January 2015 - Which Side Of The Mark II

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January 2015 - Which Side Of The Mark II

Last month, I discussed a question about which side of a windward offset mark to pass. This time I am going to address a question about which side of the finish mark to sail.

I will start with a simple scenario – which is more common than some people think. On a previous occasion when I mentioned this scenario, someone wrote to me saying they couldn’t believe that it would ever happen. I can assure them that I have seen it and in fact, I saw it this summer.


In the diagram, the course is a standard buoys-to-port course. The committee is set up to finish so that boats passing directly over the line from the course side leave the finish mark to starboard and the RC boat to port. Why are they to port instead of the normal starboard position? It may be the result of a shortening of course, they may not have moved from the start or they may be setting up for another start, but it doesn’t matter why they are on the side they are on – this is a legitimate finish line.
 
Finish
A boat finishes when any part of her hull, or crew or equipment in normal position, crosses the finishing line from the course side. However, she has not finished if after crossing the finishing line she
(a) takes a penalty under rule 44.2,
(b) corrects an error under rule 28.2 made at the line, or
(c) continues to sail the course.

Sail Canada Appeal 21
Boats shall sail the course prescribed by the sailing instructions but, whatever may be implied from the sailing instructions, they shall finish in accordance with the definition of finishing.

ISAF Case 82
When a finishing line is laid so nearly in line with the last leg that it cannot be determined which is the correct way to cross it in order to finish according to the definition, a boat may cross the line in either direction and her finish is to be recorded accordingly.
 
The definiton of finish says “crosses the finishing line from the course side”. Sail Canada Appeal 21 specifically covers a case like this and makes it clear that the route Red takes is crossing from the course side and therefore Red has finished. Green has not finished.


The second diagram situation when the committee boat, finish mark and previous mark lie on the same line. Shifting wind or current combined with a bit of inattention can bring on this type of alignment, and it’s not common but it happens. Under the circumstances, it is not clear which side is the course side you are meant to cross from. ISAF Appeal Case 82 makes it clear that if the finishing line is laid so nearly in line with the last leg that it cannot be determined which is the correct way, then either way will do. Blue and Yellow have both finished, but as this is could be the subject of a protest, both would do well to record the course bearing and the bearing of the line

Copies of these rules articles along with animated diagrams can be found at www.rcyc.ca > sailing > Know Your Rules.

© Copyright 2015 Andrew Alberti
Posted: 1/1/2015 11:21:33 AM by Andrew Alberti


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This page provides links to a set of articles original published in Kwasind magazine. The versions here include animated diagrams. The original articles can be found within the original magazines which are available online back to January 2007. 

Articles before December 2016 are based on the Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-12 or 2013-2016 and have not been updated to reflect the changes that apply as of January 2017 with the publication of the Racing Rules of Sailing 2017-20. A copy of the new rules can be found on sailing.org.
ABOUT ANDREW ALBERTI
Andrew Alberti has been writing these monthly articles in the Kwasind since early 1997.  They explain the Racing Rules of Sailing. Andrew is a National Judge and National Umpire. He is a member of the Sail Canada Rules and Appeals Committees. The interpretation of the rules contained in the articles is Andrew's and not that of the RCYC or any of the committees he sits on. 

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Send your questions to Andrew at kyrules@alberti.ca.

 

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