A reply on yesterday's post by Brass:
I think we are not disagreeing about the effect of rule 18, just the use of the words.
Mike B says that when a boat inside overlapped at the zone takes more than the mark-room to which she is entitled 'I believe her entitlement to mark room ceases here and the rules of part 2 apply.'
I think this wrongly describes the way rule 18 works. The boat remains entitled to mark-room, and the rules of part 2 continue to apply (which was a key change in the 2009 rewrite). What the boat loses is her entitlement to rule 18.5 exoneration for breaking a part 2 rule.
A boat's entitlement to exoneration under rule 18.5 may switch off when she is sailing outside her proper course at a mark or her direct course to the mark, but her entitlement to mark-room under rule 18.2(b) does not switch off until she leaves the zone or one boat passes head to wind (even though her need for mark-room may disappear).
Update Tuesday 28/04/09; 23:41 hours; on request of Brass I've changed the diagram to this new picture
Consider three boats, Blue, Yellow and Green on port tack approaching a port leeward mark, all overlapped at the zone as shown in the diagram. Blue, inside and to windward sails wide of her direct course while sailing to the mark, and contacts, without injury or damage, a leeward boat outside her (Yellow). Blue breaks rule 11, Yellow does not fail to give Blue mark-room to sail to the mark, so Yellow breaks no rule, and Blue is not entitled to exoneration under rule 18.5 for breaking rule 11. Following a valid protest, Blue should be penalized.
Blue continues sailing to the mark and reaches the point where she is sailing her proper course at the mark, when Green closes the door, leaving no space between Green and the mark for Blue to fit through, and again there is contact without injury or damage. Blue has never ceased to be entitled to mark-room, and Green has now failed to give Blue mark-room to sail her proper course at the mark. Green breaks rule 18.2(b). Blue breaks rule 11, but because she is now sailing her proper course at the mark, she is taking mark-room to which she is entitled, and is thus exonerated for breaking rule 11, under rule 18.5.
Blue's entitlement to mark-room under rule 18.2(b) never changed from the time it switched on.
Whether Blue was taking mark-room to which she was entitled did switch on and off, and thus:
- Whether boats close to or in contact with her broke rule 18.2(b) switched on and off and
- Blue's entitlement to exoneration under rule 18.5 switched on and off.