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Help on rules please


Pete
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Hi guys, I am a bit rusty on the racing rules - I thought I knew enough, but maybe not. Couple of weekends ago during a club race, I rounded the windward mark just in front of a couple of paper tigers, and we headed towards the gybe mark. One tiger went to leeward of me and one tried to overtake me to windward. I luffed this windward tiger which upset the tiger's skipper who kept shouting "proper course". My reply to him was way too improper to repeat here.

I thought the proper course was used when a boat overtakes you to leeward and then tries to luff you. I have looked at a couple of websites and still think that I was correct

Your thoughts and comments please. A link to a good site for the basic rules would be appreciated.

Do I need to apologise to the tiger skipper?? I am the lone Maricat in an ever growing fleet of tigers.

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Hi Pete,

The proper course rule is always a tricky one. However you can come as high as you want before the over taking boat establishes an overlap to try and make them sail through your gas. If there is no overlap then you don't have to sail proper course. As soon as the windward boat is overlapped you are supposed to sail pretty much straight to the mark. By the time the windward boat is overlapped its pretty much too late to do anything about it anyway. Your better off letting them overtake and get to the next mark as quick as you can.

Its worth remembering the windward boat is still obligated to give you right of way and definitely cannot bear away into you as they pass. So they must still keep clear of the boat sailing its proper course.

Thats my understanding of it anyway.

As a rule if someone is travelling faster than me on a reach I let them go past. You just end up losing too much ground yourself trying to stop them getting past.

Aido

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If the boat to leeward establishes an overlap from more than 2 boat lengths ( rule 17) below you, he then has the right to luff until the overlap is broken, you had the right to luff the windward boat untill he breaks the overlap clear ahead, or stops trying. If he gets clear ahead you become the overtaking boat and must keep clear, and not sail above your proper course, your proper course on a reach or run is determined by the gusts, you sail lower than the mark in gusts and above in lulls ( a protest committee made up of cat sailors will uphold this) until an overlap is established you can sail in any direction, up or down, that you wish.

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If you rounded the mark before them then they are overtaking you. In this case proper course has NOTHING to do with the situation you describe. You can luff the guy until you are a long way from the course.

IF you had overtaken the PT and became leeward boat as a result of your action (going faster) and THEN tried to luff him up then proper course comes into it. You have to sail your proper course which as Darcy describes can and does vary but it does preclude you from taking him a long way.

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