Case 95
Definitions, Mark-Room
Definitions, Room
Rule 18.1(a), Mark-Room: When Rule 18 Applies
Rule 18.2(b), Mark-Room: Giving Mark-Room
Rule 18.3, Mark-Room: Passing Head to Wind in the Zone
Rule 43.1(b), Exoneration
If two overlapped boats on the same tack are on a beat to windward and are subject to rule 18.2(b), rule 18 ceases to apply when either of them turns past head to wind. When a boat is required to give another boat mark-room, the space she must give includes space for the other boat to comply with rule 31. When the boat entitled to mark-room is compelled to touch the mark while sailing within the mark-room to which she is entitled, she is exonerated for her breach of rule 31.
Approaching the windward mark, Jagga and Freebird were overlapped on port tack, Freebird being between one and two boat-lengths to leeward. Freebird tacked and entered the zone on starboard tack. Jagga then tacked into a position to windward of Freebird. Jagga luffed so that her swinging stern required Freebird to change course to avoid contact, which she did, touching the mark as a result. Freebird protested.

The protest committee disqualified Jagga under rule 18.3. Jagga appealed on the grounds that, because she was an inside overlapped boat when she entered the zone, she was entitled to room to pass the mark.

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When Jagga reached the zone she was overlapped inside Freebird. From that time until Freebird turned past head to wind, rule 18.2(b) required Freebird to give Jagga mark-room. When Freebird turned past head to wind, the boats were on opposite tacks on a beat to windward, and so rule 18 ceased to apply (see rule 18.1(a)). After Freebird completed her tack, she had right of way under rule 10, but initially she was subject to rule 15. She complied with that rule because Jagga had room to keep clear by crossing ahead of her.

Between positions 2 and 3 Jagga passed head to wind and was then on the same tack as Freebird. At that time Jagga was fetching the mark and Freebird had been on starboard tack since entering the zone, so rule 18.3 began to apply. While rule 18.3 applied, rule 18.2 did not. However, a short time later when Jagga completed her tack, Freebird was overlapped inside her, and Jagga was required by rule 18.3 to give Freebird mark-room.

After Jagga crossed ahead of Freebird, Freebird had right of way, first under rule 10, then under rule 13 and finally under rule 11. Therefore, Jagga had no protection from rule 15 during that time.

After position 3, rule 11 required Jagga to sail so that Freebird could ‘sail her course with no need to take avoiding action’ (see the definition Keep Clear). The fact that, when Jagga luffed, Freebird had to change course to avoid contact was evidence that Jagga broke rule 11 by not keeping clear.

Also, when Jagga luffed she did not give Freebird space to sail to the mark and comply with her obligation under rule 31. Therefore, Jagga broke rule 18.3 (see also the definitions Mark-Room and Room).

The protest committee correctly disqualified Jagga under rule 18.3, but she also broke rule 11. Freebird broke rule 31 when she touched the mark, but she is exonerated under either rule 43.1(b). Jagga's appeal is dismissed.

GBR 2000/4
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