Avoiding contact

A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible. However, a right-of-way boat or one entitled to room or mark-room

(a) need not act to avoid contact until it is clear that the other boat is not keeping clear or giving room or mark-room, and
(b) shall not be penalized under this rule unless there is contact that causes damage or injury.

thumb|300px|right|Rule 14 Avoiding Contact The VSK auto-umpire never assesses a penalty for this rule. Indeed the auto-umpire seems to rely upon contact to trigger a penalty for many* rules. As a result experienced VSK skippers of the right-of-way boat will aim to ensure that any loss of forward momentum as a result of contact is minimized rather than avoid contact altogether. If the potential loss from losing too much momentum is greater than the potential loss from allowing a penalty to not be served then the right-of-way boat would be wise to avoid contact.

* The example shown in the video at right is one where the right of way boat can avoid contact (by changing tack to port when it is obvious the keep clear boat is not going to keep clear) and yet the auto-umpire does correctly penalize the keep clear for boat for failing to keep clear.

Rule 14 illustrated
File:Rule14 upwind.png
File:Rule14 downwind.png
File:Rule14 diff legs.png
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