Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Rule 16 at the Windward Mark

Boris Kuzminov
Nationality: Russian Federation

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There is a contact between Green and Blue with serious damage (suppose that Blue drowned with her crew).
IMO:
- Neither Blue nor Green broke rule 14 because they do not have reasonable opportunities for avoid contact.
- Yellow also don’t broke rule 14 because she does not a contact.

- Blue broke rule 10 regarding Green but she shall be exonerated by rule 21 (and 64.1(a)) because she is the boat entitled to room (by rule 16.1) by Green which did not give her this room.Blue did not broke any rules regarding Yellow.

- Green broke rule 16.1 regarding Blue but she shall be exonerated by rule 21 (and 64.1(a) ) because Yellow broke rule 16.1
- Yellow broke rule 16.1 regarding Green but she shall be exonerated by rule 21 because she is the boat entitled to markroom (by rule 18.2) by Green (only!)

Here the key question is - did Yellow breaking rule 16.1 regarding Blue or not?

I think – yes, she did (see the Definition Room: «including space to comply with her obligations under the rules of Part 2» ).
And Yellow can not be exonerated by rule 21 for it because she is not entitled to room or mark-room regarding Blue.

What thoughts?

Created: 17-Nov-22 16:44

Comments

Ben Davič
Nationality: Croatia
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Blue is not protected by Rule 18 or 21 as the conditions for protection under said rules are not being met. Blue is on port tack and as such she is required to keep clear of Starboard tack boats.

The 2017-2020 World Sailing Rulebook reads...
Rule 18.1: "Rule 18 applies between boats when they are required to leave a mark on the same side and at least one of them is in the zone. However, it does not apply
(a) between boats on opposite tacks on a beat to windward,
(b) between boats on opposite tacks when the proper course at the mark for one but not both of them is to tack,"

Created: 17-Nov-22 19:29
Boris Kuzminov
Nationality: Russian Federation
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Blue is protected by Rule 16.1. When a right-of-way boat changes course, lose-of-way boat entitled to room for keep-clear. So she (LOW boat) is protected by Rule 21: "When a boat is sailing within the room... to which she is entitled, she shall be exonerated if, in an incident with a boat required to give her that room..."
Created: 17-Nov-22 19:47
Juan Carlos Soneyra
Nationality: Argentina
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Blue is a boat on port tack beating to windward. Rule 18 doesn't apply to her in this situation. Rule 10 does apply. Blue has no way to react at the luffing of Green and rule 14 is not applicable to her because it wasn't n reasonably possible to avoid the contact.
Yellow is the boat entitled to room at the mark according to 18.2 b). She breaks rules 16.1 and 14 (without serious damage) when luffing to round the mark, and is exonerated by rule 21.
Green has to give mark room to Yellow when she luffs to round the mark and doing so she breaks rules 16.1 and 14 b) with serious damage. She is exonerated for breaking 16.1 but not for 14 b), and she is DSQ. Case 63.
Created: 17-Nov-22 23:10
Baptiste VERNIEST
Nationality: France
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Hi here
I'm not absolutely certain that Yellow was strictly sailing within her mark-room. The protest committee has to decide, and if she was not, then the 21-exoneration doesn't apply and Yellow should be disqualified for breaking 16.1. Therefore, exonerate Green under 64.1, compelled to break 16.1 and 14 on Blue by the action of Yellow breaking a rule.

If Yellow was sailing within her mark-room:
- Yellow to leeward is entitled to mark-room from and should be exonerated if she breaks a rule section A or rules 15 or 16 under 21.
- Green to windward and on the outside is the keep-clear boat which has to give mark-room.
- Blue on port has to keep clear of both Yellow and Green. 18 does not apply with Blue as was stated.

Keep Clear
One may argue that Green's course was to give mark-room to Yellow. Therefore, she cannot sail her course with no need to take avoiding action and Blue broke rule 10.

Mark-Room with Room and its "seamanlike way"
At this point, I'd like to point out 114, and in particular Question 2. The leeward boat can luff but has to give room to the middle boat to comply with 16 as well.

