Tuesday, 08 March 2022 11:05

Room to Pass Astern

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I came across a situation, but didn't see a result. Posting here for some discussion.

Two boats are sailing close-hauled, Yellow (port-tack, windward) and Blue (port-tack, leward), when the starboard-tacked Green boat becomes a problem. Yellow hails "room to pass astern of Green" and proceeds to accelerate down on Blue to dip Green's stern forcing Blue to duck to avoid a collision. In the scenario, nothing happened and all boats continued racing. However, if I were at the helm of Blue, I would have immediately protested Yellow. Blue and Yellow were overlapped during the entire event. 

I have an idea of how this would play out in a protest hearing, but what do you think?


*This led me to purchasing Dave Perry's 100 Best Racing Quizzes based on The Racing Rules of Sailing for 2021-2024. I did not see a quiz that matched exactly, though Quiz 74 begins similarly. I can post that quiz and others in the future.
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  • Comment Link Bradley Davis Friday, 15 April 2022 13:09 posted by Bradley Davis

    Why would Blue's leeward rights be eliminated because of a windward port boat that was in a bad place? Blue was clear astern of green and sailing proper course. Yellow must slow down or tack to avoid the two other boats with rights in this situation. If I were blue and had to alter course to avoid a collision with yellow I would protest and expect a penalty turn on the water. If they didn't comply I guess I'd learn from the protest committee why I was wrong (I'm 0 for 1 in that setting).

  • Comment Link Alex Hart Tuesday, 22 March 2022 20:26 posted by Alex Hart

    So as hypothetical skipper of the blue boat, my protest against Yellow would not hold up in a hearing. A couple of people mentioned it, but in Matt Bounds' words, "As soon as Blue chose to pass behind Green, she was obligated to give Yellow room to pass the obstruction (Green). RRS 19.2(b)."

    However, if I were the skipper of Yellow, I would have just tacked to avoid the situation altogether. The more you know!

  • Comment Link Walter Elsner Tuesday, 08 March 2022 12:06 posted by Walter Elsner

    Hmm ? interesting... Well green definitely has nothing to worry about. Yellow has to duck green, I think blue has to fall off as well in order to avoid collision... I wouldn't think blue has any rights in this particular situation... I mean what would you expect yellow to do... UNLESS yellow was able to fall behind blue but as you state in this scenario that's pretty much impossible if they are over lapped... While the situation sucks, I don't think blue would win a protest

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