Racing rules question

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Racing rules question

Postby Mat Warf » Sat Dec 23, 2006 1:03 pm

Okay, me and Myrrh were heading up to the windward mark. We were both on starboard tack, and quite close together. I was ahead and "clear", with Myrrh on my starboard quarter, maybe a boat length between us or so.

To get to the mark, we would have had to tack twice, onto port to get room, and back to starboard to pass windwards and anticlockwise around the mark.

The problem is this... I needed to tack urgently, but couldn't safely do it until Myrrh did first, because I'll lose way and she will run up my transom.

In the end I tacked and we ran up against each other... oops.

So, what, according to the standard rules, would have been the best way to resolve this?

According to rule 12, Myrrh was "clear behind" and has to give way... also I've heard of "tacking duels" where one boat blocks another by tacking infront of it. Problem is, going at SL sailing speeds, the rear boat can't react fast enough.

16.1 says I have to give room for the other boat to keep clear when changing course... what would be the best way to do that?

19.1 says I can hail for room if there is an actual obstruction... but there wasn't.

http://www.sailing.org/RRS2005/Intro1-7.pdf

edit: EXCELLENT race, btw, amazingly good fun :)
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Postby Myrrh Massiel » Sat Dec 23, 2006 8:24 pm

There are a few ways we could have handled that differently, depending upon how the situation played out. The first rule of thumb, as Pixeleen or Mark or any other experienced racer would tell us, is to hail for room when we need it.

It's definitely tricky to do while sailing a close race, but that's where hail gestures come into play - I keep four standard hails programmed which cover 95% of the right-of-way situations I encounter with a single keypress. In your position, I would have hit shift-F9, which says in open chat 'KEEP CLEAR! You're windward!' and simultaneously fires the same message to a Tako's shout repeater via the /1 channel SH command.

I hadn't realised the urgency of your need to tack, but I attempted to match as soon as I recognised your intentions, and would have gladly done so earlier. That's basic sportsmanship on my part, before ROW even comes into play.

But let's analyse the situation from a ROW perspective. Firstly, as long as you were clear ahead and hadn't tacked, it was my responsibility to avoid running up your transom, per Rule 12, hence my efforts to tack in kind as soon as I saw you head up into my proper course.

As close as we were, however, the situation changed slightly as we began heading more upwind. Because you had the initiative on that tack, your boat slowed down slightly sooner, bringing us closer together and into an overlap condition as we both headed upwind in tandem. At that point, Rule 12 no longer applied, as you were no longer clear ahead, but Rule 11 kicked in instead. As the windward boat, it was still my responsibility to keep clear keep clear of your leeward position on our same-tack overlap, as we both continued to head upwind on our parallel tacking maneuvers.

Once your head passed to wind, however, everything changed. At that point, Rule 13 went into effect, and you lost all rights until you could again aquire a close-hauled course, in this case on the opposite side of the wind, a port tack. This is especially applicable while racing Muses, because the newest development models can snap-tack so incredibly fast - basically it means that if you're going to tack across the wind, it's your responsibility to ensure that you can do so clear of all oncoming boats.

This is the point at which our collision occured: you'd passed head to wind and were in the process of aquiring a close-hauled port tack; I was still on a very close-hauled starboard tack. We both worked our way clear and kept sailing, no protests called, no harm done (especially since we were both waaaaay at the back of the fleet!), but in this particular instance I had right-of-way per Rule 13.

Let's look at other ways it could have proceeded. Had I slightly faster reflexes when I recongised your attempt to tack, I might have managed to also pass head-to-wind before our collision occured. In that case, we'd both have been subject to Rule 13, with no rights until we again aquired close-hauled courses. In that case, our collision would be resolved per the second clause in Rule 13: if two boats are subject to its loss of rights at the same time, the one on the other's port side or the one astern shall keep clear. As we were fully broadside overlapped at the time of our collision, as the port-side boat, again, it would have been your responsibility to keep clear.

There's another way it could have played out, too, had my reflexes been slightly slower. You could have completed aquiring your close-hauled course before our collision occurred. In that case it would have been a very simple collision to resolve, as I would have been on a close-hauled starboard tack, and you on a close-hauled port tack, in which case it would have been your responisibility to keep clear per Rule 10.

Now let's say we had been sailing in the opposite direction, on port tacks with myself to windward as you initiated tacking across the wind, just like the situation above, with my slower reflexes giving you just enough time to complete your snap and aquire a close-hauled starboard tack while I was still on a close-hauled port tack. In that situation, at our collision, even though you oridinarily would have had right-of-way per Rule 10, I would have still have had grounds to protest per Rule 16, not having been given sufficient room to keep clear.

