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Overtaking Boat Relevancy ?

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silversailor View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07 Jul 17 at 10:03pm
All,

I'm a sailor returning after a brief sojourn of about 20 years. This is my first post, so please be gentle !

I've been crewing in a cruiser racing series for the past couple of months, which I've been enjoying immensely. I'm looking for some advice on an incident in our last race. 

We were reaching towards the mark, but still well outside the 2 boat zone when we managed to establish an overlap on another boat to windward. We were both on the same port tack and were sailing a direct line to the mark (no luffing up).

There was no collision, but we got very close (within about a yard at one stage). We were both insisting our right of way. We had a fairly friendly but passionate discussion about it in the bar afterwards.

We believed that we had right of way as we were the boat to leeward and so had the right of way, the other boat stated that the overtaking boat (us) has to stay clear of the boat being overtaken. I couldn't remember ever hearing that one before.

Since it's been about 20 years since I last read the sail racing rules, I've just reread them and can still find nothing about the overtaking boat, however managed to find it in the Collision Regs.

Reading the Colregs there's a lot of contradiction between them and the Sailing Rules, especially around approaching a mark etc.

As I understand it, we race under the Racing Rules of Sailing

http://www.sailing.org/documents/racingrules/

and so assume that these take precedent over the colregs, but is this correct ?

Can somebody please explain:

1) Who was in the right ?
2) Which code takes precedent ?

Thanks.

 
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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: 07 Jul 17 at 10:17pm
As I understand it (and I'm in a not dissimilar situation to you having raced seriously for many years but currently just returning after a lay off), the 'overtaking boat' thing is long gone from the RRS. until the 'zone' (which is now three boat lengths) the windward boat must keep clear (but the ROW boat must give them 'room to keep clear'). And, yes, the RRS do take precedence over COLREGS for boats that are racing.

edited in the cold light of day to correct some 'Yoda' like grammar  Wink


Edited by Sam.Spoons - 08 Jul 17 at 8:06am
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silversailor View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote silversailor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 17 at 10:26pm
Thanks Sam,

We were well outside the three boat zone when this happened, and by the time we reached it we were several boat lengths ahead.

I take it from your reply that you agree we were in the right ?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Presuming Ed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 17 at 11:04pm
Part 2 of the The racing rules of sailing (the bit that deals with rights of boats) apply between two boats racing (they don't have to be in the same race). 
From the book

PART 2

WHEN BOATS MEET

The rules of Part 2 apply between boats that are sailing in or near the racing area and intend to race, are racing, or have been racing. However, a boat not racing shall not be penalized for breaking one of these rules, except rule 14 when the incident resulted in injury or serious damage, or rule 24.1.

When a boat sailing under these rules meets a vessel that is not, she shall comply with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCAS) or government right-of-way rules. If the sailing instructions so state, the rules of Part 2 are replaced by the right-of-way rules of the IRPCAS or by government right-of-way rules. 


"Overtaking boat keeps clear" is rule 13 of IRPCS. 

IRPCAS can't deal with mark rounding (hence RRS).

A diagram of your situation would help.



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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 17 at 11:06pm
The Colregs are irrelevant between two boats racing, so you can forget about them. Its not a question of taking precedence: by entering a race under RRS you have agreed that RRS will apply *instead* of Colregs between boats racing, even boats in different races.

As far as your incident is concerned,

Section A rules are the basics.
Before the boats were overlapped RRS12 applied, astern must keep clear of ahead. Once the boats were overlapped RRS11 applied and windward keeps clear of leeward.
*but* Section B rules may limit a ROW boats actions
in this case
RRS 15 says that if you acquire ROW you must initially give the other boat room to keep clear and
RRS17 says that if you gain an overlap from behind and to leeward you may not sail above your proper course. Proper course can be a complicated subject, but in cruiser racing it will normally mean that you must not point higher than straight at the next mark.

So yes, you had right of way, but there were limitations on what you could do with your right of way.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote silversailor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 17 at 11:48pm
Thanks all. That's kind of what I thought about the Colregs, but one of their crew was so insistent about the overtaking boat keeping clear that I thought it may have some virtue.

We were about 200 meters from the mark when we established an overlap. At the time they were about 20 meters off our port beam and they weren't restricted in their ability to maneuver to windward in any way. The incident happened as we converged moving towards the mark. 

We were also both sailing a straight course to the mark.
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ClubRacer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ClubRacer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 17 at 8:07am
as i understand it

if overlap is established from at least 2 boat lengths to leeward then you can luff windward 

if its established within 2 boat lengths to leeward then you need to sail your proper course


Edited by ClubRacer - 08 Jul 17 at 8:08am
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Rupert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 17 at 9:01am
If you establish an overlap to leeward from astern within 2 boat lengths, you cannot sail above your proper course. You are welcome to sail below it. The other boat cannot sail below her proper course, but can sail above. In effect, overtaking boat keep clear has been subsumed into other rules, and if it were in there, would cause rules to conflict.

This is assuming you are both on the same tack.

If your proper course differs from the other boat's, then it changes things somewhat on the water.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 17 at 10:49am
Originally posted by Rupert

In effect, overtaking boat keep clear has been subsumed into other rules,


Rupert, I don't think its helpful to say that. There is nothing resembling an overtaking boat keeps clear rule in the RRS, and when you consider situations like two boats alongside alternately speeding up and slowing down on waves, its fairly clear that there cannot be one. A boat to leeward has right of way, no matter how it comes to be there, even though in some circumstances there are restrictions on where it can sail. The whole thread demonstrates the problems that arise when people have concepts in their head that are entirely absent from RRS.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Presuming Ed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 17 at 11:39am
Originally posted by Rupert

If you establish an overlap to leeward from astern within 2 boat lengths, you cannot sail above your proper course.

Not quite accurate: 17 states: 
 17 ON THE SAME TACK; PROPER COURSE If a boat clear astern becomes overlapped within two of her hull lengths to leeward of a boat on the same tack, she shall not sail above her proper course while they remain on the same tack and overlapped within that distance, unless in doing so she promptly sails astern of the other boat. This rule does not apply if the overlap begins while the windward boat is required by rule 13 to keep clear.
 



If the gap opens to more than 2bl, leeward can then luff above her (leeward's) proper course. 


Originally posted by Rupert

You are welcome to sail below it. The other boat cannot sail below her proper course, but can sail above.

Again, not quite, I'm afraid. The old 17.2 (Except on a beat to windward, while a boat is less than two of her hull lengths from a leeward boat or a boat clear astern steering a course to leeward of her, she shall not sail below her proper course unless she gybes.) was removed from the rules in 2009. 

Assuming boats on the same tack: 
Now, before the boats are overlapped, RRS 12 (clear ahead/clear astern) applies. 
When the boats become overlapped, 15 applies. 
Once the overlap is established, it's RRS 11 and 16.1
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