Solo news 16 Mar

Spring weather!

Wow - don't suppose it will last but what a gorgeous weekend. Wall to wall sunshine with a nice sailing breeze both days.

Many thanks for all your help with the RS200's on Saturday - looked like they had great racing and the Solo fleet did a great job. Link to Y&S article http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/news/175101/RS200-SEAS-Open-at-Island-Barn - I was a bit worried that we might be thin on Sunday but - 10 boats on the line again and that's without me (on duty) or Mark.

From the RO's view Sunday was a great race (Paul may not agree) with places changing on every lap. Peter H had a storming first lap but I think the adrenaline of leading at the end of the lap got to him and he touched the leeward mark and had to do a 360. I have some video which I will try to put up somewhere - it showed lots of good mark rounding - don't think I got Paul but his was the best although no-one was very far out. A few could be a bit crisper getting the sheet in and the boat turned a bit quicker but there were no really bad rounds. The big swing in the race happened when the wind filled in from the South from where I was you could easily see the patch of wind, in fact you could hear the water noise from the boats on the Sandown side. Another case of really keeping the eyes out of the boat. You must keep a view on the bigger picture, and when leading unless you are very sure about a big gain it pays to keep at least loose cover on your main rivals.  Still work the shifts but try to remain roughly between them and the mark so they can’t outflank you.

Last week we covered the rules at marks - remember the key point is when the first boat enters 'the zone' three lengths from the mark. If at that point he is clear ahead no-one can claim an overlap after that.  If another boat is overlapping inside (bow ahead of the backmost part) then that boat has mark room. If there is a change in overlap close to the first boat entering the zone and there is doubt if the overlap changed it is deemed to not change. So if you thought you got your bow to just overlap at the last moment before three lengths you probably didn't. Similarly if you thought you broke through to clear ahead right at three lengths you probably didn't. (In a protest if doubt you would lose). I think I have on film the trio of Ben, Ian and Tony all arriving in a bunch. Amazingly no collision but the key is whether Ian had an overlap on Ben when Ben (leader) entered three lengths. Not easy to tell from where I was but good skill from everyone avoiding a collision.  It is really great to see the three of you pushing each other hard and improving all the time.

This week let’s take the rules at marks one stage further and think about the windward mark. Here is the whole of rule 18 – we covered 18.2 last week which is what applies at wing or leeward marks. This week we’ll take the rest of the rule and see the whole thing.

18        MARK-ROOM                          

18.1     When Rule 18 Applies

Rule 18 applies between boats when they are required to leave a mark on the same side and at least one of them is in the zone. However, it does not apply

(a) between boats on opposite tacks, on a beat to windward,

So approaching windward mark regular port and starboard apply
(The key parts will be in 18.3 – what happens when you tack and so are no longer on opposite tacks)

(b) between boats on opposite tacks when the proper course at the mark for one but not both of them is to tack,
This is either a port tacker coming in to a port rounding (typical first mark rounding mark on the port side). The starboard tack boat does not need to tack. It is MORE relevant for the less common Starboard hand mark  (we often get that marks 3,4,5 where we will leave it to starboard and go on to 7,8,9. Here a port tack boat may be approaching able to lay the mark and not need to tack, but a starboard tack boat coming in has to tack to round the mark. Although the starboard tack appears to be ‘inside’ he’s on different tack and becase the port tack doesn’t need to tack. (See discussion of this part below under tacking at the mark)

(c) between a boat approaching a mark and one leaving it, or
regular rules windward/leeward and port/starboard apply.

(d) if the mark is a continuing obstruction, in which case rule 19 applies.
Doesn’t happen at our club but can happen on gravel pits if there is an island with a required side (usually that isn’t a mark though). Our marks are small.

(We covered 18.2 last week but here it is again just to remind us)

18.2     Giving Mark-Room                          

(a) When boats are overlapped the outside boat shall give the inside boat mark-room, unless rule 18.2(b) applies.

