Monday, 24 May 2010

(pillow)Case of the Week (21) - 95

(This is an installment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2010. All calls are official interpretations by the ISAF committees on how the Racing Rules of Sailing should be used or interpreted. The calls are copied from the Call book, only the comments are written by me.)


Rule 18.1(a), Mark-Room: When Rule 18 Applies
Rule 18.2(b), Mark-Room: Giving Mark-Room
Rule 18.3(b), Mark-Room: Tacking When Approaching a Mark
Rule 64.1(c), Decisions: Penalties and Exoneration 

 If two overlapped boats on the same tack are on a beat to windward and are subject to rule 18.2(b), rule 18 ceases to apply when either of them turns past head to wind. When a right-of-way boat is compelled to touch a mark as a result of the other boat’s failure to keep clear, she is exonerated from her breach of rule 31.

Summary of the Facts

Approaching the windward mark, Jagga and Freebird were overlapped on port tack, Freebird being between one and two boat-lengths to leeward.  Freebird tacked. Jagga then tacked into a position to windward of Freebird. Jagga luffed so that her swinging stern required Freebird to change course to avoid contact, which she did, touching the mark as a result. Freebird protested.
The protest committee disqualified Jagga under rule 18.3(b). Jagga appealed on the grounds that, as an inside overlapped boat, she was entitled to room to pass the mark.



When Jagga reached the zone she was overlapped inside Freebird. From that time until Freebird turned past head to wind, rule 18.2(b) required Freebird to give Jagga mark-room. However, after Freebird turned past head to wind, rule 18 ceased to apply (see rule 18.1(a)) and Jagga was no longer entitled to mark-room. The boats were then on opposite tacks, with Freebird fetching the mark. Freebird was subject to rule 15 after she completed her tack. She complied with that rule because Jagga had room to keep clear by crossing ahead of Freebird.

Between positions 2 and 3 when Jagga turned past head to wind, she became subject to rule 13 in the zone, and therefore rule 18.3 began to apply. When Jagga completed her tack, Freebird was overlapped inside her. Jagga was then required by rule 11 to keep clear of Freebird and by rule 18.3(b) to give Freebird mark-room. After Jagga crossed ahead of Freebird, Freebird had right of way, first under rule 10, then under rule 13 and finally under rule 11. Therefore, Jagga had no protection from rule 15 during that time. Rule 11 and the definition Keep Clear required Jagga to sail so that Freebird could ‘sail her course with no need to take avoiding action’.

The fact that, when Jagga luffed, Freebird had to change course to avoid contact was evidence that Jagga did not keep clear and did not give Freebird mark-room as required by rule 18.3(b). The protest committee correctly disqualified Jagga under rule 18.3(b), but she also broke rule 11.
Freebird broke rule 31 when she touched the mark, but she is exonerated under rule 64.1(c). Jagga’s appeal is dismissed.

RYA 2000/4



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