Two days ago here in Florida, we were discussing inside at the zone and stuff like that.. So here is what you need to do (according to Sam).
In a marginal overlap near the down wind mark, the person inside asks the outside boat, "do I have the overlap". (On a bigger boat the helm on the ahead boat has the best view.) If he replies "Yes and I am giving you mark room." That solves that problem.
If he says "No overlap", just turn down behind him/her, and get ready in case they mess up the mark rounding.
If you are the inside boat and have a pretty good overlap, be sure to tell the outside person. He may be thinking about something else or looking the other way.
If you are the boat ahead and you are near the zone, you can volunteer the information. "Overlap and giving room" or "No overlap, stay out." We need to do some talking back and forth before the zone, not as two or three boats or more are trying to get around it together.
At the windward mark, the zone in only good for two situations, both port tack. The starboard tack guys have automatic, windward boat keeps clear-- nothing new there.
If two or more overlaped port tack boats are coming into the zone, the windward ones can claim "mark room" and not get scrapped off on the buoy.
If the port tack boats meet any starboard tackers in the zone, they have to be careful tacking in front or below them, because if after they tack, the starboard folks have to do something to miss them, the tacking ones have committed a foul. This is a rule to try and clean up the windward mark roundings, especially for larger boats.
So talk to you friends on the other boats. AND if Sam is there, speak up. The old guy is a little deaf.
Is there a zone at the mark on the finish line? I will look it up, and tell you tomorrow.
Some recent posts on my new blog
2 months ago