Rules question - defining the start line after the start.

JohnMB

Super Anarchist
2,853
620
Evanston
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.
Basically whatever points the SI's state.
It's pretty common in many UK clubs for the Race Committee to be ashore the transit is usually defined by the mast that the flags are run up and some other feature which could also be ashore or could be a mark on the water. Usually in combination with fixed marks and random leg courses
It makes finding your start-line transit easy because its in the definition of the start itself :). The line limits are defined by an inner distance and/or outer distance mark or by the physical location (e.g. river banks :) )
It makes it easier to get a volunteer PRO because they can sit in a warm sheltered spot, watch the racing in comfort, and grab a cup of tea or anytime they want.
It's cheap because you don't need a committee boat

There are many way to skin a cat.
 

efrank

Member
342
167
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.
Thank you! So, if I understand correctly, you have to pass between the Williams Shipping Buoy and an inflatable Rolex Buoy, but the actual starting line is determined by lining up the Flagstaff and a line on a castle. How is the race committee positioned so they can spot the line? I guess they could be on the opposite side of the river.
 

pqbon

Member
387
155
Cambridge UK
Thank you! So, if I understand correctly, you have to pass between the Williams Shipping Buoy and an inflatable Rolex Buoy, but the actual starting line is determined by lining up the Flagstaff and a line on a castle. How is the race committee positioned so they can spot the line? I guess they could be on the opposite side of the river.
On rorc races I believe they site down the line using a spotting scope -- the RORC line is quite long spanning a large chunk of the Solent.

Smaller dinghy clubs do the samething minus the spotting scope --- they just stand behind the transit objects and sight down them usually... Some may do things like stand exactly infront of the second mark and sight down the other object.
 
How is the race committee positioned so they can spot the line? I guess they could be on the opposite side of the river.
The RC is positioned in a nice warm starters hut, usually with an electric kettle and a nice pot of tea on the brew.
They spot the line by looking out of the window of the starters hut at the two transits in front of them. It is actually much easier to spot boats OCS because you have a very precise transit and the starters hut is often high enough to see down the line.

4.1.1 Club Line Start The starting line will be a transit of the line between the tall flag pole in front of the CYC
starters hut and a shorter prominent pole immediately in front on the foreshore. The channel marker post known
as ‘Number 2’ post is the Outer Distance Mark. Signals made from the CYC starter hut will be in accordance with the
RRS Rules of Racing.


IMHO, many US clubs would do well to introduce starters huts and transit lines.
It is much easier for the competitors to judge how far they are from the line and when they are OCS (because you can see the line clearly).
It is much easier to secure volunteers for RC.....After the start, one steps out of the hut and pick up a bacon butty and a pint from the Galley and then return when it looks like the fleet is getting closer to the finish.
It is fun and allows for creative starts rather than jes the usual upwind start and hours of delay as the RC pfaff about trying to set a staright line.

If you want numerous examples of starters huts, please refer to @tillerman who can direct you to a whole thread in DA with images of starters huts from around the world.
 

pqbon

Member
387
155
Cambridge UK
My local club has a hut without a fixed start line and an RC boat for when the hut can't set an upwind start. Our start line when the hut is in use if from the ODM to the flagstaff at the hut or the ODM to the flagstaff on the RC boat. We may use in IDM but that is only to set and inner limit it is not part of the start line.

A few years ago we had a sailor who didn't often sail at the club and was unaware the IDM didn't make up the line -- in this case it was a few feet back from the line after the ODM was adjusted to make it square to the wind. He came ashore right after the start screaming about every boat being over and that there should have been a general and the RC didn't know anything and know body knows the rules. We calmly explained the IDM is not part of the line -- while trying to keep straight faces -- and sent him back on his way a humbler sailor.
 

Flaming

Anarchist
615
224
UK
Well I now have an answer from the PRO, who asked an IJ.

The line was fixed at the start, so we needed to return to where it was at the start time, and not where it moved to - so therefore we did not return to the prestart side of the line by the pin moving to windward.
 

Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
45,321
10,147
Eastern NC
Well I now have an answer from the PRO, who asked an IJ.

The line was fixed at the start, so we needed to return to where it was at the start time, and not where it moved to - so therefore we did not return to the prestart side of the line by the pin moving to windward.

Uh huh.
Did he point to the wording in the rules to support this?
My rule book says "the mark(s)" not "where the mark(s) -used- to be."
 

