(This is an instalment 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.)
Case 74Rule 2, Fair Sailing
Rule 11, On the Same Tack, Overlapped
There is no rule that dictates how the helmsman or crew of a leeward boat must sit; contact with a windward boat does not break rule 2 unless the helmsman’s or crew’s position is deliberately misused.Summary of the Facts
W was overtaking L in sub-planing conditions on a close reach. L luffed slightly, the helmsman’s back making contact with W just forward of the shroud. At this point the hulls were about an arm’s length apart. Neither boat took a penalty. At the subsequent hearing, the protest committee disqualified L under rule 2, stating that W was correctly trimmed with full sails and her crew sitting by the leeward shroud. ‘Contact’, it continued, ‘could only have been made if L’s helmsman was sitting out flat.’ In the prevailing conditions this was significantly beyond the normal sailing position required.’ L appealed.
L’s appeal is upheld; she is reinstated and W disqualified under rule 11. In Case 73 it is clear that L’s crew deliberately touched W with the intention of protesting her out of the race. In this case there was no such deliberate action by L. There is no rule that dictates how a helmsman or crew must sit and, in the absence of deliberate misuse of his positioning, no breach of rule 2 took place.