Windward barging

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Windward barging

Postby Liv Leigh » Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:32 am

It's an old subject by now, but one typical for sailing in SL. Yesterday's SailOn showed again what generally happens if you pick the leeward spot in a fleet:
Skippers try to force in from windward and they won't luff up if you call them. Windshadowing has added an additional advantage to this kind of behaviour, as the boat coming in from windward will also shadow the leeward boat.

I found that, when practicing on the Balboa circle course yesterday for a bit, a number of skippers is not even aware of those rules. And certainly not as how they apply to start.

If you look at yesterday's SailOn protest you see a couple of interesting things. Race 2 is easiest. I came in at about 40 degrees upwind on a port tack here (ACA goes down to 21, to give an idea how low people were sailing on that starboards approach..) with just about everyone windward from that. What will happen is they will simply try push you down and break in from windward positions.

Race 3 is interesting too: Gemma approaching the line early with Seraina to her leeward position. Seraina was pushed down the line, while actually, Gemma was supposed to give ROW to her in this situation, meaning she would subsequently go over early.

Basically I think the problem here is not so much anymore what rules to apply. We've discussed this hundreds of time. But how to enforce rules when racing. And how to educate new sailors on ROW.

As the situation stands now we have groups of more experienced racers who are reluctant to enter some events due to this: they don't see the fun in bumper cars while they want a sailing simulation.

For ACA races this is particularly a pity, as the ACA is as boat very suited for tactical races. If I remember the group I used to sail ACA races in (Cynthia, Julia, M1sha..).. they all more or less quit racing ACA's in SL since the ACA33 became a smash hit and fleets as large as they are now And to be honest: I only entered yesterday's race myself because I had fabricated a protest sail for it. Not because ACA is currently the most enjoyable racing class...
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Postby Metropolis Ohrenstein » Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:17 am

It´s an important topic Liv and well worth to discuss.
I think there are some easy things to do to at least improve the overall understanding of row.
At first, shout a protest and give the rd a chance to act and give penalty. The rd could also be more clear before the start that row are in effect and perhaps even give new sailors a chance to learn 10 min before the start.
There are some difference in when row are applied in races - from the very countdown or 30 secs before start...some claim row at the same time they raise sails and that can be a bit confusing if you are used to have row in effect from 30 sec´s.
I honeslty dont think giving up racing is the right way to implement the use of row...be there, protest and contribute to a broader knowledge.
An effort from all of us who loves sailing to make this work would be a good way to reach a better understanding and make sailing interesting.
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Postby Stuart Choche » Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:23 am

I was aware that this would come back one day :-)

Beside Liv's problems yesterday:

SL sailing misses still a proper definition of rules. i.e. in RL not the race commitee but a jury has to deal with penalty. We don't have a jury in SL racing but we should know who is responsible for penalties and forcing a fleet into a rule system....lol
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Postby Mothgirl Dibou » Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:18 pm

Windward leeward rule always counts when on the same tack overlapping, except when there is an obstacle like a mark to round right?
Marks give off a signal in the new SLSA specs. (jetties, islands etc. do not, this might be a problem)
Boats give off a signal as well.

I can add a simple piece of code that will prevent any boat from steering any direction but windward when 2 boats are on the same tack and you are the windward boat. I could also make some prim red or something indicating that you should give room. We could experiment with this.

Biggest problem i see is that several boats are next to eachother and no one can steer but the most leeward boat. But then, that is how it should be. The boat should compute the room between the boats to prevent blocking the helm when there is still plenty of room.

Any thoughts on this?
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Postby Liv Leigh » Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:04 pm

The thing is.. if you go to race 2.. I was on a straight path to the line and had ROW over the windward boat.
The whole habit in SL has been to barge in from windward, up to 80+ degrees reaches on starboard tacks, ignoring leeward rules.

Unfortunately that includes 80% of the fleet of last night ;) Does that make that they are right?

Games are played by rules. If a majority refuses to follow them, what is the game worth then?
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Postby Heidi Stiglitz » Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:04 pm

I'm trying to think of the successful ACA33 races we've run, and I keep coming up with the same answer. Reduce the number of boats. In the previous Sail On in which we had the 33, we ran it in heats. This worked spectacularly well from my point of view, and also made it feel like a real competition (based on my Fizz Cup experiences.) It was easier to manage, it allowed the race to be more tactical, and it was just plain fun.