As she was luffing, Green right-of-way on Blue had to give room to keep clear to Blue. So during her luff, Yellow had to account for that.
Therefore, Yellow broke 16.1 but is exonerated under 21(b).

As Yellow broke 16.1, it seems fair to me to exonerate Green for breaking under 64.1(a) because of the breach of rule 16.1 by Yellow.

Finally, and that may be the most controversial issue here: was Blue compelled to break rule 10 on Green? Not so sure, she shouldn't have been here. It's the quick call you have to make when you're going to the mark on port: can I go before them? You see the situation, you have to anticipate what's going to happen, considering boats will sail in a seamanlike way, which they did here.
In the usual situation of this case, Green doesn't respond enough to the luff and there is contact on the sides of Green and Yellow. Green would protest Blue, and Blue would be found to have broken rule 10. Maybe it's wrong but it seems to me that it's the usual decision.

Rule rule_link('14') : Blue and Green could not avoid any contact (Blue with Green, Green with Blue or Yellow) so they did not break rule 14. No contact between Green and Yellow so Yellow did not break 14 either.

My conclusions are:
Yellow to leeward failed to give room to Green to comply with her obligations under rule 16.1 with Blue as required by rule 16.1, but was sailing within her mark-room and is exonerated as required by rule 21.
Green on starboard failed to give room to Blue to keep clear of her when she changed course as required by rule 16.1, but Green to windward of Yellow was compelled to break rule 16.1 on Blue by Yellow breaking rule 16.1 and is exonerated as required by rule 64.1(a).
Blue on port did not keep clear of Green on starboard as required by rule 10.
It was not reasonable for Blue and Green to avoid contact as required by rule 14.

Decision
Blue DSQ.
Created: 17-Nov-23 00:19
Rob Overton
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I have two opinions:
  1. The video is way sexier than the animated diagrams of TSS or Boat Scenario. Where can I get that software? Also, IMO the original angled shot is way more realistic than the overhead shot, with the waves and stuff. The overhead view might be clearer in terms of separation between the boats, but if I'm presenting something in a rules seminar I'd stick to the angled shot.
  2. It's apparently clear to everybody else, but it's not clear to me which boat is which. I'm assuming from the comments that the port-tack boat is Blue, the windward starboard-tack boat is Green, and the leeward starboard-tack boat is Yellow. The animation seems to show the following:
    1. Yellow, who is entitled to mark-room, is sailing within that mark-room throughout the scenario.
    2. Yellow and Green both change course, breaking rule 16.1. However, only Yellow is exonerated under rule 21.
    3. Blue breaks rule 10, but is exonerated under rule 21 because she was entitled to room to keep clear when Blue changed course and was sailing within that room when Blue nailed her.
    4. -- and here I disagree with others in this thread -- Yellow and Blue break rule 14. Let's look at the story for each of those boats:
It was clear to Yellow throughout the scenario that there would be contact if she luffed as she did. So in luffing to round the mark, Yellow broke rule 14. She could have avoided the contact that occurred by sailing to the other side of the mark, and she cannot be exonerated under rule 21 because rule 14 is not one of the rules mentioned there. Once Yellow luffed, Green had no way to avoid contact with somebody, so she meets the "if reasonably possible" clause of rule 14. Arguably, she should have made side-to-side contact with Green, rather then hard contact with Blue, but there's no rule about minimizing damage -- maybe there should be? In any case, Green does not break rule 14. IMO, Blue does break rule 14 because she could have avoided contact by ducking the two starboard-tack boats. She is the keep-clear boat throughout, so she is not protected by the "However ..." part of rule 14. Her obligation to avoid contact starts at the beginning of the scenario, and she clearly had plenty of chances to avoid it.
So my call is that all three boats get disqualified -- Yellow and Blue under rule 14, and Green under rule 16.1.
Created: 17-Nov-23 04:35
Rob Overton
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Whoops. I just realized that when Yellow changes course she is required by rule 16.1 to give Green room to keep clear, and room includes the space Green needs to obey the rules. So Green is sailing within the (rule-16.1) room to which she is entitled, and therefore is exonerated under rule 21 for breaking rule 16.1. Yellow and Blue break rule 14 and cannot be exonerated, while Green is exonerated for breaking rule 16.1 and not guilty of breaking rule 14.
Created: 17-Nov-23 05:22
Boris Kuzminov
Nationality: Russian Federation
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Rob,

I have two objections:

1. Green’s breakage R16.1 is consequence of Yellow’s breakage R16.1 so Green is exonerated under rule 64.1(a) and R21 – she is sailing within the room which is entitled under rule 16.1.

