Gemma and Gaietan grapple over Green

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Gemma and Gaietan grapple over Green

Postby Jane Fossett » Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:49 pm

This morning's SLCN SAIL ON Race at SYC featured a great fleet of ACA33 racers.
The third heat matched six skippers against each other, and it lead to a minor traffic jam at the Green Top Mark.
Gemma ended up slamming into the buoy!
She stopped dead in the water and needed to take a deep breath before she could get going again.

There was no outstanding protest over the event, but I thought it was interesting enough to post some pictures of what happened and get people's views.

If you look at the sequence below, Gemma and Chad are approaching the mark on Starboard tacks. So is Heidi, although her boat is out of view in the first picture.
Gaietan and Armchair are on Port tacks in "A."

In B, Gaietan begins to tack around the mark. Chad has plenty of room to get past, but Gemma's about to have an 'awkward moment.'

In C, Gemma tries to cut inside Gaietan (that's also Heidi on Geaitan's tail in the picture). Gaietan is in the middle of tacking around the Green mark, however. and hasn't set sails for the reach leg yet. Gemma dispassionately assesses the situation... and calls for "Room!"

In D, Gaietan's still only half way around the Green Mark, but now Gemma's totally out of room and she hits the mark dead on, fusing with the buoy. With understandible exasperation, she then called a Protest!

Gemma withdrew the protest at the end of the race, so there's nothing to be decided. Gaietan gallantly agreed that Gemma shouted she had "No Room," and he further stated that, although he was in the lead, Gemma was overlapped with him as he entered the two-boatlength zone.

The good-natured discussion of rules issues and the 'mini-controversy' between Gaietan and Gemma added a welcome extra dimension to the excitement of today's SYC Regatta!

So... since nothing ever got decided... Take a look below, and maybe review the SAIL ON video when it's posted.
Who has the Right of Way here, and what's the Rule?
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Postby M1sha Dallin » Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:35 pm

My opinion - The distance from the mark at which Gaietan tacked is not clear. But assuming it was inside two boat lengths from the mark then Gaietan is at fault - Rule 18.3. If the tack was outside two boat lengths but Gemma established an inside overlap before Gaietan entered the two length zone then Gaietan is at fault again - Rule 18.2 (b). Only if Gaietan was clear ahead on entering the two boat length zone would he have rights - Rule 18.2 (c).
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Postby Alain Gloster » Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:00 pm

I'm not so sure I agree with M1sha on this one (which means I'm probably wrong)...but...
If the pictures are to scale then in A Gaitain looks to be inside the two boat radius while Gemma is just hitting it.
Also, to me Gemmas actually the outside boat in this arrangement as Gaitans "In side" (don't know the correct term, the side of the boat thats supposed to face the mark during a turn) is closer to the mark than Gemmas.
That said, if you just look at C, after Gaitain had completed his gybe and Gemma called for room he kept on going, so that might be an application of 18.2 (A) although by str1ct defination, Gemma looks to be clear ahead on entering the zone (so 18.2 (c) applies)

Also...out of curiosity...does 18.1 (b) apply?
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Postby Gemma Vuckovic » Sun Sep 14, 2008 6:01 pm

For the record, at the time I felt I was totally in the right and protested mainly because I felt that my winning chance had gone - yet again. (I wont go back to last weeks fiasco, lol)

I withdrew my protest because I hate bad feelings and I am sure some will say I should have stuck to my guns. Well done to Gaietan for your honesty, that means more than winning to me. - what was done was done - and I will forget it. (just off to kick the cat !)

Love you all,
Gemma
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Postby Heidi Stiglitz » Sun Sep 14, 2008 6:12 pm

To be honest, I thought it was more around pic "A" when Gemma called for Room. I had no visual on Gaietan at all at that point (he was still far off to port), and I thought she was yelling it at me.
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Postby Alain Gloster » Sun Sep 14, 2008 8:49 pm

Gemma Vuckovic wrote:For the record, at the time I felt I was totally in the right and protested mainly because I felt that my winning chance had gone - yet again. (I wont go back to last weeks fiasco, lol)

I withdrew my protest because I hate bad feelings and I am sure some will say I should have stuck to my guns. Well done to Gaietan for your honesty, that means more than winning to me. - what was done was done - and I will forget it. (just off to kick the cat !)

