Rules Question

sailorman44

Member
281
71
CT/FL
I had my first ride on an E scow last week. It was a breezy, gusty day and I was the fourth, basically moveable ballast. During the race something happened that I have never seen before.


We were approaching the windward mark on starboard just below the lay line, not making the mark by half a boat length. I expected the call for a tack, but instead the skipper shot the mark. About half a boat length from the mark he headed up sharply, sails luffing. When the buoy was past amidships the jib was backed and we slid around the mark slicker than cow slobber, not having to do two extra tacks. This was not an unpracticed maneuver, everybody(except me) knew what to do and did it just right.

There were no other boats at the mark but what if there had been. What if there had been another boat overlapped to windward, fetching the mark. Does he owe us room as the inside over lapped boat? Even though we were not fetching the mark? In shooting the mark we did not pass head to wind. The sails were luffed to reduce windage and so the wind would not push the boat into the mark.
 

Brass

Super Anarchist
2,759
171
You were fetching the mark. You did pass to windward of it and leave it on the required side without changing tack.

Definition: Fetching A boat is fetching a mark when she is in a position to pass to windward of it and leave it on the required side without changing tack.

If there had been another boat overlapped outside you to windward she would have been required to keep clear, and she would have been required to give you mark-room (unless she had been clear ahead when the first of you reached the zone) (rule 18.2( b ), and, shooting, close to the mark, you would have been sailing within the mark-room to which you were entitled, and, if, in luffing hard to shoot the mark, you failed to give an outside windward boat room to keep clear and broke rule 16, you would be exonerated in accordance with rule 21.

 

SHNOOL

Member
327
0
NE PA
I've done the procedure in question several times in my S2 7.9 (and it coasts better than a lighter boat)... also the S2 is great at over-pinching.

I can't help you much with the rules question, but my guess is since you are essentially "head to wind" you have no rights at all, others would treat you as an obstruction. I'd never try it with others inside the zone.

 

ChiGuy

Super Anarchist
2,156
11
Yes, generally as an inside boat, you are owed room under room under rule 18. As usual with 18, there are a few "unlesses". If the inside boat were clear astern when the first of them reaches the zone, then inside must give the outside boat mark room. Which doesn't at all mean she can't luff. Look at definitions for Mark Room.

A similar thing can happen at the left end of the starting line, but for a different reason. A boat that is "below" the layline to the pin can luff head to wind if she needs to, and the windward boats have to keep clear under rule 11.

 

Brass

Super Anarchist
2,759
171
I've done the procedure in question several times in my S2 7.9 (and it coasts better than a lighter boat)... also the S2 is great at over-pinching.

I can't help you much with the rules question, but my guess is since you are essentially "head to wind" you have no rights at all, others would treat you as an obstruction. I'd never try it with others inside the zone.
A boat that is head to wind is defined to be on the tack that she was on before reaching head to wind.

Definitions: Leeward and Windward A boat’s leeward side is the side that is or, when she is head to wind, was away from the wind.

Definitions: Tack, Starboard or Port A boat is on the tack, starboard or port, corresponding to her windward side.

 

Varan

Super Anarchist
6,624
1,789
We did a similar maneuver last summer on a breezy day at a crowded mark in a J24. Bore off a bit for speed (pinching will kill you), then as we shot head-to-wind, dropped the genoa to reduce windage and ensure it wouldn't backwind, popped the kite as soon as we rounded and came out in great position.

 

proOC

Anarchist
551
39
Simple R11. Whether you are fetching or not the boat coming from behind will have room to keep clear if you are luffing a bit.

 
We did a similar maneuver last summer on a breezy day at a crowded mark in a J24. Bore off a bit for speed (pinching will kill you), then as we shot head-to-wind, dropped the genoa to reduce windage and ensure it wouldn't backwind, popped the kite as soon as we rounded and came out in great position.
 
G

Guest

Guest
The main thing is not to fall onto the other tack, then you are truly screwed so make sure that jib is uncleated and ready to dump. Other than that its all been said

 
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Varan

Super Anarchist
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The main thing is not to fall onto the other tack, then you are truly screwed so make sure that jib is uncleated and ready to dump. Other than that its all been said
And maintain speed up to shooting the mark. Watched many times boats trying to pinch to lay the mark only to get rolled by several boats, so more disturbed air and way less speed. Key is keeping your speed up and use momentum. And you absolutely right. If you go past HTW you are screwed!
 

Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
44,107
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Eastern NC
The main thing is not to fall onto the other tack, then you are truly screwed so make sure that jib is uncleated and ready to dump. Other than that its all been said
And maintain speed up to shooting the mark. Watched many times boats trying to pinch to lay the mark only to get rolled by several boats, so more disturbed air and way less speed. Key is keeping your speed up and use momentum. And you absolutely right. If you go past HTW you are screwed!
This is where jib control is critical. Typically, the boat luffs, the jib goes aback and begins shoving the bow around, then the skipper reverses helm with a shocked look on his face. Then they tell the Protest Committee, 'Oh no, we absolutely did not tack!' (and generally they believe this to be true). If you lower the jib, it can't force you thru irons but OTOH you can't prove that you were NOT past H-T-W because the jib never blew thru and only luffed on the same side.

2nd point- if another boat is close aboard to windward, you might not be able to make an effective 'shoot' and still give them room to keep clear. More danger of this in a lightweight boat IMHO where you have to do it sharply. A boat obligated to keep clear is NOT obligated to anticipate.

