Monday, 7 February 2011

(pillow)Case of the Week (06) - 52

(This is an instalment in a series of blogposts about the ISAF Call book 2009-2012 with amendments for 2011. 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.)
(pillow)Case picture


Rule 16.1, Changing Course
Rule 16.1 does not restrict the course of a keep-clear boat. Manoeuvring to drive another boat away from the starting line does not necessarily break this rule.
Case 52
Summary of the Facts

Before the starting signal, the two boats reached away from the starting line.
A, moving faster, passed and was clear ahead of B at position 3. At position 4, A luffed up to close-hauled, intending to tack back to the line, but she found that B also had luffed and worked into position where, had A tacked, there would have been an immediate collision. A then bore away to gybe, only to discover that B had borne away into a position where a gybe would again cause collision. Finally, B gybed and headed for the starting line, leaving A well astern.

A protested B under rule 16.1, claiming that she had been interfered with while in the act of keeping clear. The protest committee disqualified B, who appealed, holding that her disputed manoeuvres were legitimate means of driving a competitor away from the starting line.


B’s appeal is upheld. She is reinstated. B’s actions describe a classic manoeuvre in match and team racing, used to gain a favourable starting position ahead of another competitor. The essential point is that rule 16.1 applies only to a right-of-way boat, which B, at positions 3 and 4, was not.

At position 4, B, as windward boat, had to keep clear under rule 11, but A could not tack without breaking rule 13. At position 5, B became the leeward boat with right of way under rule 11. Had A gybed onto starboard tack, A would have been subject to rule 15 and, if she changed course after she was on starboard tack, to rule 16.1. The facts show that neither boat broke any rule.

USSA 1955/63


These manoeuvres – like all match race sailors know – clearly illustrate that having right of way is NOT the same as being in control. Specially in the pre-start all match racers will try to get behind the other boat, and in that position control what the boat clear ahead can and cannot do.

And being keep clear boat has the additional advantage that you are never restricted by rules 15 or 16.

Like last week, a couple more to catch up. Case 67, 66 and 65 are now posted on LTW at weeks 46, 47 and 48



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