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Match Racing with one boat reversing backwards head to wind.
Hi all, Recently I came across a situation during a match racing pre-start during training in Elliot 7s. The wind was ~10 knots and there was minimal tide or current. I was steering onboard boat number 4. The situation was we were both sitting head to wind from luffing on starboard. Boat 2 began to back their mainsail out to port. Me on boat 4 disengaged and sailed away on port. Footage of the incident clearly shows the jib onboard boat 2 backed strongly on its port side, indicating to me that they were past head to wind from starboard tack. As a club level umpire watching the footage afterwards I was certain that they had passed head to wind and had not reached a close hauled course. Boat 2 continued to sail backwards like this and Boat 4 gybed onto a broad reach on starboard approximately 6-7 boat-lengths away. I altered course onto a collision course and there was no reaction from boat 2 as the boats converged. As the boats converged boat 4 hailed starboard as for me on boat 4 I could see Boat 2's jib backed with the wind blowing over its port side. The boats then reached approximately 1 boat length when Boat 4 had to take sharp avoiding action by bearing away and gybing to avoid the collision. After avoiding action was taken Boat 2 began to fall out onto starboard. Boats came within ~2 metres. Both boats protested and Boat 4 was given a penalty. Watching the video after I believe it should have being either a green flag or a penalty on boat 2 under rule 13 (tacking boat). My coach says rule 13 doesn't apply when sailing backwards and as boat 2 started on starboard she is still on starboard. How does rule C2.5 (7), last point of certainty, apply to this scenario? And when a boat is sailing backwards and passes head to wind does rule 13 apply? What should the call be? Thanks, images and hopefully the video below.
Created: 22-Oct-28 13:47
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