Dave Perry’s Racing Rules: Quiz 23

Quiz 23Perry Quiz 23 diagram

Boats W (a windward boat) and L (a leeward boat) are reaching towards the gybe mark. L becomes overlapped with W from clear astern. They are both sailing proper courses and are on a collision course. As they near each other, W hails, “You came from clear astern and I’m on my proper course.” L replies, “I’m on my proper course.” W’s boom then touches L with no damage or injury and both protest. You are on the protest committee; how would you decide this?


Boat W is penalized under rule 11, On the Same Tack, Overlapped, for failing to keep clear of a leeward boat, and rule 14, Avoiding Contact, for failing to avoid contact when it was possible to do so. When L first became overlapped with W, she was required to give W room to keep clear under rule 15, Acquiring Right of Way, which she did. Because L overlaps W from clear astern, rule 17 requires L not to sail above her (L’s) proper course. L is sailing on her proper course (not above it) and W fails to keep clear. L could have avoided making contact with W, but didn’t; therefore she
breaks rule 14. But a right-of-way boat is exonerated (not penalized) for breaking rule 14 when the contact does not cause damage or injury (see rule 14(b)).

Dave Perry’s 100 Best Racing Rules Quizzes highlights specific aspects of the racing rules in a fun format designed to help you become more familiar with The Racing Rules of Sailing. Increase your knowledge of the rules and your racing will improve. Purchase this publication today!