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Port/Starboard on a beat

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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 Topic: Port/Starboard on a beat
    Posted: 17 May 17 at 11:54pm
I was involved in a situation tonight where a boat (Enterprise) and I were converging, them on port me on starboard. It was very light airs, so quiet, I hailed and the crew of the Ent said "you'd better go for it George" so I bore away quite a lot (club series, not wanting to upset anybody), but then she added "Oh you'll be ok"....... Should I have hit them?

Edited by Sam.Spoons - 18 May 17 at 12:02am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 17 at 12:15am
Of course you shouldn't have hit them.

If you deliberately hit a boat you break rule 14 and if you deliberately break a rule you probably break rule 2 fair sailing.

If, when you changed course, you had a reasonable apprehension that if you did not do so there would have been contact, then at that point, the port tacker has failed to keep clear (Case 50), and on valid protest may be penalised.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 17 at 12:29am
That was my interpretation, however, my experience is that without a little tap on the aft quarter some people won't accept they were in the wrong, a protest committee is then a lottery (especially down this end of the food chain). And, a protest is sometimes not an appropriate way of dealing with what is both a competitive and a social situation. I satisfied myself by saying "only 'cos I steered around you" in reply to her second comment. Maybe a call for turns would have been the right thing to do but I'm new to the club and making friends is more important than winning places.

Edited by Sam.Spoons - 18 May 17 at 12:29am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 17 at 1:44am
The purpose of Case 50 was to make it clear that there is no need for a right of way boat to make contact to prove that the other boat has not kept clear.  This needs to be understood by both competitors and protest committees.

Case 50 is well worth a read in its entirety.  Here it is  http://www.racingrulesofsailing.org/cases/673

A protest hearing damn well shouldn't be a lottery, and if you think your protest committee is likely to be soft on a simple right of way, take a long a copy of Case 50 and give them a guided reading.

I'm not sure who 'George' was, but in your situation, you might have 'gently escalated' things on the water.  Maybe calling, 'Guys, I need you to keep clear', 'I need to see you doing something to keep clear'.

Then when you finally did change course to avoid, hail 'Protest'.  Remember, protesting is a two stage process:  firstly the hail on the water, which doesn't commit you to following through with a written protest, but without the initial hail on the water, you can't validly run a formal protest in the room.

Sure you don't necessarily want to go to the room for something that's immaterial, and, it's a bit relativistic:  if you should have beaten the other boat, and didn't, and the incident was enough to cause you to lose, then they can hardly complain if you protest, likewise if it cost you a victory over your worst enemy.  On the other hand, if it had no effect on your race, then it looks petty to protest.

UNLESS you have identified a serial offender, in which case after maybe a bit of a warning ashore, on a subsequent offence, then go the whole hog.

I'm really not a fan of 'calling for turns' instead of a hail of 'protest'.  The hail of 'protest' makes it clear that you think a rule has been broken and therefore expect them to take turns.


Edited by Brass - 18 May 17 at 3:32am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 17 at 6:37am
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

a protest committee is then a lottery

It should never be a lottery, because if the PC stuffs up there is the option to appeal.

Check to see if the club has adopted the RYA rules dispute process: http://www.rya.org.uk/racing/racing-rules/Pages/rules-disputes-process.aspx . IME more clubs have adopted it than actually remember to use it in the heat of the moment, but it offers a set of carefully staged levels before it gets to full hearings and DSQs.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 17 at 10:16am
Thanks for the replies.

"George" was the Ent's helm (names changed to protect the guilty) Wink.

I'm new to the club (though was a member many years ago) so will be keeping a low profile for the moment until I know the accepted level is. If it had been an open I would have escalated but it wasn't and as I said making friends is more important than winning (not that winning's likely these days). Serial offenders, yes I would usually nail them to the yard arm  Wink

Regarding protests Case 50 takes exactly that situation and, my interpretation, concludes that the PC will find in favour of whoever they happen to believe...... 


Edited by Sam.Spoons - 18 May 17 at 10:17am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Eisvogel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 17 at 10:35am
I guess that is the issue: if you have two conflicting accounts, whom do you believe? I wouldn't want to be on the protest committee making that decision!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 17 at 10:53am
I have been on a few in the dim and distant and that is the simple fact of it. It was much simpler when a touch of gunnels or a tap on the quarter demonstrated that the non ROW boat had failed to keep clear. Rule 14 does not prevent this actually (though some will disagree with me).

AVOIDING CONTACT

A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible. However, a right-of-way boat or one entitled to room or mark-room

  1. (a)  need not act to avoid contact until it is clear that the other boat is not keeping clear or giving room or mark-room, and

  2. (b)  shall be exonerated if she breaks this rule and the contact does not cause damage or injury. 


Eric Twiname's book "Start To Win" has a chapter on how to win a protest that is well worth a read. But if it's clear cut then it won't get as far as a protest 'cos the guilty party will do turns on hearing the hail of Protest from the ROW boat (if they believe they were in the right then that's where the protest committee have to decide who's version of events they believe.
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