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racing situation that happened to me yesterday
I'd like a judgement from the forum regarding a situation in a race on a lake yesterday evening.
2 boats (6.5m open dinghies called valk) sailing to the leeward mark were involved. The mark had to be rounded starboard (starboard tack) and both boats were sailing over starboard tack, and wing on wing (no spinnakers). The story that led to me doing a penalty turn begins about 10 minutes before the mark . The wind was bf 3/4. I was steering the leading boat. My competitor was attempting to pass me to windward. He was blanketting my wind. I decided in this situation to sail closer to the wind in a last attempt to prevent him getting the inside track (and me having to give him room at the leeward mark as he could claim overlap). I began to sail higher and he sailed higher with me. However, I didn't think he was keeping clear of my boat as despite giving him plenty of time to keep clear, his boom was above our boat and my head. He began shouting to stop with the luffing game and head to the mark. His boom was continuely over my boat and he was having to keep the boom from hitting my stay by grabbing it and bringing it in directy (pulling in the mainsheet would've been too slow to prevent his boom touching my stay). So the situation is that both boats were sailing very very close together heading toward the zone around the leeward mark. Before entering the 3 boat lengths zone I began falling off to give competitor room to round the mark. In the zone, an unexpected gust hit my mainsail and it began to swing to port tack in an uncontrolled jibe. My teammate and I tried to prevent the boom from completing the uncontrolled jib. We were partially successful and our boom remained approximately midships yet it touched the sail of my competitors boat (his boom was still over our boat). I protested that my competitor was sailing dangerously, hadn't kept clear and didn't attempt to avoid contact between boats. My competitor protested because my boom had touch his sail. I know contact between boats means someone has to make the penalty turn(s) or risk dsq. I made a penalty turn (albeit after rounding the mark). My competitor did not make a penalty turn. We were not dsq-ed and went on to win the race. My protest against my competitor was not upheld by the competiton judge.
I'd like to know whether my competitor should've made a penalty turn for not keeping clear, not making efforts to avoid a collision and sailing dangerously.
I know the rules reasonably well but I'll be very suprised if the racing rules allow such a dangerous situation to develop.
thanks for any input.
Last edited by bobbylockes; 07-23-2011 at 07:47 PM.