Rules question - defining the start line after the start.

TJSoCal

Super Anarchist
I did the dip as RO for a big Laser event and was angrily informed that it was not in the rules... and they were correct, it isn't. I dunno what they were mad about, everybody seemed to understand.

As Brass wisely pointed out, ROs make mistakes on rare occasions.
If several boats are OCS and going back, how would they know for sure who the dip was for?

On the other hand, as long as the dipped flag remains "displayed" (which is to say you lower it but not entirely) I don't know if you've broken any rule or committed an error.
 

TJSoCal

Super Anarchist
Hailing by voice may be a fairness of competition issue if the line is so long that an affected boat at the pin end is unable to hear the hail.

Had a case once where there was confusion in the fleet about how many laps were to be done for the final race. One RC boat hailing some boats but not others that they were done for the day, another RC boat hailing some boats but not others that they should review how many laps they'd done and what the course was. Result was some boats did another lap, some headed home, some got partway home & then came back to do the final lap.

Not a 41 issue but definitely a fairness issue and definitely and error by the RC. Ugly redress hearing...I think we wound up giving boats finishing places in the order that they rounded the last mark that the entire fleet rounded as that was the last point where it was a fair contest.
 

bloodshot

Super Anarchist
1,612
153
United States
Unless there is some kind of bizarre home-town favouritism, it's not a rule 41 issue: a race committee is always a 'disinterested source'.

USA Appeal US118 actually says that a hail by a race committee is not outside help.

Hailing by voice may be a fairness of competition issue if the line is so long that an affected boat at the pin end is unable to hear the hail.
True on rule 41, and I was focused more on the part where it was stated that "For these reasons, the answer to Question 1 depends on the level of the event, the norm for races run by that race committee, the consistency with which it is applied, what the sailors want or expect, and what is stated in the sailing instructions or other rules governing the event." in terms of whether pre-start verbal warnings are appropriate.
 

Brass

Super Anarchist
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Not sure what the problem is with it turning on at 1 minute. The flag goes up at 4 mins (or at 2 mins at a 3 min sound start) to give everyone a heads up that it will be in effect.

Lots of keelboats have starting routines that may take them over the line within the final minute and back below before the gun. There's no need to disallow that starting strategy if the objective is to have boats called OCS go around the ends so there's no doubt they returned and started properly.

But the question is why would your objective be to have OCS boats go round the ends?

Just because it's easier for the race committee?

Don't mess competitors around just to make life easier for the race committee unless you absolutely have to.
 

Brass

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Had a case once where there was confusion in the fleet about how many laps were to be done for the final race. One RC boat hailing some boats but not others that they were done for the day, another RC boat hailing some boats but not others that they should review how many laps they'd done and what the course was. Result was some boats did another lap, some headed home, some got partway home & then came back to do the final lap.

Not a 41 issue but definitely a fairness issue and definitely and error by the RC. Ugly redress hearing...I think we wound up giving boats finishing places in the order that they rounded the last mark that the entire fleet rounded as that was the last point where it was a fair contest.

That's pretty different from OCS hails on a start line, and at a start, my pin boat had better not be hailing any boats unless I tell him to.

Why were RC Vessels hailing boats about these things in any case?

AP, AP over A, and Course SIgnals.

Oral Changes to the SI: There shall be no oral changes to the SI.
 

Gone Drinking

Super Anarchist
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Oral Sailing Instructions huh?

Which bit of Case 32 has passed you by?

Case 32
Rule 86, Changes to the Racing Rules
Rule 90.2(c), Race Committee; Sailing Instructions; Scoring: Sailing Instructions

A competitor is entitled to look exclusively to written sailing instructions and to any written amendments for all details relating to sailing the course.
RRS 90.2 ( c )
The sailing instructions may be changed provided the change is in writing and posted on the official notice board before the time stated in the sailing instructions or, on the water, communicated to each boat before her warning signal. Oral changes may be given only on the water, and only if the procedure is stated in the sailing instructions.
 

Brass

Super Anarchist
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Oral Sailing Instructions huh?

Which bit of Case 32 has passed you by?

Case 32
Rule 86, Changes to the Racing Rules
Rule 90.2(c), Race Committee; Sailing Instructions; Scoring: Sailing Instructions

A competitor is entitled to look exclusively to written sailing instructions and to any written amendments for all details relating to sailing the course.

RRS 90.2 ( c )
The sailing instructions may be changed provided the change is in writing and posted on the official notice board before the time stated in the sailing instructions or, on the water, communicated to each boat before her warning signal. Oral changes may be given only on the water, and only if the procedure is stated in the sailing instructions.

Yes I'm aware of rule90.2(c).

It's referenced right there in the heading of Case 32.
 

