Would you care to publish the following?
Rapid Response Match Racing Call 2010-004 has just been published.
It deals with a boat (Yellow), having rounded the windward mark well ahead and having completed a penalty just outside the zone, now on starboard, approaching Blue who is just finishing rounding the mark on port.
The Call asks and answers the question: ‘Does rule 18 apply between Yellow and Blue?’
Unsurprisingly it answers that rule 18, rule 18.2(a) to be precise, does apply.
I would have thought that this would have been painfully obvious. There are two boats. They are required to leave a mark on the same side. At least one of them is in the zone. None of the exemptions shown in rule 18.1 apply. Of course rule 18 applies.
Of much more interest is what happens when an instant after the last position in the diagram in the Call, when Blue leaves the mark astern and is no longer at the mark.
The instant Blue ceases to be at the mark, she is no longer taking mark-room to which she is entitled (to sail her proper course at the mark), and thus she ceases to be entitled to exoneration for breaking rule 10. Blue instantaneously switches from being a boat entitled to exoneration for breaking rule 10 to being fully obliged to keep clear by rule 10, without even the protection of rule 15.
So, to extend the problem diagrammed in the Call, just after Position 4, Yellow luffs, and makes non-damage contact between Y’s port bow and B’s port quarter.
Yellow Y Flags.
What is the umpire’s decision?
Calls only answer a specific question. This one is no exception.
The situation described is so specific that it will only happen once out of a hundred. But it can happen. As long as Blue is not yet past the mark she needs protection from a starboard boat. She entitled to protection under rule 18 . Like you stated, shortly after that she has passed the mark and she no longer needs protection and now can gybe to keep clear. She must do that as keep clear boat. She already can anticipate having to do this while rounding the mark because she's always keep clear boat.
The same is just before Yellow has turned down below ninety degrees. Then she is still on a beat and so there is no overlap, therefore rule eighteen does not apply. Only in those few moments between Yellow turning downwind and Blue passing the mark, rule 18 is in effect. And that is exactly when she needs it.
To answer your call, after Blue has passed the mark and there’s contact
- If Blue did everything to keep clear, Yellow broke 16.1; Penalize Yellow
- If Blue did nothing or not enough to keep clear, she broke rule 10; Penelize Blue.