Rule 19 generally doesn't apply on open water because a boat always has the option of missing a turn instead of colliding with a marker, but the intricacies of Rule 18 could have come into play if we'd been within two boat lengths of the marker at the time of your tack. As it happened, though, we were on the order of half a sim distant, just pointed toward the wrong side of the marker.

The common theme in all these circumstances is that their potential collisions could have been readily avoided by simply hailing for room before asserting right-of-way over another boat. These are the six hot-key hails I keep at my ready during races:

Shift-f7 'GIVE ROOM! I can't pass the obstruction!'
Shift-f8 'KEEP CLEAR! You've passed head-to-wind!'
Shift-f9 'KEEP CLEAR! You're windward!'
Shift-f10 'KEEP CLEAR! You're on port tack!'
Shift-f11 'ACCEPTED. Taking penalty.'
Shift-f12 'PROTEST! I had right-of-way!'

In our actual collsion, the one governed under Rule 13, I would have had time to fire off a shift-f8 'KEEP CLEAR! You've passed head-to-wind!' if we'd been sailing Flying Takos, but gosh those new Muses tack on a dime, and there's just not enough time to hit even a single key before it's all over. All the more reason to keep alert to one's responsibilities per Rules 13 and 16 when tacking.

It takes a bit of practice to become second-nature, but the experienced racers' rule of thumb reigns supreme: when in doubt, hail.
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ROW

Postby Faykin Odets » Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:39 pm

Before the boat hulls overlapped at waterline, overtaking is the overriding rule.
But when you actually LOOK at the SL sailboats, the LOA (Length OverAll) is the same as the LWL (Length at WaterLine). So, almost never will overtaking be the rule applied in a collision. Overlapping almost invariably occurs before the collision... with the exception of a bow to rudder collision.

So we have to look at windward, "in irons", avoiding obstacles, and port/starboard tack.

First and foremost is avoiding obstacles. However, setting up the perfect line to pass the bouy is not the same as avoiding hitting the bouy. Therefore, this does not apply.

Second, when you go "in irons", you lose all ROW. Don't do it if another boat CAN hit you while you are head to wind. You have no rights during that time. So if the collision occured while you were head to wind, and Myrrh was still under sail, Myrrh had ROW. However, if the collision occured after you had established port tack and after Myrrh started tacking, and was still "in irons", then you had ROW.

Third, starboard tack has ROW over port tack. If you successfully made it thru the teeth of the wind, and made it to port tack, and Myrrh struck you while you were on port tack and Myrrh was on starboard tack, Myrrh had ROW.

Finally, leeward has ROW over windward. So if you both had established your tacks, and were on the same tack, then the boat leeward at the time of impact had ROW.

Does that makes sense?

--Faykin
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Tactics

Postby Faykin Odets » Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:48 pm

Oh, my tactical opinion...

If Myrrh was windward (and trailing), stay clear until Myrrh starts her tack! If you start before, she can hold her line and you are pointing too high at the time of impact. 720, you aren't racing anymore. Or you can force protest (by not taking the 720 you deserve), and force everyone to go thru the heartache of the protest process. Ugh.

Once you have tacked, you have a choice. If you think you can get past Myrrh by the next tack, take the lee line - no dirty air in SL. Slide underneath, press Myrrh into a really close haul, so she bounces around 35 deg, losing power as she does. Once you have the clearance to tack starboard, make your tack, making your lead stick.

If you don't think you can get past Myrrh, haul in as close as you can and take the windward tack. Now Myrrh will be forced to stay clear of you... waiting for YOUR tack. You now have the tac(k)tical advantage (sorry couldn't resist the pun, yeah it's old). Force Myrrh way wide on the tack, then drop to the bouy at less than the perfect wind angle... knowing Myrrh is even FURTHER out of the ideal wind angle, and therefore slower.

At least, that's what I would do.

--Faykin
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Postby Pacifien Massiel » Wed Dec 27, 2006 6:11 pm

I would have shot Myrrh with a watermelon. That's what I would do.
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Postby Mat Warf » Thu Dec 28, 2006 8:09 am

[snip lots of good stuff]
I can't respond to this all, but it's very interesting to read. I'm just going to pick out the bits I would like to talk about more.
Faykin Odets wrote:However, if the collision occured after you had established port tack and after Myrrh started tacking, and was still "in irons", then you had ROW.

