Rules question - defining the start line after the start.

Flaming

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Weird one this weekend. In the end it didn't matter, but I'm not sure what the actual rule is here.

Starting in light winds 1 boat (us) is called over. We start to dip back, however at the same time the boat starting on the pin hooks it and drags it fairly significantly to weather. We see this, determine that we are now actually behind the line formed by the Committee boat and the current position of the pin, and start. The RC comes on the radio a few minutes later to clarify that we had not returned far enough.
I'm not questioning his call, but we were very close to the pin, and within reason certain that we had become behind the line as the pin was dragged forward. (This was also the opinion of the boat who hooked the pin so had quite a good view).

Whilst we might be mistaken that we actually were behind the new position of the pin, I'm interested what the rule would be... Assuming that we had been put the right side of the line by the movement of the pin, but had not returned to the prestart side of the line as it was at the starting signal, would the RO be correct in determining that we had not started correctly, or should the movement of the pin put us back on the prestart side of the line "by default".
 

Brass

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Had the race committee removed the X Flag?

RRS 29.1. Individual Recall
When at a boat's starting signal any part of her hull is on the course side of the starting line or she must comply with rule 30.1, the race committee shall promptly display Flag X with one sound. The flag shall be displayed until the hull of each such boat has been completely on the pre-start side of the of the starting line ...
 

Flaming

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Had the race committee removed the X Flag?

RRS 29.1. Individual Recall
No (but it was very small, at the other end of the line, and obscured by other boats...)

The RO made his call, and that's fine.

I'm just interested on if the movement of the pin could have put us back on the right side, or if we needed to recross the original line.
 

Brass

Super Anarchist
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Removal of the X Flag tells you you have returned to the pre start side and are clear to start. If it hasn't been removed you haven't and you aren't.

A mark that has moved is still a mark, and boats must observe it in accordance with the rules, unless the race committee replaces it and displays Flag M.
 
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Flaming

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UK
Removal of the X Flag tells you you have returned to the pre start side and are clear to start. If it hasn't been removed you haven't and you aren't.

A mark that has moved is still a mark, and boats must observe it in accordance with the rules, unless the race committee replaces it and displays Flag M.
I get the X-ray thing, and I'm absolutely not questioning the call. The incident just opened the question in my mind to where we needed to return to - the line as defined by the position of the mark at start time, or the position it was in 30s after the start when it was significantly to windward.

If I understand your answer, then it is the latter.
 

Brass

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The rules answer is you need to return across the line between the starting marks as defined in the SI, however they may move.

The practical answer is you need to return to where the RO tells you to.
 

Remodel

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Removal of the X Flag tells you you have returned to the pre start side and are clear to start. If it hasn't been removed you haven't and you aren't.

A mark that has moved is still a mark, and boats must observe it in accordance with the rules, unless the race committee replaces it and displays Flag M.
If more than one boat is over, the x-flag won't be removed until all OCS boats have returned to the pre-start side. I don't know if that happened here or not, but if it did the onus would be on the OP to be sure he had restarted correctly, and he couldn't rely on the flag.
 

Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
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As I understand it, the marks of the course are the physical marks. Not the anchor line of the mark, not a position in 3-D space where some other reference point indicates the mark should be.

I was involved in a protest... more officially, a request for redress... wherein a 4th or 5th place boat briefly caught and dragged the windward mark downwind; the boat in the lead at that time demanded the his finish be scored as 1st, on the basis that's where he was when the mark was moved and boats behind him sailed a shorter course. My boat was right in the scrum and my contribution was that no boat changed it's place as a result of the mark being moved, but the distances between boats was reduced and the lead boat's loss of position was on a subsequent leg.

The rules answer is you need to return across the line between the starting marks as defined in the SI, however they may move.

The practical answer is you need to return to where the RO tells you to.
In practice, yes. Strictly by the rules, is it within the RO's discretion to arbitrarily decide a boat has NOT returned to the pre-start side of the line, say for example in a case where the boat rounds the mark (in it's moved position) cleanly?
 

