Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Finishing Quiz

Facts Found:
1. When Blue enters the Zone Green and Yellow are clear astern of Blue.
2. When Green enters the Zone she is overlapped to leeward and inside of Yellow.
3. At position 1, Blue luffs head to wind to finish and tacks to port to clear the finish mark. Blue stalls and is moving slowly away from the mark on port tack.
4. If Yellow continues on a straight line course she would clear Blue’s transom by 2 feet.
5. When Green is ½ boat lengths from the mark, she luffs sharply head to wind to sail her proper course at the mark and finish.
6. Yellow responds to the luff, but is forced into Blue’s transom.
7. Yellow keeps clear of Green and both Green and Yellow clear the finish mark.

Determine the rules that apply, your conclusions and decision based on the above facts.

An interesting problem and a real situation that happened to my daughter in her last regatta of the high school sailing season. There was no protest so we will never know how it would have been decided by a PC. The following is how I would decide it, and to be frank I'm not sure it is correct:

Rules that apply: 16.1, 18.2

1. When Green, the right-of-way boat and a boat entitled to mark-room, changed course she did not give Yellow room to keep clear. Green broke rule 16.1.
2. When Yellow, the right-of-way boat, changed course she did not give Blue room to keep clear. Yellow broke rule 16.1.

1. Green is exonerated under rule 18.5(b) because she is rounding the mark on her proper course.
2. Yellow is exonerated under rule 64.1(c) because she was compelled by Greens breach of Rule 16.1 to foul Blue.

I sent this case off to higher authorities within the sailing community to get their input as to the application of the new rules and I'll share with you what they say if I get a response.

As to Dick's contention that Blue should be DSQ for a Rule 10 violation. I would suggest you look at these same facts in the middle of the line nowhere near a finish mark. When Green luffs to finish she breaks rule 16.1 by forcing Yellow into Blue. Yellow also breaks 16.1 by heading up and hitting Blue. But I would exonerate her because she was compelled to hit Blue by Green breaking Rule 16.1. Blue was minding her own business keeping clear by a good two feet if they don't change course. Even if she were not stalled there is no maneuver she could make to avoid the contact and keep clear. Therefore, I could not DSQ Blue. I would DSQ Green if it were in the middle of the line. The only thing that saves Green is the fact that there is a mark, she is entitled to mark-room and to sail her proper course at the mark, and therefore entitled to exoneration by 18.5(b) for breaking rule 16.1.