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Old 08-18-2004
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Another proper course question

Allen is right in that rule 17 limits L to not sailing above her proper course. Otherwise, according to rule 11, L could go all the way up to head to wind. On a downwind leg, L would have a hard time showing the protest committee that head to wind was her proper course. The fact that L is gaining on W while she heads on a higher course than W PROVES that L is maintaining her proper course: "A course a boat would sail to finish as soon as possible in the absence of the other boats referred to in the rule using the term." If she''s sailing faster, she''s obviously trying to finish as soon as possible, by definition. It''s entirely possible that W''s proper course is very different from L''s. Think of a J/120 playing the angles with it''s asymetrical chute racing against a J/40 trying to go for the short distance rhumb-line course with its spinnaker poled out. If the J/40 is the windward boat, they''ll have to head up until the skipper decides to let the other guy by, and return to his rhumb line. It''s subjective in that W has to decide how much he wants to go up, and how much he thinks the rhumbline is HIS proper course. With any luck, L will play the angles wrong and W will still beat him to the mark -- no judges needed.
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Old 12-27-2005
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Another proper course question

This question intruiged me a i looked into it.
ISAF has this covered in the casebook.
Here is the text from it, verbatim:

When, owing to a difference of opinion about a leeward boatís proper course, two boats on the same tack converge, the windward boat must keep clear. There can be more than one proper course.
A leeward boat is entitled to sail up to her proper course, even when she has established a leeward overlap from clear astern.

But of course Rule 15 still applies, so the leeward boat has to "initally" give room to keep clear.

Ain''t sea-lawyer''n FUN!
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