Extending Sprit before offset

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Postby Guest » Wed Jun 26, 2002 10:15 pm

I just noticed in the wrap up of the worlds that on the 21st something like 26 boats received scoring penalty on a "controversial" ruling regarding extending the sprit on the offset leg.

Do I understand this correctly?

Does this ruling have implications for future events?

Steve Strout
Ghost Dancing

Postby Guest » Mon Jul 01, 2002 9:20 pm

I also would like to hear more about this ruling. I do not believe that any boat I have ever raced against has not extended the pole after rounding the weather mark. I know that Rule C.8.3 (III) basically states that the gennaker shall be flown at all times when the bowsprit is extended. Then Rule C.8.4 (IV)contradicts this by stating the the bowsprit will be retracted at the first reasonable opportunity after rounding the leward mark. Would anyone at the 2002 Worlds that knows why this ruling was upheld please inform the rest of the Class. Surely there were many other boats in many other races extending the bowsprit prior to the "offset" mark. Also, who filed the protest? Was it a competitor or the race committee?

Postby Guest » Tue Jul 16, 2002 4:52 pm

The International Jury at the Worlds (and later at the ISAF World Sailing Games) concluded that the offset leg is really a part of the windward leg thus making the offset mark your official "windward mark". However if for some reason you could hoist the chute on the offset leg, then you could extend the pole provided that immediately you hoisted the kite. Basically they said that the pole could be extended only in the process of hoisting (and flying) the kite. What they do not allow is rounding the weather mark, extending the pole and sailing the duration of the offset leg (without hoisting the kite) and after rounding the offset leg hoisting the kite. The same thing goes for retracting the pole. This should be done in the continuous process of taking down the kite. Once the kite is down the pole should be retracted immediately and it better be done before starting your next windward leg.

Hope this helps.


Antonio Mari
PUR 70

PS: In case you were wondering... Yes I was one of the boats penalized at the Worlds (the protest was lodged by the International Jury themselves while observing the race from an inflatable dinghy at the weather mark), and the matter was clarified to all competitors at the ISAF World Sailing Games with some postings on the Notice Board

Postby Guest » Tue Jul 16, 2002 5:57 pm

For races where there is no offset mark:

Was there a mention of "breaking the imaginary plane of the windward mark? For example, Could one stick out the pole during the approach to the mark, immediately start prefeeding the kite and hoisting slowly in one continuous manuever?

Postby Guest » Tue Jul 16, 2002 9:56 pm

At first blush this looked inconsistent, so I dug out the rules. It makes sense to me now. here’s why:

The RRS does not define “windward markâ€

Postby Guest » Tue Jul 16, 2002 11:09 pm

Last night I posted an explanation of what happened, but for some reason the server didn't accept it. I'll try again...

Throughout the competition, members of the International Jury were on the water inspecting boats for equipment compliance and also penalizing boats for observed class rules infractions such as carrying the mainsail above the black band. After the first day of competition the jury posted a notice identifying boats that had violated Rule# C.8.3(b)(iii)and warning that further violations would result in penalties being assessed. From what I gathered, everyone simply assumed that the violation by those boats was extension of the sprit prior to passing the weather mark. Following the third day of racing, another notice was posted identifying 26 boats that had been penalized for infractions of the same rule. Initially the jury had intended to assess a 40% penalty but eventually reduced the penalty to 4 points. Despite the objections of the event coordinator and the ranking member of the International Technical Committee (who were not competing and had no vested interest in the outcome), as well as my own, the jury resolved to penalize the 26 boats for extending their bowsprits on all or part of an offset leg of the course while not flying their gennakers. Essentially, the jury penalized boats for infringement of the last sentence in the rule, "The boat shall fly
the gennaker at all times when the bowsprit is extended" taken out of context from the rest of the rule.

A hearing was requested by one of the British boats and was granted following hearing of all protests that evening. I was called as a witness, representing the Class Association. Having penned the rule, I was asked to clarify the wording and the intent of the rule. I explained that, in the context of the entire rule the sentence in question was intended to prevent two possible situations: 1) Extension of the sprit to establish an overlap on a leg of the course where flying the gennaker is not possible, and 2) Extending or keeping the sprit extended while not flying the gennaker to prevent a boat from crossing clear ahead. I also explained the commonly accepted practice of extending the sprit immediately after rounding the weather mark onto an offset leg either to fly the gennaker to the offset mark or to prepare for the imminent gennaker hoist at the offset mark. I also emphasized that it is often impossible to judge whether or the not the gennaker can be flown on an offset leg until sailing on that leg, and that the standard crew maneuver is to extend the sprit, prefeed the tack, and then decide whether or not to hoist immediately. The offset leg on the championship course was approximately 200 yards long, not the 25 to 50 yards that the class is accustomed to racing with. The jury contended that on such a long offset leg, there should be ample time to assess the situation and to hoist in a seamanlike manner and that the sprit should not be extended unless the gennaker was actually flying. Interestingly, there were no altercations involving sprit extension during the races in question, and no protests were filed by competitors involving the rule in question. This was a unilateral decision to penalize over half of the fleet made by a jury who (in my humble and unofficial opinion) felt the need to flex their collective muscle before our young and developing class. The International Technical Committee has been asked to review the wording of the rule to try to prevent recurrences of this type of situation.

Postby Guest » Tue Jul 16, 2002 11:23 pm

Additionally, there was no mention by the Worlds' International Jury at the hearing regarding considering the offet mark as part of the weather leg. Perhaps the Jury at the ISAF World Games tried to come up with a plausible explanation to keep their interpretation consistent with the Worlds' Jury.

While it's on my mind, I would also like to thank Antonio Mari and his crew aboard PUR 70 for selflessly lending their Speedmate display to us after ours decided to see how fast it could travel on its own without the boat. Muchas Gracias, Tony!!

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