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2017 Sydney - Hobart

Nov 8, 2010
10,895
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
I'll be watching the start, its one of the biggest spectacles in sailing. Watching the Super Maxis drag race out to the Sydney Heads is a treat.

Hope WOXI makes it to the line. Latest word is YES. Will be funny to see Comanche racing with a Aussie sail number and no Kenny Read on board. Blackjack is the wild card for line honors.

The race looks like a fast reach. The weather router apps are saying it favors either the Fast 50s (IRC 2) or boats like the First 40 (IRC 3) for corrected depending on how the breeze holds.
 
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Nov 8, 2010
10,895
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
HUGE drama in the Sydney-Hobart with Wild Oats 11 winning line honors in a last minute pass of Comanche, but LOSING a protest and penalized an hour, costing them the LH. What a HUGE mistake not doing their turns in such an obvious foul at the start. It would have taken then 2 minutes max. But they carried the specter of a penalty for the entire race, and got bit. Stupid. Foul sequence starts at 44h00s

 
Sep 15, 2016
480
Catalina 22 Minnesota
Ok so help me understand. I get that the starboard boat had the right of way but what is the distance required for wild oats to make the move? I get that they fouled as the 2 boats almost hit but what I don't understand is what rule did they violate. I thought the only rule for giving distance of a boat length was when rounding a mark. If Wild Oats had just maintained course and crossed in front of Comanche would they have been ok or were they forced to tack and then just tacked too late.

Certainly taking the penalty circle would have been faster than loosing the hour.
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,895
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
At 44:18 Comanche completes a tack onto STARBOARD and now has rights on any PORT boat (RRS 10,15)
At 44:26 It looks like WOXI on PORT will safely cross over Comanche as they intended
At 44:47 Comanche gets lifted and now the cross is in serious doubt
At 44:56 Its clear that WOXI cannot cross, and preps to crash tack onto starboard to gain rights (RSS 11 or 12)
At 45:02 WOXI starts to tack and during the tack has no rights (RSS 13)
At 45:08 Comanche has to luff up to reasonably avoid contact (RSS 14) during WOXI's tack and protests.

WOXI violates RSS 13

RRS
10 - Boats on opposite tacks; port keeps clear of starboard
11 - Boats on same tack, overlapped, windward keeps clear of leeward
12 - Boats on same tack, no overlapped, boat clear astern keeps clear
13 - While tacking, a boat shall keep clear of other boats.
14 - A boat shall avoid contact if reasonably possible
15 - When acquiring right of way, a boat shall give other boats room to stay clear.
 
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Nov 8, 2010
10,895
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Ok so help me understand. I get that the starboard boat had the right of way but what is the distance required for wild oats to make the move? I get that they fouled as the 2 boats almost hit but what I don't understand is what rule did they violate. I thought the only rule for giving distance of a boat length was when rounding a mark.
To answer narratively:

On, port, WOXI had to pass over (cross) Comanche without Comanche thinking she had to maneuver against her will to avoid contact. This is pure RRS 10. They thought this was the case but 44:47 it was clear that they could not, and had to avoid. It was too late to duck under, so the only two options were to: cross anyway and have Comanche turn aft to avoid, a clear penalty, or crash tack and hope you finish the tack before Comanche has to avoid.

They chose the latter. It is very risky. You have to:
Bring your boat to close hauled (RRS 13), AND
Leave them enough room to stay clear only after you gain rights (RRS 15)

Don't do both and its a penalty.

I had a boat (another First 36.7) try this to Kestrel in a distance race. Too tight and we protested. He was pissed but did his turns.
 
Sep 15, 2016
480
Catalina 22 Minnesota
Thank you that helps a lot. Im always learning and the whole racing rules is somewhat new to me.
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,895
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Thank you that helps a lot. Im always learning and the whole racing rules is somewhat new to me.
No problem at all.

While the Current Racing Rules of Sailing (+ USA Prescriptions) is 178 pages long, the key section of:

Part 2: When Boats Meet: is only THREE PAGES, mostly white space. Its those 6 rules, plus RRS 18-Mark room (another 3 pages). Learn and know how to apply those 6 and you will be in rare company. I see people on the race course all the time that don't know them solidly. It makes them slow and dangerous.
 
Jan 1, 2006
4,744
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
In downunder-eze Waldo = Wild Oats?
Look at that again. I think WOXI had the crossing if they had just kept going. 45:01
At 45:47. Is Comanche that much bigger than WOXI? Or is that an illusion?
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,895
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Look at that again. I think WOXI had the crossing if they had just kept going. 45:01
At 45:47. Is Comanche that much bigger than WOXI? Or is that an illusion?
Re the cross, MAYBE. I don't think she could have crossed. They didn't think so either. Its a wicked hard call on starboard in a 100 foot boat. Once they disappear under your bow you kinda have to act.

No illusion. Comanche has TWICE the beam of WOXI.
 
Jan 1, 2006
4,744
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Yeah, of course. I would s**t my pants driving either boat in a close crossing. And I have no idea what it's like to drive a 100' Maxi. I would not want to crash it ending a major race.
 
May 17, 2004
2,516
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
I don't think it's the case, but for discussion's sake - is it possible that Comanche was turning down just as WOXI's started their tack, possibly to avoid a collision? If turning down prevented WOXI from having room to keep clear through the tack, who's at fault?

Also, I was impressed by Spithill's cool character to quickly refocus on running the boat and calling for layline info rather than remaining engaged in the shouting match.
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,895
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
I don't think it's the case, but for discussion's sake - is it possible that Comanche was turning down just as WOXI's started their tack, possibly to avoid a collision? If turning down prevented WOXI from having room to keep clear through the tack, who's at fault?
Remember that starboard is the RIGHT OF WAY boat, it can go pretty much anywhere it wants. The rules allow for 'hunting', only with the stipulation of RRS 16.

