RRS quiz: By the lee

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[This page first appeared on the Cinque Ports Model Yacht Club site.]

We were discussing the rules with some International Authorities, and the following situation come up as a real brain-teaser. We don't have all the answers; we'd love to hear from you if you have a point of view!

Blue and Green are on a collision course. Click on the button to show the incident, answer some background questions, and then scroll down to see what you think about some true or false statements.  Oh, you'll need the RRS definitions of "windward" and "leeward":

Leeward and Windward
A boat’s leeward side is the side that is or, when she is head to wind, was away from the wind. However, when sailing by the lee or directly downwind, her leeward side is the side on which her mainsail lies. The other side is her windward side. When two boats on the same tack overlap, the one on the leeward side of the other is the leeward boat. The other is the windward boat.




The boat on starboard is: 
The two boats are:   
At the start of the sequence, the leeward boat is:       
At the end of the sequence, the windward boat is:       

Here are some statements. Make up your mind whether each is true or false, and then click on the letter to see what we think.

Blue was obliged to keep clear, not Green.
Green failed to keep clear of Blue.
Both Blue and Green are obliged to keep clear of each other, but it's impossible to say in which direction each should steer.
Both Blue and Green should know to change course to starboard.

Barry Jarman writes:

Two sailing yachts heading towards each other (on a collision course for the argument), both on starboard tack, have no choice after eliminating the rules of racing, to adhere to the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, and to avoid that collision, both vessels must alter course to starboard.

Thanks Barry!


©2018 Lester Gilbert