10thTonner

Hazard to Navigation
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South of Spandau
Lots of keelboats have starting routines that may take them over the line within the final minute and back below before the gun. There's no need to disallow that starting strategy if the objective is to have boats called OCS go around the ends so there's no doubt they returned and started properly.
That can be clever if the starting line is pretty long and the other boats are somewhat behind. It can kill you if the line is short - especially in a competitive class where ten seconds to the gun you find yourself windward of a wall of sails.
 

Pokey uh da LBC

Anarchist
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120
Long Beach
Related, but a much simpler question: Is the start line defined by the flag at the top of the pin-end staff, or by the point where the pin enters the water? On a windy day, this can result in delta of several feet, significant for a pin-end start.
 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
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Related, but a much simpler question: Is the start line defined by the flag at the top of the pin-end staff, or by the point where the pin enters the water? On a windy day, this can result in delta of several feet, significant for a pin-end start.
Leading edge of any part of the pin mark unless otherwise defined in the S.I.’s.
 

fastyacht

Super Anarchist
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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.
HUH? What on earth are you talking about?
The start line is between marks. I have never ever seen it any other way.
 

Monkey

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Getting back to the OP’s situation, the RC should have either cleared you when you broke the plane between the flag and the dragged mark, or abandoned and restarted if they felt the race was unfairly skewed.

Edit: I find it hard to need to abandon though.
 

Monkey

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If you really want an odd conundrum, last year I watched a boat hook one of the little robot marks with its main sheet. The mark got dragged about 100 yards. The whole fleet went chasing after the mark. However, the mark finally broke free and went sprinting back to where it belonged. That annoyed a few people.
 

TJSoCal

Super Anarchist
Getting back to the OP’s situation, the RC should have either cleared you when you broke the plane between the flag and the dragged mark, or abandoned and restarted if they felt the race was unfairly skewed.

Edit: I find it hard to need to abandon though.
That soon after the start general recall probably would have been the way to go. But OP seems not to dispute that he was OCS before the pin started moving, the controversy was whether he got all the way back to the pre-start side.
 

Monkey

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That soon after the start general recall probably would have been the way to go.
I disagree. I know it’s a technicality, but a general should really only be used if you can’t identify the correct OCS boats.

Edit: I should also add that according to the story, the X flag was displayed. At that point, a general is off the table.
 
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EYESAILOR

Super Anarchist
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In any of the races I organise I let everyone know before hand that if they are over before the gun then they have to round either the committee boat or the pin and then re cross the line from behind. This leaves no room for misunderstanding. and is a good incentive to make sure your boat is definitely not over.
Then you must fly the i flag at the preparatory signal. "Letting them know" has no enforceable effect on the competitors. They will go by your flag signals.
 

EYESAILOR

Super Anarchist
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Given that a start mark was dragged out of position, the RC should have abandoned the race and restarted it - or just do a general recall.

John
Disagree. According to the OP. One boat was over and one boat hit and dragged the mark. All the other boats got clean starts. No need for a recall, and no cause for an abandonment under the RRS.
 

EYESAILOR

Super Anarchist
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HUH? What on earth are you talking about?
The start line is between marks. I have never ever seen it any other way.
I suspect that is because you have never sailed in a club with a shoreside starting box. There are lots of them. Transit is quite common in some parts.
 

efrank

Member
342
167
I suspect that is because you have never sailed in a club with a shoreside starting box. There are lots of them. Transit is quite common in some parts.
I don't understand this. Between what two points is the transit determined if not the flag and the pin? My racing experience is limited and I have never had a line determined by anything but the flag and the pin, so I just don't get it.
 

pqbon

Member
403
166
Cambridge UK
I don't understand this. Between what two points is the transit determined if not the flag and the pin? My racing experience is limited and I have never had a line determined by anything but the flag and the pin, so I just don't get it.
RORC races often define the start line as:

14 STARTING LINE
14.1 The starting line is formed by bringing the Royal Yacht Squadron’s Flagstaff (in approximate position 50o 46’.004N
001o 18’.055W) into line with the white line on the orange diamond on the Castle. (As an aid to competitors
vertical light beams are installed at the RYS to identify the starting line transit. The intensity of the light beam
increases as you approach the line but the lights are momentarily obscured by the forward mast when you are on
the line. The lights are navigational aids only and do not constitute the starting line. Any failure of this equipment
shall be disregarded.)
Outer limit: (which is not on the starting line) Williams Shipping Buoy (50⁰ 47’.20N, 001⁰ 18’.55W), may also be
marked with an inflatable Rolex Buoy; leave to Starboard.
Inner limit: An Inflatable Rolex Buoy (which may not be on the starting line), up to 500m from the RYS Flagstaff;
leave to port.
 




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