Forum: Rule 18 and Room at the Mark

When is it necessary to gybe to sail the course without touching the mark (port -starboard)

Tom Morris
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Hello, can you help answer what I think is a basic question. Three scenarios, in each it is undisputed that yellow is clear ahead entering the zone. Blue calls starboard on yellow when yellow gybes to port (position 3). Blue changes course to avoid yellow but there is contact (no damage) between blue and yellow.

Is there any difference between the scenarios as to whether yellow may gybe as part of their mark room?
 
Scenario 1: spreader mark (kites already raised). Downwind leg is slightly offset so port is the long gybe. Both continuing on starboard and gybing to port can be argued as a 'proper course'. 
spreader.jpeg 193 KB

Scenario 2: Gybe mark on triangle course, proper course is to gybe.
wing.jpeg 186 KB

Scenario 3: leeward mark, proper course is to gybe and round up.
leeward.jpeg 187 KB
Created: 21-Oct-12 17:19

Comments

John Christman
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • National Judge
  • National Umpire
1
The diagrams you have included only show the position of the boats as Yellow is entering the zone so you may need to repost them.

In all the scenarios, Yellow is entitled to the room to sail to the mark and then around it.  If a boat must gybe to sail to the mark then she can gybe and is exonerated for breaking rule 10 as she is sailing within the room to which she is entitled.  Also, look at rule 18.2(c)(2) as Blue will become overlapped with Yellow as Yellow bears away and gybes.  Yellow can determine what her proper course is, not Blue.
Created: 21-Oct-12 17:50
Tom Morris
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
0
Something went wrong with the gifs, so I have uploaded jpegs.

The diagrams also show the direction of the next mark if that changes the interpretation of 'must gybe to sail to the mark'. 
Created: 21-Oct-12 17:58
Kett Cummins
Nationality: United States of America
0
I have been the blue boat in this scenario and it still doesn't feel right to me.  I think the interpretation of the rules herein is correct, but I think the rule, itself, is wrongheaded!  Blue did the work of getting farther downwind on the layline to the mark and would probably get to the mark first, but Yellow wins the race to the zone and thus, gets to round ahead.  Is that fair?  Is that the simplest approach?

I think the mark rounding rules could be simplified if port/starboard always applies.  In this example, there is no inherent reason that yellow is "more deserving" of rounding ahead, that's just the complex way the rule is written.

I know the argument that the rules in the zone provide order and safety when rounding marks, but this is a perfect example of that not being true in practice.  It would be just as safe and orderly if Yellow had to stay clear and follow Blue around the mark.

I'm probably wrong, but this scenario is a pet peeve of mine!
Created: 21-Oct-12 18:56
Bernard Jean-Louis
Nationality: France
0
blue was not engaged in gold what yellow enters the 2 lengths, she freezes the other situations, even if yellow changes tack. blue had to anticipate and either Slacken or get behind.
Created: 21-Oct-12 19:31
Tim OConnell
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • Umpire In Training
  • Club Judge
0
Kett,
Your approach will promote chaos and promote the actions of late arrivals at a mark barging their way in. In your justification for your approach that ROW should always prevail with no limitations to allow a boat to gybe onto port, is somewhat unfair, given that they got to the zone first and therefore earned the right to sail the course and round the mark. The boat behind can earn the right by obtaining an inside overlap when the first if them reaches the zone, as per current rules. That's an easy concept to understand, particularly in mixed fleets.
Created: 21-Oct-12 19:44
Bernard Jean-Louis
Nationality: France
0
 I do not disagree! 
Created: 21-Oct-12 19:58
Tom Morris
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
0
In skiffs the boat that leads to the mark could be some way clear ahead as you tend to lose a greater distance in gybes and especially a gybe drop. It would hand a dangerous advantage to boat charging in fast and thin on a lay line.

But, can anyone think of any reason why yellow would not be in her rights to gybe for the mark in any scenario?
Created: 21-Oct-12 20:17
Kett Cummins
Nationality: United States of America
0
Fair points.
Tom - "Any scenario"?  If Blue was overlapped inside when Yellow reached the zone, then Yellow could not gybe at will for the mark.  Or, if both were outside the zone and Yellow thought she was gybing for the mark, she would still have to avoid Blue on starboard.
Created: 21-Oct-12 20:53
Tom Morris
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
0
Sorry, I really meant any reason within the rules that yellow couldn't gybe for the mark within the scenarios given.

