Sailing instructions prescribe:
- a Start/Finish Line between two marks,
- a mark W to be laid to windward of the Start/Finish Liine,
- a mark L to be laid to leeward of the Start Finish Line,
- a Course: Start/Finish Line – W – L – Start Finish Line; and
- “The Start/Finish Line is closed to boats sailing on the downwind leg, boats violating this SI will be scored DSQ by the race committee without a hearing. This changes rules 63.1 and A5”.
Two boats sailing on the leg W – L are approaching one end of the Start/Finish Line, where the mark is a small inflatable buoy.
Supposing that it is agreed that the SI above mean that boats on the leg W - L shall not sail through the Start/Finish Line:
- In the absence of any other relevant words in the SI, is the Start/Finish LIne an obstruction?
- Will rule 18 apply between the boats when one of them reaches the zone around the mark?
- Will rule 19 apply between the boats at the mark or at the Start/Finish Line?