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Over Early - What NOT to do

John Ball

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I saw this incident in the IOM video from France - site of the upcoming IOM Worlds. Watch the left side of the screen for the Yellow boat, sail number 07. He is called over early, but does not handle the situation well - he fouls at least three boats when he bears away to return.

What we don't see are any penalty turns - not only does he have to return to restart, he should do at least three penalty turns for three separate incidents of hitting leeward boats, breaking R 11 and R 22.

I made up a couple of diagrams - not exactly like the incident but close - the point is that if you are called over early and need to return to restart, it is better to luff your sails to slow down, and then luff up slowly, and once clear tack to return. While you slow down and luff, you are still sailing the course with all the normal rights and other boats behind (R 12) and to weather (R 11) must stay clear of you. When you want to tack, you are subject to R 13, so wait until clear. Only after you have borne away are you clearly returning to restart and become subject to R 22.

In the first diagram, Blue luffs sails to slow, then tacks behind Yellow before bearing away to restart. Luffing and tacking also puts you out clear so that you can go around the end of the pin if the I Flag R 30.1 is in effect.



In the other diagram, Blue bears away and fouls Green and Red and needs to do two penalty turns as well as returning to restart.



The messages here are first - DON'T PANIC. Second - it is better to luff your sails and slow down, Third - going back to restart is only to correct being over early, it does not absolve you for any penalties that you may cause while returning.


John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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