2. Second sentence of Rule 14 ("However ...") is not only for ROW boats, but and for “entitled to room” so Blue is protected by this rule because she is entitled to room by R16.1. So Blue don’t broke R14.

P.S. OK, i see your UPD now.

Created: 17-Nov-23 05:47
Bill Handley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
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First of all thanks Rob - I'm glad I am not the only one struggling to see which boat is which from the animation, I thought it was just down to old age and failing senses so it is nice to know I am not alone with this problem. I think that before leaping in with any thoughts on the rules that apply that it best to first establish what I think I am seeing from the animation. I think we have learned on this site that people see different things from the same animation and if we are not agreed on what we see (I guess effectively the facts found) then there is no way that we can agree on how the rules apply. What I see is -

Blue on port is crossing Yellow and Green on starboard and if neither Yellow nor Green altered course Blue would have passed clear ahead of Yellow and Green and according to the definition would have kept clear.
When Yellow luffs to pass the mark she takes no more than the mark room to which she is entitled.
Green keeps clear of Yellow after Yellow luffs but makes contact with blue that results in serious damage/injury.

Blue is meeting her obligations under rule 10 and keeping clear up to the point when the other two boats luff. When they luff they do so very close to blue so that blue is unable to keep clear or avoid contact. This means that Blue does not break rule 14 because it is not reasonably possible for her to avoid contact. She does break rule 10 but is exonerated under rule 21 (she is entitled to room to keep clear) and rule 64.1(a) as she has been compelled to break the rule by Green breaking rule 16.1. There has been some suggestion that Blue should have anticipated that Yellow and Green would need to luff to pass the mark and should have taken account of this. Case 27 states "A boat is not required to anticipate that another boat will break a rule." and Case 92 states "When a right-of-way boat changes course, the keep-clear boat is required to act only in response to what the right-of-way boat is doing at the time, not what the right-of-way boat might do subsequently." It follows from these cases that Blue did not have to anticipate anything the other boats might do in the future and as such Blue should not be penalised.

In a similar way Green is not obliged to anticipate anything Yellow will do. When Yellow luffs Green responds and keeps clear. Green makes contact with Blue resulting in serious damage but it was unavoidable due to Yellow's late luff. Green breaks rule 16.1 in respect of Blue but is exonerated under rule 64.1(a) because of Yellow's breach of the rules - see below.

As far as Yellow is concerned both Blue and Green are keeping clear of her up to the point where she luffs to shoot the mark. Nothing compels her to luff, while it may be in her interests to luff and pass the mark on the required side she could just have easily held her course in which case no incident would have occurred. When she luffs she does not make contact so does not break rule 14. She does break rule 16.1 but is exonerated under rule 21 as she is sailing in mark room to which she is entitled. Crucially when she changes course she compels Green to make contact with Blue resulting in a serious injury. This is a clear breach of Rule 2 and rule 21 does not exonerate any breach rule 2. Yellow should be disqualified with a nonexcludable disqualification, with serious consideration of rule 69 action given that death occurred as a result of her breach of the rules.

That's my take anyway.
Created: 17-Nov-23 10:27
Phil Mostyn
Nationality: Australia
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How does the following sound?