We had 14 boats when I counted before the start of this Sail On, and in the three races I participated in before giving up in frustration, 12 of those boats were always trying to cross that startline at the exact same time. That's a recipe for disaster. Boats are leeward, windward, starboard starting, port starting, overlapped, and then you throw in the general chaos of boats bouncing around all over the place because of lag. I tried and couldn't get my alpha to work on my sails, it appeared I wasn't the only one, and the reduced visibility because of that made an already bad situation worse. And of course a number of us had failing HUDs, again lag-induced, which just added to the overall situation. Multiple versions of the boat meant some were suffering windshadowing, some weren't, and they responded to the wind differently.

Throw in people that don't know or understand the rules, those that think they do but probably don't (includes me, I think) or perhaps are overcompetative and don't care about the rules, and I give you this week's Sail On. But of course it's not just Sail On. The Big Boat race at NYC later on that day had much the same problem, compounded by not only different versions of the same boat, but completely different kinds of boats (ACA33 and Larinda being the most prevailant). The Larindas and other boats can't sail anywhere near as close to the wind as the ACA33.

I'm leery of a technical solution for this. The script load is already so high that HUDs are failing regularly, boats aren't responding to commands, time dilation is all over the place, and the visual cues of the boats themselves are not reflecting the actual state of the boat. SYC has a class for beginning sailors every Sunday at noon. When much of the USS has such a focus on racing as we do, why are we not teaching a course on the racing rules as well? From someone that actually understands them?
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Postby Liv Leigh » Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:23 pm

Recent review of race 3 brings us to the conclusion that that start is clean. Gemma could have been luffed up and forced over early at that stage, but that never happened. It may not be a perfect start, but they crossed the line.
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Postby Liv Leigh » Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:52 pm

Apparently this issue is of no importance anymore to the sailing community. So far the nrs. of reactions has been close to 0. The only word coming out was during the SailOn broadcast, a call by MTW calling my course on prestart in race 2 "boneheaded".

Which is rather interesting for someone who advocates sailing simulations in SL and knows very well I very obviously had ROW on this spot, yet was rammed by 4+ boats coming barge in from windward.

I can't imagine what form we would like the game to have now: total bumper cars? We still have rules. At least, we pretend we have them. So what are we going to do about it?
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Postby Heidi Stiglitz » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:12 pm

I don't think that I would call it boneheaded. It was certainly within the rules. The sportsmanship of it could be debated for the next year and a half, but that's going to be a personal opinion and people will never ever agree on that.

It's interesting too. I just now got to watch Sail On, and that start doesn't at all seem to look like what I experienced. It appears I didn't have any overlap with you at all, but the I myself was barged in on by the Alinghi boat which had to steer a course that was very nearly parallel with the start line in order to cross. So there were actually multiple instances of this problem. How much of it could be attributed to boats jumping around, I couldn't say. But it's obvious barging is going on.

There's also a problem with boats not giving room around the marks. Three of us headed up to North Rock all next to each other, with me in the middle. As we got there, I gave the inside boat the room that was his right. The outside boat decided to turn into me with absolutely no regard for my rights. I don't know what she saw on her screen, and in the end it didn't matter anyway, as this was the race I was clicked on three times (as well as being launched backwards by a sim crossing.)

It's gotten bad enough that I'm going to start avoiding races with too many people, and with certain people in them. I know I'm not the greatest skipper out there, and I'm not the quickest in recognizing rights, but I do try to stay out of peoples way, even if I'm the one that has rights. I've gone so far as to take penalty turns even when no protest was called. But with skippers out there that are not only breaking the rules but are flagrantly disregarding them, I'm going to have to get more proactive with shouting protests, something I have only done once before.

On the races that I direct from this point on, I'm going to go over the rules at the start of the race. I'm not going to say rule (insert a bunch of numbers) are actionable, or in effect, or whatever. I'm going to shout out the rule itself. I'm going to ask if everybody understand the rules. And then I'm going to enforce them, even if it means I don't get to race. And yes, if you barge in on the start of one of my races, you're going to be doing a 360 right there. Room will be given to the inside boats around the marks.

