Case 6: In the photo below, the Wayfarer has just established an overlap to leeward of the Laser.
1. What is the first rule that applies at the moment the leeward overlap begins?
2. What does that rule require the overtaking boat to do?
3. What does that rule require the overtaken boat to do?

4. What other rule will also limit the leeward boat after the first few seconds of that overlap?
5. Must Leeward give Windward room to sail her proper course here?

1. At the moment Leeward establishes an overlap, rule 15 begins to apply.
2. Under rule 15 (Acquiring Right of Way), Leeward must initially give Windward room to keep clear unless she acquired right of way due to the other boat's actions (e.g. the Laser deliberately sailed backwards or bore away sharply).
3. Rule 15 requires - by the word initially - that the overtaken boat take immediate action to begin keeping clear.
4. Leeward will subsequently be limited by
rule 17.1 which limits Leeward to sailing no higher than her proper course while that particular overlap continues to exist.
5. No. This is a common misconception. Leeward is always the right-of-way boat, and, as long as Leeward remains within the limits imposed on her by the rules, Windward must keep clear. It is Leeward who is entitled to sail her proper course and Windward must keep clear, and not the other way around.

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