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Windward boat keeping clear of trapezing sailor

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Jamie600 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 14 May 17 at 6:42pm
I understand that under normal circumstances the crew, or helm in my case, is part of the boat and therefore the windward boat must keep clear.
However, what happens if the crew/helm are moving in and out on the wire?
Today an RS400 started above me in my RS600. There had been a lull in the wind so I was sitting on the wing. A gust came so I headed out on the wire instinctively. There was enough of a gap to windward for the 400 to keep clear, but only just and they had to pinch quite a bit. I guess I need to give room and time but if I didn't go out on the wire in a gust, I would need to dump most of the sail and drop back. Any ideas where I stand on this?
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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: 14 May 17 at 7:00pm
Windward boat keeps clear. Getting out on the wire is a perfectly normal activity and a normal position. If they were able to just keep clear by pinching quite a bit you certainly did all that could be expected. I'd argue that if there is not room to get out on the wire without contacting the windward boat in gusty conditions then the windward boat is not keeping clear, although that's contestable. What you can't do, though, is reach out and touch the windward boat to demonstrate they're not keeping clear. There's not a perfect case for this but case 73 and 74 in the casebook are worth reading.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jamie600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 17 at 7:52pm
Thanks Jim, I'll check those out
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 17 at 12:01am
Originally posted by Jamie600

There was enough of a gap to windward for the 400 to keep clear, but only just and they had to pinch quite a bit. I guess I need to give room and time

In the circumstance you described, unless you changed course, you had absolutely no obligation to give the windward boat room.  Rule 16 only applies when the right of way boat changes course.

If you deliberately touch the windward boat, then you break rule 14, but unless you touch her with a lump hammer you should expect to be exonerated by rule 14( b ).

Originally posted by JimC

Windward boat keeps clear. Getting out on the wire is a perfectly normal activity and a normal position.

Case 74 makes it clear that 'normal' is irrelevant:  the test is whether there was 'deliberate misuse'.

If they were able to just keep clear by pinching quite a bit you certainly did all that could be expected. I'd argue that if there is not room to get out on the wire without contacting the windward boat in gusty conditions then the windward boat is not keeping clear, although that's contestable.

I think there's a fine distinction.  W is not required to give that much space unless and until L goes out on the wire:  as long as L is sitting in, W can be keeping clear, but at her risk that she has to go up as quickly L can get out on the wire.

 What you can't do, though, is reach out and touch the windward boat to demonstrate they're not keeping clear.

Yes you can.  See RYA Appeal 1999/5 (absolute accident:  I was just trawling through the WS Integrated Rules ebook, which now has WS Cases, last night, and I happened to browse through the RYA Appeals on rule 2, otherwise I would never have known about it <g>).

RYA 1999/5
Definitions, Keep Clear
Rule 2, Fair Sailing
When a give-way boat is already breaking a rule of
Section A of Part 2 by not keeping clear, deliberate
contact does not necessarily break rule 2.
SUMMARY
Before the starting signal, two boats were reaching on
starboard tack toward the committee vessel at the end of
the starting line. L established her leeward overlap
when there was room for W to keep clear. W made no
attempt to keep clear. Ls crew leaned out and touched
an item of Ws equipment which was in its normal
position. L protested W. Ls evidence was that her crew
had touched W to prove that W was too close to be
described as keeping clear.
The protest committee found that W had broken rule 11
and disqualified her. It also found that L had broken
rule 2 by making deliberate contact with W, citing WS
Case 73. W appealed.
DECISION
Ws appeal is dismissed: however, L is to be reinstated.
In WS Case 73, W was keeping clear, so that Ls action
in deliberately touching her could have had no other
intention than to cause W to break rule 11. In the
present case, the protest committee was satisfied that W
was already not keeping clear, as defined, before
contact occurred (even though there was no contact
between the hulls or equipment of the boats) and so W
was already breaking rule 11 when contact was made by
the crew member of the right-of-way boat; thus rule 2
was not broken.
The contact was an infringement of rule 14, but rule
14(b) explicitly prohibits the right-of-way boat being
penalized under this rule when the contact does not
cause injury or damage.

There's not a perfect case for this but case 73 and 74 in the casebook are worth reading.

Yes, particularly Case 73 'action could have no other intention than to cause W to break rule 11'

 
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