Monday, 24 March 2008

Rule 19 Protest Sybesloot

In one of the 'Sneekweeks' I've been involved in, we had a protest involving the shore as an obstruction. Between two '16m2's - a Dutch national class 6 meter keel boat. (The 16 square meters is how much sail they have). No spinnaker and very popular because you can build them yourselves. (See photo below)

Anyway, Yellow and Blue approach the shore, to enter the Sybesloot connecting two parts of the lake. Blue hails for room to tack. Yellow response is: "You Tack" and continues sailing. Blue luffs but not as fast as she wants and clears the stern of Yellow when passing head-to-wind. Because she lost speed, ends up half a boat length lower than Yellow. Blue protests and puts up her red flag.

You're in the protestroom and hear the testimony from both sailors. Write the protest with facts found, conclusion and rules that apply and a decision.
Oh, in the original protest Blue categorically denied ever hearing Yellow's hail, but Yellow asserts she hailed loud and clear.



  1. Jos, Love your blog. You're putting in a huge effort and creating a terrific resource.

    I assume that the diagram is agreed by both parties.

    Facts Found

    1. B (L) and Y (W) were sailing towards an obstruction CH on stbd, overlapped about 1 BL apart, with Y half a BL advanced on B.

    2. When B was 4 to 5 BL from the obstruction she hailed Y for Room to Tack.

    3. Y sailed a further 1.5 BL (about 5 seconds) then responded 'You Tack'.

    4. B did not hear Y respond 'You Tack'.

    5. B did not make any other hail.

    6. About 2.5 BL after the initial hail, B began changing course to windward so as to tack with her bow half a BL to leeward of Y's port side stern.

    7. Y tacked, and B completed her tack half a BL to leeward of Y's stbd side stern.


    1. Y hailed 'You Tack' in response to B's hail for room to tack in accordance with RRS 19.1(b) (although the 3 to 5 seconds scaled from the diagram is at the upper limit of 'immediately').

    2. At no time between positions 3 and 5 did B need to take avoiding action (definition Keep Clear). Y kept clear of B throughout.

    3. Y met all obligations under RRS 19.1.

    4. If B believed that Y had not responded to B's hail for room to tack as required by RRS 19.1, then B should have made a further hail (Case 54).


    Protest Dismissed.

  2. I agree, Brass.
    Yellow's obligation is to give Blue room to get away from the 'danger'. The fact that she had to do so in a different way than she would have liked, doesn't make it a infringement against RRS 19.1.


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