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Windward mark

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    Posted: 31 Oct 17 at 12:50pm
In our handicap fleet we have some interesting windward mark behaviour - before I go speak to people I just want to make sure I understand the rules completely!

Windward mark, rounding to port. End of the first beat, normal scenario with the majority coming in to the mark on the starboard tack lay-line or just above because no one wants to get caught out. A flying Fifteen normally then comes storming in on the Port tack lay line and throws in a tack underneath all the starboard tack boats and the FF uses its significant momentum to continue moving head to wind and squeeze around the mark. All the starboard tack boats have to pinch to avoid hitting them but the FF just says that they are on starboard tack so windward boats keep clear.

Who is in the right?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 17 at 1:00pm
Then the Flying Fif doesn't under stand rule 18.3.

18.3 Tacking in the Zone
If a boat in the zone of a mark to be left to port passes head to wind from port to starboard tack and is then fetching the mark, she shall not cause a boat that has been on starboard tack since entering the zone to sail above close-hauled to avoid contact and she shall give mark-room if that boat becomes overlapped inside her. When this rule applies between boats, rule 18.2 does not apply between them.
Is it a mark to be left to port?  Yes

Is the FF passing head to wind from port to starboard tack?  Yes

Is the FF then fetching the mark?  Yes:  if she does actually pinch up and clear the mark then she has been fetching it all along (Definition:  Fetching).

Does she cause another boat on starboard tack since entering the zone to sail above close hauled to avoid contact?  Yes

Then FF breaks rule 18.3, unless the boat that she forces up has also passed head to wind from port to starboard in the zone.

Rule 18.3 does not affect right of way:  the other boat, if clear astern or to windward must still keep clear in accordance with rules 12 or 11.  Her remedy is to protest.


Edited by Brass - 31 Oct 17 at 9:07pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote H2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 17 at 1:14pm
Brass - as ever thanks for the speedy / knowledgeable reply. 

One small tweak. If the starboard tack boats are coming into the mark slightly above the layline then they can head up a bit without going above close hauled thereby granting the FF room to clear the mark whilst fetching....but the starboard boats are disadvantaged as they would have to sail a longer course and have a huge FF under them on the run with an overlap!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 17 at 5:49pm
Moral is, if you have overstood the mark and see a boat approaching on port, see it early enough to be able to crack off slightly and shut the door before it is too late.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 17 at 9:08pm
Yup to both.

And see my amendment at the foot of  my first post.  The other boat must keep clear.


Edited by Brass - 31 Oct 17 at 9:09pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 17 at 9:09pm
Originally posted by Rupert

...crack off slightly and shut the door before it is too late.

And then the wind heads 15 degrees, you can no longer make the mark and are in deep proverbial...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Nov 17 at 6:43am
I know - nearly added that, but decided it was another layer of complication. There are certainly reasons for over standing the mark, and at some point, you have to take a gamble one way or the other.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Nov 17 at 7:40am
We regularly have boats who have gone deep and then port reach up to Mark.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote H2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Nov 17 at 8:28am
Especially when sailing on a pond and the windward mark is too close to those trees!! I guess everyone gambles. Thanks for the guidance
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jeffers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Nov 17 at 8:32am
Depends on how far 'slightly' above is. i.e if it is less than a boat width (so you are forced above your close hauled course) then there is no room for the FF and they break 18.3 as explained above by Brass.

To be fair given the average FF sailor I come across most of them still shout 'mast abeam'........
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