RRS 16 : When a ROW boat changes course, it shall give the other boat room to keep clear.

Once boats are so close that the ROW changes course in an attempt to avoid contact, the keep clear boat is in real trouble.

With enough room between boats, there is nothing like pointing your ROW bow at another boat to make him make up his mind NOW.
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,895
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Also, I was impressed by Spithill's cool character to quickly refocus on running the boat and calling for layline info rather than remaining engaged in the shouting match.
Yea. Jimmy did not want to sit in WOXI's gas, so he wanted to know if he could tack them and clear the head.
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,895
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
I've never lost a protest, knowing the rules (and being able to make a good case) help. Here is the international jury's verdict... it looks a lot like mine.

ROLEX SYDNEY HOBART YACHT RACE 2017

Protest: Maxi 12358 "LDV Comanche" represented by James Spithill vs.

Maxi 10001 "Wild Oats XI" represented by Mark Richards Protest is valid.



Witnesses:

James Cooney (LDV Comanche, crew) video.

Ian Burns (Wild Oats XI) video

Jim Cooney (LDV Comanche, owner)

Stan Honey (LDV Comanche, crew - navigator) navigation data.

Ian Murray (Wild Oats XI, crew - tactitian)



FACTS FOUND:

Both boats were on a beat to windward between Mark V and Mark Z, in light wind and a confused sea state.

LDV Comanche tacked onto starboard and was on starboard for approximately 45 seconds. Wild Oats XI was on port on a collision course.

Both boats were doing approximately 9 knots of boat speed.

LDV Comanche did not make any discernible change of course while on starboard.

When the boats were approximately 2 boat lengths apart, Wild Oats XI started to tack onto starboard.

LDV Comanche luffed to avoid a collision before Wild Oats XI completed her tack.

There was no contact.

Neither boat took a two turn penalty.



CONCLUSIONS AND RULES THAT APPLY:

Wild Oats XI on port had to keep clear of LDV Comanche, RRS 10.

Wild Oats XI failed to keep clear while tacking, RRS 13.

LDV Comanche luffed to avoid a collision as required by RRS 14.

Wild Oats XI did not comply with SI 20.1 (a) to do a two turn penalty for breaking a rule of Part 2 occurring prior to clearing Mark Z.



DECISION:

Wild Oats XI is, in lieu of a disqualification, penalised a time penalty of 1 hour to be added to her elapsed time in accordance to SI 20.1(b) and 22.1

International Jury:

John Rountree (Chairman IJ NZL), Erica Kirby (NJ AUS), Jonathon Rees (NJ AUS), Peter Scheuerl (IJ GER), Jamie Sutherland (IJ NZL)



Signed:

John Rountree – Chairman
 
Aug 2, 2010
379
J-Boat J/88 Cobourg
I agree with the interpretation and with Jackdaw's suggestion that doing the turns was the smartest thing to do!
Reading the rules above reminded me of a question I have always had; why does the windward boat have to remain clear? I get the element of them generally messing with the leeward boat's air, but it always seemed to me that in close quarters the leeward boat has a far easier time bearing away from the potential collision.
I generally find most rules have a foundation in good logic and that always make them easier to remember for me but this one has always caused me to pause.
Dan
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,895
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
I agree with the interpretation and with Jackdaw's suggestion that doing the turns was the smartest thing to do!
Reading the rules above reminded me of a question I have always had; why does the windward boat have to remain clear? I get the element of them generally messing with the leeward boat's air, but it always seemed to me that in close quarters the leeward boat has a far easier time bearing away from the potential collision.
I generally find most rules have a foundation in good logic and that always make them easier to remember for me but this one has always caused me to pause.
Dan
The rule limits the ROW boats ability to 'mess' with the other boat. The leeward boat can only turn up on a windward boat so much before it luffs and loses way. If the rule were reversed, you could down DOWN (and down and down) on a boat that was going to pass you, a very messy affair.

RRS 17 also plays here, protecting boats that get passed (or at least overlapped) to leeward

As for avoiding collision, luffing (turning up) is always faster and easier then bearing off. Luffing slows the boat and can be done be driver alone. Bearing off speeds up the boat, and often cannot be done by driver alone. All the boats I sail cannot bear off unless the main is hugely eased.

And a bear-off collision is normally a tee-bone, which is a boat breaker. A luff results in a 'kiss', which normally is a scuff.

------
RRS 17: On the same tack, proper course - If a boat clear astern becomes overlapped within two of her hull lengths to leeward of a boat on the same tack, she shall not sail above her proper course while they remain on the same tack and overlapped within that distance, unless in doing so she promptly sails astern of the other boat.
 
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May 17, 2004
2,516
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
If the rule were reversed, you could down DOWN (and down and down) on a boat that was going to pass you, a very messy affair.
Makes sense upwind, but on a run the leeward boat can luff anyone trying to pass to windward. Also pretty messy with spinnakers flogging.

I had assumed the rule was written so that when running the windward boat couldn't force leeward into a dangerous potential jibe. Probably an incorrect assumption on my part though.
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,895
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Makes sense upwind, but on a run the leeward boat can luff anyone trying to pass to windward. Also pretty messy with spinnakers flogging.

I had assumed the rule was written so that when running the windward boat couldn't force leeward into a dangerous potential jibe. Probably an incorrect assumption on my part though.
Downwind is different because boats can sail as deep as they want. Also remember that windward-leeward rules only apply on same tack. Once you gybe it becomes a Port-Starboard. In racing boats get forced to gybe all of the time. We often gybe 8 times on a downwind run; 4 because we wanted to, 4 because we HAD to. ;^)