Rule C7.4; Taking and Completing Penalties Rule C8.3; Penalties Initiated by Umpires
Question 1 Both boats are approaching the race committee vessel end of the finishing line. Blue has an outstanding penalty. Blue reaches the zone clear ahead of Yellow. Blue tacks onto port tack, gets to a close-hauled course and tacks back onto starboard tack. At position 7, just before Blue reaches a course more than ninety degrees from the true wind, there is contact between the boats and both boats protest. What should the call be?
Answer 1 The umpires shall act under rule C5.6 once Blue is no longer taking a penalty on port tack. Signal that Blue has completed her penalty. Penalize Blue and Yellow at the same time. Then signal a second penalty to Yellow.
When the contact happened, Blue was still taking her penalty. Not keeping clear of another boat while taking a penalty does not make the penalty invalid, but it breaks rule 22.2, so because there was a protest, Blue gets one penalty for that breach.
Throughout the incident Blue never leaves the zone, so she is entitled to mark-room all the time. Although Blue is not sailing a proper course while she is taking her penalty, mark-room is still the space she needs to sail her proper course, which is the course she would sail to finish as soon as possible in the absence of Yellow. Yellow fails to give her that space and breaks rule 18.2(a)(2). However Blue is not exonerated for breaking rule 22.2 under rule 21(a) (because rule 21(a) does not include rules in Section D) or 64.1(a) (because Blue was not compelled to break rule 22.2).
Because Yellow gained an advantage by breaking a rule after allowing for a penalty, she also gets an umpire initiated penalty under rule C8.3(a).
Question 2 The situation is the same as in Question 1, except that Blue does not complete her tack onto port tack before tacking back onto starboard tack. What should the call be?
Answer 2 The Umpires shall signal under rule C5.6 once Blue is no longer taking a penalty. Penalize Yellow for not giving mark-room. Remove Blue’s penalty flag as the penalties are now offset. Then signal a second penalty to Yellow.
Blue is no longer taking a penalty after position 5 (see rules C7.2(a)(2) and MR Call ).
From the time Blue starts luffing back towards starboard tack, she is sailing her proper course to round or pass the mark. Yellow breaks rule 18.2(a)(2) by not giving her mark-room, and Blue is exonerated for her breach of rule 11 under rule 21(a).
Because Yellow gained an advantage by breaking a rule after allowing for a penalty, she also gets an umpire initiated penalty.
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