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Sam.Spoons View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 17 at 10:28am
There was contact but no injury or damage. I was very clear about what I did because I made a point of running through it again in my mind immediately afterwards as the 'new rules' were very new at the time and, also at the time, I was still racing fairly seriously and had had a good knowledge of the rules prior to the changes.

Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 17 at 11:24am
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

There was contact but no injury or damage. I was very clear about what I did because I made a point of running through it again in my mind immediately afterwards as the 'new rules' were very new at the time and, also at the time, I was still racing fairly seriously and had had a good knowledge of the rules prior to the changes
Puts a somewhat different light on it.

A is now facing some 'evidential difficulties' in asserting that, while changing course she gave B room to keep clear.

How far away was B when you began to change course?

Don't know.

How long between when you began to change course and B began to respond?

Don't know.

After you initially changed course, B hardened up to keep clear to windward.  When you changed course further what more could B have done to keep clear?

Don't know.

How long after you initially changed course did you begin to hold a straight course?

?

How far away was B when you began to hold a straight course?

Don't know

How long were you on a straight course before contact occurred?

?

At what point was it clear to you that B was not keeping clear?

Don't know.

What action did you then take to avoid contact?

I hailed while facing away from a board behind my back.


Edited by Brass - 05 Mar 17 at 11:43am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 17 at 12:06pm
Yup, considered all that, it's difficult for a windsurfer to see directly to windward while pumping onto the plane (accepted that cannot be an excuse). A made one change of course and hailed three times before contact. The time from the first hail to contact was at least 6 seconds suggesting that there must have been sufficient distance between the start of the luff and the point of contact for B to keep clear. In the absence of witnesses would the PC accept A's evidence of the time between the luff and contact? IIRC the PC can help the protestor to find the correct rule (as in this case the protestor's best guess was "he just sailed into me").
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 17 at 12:43pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

Yup, considered all that, it's difficult for a windsurfer to see directly to windward while pumping onto the plane (accepted that cannot be an excuse). A made one change of course and hailed three times before contact. The time from the first hail to contact was at least 6 seconds suggesting that there must have been sufficient distance between the start of the luff and the point of contact for B to keep clear. In the absence of witnesses would the PC accept A's evidence of the time between the luff and contact? IIRC the PC can help the protestor to find the correct rule (as in this case the protestor's best guess was "he just sailed into me").
 

There's no reason for a protest committee not to accept A's evidence about time it takes to hail three times.  Generally speaking, protest committees should believe what parties and witnesses say in a hearing unless they have reason not to, but some protest committees wrongly automatically assume that each party is not to be trusted in evidence in their own favour.

A could always invite them to look at their watches while he makes the hails in the protest room.

Having established the time, the difficulty remains in establishing how far (in distance and/or time) B was when:
  • the hail was made;
  • the first change in course was made;
  • A ceased changing course.
The protest committee must necessarily think that B, who had a direct sight line to A gives better evidence than A, in the absence of eyes in the back of A's head.

You certainly don't need to correctly cite rule numbers (Case 22), or to specify the breach in 'correct rules-speak'. In this case, A is relying on rules 12 and 11 (clear ahead/astern then windward leeward).  The transition, if there was one, is irrelevant because it's a rules only transition, not a right of way transition:  A remains right of way throughout, even though the relevant rules instantaneously switches from rule 12 to rule 11 when B becomes overlapped to windward.

If B is silly enough to say in the protest hearing that A luffed across his bow and admits that he didn't take any action to keep clear, and just sailed into A, then A should be off the hook for rule 16.1:  A's contention will be that there was plenty of space for a board acting promptly to have kept clear, but that B didn't act promptly.

But is B going to be that dumb?



Edited by Brass - 05 Mar 17 at 9:37pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 17 at 1:05pm
Quite possibly in this case  Confused 

As I read it if the PC found against A using 16.1 then, in the absence of turns 14b has no meaning?

Anyway as I said it was an academic question, said incident was many years ago but allowed me to give some form to the question. I think I understand rather better now that aspect of the current rules. Thanks again.


Edited by Sam.Spoons - 05 Mar 17 at 1:09pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 17 at 9:50pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

Quite possibly in this case  Confused 
As I read it if the PC found against A using 16.1 then, in the absence of turns 14b has no meaning?

