Rules question - defining the start line after the start.

9.3. The Starting Line will be between a staff displaying an orange flag on the main committee boat and an outer distance mark (ODM)

That's the relevant section.
That language is a little less than perfect because an "outer distance mark " is not usually a "starting mark" . The RRS refer to a starting mark.

I assume that somewhere in the SI's, the outer distance mark is defined. It will say something like "The outer distance Mark shall be a ........"

If that is correct, then the starting line is defined as being between the orange flag and the mark. If you returned such that you hull was entirely on the pre-start side of a line between the orange flag and the ODM or an extension of that line, and then restarted by crossing that line from the pre-start side to the course side then you have complied with 29.1 and you have started.


I dont suggest that you belabor the point or in any way seek redress (its too late). However, if this is an experienced PRO, they will enjoy learning from the experience. I recommend offering that you may not have restarted properly, so that it is academic, but that you have spoken to other judges and that if the starting line had moved after the start, then your obligation under 29.1 would have been met by clearing the starting line that has moved.

If they felt that this affected the fair outcome of the race then they could abandon the race under 32.1 (c). He should use abandonment rather than general recall. He should always be ready to fly N over class flag immediately after the start.

This will not be the first or last time that a starting mark moves or gets hooked and dragged for his PRO, so the experience is helpful.
 

mechols3

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In most cases the RC sets the starting mark using a bearing that is 90 degrees to the Windward mark. So all the RC needed to do was watch until the OCS boat sailed below that bearing.
 

djh

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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.
Surely if the start line was actually a transit that would have to be recorded in the NoR or SI or somesuch? The RO couldn't apply it without telling people.
 
After the one boat dragged the pin out of position, the right thing would have been if the RC abandoned or postponed the race.
You cannot postpone a race that has already started.
An RC should try to limit abandoning a race to a reason that affects the "fairness of the competition"

FWIW, based on reading the OP, I strongly suspect that the OP was OCS and did not return sufficiently to restart. "Began to dip" raised red flags.
However the OP rasied an interesting technical point. It would have been sufficient to recross the starting line which had moved. I doubt that they did.
 

fastyacht

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"royal" don't mean squat around here. LOLOLOLOL.... but interesting to see that transit business. In my experience, making your own transit is always the secret weapon in making a great start on a long line, well ahead of all the fleet. I've always tried to get a perfect transit. So that's ironic.

I guess I will never get out more if I never race a "royal" club. HAHAHAHA!

I think it is clear though that in the OP case, his biggest mistake was not getting past where the PRO expected him to go and further, thinking that the "original" location had any meaning.
 

Chrisatlantic

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This discussion seems a bit silly, in the absence of specific instructions in the SIs, there's no question that if the start mark gets dragged by a competitor, the starting line moves with the starting mark and the OP's obligation is to just clear the line between the staff on the RC and the starting mark, not to go back to where the starting mark was.

If there's more in the SIs about a transit then all bets are off until we read the language.

But because the OP didn't file for redress at the time, the discussion is only valuable for our education. When in doubt, ask for redress quickly. Somebody will usually learn a lesson (well, the way these things go the lesson might be to keep your mouth shut and your profile low ;-) but if you got kicked out of a race that you tried to do the right thing in why not?)
 

shanghaisailor

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Surely if the start line was actually a transit that would have to be recorded in the NoR or SI or somesuch? The RO couldn't apply it without telling people.
Correct and it was in the SI's. the Royal Tay Yacht Club is over 100 years old, it was founded in 1885 and received its Royal Charter from Queen Victoria so I think they thought that one through a long time ago. See my post 77.

It was certainly using a shore based transit when I was race officering in the early 1970's. Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club also still uses a shore based transit for many of their in harbour races although their tidal current isn't as fierce as on the Tay Estuary where a spring ebb can run at 4kts but I am sure many UK clubs also use shore based transits.

As RO you had to always remember to sight the two transit references for OCS and not one + the outer distance mark because that often wouldn't be the actual line. The forward transit pole would be removed after all the starts and the finish line would be the race box pole and the A Mark.

We also gave the first finisher in each class a proper gun and I remember one blowy evening (long evenings in Scotland in summer) two Unicorn A Class cats were approaching the line almost bow to bow. There was a chord running down the window directly below the race box pole and I had the shotgun pointed out to the side of the protective shuttering (there so vandals couldn't break the glass). I was so concentrated on the line I didn't notice that the barrel of the gun had 'wandered' and was pointing at the wooden shuttering. As the first boat crossed the line I pulled the trigger and blew a hole in the shuttering - it was like shrapnel. I initially wasn't too popular over that and suffered quite a bit of teasing - didn't stop the asking me to race officer again though. I did it quite a bit for a while as I was off the water with a knee injury (skiing not sailing)
 

Chrisatlantic

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@shanghaisailor are you saying the OP's question relates to an event sailed at the Royal Tay YC and you have specific knowledge of the event the OP was referencing and the SI's included language about a transit for the starting line?

Or are you talking about your own experience with transits for starting lines?
 