For instance, I have been given an opinion that in scenario 1 yellow may not gybe as it is not required by the course for her to gybe (she could continue and gybe later), so as soon as she does she loses mark room. 

It's not an opinion I agree with, but it's one I've been given and am trying to understand it. This is a situation that comes up often on our championship courses with boats gybing at the spreader mark. 
Created: 21-Oct-12 21:19
Stewart Campbell
Nationality: Australia
0
In all your scenario, no matter which boat has ROW, R18.2(b) gives Mark Room to Yellow.  R18.2 (c)(2) states "If she becomes overlapped inside - - she shall also give that boat Room to sail her Proper Course - - ". In all your scenario, Yellow either must, or can justify, gybing as part of her Proper Course. If however, the next Mark is off to starboard of the boats (a very unlikely scenario) then Yellow would not have entitlement to Mark Room since her Proper Course is no longer to sail "- - close to it - " nor "- - to round the Mark - -" so R10 applies.
Created: 21-Oct-12 22:42
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
For instance, I have been given an opinion that in scenario 1 yellow may not gybe as it is not required by the course for her to gybe (she could continue and gybe later), so as soon as she does she loses mark room. 

I think that, within certain fairly broad constraints, a boat's proper course is what she decides it is. There are many reasons why in scenario 1 Yellow might want to gybe at the spreader mark - better pressure, anticipated wind shift, favorable current, traffic, desire to approach the leeward mark on starboard, etc.. I think Blue would have  a hard time making a convincing argument that gybing could not be a proper course for Yellow.

Created: 21-Oct-13 02:25
Bernard Jean-Louis
Nationality: France
0
So the diagram is not clear, because it seems that blue was not overlapped in the 2 lengths


Created: 21-Oct-13 06:16
Tom Morris
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
0
No, the diagram is clear, blue is NOT overlapped at three boat lengths. They only become overlapped inside when yellow turns down in to the gybe
Created: 21-Oct-13 07:29
Bernard Jean-Louis
Nationality: France
0
So if I understood correctly the yellow problem turns in both lengths and loses his right of way even though he follows a normal course, so he had to leave the area or raze the buoy then jibe ?




Created: 21-Oct-13 10:29
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Tom Morris
can anyone think of any reason why yellow would not be in her rights to gybe for the mark in any scenario?

Yes, there's a fourth scenario in addition to the ones you described, where the mark is a windward mark on a port rounding triangle.

In that case Y's proper course, supposing the got herself into @2, 1.5 hull lengths to windward of the mark, would be a reaching course on starboard gybe, away from the mark.

In that case, her proper course is not to sail close to the mark and she is not entitled to mark-room to do so, so she is not entitled to room to gybe, even supposing she madly wanted to do so.

John Christman
said Created: Yesterday 17:50

In all the scenarios, Yellow is entitled to the room to sail to the mark and then around it.  If a boat must gybe to sail to the mark then she can gybe and is exonerated for breaking rule 10 as she is sailing within the room to which she is entitled.

Tom Morris
said Created: Yesterday 17:58
The diagrams also show the direction of the next mark if that changes the interpretation of 'must gybe to sail to the mark'. 
Created: Yesterday 21:19
For instance, I have been given an opinion that in scenario 1 yellow may not gybe as it is not required by the course for her to gybe (she could continue and gybe later), so as soon as she does she loses mark room. 

It looks like this is all about proper course.

Proper course comes up twice in rule 18 and the meaning of mark-room.
  1. The Definition of mark-room says mark-room includes room [for a boat] to sail to the mark when her proper course is to sail close to it
  2. Rule 18.2(c)(2) provides that a boat overlapped inside a boat required to give her mark-room is entitled to  room to sail her proper course while they remain overlapped.

John C was right when he said 'Yellow is entitled to the room to sail to the mark'

The reason for this is that the definition of mark-room says that when a boat's proper course is to sail close to the mark, her mark-room [includes] room to sail to the mark.

