CAN Appeal CAN52
Rule 13, While Tacking
Rule 14, Avoiding Contact
Rule 15, Acquiring the Right of Way
A starboard tack boat need not anticipate that a port tack boat will tack so close to her that the tacking boat will not give her room to keep clear when the tack is completed.
P and S were approaching each other close-hauled on a windward leg. S hailed ‘Starboard’ and P completed a tack onto a close-hauled course to leeward and so close to S that contact occurred almost immediately despite S beginning to alter course to avoid contact. S protested. The protest committee found that S altered course slightly to avoid contact, but that contact occurred between P’s starboard quarter and S’s port bow. It also found that P’s sail had filled before contact occurred. P was disqualified under rule 13. No damage occurred to either boat. P appealed on the grounds that she had completed her tack and that rule 11 applied before contact occurred. She also contended that the contact could have been avoided because S should have anticipated her manoeuvre and taken proper evasive action.
Prior to and during P’s tack, S was the right-of-way boat. Because P had completed her tack before contact occurred, rule 13 did not apply, but, when P acquired the right of way as a leeward boat under rule 11, she did not give S room to keep clear and P therefore broke rule 15. P’s disqualification is upheld, but for breaking rule 15 rather than rule 13.
S was the right-of-way boat until P had completed her tack and, except as provided by rule 14, she was not required to anticipate that P, the give-way boat, would break rule 15. S was therefore not obliged to take evasive action before P’s tack was completed. P’s appeal is dismissed.
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