Here's how the conclusions might look
  • B, overlapped on the same tack to windward did not keep clear of A.  B broke rule 11.
  • A a right of way boat changing course, did not give B room to keep clear.  A broke rule 16.1.
  • B was sailing within the room to which she was entitled and is exonerated for breaking rule 11 in accordance with rule 21.
  • B was not given room to keep clear and there was contact, therefore it was not reasonably possible for B to avoid contact.  B did not break rule 14.
  • A could always have borne away and not hit B.  A did not avoid contact with B when it was reasonably possible to do so.  A broke rule 14.
  • A was a right of way boat, and there was no injury or damage.  A is exonerated for breaking rule 14 in accordance with rule 14( b ) [but has no exoneration for breaking rule 16.1].
Taking a turns or other penalty has no effect on any of the above conclusions.

All that taking a rule 44 penalty will get you is that, A, having taken an applicable penalty shall not be further penalised in accordance with rule 64.1( b ).

On the other hand, if there is damage or injury, A is not exonerated, and, for insurance or other purposes, you have a finding that A broke two rules, one of which was failing to avoid a collision when it was reasonably possible to do so.


Edited by Brass - 05 Mar 17 at 10:20pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 17 at 10:32pm
If, as A, I had been involved in that protest I would have felt very hard done to (the assumption being that the PC accepted that 6 seconds elapsed between the first hail and contact). B having better visibility and 6 seconds to react should have taken action to keep clear or hailed to alert A that he was not keeping clear. The situation between two keel boats would be completely different, with more than one crewman there could be no argument about restricted visibility and I understand the need to discourage "playing bumper boats" but Yachts and Raceboards are rather different craft. The thing that concerns me is that most club sailors know the minimum of rules to get by and, where before the order of priority used to be Port/Starboard, Windward/Leeward and Clear Astern/Clear Ahead those have become subsidiary to "Room to Keep Clear". and it's all a bit like political correctness gone mad.......
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 17 at 12:00am
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

If, as A, I had been involved in that protest I would have felt very hard done to (the assumption being that the PC accepted that 6 seconds elapsed between the first hail and contact).

I think you're placing way too much emphasis on the hail.  In this situation, the hail confers no rights and creates no obligations.

If A hails before she begins changing course, if B was keeping clear on A's old course, B has absolutely no obligation to do anything unless and until A changes course, making further action by B necessary for B to keep clear.

What a protest committee is interested in is how far away was B in terms of distance and time when A began to change course, then when A ceased changing course and began a steady course.

B, being the give way board, and in a position to see A, will, presumably be in a good position to give evidence about these distances.

A has really nothing to say about this, except that before hailing or changing course she heard another board coming.  How far away can you 'hear another board coming'?

 B having better visibility and 6 seconds to react should have taken action to keep clear

Yes she should.  The issue is whether A gave her enough space to do that.

 or hailed to alert A that he was not keeping clear.

Absolutely no obligation to do that, and what purpose would it serve?  A has given evidence that she heard B coming and changed course towards B.  FWIW A is 'causing' a risk of collision:  A should be looking out to enable her to meet her obligations under rules 16.1 and 14.

Would windsurfers consider dropping the rig  and stopping dead a 'seamanlike' action?  Was this an option for B?

The situation between two keel boats would be completely different, with more than one crewman there could be no argument about restricted visibility

If Planet Windsurfer had managed to develop some special protocol for 'blind-spots', then it would be in the Windsurfing Appendix.  It's not.  No special rules or interpretations for Windsurfers in this situation.

 and I understand the need to discourage "playing bumper boats" but Yachts and Raceboards are rather different craft.

Of course, but maybe you're trading risk of costly damage against risk of injury from bodily impact at speed, without the protection of fibreglass between crew and the incoming object.

The thing that concerns me is that most club sailors know the minimum of rules to get by

And I would argue that they get by very successfully.  There are literally millions of 'when boats meet' interactions on the water, I would suggest that only a tiny proportion of these, maybe 1% result in any disagreement at all, and of these I suggest that only 5 to 10 percent result in any protest formalities.

I think rules knowledge finds its own level.

 and, where before the order of priority used to be Port/Starboard, Windward/Leeward and Clear Astern/Clear Ahead

There never was any precedence among those right of way rules, nor is any needed:  their conditions are mutually exclusive

If you are suggesting that they took precedence over other rules, they did, and they still do.

Rules 15 and 16 (room to keep clear)  (and 18 mark-room, 19 room at obstructions, and 20 hailing for room) are all Limitations on the right of way rules.

 those have become subsidiary to "Room to Keep Clear".

Absolutely not.

Sure the game changed when the 1995 rewrite of the rules made it a non-contact sport, but room absolutely does not trump right of way (until you get into mark-room).

 and it's all a bit like political correctness gone mad.......
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 17 at 8:53am
Thank you for a thorough answer Brass I think you've explained everything very well. I'll put this one to bed now.
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