We have Case 47
, "A boat that deliberately hails “Starboard” when she knows she is on port tack has not acted fairly, and has broken rule 2."
Though the RRS (in fleet racing) only describe 3 pieces of verbal communication, "Protest", "Room to Tack", and "You Tack", the cases and appeals include examples of non-required verbal communication that is used by competitors as part of their process to try to avoid contact and to keep-clear. "Starboard" from a starboard boat to one on port, "I'll need to give Inside room at the mark" from Middle to Outside, "I have no way" from a boat in irons unable to maneuver are just a couple examples.
Then we have a separate class of communication which are negotiations to avoid contact in which the ROW boat seemingly voluntarily waives their ROW, the most common of these being the "Wave Through" and the "Tack or Pass?".
Port and Starboard are in the middle of the windward leg on opposite tacks, both on beats to windward. They are on a collision course that puts Starboard's bow impacting Port amidships if neither boat alters course.Scenario #1:
- When the boats are 3 BL's apart, Starboard starts calling to Port, "Keep going, you can make it!", while simultaneously gesturing with her free hand and arm for the Port to sail through.
- Port nods and waves her arm in acknowledgment and holds her course.
- Starboard closely ducks Port and hails "Protest".
- When the boats are 3 BL's apart, Port starts calling to Starboard, "Tack or Pass?" .. "Tack or Pass?"
- Starboard replies "Pass"
- Starboard puts her bow down to duck Port and Port slam-dunks Starboard.
- Starboard hails "Protest".
- Rule 2 thoughts? "recognized principles of sportsmanship"?
- In Scenario #1, what about the stress, confusion, indecision this might cause Port as they decide whether to do turns or wait to see if a protest is actually filed.
- Did Port actually break a rule in this instance?
- Is Starboard's actions "fair sailing"?
- In Scenario #2, does it make a difference that the request was initiated and made by the give-way boat?