Yet again the problems of rule 18/19 came up at the Excalibur. There is a new Rapid Response call
from ISAF by the way
At mark 3 a boat had got into the circle and parked itself at the mark. Two boats approach from astern, overlapped and we have a difference of opinion about how to deal with the obstruction. The leeward boat wants to go to windward (on the basis that the obstruction cannot stay there very long) and is steering in that direction when a boatlength from the obstruction. The windward boat wants to go to the mark, around the obstruction and is quoting rule 18. Luckily, the windward boat barges in and gets penalised anyway. It wold have been more difficult if they had both gone to windward. In that case there is little doubt that the leeward boat would have had to give room for the inside boat when they did turn for the mark. Would there have been time?
1. we still have competitors saying "Don't come in there!" to trailing boats when bothare approaching the mark on starboard and promptly tacking onto port infront of the trailing starboard tack boat.
2. We still have windward boats not keeping clear and trying to say that the leeward boat sailed above her proper course because her jub was luffing. Or saying there was no chance to keep clear because the leeward boat altered course. When it is gusting F5 the leeward boat is entitled to feather the boat into the wind and if there is immediate contact the windward boat is going to be done. In stronger wind conditions keep clear space is bigger than when it is light.
3. We still have competitors who don't know what to do in the event of breakdowns. No red flag - no breakdown and when possible you have to continue sailing. Check the SI's and see if 10.6 is changed/applies etc.
4. Will competitors ever have decent conspicuous flags and display them clearly - how many cannot tell the difference between a red and a yellow flag. The problem with the two flag system is that sailors love an argument - by the time they have finished the umpire has forgoten the incident/ gone away / decided it is too late. If the other boat does not immediately turn or indicate that he will turn put up the yellow flag - why waste time arguing?