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Rule 17 proper course question

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High Adventure View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote High Adventure Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Rule 17 proper course question
    Posted: 17 Sep 17 at 9:02pm


This past Friday night during a down wind start 4 boats were sailing on an approximate beam reach from the pin along the line toward the other end of the line which was the anchored committe boat.

Clearly there is NO "proper course" before the gun I understand that.

However the start single was made and the four of us sailing on a beam reach began turning down wind, crossing the start line and hoisting spinnaker.

My boat was third boat upwind of the line. We couldn't turn down wind until the two boats to leeward of us turned. The boat upwind of us, sailing faster than us and barreling right at the committee boat started calling for us to "sail out proper course"!"

He needed us to turn down wind or he would have either hit the committee boat or would have had to head up and gone around really missing the start.

Ultimately we did bear way, I contend that we did not have to under rule 17.

We were NOT overtaking him on his leeward side. He was overtaking us on our windward side traveling much faster.

I contend we could have taken him "up" pre start, and just like if we were on any other downwind leg and he tried to over take us on our windward side we could have sailed above "our proper course" to protect our air.

The other skipper is much more experienced than I am and insists I am mis understanding the rules and other rules apply in this situation.

He cites isaf case 13, and even rule 18 mark rounding. But rule 18 clearly starts out saying the rule does not apply to start line marks surrounded by navigable water.

What am I missing in his assertion that he had the "right to call for us to sail "proper course" and our responsibility to "sail proper course."
Remember he was overtakingme on my windward side.



Edited by High Adventure - 17 Sep 17 at 9:19pm
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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: 17 Sep 17 at 9:50pm
Overtaking is irrelevant, vitally important to remember that. The RRS say nothing about overtaking boats.

Also there is almost never a requirement to sail a proper course, but sometimes a ROW boat is limited from sailing above or below a proper course.

Key in this is how the overlap was established.

Start with part A rules.
He was windward boat, you were leeward boat, you have right of way. Boat to leeward of you is leeward boat, you are windward boat, he has right of way.

Now, am I right in assuming there was no overlap until the boats turned? Read the definitions to be sure about this. If so it seems pretty certain that an overlap was established partly because he turned. If he'd kept sailing straight he would have still been clear ahead. This can be important for RRS15.

Lets say though that the overlap was established within two lengths to leeward.
RRS 17 does apply, you can't sail above your proper course. Go back to definition of proper course. Proper course includes keeping clear of a leeward ROW boat.

However if the overlap was established more than two boat lengths apart you can go where you please and RRS17 doesn't apply.

So key to this is when and how an overlap was established, and also where the leeward boat is.



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Post Options Post Options   Quote High Adventure Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Sep 17 at 10:27pm
Thank you very much for the reply, unfortunately I don't understand your reply based on the situation I presented.  Rule 17 of the 2017-2020 RRS states:

"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 aster of the other boat."

So, first, I presume that if a boat clear astern from me can get an overlap on me within two boat lengths of my hull, they are overtaking me, sailing faster than me, passing me.

If they do that, and are leeward of me, rule 17 says they cannot sail above their proper course and force me further to windward.

however, This was not the case in this situation.

Here is the situation step by step:

1) we were pre start, beginning a downwind start.

2) I was clear ahead sailing along the starting line.

3) the other boat sailing faster than me, and windward of me (furthest from the starting line), who was clear astern from me, then overlapped me on my windward side. 

4) pre start, we were sailing perpendicular to the next mark, and parallel to the starting line.

5) the start gun sounded, and the windward boat said we need to sail our proper course to the downwind mark.

So, to your last point. "key to this is when and how the overlap was established"

again, the overlap was established during the starting sequence. He was windward of me and on the same tack, and thus needed to stay clear of me.

the race started and we were overlapped, but the overlap occurred because he was clear astern of me and overlapped me on my windward side....not the other way around where I was clear astern of him and overlapped him on his leeward side.

In this situation, i'm trying to determine if I needed to immediately turn down wind "sailing my proper course" or if I could have held my course another boat length and forced him upwind to avoid the committee boat thus missing the start.

thoughts???

thanks
John









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Post Options Post Options   Quote sargesail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 17 at 12:09am
John,

So he was clear astern and became windward overlapped.

In which case you were not limited by Rule 17.

I am surprised by the reference to Case 13.  The only way it can help WO here is in the last paragraph....but that's only about avoiding contact....it doesn't mean you have to sail your proper course.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote High Adventure Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 17 at 12:15am
Thank you sargesail.

That is my understanding as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 17 at 1:42am
Originally posted by High Adventure

Thank you very much for the reply, unfortunately I don't understand your reply based on the situation I presented.  Rule 17 of the 2017-2020 RRS states:

"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 aster of the other boat."

So, first, I presume that if a boat clear astern from me can get an overlap on me within two boat lengths of my hull, they are overtaking me, sailing faster than me, passing me.

Yes, but as JimC says, better to keep within the Racing Rules Speak:  avoid the term 'overtaking'.  Under IRPCAS, 'overtaking' lasts for a very long time, until the overtaking vessel is past and clear, while under the Racing Rules, there is a rules transition from rule 12 to rule 11 when boats become overlapped, and if the clear astern boat becomes overlapped to leeward, this will also be a right-of-way transition, and if within two hull lengths, also a rule 17 ON transition.  There will then be another rules/right of way transition (from rule 11 to rule 12 again) when the 'overtaking' boat first becomes clear ahead.

If they do that, and are leeward of me, rule 17 says they cannot sail above their proper course and force me further to windward.

Yes

however, This was not the case in this situation.

Here is the situation step by step:

1) we were pre start, beginning a downwind start.

2) I was clear ahead sailing along the starting line.

You were right of way boat (rule 12)

3) the other boat sailing faster than me, and windward of me (furthest from the starting line), who was clear astern from me, then overlapped me on my windward side. 

You remained right of way boat, now under rule 11.

Boat became overlapped from clear astern to windward of you:  rule 17 does not apply.

4) pre start, we were sailing perpendicular to the next mark, and parallel to the starting line.

5) the start gun sounded, and the windward boat said we need to sail our proper course to the downwind mark.

Then she was wrong.

So, to your last point. "key to this is when and how the overlap was established"

again, the overlap was established during the starting sequence. He was windward of me and on the same tack, and thus needed to stay clear of me.

Yes

the race started and we were overlapped, but the overlap occurred because he was clear astern of me and overlapped me on my windward side....not the other way around where I was clear astern of him and overlapped him on his leeward side.

In this situation, i'm trying to determine if I needed to immediately turn down wind "sailing my proper course" or if I could have held my course another boat length and forced him upwind to avoid the committee boat thus missing the start.

No you were not required to bear away to 'sail your proper course'

What you were required to do, when you changed course to cross the starting line was to give the windward boat room to keep clear of you (rule 16).

If there was enough room for the windward boat to harden up and pass astern of the committee vessel when you changed course, then you did not fail to give room.

Rule 19 did not apply at a starting mark surrounded by navigable water (Preamble to Section C).  If there was room to windward of the committee vessel you were NOT required to give the windward boat room to pass the committee vessel on the same side as you did. 


Edited by Brass - 18 Sep 17 at 6:54am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote High Adventure Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 17 at 2:41am
Brass, thank you very much. A most thorough reply. And yes I did delete my post on the resource thread a little while ago. Again thank you.
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