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Rules question: what if you touch a bridge that is a mark on a course?

Discussion in 'Racing' started by Jackdaw, Jun 11, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,664 posts, 2,037 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    The race SIs list the bridge as a mark on the course. If you touch it do you spin? Why? Why not?

    pic89064.jpg
     


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  2. JRacer

    JRacer

    Joined Aug 9, 2011
    680 posts, 161 likes
    Beneteau 310
    US Cheney KS (Wichita)
    Rule 31 – “While racing, a boat shall not touch . . . a mark that begins, bounds, or ends the leg of the course on which she is sailing . . . “

    Yes, you spin. Unless, of course, you are in MN and touch it with the top of your mast, then you break off the stick, write a check and make a donation in next weeks collection plate.

    However, said bridge also meets the definition of an "obstruction" and if the boat/crew touching it was put in that position by another competitor failing to give him room to avoid the obstruction, then he would have an argument for being exonerated from having to take a penalty for touching the obstruction.

    All I can give you off the top without digging out a rule book!
     


    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
    JimInPB likes this.
  3. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,664 posts, 2,037 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Does the RRS defining of ‘mark’ factor into this?
     


  4. JRacer

    JRacer

    Joined Aug 9, 2011
    680 posts, 161 likes
    Beneteau 310
    US Cheney KS (Wichita)
    You made me dig out the book! Rule 19 is what I referred to above re: giving room at an obstruction. But, when an obstruction is also a mark to be left on a required side, RULE 19 does not apply. In the original post, it is not clear that another competitor was in play. So, given that is correct, my original statement that touching the mark requires turns would be correct, I believe.
     


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  5. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,664 posts, 2,037 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Here is the SI in question:
    F5E01AF9-62DD-4B40-A034-9E7659B07B5B.thumb.png.d100a601b3e0b49b0618334cf6da7bb0.png
     


  6. JimInPB

    JimInPB

    Joined Aug 22, 2017
    783 posts, 221 likes
    Hunter 212 & 170
    us West Palm Beach
    I agree that turns are required.

    I am not sure that the bridge is an obstruction in this case. It would seem that it most certainly is a mark. A mark offset buoy is a case where something is both a mark of the course & an obstruction to the course. I have seen that example run up the flagpole more than once, with some very different opinions given by various well-experienced race officers who were at or above the RRO level.

    Edit:
    Scratch that. The bridge piling is probably also an obstruction. I just read the RRS definition. There is some ambiguity about how much of a deviation constitutes "substantial", but I am going to judge this as fitting the definition of an obstruction in my opinion.
     


    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
    danstanford likes this.
  7. weinie

    weinie

    Joined Sep 6, 2010
    1,147 posts, 178 likes
    Jeanneau 349
    US port washington, ny
    not a mark:
    Mark An object the sailing instructions require a boat to leave on a specified side, and a race committee vessel surrounded by navigable water from which the starting or finishing line extends. An anchor line or an object attached accidentally to a mark is not part of it.
     


  8. Rick486

    Rick486

    Joined Oct 1, 2007
    918 posts, 142 likes
    Hunter 44DS
    US Pt. Judith
    Good one.
    I don't see why this bridge is different from any other "government mark".
    Were it me, I'd do the turns or I'd bet I'd see red flags going up.
    We used to have a rule similar to this on the Newport Bridge. Rule said you must pass through one of the 3 center spans, or out you go.
     


  9. Davidasailor26

    Davidasailor26

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,116 posts, 175 likes
    Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE
    US Havre de Grace
    The SI's describe the bridge as a "mark or passage", not exclusively as a mark. It seems like the bridge doesn't meet the criteria of something that must be left "on the specified side", so I'd say it's a passage, not a mark. I don't see other boats in the picture so I assume rules about obstructions don't apply. Pushing off the bridge could be considered propulsion, but rule 42.3(h) allows pushing off an object to get clear after colliding. I vote no violations.
     


  10. Kermit

    Kermit

    Joined Jul 31, 2010
    4,505 posts, 1,652 likes
    Hunter 260
    US Lake Murray Sailing Club, SC
    If my boat “touched” the bridge I’d be calling BoatUS for a tow and then an insurance claim.
     


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  11. JRacer

    JRacer

    Joined Aug 9, 2011
    680 posts, 161 likes
    Beneteau 310
    US Cheney KS (Wichita)
    With those sailing instructions, the bridge is not a Mark because it does not have a "required side" (footnote b). So, we go back to it being an obstruction. No rule about touching an obstruction except perhaps the earlier argument about propulsion. So, assuming that the propulsion argument is not an issue, I say no turns required.
     


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  12. pateco

    pateco

    Joined Aug 12, 2014
    1,941 posts, 490 likes
    Hunter 31 (1983)
    US Pompano Beach FL
    Agreed
     


  13. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,664 posts, 2,037 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    First, no protest was lodged so no way to know what the local PC would have thought of this.

    But I'm in the 'no spin' camp. The RRS define a 'mark', and clearly a bridge cannot be one, at least not technically. The SIs call the list 'marks of the course', but then confusingly list the 5 as 'marks or passage'. So if it cannot technically be a mark, it must be a passage. Therefore my logic says that unless you bust some other rule (like propulsion) you are probably OK on RSS31. RRS42.3(h) is worded funny. It allows you to get clear by pushing off, but only after a colliding. Net-net, bet the OC cleans that rule up for next year.
     


  14. JimInPB

    JimInPB

    Joined Aug 22, 2017
    783 posts, 221 likes
    Hunter 212 & 170
    us West Palm Beach
    To take this one step further back, the writer of the SIs might want to review the issue & consider more concise wording for the next time around.
     


  15. Jake N Eggs

    Jake N Eggs

    Joined Jun 2, 2011
    270 posts, 16 likes
    Hunter H33
    Ca Port Credit Harbour, ON.
    I'm not a racer so I will leave the technical arguments to others but judging from the amount of concrete missing from the corner, that bridge has jumped out in front of a few people. Must be a difficult mark. :)
     


  16. Davidasailor26

    Davidasailor26

    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,116 posts, 175 likes
    Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE
    US Havre de Grace
    I agree, very funny wording. Although re-reading the basic rule of propulsion in 42.1, it says: "Except when permitted in rule 42.3 or 45, a boat shall compete by using only the wind and water to increase, maintain or decrease her speed. Her crew may adjust the trim of sails and hull, and perform other acts of seamanship, but shall not otherwise move their bodiest to propel the boat."

    Maybe pushing off to avoid collision is a "basic act of seamanship" and permitted, even though it's not using wind or water, or an adjustment to trim of sails and hull? If not, I need to actually trade paint with the bridge (or windward boat that's turning into me, or whatever), before I get exonerated, which doesn't seem practical.
     


  17. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,664 posts, 2,037 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Video of the race. A real thrill-ride.

     


  18. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,664 posts, 2,037 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Here's another racing question. The race is run under PHRF rules. Look at the first pic. What other rule might be be in violation of??
     


  19. Calif. Ted

    Calif. Ted

    Joined Jun 8, 2004
    2,091 posts, 125 likes
    Catalina 320
    US Dana Point
    Are you allowed to "push off" a mark ? Like Kermit, around here if you "touch" a bridge it might result in an autopsy.
     


  20. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,664 posts, 2,037 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    This is the funny wording of the rule I mentioned earlier. It says YES you can, but (reading critically) only AFTER you have collided into it.

    RRS42.3(h)
    To get clear after grounding or colliding with a vessel or object, a boat may use force applied by her crew or the crew of the other vessel and any equipment other than a propulsion engine
     



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