Print Page | Close Window

Start line colision

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Racing Rules
Forum Discription: Discuss the rules and your interpretations here
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=12112
Printed Date: 17 Apr 21 at 4:20am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Start line colision
Posted By: about a boat
Subject: Start line colision
Date Posted: 03 Aug 15 at 3:10pm
OK. I will say form the outset I am not one who knows the rules off the top of my head. I was on the start line. Very bias pin end start. I was in the middle of the line on starboard. Not moving with my boom out. Looking around and keeping clear of any boats to leeward of which there were not any near me. Then a boat comes from clear astern and hits my transom - about 20 cm to leeward of the rudder. He looks and says "well, you are windward boat". I thought OK but I had no chance of keeping clear from him as to do so would mean to go above close haul and tack and as I had no way it would not have been possible to do so. And beside I had no way of anitipating he would not change his course.

So who broke which rules?



Replies:
Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 03 Aug 15 at 3:31pm
I wonder why he thought you were windward boat if he hit your stern...


Posted By: about a boat
Date Posted: 03 Aug 15 at 3:45pm
I assumed it was because he hit to leeward of the centre line. Thus he got an overlap from at the point he past the rudder. Does this make sense??


Posted By: laser193713
Date Posted: 03 Aug 15 at 4:16pm
I think he assumed you were windward boat because you were stopped upwind of him. He is wrong.

After creating an overlap he then must give you time to respond and keep clear. If he plainly sails up behind you then he is the overtaking boat and must keep clear. 

Someone will come along and quote rule numbers, this is more simple than that. You are in the right here.


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 03 Aug 15 at 4:54pm
Originally posted by laser193713

If he plainly sails up behind you then he is the overtaking boat and must keep clear.


No such rule.

I'm not Brass, but lets go through this.

It started off with you (Y) more or less stopped on the start line and the other boat (O) coming from behind, no overlap. RuLe 12 applies, O must keep clear of Y.

O claims that he gained an overlap to leeward of Ys rudder, and became ROW boat, so Rule 11 starts to apply, and Y will henceforth need to keep clear of O.

So far so good, but we then get onto part B. Rule 15: When a boat acquires ROW she shall initially give the other boat room to keep clear. And you need to read this with the definitions of room and keep clear. If O is alongside Ys rudder then Y cannot turn to windward or the stern swing will make contact. So Y is unable to turn to windward, which I think means Y has not been given room to keep clear. In addition, reading case 30, I think that there's a sound argument that H, in making the overlap within inches of Ys rudder, was not keeping clear just before the overlap occurred.

So, unless a wiser (wo)man on the PC corrects me, I disqualify H under rule 12 and rule 15, and exonerate Y for a breach of rule 11 that was a result of H breaking 12 & 15.

Case 24 and 30 in the case book are worth reading.

However, and its a big however, when you hear the other party's version of events these things can look very different...


Posted By: The Moo
Date Posted: 03 Aug 15 at 7:14pm
As an aside I am constantly amazed by how many people who race sailboats still believe there is a racing rule that says overtaking boat keeps clear.


Posted By: Woodburner
Date Posted: 03 Aug 15 at 7:32pm
That must surely be because once upon a time there was such a rule?

-------------
http://www.edgeactionsports.co.uk/collections/pads-and-helmets" rel="nofollow - Ridiculously priced bike helmets clearing out


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 03 Aug 15 at 7:49pm
Originally posted by Woodburner

That must surely be because once upon a time there was such a rule?

Certainly not in the last 30 years, and I don't believe in the last 50 judging my inference in an old book I just looked at. Its a rule in Colregs though.


Posted By: The Moo
Date Posted: 03 Aug 15 at 9:00pm
I can remember having it drummed into me as a kid in around 1971 to give any adult quoting it on the water a stiff ignoring.


Posted By: andymck
Date Posted: 03 Aug 15 at 9:03pm
It is part of col regs ( I think 13)
Which is what is taught to most sailors starting out.

I have never seen the above situation be called for the boat coming from behind.
He must have been trying it on.

-------------
Andy Mck


Posted By: Presuming Ed
Date Posted: 03 Aug 15 at 9:25pm
Overtaking boat keep clear was in the first IYRU rules in 59. 


Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 03 Aug 15 at 10:25pm
And in my 1947 copy.

But it took about two pages of complicated text to qualify it to it worked for racing.

Maybe I'm mellowing, but I'm less inclined to get uptight about 'overtaking' these days.

