Dubious racing tactics?

Discuss IOM design, building an IOM, information on suppliers, tuning an IOM, results of recent events, etc

Moderators: GaryBoell, Pedro Egea

Post Reply
Dave Pickett
Posts: 107
Joined: 18 Oct 2010, 19:33
Sail number: GBR3845
Club: Eastbourne
Design: TS2 and Shiraz

Dubious racing tactics?

Post by Dave Pickett » 26 Mar 2015, 17:31

Newcomer to IOM now getting to grips with rig setup and the racing rules. I have been stranded on a number of occasions at the windward buoy when approaching on port tack with a good line to the buoy, when I have been faced with an armada on starboard coming across preventing me from getting around the buoy. Discussion at the club today indicated that a number of sailors have an alternative solution, simply ram a boat on starboard, round the buoy and do a turn penalty when convenient, gaining overall from the maneuver. (perhaps called Lee Bowing?)

It seems this is a fairly widespread practice, which if true seems to me wholly in breach of sportsmanship or fair play but also contradictory to the ethos that collisions should be avoided wherever possible. The possibility of significant damage or even loss of the rammed boat cannot be ruled out, do the IOM rules really support this sort of behavior?

Comments welcome!

Posts: 272
Joined: 06 Jan 2006, 00:47
Sail number: CAN 307
Design: V8
Location: CAN

Re: Dubious racing tactics?

Post by Hiljoball » 26 Mar 2015, 20:48

Hi David,

May I suggest that you read my article on R 18 and the Weather Mark (previously published in the Seattle IOM Newsletter).

http://crya.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/ ... k-jgb6.pdf

Assuming Marks to Port, which is normal and preferred -

Bottom line is that a boat approaching the weather mark on port HAS to KEEP CLEAR of ALL stbd tack boats. See Rule 18.1 which says that for boats on a beat to windward, R 18 Mark Room DOES NOT APPLY. So, it is as if the mark is not there and all we are left with is R 10 and Port keeps clear of Stbd.

When Port tacks over to stbd in the zone, R 18.3 applies - and the boat that tacked still does not get Mark Room and must a) give mark room to boats inside her, and must not force a windward boat above close hauled.

The advice about crashing in on port - hitting a stbd boat and getting around the mark and doing a penalty is very bad sportsmanship - you will need to do many penalty turns for gaining significant advantage over the boats affected by your maneuver - BUT given the intent to foul other boats would justify at least a Rule 2 penalty and maybe a R69 proceeding.

So the best defense is to plan your approach by getting to the stbd lay line well outside the zone - now you enter the zone with the advantage over any port tack boats.

John Ball
CRYA #895
IOM CAN 307 V8
In my private capacity

Dave Pickett
Posts: 107
Joined: 18 Oct 2010, 19:33
Sail number: GBR3845
Club: Eastbourne
Design: TS2 and Shiraz

Re: Dubious racing tactics?

Post by Dave Pickett » 26 Mar 2015, 21:24

hitting a stbd boat and getting around the mark and doing a penalty is very bad sportsmanship
Thanks John, frankly if anyone deliberately hit my boat to try and gain advantage I would pack up and go home, and I would not dream of doing that, the purpose of my post was to try and draw out whether people are so determined to win that they will use underhand tactics "legal" they might be but I get the impression in the UK at least a number of sailors are prepared to do anything to gain advantage.

Will read your article tomorrow after tonights bottle of Shiraz has filtered through, many thanks!

David L Alston
Posts: 72
Joined: 24 Jul 2012, 17:38
Sail number: 3011
Club: Leicestershire RYC UK
Design: Fatboy

Re: Dubious racing tactics?

Post by David L Alston » 27 Mar 2015, 09:54

Recognising the unworkability of some of the Racing Rules of Sailing, a number of clubs agree internally to change some of them.
One such local amendment that immediately comes to mind is the one about if there is any doubt OR DISPUTE that an overlap has been established – then assume there IS ONE.

May seem odd – but it works for them primarily because their leeward mark is quite far away and at times in line with the view so near impossible to judge is there is an overlap or not.

Another Club I visit from time to time has all but abandoned the timed start. The last placed boat in the previous heat ( Fox ) must go over the line before any other boats (Hound). Rule 30.1 is in place so no one may sail on the course side of the line without having to round the end mark to start. Try it , it is tremendous fun.

The understanding of particular rules by some club members generally becomes distorted with time in the absence of reading the actual rules and relying upon interpretations of/by other.

One I came across recently was the idea that in tacking from port to starboard, in the zone, the now starboard boat was required to give a port tack boat room at the mark and room to tack.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that your challenge, assuming you have mastered the boat, is to plan ahead.

* Sail around trouble not into it .
* Know the rules but do not assume that others do.
* Sail to the rules even though other may not.

But mostly to predict what Jimmy, Mike, John will do because they generally do the same thing each time. No one can tell you how to deal with that but it will come to you after you study their habits.

And habits they are, they are not DELIBERATELY cheating. They, as a group, are having fun sailing, squabbling and drinking tea. There will never be an actual Protest Hearing

Half the problem is that Club racing heat are usually far too short. The members believe they need to sail 8 races in a two and a half hour morning so they can go home.

Longer races , duration 20 minutes or there about, are far better in that emphasis on the START and first mark rounding is not so great and you get opportunities to catch up.

But the difficulty for some is concentrating for 20 minutes.

Gordon Davies
Posts: 14
Joined: 20 May 2015, 12:35

Re: Dubious racing tactics?

Post by Gordon Davies » 27 May 2015, 16:41


I would contest that the racing rules are unworkable.

I would agree that many rules discussions are not based on the actual wording of the rules. Most questions regarding the rules can be answered by reciting the exact wording of the rule. Rule 18.3 is a classic example. Rule 18.3 switches off rule 18.2 Giving Mark Room and gives the boat that tacked in the zone obligations in addition to the obligation she already had under rule 11 or 12, 15 and (later)16.

Your simplification of rule 18.2(d) regarding overlaps may work in some circumstances but not all.


Post Reply