Monday, February 18, 2013

Great Memories

Very early in the 90's I actually Match Raced.

One event, at Pembroke Dock, we used the Continuing Obrstuction Trap. All we had to do was sit close to the dockside with insufficient room for another boat to pass between us and the dock. Along came the opponent and stuck his nose in shouting "Up - Up -Up!" as it was a lee shore, only to find themselves penalised, when we flagged, as they were not allowed in there. I'm sure the rules changed so that it could not be used .  .  .  .

BUT this weekend at Spinnaker we had an unusual direction and the start was near the lee shore. Much grinding of centreboards on the shore, luck that no Umpire boats ground their propellers there. Many boats coming to leeward of boats very near the shore and shouting "Up - Up - Up!" Out came the rule book and it looks as if the situation is essentially the same as it was in the early 90's and probably worse because, if there was not room to pass between the boat an the shore, at the time the overlap was established not only are they not entitled to room under 19.2 (b) but they are required to keep clear and rules 10 and 11 do not apply "while the boats remain overlapped". So you could save it up for use as you approach the start line providing the overlap is not broken. VERY NASTY!

And I don't think there was a single protest all day using this scenario.

The other surprising thing was the number of umpires who had not converted to the new green and white flags. I thought we Umpires read the rules. An unintended consequence of my new flags was the tactile nature of the staffs. One being square and the other round meant I could easily distinguish between the red flag and the green and white flag without even needing to look at them (Very useful for blind Umpires). More useful than having them different colours, which is why I chose the material in the first place!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

This is going to be interesting . . .

Quote from someone who knows about the Racing Rules:-
"You only get the protection of exoneration if you are in the corridor"
So - not only can you not "shut the door" at mark 3 if you go too low but if your proper course in no longer to sail close to the mark you can be caught port and starboard by a boat coming in late. An extension of the "use it or lose it" principal when it comes to tacking at the windward mark.
Apparently, there is going to be a rapid response team racing call very soon.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Helm Hard Over

This is becoming a popular call in team racing, particularly on the start line when an overlap is established to leeward. Unfortunately, I think that it rarely has the desired effect.

The idea is that it shows the other boat is infringing rule 15. The problem is that the rule says the boat aquiring rights has to give "room". This requires the keep clear boat to "manoeuver promptly in a seamanlike way" - that does not mean just pushing the helm away. Too often the mainsheet is left loose - well it would be, as the windward boat often doesn't want to move forward and go over the line, but failure to pull in the mainsheet is not in my opinion "seamanlike". If later rules (RRS42) can talk about "rolling the boat to facilitate steering" I think pulling the sheet in is a a pretty basic seamanlike action.

The hail, far from having the desired effect, often draws the Umpires attention to a situation where, had there been no hail, he would have had to green flag, since he would not be aware of times and distances. With the hail he can clearly see what the windward boat is doing and, if it is not seamanlike there is no problem with giving a penalty.

The other call that annoys is "I'm head to wind".  So what! You are still windward boat and if you can tack off that is what you have to do.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Thoughts from the Lake

Just back from the SW BUSA Team Racing Qualifiers at Chew Valley Lake. Amazed that someone actually confessed to reading this Blog. Also amazed at non-protests. Best one was someone returning to start calling starboard on a boat that was just starting on port - the Port tack boat did not protest - should have read rule 22.

Also discovered that there is a change in the way scoring works in that a boat retiring as a penalty now results in +6 points to that team. It's in D2.5(b) Penalties - some distance from D4 Scoring a series so may be missed by organisers.Will that make life more difficult for Umpires and require more hearings?

I wrote about arm signals in an UKTRA post and take heart from the fact that even the experts missed it. Check the UKTRA SI's. Interestingly, the SI's this weekend had missed out the requirement to wear a Buoyancy Aid at all times when afloat, but we thought we could use RRS1.2 if anyone came afloat without one.

Also new in the Team Racing Appendix is a procedure for dealing with a knock out series. The scoring of a series seems to have been extensively re-witten but I am not sure that there is much change.

I'm still struggling with th concept of fetching the mark. The boat that tacked at the finish mark was not subject to 18.3, as they were not fetching the mark. So once the overlap was established she had to give room, but only if she was able to once the overlap is established 18.2(e) Its basically TR Call E7 but a mirror of it, being the finish line. Of course it could apply at other marks if the wind is shifty.

Next weekend is the Race Officials Conference so there might be more to say after that.