VIDEO RULES QUESTION

This video was shot by Sailing World at the 2015 NOOD Regatta and shows an incident at a windward mark involving two Beneteau First 40.7s. One boat is yelling, “No Room! Don’t go in there!” and the other boat is yelling, “Don’t Tack!” Watch the video, stop it, move the slider bar to advance and back up the action before coming to a conclusion of who is right and who is wrong. The answer, written by Butch Ulmer, UK Sailmakers’ rules guru, appears below in the last article of this newsletter.

*** ANSWER ***

Being clear ahead when she entered the zone, EXCALIBUR was entitled to mark room from LUGANO; however, EXCALIBUR was unable to sail close to the mark because she had to duck MILE HIGH KLUB who was on starboard tack. That required EXCALIBUR to sail to leeward of and past the mark by approximately one boat length.

In this position, EXCALIBUR could not tack without breaking rule 13 and 15 so she luffed but remained on port tack. Lugano passed the mark close aboard and tacked in the space left by EXCALIBUR.

As Lugano sailed away on starboard tack, EXCALIBUR passed head to wind and completed her tack. When she passed head to wind, 18.2(b) shut off and to the extent the boats became overlapped, she was the windward boat and required to keep clear of Lugano.

Neither boat broke a rule.

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