Scenario: 2 identical classic yachts racing upwind soon after start come together on port & starboard. R on starboard slightly ahead, but not quite crossing L (on port). R hails starboard. R assumes L will bear away a few degrees and duck transom of L. Unfortunately not, L smashed into R with significant damage to port aft quarter of R. R nearly sinks and immediately stops racing. After some time L decided to retire.
No valid protest held, instead R busy sorting out the damage.
L are denying any liability for the significant damage to R, claiming R should have avoided a collision. As a 3rd Party I have been asked to give comment. Does L have any grounds for defence of not being Liable? At what point does Rule 2 come into question and the possible consideration the skipper of L should not be sailing in classic boat events if so blatantly disrespectful of the racing rules and good sportsmanship?