As long as you define 'overtaking' as clear astern, and don't forget that it does not trump port/starboard, 'overtaking boat keep clear' works most of the time.

I'm inclined to agree with the poster who said that Boat O probably thought windward/leeward applied because she was downwind and astern.

And I'd be very careful about wording a protest decision saying a boat broke both rule 12 and rule 15:  that seems to invite the question 'How could a boat required to keep clear under rule 12 then be a right of way boat failing to give room?'

Probably better to hitch your wagon to one or the other.


Posted By: Presuming Ed
Date Posted: 03 Aug 15 at 11:21pm
I'd go with 15. (And 14, but exonerated due to lack of damage)


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 04 Aug 15 at 7:55am
Wouldn't rule 15 suggest that if you hit a boat on the leeward side of the transom you are breaking a different rule to the one you would be if you hit them on the windward side? I can see loads of protest room confusion in that, especially as it is quite possible that the boat being hit will have felt the bump but not seen it, and so not know which side.

-------------
Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 04 Aug 15 at 8:05am
It would seem to, but I was influenced in my thinking by Case 30, which to me seems to be to be saying that the clear behind boat was already failing to keep clear just before she overlapped the rudder of the other boat, so was the first to break a rule. My understanding was that subsequent events were a consequence of astern breaking that rule, so ahead gets exonerated.

So in Brass's point, I guess I hitch my cart to 12, since the subsequent RRS15 breach would not have occurred if astern had kept clear.

Is that a reasonable guideline for amateur PCs Brass? Look for the first rule breach and penalise for that, and then decide whether subsequent rule breaches by the other boat were inevitable after the first one (in which case exoneration comes in) or alternatively could readily have been avoided (in which case penalise both)?


Posted By: Presuming Ed
Date Posted: 04 Aug 15 at 8:51am
Originally posted by Rupert

Wouldn't rule 15 suggest that if you hit a boat on the leeward side of the transom you are breaking a different rule to the one you would be if you hit them on the windward side? I can see loads of protest room confusion in that, especially as it is quite possible that the boat being hit will have felt the bump but not seen it, and so not know which side.

It's all on the definition of keep clear.

Keep Clear A boat keeps clear of a right-of-way boat (a) if the right-of-way boat can sail her course with no need to take avoiding action and, (b) when the boats are overlapped, if the right-of-way boat can also change course in both directions without immediately making contact.

Room The space a boat needs in the existing conditions, including space to comply with her obligations under the rules of Part 2 and rule 31, while manoeuvring promptly in a seamanlike way.

The definition of
Clear Astern and Clear Ahead; Overlap One boat is clear astern of another when her hull and equipment in normal position are behind a line abeam from the aftermost point of the other boat’s hull and equipment in normal position. The other boat is clear ahead. They overlap when neither is clear astern. ...

means that, with these boats having transom hung rudders, there is a very brief overlap  - the boats are "rudder overlapped" before contact. So 12 doesn't apply.

Wording of 15 is:
15 ACQUIRING RIGHT OF WAY When a boat acquires right of way, she shall initially give the other boat room to keep clear, ....

Astern was unable to "sail her course with no need to take avoiding action", so Ahead didn't keep clear. If Astern hit so close to Ahead's rudder that any luff would have resulted in immediate contact with the rudder, then part b of the definition also applies. 

15 means that Astern has to give ahead room to keep clear, which she didn't. 

The rules make no mention of transoms -, and the wording of overlap is specifically "hull and equipment". On boats with underhung rudders, it's quite straightforward that hitting the transom = breach of 12. 

If astern hits the windward side of the transom, then she's broken 11. 



Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 04 Aug 15 at 9:09am
The trouble with that ultra literal interpretation is that it suggests that if boat A is 1 mm astern of boat B then A is keeping clear of B since B can change course in either direction without making contact.

However, if we go to case 30 and Case 88 it seems that a bit more than that is required. In particular Case 88 says:
‘Keep clear’ means something more than ‘avoid contact’; otherwise the rule would contain those or similar words.


The implications of that seem to me to be are that if the keep clear boat is so close to the other boat that ordinary relative variations in speed through natural changes in wind and water are liable to to bring them in contact without action by the crews then it is not keeping clear. So it seems to me that on small boats on flat water with a steady wind that distance might be a moderate number of inches, on big boats in a rough sea it might be several feet, but either way if astern establishes an overlap on aheads rudder while she is within that sort of range then she was failing to keep clear immediately before establishing the overlap, and the subsequent collision would not have occurred without that rule breach. But I am probably wrong!



