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    Posted: 04 Mar 17 at 9:09am
This is purely of academic interest as we all know that luffing is rarely worth the time lost unless it's a two boat race (as, effectively, the FF incident in the other thread was).

Quite a few years ago when I was racing Raceboards fairly seriously (regional and a couple of national series events a year) when the 'new rules' came in. I was told at a National event, in an informal discussion, by a 'rules expert' (he was on the RC and would have chaired the PC had a protest resulted from the incident) that the new rules effectively banned luffing.

The incident :-

It's marginal planing conditions and board A is sailing in on a broad reach, spots/hears a gust coming from astern and also hears a following board (B) approaching, planing on said gust. A pumps onto the plane to pick up the same gust, heading up for pressure and shouting "windward board keep clear". Unsighted as he is to leeward of B he continues to plane on a higher than 'proper course' until, after his third hail 2-3 secs minimum) the two make contact.

Ignoring the fact that it probably wasn't prudent to luff (but it was to head up for pressure) who should have been penalised?

Before the 'new rules' it was pretty simple, you try to pass me to windward, I luff hard, you also luff to keep clear, then shout "mast abeam" and I stop luffing and sail for the mark. The only discussion can be if I think you shouted "mast abeam" too soon. Everybody knew that to try to sail over another boat close and to windward invited defensive action and sailed accordingly (i.e. not so close as to be unable to avoid the luff).
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Mar 17 at 9:26am
It really hasn't changed much. The main thing that's changed is that its now prohibited to case course so fast and close that its physically impossible for the windward boat to keep clear. In the event that there's no contact its very unlikely that ROW would be penalised.

The main effect of the removal of the mast abeam rule is that windward boats should give more room. The idea of mast abeam, I think was that in the mast abeam position windward could not luff any further without the stern making contact as in the FF incident. With the rules as they are now if the boats get to that position windward has already broken a rule and will be penalised, so all leeward should do is hail protest.

So the result is now that everybody should know that if you sail close and to windward and get luffed into a "can't turn any more without contact" position then you have broken the rule and need to take a penalty even though there's no contact and there's no mast abeam rule to get you out of gaol.

And that means if you get luffed you need to get the hell out of there as quickly as you possibly can, because if you don't its very easy to end up in a place where you have no choice but to take a penalty.

Edited by JimC - 04 Mar 17 at 9:49am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Mar 17 at 10:07am
I assume onus of proof on rule 14 lies with the keep clear boat?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Mar 17 at 10:11am
There is no onus of proof. The PC has to make its best judgement as to what happened.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Mar 17 at 10:53am
My original point was (and I'm looking at it from 50 years sailing boats and boards mostly at club and regional level) it's harder to make a clear decision on the water and you are more likely to have to resort to a protest committee to sort it out. That's fine at bigger meetings but protests are rare at many clubs and almost unheard of amongst Raceboards at club level.

I guess, as I become more familiar with the current RRS........ Thanks JC
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Mar 17 at 11:41am
Originally posted by JimC

So the result is now that everybody should know that if you sail close and to windward and get luffed into a "can't turn any more without contact" position then you have broken the rule and need to take a penalty even though there's no contact and there's no mast abeam rule to get you out of gaol. 

Not real thrilled with that analysis.

If L continuously luffs then bears away, without contact, then W is keeping clear, then L is giving W room to keep clear and no rules is broken.

L has to straighten up and hold a steady course, and then 'need to take action (change course) to avoid [contact with] W' before L wins the rule 11 protest.

If L hits W while L is turning, then, provided W is 'doing all she can', then L loses, and has not given W room to keep clear.

Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

My original point was (and I'm looking at it from 50 years sailing boats and boards mostly at club and regional level) it's harder to make a clear decision on the water and you are more likely to have to resort to a protest committee to sort it out. That's fine at bigger meetings but protests are rare at many clubs and almost unheard of amongst Raceboards at club level.

I guess, as I become more familiar with the current RRS........ Thanks JC

Key point of the rule changes (increasing prohibitions on contact, combined with introduction of alternative penalties) between about 1985 and 1995 was that the 'hard luff' and the 'luff trap' were outlawed.

You can defend your wind, but you can't slam up and hit the windward boat and demand that they go home.

Effectively this means that if you want to defend your wind, you need to do it before the overlap, so as to deter W from ever going there.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Mar 17 at 1:09pm
Yes, that's pretty much how I used to interpret it, in line with Eric Twiname's suggestion that a luff should be brief, hard and while still clear ahead so as to discourage another boat from passing to windward and taking your wind.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Mar 17 at 2:06pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

This is purely of academic interest as we all know that luffing is rarely worth the time lost unless it's a two boat race (as, effectively, the FF incident in the other thread was).

