Facts for Question 1
The sailing instructions state that all rounding marks, including the windward mark, are to be left to port. Due to insufficient wind the race committee shortens the course by displaying flag S
(with two sounds) from a staff on a committee boat anchored near the windward mark.
The committee sets the finishing line as shown in the diagram. At the time that flag S
is displayed, the boats are between the last rounding mark and the finishing line. Boats A and B approach the finishing line, see flag S
and sail the courses shown in the diagram.
After the race committee shortens the course, are boats still required to leave the windward mark to port and to "hook round" it (as B does), or are they required to cross the finishing line from the course side (as A does)?
After the race committee shortens the course, the windward mark is no longer a rounding mark. It becomes a finishing mark (see rule 32.2
). To comply with rule 28
, boats must finish in accordance with the definition Finish
. Therefore, they must cross the finishing line from its course side. A finishes in accordance with the definition; B does not finish.
Additional Facts for Question 2
Boat B requests redress claiming that positioning the committee boat as shown in the diagram was an improper action of the race committee because it was not clear from reading the racing rules and the sailing instructions in which direction boats were required to cross the finishing line.
Was it an improper action of the race committee to anchor the committee boat displaying flag S
where it did?
No (even though this action was not good race management practice). When the course is shortened at a rounding mark, rule 32.2
(a) permits the race committee to position the vessel displaying flag S
at either end of the finishing line. Rule 28
clearly requires boats to cross the finishing line in accordance with the definition Finish
. The definition Finish
cannot be changed by a sailing instruction (see rule 86.1
World Sailing 2013