The Hit and Run story generated plenty of responses, and amazingly (for this place), most of them weren’t far off. But to our eye, longtime Anarchist Maggie40738 got it in one. Before the pitchforks get too deep, does anyone know what the skipper of the offending Beneteau actually did when they got to the dock? If so, send us an anonymous note or, if you’ve got your big boy pants on, post it in the thread.
It’s hard to imagine that rule 15 applies here as I can’t imagine that the Cal had just established a right-of-way position. Unless the Cal has just broken the overlap from a weather position or has just completed a gybe the Cal has had the right-of-way for some time.
If the Cal has been clear ahead for some time, which is likely, the only restriction she has in maneuvering until an overlap is established are rules 14 and 16. Since it was a bow-stern collision I struggle to see how the Cal’s move was a violation of rule 14, but, as others have written, there is much we don’t know because we don’t have footage from earlier in the incident. A case might be made that the Cal violated rule 16 by making a sharp move to weather, from the footage I think the Bene could have avoided the Cal’s luff by luffing hard to weather, which she chose not to do. To avoid violating rule 16 the Cal needed to manuever in a manner that gave the Bene an out (which I think she did, the out being a luff to weather); the Cal does not need to maneuver in a manner to give the Bene her preferred out (a sudden duck). From the video it seems like the Bene made two wrong calls, (1) attempting to pass way to close to a boat clear ahead, which placed her in a vulnerable position and (2) attempting to duck when her only out was to luff hard to avoid the Cal. If you are an overtaking boat on the same tack you need to maintain sufficient distance (both fore-aft and port-stbd) to assure that you can safely respond to any and all maneuvers the boat ahead might make. The boat ahead is not required to restrict her maneuvers in anticipation of your overlap.
In a related rant, I take issue with the notion that “It’s a PHRF race, defending your air from a faster boat is a dick move”. Unless there’s a an active Cal40 One design fleet I’m unaware of, PHRF racing is the best racing the Cal owner can get; and getting rolled close aboard by a faster boat will assuredly cost the Cal owner time and diminish (albeit slightly) his chances of winning the race. The Cal owner has every right to defend his air from the Bene and doing so is decidedly NOT a dick move, it’s sailboat racing. If you’re in a faster boat and you don’t want the slower boat to luff you, then either duck them or pass them well to windward.