Darwin Sailing Club

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Posted on 03 May, 2018

The Rule Quiz 03/05

The Rule Quiz 03/05

This Week's Quiz


Two boats, A and B, broad reaching and about to leave a mark to starboard, were overlapped with B outside. C was further astern. A passed the mark about one hull length to leeward, as did B, leaving ample space

for C to round the mark inside them. B, because of her position outside A, was unable to deny C that space, and at no time during the incident sailed a course that would have resulted in a collision with C. No contact occurred. B protested C.

The next leg of the course was a close reach on starboard tack to the next mark (see direction to the next mark in the diagram).

The protest committee dismissed B's protest stating that C did not break any rule when she sailed between B and the mark and C did not cause B to take avoiding action or prevent B from luffing. B appealed on the grounds that C's action prevented her from executing her intended manoeuvre, which had been to slow down by bearing away and then to harden up across A's transom, thereby denying space to C to pass inside. What do you think is the result?

Last Week's Quiz:


Is there a special meaning in the racing rules of the term 'serious' when it is used in the phrase 'serious damage'?


No.The term 'serious' is not defined in The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS). The Terminology section of the Introduction states that 'other words and terms are used in the sense ordinarily understood in nautical or general use. 'As understood in general use, when 'serious' is used in the phrase 'serious damage', the term means: important because of possible danger or risk; having potentially undesired consequences; giving cause for concern; or of significant degree or amount.

This suggests that when a protest committee has concluded from the facts found that damage occurred in an incident, it must then consider whether any of the four criteria implied by the definition above apply, and if so it should conclude that the damage is 'serious'.

Questions to consider may include:

(1) Did the damage reduce the safety of the crew?

(2) Did the damage adversely impact the boat's sailing performance in a significant way?

(3) Will the cost of repairing the damage be a significant amount relative to the market value of the boat?

(4) Will the value of the boat after repairing the damage be significantly diminished?

Thanks to supporters of the Darwin Sailing Club