Boats approaching on the same tack: both on starboard and not overlapped
Entering the 2 BL zone there's no difference between left or right hand gate mark; in both cases rules 12 and 18.2(c) dictate that the clear astern boat shall keep clear. Rounding the left mark the clear ahead boat has no limitations. Rule 16.1 is off, she can round the mark anyway she wants.
At the other side, at the right hand mark, the clear ahead boat faces a dilemma. As soon as she passes head to wind, rule 18.2(c) switches off and stays off. If the clear astern boat is close enough, the boat passing head to wind has to keep clear under rule 13 (tacking) and on top of that, if the boat from clear astern manages to create an inside overlap, she has to keep clear after tacking as well.
There is a solution for this problem, one that most sailors find hard to execute. Slow down when your next to the mark luffing head to wind, but not passed that. As soon as the boat from clear astern gets an overlap on the OUTSIDE and passes head to wind you can go. Because then both boats are tacking and the one on the right has r.o.w. Once tacked the boat on the outside has to keep clear under 11 and give room under 18.2(a).
This course of action - or better lack of action - also gives you some protection, if the boat from clear astern does create an inside overlap. The second part of rule 18.2(e) states, 'If the outside boat is unable to give room when the overlap begins, rules 18.2 (a) and rule 18.2(b) do not apply'. Also when you are stationary and can hardly change course, the other boat has to give you time to move under rule 15. But remember all of this depends on you NOT passing head to wind!
From good to bad, your best course is:
course D; staying r.o.w. boat all the way round, even toward approaching port takers, once you've rounded
course C: but you have to stay alert and either be fast enough or play it clever
course A: you have a chance, if you are close enough to the boat in front and can get an inside overlap at the right moment and not too soon.
course B: you will have to keep clear all the way round, and better not gybe after, because then port close hauled tackers go first as well.
Next week part 3 of Windward Gate Rules Analysis.
If you want to go to part 1 click here