In both your Scenarios 2 and 3, I don't think there can be any doubt that Y's proper course to finish as soon as possible is to sail to and round close to the mark.

So the slightly more difficult scenario is Scenario 1.

I think that, from @2, 1.5 hull lengths to windward of the mark, Y's proper course is still to sail close to the mark:  it's on her direct course from her position @2 to the leeward mark.  That being the case, she's entitled to room to sail to the mark and room to gybe to do so.

As John C also says, rule 18.2(c)(2) also applies, once Y is overlapped on B (and they will be overlapped even after Y gybes onto the opposite tack because rule 18 applies (Definition:  Clear Ahead and Clear Astern; Overlapped, last sentence).

As Y gets close to the mark, @3, her proper course is the course she would sail to finish soonest.  In a protest it would be up to B to prove that the port gybe to the port gybe favoured mark was NOT the course to finish soonest.  As Tim H says, that's going to be a very big ask.
Created: 21-Oct-13 22:52
Tom Morris
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
0
Thanks John, that's what I understood.

In this case I was yellow and blue called starboard. At the time I thought they were just confused but later they said I had passed the mark (assuming continuing straight on starboard gybe to the right downwind was my proper course). 
I said my proper course was the gybe (long gybe was port) and I hadn't passed the mark until I was on the next leg. At the point I gybed I was still not between mark 2 and 3. 
Created: 21-Oct-14 09:15
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
OK, so what they are arguing is that mark room has been given and therefore, in accordance with rule 18.1 last sentence, which states:

Rule 18 no longer applies between boats when mark-room has been given.

There are no current cases about the meaning of ‘mark-room has been given’.

Whether consciously or not, in referring to ‘passed the mark’ your competitor is reflecting rule 18 as it was before the 2009 rewrite introduced the 3 hull length zone.  In the pre 2009 RRS, it was provided that rule 18

applies when boats are about to round or pass a mark …until they have passed it

That language, of course no longer appears in the rules.  Even so, Cases and Appeals of 2005 (Case 25, Case 62, US Appeal 89, and RYA Appeal 1990/04) consistently showed that while a boat has the mark on her beam, and not astern of her, she has not yet passed the mark.  So even under the old rules you had not ‘passed’ the mark.

More to the point, whether you have ‘passed the mark’ is not the test.

Further, when your competitor talked about whether you were required by the course to gybe, which refers to Definition:  mark-room subparagraph 2, 'as necessary to sail the course' , that is not the whole test.

It is also necessary to consider Definition:  mark-room subparagraph 1, concerning room to sail to the mark.

Lets look at the definition of mark-room in full, which, relevantly, is

Room for a boat to leave a mark on the required side. Also,

1.    room to sail to the mark when her proper course is to sail close to it, and
2.    room to round or pass the mark as necessary to sail the course without touching the mark.  

So

1.    had you been given room to leave the mark on the required side?:  YES
2.    Was your proper course to sail close to the mark?  YES, Then, had you been given room to sail to the mark?  NO
3.    Had you been given room to round … the mark as necessary to sail the course?  YES.

So the clincher is that your proper course (and it’s your proper course) was to gybe and sail close to the mark and you had not yet done that, and B did not give you room to do that.

Created: 21-Oct-14 20:58
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
So I think the upshot is:
  • Both boats broke 14 but are exonerated by 43.1(c) (Blue as ROW, Yellow sailing within her mark-room). Unless we think Yellow could not have avoided contact in which case only Blue broke 14 but is still exonerated
  • Yellow broke 10 but is exonerated by 43.1(b)
  • Blue broke 18.2(b)
Created: 21-Oct-14 21:44
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
I don'  agree that Y broke rule 14.

When one boat is changing course to pass astern of another in order to comply with an obligation, and is aiming towards the after part of the other boat, there's nothing much the other boat can do to avoid contact.

The room or mark  room situation is not the same as a simple right of way situation, where the give way boat could always have avoided contact by keeping clear in the first place. 
Created: 21-Oct-14 22:25
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
John, I agree with that assessment.
Created: 21-Oct-14 22:48
Tom Morris
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
0
thanks all for your time responding
Created: 21-Oct-15 12:27
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