I've been mulling this over in my head and thought I'd toss it out to the forum.
A highlight of the Annapolis sailboat racing scene for both specators and racers alike, is the Wed Night Series, hosted by AYC. The finish is barely more than 200' short of a low draw bridge (often lined with spectators) and the final leg runs along the Annapolis downtown waterfront and along a municipal mooring field. In the attached pics you'll find an aerial view of the field populated by boats and a chart showing it's location in green outline.
It is often said that there are really 2 races each night .. the race to 1SC and then the race to the finish once in the confines of the harbour, the moored specator boats and the squirrely winds.
Depending on the direction of the wind, sometimes these moored boats "line-up", closing-off but not eliminating the spaces between them. It is very common for the wind to funnel down this last stretch as well, requiring a beat to the finish .. and common for boats to weave through the alleys of moored boats making our way to the finish.
My question is this .. could there be a time where conditions are such that though there may be physical space for boats to pass between the moored boats .. that wind speed and thus boat speed reders that space which would normally be "navigatible" to be not .. and thus this field of individual obstructions becomes one continuing obstruction?
PS .. also keep in mind when looking at the photo of the boats bow to stern, that off the bow of each is a mooring ball and a pennant .. as well as the mooring's tackle under water.