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John Ball

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Posts posted by John Ball

  1. Hi John

    As a newish RC sailor, have you visited my rules and tactics site - it may help


    As you your comment about 'seamanlike', that only kicks in when 'room' comes into play - eg when an ROW boat alters course, does the keep clear boat have 'room'? So when Yellow alters course to circle back, does she give room for a keep clear boat? It appears Yes, as drawn.

    Once Yellow gains mark room over Red, under R 18.2(a) she would be exonerated for any breach as long as she is sailing within the room permitted by her proper course - and that include room to avoid Green.





  2. Hi again John,

    Here is a diagram for your second question re missing the downwind mark.

    Here Yellow enters the zone clear ahead of Green and Red and is entitled to mark room R 18.2(b). However she turns short of the mark and circles back, passing head to wind at P4. At that point the previous mark room ends. However when Green enters the zone and become overlapped inside Yellow by P5, R 18.2(a) applies and Yellow gives mark room to Green.

    Red also enters the zone already overlapped with Green and gives Green mark room (18.2(b) and becomes overlapped outside Yellow by P5 and has to give mark room to Yellow R 18.2(a).


    missing downwind mark.JPG

  3. The diagramming program is called 'boats.exe' It is available for free download from


    It has a short learning curve, but overall is easy to use.


    You wrote for your second question

    in a similay vein, what about mark room if you accidentally sail inside a downwind mark and tack to go back and round it correctly?  Obviously you have to keep clear while tacking but once you have completed the tack, are you still entitled to mark room from boats which were clear astern when you entered the zone (and you haven't left it)?

    To enlarge on my previous answer, as you tacked in the zone, any existing mark room expires. As you are in the zone after the tack, and another boat enters the zone, R 18.2(a) will apply , as 18.2(b) does not apply. So as you become overlapped the inside boat gains mark room.


  4. Hi John,

    it always helps to provide a diagram. I have made one that I think represents your incident.

    The answer is that Green has broken no rule (ie did not hit mark and was not doing a penalty turn). so it is her proper course that counts. Green's proper course is to come up to close hauled to get back to the mark and Yellow as windward must keep clear. R 23.2 and R 11.

    On your second question, once the returning boat tacks (or leaves the zone), the original mark room ends. R 18.2(d)


    boat misses mark.JPG

  5. I suggest you read Call P4 in the World Sailing Call Book for Radio Sailing (formerly the IRSA Case Book).

    As P did not gain any place ( or advantage) by her infringement, her penalty is completed after one penalty turn.


  6. A possible cause is insufficient prebend in the mast. If you have too little prebend, then you only have a little backstay tension to bring the mast straight. With just a little tension from the backstay which transfers to the forestay,  the rig does not generate enough tension on the topping lift.


  7. 4 hours ago, Barry Chisam said:

    In a local full size regatta a competitor tried to protest the committee. His argument was that several boats were ocs at the start. The sail numbers were hailed but his was the last to be hailed and claims he was disadvantaged in that he had to sail further to return and re start correctly.

    Even if the RC was found guilty of an improper action by hailing the recalls, the boat would not be eligible for redress due to the 'no fault of her own' condition in R 62.1.


  8. 6 minutes ago, John Bennett said:

    Sounds like amazingly poor sportsmanship by the protester   :-)

    I don't understand why you feel this way John. The skipper of B thinks a rule may have been broken - and his recourse is to protest or request redress - he may be right or wrong, but by going to a hearing, everybody may learn.

    In this incident, A is not breaking any rules, and B's issue is actually with the RC person.



  9. Hi Vinnie,

    First, I could not find any cases or calls which may help with your question.

    My opinion is that a protest against A would fail - see R 41 (c) and (d)  as the information about the course was freely available to all the skippers.

    A request for redress against the RC for yelling out the information may be more appropriate.

    A redress hearing would not penalise A, but may award B points equal to first as the improper action of the RC made B's finish position worse. However the hearing may dismiss the claim.




  10. I hesitated to post this link of my mast bender in use as the sound is poor - I did not even know at the time that it was being recorded! One nice feature is its portability - we set it up at the pond, clamped to a (slightly shaky) fence.

