In difficult circumstances the medal races were done yesterday at the Delta Lloyd Regatta. Close quarters, lots of press boats and 20 to 22 knots of Easterly wind. Since Medemblik is at the inner West coast of the IJsselmeer, big rollers came in. Combined with gust up to 26 knots, you can imagine we all got drenched.
The sailors in some of the classes had a hard time keeping their boats upright and a few capsizes determined the outcome.
As for protest, we did not have that many. All in all, about 10 flags most of them for mark touches. Two yellow flag penalties and the rest for part two infringements, either greened or red flagged.
We prepared for the medal races by going over Addendum Q, talking about positioning and communication, checking for possible close scores - in case of a match race between competitors and possibilities for redress. The way these races are set up, is in some ways very different than normal fleet racing, but close enough to get confused sometimes. The rules are different from the ones in Match Racing.
There's no longer a difference in the voluntary penalty and the umpire initiated penalty, both are one round including a tack and a gybe. But a boat not taking a penalty when it's clear she's broken a rule, will get a second penalty. One for the the part two rule and one for breaking the basic principle.
Getting well clear to take a penalty means that other boats can protest if they have to avoid a circling boat. If the boat taking a penalty pauses her round because of another boat, the penalty is not taken promptly and that will result in an additional one from the umpires.
The exoneration rule takes precedence over any conflicting instruction. If a boat doesn't get enough room and touches a mark the umpires can exonerate her without the need for a protest.
It's always a challenge to get in the right mind set. You tend to focus to much sometimes on the exceptions and forget the bigger picture. One thing I definitely need to improve, is recognizing a boat braking rule 42 in these wind and wave conditions.