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Running aground?


Michael Thomas
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We have a small fleet of Marblehead yachts at the club to which I belong. All have differing fin lengths within the class rules.

There is an advantage in some races in hugging close to the shore but it can become shallow and often boats run aground.

If the skipper is unable to re-float the boat himself by use of the radio system by sheeting in the sails in order to heel the boat over and float off does the boat become “Disabled” in accordance with the rule. E1.1?

Rule E4.2 relates to outside help and is in part 4 of the RRS therefore penalty turns are not applicable.

As there appears to be nothing within Part 4 which permits outside help to re-float the boat is the skipper of the grounded boat permitted to either wade into the lake to re-float her or use a long pole to push her off and re-join the race or should she now retire as it was not controlled by the radio?

Obviously if another competitor in the race was to do that it would clearly be outside help and a disqualification would follow.

Please advise. Thanks Michael.

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Hi Michael,

pushing off your own boat is not outside help - so no rule is broken. See E3.1

Yes, the boat is disabled, so the RC may help (E4.2(c)) by sending a rescue to relaunch or even by directing another party (who becomes an extension of the RC) to help.

John

 

 

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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Hi Michael,

the boat is only disabled while she is aground. Once she has been released, she is no longer disabled and may continue to race.

There is no rule that says that once you are disabled, you must retire, except for the hail of 'out of control'

John

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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Hi Ian,

The concept of 'advantage' comes up in taking penalties. Running aground is not against the rules - so no penalty implication.

When refloating a boat, you may not give it a strong push, as that would break R 42 Propulsion.

If a boat is able to take a risky path and cut a corner and risk running aground, but a quick recovery gets the boat back into the race with an advantage, then that is a race management issue, and the RC needs to think about how the course is set, and maybe declare an area as an obstruction (no-go).

John

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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