That's my stand on it.
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Postby Liv Leigh » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:23 pm

Heidi Stiglitz wrote:The sportsmanship of it could be debated for the next year and a half, but that's going to be a personal opinion and people will never ever agree on that.

sport is a game.. if anyone goes out there on 80+ degree on a starboard path they know what risk they are taking in the game. Refusing to give way if it their choice won't work is just refusing to play the game by the rules.
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Postby Heidi Stiglitz » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:30 pm

As I said, it could be debated for the next year and a half. I don't care to. It was in the rules, and I accept it on that basis.
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Postby Armchair Binder » Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:57 pm

These pictures might help illustrate the situations:


Situation 1
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Situation 2
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Situation 3
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Situation 4
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Last edited by Armchair Binder on Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Armchair Binder » Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:32 pm

Racing Rules of Sailing in Second Life - RRSSL
http://slsailing.org/forum/viewtopic.ph ... ight=rrssl

10. Starboard Rights: Starboard boats have Right-Of-Way over Port Tack Boats
11. Leeward Rights: Leeward boats have Right-of-Way over Windward Boats
13. A boat has no Right-of-Way while tacking
16. When a Right-of-Way boat changes course, it shall give the other boat room to keep clear.
18. When overlapped, inside boats have Right-of-Way at marks, NOT including starting line marks.
19. A boat approaching an obstruction has Right-of-Way to tack or gybe.




Race Guidlines:
1. A Protest must be shouted.
2. A skipper that accepts a protest from another skipper shall acknowledge the acceptance of the foul by sailing clear of other boats and doing a 360 degree circle as soon as reasonably possible. A skipper who does not accept a protest can settle the protest immediately following the race with a protest hearing.
3. AVOIDING CONTACT: A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible.
However, a right-of-way boat or one entitled to room
(a) need not act to avoid contact until it is clear that the other boat is not keeping clear or giving room, and
(b) shall not be penalized under this rule unless there is contact that causes damage or injury.
(c) For purposes of right-of-way rulings, "damage" shall only consist of incidents
which fuse prims, eject crew, lose the race wind, disrupt physics continuity, or impair the functionality of a boat's script sufficiently to require an object reset.
4. Do not edit your boat after raising your sail for a race.
5. Do not touch (i.e. edit) another person's boat.
6. The race director will appoint a committee to hear any unresolved protests at time of the hearing. If a committee is not available to hear the protest then a hearing will be held publicly as soon as possible with results being tentative until such ruling.
7. At the discretion of the race director, attempts to "game" the rules can lead to disqualification. Gaming the rules is loosely defined as using the ruleset to violate the fundamental purpose of the ruleset, which is to create an environment where The purpose of rules are to keep boats sailing competitively and "safely", not provide opportunities to win by other means than excellence in sailing skills.
8. Boats in a race shall raise sail before -1:45 minutes are left on the clock and not moor until after the race is completed. The skipper who activates the clock may be given minor leeway on this rule if he/she has difficulty starting the clock, getting in boat, and raising sail.
9. Good sportsmanship is more highly regarded that the ability to win at any cost. A boat and her owner shall compete in compliance with recognized principles of sportsmanship and fair play. Penalty: potential reprimand by the race committee.



An Explanation of the Rules:
RIGHT-OF-WAY: A boat has right of way when another boat is required to keep clear of it.

10. Starboard boats have Right-Of-Way over Port Tack Boats
ISAF Rule 10: "ON OPPOSITE TACKS: When boats are on opposite tacks, a port-tack boat shall keep clear of a starboard-tack boat."
Starboard boat= Sail hanging over the Port (Left) side of the boat with Wind coming from the Starboard (Right) side of the boat.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTyd1bJsZ4w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fltYaJeChlY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOd1j47eCN0


11. Leeward boats have Right-of-Way over Windward Boats
A boat is Leeward up to head to wind (directly into the wind) at wind=0
ISAF Rule 11: "ON THE SAME TACK, OVERLAPPED-When boats are on the same tack and overlapped, a windward boat shall keep clear of a leeward boat.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ6uJuE2C_M

