Re: racing rules question narrow channel
"You'd think a rule book would prevent such childish, tempetuous behaviour. "
It does. Ungentlemenly conduct is reason for a penalty, including being banned from racing.
Leaving your tiller and leaving your boat out of control might not be banned in the rules--but I'd sure as hell like to hear an explanation of how abandoning the helm is proper conduct. Likewise, ANY contact or assistance to another boat is frowned upon, and piushing another boat away with your hands--except as a LAST resort to prevent collision, is most unusual.
The rules say that if you are entitled to room, you're entitled to room. They don't differentiate between "I'm here because I made a dumb move" and "I'm here because aliens abducted me" they say, plainly, if you're entitled to room you're entitled to room. And part of racing, and using the rules to your advantage, is to FORCE another boat to fall back because you can claim rights over them. Duh? That's normal racing practice, if you can gan and exploit and advantage, you do.
Impossible to say why what happened, but it wouldn't be the first time a racing committee was wrong, and that's why the USYRA (excuse me, USSA) publishes a book of appeals, to try showing committees how not to go wrong.
"He said, she said" is always going to be a problem though.