As Myrrh said above...
Myrrh Massiel wrote:Now let's say we had been sailing in the opposite direction, on port tacks with myself to windward as you initiated tacking across the wind, just like the situation above, with my slower reflexes giving you just enough time to complete your snap and aquire a close-hauled starboard tack while I was still on a close-hauled port tack. In that situation, at our collision, even though you oridinarily would have had right-of-way per Rule 10, I would have still have had grounds to protest per Rule 16, not having been given sufficient room to keep clear.

... yeah technically I'd have ROW but you can't make use of it. Under rule 14a I still have to avoid, because Myrrh *can't* get out of the way, and also under rule 15 I have to give room at least for a moment after aquiring ROW. Also, under rule 16, it was me that changed course, so I have to give room to keep clear again.
It's interesting that while I *initially* had ROW under rule 12, I can't put it to good use. Unless you read "keep clear" as "leave room for them to tack", which seems improbable in close racing.
Faykin Odets wrote:Slide underneath, press Myrrh into a really close haul, so she bounces around 35 deg, losing power as she does.

If you're trying to do that, you'd overlapped and it's my understanding that this behaviour isn't allowed under rule 17.1. You can force someone wide if you're the windward boat though.
Faykin Odets wrote:no dirty air in SL.
Not yet anyway... ;)
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...mediating rules 14, 15, and 16...

Postby Myrrh Massiel » Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:15 am

...in very close tacking duels, the way it usually works is that you give the other boat enough warning when you plan to tack...it's the windward boat's responsibility to keep clear, and that doesn't only mean not colliding, that also means giving you enough room to hold course or to maneuver when you have right-of-way...

...basically, if you hail me early enough to keep clear as you maneuver upwind into your tack, you retain full right-of-way until the moment you pass head-to-wind, excepting of course any jockeying which might take place as the right-of-way situation changes across your tack...the only real hitch is giving me enough warning of your intent to allow a reasonable opportunity on my part to keep clear...

...now if you need to more room than i'm giving you, and you hail for me to keep clear, but i don't give you room despite your having right-of-way, you're within your right to protest even though we haven't collided...faykin, jamey, and i sailed a race very much like this during the final challenger act, with me, as the leeward boat on our three-way-overlap, continuously hailing for room for over thirty seconds as i was unable to steer upwindinto my ideal line...i should have protested by that point, but just as i was stretching my finger to do so, faykin gybed across my bow onto a port tack and we fused at the sim crossing, making the overlap protest a moot issue...

(and for the record, faykin's interpretation of that overlap incident differs from my own, pre-collision - he maintains that being slightly forward during our overlap made him the leeward boat, irrespective of our sail positions, since we were running)
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Postby Faykin Odets » Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:00 am

Mat Warf wrote:
Faykin Odets wrote:However, if the collision occured after you had established port tack and after Myrrh started tacking, and was still "in irons", then you had ROW.

... yeah technically I'd have ROW but you can't make use of it. Under rule 14a I still have to avoid, because Myrrh *can't* get out of the way, and also under rule 15 I have to give room at least for a moment after aquiring ROW. Also, under rule 16, it was me that changed course, so I have to give room to keep clear again.
It's interesting that while I *initially* had ROW under rule 12, I can't put it to good use. Unless you read "keep clear" as "leave room for them to tack", which seems improbable in close racing.

Mat,

I disagree. When point higher than you can drive, you lose ROW. That is why it's so important to have clearance when you tack... you give up all ROW when you are in the teeth.
Yes, you have to avoid collision because you have control of the boat... but Myrrh would be in violation, and would have to take the 720 (or the DQ in the protest) as a result of you avoiding Myrrh while she is "in irons", because when pointed into the wind, a boat with wind has ROW.

Mat Warf wrote:
Faykin Odets wrote:Slide underneath, press Myrrh into a really close haul, so she bounces around 35 deg, losing power as she does.

If you're trying to do that, you'd overlapped and it's my understanding that this behaviour isn't allowed under rule 17.1. You can force someone wide if you're the windward boat though.


Huh?
If I'm leeward, and on the same tack, I have ROW, and can press the windward boat upwind to the limits of her ability to head into the wind. I can't force her into the teeth of the wind... but I can press her right up to her limit.
So if you drop underneath (go leeward) of Myrrh after a tack, and get overlap, you can inch into the wind, and Myrrh will have to keep clear, also inching into the wind. It's trickier IRL because of dirty air, and LOA vs LWL making it harder to get overlap, but it works well in SL. Now assuming I'm trimming better than Myrrh (yeah, RIGHT... that's somewhere between very difficult and impossible) I can safely pass Myrrh on the leeward side, with ROW.

Does that make more sense?