Flaming

Anarchist
615
224
UK
Uh huh.
Did he point to the wording in the rules to support this?
My rule book says "the mark(s)" not "where the mark(s) -used- to be."
Your rule book says the same thing as mine.

However I'm not about to labour the point with someone who is a volunteer and does a very, very good job of running racing. Though I am now wishing we had sailed on and put in a request for redress.
 

Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
45,321
10,147
Eastern NC
Your rule book says the same thing as mine.

However I'm not about to labour the point with someone who is a volunteer and does a very, very good job of running racing. Though I am now wishing we had sailed on and put in a request for redress.

Oh yeah, definitely... sorry if my post seemed to suggest beating them up (verbally) over it.
 

fastyacht

Super Anarchist
12,928
2,600
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.
Actually I was flummoxed because I have sailed with shore side starting lines for decades. But there is always a mark out in the water.

Havng only raced at Cowes once, I did not remember any of that transit light beam thing with the inner and outer marks. Interesting.
 
Well I now have an answer from the PRO, who asked an IJ.

The line was fixed at the start, so we needed to return to where it was at the start time, and not where it moved to - so therefore we did not return to the prestart side of the line by the pin moving to windward.
Do you have a set of the Sailing Instructions?

Unless the SI's are really unusual, the IJ and the PRO are incorrect.
 
Actually I was flummoxed because I have sailed with shore side starting lines for decades. But there is always a mark out in the water.

Havng only raced at Cowes once, I did not remember any of that transit light beam thing with the inner and outer marks. Interesting.
Shore side starting boxes commonly use a transit (because it is easier to judge the line for RC and competitors) augmented by an outer distance mask, so that boats start reasonably close to the box. Some also have an IDM to stop the competitors running aground. Those marks are marks of the course, but do not define the starting line.
One reason not to have a transit is when the starting hut is too close to the shore to create a transit.
Perhaps you sail at a club without room for a transit.
 

The Q

Super Anarchist
Huts may be nice for the RC. I, for one, hate starts that are not more or less upwind.
Although our club is on a river, the general start direction on the river is into the prevailing wind, the start line can be swung up to 45 degrees to a series of marker boards on the far side of the river. So not preferencing one tack or the other.. You can also start in the opposite direction of course..
1664379642937.png


You can see the starters box and the arm which swings out (has the black and white pole), a board is clipped onto the arm which indicates which far side marker is in use.
The course board is folded down in that shot..
 

onelife99

New member
To actually answer the OP's question, if someone hooks a pin and travels with it the boats are to round the pin regardless -- NOT where the pin used to be. I'm pretty sure there is a World Sailing or US Sailing case about this, but it has been a while since I read the cases. I've been involved in two races where someone hooked the leeward buoy. Most boats rounded where it ended up (or rounded the boat dragging it) and one or two rounded where they thought it was originally positioned. The one who didn't actually round the mark were marked DSC by the RC.
 

shanghaisailor

Super Anarchist
3,140
1,282
Shanghai, China
HUH? What on earth are you talking about?
The start line is between marks. I have never ever seen it any other way.
I know what I am talking about.

You need to get out more.

Here is a quote from a 'Royal' club's Season generic sailing instructions. (2019)

STARTING LINE The starting line will be the extension to seaward of a line between 2 triangles at the race box. Mark `A` limits (see section 25 for start / finish line definition) the water to be sailed, which will not necessarily be exactly on the line.

When I was frequently doing RO in my teens back in the 10-5-bang days (and it was a bang, they trusted me with a shotgun and blanks) We were running 7 starts (total sometimes over 100 boats) First class flag 1850, then a flag movement every 5 minutes until last Class flag and Peter down at 1930. We would get there about 1830, set up the flags ready for break out on the flag halyards, set up the transit with A Mark and get ready to go into the 40 minute sequence - never had time between one start and the next Preparatory signal to alter the transit and nowadays there would be only 1 minute to do so (5-4-1-0)

You might set up the transit in line with outer distance mark A but 40 minutes later the strength of the tide (either increasing or decreasing) would change the position of Mark A and there was never any time to accurately change the transit without being within someone's warning signal.

SO! THAT is what I am talking about!!
 

sailor-cfn

Member
248
76
Well I now have an answer from the PRO, who asked an IJ.

The line was fixed at the start, so we needed to return to where it was at the start time, and not where it moved to - so therefore we did not return to the prestart side of the line by the pin moving to windward.

If you think about that for a second, that is absurd. How would you, or the RC, be able to know where the mark was originally?
 

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