Rules clarification...........

Chris Cooper

Posted: 02 Jul 13 16:28
Message ID: 2338
Right - interesting discussion in the club this weekend and 'interpritation' of the rules so thought I'd throw this out there for other views and if anyone can give the definitive answer......please state view of definite in your response if you know.....

Here goes:
A boat touches one of the starting marks and is therefore obliged to do turns. At what point does that rule become in force.....
a) -4 minutes when racing rules apply
b) -1 minute when I flag etc becomes in force
c) 0 minutes when the race starts

Next part to the question (and the one that caused the most debate). When does that 360 have to be done? The basic rule as soon as is practical and safe however;
a) If this rule applies before 0, can the 360 be done before the starting signal
b) If this rule applies before 0, does the turn have to be done after the ) signal and does it have to be done OCS or could you do it behind the line and try to give yourself a bit of clearer air to catch up

If anyone could point me to this in the rules would be really greatfull


James Ward

Posted: 03 Jul 13 05:30
Reply ID: 6487
Hi Chris

I do not admit to being a complete rules expert but here goes:

Racing rules apply from the 4 min so turns apply as soon as possible and away from other boats. at any point after this time, and can be done prior to the start gun.

Flag I means you must round an end of the start line if you are over the line with 1 min to go, so has nothing to do with turns, although if you hit the mark with 1 min to go and it is an I flag start and you go over the line whilst doing turns, you still have to round the ends.

The key is you must sail away from other boats and do your turns ASAP, even if this requires you to sail away or over the line, and can be done before the start.

Hope that helps....and hope i'm right!!!! :/

Chris Cooper

Posted: 03 Jul 13 08:20
Reply ID: 6488
Hi James,

The I flag wasn't actually paert of the original discussion - I just through that in as an example as it becomes relavent at -1 min and not the preparatory -4 min signal.

My view was the same as yours, but there was a number thought it had to be after the start signal at 0.

With regards to I flag - technically you don't have to sail around the ends. The key is you come back to the starting side and pass one end of the line so in theory you could dip back behind the line (assuming you don't obstruct other boats), sail past the end of the line and then come back, all whilst behind the start line. It's one of the most mis-understood rules - it's amazing how many discussions I have about what OCS actually means!

Eluned Stewart

Posted: 05 Jul 13 01:18
Reply ID: 6489
I am pretty rubbish at rules but I am sure the I flag does mean go round the ends, otherwise you wouldn't use it, you would just use the normal prep flag?

Chris Fish

Posted: 05 Jul 13 08:07
Reply ID: 6491
For reference I've copied the relevant rules below (and cut irrelevant bits...):

While racing, a boat shall not touch a starting mark before starting, a mark that begins, bounds or ends the leg of the course on which she is sailing, or a finishing mark after finishing.

Racing = A boat is racing from her preparatory signal until she finishes and clears the finishing line and marks or retires, or until the race committee signals a general recall, postponement or abandonment.

44.1 Taking a Penalty
... She may take a One-Turn Penalty when she may have broken rule 31. ...

44.2 One-Turn and Two-Turns Penalties
After getting well clear of other boats as soon after the incident as possible, a boat takes a One-Turn or Two-Turns Penalty by promptly making the required number of turns in the same direction, each turn including one tack and one gybe. ...

I have to say I didn't realise what you meant until I read the I Flag rule, although in practice most boats will naturally "round the end" -
30.1 I Flag Rule
If flag I has been displayed, and any part of a boat’s hull, crew or equipment is on the course side of the starting line or one of its extensions during the last minute before her starting signal, she shall thereafter sail from the course side across an extension to the prestart side before starting.

I hope this answers the questions fully.


Tim Vick

Posted: 10 Jul 13 08:46
Reply ID: 6494
James I agree with you, you can do the turns as soon as possible even if this is before the start.

This becomes very apparent when team racing as although you might manage to give a competitor turns, if they then do then with loads of time to spare before the start you haven't really achieved anything, so if you wanted to stop your competitor doing the turns before the start you have to continue to get in their way so they can't "sail clear of other boats" until just before the start, making them do their turns late and hence miss the start.

Stephen Videlo

Posted: 10 Jul 13 18:04
Reply ID: 6497
Fleet Racing & Team Racing:
Turns can be completed any time after the preparatory signal.

Match Racing:
Turns can only be completed after the boat has started.