Dec 6, 2012, 2:15 PM
Post #4 of 5
From Dave Perry:
Re: [The Publisher] Dave Perry - Tactics Tip
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In response to John Sweeney’s letter (SB 3733), the rules tell each boat what their rights and obligations are in each situation, which then informs the sailors what their tactical options are. My goal in teaching the rules through my books and seminars is to help sailors know and understand precisely what the rules say, so they are clear in each situation and can make the best tactical choices. Regarding the situation where two port-tack boats are approaching a starboard-tack boat:
1) The racing rules use some terms that are defined in the racing rules themselves. The starboard-tack boat (S) is an “obstruction” to the two port-tack boats because the definition Obstruction says “...a boat racing is not an “obstruction” to other boats unless they are required to “keep clear” of her...” The two port-tack boats are required to keep clear of S under rule 10; therefore S is an “obstruction.”
2) There is no question to the precedence of rules 20 and 19. The preamble to Section C of Part 2 of the racing rules says, “When rule 20 applies, rules 18 and 19 do not.” Rule 20 says, “When approaching an obstruction, a boat sailing close-hauled or above may hail for room to tack and avoid another boat on the same tack. After a boat hails, the hailed boat shall (and remember “shall” is mandatory) respond either by tacking as soon as possible, or by immediately replying ‘You tack’...”
Therefore, when a boat hails under rule 20, rule 19 does not apply and the windward boat is required to reply. A windward boat cannot “force” a leeward boat to bear away and give her room to duck S *if* the leeward boat wants to tack. A hail for room to duck does not exist in the rules; therefore there is no rules significance to a hail for room to duck. Yes, if the leeward boat chooses to duck, then she is not invoking rule 20, and rule 19 requires her to give the windward boat room to duck as well.
For more on the rules, get Dave Perry’s two books Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing through 2016 (which includes the complete rule book) and Dave Perry’s 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes available at US Sailing, 800 US SAIL-1, or http://www.ussailing.org, and sign-up for a North U Rules & Tactics Seminar this winter or spring, for which Dave is an instructor and co-author of the curriculum; check http://www.northu.com for the schedule.