Quite a few years ago when I was racing Raceboards fairly seriously (regional and a couple of national series events a year) when the 'new rules' came in. I was told at a National event, in an informal discussion, by a 'rules expert' (he was on the RC and would have chaired the PC had a protest resulted from the incident) that the new rules effectively banned luffing.

The incident :-

It's marginal planing conditions and board A is sailing in on a broad reach, spots/hears a gust coming from astern and also hears a following board (B) approaching, planing on said gust. A pumps onto the plane to pick up the same gust, heading up for pressure and shouting "windward board keep clear". Unsighted as he is to leeward of B he continues to plane on a higher than 'proper course' until, after his third hail 2-3 secs minimum) the two make contact.

Any reason why the board coming from behind ( B ) can't let the boom forward, depower, sink off the plane and keep clear that way in the 2-3 or more seconds available?

Ignoring the fact that it probably wasn't prudent to luff (but it was to head up for pressure) who should have been penalised?

Before the 'new rules' it was pretty simple, you try to pass me to windward, I luff hard, you also luff to keep clear, then shout "mast abeam" and I stop luffing and sail for the mark. The only discussion can be if I think you shouted "mast abeam" too soon. Everybody knew that to try to sail over another boat close and to windward invited defensive action and sailed accordingly (i.e. not so close as to be unable to avoid the luff).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Mar 17 at 3:47pm
None that I could see. In that instance I was A and didn't think I was in the wrong (gust, pump, head up both to defend and to get more pressure, Raceboards being apparent wind craft once planing). After the race I timed how long it took to hail three times and it must have been at least 6 seconds. Many windsurfers have a sketchy knowledge of the rules at best and don't like what they see as 'sharp dinghy practices' (I hasten to add this doesn't apply to the top guys but this was a national and I was around the front of the mid fleet (IIRC I finished in the mid 30's out of 200+).

The 'expert' said to the other guy that his protest would be thrown out because he did not hail "protest" at the time but told me had he done so he would have found in his favour (which, had it been me on the PC, I would not have done). As I said, I am returning to racing (other than some very informal stuff) after a good few years so I'm keen to get back up to speed on the RRS.


Edited by Sam.Spoons - 04 Mar 17 at 3:48pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 17 at 2:01am
Originally posted by Brass

Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

T
The incident :-

It's marginal planing conditions and board A is sailing in on a broad reach, spots/hears a gust coming from astern and also hears a following board (B) approaching, planing on said gust. A pumps onto the plane to pick up the same gust, heading up for pressure and shouting "windward board keep clear". Unsighted as he is to leeward of B he continues to plane on a higher than 'proper course' until, after his third hail 2-3 secs minimum) the two make contact.

Any reason why the board coming from behind ( B ) can't let the boom forward, depower, sink off the plane and keep clear that way in the 2-3 or more seconds available?
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

None that I could see.

In that instance I was A and didn't think I was in the wrong (gust, pump, head up both to defend and to get more pressure, Raceboards being apparent wind craft once planing).

After the race I timed how long it took to hail three times and it must have been at least 6 seconds.

You're being rolled to windward.  Rule 17 Proper course does not apply.

As clear ahead, then leeward boat you are right of way boat (rules 12, then 11).  When you change course, you are required  by rule 16.1 to give the astern/windward boat room to keep clear of you.  Room is the space she needs in the existing conditions acting promptly and in a seamanlike way.

Keeping clear does not just mean hardening up more, if he's clear astern:  he can slow down or go to leeward of you:  it's not like he's a keelboat with a massive genoa who can't bear away quickly.

Many windsurfers have a sketchy knowledge of the rules at best and don't like what they see as 'sharp dinghy practices'

Makes a pretty silly game if you can't defend yourself, within the rules, from a boat that is lucky enough to carry a gust from astern of you.

 (I hasten to add this doesn't apply to the top guys but this was a national and I was around the front of the mid fleet (IIRC I finished in the mid 30's out of 200+).

The 'expert'

  • said to the other guy that his protest would be thrown out because he did not hail "protest" at the time but
  •  told me had he done so he would have found in his favour (which, had it been me on the PC, I would not have done).
I can't see why.  Given that B had options of going higher, slowing, or going lower, in 5 or 6 seconds, AND there was no contact, it seems that he had enough room.

While some European/British judges and umpires insist that there can be a breach of rule 15/16 without contact, I'm usually inclined to think that if there is no contact (and the give way boathasn't had to do something extraordinary and unsemanlike to keep clear, then she must have had room to keep clear.  This is at least a good locgcal place to start.

As I said, I am returning to racing (other than some very informal stuff) after a good few years so I'm keen to get back up to speed on the RRS.
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