Saturday, January 10, 2009

Inside, Outside, Upside Down

At Wednesday's rules seminar at CGSC, Nick Voss and Augie posed a question I couldn't answer about the application of the new Rule 18 between two boats at a leeward mark. I've added some detail to describe a very possible scenario.

Yellow and blue are approaching a leeward mark to be rounded to port on opposite tacks, in 5 knots of breeze, slight chop.

Step 1 (below). Yellow reaches the Zone with Blue overlapped inside her.

Step 2 (below). Yellow douses her spinnaker and bears away to a run, slowing from the takedown and deep angle. Blue, wishing to maintain speed because she's still 2 to 3 lengths away, leaves her spinnaker up and continues on her angle, possibly with a slight luff to take Yellow's transom. With greater speed she crosses astern of Yellow and estalishes an overlap outside Yellow.

Step 3 (below). Yellow is now between Blue and the mark. Yellow is somewhat slower, and Blue has to avoid her and round outside and protests, claiming Yellow, by her presence, did not give her room to sail to the mark, or room to sail her proper course at the mark.

Step 4.

Who broke what rule, if any? How could she have avoided doing so?

1 comment:

Bob said...

Multiple conversations have produced an answer. The boat that is Inside at the Zone remains the inside boat for the purposes of the rule, and the boat that was Outside must give her Mark Room. From the definition, this obligation lasts until they are no longer at the mark.

Even though their relative positions switch, this obligation does not. When the (formerly) Inside boat becomes overlapped outside and to leeward, she is also now a Leeward boat. The Windward boat must keep clear, and as well, continue to give her "room to sail to the mark." The Leeward (former) Inside boat is under no obligation to let the (former) Outside boat pass between her and the mark. The (former) Outside boat seems to have no options here, required by RRS 11 to keep clear, and additionally by 18.2(b) and (c) to give Mark Room to the guy to leeward.

U.S. Sailing Judge Mike Weber got great glee by asking what happens when there's another boat that's overlapped at the Zone on the inside and watching our eyes roll.