A boat is sailing in the starting line area before her warning signal. No government rules apply to the racing area. The sailing instructions state that the starting line will be between a mark at the port end and a race committee vessel at the starboard end. The boat hits the anchored race committee vessel, causing serious damage to both. The race committee protests the boat.Question 1
Which rules apply?Answer 1
The race committee vessel is a mark but, as the boat is not racing, rule 31
, Touching a Mark does not apply. The boat is sailing in or near the racing area and intends to race while the race committee vessel is not sailing under the Racing Rules of Sailing, therefore, according to the Part 2
preamble, the boat shall comply with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCAS) with respect to the race committee vessel.
There are several IRPCAS rules that apply in this situation: IRPCAS rule 2(a) which refers to 'the ordinary practice of seamen' as a general requirement to act sensibly, overlays the detailed requirements of the IRPCAS. That would seem to include avoiding an anchored vessel. IRPCAS rule 5 specifically requires a vessel to maintain a proper look-out and IRPCAS rule 6 requires a vessel to proceed at a safe speed so that she can take proper and effective action to avoid collision.Question 2
Provided that the protest is valid, if the boat is found to have broken an IRPCAS rule, may the protest committee penalize her under rule 64.2
By breaking an IRPCAS rule when meeting a vessel that was not sailing under the rules of Part 2
, the boat did not comply with the preamble to Part 2
. Since the boat was not racing at the time of the incident and provided that no other penalty applies, the protest committee shall disqualify her from the race sailed nearest in time to that of the incident.