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Mark Room - Unavoidable contact


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I would be grateful any comments on the following situation.

This scenario all happened within approx 1 2 3 4 5 6 7-8 seconds ie. entering the circle to contact.

Wind strength 10 knots approaching the mark gusting 15 as the mark was rounded.

Two boats overlapped bow to bow approaching the downwind mark.

The inside boat calls for room to round the mark.

The outside boat gives room.

Both boats proceed round the mark close alongside each other - half a boat length gap.

The outside boat now 90 degrees into the turn and still half a boat length to leeward, is bow to transom and expects the inside boat to round up to a close hauled course and continues to luff to assume her close hauled course.

The inside boat calls "I have no control', comes upright to an angle of approx 15 degrees in the water and slows considerably now 100 degrees into the rounding.

The outside boat under control has by now come alongside to leeward and there is contact midships to midships.

The inside boat called protest.

On completion of the race the outside boat stated the inside boat had been given sufficient room to round the mark and that it could not foresee the inside boat loosing control and that contact due to the close proximity of the boats was unavoidable. Also the inside boat had not lost rudder control because she continued and finished the race.

Could a member please comment and give a ruling as to this situation.

Many thanks.

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I thought that when there was a loss of control and this is called then the boat is retired with immediate effect. There can therefore not be a protest? Otherwise anyone could claim loss of control, when they know they are in the wrong and try to get away with it.

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Hi Malcolm,

Is this diagram close?

Case 25 is close.

Green has ROW as leeward boat R 11, and Yellow is entitled to Mark Room R 18. Mark Room is defined, however, the word Room with in Mark Room is also a defined word. The definition of Room includes the concept of "while manoeuvring promptly in a seamanlike way".

So my sense of this is that Yellow, when she lost control and dumped her sails to come upright was not 'seamanlike'. So Green was giving the required room as required by R 18 up to the contact and while Green breaks R 14, she is exonerated. Yellow breaks R 11 by failing to stay clear.

Hope this helps

John

534859157_Contactatdownwindmark.jpg.f4787838286bbba4fcc4e192b420be2c.jpg

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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1. The contact was avoidable - if Yellow had sailed in a seamanlike way she would not have broached as she luffed. I suggest she sheeted in too fast

2 For a discussion of what giving mark room means see ISAF Case 118

3. The fact that the competitor controlling Yellow sailed in such a way that he was not in control of her boat does not exonerate Yellow, see ISAF case 99

4. As Yellow is no longer sailing with in the mark room to which she is entitled by a rule of Section C she cannot be exonerated under rule 21

5.If the PC finds that Yellows hail of 'I have no control' was a hail (incorrect) under rule E2.3 they should DSQ Yellow. If the PC finds that her hail was not a hail under E2.3 but could be taken as such by other competitors the committee should consider whether Yellow broke rule 2, Fair Sailing

Gordon

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I thought that when there was a loss of control and this is called then the boat is retired with immediate effect. There can therefore not be a protest? Otherwise anyone could claim loss of control, when they know they are in the wrong and try to get away with it.

 

This rases an interesting point that suggests a weakness in the current wording of E2.3

The wording in the rule is 'E2.3. Boat out of Radio Control'. and the hail is specified as "your sail number . . out of control".

Not every 'out of control' is radio related, yet the current wording of E 2.3 does not allow us to distinguish between radio problems and another temporary loss of sailing control. So, effectively any hail of 'out of control' seems to require retirement.

To me it is not clear that every hail of 'out of control' or 'I cannot steer' or similar words equals 'out of Radio Control'. Those phrases could represent some temporary out of control situation -such as a stalled rudder, a broach, in irons etc. while loss of radio control is more of a technical problem and more long lasting in nature - hence the need to retire.

I would like to be able to hail that I am 'out of control', to warn the fleet to treat me as an obstruction and avoid me if you can. If I have an obligation to keep clear, then I may break a rule and may take a penalty, once control is reacquired. If I am out of radio control, then treat me as an obstruction and avoid me if you can, and I may break a rule, but I am retiring.

Calling' out of control' does not negate an obligation to keep clear. You may still be breaking a rule by failing to keep clear.

I would like to see the hail in E2.3 be improved to include the word 'Radio'.

John

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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It is important to appreciate that E2.3 only applies to boats that have lost RADIO control. The rule gives the out of radio control boat protection from breaches of RRS, which is why boat is deemed to have retired.

A boat that has been declared out of radio control is unable to continue in the race - that means that she is disabled and rule E1.3c applies and other boats shall, if possible, avoid her.

A boat that broaches is not out of radio control. The most probable reason, as they round the leeward mark, is that they have sheeted in too fast!

Gordon

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But the problem is if a boat calls out of control we as skippers of other boats dont know what has happened and we must consider the call as per the rules a call of out of control requires a retirement according to my reading of the appendix.

Mike Ewart

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As a further point in this discussion.

After an outside boat has given the windward boat mark room at what point can the outside boat, if still overlapped, commence to luff the windward boat if there is sufficient room between the inside boat and the mark for her to respond?

Has an outside boat any rights at all in determining what space an inside boat shall have after she has called for mark room?

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There are two very good articles on a Rules study blog. The first talks about what 'giving room' means.

http://rrsstudy.blogspot.ca/2014/03/back-to-basics-part-6-room.html

The second is the other side of the coin. This is about what 'keeping clear' is about.

http://rrsstudy.blogspot.ca/2014/02/back-to-basics-part1-keeping-clear.html

John

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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2 points there:

- If a keep clear boat entitled to mark room has room to luff when sailing to the mark or rounding the mark then she is probably taking more room than that to which she is entitled

- the entitlement to mark room exists until it is no longer needed, that is that the course of the entitled boat is no longer influenced by the requirement to sail to the mark or to round it. Even if one of these requirements still exists, any entitlement to room under 18.2(b) ceases if the entitled boat passes head to wind or leaves the zone, and, in addition, rule 18 as a whole ceases to apply when neither boat is in the zone.

Gordon

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