CAN Appeal CAN92
Rule 11, On the Same Tack, Overlapped
Rule 14, Avoiding Contact
Rule 15, Acquiring Right of Way
Rule 21(a), Exoneration
A boat is not required to anticipate that another boat will break a rule. In a changing situation, a newly obligated boat is entitled to room to keep clear.
Two one-design boats, P and S were approaching a windward mark with S close-hauled on starboard tack just above the starboard tack lay line and P close hauled on port tack. P tacked to starboard and completed her tack outside the zone. Two seconds after P completed her tack, the two boats were in contact, side-by- side with both boats overlapped and S slightly bow-out on P. The protest committee disqualified S for breaking rule 11. S appealed. The Sail Canada Appeals Committee delegated the appeal to the Ontario Sailing (OS) Appeals Committee.
The OS Appeals Committee referred to World Sailing Case 27. S was obligated to keep clear under rule 11 once P had completed her tack, but under rule 15, S was entitled initially to room to keep clear. However, S was under no obligation to anticipate that, when P completed her tack and acquired the right-of-way, P would be so close to leeward of her that P could not comply with rule 15 and initially give S room to keep clear. Also, under rule 14, S did not need to act to avoid contact until it was clear that P was not giving the required room. S was travelling at 5 to 6 knots and contact occurred within 2 seconds. This showed that P broke rule 15. S did not break rule 14 because she could not avoid the contact that occurred within 2 seconds of the completion of P’s tack. P, however, could have avoided contact with S had she either tacked further to leeward of S when she would have been able initially to give S room to keep clear or, alternately, if she had borne away to pass astern of S. P therefore broke rule 14.
The OS Appeals Committee found that P broke rules 15 and 14 and that S did not break rule 14. It upheld the appeal of S and directed that S be reinstated in the race and P be disqualified from that race.
This decision was published and sent to the parties on October 16, 2002. Sail Canada received a letter from P, dated January 21, 2003, appealing the decision of the OS Appeals Committee.
The appeal of P to this committee is invalid for the following reasons:
(1) The appeal was submitted 90 to 100 days after the OS appeal decision was issued. This does not fulfil the requirements of rule R2.1 or the Sail Canada prescription to that rule, which require such action be taken within 15 days.
(2) P is appealing the facts found by the protest committee and nothing else. The Sail Canada Appeals Committee considers that the protest committee’s finding of facts was adequate. Therefore, under rule 70.1(a), P is not entitled to appeal.
In reviewing the appeals documents, the Sail Canada Appeals Committee confirms that the procedures followed by the OS Appeals Committee were correct. The OS Appeals Committee’s decision to disqualify P and reinstate S in her finishing position was correct; however, its decision is altered slightly to read:
S’s appeal is upheld. P broke rules 14 and 15. S broke rule 11 but is exonerated under rule 21(a). S did not break rule 14. P is disqualified and S is to be reinstated in her finishing position in the race.
P’s appeal to Sail Canada is denied.
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