Looking at Part 2 Sections A & B
:
Yellow broke rule 16.1 - ROW changing course and not giving Green room to keep clear
Green broke (a) rule 11 (Windward give-way not keeping clear) and (b) rule16.1 - ROW changing course and not giving Blue room to keep clear.
Blue broke rule 10.
Looking at Section C rules 18 & 21:
Yellow was entitled to MR from Green under rule 18.2(b) & sailing within that room - so Yellow is exonerated under rule 21.
Green was keeping clear of Yellow and giving her mark-room until Yellow luffed causing Green to break rule 18.2(b). - so Green is exonerated under rule 21.
Blue was keeping clear of both Yellow and Green until Green's luff caused contact with Blue's stern - so Blue, having been compelled to break rule 10, is exonerated - not under rule 21 but under rule 64.1(a).
Looking at rule 14:
In breaking rule 16.1 Yellow also broke rule 14 - but can't be exonerated by rule 21 (14 not included in 12 (a)) and not having been compelled to luff & break rule 14, can't be exonerated under rule 64.1(a).
Green broke rule 14 in respect to both Yellow and Blue. However, Green is exonerated for both infringements under rule 64.1(a) because she was compelled to break rule 14 twice by Yellow's breach of rule 16.1.
Blue did not break rule 14 because it was not reasonably possible for her to avoid the contact with Green when Green luffed breaking rule 16.1. Until that very moment Blue was keeping clear.
Conclusion: Yellow is DSQ for breaking rule 14.
Created: 17-Nov-23 16:30
Phil Mostyn
Nationality: Australia
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Whoops - I should have mentioned the following reasoning and I invite comment upon it.:

I have assumed that the contact that occurred between Yellow and Green did not cause damage to either boat, however, the collision nevertheless was the cause of Green's luff and the damage that occurred in the subsequent contact between Green and Blue. In other words, the damage r injury mentioned in rule 14 (b) is not limited to the boats involved.
Created: 17-Nov-23 16:52
Willii Gohl
Nationality: Germany
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Gentlemen, all the confusions, whoops and different solutions are the result of a major mistake:
no one has written down the facts found. Only after that, on "given" or "agreed" facts we will come to conclusions and decisions.
Never start with rules.
Sorry for appearing as a know-it-all, but without facts on which we all agree, we will not find a solution.
Created: 17-Nov-23 16:58
Bill Handley
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Phil - we obviously see this video differently. From what you say you see Yellow making contact in which case I agree that she would be DSQ under rule 14. I have re run the video many times over and it seems to me that the "red" starts when Green's bow hits Blue with no contact between Yellow and Green. In the background to the incident in the first post on this thread mention is made of Green's contact with Blue but none of any contact by Yellow, I have interpreted this to mean that Yellow did not make contact. If Yellow did not make contact she can't have broken rule 14 but is certainly at fault by forcing Green to make contact with Blue so Rule 2 is the only rule available to penalize her. If she did make contact then I agree with you that rule 14 would also apply.

Created: 17-Nov-23 17:14
Boris Kuzminov
Nationality: Russian Federation
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Willii,
you are absolutely right.
I proceeded from the fact that there was no contact between Yellow and Green.
VIDEO
Created: 17-Nov-23 17:16
Phil Mostyn
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There you go. I hadn't seen the second animation which makes the scenario clear. Having previously only watched the original video I assessed there had been contact between Yellow and Green's rigs. Sorry! Hope I haven't given you the whoops. Go's to show the merit of Willii's observation about facts found.
Created: 17-Nov-24 01:29
Paul Hanly
Nationality: Australia
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Bill, Could Fundamental Rule 1.1 also come into play in that Yellow did not help Green and Blue get out of a dangerous situation by bearing away/ceasing to luff? Blue and Green must have been in danger because of the outcome that we are told to assume occurred just a second later.

I like your introductory statement of what you see in the video. I considered for some time whether Blue breached RRS 10 and Green breached RRS 14, but you ruled out these possibilities based on what you saw. Like all difficult situations things are marginal and others may feel Blue did not keep clear and Green ought have avoided earlier by crash tacking onto Port before reaching Blue

While I very much like your analysis in most respects Green could have chosen not to hit Blue but to have allowed Yellow to hit Green instead. Green would claim she was prevented from luffing further because of the need to give room to keep clear to Blue if Green changed direction again. If Yellow persisted luffing and hit Green then Yellow might be exonerated under RRS 14(b) if there was no damage or injury. But would Green survive Yelow's protest?