Posted By: about a boat
Date Posted: 04 Aug 15 at 9:09am
Thanks for the replies.


Posted By: laser193713
Date Posted: 04 Aug 15 at 9:22am
Originally posted by JimC

Originally posted by laser193713

If he plainly sails up behind you then he is the overtaking boat and must keep clear.


No such rule.

I'm not Brass, but lets go through this.

It started off with you (Y) more or less stopped on the start line and the other boat (O) coming from behind, no overlap. RuLe 12 applies, O must keep clear of Y.

O claims that he gained an overlap to leeward of Ys rudder, and became ROW boat, so Rule 11 starts to apply, and Y will henceforth need to keep clear of O.

So far so good, but we then get onto part B. Rule 15: When a boat acquires ROW she shall initially give the other boat room to keep clear. And you need to read this with the definitions of room and keep clear. If O is alongside Ys rudder then Y cannot turn to windward or the stern swing will make contact. So Y is unable to turn to windward, which I think means Y has not been given room to keep clear. In addition, reading case 30, I think that there's a sound argument that H, in making the overlap within inches of Ys rudder, was not keeping clear just before the overlap occurred.

So, unless a wiser (wo)man on the PC corrects me, I disqualify H under rule 12 and rule 15, and exonerate Y for a breach of rule 11 that was a result of H breaking 12 & 15.

Case 24 and 30 in the case book are worth reading.

However, and its a big however, when you hear the other party's version of events these things can look very different...

I knew someone would....

The simplification for someone who claims to not know the rules off by heart is that if someone gains an overlap from behind (overtaking), in most normal sailing situations, then you are highly likely to be the right of way boat. 

For the records, I wasn't even thought of when the overtaking boat rule was written, in fact, my parents weren't even born! What I do know is that I have a very solid grasp of the rules, more so in fact than some supposed 'international jury' members who I have witnessed in the protest room. It can be quite scary watching the experts get it wrong with the book right under their nose! I wouldn't for a minute sit there and quote rule numbers to someone who is unsure of the rules and just does a bit of club racing here and there. I will readily quote rule numbers at a professional tactician who refuses to listen when I shut them out on a start line or leeward mark, or in a protest room, but only then. Those sailors who blurt out every number they can think of to scare or confuse are just awful, I hate it. How many rugby matches do you watch where the ref quotes the numbers as well as the rules, none, it just confuses the players, and the fans.  




Posted By: Peaky
Date Posted: 04 Aug 15 at 9:32am
I'd say the boat clear astern prior to the collision was not keeping clear immediately prior to contact, because the boat clear ahead would have had to take preemptive action to avoid contact, whilst still right of way boat.

-------------


Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 04 Aug 15 at 10:06am
Originally posted by laser193713


...if someone gains an overlap from behind (overtaking), in most normal sailing situations, then you are highly likely to be the right of way boat.


Just not true though.

Three possibilities.
You overtake from behind and to windward. You are keep clear boat.
You overtake from directly behind and to leeward. You have right of way but may not sail above *your* proper course, and must initially give the other boat room to keep clear.
You overtake from behind and well to leeward. You have right of way and no restrictions on your course.

In paper/electronic rules discussions there is a lot of virtue in quoting rule numbers because it defines which rules you believe apply, and saves quoting the entire text of every rule all the time. In an on line discussion the rule book is always available to all the participants.

By contrast on the water quoting numbers is not usually very useful.



Posted By: Presuming Ed
Date Posted: 04 Aug 15 at 11:08am
Originally posted by JimC

The trouble with that ultra literal interpretation is that it suggests that if boat A is 1 mm astern of boat B then A is keeping clear of B since B can change course in either direction without making contact.

However, if we go to case 30 and Case 88 it seems that a bit more than that is required. In particular Case 88 says:
‘Keep clear’ means something more than ‘avoid contact’; otherwise the rule would contain those or similar words.


The implications of that seem to me to be are that if the keep clear boat is so close to the other boat that ordinary relative variations in speed through natural changes in wind and water are liable to to bring them in contact without action by the crews then it is not keeping clear. So it seems to me that on small boats on flat water with a steady wind that distance might be a moderate number of inches, on big boats in a rough sea it might be several feet, but either way if astern establishes an overlap on aheads rudder while she is within that sort of range then she was failing to keep clear immediately before establishing the overlap, and the subsequent collision would not have occurred without that rule breach. But I am probably wrong!