Love you all,
Gemma
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Hey i would have done exactly the same thing as you Gemma, I'm actually amazed (yet again) that you managed your approach so well that Gaitan did manage to get onto the other tack - my feeling is that if you'd touched him while he was still on the opposite tack it would have been different.
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Postby M1sha Dallin » Sun Sep 14, 2008 11:14 pm

Still my opinion :)

Alain Wrote:
Also...out of curiosity...does 18.1 (b) apply?


Only until Gaietan made the tack. Rule 10 applies until the tack. A previous version of the sailing rules did not have the 18.1(b) exception - it was quite possible to approach a buoy on Port and claim an overlap. Not sure when this changed but it is prohibited in the 2005-2008 rules.

in A Gaitain looks to be inside the two boat radius while Gemma is just hitting it. Also, to me Gemmas actually the outside boat in this arrangement as Gaitans "In side"


Rule 18.3 states:

If two boats were approaching a mark on opposite tacks and one of them completes a tack in the two-length zone when the other is fetching the mark, rule 18.2 does not apply. The boat that tacked

(a) shall not cause the other boat to sail above close-hauled to avoid her or prevent the other boat from passing the mark, and
(b) shall give room if the other boat becomes overlapped inside her, in which case rule 15 does not apply.

The position of Gemma at the time of the tack is not relevant if the tack was inside 2 boat lengths. Gemma did become overlapped inside Gaietan and therefore he should have left room. Rule 15 relates to giving room to keep clear when acquring RoW (would apply to Gemma) but is specifically excluded by 18.3 (b). It probbaly wouldn't have applied anyway because Gemma acquired RoW through Gaietan's actions.
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Postby Alain Gloster » Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:02 am

Thanks M1sha
Told you I was probaby wrong :)
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18.3, anyone?

Postby Jane Fossett » Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:47 pm

I pondered this problem for a while and watched it on SAIL ON.
As M1sha points out, a number of Rules can apply here.
I think probably the best is:
18.3 Tacking When Approaching a Mark
If two boats were approaching a mark on opposite tacks and one of them changes tack,
and as a result is subject to rule 13 in the zone when the other is fetching the mark,
rule 18.2 does not thereafter apply. The boat that changed tack...
(b) shall give mark-room if the other boat becomes overlapped inside her.

Gaietan approached the mark on a Port tack, and in the process he successfully passed in front of Gemma's bow. However, Gaietan then needed to tack back to go around the green mark and begin the next leg of the race.
While attempting that tack, and after going head to wind, Gaietan ran straight in Gemma's path.
Gemma was caught inside and she was forced to turn in to the Green buoy to avoid a collision.
Gemma had Right of Way!
I think that's consistent with the above opinions!
Good case!
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Postby Bea Woodget » Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:41 pm

Gemma Vuckovic wrote:I withdrew my protest because I hate bad feelings and I am sure some will say I should have stuck to my guns. Well done to Gaietan for your honesty, that means more than winning to me. - what was done was done - and I will forget it. (just off to kick the cat !)


Bravo Gemma and Gaetan and Thanks to all for explanations about rules, always interesting.
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Postby M1sha Dallin » Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:17 pm

...is subject to rule 13 in the zone when the other is...

That phrasing of the rules is from the 2009-2012 rule set. It was changed from the 2005-2008 two-length zone because the zone will become 3 boat lengths by default for fleet racing. It can be changed to 2 or 4 lengths by the sailing instructions.

There are a number of small differences in the 2009-2012 rules from those of 2005-2008. I'm hoping someone will write a quick explanation. Be careful to access the correct rules from the ISAF site, the new one's come into force on 1st January 2009.
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