details of what happened, things I had not recalled or recalled wrong, like when I saw them.

You might enjoy the following picture taken about 2 seconds past the collision. You can see my backstay complete with the Master Mariners flag. My backstay ultimately broke their bowsprit but my backstay chain plate did not break.
uh oh.

see the highlighted text! This must be one of those slips Freud was always obsessing about.

Just a little humor to lighten the mood...sorta.

 

allene222

Super Anarchist
3,962
58
SF Bay
Humm, I did say if we won I would buy lunch. Too late to edit it but clearly I meant brought and not bought in case anyone thinks this was not a typo.

 

Brass

Super Anarchist
2,763
172
Can't remember what John Doerr's exact words were about how pissed off he would be to be DSQ for breaking 12 without contact. Somewhere between "pretty" and "very", IIRC.

In this situation where there was contact (bowsprit to backstay by the looks of the photos), I would be interested in seeing the facts found as to how 11 subsequently comes into play. Or how 11 switches and then 12 applies. To me, there's broadly a choice of 2 possibilities:1) gain the overlap, then sweep the bowsprit across the boat and take the mast down (left hand picture below), or 2) don't establish the overlap and the bowsprit hooks up the backstay.(Right hand picture).

attachicon.gif
sweep.png

But Allen, it's probably a bad idea to spread this around any more, so I'll leave it at that.
Seemingly John Doerr wasn't on the committee that decided Case 30, which held that a clear astern boat was not keeping clear at an appreciable, albeit small distance before contact occurred.

Maybe what JD had in mind was a situation where there never was any contact at all.

It's geometrically impossible for an astern boat to make contact with the backstay of an ahead boat without first becoming overlapped.

I recall we discussed choices between rule 12 and 15 elsewhere, and agreed that a protest committee would be wise to pick just one rule, but I think the rule 12/11 scenario is a little different.

 
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