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Club race scenario, racing alongside a continuing obstruction
Nationality: United States of America
Club Race Officer
Our race area is partly in open water and partly in a 'river'. For evening, summer racing we set courses that start and finish inside this river. The river has a dredged, deep water channel marked by government markers. Our SIs state that the government marks are to be left on their correct side and that a line between adjacent markers (2 to 4 to 6, etc.) is a boundary of the sailing area and is to be treated as a continuing obstruction.
Our summer wind is a very predictable sea breeze and we typically sail on a broad reach to the finish.
The scenario we'd like community help with is where a pair of boats is sailing overlapped, with the windward boat against the boundary and a third, faster boat sails between them.
The wind is from the North, the boats are sailing in a SW direction, the boundary is to the NW of the boats as illustrated below.
Summary of facts: At position 1: W (Yellow) and L (Blue) are evenly matched and are sailing parallel, with W adjacent to the boundary. At position 2: O (Green) overlaps W to leeward. At position 3: While overlapped to leeward of W, O also overlaps L to windward.
Our question is whether L must make room for O to sail between her and W.
Our current reading of the rules and our questions are as follows:
In positions 1, 2 and 3, W is adjacent to a continuing obstruction and cannot alter course to windward without breaking a rule in the SIs. L's Rule 11 rights as leeward boat are limited by rule 19.2(b) and L must give room to W as long as the obstruction continues. O is clear astern of W and L and must keep clear under Rule 12.
In position 2, O becomes overlapped with W and gains rights over W under Rule 11. However this right is again limited by Rule 19.2(b) and O must give W room as long as the obstruction continues.
Between positions 2 and 3, L hails O 'don't go in there, no right to room' or words to that effect, while O hails back 'room for boat at obstruction', or similar. But O does indeed 'go in there'.
In position 3, O, while overlapped with W also becomes overlapped with L. W must keep clear of O and L, and O must keep clear of L under Rule 11. Os and Ls rights over W under rule 11, are again limited by 19.2(b).
To avoid contact, L bears off and O sails into the gap. L is blanketed and disadvantaged.
If O sails between W and L, does O foul L under Rule 11?
Are there any interpretations or cases which oblige L to make room for O, other than Rule 14.
Our thanks to you for sharing your interpretations with us. Andrew Lesslie on behalf of Spinnaker Sailing and Sequoia Yacht Club.
Created: 20-Feb-29 20:42
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