Quiz 19 – Luff on the Lee

Two 30-foot boats, PW (a windward boat) and PL (a leeward boat), are sail­ing dead downwind on port tack. Boat PL becomes overlapped to leeward of Boat PW from clear astern and the boats are ten feet apart. During the over­lap, PW repeatedly reminds PL not to sail above PL’s proper course, to which PL responds each time, “I’m sailing my proper course.” PW then luffs, mov­ing 30 feet away from PL. PL responds by luffing to within ten feet of PW. PW hails, “Protest!” and flies her protest flag. In the hearing, PL testifies that during the time she was luffing she had been sailing slightly above her prop­er course, but her luff had not affected PW because PW had voluntarily widened the distance between the two boats. You are on the protest commit­tee; how would you decide this?  

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