Does Yellow have to give Green room to keep clear of Blue as well as to keep clear of Yellow under RRS 16.1? I would have thought it was only of Yellow but there is no specific limitation (or expansion).

I certainly agree RRS 2 (and maybe RRS 1) need to be considered but perhaps this assumes knowledge on the part of Yellow that Yellow did not have if no one was hailing Yellow about the lack of room and the danger and Yellow was not in a position to see the danger..

I note that Blue is big enough to be an obstruction (first sentence of definition) but unless giving room to keep clear is the same as keeping clear Blue is not an obstruction to Green (3rd sentence of defn). If it were Yellow may have to give Green room to pass Blue on the same side as Yellow is going to pass: RRS 19 but not if Blue is "another boat overlapped with both of them". It seems that in this case the definition of overlapped means that Blue is not overlapped

While Green is clear astern of Blue, they are not on the same tack so RRS 12 does not apply to require Green to keep clear of Blue.

Both Yellow and Green if yachts could have had crew with their legs over the starboard side, or if dinghy's could have had crew hiking out to starboard, perhaps on trapeze - the scenario is silent on this. It is relevant to what danger was or should have been obvious to which skippers at what time.

Rob Overton or others, what supports the contention that "room includes the space Green needs to obey the rules"? Is there a case or definition?

Very educational exercise. Thanks to Boris for posting it and for the video.

I am continually amazed at how little I know when I try my hand at adjudicating. Hopefullly my performance on protest committees will benefit!
Created: 17-Nov-24 08:41
Bill Handley
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Paul - I think we could end up furiously agreeing with each other on pretty well everything.

To answer your specific question on what would happen if Green instead of hitting Blue had refused to respond to Yellow's luff and instead hit Yellow, this is how I see it. Green would have broken rules 11 and 18.2 in respect of Yellow but Yellow was breaking rule 2 by trying to push green into contact with Blue. Green's breach of the two rules was caused by Yellow breaking rule 2 so exoneration is available to Green under rule 64.1(a). Green was compelled to break these rules in that rule 14 required her not to make contact.

A new aspect in connection with rule 14 has just occurred to me and I wonder what others think. If we assume that Green could not tack off then when Yellow luffs Green is in the position where she has to make contact. Green does however have a choice, she could hit Blue and avoid Yellow or hit Yellow and avoid Blue. Rule 14 mentions avoiding contact with another boat (singular) if reasonably possible. It could be argued that it was reasonably possible for Green to avoid whichever boat she ends up hitting by simply hitting the other one. It seems that strictly according to the words of the rule as contact was avoidable then Green breaks rule 14 - any thoughts.
Created: 17-Nov-24 10:38
Juan Carlos Soneyra
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Boris was asking for thoughs. This is my new approach.

Facts found from the video.

Yellow and Green enter the Zone of the windward mark overlapped on starboard tack on a beat to windward.

The mark has to be left on port.

Green is the outside boat, Yellow is the inside boat and the one entitled to mark room.

Blue is sailing (beating) on port tack intenting to cross in front of both of them.

Half a lenght from the mark, lasting two seconds for Blue clean crossing, Green luffs to get more room at the mark, Green responds and there is a minimal contact of the mast tips and immediatly a mayor contact with serious damage between Green bow and Blue stern.

No protest is reported.

My new point of view:

Green knew the presence of Blue, at least at the moment of the crossing of her bow. She also knew there were minimal distance between the three boats. At the same time Green was overtaking Yellow so in response Yellow luffed forcing Green into Blue, who otherwise would have passed cleanly.

Yellow luffing is a clear cut violation of rule 2.

Yellow would have sailed her course and even touching the mark she will be exonerated by rule 21 b).

