Dave Perry Rules Quiz

Published on December 1st, 2014

Question
Boat Q touches the windward mark while on starboard tack. Instead of bearing away around the mark, Q continues on a close-hauled course for a length or so to get well clear of the other boats, and then promptly tacks to port tack, gybes back onto a broad reach on starboard tack, and continues in the race, having done about a 240 degree turn. Boat T protests her for breaking rule 31, Touching a Mark, and claims she did not take a penalty because she did not do a 360 degree turn. You are on the protest committee; how would you decide this?

Answer
Boat T’s protest is disallowed. Rules 44.1 and 44.2, Penalties at the Time of an Incident, permit a boat that has touched a mark to take a One-Turn Penalty by getting well clear of other boats as soon as possible and then promptly making one turn that includes a tack and a gybe. The rule contains no minimum amount of degrees the turn must include. Boat Q properly complies with rule 44.2 and therefore has taken a penalty. Rule 64.1(b) states, “if a boat has taken an applicable penalty, she shall not be further penalized…”

More
Dave enjoys discussing rules and tactics at all levels, and is a very entertaining speaker. If you would like to learn more about having Dave at your club or association this winter or spring, email him at davperry@optonline.net.

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 www.ussailing.org.

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