Saturday, 10 May 2008

Breaking a rule or not breaking a rule?

I'm off for a day on the water in a Benetau 25 and some PC work (different event) later.

I'll leave you for this weekend with a case send by Leif Nybom, an IU/IJ from Finland:

LN case 080510

To avoid contact the windward Blue changes course and keep clear of Yellow. (White shows Blue holding her course).

Is one of the boats breaking a rule?

I'll give you until Tuesday to come up with the answer.


  1. In ordinary non-match racing, it seems that the leeward boat could have taken advantage of the windward boat's slowness to duck so as to bear off to avoid collision and call for a protest. But in this situation, leeward simply held course, and the yellow and blue indicate that this may be a match racing situation even though the boats are doing very different things.

  2. Yellow might argue that Blue failed to meet the keep-clear requirement that "when overlapped on the same tack, leeward boat can change course without immediate contact". As drawn, contact would not be immediate so I think Blue met rule 11.

    Blue broke rule 17.2, unless he can validly argue that the dead run was a proper course for him. Blue should have ducked earlier to avoid bearing off within 2 lengths of a leeward boat.

    At first I thought 17.2 should not apply because part B rules generally limit the rights of the r.o.w. boat, but I see other cases where part B limits the give-way boat. I also thought rule 11 should take precedence if it conflicts with 17.2, but I see no statement of precedence so it seems Blue must obey both rules.

  3. Uncle Al (W3854)12 May 2008 at 01:00

    No. Blue is windward boat and must alter course to keep clear of Yellow. Unless there are other facts that we haven't been given??

  4. Thanks, O'Hara. You've given the correct answer. Blue breaks 17.2
    Her proper course - what she would have done if Yellow wasn't there - was to sail straight on.
    She sails below that, without gybing.

    I for one, am happy 17.2 will be deleted from the next rule book....


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