In my umpire seminar, John Doerr asked us a question: "do you need contact to prove that you're not keeping clear?" and, of course, we all immediately said "no, of course not". At which point he asked "what about 12? Wouldn't you feel a bit aggrieved if you were binned for not keeping clear if there wasn't contact?" 

At which point, we all agreed with him again. 

Getting that close is very high risk for the trailing boat. & it's also (arguably) less useful if you're trying to control the boat ahead than being a bit further back so that you can always get on the inside of any turn. 




Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 04 Aug 15 at 12:03pm
Take my IC, which has an underslung rudder and a pointed stern. If we get too literal about this if a boat coming from behind makes contact 5mm to leeward of the point then I failed to keep clear of her under RRS11*. If she makes contact 5mm to windward of the point then she failed to keep clear of me under RRS11. Only if she makes contact *exactly* on the very tip of the stern would it be a breach of RRS12. Obviously that's a nonsense.

So there must be a zone around a boat that constitutes not keeping clear, and it must be variable depending on boat and conditions. If you want another situation where being excessively literal starts becoming a nonsense, consider if my canoe makes contact with the leeward side of the windward hull of a catamaran.



Taking that example: people might be aggrieved if DSQd with no contact under RRS 12, but they shouldn't be. However sometimes you know that a rule has been broken, even if you can't define exactly when. Take my example above of the boat that contacts the stern of my IC 5mm to leeward of the point. Do you penalise me under RRS 11, or do you penalise the other boat under RRS12 on the grounds that although you can't be precise about exactly when he failed to keep clear under RRS12, he can't have got in that position without breaking it?


*yeah, OK room to keep clear comes into it, but not the point at issue




Posted By: Presuming Ed
Date Posted: 04 Aug 15 at 2:29pm
LTaking your catamaran example, there is a degree of ambiguity there, which is why in the AC rules they clarified it - as between the hulls is clear astern. And with you IC, what about 30 cm either side? Or 60?

The "wiggle room" requirement only applies to boats on the same tack and overlapped.

 For ISAF case 50 to apply to port/starboard crossings, starboard has to alter course. If s holds her course, and p crosses, then you can't apply 50. No matter how close. 

If, however, in a CA/CAstern situation, Ahead said that they had to alter course to avoid contact, and the boats were gnats wing close, then under 50, astern isn't looking rosy. But if ahead holds her course, then astern is keeping clear. 

In the RYA appeals committee, there are 2 factions (AIUI. I'm not a member). One of "sailors", and one of "lawyers ". The sailors just go " you can't ram people up the chuff" and just leave it at that. 


Posted By: Rupert
Date Posted: 04 Aug 15 at 8:00pm
"You can't ram people up the chuff" sums things up nicely, thank you!

-------------
Firefly 2324, Lightning 130, Puffin 229, Minisail 3446


Posted By: SoggyBadger
Date Posted: 04 Aug 15 at 8:04pm
Originally posted by Rupert

"You can't ram people up the chuff" sums things up nicely, thank you!


Apparently they don't like it up em LOL


-------------
Best wishes from deep in the woods

SB



Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 05 Aug 15 at 12:50am
Originally posted by Presuming Ed

 
...
The definition of Clear Astern and Clear Ahead; Overlap means that, with these boats having transom hung rudders, there is a very brief overlap  - the boats are "rudder overlapped" before contact. 

So 12 doesn't apply.

15 means that Astern has to give ahead room to keep clear, which she didn't. 

If astern hits the windward side of the transom, then she's broken 11. 
Originally posted by Rupert

Wouldn't rule 15 suggest that if you hit a boat on the leeward side of the transom you are breaking a different rule to the one you would be if you hit them on the windward side?

Yes, if the boat has an overhanging rudder (or boom, or bumpkin) as PEd explained in detail.

I can see loads of protest room confusion in that, especially as it is quite possible that the boat being hit will have felt the bump but not seen it, and so not know which side.

Usually a protest committee, having heard evidence that there was contact will seek details, where, damage and so on, which will probably bring out whether the contact was to windward or leeward of the rudder, and then lead straight into the rule 15/rule 11 decision.

If the protest committee does not find fact about which side, or possibly even whether there was a trailing rudder at all, then they're still going to penalise under 11, 12, or 15.

