2011 Nationals 

Rule Briefings and Conduct of Racing

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Updated: 04Sep11
Included in mailing packet

Downloads with Graphics:

   In our continued effort to present a championship-caliber event, the Race Committee has spent the time in preparing this brief for the benefit of all and ourselves. It is also in consideration that the Class has supported an open Class Championship, inviting all members to experience this event. The full range of sailing skills will be present. Let’s continue to share and have fun together.
   These briefing pages highlight specific Rules we think worth a review and are linked below. Please download and print them for your event files and for the discussion below. They will not be printed for the competitor mailing packet. The Basic Rules graphic is separate of the discussion here and the lakeside Rules meeting on Wednesday afternoon of the event.
The RC will be monitoring the sailing on the water in each heat during the event.  Sportsmanship, lower emotional levels and respect for the Rules are part of the Rules. They are also part of the respect for others mentally and courteously when gathering for fun and competition. The RC is dedicated to providing a championship environment with encouragement to do the right thing in victory or defeat. In doing so, we will assist you with reminders and comment when we see a bad situation building or acting when something has occurred outside respect for the Rules. We are particularly sensitive to incidents that disrupt the heat and or victimize multiple innocent competitors as a result. Here are just three examples:

·       Approaching congested mark rounding you may hear comments from the RC to steady the fleet. Please listen.

·       Attempting to break into a line of starboard tacking boats approaching a mark that causes a disruption of the rounding. You will be invited to visit the RC with your boat till the next heat you will be sailing in.

·       Barging or port tacking during the start that causes a major disruption of the start will result in two events; a general recall of the fleet will be called and the offender will not be part of the restart. 

Basic Rules:
This is a good graphic review of the Rules that will get you out of trouble when coming to area where there will be close contact with other boats. These are the rules that will save you points and increase your stead with your fellow sailors. These are the ones used in the Dummy Series that offered; “It is better to yield than be involved in an incident.” You will score higher in the fleet. 

   The following links to Rules Briefs have been prepared by Tom Germer, NCR Race Judge. Comments are by the Race Director.

Redress Rule Briefing:
   This is per US Sailing Appeals Committee Interpretation. Redress applies to entanglement, damage and grounding and more expansive than applied in the past.
Scoring Applications for Redress
   7.2 of the Sailing Instruction notes the scoring in a race where redress is awarded. During the first six races of the regatta the Race Committee will do its best to note the boat positions in the fleet for a heat where an incident of redress occurs. The Scorer will note on the score sheet RDG (Redress Given) when awarded. The position noted by the RC is to determine where the boat given redress will place in the heat relative to promotion relegation. When scoring satisfies the five races sailed of 7.2, the RDG race will be scored with the average thereof.
   This care is to satisfy, as best is possible, the intent of the Rules regarding "Significantly Worse."
   A boat that retires due to the incident will finish last in the heat and be demoted one fleet.

Keep Clear Definition:
This briefs you on the many circumstances in the Rules regarding “Keep Clear.” This is good reading and the simplicity of it all is Do Not Make Contact. It does not matter at the moment before or during the contact who is right. Do Not Make Contact. Righteousness comes later if there is a protest and it should be settled on the water. Everyone looses regardless of verdicts. Please note Rule 14 in this brief; if you are the ROW boat and make contact when you could have avoided it, you may have broken a Rule. Love taps to prove you are right then protest the offending boat will make you Wrong as well. 

Mark Roundings:
The NCR will use single marks because this is a higher level of sailing. Staying clear of an overlapped boat sounds simple but as you have seen it is not in a gaggle. Too often someone will not keep clear when required and the cascading effect creates a mess. The RC will be alerting the fleet and looking for disruptions regarding the lack of keeping clear. Good helmsmanship should be understood that if you are two inches off the leeward boat's gunwale, her stern will hit you when she maneuvers to round the mark. Your fault.
One of the most frequent misconceptions is that when a boat arrives at the mark, or abeam the mark, that they have rights to round the mark. Rounding the mark in the Rules is “to sail her proper course while at the mark.” It is not a right in all cases and the basic rules of sailing still apply. Many unknowingly cut across a following clear astern boat to make the rounding tack. Not good. Not right. 

Tacking in the Zone:
Here is another good example of the above. 

Obstruction Rule 19 & 20:
If you have the right and hail for room to avoid an obstruction, be it a boat, object or shoreline, and given the room; make the maneuver for the hail. In baseball it is called a balk if you change your mind. 

ROW and Mark Room:
Now look at this as if there are two more boats orbiting outside Blue. Now you have reference to the "gaggle" comment above. Consider this in your reading. When this works right with 4-6 boats, it is a beautiful thing to see. 

Starboard Rounding Discussion:
These are two of the cautions during starboard roundings. The red flag is that while the inside boat is given room over windward/leeward rules, it is only for the rounding to “sail her proper course.” You cannot be tactical…get in and get out. 

Overlapped Boat Starboard Roundings:
This is the third caution during starboard roundings and a huge red flag. You will see this and need to deal with it when the starboard rounding course is used. The minute the RD calls a course that will have these roundings, do not consider that a clear ahead group rounding a mark will be unmolested because they are clear ahead. Look in your rear review mirror and you are likely to see boats on the starboard tack line entering the Zone and aimed right at the bow of your port tacking boat sailing proper course. You will be not be up to speed and likely have trouble maneuvering. It is scary and will be very hard for you to swallow tacking back to starboard but you must. If a starboard tacking boat is forced to alter her course to avoid you, it is a foul. Burn this one in. It is the graphic you will see.    
And, if you are on a starboard tack line entering the Zone or approaching the mark with boats fetching the mark on port tack, be careful and communicate. The RC will try to alert all when this condition exists. It is part of sailing and the rules still apply. You can think of it as walking the down staircase when others are walking up.