September 2016 - The Match Racing Start

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September 2016 - The Match Racing Start

This month we will see the Canada’s Cup raced at the club in 8-Metres. The Canada’s Cup is a match race, so there are only two boats and the rules for match racing are different. In the July article we talked about match races being run marks to starboard. While many of the basic rules are the same, the rules for match racing hold a significant number of important changes.



These changes often make the pre-start, which is the time from the prep signal to the start, the most exciting part of a match race. The 8-Metres will not be able to manoouevre as aggressively during this time as the lighter, more agile classes commonly used for match-racing (Sonars, Tom 28s, Elliots etc.) but they will still put on a compelling show.



The skippers will be trying to avoid being Blue in the diagram. In position 1, Blue is clear ahead of Yellow. That means that, according to rule 12, Blue has right of way. As we will see though, Yellow has control. If Blue wants to get back towards the start, she might try to head up, as she does in position 2. Yellow also heads up. Yellow is now overlapped to windward so according to rule 11, Yellow as windward boat must keep clear of Blue. Yellow in our diagram says “Don’t tack”. In a real match race, she might not say this, since it is obvious. Blue can luff up to head to wind, as she does at position 3, and Yellow has to keep clear. As soon as Blue crosses head to wind, just past position 3, she is a tacking boat, and so has to stay clear of Yellow according to rule 13. Even if she gets to a close-hauled course, she is now a port-tack boat, so she has to keep clear of Yellow, who is still on starboard tack.

The other thing Blue might attempt is to bear off. This time, Yellow heads down to leeward of Blue and say’s “Don’t gybe.” Now Yellow not only has control but she is right-of-way. The boats are overlapped, so rule 11 applies. Blue, as windward boat, must keep clear of Yellow, as leeward boat. If Blue is somehow able to gybe, she will be on port tack and have to keep clear of Yellow. Blue will attempt to go up and down hoping to catch Yellow on the wrong side. As one of the match racing coaches suggests, Blue will wriggle, hoping for an error by Yellow. Yellow will hope to control this situation until it is time to start, at which time she can turn around and lead the way back to the start.
 
10 ON OPPOSITE TACKS
When boats are on opposite tacks, a port-tack boat shall keep clear of a starboard-tack boat.

11 ON THE SAME TACK, OVERLAPPED
When boats are on the same tack and overlapped, a windward boat shall keep clear of a leeward boat.

12 ON THE SAME TACK, NOT OVERLAPPED
When boats are on the same tack and not overlapped, a boat clear astern shall keep clear of a boat clear ahead.

13 WHILE TACKING
After a boat passes head to wind, she shall keep clear of other boats until she is on a close-hauled course. During that time rules 10, 11 and 12 do not apply. If two boats are subject to this rule at the same time, the one on the other’s port side or the one astern shall keep clear.

© Copyright 2016 Andrew Alberti
Posted: 9/1/2016 1:35:42 PM 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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June 2020 - An Unusual Start
May 2020 - A Big Collision
March/April 2020 - A Three-Boat Finish
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