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Rule 28,Sailing the course.

Terry Connell

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Recently,in an IOM race,I was protested for not sailing the course under Rule 28

I had been almost last boat in a fleet race, had passed the hitch mark to port as required started sailing towards the downwind gate but then suffered a loss of control which caused my boat to round up,tack and sail back towards the mark passing it on my starboard side. I then re-gained control.gybed onto starboard and re-passed the buoy but this time on my starboard side.I did not impede any other boat and found myself last having sailed an unnecessary extra distance.

As I had already passed the mark correctly I do not understand why I should have to pass it again on my port side.

Rule 28 does not state that there is a course that one must sail between marks, as on a string line,which would make nonsense of the broad reaching courses that catarmarins and Admiral Cups boat do.It defines,only,the correct side on which to pass a mark.

Rule 28.2 (a) states "pass each mark on the correct side and in the correct order".

This I originally did.

Consider a yacht that,sailing in a tideway in a very light wind,passes a mark correctly but then losing way over the ground,falls back behind the mark but then regains speed and passes the mark on what would normally be the incorrect side.Supposing that she had anchored,so as to not lose distance but had then dragged her anchor so that she was behind the mark. Should she have to re-round the mark on the course side again?

Surely not!

What is your opinion,please?

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Take a look at Yellow in this diagram - she sails much as you described. Now imagine that black line is a piece of string. Pull down on boat number 8 and the string will pull tight, but it will only round the weather Mark, and not the offset - so the course sailed looks just like that sailed by Green.

So you did not sail in accordance with R 28 and the protest was the correct action.



John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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