Brass

Super Anarchist
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If more than one boat is over, the x-flag won't be removed until all OCS boats have returned to the pre-start side.

Yup.

I don't know if that happened here or not, but if it did the onus would be on the OP to be sure he had restarted correctly, and he couldn't rely on the flag.
Actually, she could: the X Flag won't be removed until all OCS boats have returned, so when X goes down, OP can be sure that she has returned and may restart.
 

HypnoToad

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So you are saying that an OCS boat should go back and wait behind the line until all OCS boats have returned and the X flag has dropped? Yeah, that's not right.
 

Flaming

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UK
Yup.


Actually, she could: the X Flag won't be removed until all OCS boats have returned, so when X goes down, OP can be sure that she has returned and may restart.
Other than the fact that when you start at the pin on a busy start line it can often be very difficult to see any flags at all, and only the loudest of hooters get heard in any breeze at the far end of a yacht starting line.... The VHF is invaluable when not starting at the boat end.

In this case immediately after the start signal the PRO hailed on the VHF that X-ray was flying for 1 boat. We then did our duck/pin move manoeuvre and started. At that point there was another message with our sail number which said something to the effect of "you haven't returned far enough". But unfortunately I misheard that and understood it to mean that we had returned far enough. We had no view of the committee boat at this point because most of the fleet were between us and them. My decision/risk to sail on, my mistake, not the PRO's.

A later hail (about 2 minutes later) announced that that X-ray was still flying.

I understand that all of those hails were optional on the part of the PRO, who is an absolutely first rate PRO, and have no issues at all with understanding that the PRO did not consider us to have started correctly.

My only question was if the pin moving to windward whilst attached to another boat would count as us going back behind the line or not. Not because I'm questioning the PRO, but questioning my own understanding of the situation we found ourselves in.
 

eric1207

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Seattle
Its been 30 years since I've raced but this interests me. As described by the OP can he protest the decision or get redress or get scored in the position he finished? (The basis of which being his contention that he was clearly below the line and had witnesses to testify to that fact on both his and his pin dragging competitor's boat)
 

bloodshot

Super Anarchist
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Its been 30 years since I've raced but this interests me. As described by the OP can he protest the decision or get redress or get scored in the position he finished. (Under the contention that he was clearly below the line and had witnesses to testify to that point on both his and his pin dragging competitor's boat)
i think the "through no fault of their own" requirement in RRS 62.1 isn't satisfied if the boat doesn't clear itself first
 

shanghaisailor

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Very often the start line is on a transit from the start box/committee boat - and the 'pin' mark more correctly called the outer distance mark very often isn't on that transit whether taken off the transit by tidal or other current of by being hooked by a boat. Many start lines are defined thus for this exact reason. If a boat is OCS from this transit line then it has to return behind that transit line irrespective to what has happened to the outer distance mark. I have seen occasions where the outer distance mark has been carried behind the start line enabling boats starting at that line to round it before getting to the start line, tacking away to the left hand side of the course before the start - very smart tactical decision if it is available.
 

TJSoCal

Super Anarchist
In multiple starts the OCS flag will remain up until a set time (in the SI's) before the next start. That is, of course, if the SI's have been written correctly.
No need for SI - RRS says the signal stays up until all boats have returned, or for 4 minutes or until 1 minute before a subsequent start if that's less than 4 minutes.

For OP, if you think the RC may have been judging your return based on their guess at the original position of the pin rather than its then-current position that might be an error of the RC. Probably too late now for a redress request but it might be worth a scoring inquiry - if the RC made a mistake it's better to hash it out so there's better understanding another time.

Otherwise, with multiple boats OCS it's up to each boat to judge whether she returned completely to the pre-start side. If you're near an end going around the mark is a good way to remove all doubt.
 

eric1207

Anarchist
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Seattle
So the start is some nebulous transit line that the racers could not possibly determine accurately. Not the pin, like the good old days, which everyone can see. Hmmm. Maybe there's a way using gps, but that is beyond my pay grade. I've heard the rules have become much more complicated than the GOD. No more "mast abeam" I understand. Is this complication a good thing?
 




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