New on the ISAF Website: Rapid Response Match Racing Call 2008/003
It deals with a situation involving three boats. Two boats (Blue and Yellow) with an overlap sailing above proper course who encounter a third (Green) (from another match)
The clue to this difficult situation is in the definition of proper course.
Yellow establishes a seventeen overlap with Green so she has a restriction on proper course.
But Blue has not, coming from outside the two lengths.
Yellow is also keep clear boat towards Blue. For Yellow the proper course is to keep clear, and sailing 'higher'' to do that. She would have done the same if Green wasn't there.
Back to the definition.... "the absence of the other boats referred to in the rule using the term" is not BOTH Blue and Green, but only Green.