Animated Quiz S2


Two boats, Red and Green, are reaching along the starting line on starboard tack just prior to the start. Red is sailing slower than Green with her sails luffing.

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As the boats were reaching along the starting line, Green, sailing faster, established an overlap from astern and to leeward of Red, within two of her hull lengths. Green luffed to a close-hauled course to start only to discover that she waited too long and had sailed past the layline to the mark-boat at the port end of the line. Green hailed for room to tack but Red did not respond to Green’s hail, so Green protested. Green then luffed head to wind until she could clear the Race Committee boat but when she bore off to a closehauled course, she touched the anchor line. Red protested Green for sailing above her proper course (Rule 17) and touching a mark (Rule 31).

When Green sailed to leeward of Red and established an overlap, RRS 17 applied; however, since there is no proper course before the starting signal, Green is free to luff provided she gives Red room to keep clear. After the starting signal, Green cannot sail above her proper course. Green’s hail for room to tack at an obstruction is improper since Section C rules do not apply at a starting mark or its anchor line surrounded by navigable water from the time boats are approaching them to start until they have passed them (Preamble, Section C).

Green’s protest is disallowed. When Green luffs, Red correctly luffs also to keep clear. Since Green’s proper pourse in this instance would include luffing in order to clear the mark boat and start the race, she does not break Rule 17 and that protest by Red is disallowed. (See definition Proper Course). Although Green touches the anchor line, she does not break Rule 31 because the anchor line is not part of the mark (See definition of Mark) so that protest is also disallowed.

Rules and Definitions Referred to:

If a boat clear astern becomes overlapped within two of her hull lengths to leeward of a boat on the same tack, she shall not sail above her proper course while they remain on the same tack and overlapped within that distance, unless in doing so she promptly sails astern of the other boat. This rule does not apply if the overlap begins while the windward boat is required by rule 13 to keep clear.

The space a boat needs in the existing conditions, including space to comply with her obligations under the rules of Part 2 and rule 31, while maneuvering promptly in a seamanlike way.

Keep Clear
A boat keeps clear of a right-of-way boat

(a) if the right-of-way boat can sail her course with no need to take avoiding action and,

(b) when the boats are overlapped, if the right-of-way boat can also change course in both directions without immediately making contact.

Proper Course
A course a boat would sail to finish as soon as possible in the absence of the other boats referred to in the rule using the term. A boat has no proper course before her starting signal.

Section C rules do not apply at a starting mark surrounded by navigable water or at its anchor line from the time boats are approaching them to start until they have passed them.

While racing, a boat shall not touch a starting mark before starting, a mark that begins, bounds or ends the leg of the course on which she is sailing, or a finishing mark after finishing.

An object the sailing instructions require a boat to leave on a specified side, and a race committee vessel surrounded by navigable water from which the starting or finishing line extends. An anchor line or an object attached accidentally to a mark is not part of it.

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