Point is, if the protest committee doesn't realise there's an issue, they're not going to get confused, and if the parties want to raise the issue it's up to them.

In Australia, getting the rule number wrong is not enough to get an appeal sustained (because of a MNA prescription).

Originally posted by JimC

It would seem to, but I was influenced in my thinking by Case 30, which to me seems to be to be saying that the clear behind boat was already failing to keep clear just before she overlapped the rudder of the other boat,

That's how I see it.

There's no reason why B cannot first break rule 12 then become overlapped and break rule 15.

so was the first to break a rule.

I don't think that's relevant.

A protest committee should identify all the rules that are broken in an incident.

My understanding was that subsequent events were a consequence of astern breaking that rule, so ahead gets exonerated. 

A is exonerated for failing to keep clear of the leeward boat in accordance with Case 30.

B's breach of rule 15 was not caused by any breach by A, so no exoneration for B can be contemplated.

So in Brass's point, I guess I hitch my cart to 12, since the subsequent RRS15 breach would not have occurred if astern had kept clear. 

Maybe.

I think Ed's preference for rule 15 is because B certainly broke rule 15 on the face of the rule, but to get to a breach of rule 12, you have to go to Case 30, and argue a matter of degree.

Is that a reasonable guideline for amateur PCs Brass? Look for the first rule breach and penalise for that,

No, I don't think so.  Even an 'amateur' protest committee (you mean you have protest committees that get paid for doing this stuff?) should state conclusions about all the rules that were broken.  There is no precedence in time or importance.

There would be nothing wrong (and a good deal right) with conclusions that B broke rule 12, B broke rule 15, B broke rule 14, A broke rule 11.

Having said that, as I indicated in the responses to Rupert above, if you miss out on a rule breach, as long as you get the right decision, there's little to grumble about.

 and then decide whether subsequent rule breaches by the other boat were inevitable after the first one (in which case exoneration comes in) or alternatively could readily have been avoided (in which case penalise both)?

Rather I think you have to consider exoneration for each rule breach.

I don't think the sequential approach is useful.

Originally posted by JimC

The trouble with that ultra literal interpretation is that it suggests that if boat A is 1 mm astern of boat B then A is keeping clear of B since B can change course in either direction without making contact. 

I don't think Ed was really trying to buck Case 30.

However, if we go to case 30 and Case 88 it seems that a bit more than that is required. In particular Case 88 says: 
‘Keep clear’ means something more than ‘avoid contact’; otherwise the rule would contain those or similar words.
 


The implications of that seem to me to be are that if the keep clear boat is so close to the other boat that ordinary relative variations in speed through natural changes in wind and water are liable to to bring them in contact without action by the crews then it is not keeping clear.

Well the Case 50 guidance is about reasonable apprehension of collision, rather than probability.

So it seems to me that on small boats on flat water with a steady wind that distance might be a moderate number of inches, on big boats in a rough sea it might be several feet,

Yeah  Case 21.

but either way if astern establishes an overlap on ahead's rudder while she is within that sort of range then she was failing to keep clear immediately before establishing the overlap,

Not happy with this:  it sounds a bit doctrinaire.  I think you need to go through the Case 30 reasoning.

Maybe if you added 'and there is contact' it would work better.

and the subsequent collision would not have occurred without that rule breach.

Rule breach is relevant to exoneration for the ahead boat not keeping clear.  May be relevant to a rule 14 breach, but perhaps not so much.

But I am probably wrong! 

Why?  Your batting average here and in SA is looking pretty good at the moment.



Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 05 Aug 15 at 1:07am
Originally posted by JimC

Take my IC, which has an underslung rudder and a pointed stern. If we get too literal about this if a boat coming from behind makes contact 5mm to leeward of the point then I failed to keep clear of her under RRS11*. If she makes contact 5mm to windward of the point then she failed to keep clear of me under RRS11. Only if she makes contact *exactly* on the very tip of the stern would it be a breach of RRS12. Obviously that's a nonsense.

I don't agree it's a nonsense.  It's just the working out of some fairly carefully crafted rules.

Same decision, different rule-path to get there.

So there must be a zone around a boat that constitutes not keeping clear, and it must be variable depending on boat and conditions.

I agree with that,

A distance around an object that it is not seamanlike to sail closer than ...

It's a very handy concept for understanding the rules, particularly room.



Print Page | Close Window

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.665y - http://www.webwizforums.com
Copyright ©2001-2010 Web Wiz - http://www.webwizguide.com