Monday, April 29, 2013

A Question

I have a question. Does a boat have any rights at a mark once it has tacked and gone through head to wind?
For example, a starboard boat coming into mark 1 passes head to wind, onto port in order to get round the mark. If it leaves a gap between itself and mark does it have a right to "bear down" on another port boat coming from clear astern entering that gap?
The example is best dealt with step by step so as we are clear:-
Initially, the boat on starboard has right of way under rule 10 (Port/Stbd). When she begins to luff she is constrained by rule 16. So the first danger is that a swing of the stern causes the port tack boat steering astern to have to make a further alteration of course 16.2.
When the starboard tack boat passes head to wind she is subject to rule 13 (while tacking) until she gets to a closehauled course. She is then on the same tack as the port tack boat (technically she was as soon as she passed head to wind) and presumably they are fetching the mark so 18.3 applies. If the port tack boat goes to leeward she is entitled to mark room, and as windward boat the ex-starboard boat has to keep clear. 15 would not apply since rights were obtained by action of the ex starboard tacker.

If the boat goes to windward she must not be forced above close-hauled either to avoid contact or to prevent her passing the mark ie you cannot luff her (above closehauled) to let a team mate inside until she has passed the mark.
This one is simple since 18 didn't apply on the beat until they got onto the same tack.
It is more interesting when the tack is from port to starboard at a windward mark to be rounded to starboard. Since they are no longer fetching the mark and were not overlapped on entering the zone 18.2(b) does not apply and the inside boat is entitled to room under 18.2(a). 18.2(e) was, however, changed this year so that the outside boat has to actually be able to give the room in order to be required to give it.
Downwind marks are complicated by a little phrase in 18.2 saying that if a boat entitled to mark room passes head to wind 18.2(b) ceases to apply. therefore 18.2(a) applies and room has to be given to an inside boat. At downwind marks most team racers are familiar with this and will gybe.
The other factor at downwind marks is what constitutes mark room but we will keep that for another time or you could look at section E of the Team Racing Call book.
Do modern sailors call for "Room" and is it only oldies who say "Water"?