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What's the purpose of rule 18.4?

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    Posted: 17 Jul 18 at 3:47pm
Asymmetric boats sailing to final port hand leeward mark before a short reach to the finish. 

Both boats are coming in on their laylines. Starboard is overlapped inside and entitled to mark room. Proper course is to gybe on the mark for tight reach to the finish.

At the weekend I was in starboard position and gybed on the mark. Port boat carried her momentum through to leeward to finish ahead. 

Afterwards we discussed and decided it would have been better to sail a higher course from further out, to meet the port boat before the zone and call starboard on them then, forcing a double gybe, or them to take our transom. The risk with that is that they take your transom and have an inside overlap once you gybe for the mark. 

But could I have instead of carried on on starboard, forcing the port boat to gybe off, before then gybing on to port myself and finish? I.e. force the port boat to double gybe. 

But does 18.4 require me to gybe right on the mark and not continue on starboard to force the other boat to gybe? 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PeterG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 18 at 6:08pm
When an inside overlapped right-of-way boat must gybe at a mark to sail her proper course, until she gybes she shall sail no farther from the mark than needed to sail that course

I can't see you have much leeway in there to do that. Unless you could argue your proper course was to delay gybing - and forcing the other boat to gybe doesn't count towards that!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 18 at 6:43pm
Yeah, i think we did the best we could with the options open. Maybe try and meet the port boat before the zone, but like I said above, that has it's own risks. 

Why does 18.4 not apply to leeward gates though? 

Not at the weekend but most of the time we have leeward gate, sometime this is modified to just a port mark for last lap, but sometimes not, and never when the course is shortened. So it seems like there are some odd scenario where this option to sail beyond my proper course then gybe would be open to a starboard boat with mark room at a port hand mark. 


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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 18 at 8:00pm
Originally posted by mozzy

Why does 18.4 not apply to leeward gates though?

At a guess I think it would cause confusion because the ROW boat should be able to choose which side of the gate she goes to, but 18.4 would tend to force her to the L side.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Jul 18 at 4:47pm
Makes sense. 

Also, if the finish is offset downwind, so that you wouldn't lay it from the mark, then I guess you could call starboard and sail past the mark to your layline in to the finish before gybing too. 

I'd been sailing to the old rules where P/S switches off for mark room and once you get in 3 boat lengths you must sail for the mark. However, I figure this new rule allows you to gybe where you would normally (say if you're a boat length or two above the layline) and sail proper course when you're right of way boat instead of being limited simply to mark-room. 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote ohFFsake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 19 at 12:23am
If  you could establish that your proper course to the next mark did not require you to gybe at the mark then this would switch 18.4 off in its entirety and leave you free to sail where you wish.

The only way I can see this being a defensible argument would be if there were a plausible advantage to not gybing at the mark but instead remaining on starboard and gybing later, and all of this in the absence of other boats.

What if
1. The short leg to the finish is very deep, so if you sail hot angles you might not want to gybe at the mark as that would entail having to gybe again to get down to the line, or
2. The finish line is very biased so you want to gybe late and sail to the leeward end of it, or
3. There is an identifiable tide or wind advantage to be had by delaying your gybe
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 19 at 6:59am
Downwind dog leg finishes should be discouraged, they put far too much pressure on the leeward mark to gain room, and the subsequent pump fest to the finish line, particularly if there is no jury boat.  With large fleets and the current fashion for short races too many places can change in the closing couple of minutes of the race.   

It really is not that hard for a Committee boat to move up to the windward mark, or send a patrol boat to the windward mark to finish the race, and would rarely add more than 10 minutes to the schedule.  

It would also give them much more opportunity to correctly record the finishing sail numbers in the correct order.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fatboi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 19 at 8:28am
Not 100% on your exact situation, but if you can argue that it wasn't your fastest route to the finish by gybing on the mark, then you are covered. 

With asymmetrics this is easier than a single hander, as you could argue the extra speed that you gain by going high and planing makes this the fastest route, or you may think that the angles are fine to go high, therefore that can be argued it's your proper course.  

If you had to drop to make the finish this would obviously show that it wasn't your proper course though and would probably also mean you get rolled, so lose more than gybing on the mark.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote ohFFsake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 19 at 8:35am
Originally posted by davidyacht

Downwind dog leg finishes should be discouraged, they put far too much pressure on the leeward mark to gain room, and the subsequent pump fest to the finish line, particularly if there is no jury boat.  With large fleets and the current fashion for short races too many places can change in the closing couple of minutes of the race.   

It really is not that hard for a Committee boat to move up to the windward mark, or send a patrol boat to the windward mark to finish the race, and would rarely add more than 10 minutes to the schedule.  

It would also give them much more opportunity to correctly record the finishing sail numbers in the correct order.
I would argue that the current fashion for hooked finishes generally benefits the Race Committee, for the following reasons:
1. One boat can start and finish races without needing to move, which is especially useful with multiple fleets. And who doesn't like a quick turnaround between races!
2. Boats can't generally "live" side by side for more than a few yards on a beam reach, so they tend to separate into line astern and cross one after another, so fewer close finishes and dead heats to sort out
3. It is easier to see sail numbers when the boat is reaching above the committee boat - the view of the mainsail is typically square on, whereas on a beating finish it is often more oblique
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 19 at 8:35am
I think championships already favour upwind legs due to the larger fleet and dirty air, compared to club and smaller opens. Having an additional upwind leg does make championships very beat intensive. (But if I'm out in Weymouth Bay in a 20 knot westerly, and the RO wants to shorten the last race of day at the windward mark saving us 20 minute of beating back in, then that's fine!) 

The other aspect is, if the fleet has to sail back downwind to the start, then surely they might as well race downwind? Otherwise it's just another 15 minutes of dead time. 

If the fleet has a mile sail back to committee boat they tend to scatter. Makes getting the next race underway more difficult and a harder job for safety crews. 
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