13. A boat has NO Right-of-Way while tacking
ISAF Rule 13: "WHILE TACKING: After a boat passes head to wind, she shall keep clear of other boats until she is on a close-hauled course. During that time rules 10, 11, and 12 do not apply. If two boats are subject to this rule at the same time, the one on the other’s port side or the one astern shall keep clear."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fltYaJeChlY

16. When a Right-of-Way boat changes course, she shall give the other boat room to keep clear.
If a boat is attempting to give you Right-of-Way, then a Protest may be unnecessary.
ISAF Rule 15 "ACQUIRING RIGHT OF WAY When a boat acquires right of way, she shall initially give the other
boat room to keep clear, unless she acquires right of way because of the other boat’s actions."
ISAF Rule 16.1 "CHANGING COURSE: When a right-of-way boat changes course, she shall give the other boat room to keep clear"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfYBXu_BKow

18. When overlapped, inside boats have Right-of-Way at marks, NOT including starting line marks.
ISAF Rule 18 "ROUNDING AND PASSING MARKS AND OBSTRUCTIONS:
In rule 18, room is room for an inside boat to round or pass between an outside boat and a mark or obstruction, including room to tack or gybe when either is a normal part of the manoeuvre.
18.1 When This Rule Applies
Rule 18 applies when boats are about to round or pass a mark they are required to leave on the same side, or an obstruction on the same side, until they have passed it. However, it does not apply
(a) at a starting mark surrounded by navigable water or at its anchor line from the time the boats are approaching them to start until they have passed them, or
(b) while the boats are on opposite tacks, either on a beat to windward or when the proper course for one of them, but not both, to round or pass the mark or obstruction is to tack.
18.2 Giving Room; Keeping Clear
(a) OVERLAPPED – BASIC RULE
When boats are overlapped the outside boat shall give the inside
boat room to round or pass the mark or obstruction, and if the
inside boat has right of way the outside boat shall also keep clear.
Other parts of rule 18 contain exceptions to this rule.
(b) OVERLAPPED AT THE ZONE
If boats were overlapped before either of them reached the twolength zone and the overlap is broken after one of them has reached it, the boat that was on the outside shall continue to give the other boat room. If the outside boat becomes clear astern or overlapped inside the other boat, she is not entitled to room and shall keep clear.
(c) NOT OVERLAPPED AT THE ZONE
If a boat was clear ahead at the time she reached the two-length
zone, the boat clear astern shall thereafter keep clear. If the boat
clear astern becomes overlapped outside the other boat, she shall
also give the inside boat room. If the boat clear astern becomes
overlapped inside the other boat, she is not entitled to room. If the
boat that was clear ahead passes head to wind, rule 18.2(c) no
longer applies and remains inapplicable.
(d) CHANGING COURSE TO ROUND OR PASS
When after the starting signal rule 18 applies between two boats
and the right-of-way boat is changing course to round or pass a
mark, rule 16 does not apply between her and the other boat.
(e) OVERLAP RIGHTS
If there is reasonable doubt that a boat obtained or broke an
overlap in time, it shall be presumed that she did not. If the outside
boat is unable to give room when an overlap begins, rules
18.2(a) and 18.2(b) do not apply.
18.3 Tacking at a Mark
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.
18.4 Gybing
When an inside overlapped right-of-way boat must gybe at a mark or obstruction to sail her proper course, until she gybes she shall sail no farther from the mark or obstruction than needed to sail that course.
18.5 Passing a Continuing Obstruction
While boats are passing a continuing obstruction, rules 18.2(b) and
18.2(c) do not apply. A boat clear astern that obtains an inside overlap is entitled to room to pass between the other boat and the obstruction only if at the moment the overlap begins there is room to do so. If there is not, she is not entitled to room and shall keep clear."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGAkOEsSTe0

19. A boat approaching an obstruction has Right-of-Way to tack or gybe.
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Postby Heidi Stiglitz » Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:01 pm

I know most of us, and most definitely I am in this group, could also make better use of shouted warnings to others.

It also really stinks being the boat stuck in the middle.
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Postby Liv Leigh » Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:27 pm

As was mentioned by M1sha and others, in this case you would pass on the situation to the boat next to you. 'Being in the middle' means you can protest the boat to your windward in return. If all this would be executed well, it'd leave us with about 5-6 protests to deal with on this one single part of the race.

Which just shows how far we are from 'clean racing' in these events.
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