This one of those ‘gab’ Cases between 60 and 53, posted as second post each Monday….
Just read the Case and don’t worry about the order.
(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.)
Rule 16.1, Changing Course
Rule 18.1(c), Mark-Room: When Rule 18 Applies
Definitions, Keep Clear
When a right-of-way boat changes course in such a way that a keep-clear boat, despite having taken avoiding action promptly, cannot keep clear in a seamanlike way, the right-of way boat breaks rule 16.1.
Summary of the Facts
After A rounded the windward mark to starboard ahead of B and then gybed onto starboard tack, she chose not to sail directly towards the next mark but, for tactical reasons, to reach high above it. To do so, after gybing she luffed sharply, at which point she was bow to bow with B, who was on port tack beating to windward. The boats were now little more than one length apart. B immediately bore away as hard as she could to avoid a collision, but her action was not sufficient. However, A quickly luffed still further and the two passed very close to each other but without contact.
The protest committee upheld A’s protest under rule 10 and B appealed, claiming that A had broken rule 16.1 by failing to give B room to keep clear.
B’s appeal is upheld; she is reinstated and A is disqualified.
Tactical desires do not relieve a boat of her obligations under the rules. A was free to adopt any course she chose to reach the leeward mark, but she did not have the right to luff into the path of B so close to B that B could not keep clear. Despite B’s bearing away as hard as possible, a potentially serious collision would have occurred had A not taken avoiding action by quickly luffing further. As it turned out, their combined efforts narrowly averted such a collision, but that does not change the conclusion that in this case when A gybed onto starboard tack, became the right-of way boat, and continued to alter course, she did not at any time give B ‘the space [she needed] . . . while manoeuvring promptly in a seamanlike way’ to enable A to ‘sail her course with no need to take avoiding action.’
Therefore, A broke rule 16.1.
Although both boats were in the mark’s zone, rule 18 did not apply because B was approaching the mark and A was leaving it (see rule 18.1(c)). Therefore, A was not entitled to exoneration under rule 18.5(b) for her breach of rule 16.1.
For those who are missing the bouncing ball:
- B on port did not keep clear of A, because;
- A could not sail her course with no need to take avoiding action, because;
- B did not have enough room (space to manoeuvre in a seamanlike way), because;
- A as right of way boat changed course directly in front of her, therefore;
- B is exonerated because she was forced to break rule 10, and
- A is disqualified for breaking rule 16.1.
Now, if you can do this backwards you’ll be able to become a competent PC-member…….