(b) If boats are overlapped when the first of them reaches the zone, the outside boat at that moment shall thereafter give the inside boat mark-room. If a boat is clear ahead when she reaches the zone, the boat clear astern at that moment shall thereafter give her mark-room.

(c) When a boat is required to give mark-room by rule 18.2(b),

(1) she shall continue to do so even if later an overlap is broken or a new overlap begins;

(2) if she becomes overlapped inside the boat entitled to mark-room, she shall also give that boat room to sail her proper course while they remain overlapped.

However, if the boat entitled to mark-room passes head to wind or leaves the zone, rule 18.2(b) ceases to apply.

(d) If there is reasonable doubt that a boat obtained or broke an overlap in time, it shall be presumed that she did not.

(e) If a boat obtained an inside overlap from clear astern or by tacking to windward of the other boat and, from the time the overlap began, the outside boat has been unable to give mark-room, she is not required to give it.

 

18.3     Tacking in the Zone                          

If a boat in the zone passes head to wind and is then on the same tack as a boat that is fetching the mark, rule 18.2 does not thereafter apply between them. The boat that changed tack

(a) shall not cause the other boat to sail above close-hauled to avoid contact or prevent the other boat from passing the mark on the required side, and
Note that it doesn’t say the other boat mustn’t be made to alter course, just that it mustn’t have be forced above close hauled. So if someone is approaching after slightly over-standing and could give room without going above close hauled a boat can tack to leeward and make her sail close hauled.

(b) shall give mark-room if the other boat becomes overlapped inside her.
This happens a lot if you can just cross ahead on port but don’t have room to tack in front or couldn’t tack to leeward without violating part (a). If the ‘other boat’ which didn’t tack gains an overlap the zone doesn’t apply – the boat that tacked has to give mark room.

Tacking at the mark
One final point about mark rounding – tacking just after rounding or as you round. You must not obstruct a boat behind as you tack – the normal way to avoid fouling a boat nehind is to make certain you are really close to the mark and then luff as you pass the mark to head to wind before following on into the tack.  If you aren’t really close to the mark and the boat behind rounds up quickly a boat behind might be obstructed.

The other case is if the mark is left to starboard and you are coming in on starboard tack and need to tack at the mark. You need to be wary of both a boat coming in from behind or boats coming in on port because you mustn’t foul them as you tack. You have rights if you are on starboard but not as tack.  Note that a tack starts when you pass head to wind (but you mustn’t stop someone keeping clear by altering course).  With the port tack boat coming in everything is in the timing. If you arrive together the port tack must tack to avoid you. If you are only marginally ahead there probably is not room to tack without fouling so you must keep going – if the port tack can duck you and still make the mark he gets past. If you slow down a bit he can’t duck you and make the mark… Can get very tactical and the boat who sees the situation coming and plans ahead usually gains!

Series in the balance
With one race to go in the winter series there is still doubt over the results and in the Personal handicap it is still only half a point but places changed again as Mervyn won on PH. Roy needs to win next week to take the PH back from Mervyn though Peter C is close enough to spring a surprise. This week Division 1 took the honours again with Mervyn beating Peter C but Tony Penfold from the Championship claimed the final podium by just one second from Tony Sproat who won the division 2 battle this week.

At the moment the forecast for Sunday looks light but there’s a long time to go.  I will be on duty again so I’ll try and take some mre pictures.

I will be adjusting the handicaps after the end of the series but with just 2 1/2 mins between first and last on personal corrected time I don't think they are that far out!

 

Class Association

Final note – those of you who are members of the Class Association should have received an excellent magazine recently – those who have not yet renewed or who are not members … http://www.solosailing.org/

The class association does a good job keeping the Solo in the news, promoting the class, working with suppliers etc. If you visited the dinghy show you would have seen a great stand with two boats and a variety of sails. This is all done by volunteers but funding shows, magazines etc. comes from your membership.

 

Gareth

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