Facts and Decision of the Protest Committee
Three small scow-type boats approached a windward mark to be left to port, one on starboard tack and two on port tack. Esperanza (PW) hailed Doon (PL) for mark-room under rule 18.2
(b) (Mark-Room: Giving Mark-Room), and PL hailed PW for room to tack under rule 20.1
. PW failed to respond. Cacouette (S) luffed to avoid a collision, and both PW and PL tacked around the mark inside her.
PL claimed that she did not bear away under the stern of S because she thought that, with the type of boat and the strength of wind, a collision would result. However, the protest committee found that she could have borne away safely or slacked her sheets.
PW was disqualified under rule 20.2
(c) on PL’s protest and did not appeal. PL was disqualified under rule 10
on S’s protest and she appealed.
Decision of the Appeals Committee
Both PW and PL were required to keep clear of S, under rule 10
while on port tack and under rule 13
(While Tacking) after passing head to wind while tacking. PW was correctly disqualified for breaking rule 20.2
(c), by not responding to a hail for room to tack.
Because PW and PL were overlapped when the first of them reached the zone, rule 18.2
(b) began to apply at that time. However, that rule ceased to apply when PL hailed for room to tack (see rule 20.2
When PW failed to respond to PL’s hail for room to tack, PL was faced with the necessity of taking alternative action to avoid S. This raises the question of whether she should be exonerated under rule 64.1
(a) as the innocent victim of another boat’s breach. We think not, since the protest committee found that PL could have gone astern of S after it became clear that PW was not giving her room to tack as required by rule 20.2
(c). A boat breaking a rule is not entitled to exoneration under rule 64.1
(a) unless she was compelled by another boat to break a rule.
PL’s appeal is denied. The decision of the protest committee is upheld, and both PL and PW remain disqualified.
Note that Appeal addresses a similar incident.
Revised January 2017