Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rule 42 violation on Youtube

From the 2009 Finn Gold Cup;

To add a teaching component to this post, I asked senior US Sailing Judge, Hugh Elliot to give us the judge's perspective on the video;

Here is my commentary:

1. Finn GBR 41 sailing dead downwind - or nearly so - in surfing and planing conditions (Judges so state after the yellow flag at ~ 45 seconds into video).

2. There is some rocking of the boat, apparently induced by the skipper. Since the boat appears to be changing course - to windward when heeled to leeward and vice versa - when this is done, the boat does not break any rule. See RRS 42.3(a) (and ISAF Interpretation Rock 6) which permits the boat to be heeled to facilitate steering. This is an exception to the prohibition on rocking found in RRS 42.2(b)(1).

3. The judges are focusing on the skipper's actions with respect to the sail - specifically pumping. According to the ISAF Interpretations of Terms Used, a pump is a single pull [usually vigorous] on a sail unrelated to wind or waves. RRS 42.2 (a) prohibits repeated fanning of any sail by pulling in and releasing the sail. See Interpretations Pump 1 and Pump 2.

4. RRS 42.3(b) permits one pump - but only one - for the purpose of initiating surfing or planing. One judge can be heard counting the number of pumps [at least two, possibly three] on the same wave. This breaks RRS 42.2(a). In addition, since the boat is already surfing or planing, the exception in RRS 42.3(c) is not available but, if it were, only the first pump would be permitted.

The ISAF Interpretation of RRS 42 may be found here http://www.sailing.org/2004.php They are dated 2005 but did not change for the 2009 - 2012 period.

Best regards


Tip of the hat to Hugh for imparting this wisdom.

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