Created: 17-Nov-24 16:17
Philip Hubbell
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It is a dangerous precedent you are all proposing when yellow and green are taking predictable, legal actions, while blue is clearly attempting a dangerous, illegal port tack crossing.
The video does not show blue taking any avoiding action, such as bearing away to swing her stern clear of green or increase her speed, as a prudent sailor would do.
Yellow need not anticipate that blue would not take prudent actions.
Blue misjudged her crossing. Period.
Unfortunate accidents can result from the sport of sailing.
Bringing Rule 2 into this is entirely unwarranted.
Created: 17-Nov-26 14:34
Bill Handley
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We are not proposing any precedent here we are just applying the racing rules of sailing.
There is nothing dangerous or illegal in a port tack crossing as long a P keeps clear. Blue is keeping clear up to the point that Yellow and Green change course suddenly at the last minute. Blue does not have to anticipate this see Cases 27 and 92.
When Yellow and Green suddenly changed course they are the ones breaking a rule - 16.1, They do it so close to Blue that there is no practical avoiding action that Blue can take.
Yellow does not have to anticipate anything that Blue may or may not do but she is restricted by rule 16.1 from changing course in away that does not give Blue room to keep clear. Blue does not have to anticipate Yellow;s "illegal" manoeuvre.
Blue judged her crossing perfectly and contact only occurred because of Yellow and Green breaking rule16.1 when they changed course.
Rule 2 is absolutely the correct rule under which to penalise Yellow for forcing Green to contact Blue.
Created: 17-Nov-26 17:07
Paul Hanly
Nationality: Australia
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Phil's comment made me re-watch the second video.
Green's luff makes contact with Blue in 1 second in my view, definitely within 2 seconds.
Unfortunately, in my view, the definition of keep clear and overlap do not require any margin of safety for a port tack boat in crossing a starboard tack boat. 1mm would seem to be theoretically sufficient.
If they were side by side on the same tack (ie overlapped) we would be talking about the meaning of "immediately make contact" and whether that means within 1 second or 2 seconds or 5 seconds or maybe even longer, but I would certainly be arguing that immediately meant at any time within at least 2 seconds.
But keeping clear to me in normal parlance would mean a gap of some distance. If they meant merely "without contact" surely they would have used a different expression to "keep clear".
What is clear in the circumstances? Is it a metre? Is it the width of the larger boat?
We can turn instead to the meaning of "need to change course" and the obligation of safety. I would feel a need to change course to ensure that there was no collision with a margin of safety and in a seaman like manner which would then mean having regard to the conditions and circumstances (including whether we are talking about amateur or professional sport, whether Green had crew hiking out, the wind speeds and gustiness, the amount of congestion, the likely time required for hailing and making a response) and bring into play a need for a time or distance margin to significantly reduce the chances of misjudgement resulting in contact.
Maybe Blue had left so little margin in it's crossing even without any changes of course that it was not "keeping clear", merely "avoiding contact"
Created: 17-Nov-26 23:23
Philip Hubbell
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Furthermore, despite the skewed appearance of the video image, Green is four feet away from Yellow when Green contacts Blue.
That suggests more an overreaction by Green, rather than a ferocious luff by Yellow.
And certainly no "unsportsmanship" by Yellow, if indeed Yellow can even see Blue at this point!.
Still, Blue is at fault.
Created: 17-Nov-30 05:52
Paul Hanly
Nationality: Australia
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Pls see my comment 2 above and offer comments/advice.

Philip's comment above highlights the uncertainty of what is "keeping clear" compared to merely "avoiding contact".

I would accept a distance of only 4 feet as being close enough to require a change of course to "keep clear" in nearly all situations perhaps other than a very low windspeed in calm water with no wake generating traffic. Masts of boats rocking on different wake waves could easily move towards one another and touch with only 4 foot separation.

Given a view that contact was likely unavoidable as skipper in a starboard tack windward boat, who would you choose to have contact with? The leeward right of way boat or a port tack boat? I can understand a skipper choosing the port tack boat in those circumstances.

When you have seen the blood from a crushed lower leg requiring major reconstruction operations from an incident at a yacht club amateur twilight race in 13 knots with gusts to 17, you realise that "keep clear" should mean half a beam minimum in those conditions. The injured person was also knocked overboard and lost consciousness and was lucky that passers by in a motor boat dived in to support them or it could have been a lot worse.
Created: 17-Dec-06 00:43
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