3rd point (sorry I love dragging things out)- there may be a lot of racing sailors who would have a bit of a problem with the definition of 'fetching' including shooting the mark. Generally this is thought of as being able to sail past the mark, but the rulebook definition certainly does not exclude luffing up and shooting it, as long as you don't tack! In a protest hearing, you might have to emphasize this.

FB- Doug

 

us7070

Super Anarchist
10,229
243
The main thing is not to fall onto the other tack, then you are truly screwed so make sure that jib is uncleated and ready to dump. Other than that its all been said
And maintain speed up to shooting the mark. Watched many times boats trying to pinch to lay the mark only to get rolled by several boats, so more disturbed air and way less speed. Key is keeping your speed up and use momentum. And you absolutely right. If you go past HTW you are screwed!

2nd point- if another boat is close aboard to windward, you might not be able to make an effective 'shoot' and still give them room to keep clear. More danger of this in a lightweight boat IMHO where you have to do it sharply. A boat obligated to keep clear is NOT obligated to anticipate.

FB- Doug
except that as brass points out above - rule 21 explicitly says that a boat entitled to mark room will be exonerated for breaking RRS 15 or 16

so really the only limitation on the boat shooting the mark is not to cause "damage or injury" and thus violate RRS 14

my own practice is to hail the outside/weather boat and advise them that i will be shooting the mark - although this hail is _not_ required.., and I know of at least one person who disagrees with this practice, and thinks that in general hails not explicitly required should be avoided

 
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us7070

Super Anarchist
10,229
243
i was sloppy with my wording in that last post.

what i should have said was:

"so really the only limitation on the boat shooting the mark is not to cause "damage or injury" , so that they can also be exonerated if they break RRS 14"

 
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Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
44,107
9,535
Eastern NC
The main thing is not to fall onto the other tack, then you are truly screwed so make sure that jib is uncleated and ready to dump. Other than that its all been said
And maintain speed up to shooting the mark. Watched many times boats trying to pinch to lay the mark only to get rolled by several boats, so more disturbed air and way less speed. Key is keeping your speed up and use momentum. And you absolutely right. If you go past HTW you are screwed!

2nd point- if another boat is close aboard to windward, you might not be able to make an effective 'shoot' and still give them room to keep clear. More danger of this in a lightweight boat IMHO where you have to do it sharply. A boat obligated to keep clear is NOT obligated to anticipate.

FB- Doug
except that as brass points out above - rule 21 explicitly says that a boat entitled to mark room will be exonerated for breaking RRS 15 or 16

so really the only limitation on the boat shooting the mark is not to cause "damage or injury" and thus violate RRS 14

my own practice is to hail the outside/weather boat and advise them that i will be shooting the mark - although this hail is _not_ required.., and I know of at least one person who disagrees with this practice, and thinks that in general hails not explicitly required should be avoided
You must have a heavy boat and race against light ones, that you can shove them out of your way when coasting upwind

-_-

FWIW I think communication is good, and hailing in good faith is better than not. Rules 21 and 16 aside, it's risky to shoot head-to-wind (thus standing the boat upright) and bump alongside a boat that is heeling... lock the rigs together and you're both fucked! A gun'l to gun'l bump ought not be a problem.

FB- Doug

 
G

Guest

Guest
Whats the thinking about just rubbing your way around the mark and doing the turns if having exhausted all momentum you're not going to make it and left facing an oncoming parade of boats. As a strategy for getting around its clearly cheating but wonder if there is some cases to have a look at.

 

LionessRacing

Super Anarchist
4,351
591
Myrtle Beach,
The other joy about shooting the mark (or finish line) is that if you do have a heavy boat that carries momentum, you can shoot a long way, and as you are entitled to have sea room to sail your proper course to round the mark in the most seamanlike and rapid manner that you would in the absence of any other boat... and since you will need to fall off from the shoot, that can easily be up to a boat length above the mark depending on your turning radius.

And if the lighter boats to windward on the layline stall out while keeping clear...

 

ChiGuy

Super Anarchist
2,156
11
Whats the thinking about just rubbing your way around the mark and doing the turns if having exhausted all momentum you're not going to make it and left facing an oncoming parade of boats. As a strategy for getting around its clearly cheating but wonder if there is some cases to have a look at.

Rule 44.1B says "if the boat ... despite taking a penalty, gained a significant advantage in the race or series by her breach her penalty shall be to retire"

 
G

Guest

Guest
Whats the thinking about just rubbing your way around the mark and doing the turns if having exhausted all momentum you're not going to make it and left facing an oncoming parade of boats. As a strategy for getting around its clearly cheating but wonder if there is some cases to have a look at.

Rule 44.1B says "if the boat ... despite taking a penalty, gained a significant advantage in the race or series by her breach her penalty shall be to retire"
Seen that happen a few times leaving the offending boat dumbfounded despite the penalty turn they still got chucked, I dont like shooting marks for that very reason.

 

JimC

Not actually an anarchist.
8,171
1,063
South East England
Seen that happen a few times leaving the offending boat dumbfounded despite the penalty turn they still got chucked, I dont like shooting marks for that very reason.
Presumably the thing to do would be to take your penalty very very slowly so that everyone who would have got past you if you'd rounded legally goes past, and then you won't have gained the significant advantage...

 

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