    The last bit of the clip shows an added feature - a simple lever gauge that helps with calibration for different mast materials -

    I have three settings marked, one for the Easton 7075 11mm tent pole (slightly thicker wall that the French masts),

    one for the French 11mm tubes, and one for the Sails Etc 6061 alloy, which bends much more easily.

    There are more comments for its use back at the top of this thread - second post,



  11. I ask if there has been any progress by MYA on my suggestion?

    I was just reading the HMS regulations for another question when I spotted this line item.

    HMS 1.8(d) Except where HMS 1.8(b) applies in Race 1, requests for redress under RRS E6.6 (e) and (f) may only
    be made in Race 2 or following races.

    I had not noticed this line item before- but as it stands, any regatta that runs under H MS cannot use my proposed solution unless there is a specific item in the SI that overrules 1.8(d) to allow redress in Race 1 - and this is highly unlikely as any RC would not normally anticipate such a need - and short of putting such a statement in every HMS event's SI, the better solution would be a change to 1.8(d) and add a method, such as I suggest for the calculation.

    I am not suggesting a programming change to HMS, just the approval and procedure to do it be added to the Regs- the calculation can be done manually.



  12. Just to let you know that I have revised all the chapters to match the new 2021-2024 edition of the RRS. They may be found at


    I may need to make some revisions once World Sailing issues the new edition of the Case Book, and IRSA Call Book (used to be IRSA Case Book).

    The new versions of these articles should still apply to the current 2017-2020 period,  however be aware that some rule number were changed.


  13. Before you go spending money, ask why do I want (need) Country Code (GBR) on my IOM.

    You only need the country code if you are participating in International Regattas (IOM World and Continental Championships). For local and National events, the Country Code is optional.




  14. I put the outer wheels 12 inches on center. One local friend made one with the wheels about 8 inches on center and it took a lot of effort to push the mast forward and back - the pressure would cause the wheels to lock and deformed the mast out of round. The effort is much reduced with the wider spacing. Pics of mine below.

    The wheels on mine were cut from a piece of 3/4inch oak plank (left over from a furniture project). I cut out three disks using a hole cutter. Then I chucked each disk in my drill press and spun it while holding a Dremel with a sanding drum against the disk to create a groove that serves to locate the tube. One improvement was that I added a pivoting straight edge lever across the top to act as a gauge and marked it for the correct setting for various masts (Bantock 6061, French 7075, and Easton 7075(thicker wall than French))

    Works great. Easy to use and adjust - I mark the tube for center line at several points to orient the mast as I push it - it will try to twist - and mark the lower bend point, so I know here to stop. I push the mast forward once - and pull it back until it springs out of the jig - sight down the tube to see if it needs more - and adjust the nut and repeat. Just turn the top nut to increase the pressure a bit.

    With the wheels that you purchased, They should spin easily - but on the right (feed) wheel you may need to file down the flange on the outside so that you do not put extra pressure on the mast as you ease it into the jig.


    Tube bender 003.JPG

    Tube bender 002.JPG

    Tube bender 001.JPG

  15. Hi Garry,

    thanks for the feedback and support for my theory.

    As the HSM system is 'owned' by the MYA, could the appropriate committee review this issue, with a view to updating the HMS documentation. Currently, it fails to provide a solution for this circumstance. That way we would all have a standard process for Protest Committees around the world.


  16. I received a panic message from a Regatta Director some time back - His Protest Committee wanted to award Redress to a boat in an HMS Seeding Race.  There is no guidance in the HMS procedures for awarding redress in a seeding race, so what should they do? I don't remember how they decided to resolve the problem, but I gave it some thought after the fact and came up with a possible solution that may help Race and Protest Committees in the future.

    For normal multi-heat races, we accept a mathematical model for redress - eg AVG points for some number of races – if the incident is later in the regatta, then AVG of races already sailed - but early in the regatta, redress may be based on an average of some selected range of future races. But how to assign redress for that seeding race, where the fleet make up and size of heat are quite different from the heats of Race 2 and beyond?

    Here attached is a description of the problem, the logic, and my suggested solution.

    It has no official standing, and may generate some useful discussion on this (hopefully) rare situation.


    Redress in Race 1.pdf

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