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18-3 Interpretation

Nov 8, 2010
10,744
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
This wrinkle is the basis for the defence in this case with the boat who came in on port claiming the starboard boat had turned down to cut them off and on close hauled would have given them room. Very tough call and I was there!
Nothing illegal about that. Turn your bow at someone to force an issue. If you are over-stood, you can ‘spend’ the extra height and turn down to the lay line at any time.
 
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Nov 8, 2010
10,744
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
1) Was B under any obligation to sail higher before the zone to create mark room for A.

2) Assuming the answer is no because the rule only applies inside the zone,

3) how would B decide what to do as they approach the mark unsure if there is room and or if there is room for B to sail higher?
Just to round out definitive answers to these:

1) No, never. As ROW boat (RSS 10) they can sail anywhere they want with respect to the port tacker as long as they give them room to keep clear (RSS 16).

2) No again, because RSS 18 only applies at the windward mark to boats on the same tack (RSS 18(a)). So RSS 10 again

3) No again

The REAL question is what should a port boat when approaching the windward mark?

Well first off, never plan to approach the windward mark inside the 3-boat length zone UNLESS you will be clear to tack and not interfere with the progress of a starboard boat. If you end up on port in the zone, if you cannot cleanly tack you MUST be able to drive through and tack to windward, where you will owe every boat near you mark room.

If you tack onto starboard BELOW the 3-BL zone, you at least have options. If there is room, you can tack right on a boats line, as long as you finish your tack (RRS13). Now you are clear ahead (RSS12) and have ROW. If there is not room to tack there, you will have two options:

1) Risky - tack to leeward of the line of boats, if you think they are slightly overstood, or are praying for a lift or enough momentum to carry you to the mark as inside boat (RRS18)
2) Safe - Take a transom through a small gap and tack to windward, and round outside the inner train of boats.

Sometimes there is no option but to duck an entire line of boats, and give up 10 places.

Also note, saying 'screw it' and diving in at the mark, fouling a boat and then thinking about doing your penalty turns to avoid the ten place drop is violation of (RRS44.1(b)) and your penalty is to retire.
 
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Nov 8, 2010
10,744
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
1) Risky - tack to leeward of the line of boats, if you think they are slightly overstood, or are praying for a lift or enough momentum to carry you to the mark as inside boat (RRS18)
One more point about this point and also about coming down to the layline.

Even if they are solidly ON the layline, good racers will often come down a little more before the zone if there are port tackers approaching. Why? Because they want to discourage this behavior. Most skippers are good gauges of their boat's momentum and know when they will have a good chance of 'shooting' the mark; being below it but turning up (as ROW) and luffing just before it, allowing the boat momentum to carry you up and over. You never want to be windward to the dude trying that.

A port boat who tacks in the zone loses that right.
 
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Nov 8, 2010
10,744
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
One more point about this point and also about coming down to the layline.

Even if they are solidly ON the layline, good racers will often come down a little more before the zone if there are port tackers approaching. Why? Because they want to discourage this behavior. Most skippers are good gauges of their boat's momentum and know when they will have a good chance of 'shooting' the mark; being below it but turning up (as ROW) and luffing just before it, allowing the boat momentum to carry you up and over. You never want to be windward to the dude trying that.
My point in video. Someone tries to get lucky and loses. Watch the chaos.

 
Jan 13, 2009
271
J Boat 92 78 Sandusky
As a point of order it is the 3 boat length circle in the latest rules.. That's 3 boat lengths of the longest boat of the 2. In my fleet that can be 123 ft if I'm rounding with the 41 footer.
 
May 17, 2004
2,104
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
That's 3 boat lengths of the longest boat of the 2
Not quite. It's 3x the length of the boat that's nearer to the mark. If a 20 footer and 40 footer are approaching a mark the zone could be either 60' or 120' depending on who's closer to the mark.
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,744
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Not quite. It's 3x the length of the boat that's nearer to the mark. If a 20 footer and 40 footer are approaching a mark the zone could be either 60' or 120' depending on who's closer to the mark.
Correct. And while the Racing rules now say three lengths, SIs are allowed to change it to back to two, or in fact to anything they want.
 
Jan 13, 2009
271
J Boat 92 78 Sandusky
I stand corrected. Although the 3 boat circle can be modified I have never seen that happen in handicap racing.