S on starboard tack and P on port tack converged as they approached the finishing line. S hailed “Starboard” and P replied, ”Hold your course.” P continued on port tack. S luffed head to wind. P crossed ahead of S and finished. S, still head to wind, finished seconds later. S protested P under rule 10
. The protest committee disqualified P under rule 10
. P appealed.
The protest committee found as facts, ”S took evasive action in accordance with rule 14
with P on port tack. Both boats were still racing.”
The facts found are flawed in that they are insufficient to reach a decision, and the phrase, “in accordance with rule 14
,” is a conclusion, not a fact. The protest committee did not respond under rule 70.6
and rule R5
with either a full statement of the facts found, or with an official diagram of the incident, but stated instead that they unanimously accepted the protestor’s diagram and account of the incident as being correct. The diagram above is the relevant part of the protestor’s diagram.
The diagram shows that P was keeping clear of S, had S not changed course, i.e. using common sailing terminology, S was ‘hunting’ P when she changed course between positions 1 and 2. As soon as S changed her course at position 1, P became protected by rule 16.1
which required that S shall not change her course without giving P room to keep clear. Even if it had been possible for S to have made contact with P at position 2, S would then have been disqualified for breaking rule 16.1
, and rule 14
Since P kept clear even though S changed course, no rules were broken. P’s appeal is upheld. The decision of the protest committee is reversed; P is to be reinstated in her finishing position.