Continuous Obstruction – Calling for room on Point Clear

Forums Club Racing Continuous Obstruction – Calling for room on Point Clear

Author Posts
September 30, 2014 at 2:52 pm #1714


An interesting discussion and clarity around the rules has been taking place on Yachts and Yachting, here:

October 2, 2014 at 3:30 pm #1724

That’s interesting Chris. You hear a lot of calls of “no rights if you go in there“, most of which are invalid based on this. The long & the short of it is that if you stick your nose in between another (leeward) boat and the shore and can sail for a boatlength or two after you established the overlap without needing to be given any additional room by the leeward boat then you did have the right to go in there.

December 15, 2014 at 1:40 pm #1857


One thing not mentioned above is that you cannot change course after establishing the overlap.
Hence if you luff and are now pointing at Point clear and get an overlap you cannot ask the lower boat to change course , if you do then you are in breach of the rules…
Also the call of no water does not hold any place in the rules except that it warns the competitor you are aware of there presence and do not wish a collision which also requires all competitors to avoid.
As we tend to funnel in as the point sticks out anyone to leeward has to stay to leeward, but those coming in from higher can claim after establishing and overlap.
( in my opinion we need to have a better start line to prevent such bias in the creek as the point clear short is so advantageous – I would put in Creek Red Mark to port on every course if there is enough water as this would square up the line and prevent such problems!)

December 15, 2014 at 5:37 pm #1858


RYA case 1968/11 Sums it up nicely with a pretty diagram.

“A boat astern and required to keep clear is entitled to room if she becomes overlapped between the boat that was a head and a continuing obstruction, provided that there was room to pass between them when the overlap began.”

A1-> A2-> SSSS
B1-> B2->

My attempt at their diagram 🙁 at A2/B2 B has to give A room to bear away round the shore indicated by the SS’es.

Prior to A2 A is windward boat and has to give B room and cant bear away because there is room for her to sail between the shore and B.

I agree with Piers that we really need to go to something like the red mark or alternatively put an outer limit mark on the line. The latter is in the sailing instructions – quote
“8.3.1. A red flag flown from the yardarm on the club race control box indicates that an outer limit mark (usually a white buoy) has been laid. Boats must not start betwe n this buoy and St Osyth shore.” However I am not sure how many people would know what the flag meant – perhaps we should try it? However both these solutions only work when there is a reasonable amount of water!


  • This reply was modified 2 years, 12 months ago by  DaveC.
December 15, 2014 at 10:36 pm #1860

I think an outer limit on the line would just result in a big pile-up at the limit mark whenever it’s a typical SW wind close reaching start – not to mention that the line is already too short at low tide. At least with the shore being the limit you get a bit of a spread depending on draft/bravery/stupidity etc. Going to e.g. the red (not at low tide!) or green can would really string the fleet out at that point, a bit like MW does as it almost becomes 1-in-1-out at a time. That’s not to say that what we have at the moment is great either!

I don’t think the rules are written to handle boats calling for water to tack on both sides of the ‘track’ at once!

December 15, 2014 at 11:40 pm #1861


There is a RYA case for that too:-) It sort of says that if there aint enough room to get round the mark between the mark and the shore (i.e. trying to squeeze 10 boats into 5 boats room) the guy calling for water for the shore wins (if anyone is paying attention!). Shore to shore – as you suggest – I give in.

Anyway, the file out of the creek has long been one of my grips and it occurs more often than not. That is why we are having more (4) club race committee boat starts next year. However we struggle to find volunteers prepared to run racing starting from the committee boat. We are toying with the idea of using a RIB rather than the CB per say but whether that would make it more acceptable to OODs or not is debateable.

December 16, 2014 at 9:39 am #1862

The other reason I think an outer limit won’t help much is that on a flood tide it will still pay to get in to the shore, so 10 seconds after the start everyone will head that way and we’ll be back in the same situation. It would also lead to a lot of argy bargy, boats barging in/getting squeezed out, maybe some protests and probably more general recalls. The real answer is to change the angle of the line – I think Piers suggested some time ago moving the starting hut to the the far corner of the dinghy park, combine that with a choice of say 3 transits and things would be a lot better.

I think the file out of MW is at least as big an issue as the file out of the creek, it really does force everyone into single file and often to break out of the line is as costly as staying in line and eating dirt.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 12 months ago by MikeBz MikeBz.
  • This reply was modified 2 years, 12 months ago by MikeBz MikeBz. Reason: typos
December 16, 2014 at 10:24 am #1865


Thinking about it you can’t call for water on a start mark so on a reaching start I guess lots of people are going to line up pointing near head to wind on the line thereby shoving the others outside the buoy with lots of shouting as you say. Not a start I want to take part in!

A spot of google mapping though seems to confirm the view I get when I walk to the end of the dinghy park. The most you would alter the angle of the line by is about 10deg if no part of the new line is further up the creek (towards the moorings) than the existing line. We are already getting “encouragement” from the harbour to keep the melee at the start away from the pontoons so I don’t think we could go any further than that. If that is the case I don’t see any point in moving the start hut for minimal advantage.

I think the real problem is the sandbank which didn’t used to be there but there is nothing we can do about that 🙁

January 14, 2015 at 1:22 pm #1894


My idea was not for limiting the start line, but to make the first mark of the course the red mark in the creek – thus keeping us away from the bank
The rules for marks are much better understood and easier interpreted, and we may get a better spread down the start line as the distance from the line is not as bias!

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.