Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Start | Starting Strategies : Rule 11, and 17.1

during pre-start tactics rule 11 applies prior to the starting signal of your race, boats in your start have no proper course therefore the leeward boat has right of way and can luff another boat to windward. Use this rule to help gain the windward advantage and force your opponent to tack. Be careful to watch the boat to your leeward as well. They can force you to do the same.

After the start rule 17.1 comes into effect which a "proper course"can be interpreted in many ways.

Rule 17.1 Boats on the same tack; proper course states:

If a boat clear astern becomes overlapped within two of her hull lengths to leeward of a boat on the same tack, she shall not sail above her proper course while they remain overlapped within that distance, unless in doing so she promptly sails astern of the other boat. This rule does not apply if the overlap begins while the windward boat is required by rule 13 to keep clear.

Use the rule 11 as a defensive tactic if you are the leeward boat and a boat passes to windward. The windward boat must keep clear of the leeward boat regardless of proper course.(rule 11).

To use the rule 17.1 as an offensive tact it is imperative that you understand the gray areas that define "proper course' and to take full advantage of the rule you should know your competition and how close to the wind they are capable of sailing comparative to you. when you can point higher than another boat you are overtaking to leeward you can maintain a higher proper course and may effectively force them to tack over to maintain their speed.

Sail fairly within the rules and avoid protests. It is better to race and win with the respect of your competition then win at any cost.


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