RYA Case RYA2002-15
Rule 18.2(e), Mark-Room: Giving Mark-Room
Rule 18.2(e) is addressed to the protest committee. It does not change rights and obligations on the water.
Nutmeg was disqualified in her absence for taking room at a mark to which she was not entitled. Her appeal on procedural grounds was upheld and the protest against her by Spindrift was returned for a new hearing. In its observations, the protest committee had stated that even if Nutmeg believed that she had an inside overlap when the zone was entered, the hail of ‘No water’ from Spindrift could be taken as making Nutmeg have reasonable doubt that she had obtained an overlap in time, for the purposes of rule 18.2(e). Nutmeg should therefore have pulled out of the challenge for room, which would have avoided the collision, and then protested Spindrift. On this point, the RYA commented as follows:
The protest committee was incorrect to say that a dispute at the time of the incident as to whether an overlap had been established meant the automatic operation of rule 18.2(e). Disagreements of this nature are commonplace, with each boat firmly believing herself to be in the right. Rule 18.2(e) puts no additional obligation on a boat when her claim for room is denied.
As the hearing was undefended, the protest should have been dismissed if the protestor’s evidence did not satisfy the protest committee that the protestee broke a rule. The rule is an aid to the protest committee when evidence given by all parties at the hearing is inconclusive.
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