(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 70Rule 11, On the Same Tack, Overlapped
Rule 18.2(b), Mark-Room: Giving Mark-Room
Rule 18.5(a), Mark-Room: Exoneration
An inside overlapped windward boat that is entitled to and is receiving mark-room from the outside boat must keep clear of the outside boat.
Summary of the Facts
L and W, both about 14 feet (4 m) long, were sailing on starboard tack at about 4 knots, approaching a windward mark to be left to starboard. The boats were overlapped with W, the inside boat, slightly ahead. W requested mark-room and L replied, ‘Mark-room will be given when needed’. Subsequently, when 20 feet (6 m) from the mark, the boats made contact beam to beam. No damage or injury occurred. L protested W, alleging that W broke rule 11.
The protest committee disqualified L for not giving W room to sail to the mark after she asked for it. L appealed.
Before and at the time of the contact, rule 11 required W to keep clear of L and rule 18.2(b) required L to give W mark-room. While W was sailing to the mark, she broke rule 11 by sailing so close to L that there was a need for L to take avoiding action. The diagram accepted by the protest committee showed that, from the time W reached the zone until contact occurred, L was giving W room to sail to the mark. Therefore, W’s breach of rule 11 was not a result of L having failed to give W mark-room. For this reason, W is not exonerated under rule 18.5(a) for breaking rule 11.
Both boats could easily have avoided the contact, and so both broke rule 14. However, the contact caused neither damage nor injury and, because L was the right-of-way boat and W was entitled to mark-room, neither is to be penalized for breaking rule 14 (see rule 14(b))
L’s appeal is upheld. She is reinstated in her finishing place and W is disqualified for breaking rule 11.