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18.3 and not fetching the mark

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Racing Rules
Forum Discription: Discuss the rules and your interpretations here
Printed Date: 18 Apr 21 at 5:52pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y -

Topic: 18.3 and not fetching the mark
Posted By: jcooper
Subject: 18.3 and not fetching the mark
Date Posted: 29 Jul 20 at 7:06am
One of the conditions for rule 18.3 to apply is that the boat which tacked must be "then fetching the mark".  

This seems to imply that if I misjudge my tack slightly and can't fetch the mark, I can cause the other boat to sail above close-hauled without incurring a penalty.  

Is this correct and how does this part of the rule work out in practice? 

Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 29 Jul 20 at 10:28am
Don't forget the definition:
A boat is fetching a mark when she is in a position to pass to
windward of it and leave it on the required side without changing tack."

So if you manage to get round the mark without changing tack you were by definition fetching it and 18.3 applied.

Posted By: GML
Date Posted: 29 Jul 20 at 11:31am
In theory, yes (at least that is my view). 

In practice, if you tack onto stbd inside the zone and another boat on stbd tack has to sail above close-hauled in order to avoid you, then, unless you are so far below the layline that it is clear you couldn't possibly have fetched the mark, you are going to have a hard time convincing a protest committee that you didn't break rule 18.3. In other words, "slightly" misjudging your tack probably isn't going to be enough to get you out of a penalty for breaching rule 18.3.

Posted By: KazRob
Date Posted: 29 Jul 20 at 12:10pm
Originally posted by GML

In other words, "slightly" misjudging your tack probably isn't going to be enough to get you out of a penalty for breaching rule 18.3.

Isn't that really the intent of the rule - to discourage port tackers from chancing their luck by tacking in right at the mark?

OK 2139 & 2148

Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 29 Jul 20 at 2:03pm
Since rule 18.3 was changed in 2017 the protests I have seen have all had P fetching the mark, so the problem of P not fetching and the rule not applying has not arisen.  I don't think there have been any Cases or Appeals about it either.

Here are some thoughts.

The obvious concern is P, realising that she has tacked too close to S and caused S to sail above close hauled, will fake ‘not fetching’ and deliberately sail below the mark to avoid being bound by rule 18.3.  If she does that, she can do a bear away, gybe and re-attack the layline, instead of taking a two turns penalty for breaking rule 18.3.

As JimC has said if P actually does fetch the mark, that proves that she was fetching it and that rule 18.3 applies. Conversely, if P falls below it and does NOT fetch the mark, this is arguably evidence that she was not fetching the mark and rule 18.3 did NOT apply. A protest committee might need to look for evidence that, after tacking:

    P sailed below close hauled,

    P did not pinch as high as she was able so as to fetch the mark;

    P did not ‘shoot’ the mark when it was possible for her to do so.

These may be pretty subtle judgments, and, in the heat of the moment of a crowded rounding, there may be a distinct shortage of credible testimony.

Another issue is whether, if S is already pinching to fetch the mark, whether any action by P can cause S to sail above close hauled, when she is already doing so.      

Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 29 Jul 20 at 3:21pm
It occurs to me that the main thing is that when leeward cannot fetch the mark RRS 18 is more or less out of the picture, and the relationship between boats is as of the rest of the track, so as normal windward must keep clear of leeward if given room. So its not unreasonable that 18.3 turns off. We do have the situation that ex port can tack under Starboard and then force them above closehauled, but that's the same anywhere else on the track anyway, so why not.

It seems to me that the 18.3 requirement has the specific action of preventing port from tacking under a boat on the layline and then squeezing into the mark. I don't think its really a problem if Windward is forced to luff a bit on the approach to the mark if new leeward is still forced to miss the mark.

Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 28 Jan 21 at 5:54pm
From a tactical viewpoint, S1 is approaching the mark on starboard, has been headed and can't fetch the mark without a double tack, S2 is about clear astern, slightly to windward and still able to fetch the mark. S1 can tack and tack back, both tacks are completed without making S2 to alter course. All straightforward at this point. But, P1 is approaching on the port layline such that S1 can't complete both tacks without the second, port to starboard, tack causing P1 to have to alter course to avoid S1.

I was S1, what should I have done?

Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"

Posted By: Brass
Date Posted: 28 Jan 21 at 9:26pm

Take turns.

You broke rule 13 with respect to P.

Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 28 Jan 21 at 9:45pm
That's what I thought. If I had stood on until P1 was forced to tack or, more likely, duck I could have tacked then (FWIW I think P1 would have had to duck S2 as well)? The whole thing happened inside the zone and I did turns after the mark.

It's useful to talk situations through after the fact. Thanks Brass. Thumbs Up

Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"

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