Match Rapid Response 2017-002 Revision 2
Rule 10 On opposite tacks
Rule 13 While Tacking or Gybing (C2.6)
Rule 18.2 Giving Mark-Room (C2.9)
Rule 18.3 Tacking or Gybing (C2.9)
Definitions Keep Clear, Proper Course, Mark-Room (C2.2)
Rule C6.5(b) Controlling Position
Rule C8.3 Penalties Initiated by Umpires
Port can be penalized for breaking a rule of part 2 where she fails to keep clear of a starboard tack boat at the windward mark even though starboard is breaking rule 18.3.
Blue on port tack and Yellow on starboard tack are approaching the windward mark on a collision course. The umpires agree that Yellow sails beyond the point where her proper course would be to tack to round the mark. Blue tacks to starboard to avoid Yellow, but before she reaches a close-hauled course Yellow has to luff to avoid Blue.

Both boats display a Y-flag at position 4. What should the call be?
Penalize Yellow and Blue.

Blue breaks rule 13.1 by not keeping clear while tacking. Because Blue is neither compelled to break a rule, nor entitled to room or mark-room, she cannot be exonerated for her breach. 

Yellow, the inside overlapped right-of-way boat, breaks rule 18.3(b) by sailing farther from the mark than needed to sail her proper course before she tacks, and affects Blue’s course while doing so.

Coming into the situation, neither boat was in a controlling position because neither boat could impede, affect or change the other boat’s course while complying with the applicable rules. By breaking rule 18.3(b), Yellow gained a controlling position on Blue.

If the umpires were satisfied that Yellow broke rule 18.3(b) deliberately or gained an advantage by breaking the rule after allowing for a penalty, they would give Yellow a second penalty under rule C8.3. This should be a red-flag penalty under rule C5.3 (red and second yellow flag) so that Yellow is behind Blue in the race. See also MR CALL M2.

If the umpires were not satisfied that either of these conditions existed, the umpires would give Yellow a red-flag penalty under rule C6.5(b). This would put Yellow behind Blue and Blue would still have a penalty.

Published: 10 May 2018
This call is valid until: 2020-01-01
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