--Faykin
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Postby Faykin Odets » Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:06 am

Pacifien Massiel wrote:I would have shot Myrrh with a watermelon. That's what I would do.


More ducks!
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Postby Myrrh Massiel » Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:45 am

Now assuming I'm trimming better than Myrrh (yeah, RIGHT... that's somewhere between very difficult and impossible) I can safely pass Myrrh on the leeward side, with ROW.


...faykin, you should sail with kazenojin seiringu's atlantic fleet sometime after our spring season resumes in mid-january...we have at least five regular skippers capable of beating me on a good day; the level of competition is fantastic!.. ^_^
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Postby Pacifien Massiel » Thu Dec 28, 2006 1:08 pm

I just had this visualization of this situation go through my head, as I was thinking about what I'd actually do. (Getting out the watermelon gun just takes too much time.)

One thing that Myrrh is incredibly good at is sailing at a wind direction between 35 and 40... but most of all at 35. Best speed, but most dangerous if she were forced to tack even slightly. When you find yourself ahead, this is something to keep in mind.

By saying he had to tack urgently, did that mean Mat was coming against a sim border or was going to miss the buoy entirely without tacking at that point? If it was a sim border, you can make an argument for an obstruction, but I've gotten into situations where I feel I'm about to hit an obstruction but the other boat feels there is still time for me. Hailing would have been the only way to get the other sailor to know that I'm not comfortable with the situation, at least. (That other boat was Myrrh, by the way. I'm just saying. She's a dick.)

It's a tricky scenario, even when I think we're all pretty clear that Mat had ROW. But there's having ROW and asserting ROW, and it's the asserting aspect that doesn't translate very well into SL. You could be tactical about it, by trying to force Myrrh into irons, but who ever has the time in a race to throw off subtle tactics? Or you could hail, which is what a lot of people ask because you just never know what each other is doing or wants to do. And if Myrrh slams into Mat and a protest is called... I think it would depend on your committee over how it would go. Like if it were me, in RL, I'd call foul on Mat. In SL, I'd call foul on Myrrh.

Then hit him with cow.
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Postby Mat Warf » Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:13 pm

Faykin Odets wrote:Mat,
I disagree. When point higher than you can drive, you lose ROW. That is why it's so important to have clearance when you tack... you give up all ROW when you are in the teeth.


Yes, when I try to tack I lose ROW, that's how we started: when I wanted to tack! :)

We're not really disagreeing here, as far as I can see... I initially hoped that having ROW entitled me to having room to tack (without hailing) and I was expressing disapointment that that isn't the case. 8)

Faykin Odets wrote:Huh?
If I'm leeward, and on the same tack, I have ROW, and can press the windward boat upwind to the limits of her ability to head into the wind. I can't force her into the teeth of the wind... but I can press her right up to her limit..

[...]

Does that make more sense?


Ah, my mistake. I was thinking of a situation when the other boat is on your lee *beam* and overlapped, but is actually further to windward... yes, this rule only applies to leeward boats.

It's entirely possible for a boat to be on your lee side yet be to windward at the same time... I need more caffiene...

Once you pass to windward of a boat you're overtaking (with the overtaking boat still on the lee side), you can't force the windward boat to pinch. I'm making this as clear as mud, I'm sure. :D

Pacifien Massiel wrote:One thing that Myrrh is incredibly good at is sailing at a wind direction between 35 and 40... but most of all at 35. Best speed, but most dangerous if she were forced to tack even slightly. When you find yourself ahead, this is something to keep in mind.


Well, we were sailing Muses at the time, so it's more like 40 - 50 degrees and without a hard irons angle. It's possible to edge up a fair way into the wind, but you lose way doing it -- it's inefficent and annoying.

Pacifien Massiel wrote:By saying he had to tack urgently, did that mean Mat was coming against a sim border or was going to miss the buoy entirely without tacking at that point?


It wasn't *really* urgent. I wanted to tack early so I could eventually fetch the windward mark while on a starboard tack instead of a port tack -- that way you don't lose so much speed as it's a smaller angle to turn as you go around the mark.

I'll have to sort out some hailing gestures for next time.
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Postby Cybrid Keats » Sat Dec 30, 2006 2:09 pm

Faykin Odets wrote:
Pacifien Massiel wrote:I would have shot Myrrh with a watermelon. That's what I would do.


More ducks!


Ducks! Watermelons! Cows!

What I say is... resolve it with Dragons.

Ok there is melting, and some screaming involved. But come on...

ROW was intended for Dragons! They're certainly not meant for mere mortals to understand, thats for sure. ;)

Merry Christmas all, by the way!
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