rules after OCS

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by abenn, Mar 16, 2005.

  1. abenn

    abenn New Member

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    I was recently OCS in a race and was keen to get back to the start ASAP, so I tacked on to starboard (everyone had started on port for reasons I won't go in to). I made sure people around me had room to react to this, but someone coming up behind claimed that he had to tack away and that I wasn't allowed to do this as I "had no rights" after being OCS. I guess he was thinking of the situation where someone has done something wrong and has to do a penalty turn(s) and the rules specifically state that you must quickly get clear of other boats and then do the penalty without interfering with other boats. Does this apply when trying to get back to the start ?
    I was sure he could have gone through anyway and in fact I stalled the boat and called him through but he panicked and tacked on to starboard.
    What can you do when trying to get back (esp from the centre of the start line) other than luff up and wait for everyone to go past ?
     
  2. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    Check out rule 20.1. "A boat sailing towards the pre-start side of the line.....after her starting signal to start.....shall keep clear of a boat not doing so".

    So yeah - basically you have no rights after being OCS - you have to keep clear of all the other boats that got legal starts.
     
  3. vtgent49

    vtgent49 Member

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    Hi,

    Technically, you need to interpret 20.1 a little more literally. Even if OCS you have full rights UNTIL you turn down/back towards the line. If you choose to stay close hauled or luff or even to finish the race you have rights. It's when you turn back, that you lose them.

    This is very important in big boats, where a collision is dangerous and costly. And in match racing, the boat behind (leeward) can hassle you very effectively with a sort-of tacking duel. I've seen this go on for 3-4 minutes, and 1/2 way up the leg!

    Al Russell
     
  4. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Member

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    Good point Al. Rule 20.1 applies from when the OCS boat is sailing "towards" the pre-start side of the line. So in the example stated our friend could presumably tack on to starboard and bear away as far as sailing parallel to the start line and still have rights over the port tack boats around him. He only has to keep clear when he starts sailing back to the line.
     
  5. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    OG, this is a good discussion. Having been in "the room" a few times I have learned that nothing is cut and dry when it comes to interpretation of the rule. I would be careful on the "tack to Starboard and bear away" idea. Reason, once you bear away you are no longer heading towards the weather mark. It could be easily argued that once you bear away from close hauled you are sailing back towards the line. This, however, is just an opinion and judges are full of them!

     

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