Umpiring at the Welsh Dragon I saw a number of incidents where competitors were still behaving badly in The Zone. It makes me think that I am getting the hang of the "Room at the Mark" rule changes - they only changed four years ago!
The basic concept is that all other rules continue to apply and if you have room your entitlement is very limited. In the old days - if you got to the circle first you virtually "owned it" This is no longer the case. Your alteration of course has to allow a keep clear boat room to keep clear and you cannot luff them into the mark - they must have an escape route.
The main problem was happening at the bottom of the run. The good guys would
manoeuvre above the line to the next mark. The bad guys would go low and then when someone was tempted into the gap would try to "slam the door" on them by luffing hard towards the mark, forgetting that they were altering course and subject to rule 16. Half the time the boat coming in would get their bow inside the mark and have no chance of going up. The outside boat would then be shocked when they were penalised and not the inside boat.
Funnilly enough it was not happening so much as they came off the reach and onto the run, but the same situation applies.
The other one that was not happening as much as I expected was when one boat tacked inside the zone at the windward mark and another boat was coming up behind her and fetching the mark (another new term from 4 yrs ago). Several times they didn't go to leeward and then try to get around the mark - which would generally result in a penalty on the boat that tacked as they would find it difficult to give the room needed.
When they went to windward there was the question of any luff going above closehauled while they are inside the zone - as Chris Simon has pointed out the obligation continues while the boats are in the zone. Looking forward to getting that one this weekend at the Bristol Brew.
Come January at least you will no longer be required to give room when you cannot give room Team Racing Call E10 will be sorted and Olly Bennett will be sad!