Flaming

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You cannot postpone a race that has already started.
An RC should try to limit abandoning a race to a reason that affects the "fairness of the competition"

FWIW, based on reading the OP, I strongly suspect that the OP was OCS and did not return sufficiently to restart. "Began to dip" raised red flags.
However the OP rasied an interesting technical point. It would have been sufficient to recross the starting line which had moved. I doubt that they did.
In my email exchange with the RO it seems very likely, but not definite, that we had recrossed the line as it moved.
The line was very port biased, to the point of being almost impossible to cross on starboard. RO’s voice recording describes us as ½ boatwidth over line at gun and sailing directly along the line. The boat that hooked it was trying a port tack flyer, and got the timing spot on… Just not quite the clearance on the mark! They took the ODM 2-3 boat lengths to windward. We continued to sail along the line after the gun, dipping slightly when we heard our sail number called as OCS and tacking approx 20 seconds after the gun, and approx 2 boat lengths from the now stationary port tracker, when our bowman called that with the moving mark we were definitely now back on the right side of the line. during which time the mark had been moved and was still attached to the port tack boat. The PRO however was not looking for that, he was judging the old position of the line. So has no opinion as to if we had or had not been put “safe” by the movement of the ODM.

When we heard the VHF hail about 2 minutes later that X-ray was still flying we returned. In hindsight we should have sailed on and filed for redress. But hey-ho, you live and learn.
 
With ODMs and IDMs that don't define the start line does Rule 18 apply?
We are discussing a transit line.
If they are not starting marks, then yes, Rule 18 applies.
It depends on how well written the SIs are.
In the example of SI 4.1.1 from Chichester Yacht club, the SIs are well written and rule 18 clearly applies at their outer distance mark . It is a mark that competitors are required to leave on the same side and it does not form part of the starting line.
 
There are a few things that do not compute here:
the PRO, who is an absolutely first rate PRO

someone who is a volunteer and does a very, very good job of running racing

The line was very port biased, to the point of being almost impossible to cross on starboard......... The boat that hooked it was trying a port tack flyer, and got the timing spot on… Just not quite the clearance
The start sounds like an absolute shit show, but you describe the PRO as first rate.
With a start line that cannot be crossed on starboard and a boat hooked up on the pin, why on earth was this race not pulled?
 
If I was the judge I would likely dismiss your request for redress based on your own testimony, although I would be concerned by the PRO's misunderstanding of the definition of a starting line.

Above all, I would insist in seeing the complete sailing Instructions with regard to the definition of marks etc. Was there a pin end starting mark or not? Was there an ODM?

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.
Mmmmm
we might be mistaken that we actually were behind the new position of the pin

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". ... 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.

We continued to sail along the line after the gun, dipping slightly when we heard our sail number called as OCS and tacking approx 20 seconds after the gun,
I think you did the right thing by returning and restarting.
 

Flaming

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There are a few things that do not compute here:





The start sounds like an absolute shit show, but you describe the PRO as first rate.
With a start line that cannot be crossed on starboard and a boat hooked up on the pin, why on earth was this race not pulled?
No, he is very good. Courses are good, doesn’t keep people hanging around waiting for no reason, communicates intentions clearly. I’ve raced with some parts, he’s not one.

The day in question was one of the shiftiest I can remember. During that race the breeze went through 60 degrees and back again. We just happened to have our class start when it was hard left. If you’d insisted on a square line that day you may not have got a start away at all. No complaints from anyone that the sequence went ahead.
The boat on the mark only hooked it after the gun. But for us being OCS, it wouldn’t have been an issue at all.
 
The start line is where the SIs say it is. If that is between a point on the committee boat and a buoy then the start line moves with the buoy.

If the boat that was OCS returned and cleared the start line, the X flag would come down (assuming he was the only boat over). No hail from the RC is required. If the PRO thinks the race is not a fair race because of the fact that the buoy was moved, he has the option of signaling a general recall or abandoning the race. (Since the buoy moved to weather, this actually gives the OCS boat an advantage.)

If the boat that was OCS thinks he cleared the line but the RC did not (e.g. the RC thinks that the boat should have returned to where the original start line was instead of where it ended up--which is wrong) then the boat should request redress. Redress would likely be granted if either the RC admits that the boat cleared the "new" starting line or there are witnesses to testify to same.
 
The start line is where the SIs say it is. If that is between a point on the committee boat and a buoy then the start line moves with the buoy.

If the boat that was OCS returned and cleared the start line, the X flag would come down (assuming he was the only boat over). No hail from the RC is required. If the PRO thinks the race is not a fair race because of the fact that the buoy was moved, he has the option of signaling a general recall or abandoning the race. (Since the buoy moved to weather, this actually gives the OCS boat an advantage.)

If the boat that was OCS thinks he cleared the line but the RC did not (e.g. the RC thinks that the boat should have returned to where the original start line was instead of where it ended up--which is wrong) then the boat should request redress. Redress would likely be granted if either the RC admits that the boat cleared the "new" starting line or there are witnesses to testify to same.
I disagree on one small point Dave. In this case, the PRO's better option after a start if the mark is moved by a competitor after the gun is to abandon. It does not really fit the criteria for a general recall. The effect is the same.

However, with only one boat returning, the individual recall was probably appropriate.

With 60 degree shifts to the left, I would probably have considered running the line and the dip start that Flaming was contemplating. I might have made a very clear and very aggressive dip, almost hunting any port tack starters, to make the RC really notice my dip.
The Rc is looking at a lot of stuff at the first 15 seconds after the start, and if you dip start, you do want to be noticed. Uncalled for hailing and a crew person conspicuously pointing at each end of the line are not illegal ;)

If there was not a mark boat sighting the pin, that makes it hard.
 

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