New Iceboat Rules

National Iceboat Authority Racing Rules Change Summary

By Tim McCormick

Animations by Dave Elsmo DN US5486

This is an excerpt. Read the entire summary here.

DARLING COURSE

The second course is the DARLING COURSE, which is a STANDARD COURSE modified with the addition of two DARLING MARKS which must be left to PORT. This is named in honor of John Darling who was the resident race committee and race starter in the New Jersey area throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s. Mr. Darling was the first to use the DARLING MARK at the leeward end of the course. The DARLING MARK serves several purposes:.

WINDWARD APPROACH

A. In larger fleets, there can be a tendency for some of the even side starters on STARBOARD TACK to over stand the windward MARK. When they tack over to PORT TACK, they are set up for a head on collision with yachts that have already rounded the windward MARK. Therefore, near the windward MARK, the DARLING MARK creates separation between ON-THE-WIND PORT TACK yachts and OFF-THE-WIND STARBOARD TACK yachts to minimize collisions.
WINDWARD AFTER ROUNDING

B. After rounding the windward MARK, some yachts may desire to JIBE as soon as possible. This can create head-on collision situations with STARBOARD TACK ONTHE-WIND yachts that have understood the windward MARK. Therefore, near the windward MARK, the DARLING MARK creates separation between ON-THE-WIND STARBOARD TACK yachts and OFF-THE-WIND PORT TACK yachts to minimize collisions.

LEEWARD MARK

C. Creates separation between a PORT TACK ON-THE-WIND yacht that has just rounded the leeward MARK and STARBOARD TACK OFF-THE-WIND yachts approaching the leeward MARK.

D. Creates separation between a STARBOARD TACK ON-THE-WIND yacht that has just rounded the leeward MARK and subsequently TACKED and a PORT TACK OFF-THEWIND yacht approaching the leeward MARK.

The bottom line is….the DARLING MARK is intended to create separation between yachts which should minimize head-on collisions near the potentially congested areas around a MARK. Some may claim that DARLING MARKS reduce the playing field and reduce the tactical freedom of a race. I think they’re overstating it. With a 1 mile course and two DARLING MARKS each placed 100 yards from their associated MARK, the “tactical area” is only reduced by 11% (200yards x 1 mile/1760 yards = 0.11). Typically sailors don’t change tacks until they’ve completed the MARK rounding and achieved full speed. That is likely 50 yards from a MARK so the real effect on the “tactical area” is more like 5%. This is a minor issue compared to the safety gained.

A key point regarding iceboat DARLING MARKS is the imaginary line between the MARK and its accompanying DARLING MARK is considered part of the MARK. Therefore, if a yacht crosses over this line, she will have fouled the MARK and be disqualified.

The disadvantage of the DARLING MARKS, of course, is the need for the Race Committee to have additional equipment and the added labor of placing or moving the DARLING MARKS on the course.

Official Iceboat Racecourse

 


1. STARTING PROCEDURE

TACKING AT THE START OF A RACE

One of the safety issues addressed is protecting the Race Committee immediately following the start of a race. New rule IV.C.3 states: “After a yacht starts and until she rounds the windward MARK for the first time, a yacht shall not pass between the center of the starting line (positions 1 and 2) and the leeward MARK.” This prevents yachts from tacking immediately after the start of the race and endangering the Race Committee.

*Note that the leeward mark, darling mark and the line between them are all considered part of the mark- thus, a yacht must keep them both on the proper side on the first pass after starting (starboard tack starters must keep them both on the starboard side and port tack starters must keep them both to port.)

Iceboat Rule Change


2. WINDWARD MARK- APPROACH

In larger fleets, there can be a tendency for some of the even side starters on STARBOARD TACK to over stand the windward MARK. When they tack over to PORT TACK, they are set up for a head on collision with yachts that have already rounded the windward MARK. Therefore, near the windward MARK, the DARLING MARK creates separation between ON-THE-WIND PORT TACK yachts and OFF-THE-WIND STARBOARD TACK yachts to minimize collisions.


3. WINDWARD MARK – AFTER ROUNDING

After rounding the windward MARK, some yachts may desire to JIBE as soon as possible. This can create head-on collision situations with STARBOARD TACK ONTHE-WIND yachts that have understood the windward MARK. Therefore, near the windward MARK, the DARLING MARK creates separation between ON-THE-WIND STARBOARD TACK yachts and OFF-THE-WIND PORT TACK yachts to minimize collisions.


4. LEEWARD MARK – APPROACH

Creates separation between a PORT TACK ON-THE-WIND yacht that has just rounded the leeward MARK and STARBOARD TACK OFF-THE-WIND yachts approaching the leeward MARK.


5. LEEWARD MARK – AFTER ROUNDING

Creates separation between a STARBOARD TACK ON-THE-WIND yacht that has just rounded the leeward MARK and subsequently TACKED and a PORT TACK OFF-THEWIND yacht approaching the leeward MARK


 6. FINISH – CORRECT PROCEDURE


7. FINISH – INCORRECT PROCEDURE


8. WINDWARD MARK RIGHT OF WAY

Another addition is Right-of-Way rule 8.a which states: “When yachts sailing ON-THE-WIND on opposite tacks are approaching a MARK, the PORT TACK yacht shall keep clear of the STARBOARD TACK yacht.” This new rule eliminates the previous confusion about the governing rule when approaching the windward MARK: Did the STARBOARD TACK yacht have rights over the PORT TACK yacht or was the PORT TACK yacht inside and therefore require the STARBOARD TACK yacht to stay clear? This new rule clarifies that the PORT TACK yacht shall keep clear.


9. WINDWARD MARK RIGHT OF WAY

Another addition is Right-of-Way rule 8.a which states: “When yachts sailing ON-THE-WIND on opposite tacks are approaching a MARK, the PORT TACK yacht shall keep clear of the STARBOARD TACK yacht.” This new rule eliminates the previous confusion about the governing rule when approaching the windward MARK: Did the STARBOARD TACK yacht have rights over the PORT TACK yacht or was the PORT TACK yacht inside and therefore require the STARBOARD TACK yacht to stay clear? This new rule clarifies that the PORT TACK yacht shall keep clear.

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