Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Rounding the downwind mark

Here's one that's fresh from the racetrack. Two boats on port tack approaching the downwind mark. The first boat gybes to starboard (2) right at the edge of the zone. This kinda opens up the overlap zone. Both boats carry on and at the mark (3) Yellow yells "no room" and tries to close the gap. Blue seeks the space between the mark and yellow but fails to execute the turn and slams (4) right into yellow. Yellow protests!
Fresh from the race track
What did the jury say? What should yellow have done? What should blue have done?

PS: That Boat Scenario program is supereasy to use. If only those animated files could be made smaller.


  1. Yellow had to give blue room and it looks to me as if she did. Blue had enough room to gybe and round the mark. DSQ Blue.

  2. Yellow entered the zone first and clear ahead. Blue is not entitled to any room. in addition, yellow is on starboard tack so she is not required to make a seaman like rounding; i.e. she can go wide and come in close to clear the mark. Blue must stay clear.

  3. If I was in Yellow's shoes I'd closed the door on Blue already earlier; not to fight Blue or force them to make an error but just to not waste that much height on the upcoming upwinds leg. Bad course planning by both yachts, who lost oversight because they only cared about their insignificant boat to boat fight.

  4. WHy do you think Yellow was clear ahead? Surely the diagram shows that Blue has an inside overlap on Yellow at Position 2 as Yellow enters the zone?

  5. To be or not to be... clear ahead. That is the question.

    The jury DQed both boats. Yellow was DQed for not giving room, and Blue was DQed for not avoiding a collision. 14b could not save Blue.

    The thing is, - the defining moment is really just a moment. Did Yellow gybe just before or just after entering the zone? It is a matter of 2 or 3 seconds...

  6. Blue can only be DSQ'd under Rule 14 if there was damage or injury.

    Tactically Yellow should probably have entered the room clear ahead, shouted "no room" and then gybed.

  7. Yellow gybed before entering the zone
    Blue was supposed to steer clear as the overtaking boat anyway
    Yellow entered the zone first
    Yellow was on stb tack

  8. I was mistaken. Blue does have the slight overlap at position 2 and is entitled to room. Tillerman is also right that Blue should be exonerated under 14b if no damage occurred. However, on watching the scenario closely and discovering my mistake, it appears that Blue made a less than seamanlike rounding which might lead to only Blue being DSQ.

    Great post Noodle!

  9. The drawning is pretty accurate. Blue got an overlap at the zone, only because yellow gybed 3 seconds too early. So tactically, Tillerman is right.
    That t-bone at position 4 did indeed cause hull damage. Blue could have avoided the collision quite easily by swinging to port. She didn't so she is out.


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