Two boats on the starboard layline enter the zone overlapped. The inside leeward boat is slightly ahead and entitled to mark room. Her proper course is to shoot the mark and does so but hits the mark. The windward boat believes she has kept clear by heading up to make room. No protest is called for at the incident. Neither boat does penalty turns.
My question is, Is the inside leeward boat exonerated for breaking Rule 31 if she does not protest the other boat? In other words, if there is not a valid protest and no one takes a penalty, can a boat be exonerated for breaking a rule?
(I hope some one with diagram skills can put this to pictures)