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Remain Behind after an Infringement


John Taylor

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For my own education. I was caught up in a couple of infringements today.

Scenario 1

Both yachts were on stbd tack heading for the windward mark when the leeward yacht hit me. Being the weather yacht I performed my penalty turn and carried on sailing behind the yacht I infringed. Both continued rounding the windward mark. 
We continued on the running leg of the course and rounded the gate mark with me still behind. During the final beat to the finishing line, I was fortunate to grab the lead and finish in first place. The skipper of the yacht I infringed earlier said that really I should not be in front of him. His statement confused me as I believe I took my penalty and finished the race fairly. 
 

Is the other skipper correct, should I remain behind him??
 

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Hi John,

The answer is 'No'.

You took your penalty. You gained no advantage.

The other skipper is perhaps misunderstanding E4.3(b) where you may need to take additional penalties until you no longer have an advantage - but this is still at the time of the incident - and once satisfied - the incident os over. Sail your best race.

John

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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  • 3 months later...

My first post, so please be kind !!!

We were sailing today, and my friend who i sailed with had an altercation with another boat, i was no were close, so could not say who or what was going on, friend was called a penalty, and did a 360 immediately, but the other skipper, DEMANDED that the offending boat remained behind, also shuffed a rule book under Friends nose after the event,  is this correct? as ive just spent hours researching this on many sites, and come up with nothing, except the 360, that was dually completed, confused.com  

 

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It sounds like your friend has followed the rules correctly. 

We are involved with an often pleasant hobby which is a group of friends playing with model boats. The vast majority follow this path but there is sometimes the occasional person taking things much too seriously.  

I would suggest that ignoring this incident and looking forward to a pleasant session soon with the rest of your group is the best choice.  The rare " Mr Too Serious " may not be there next time! 

Edited by ianrmcdonald
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The comments above are correct – your friend caused an incident, broke a rule, and took the appropriate penalty, and so may continue to race – there is no rule about staying behind the boat that he fouled.

You may find my web site articles useful
https://sites.google.com/site/johnsrcsailingrulesandtactics/
and especially Chapter 9: The Penalty Turn- a look at when and how to take a penalty

The key here is the Appendix E rule about taking a penalty and as long as (b) or (c) do not apply, then a single penalty is appropriate.

E4.3 Taking a Penalty
Rule 44.1 is changed to:
A boat may take a One-Turn Penalty when she may have broken one or more rules of
Part 2, or rule 31, in an incident while racing.
However,
(a) when she may have broken a rule of Part 2 and rule 31 in the same incident she
need not take the penalty for breaking rule 31;
(b) if the boat gained an advantage in the heat or race by her breach despite taking a
penalty, her penalty shall be additional One Turn Penalties until her advantage is lost;
(c) if the boat caused serious damage, or as a result of breaking a rule of Part 2 she
caused another boat to become disabled and retire, her penalty shall be to retire.

 

John

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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Dear John

I have just read your query and note that the question has been answered. My question to your incident being, you stated that the leeward boat hit you. If I was sitting in on the protest  would require more details, such as:- Did the leeward boat come from behind?  What was the position of the two boats when contact was made? Did the leeward boat have luffing rights? I assume that you did not bear down on the leeward boat as you stated that it hit you?

Regards Raymond Crisp

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Raymond,

Thanks for your comment. As your aware time has gone by now, my initial post describes the detail as it happened at the time. My actions described makes me think I was liable to take a penalty, the boats were side by side. From memory, I can’t remember anything that would challenge this decision. 

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  • 3 months later...
On 25/07/2023 at 23:43, Steve Mullanny said:

My first post, so please be kind !!!

We were sailing today, and my friend who i sailed with had an altercation with another boat, i was no were close, so could not say who or what was going on, friend was called a penalty, and did a 360 immediately, but the other skipper, DEMANDED that the offending boat remained behind, also shuffed a rule book under Friends nose after the event,  is this correct? as ive just spent hours researching this on many sites, and come up with nothing, except the 360, that was dually completed, confused.com  

 

Rule E4.3 makes no mention of the boat that was infringed against.

The question that needs to be answered is:

After taking a penalty is the boat in a better position in the race than if she has not broken the rule (see WS Radio Sailing Call P4).

So, for example, a boat on port tack that would have been in, say 5th place, if she dipped behind a starboard tack boat, but instead choses to tack and fouls the boat on starboard. After taking a penalty, the port tack boat should be in 5th or worse.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 03/11/2023 at 12:28, Gordon W Davies said:

Rule E4.3 makes no mention of the boat that was infringed against.

The question that needs to be answered is:

After taking a penalty is the boat in a better position in the race than if she has not broken the rule (see WS Radio Sailing Call P4).

So, for example, a boat on port tack that would have been in, say 5th place, if she dipped behind a starboard tack boat, but instead choses to tack and fouls the boat on starboard. After taking a penalty, the port tack boat should be in 5th or worse.

 

Hi Gordon,

This approach appears to have changed over recent years. Can you advise where this interpretation is written or if this is your personal view.

cheers

Darin

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This topic seems to have been debated ad nauseam in several threads on this forum with the conclusion remaining the same since the rule was adjusted in 2021? It may not be the best written rule but it is clear that if, after taking a penalty turn, additional turn(s) are required if there is still an advantage gained in the heat or race with no reference to the aggrieved boat.

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Darin,

 

See answer 2 in WS RS Call P4. This has been the official interpretation for many years. 

The issue with writing a 'must be behind the boat that was fouled is that the penalty then depends on the boat handling and rig choice of the boat fouled. It would be better to foul an expert sailor as he would recover quicker, and not to foul the boat that has taken the risk to stay in A rig when everyone else is in B rig (as they are likely to stay in irons for much longer. :

Answer 2
A boat still has an advantage in the heat or race when, having taken one or more one-turn penalties, she has gained by her breach a place or places in that heat or race, or has not lost a place or places that she would have done if she had not broken a rule . See rule E4.3(b).

Advantage should be measured from a time and position immediately before the boat broke the rule for which she is taking the penalty, until the completion of her last one-turn penalty. If the boat's position in the heat or race after taking one or more penalty turns is better than it would have been if she had not broken a rule, she has not completed her penalty and needs to make one or more further turns.
If she fails to do so until she no longer has an advantage, she may be further penalized for her breach either following a hearing or, in umpired racing, by the
umpire.
Any advantage gained is to be measured relative to the whole fleet. A boat may, after taking one or more one-turn penalties, be in a better position than the boat she infringed, but in a worse position than if she had not broken a rule. In this case she has completed her penalty.

 

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