Monday, 24 March 2014

Back to the Basics (Part 5); Barging II

A blog post in a series: Racing Rules for Novices*
(*I'm going to try to do one of these on Mondays)

In this series I would like to give you my insights into those issues in the Racing Rules for Sailing, that nine times out of ten are asked in one of my rules talks, I do for clubs, sailors and/or class organizations, during the winter season.

This post continues last week's post on barging. If you haven't seen it, I suggest you do so now, here's the link: Back to the Basics (Part 4); Barging I

Barging boats break rule 11 by not keeping clear of the leeward boat. As I said, take away the committee boat, and you see immediately what is what. But that committee boat is there and at the end, it does have an effect on the situation.

This is because of rule 16.1; the rule that puts a general limitation on the right-of-way boat, in our situation the leeward boat. Rule 16.1 says. When a right-of-way boat changes course, it shall give the other boat room to keep clear.

Please compare these three situations:

  situation A
Blue sails a straight course toward the stern of the committee boat 
situation B
Blue leaves a gab, but luffs before reaching the committee boa.

situation C
Blue leaves a gab, and luffs next to the committee boat.

In situation A, the leeward (right-of-way) boat never changes course. Therefore it never has a rule 16.1 limitation and all barging boats must keep clear, without Leeward having to give them room to do so. If the windward boat forces the issue and Leeward is forced to go down - she has to, in order to comply with rule 14 - the windward boat has committed a serious breach of the rules and may well be penalized for rule 11 AND rule 2.

In situation B, the right-of-way boat initially leaves a gap between its course and the stern of the committee boat. Windward, can go there and is able to keep clear of Leeward. As long as both these conditions exist, this is within the rules. However, before Leeward reaches the committee boat, she luffs, closing the gap. Because she's changing course she must give room to Windward to luff as well and keep clear.

In situation C initially the same thing happens. But the luff made by Leeward is at a moment that Windward cannot luff any more without hitting the committee boat. She has no safe (seamanlike) 'escape,' any more. Because of this, although Windward is not keeping clear, she's now 'protected' by the general limitation of rule 16.1. If Leeward luffs, she does NOT give room to Windward to keep clear and therefore she is breaking rule 16.1 and Windward is exonerated for breaking rule 11.

What you have to take away from these situations is that either you leave no gab between the course you are sailing and the committee boat from the beginning, and if you do, to close it before the windward boat cannot go anywhere else. Once Windward gets her bow next to the committee boat you cannot force the issue any longer, without breaking a rule yourself.
This last part is that much harder if there is not one, but several boats to windward, who all want to barge in. Under the general limitation rule 16.1 they ALL have to be given room to keep clear.
Sailing a straight course is you safest bet....


Haven't chosen next week's issue yet, but am sure to come up with something.

If you want to go back to previous posts in this series, here are the links:
Back to the Basics (Part 4); Barging I
Back to the Basics (Part 3): Sweet Seventeen
Back to the Basics (Part 2): Where's the referee?
Back to the Basics (Part 1): Keeping Clear


  1. This weekend I am going to preside over a Racing Rules Seminar for a college sailing club. Today's Bargind II will be the best teaching materials.
    Dank je wel

  2. Ähnlich Uli Finckh:
    "Blau darf wegen Regel 16.1 nicht mehr so spät luven, da es dann Rot keinen Raum zum Freihalten läßt. Es gibt keine Regel, die ein Boot (hier Rot) zwingt, eine Handlung eines anderen Bootes im Vorhinein zu berücksichtigen, auch wenn diese Handlung (hier das Luven von Blau zum Start) zu erwarten ist."

    Ich halte diese Interpretation für nicht richtig. Denn das Leeboot gibt dem Luvboot nur dann keinen "Raum zum Freihalten", wenn es zu schnell anluvt. Ohne das Startboot ist dass völlig klar.
    Regel 16.1 sagt nicht, dass das Leeboot nicht anluven darf, wenn das Luvboot schon keinen Raum mehr zum Anluven hat. Denn diesen (durch das Startboot versperrten) Raum kann das Leeboot dem Luvboot gar nicht geben. 16.1 sagt, dass das Leeboot dem Luvboot Raum zum Freihalten geben muss, aber nicht, dass es ihm Raum zum Nicht-Freihalten geben muss.!/groups/regattasegeln/permalink/678771065584929/


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