In last weekends Match Race one of the matches ended in a boat 'fight' between the leading yellow boat and the trailing blue boat all the way to the finish line. Yellow had an outstanding penalty and slowed down as much as possible to get Blue to commit to a side and hook them. Blue did everything (and succeeded) in staying clear astern.
Finally at the finish line Yellow ended up almost next to the committee-boat end and had to luff hard to clear the anchor and line. Blue found a gap and went in , believing there was space to go.
Yellow did not gybe back an closed the gab, although she had entered the zone clear ahead and was entitled to mark room. Blue ran a great risk of going there, but as long as Yellow allowed it....
(this picture is from the rapid response call; Yellow and Blue are opposite to our match)We discussed the incident at the debrief and I referred to Rapid Response Match Race Call 2009-005
After a two days I received an Email from one of the sailors asking about this incident.
What if the leading boat HAD closed the trap correctly, did sail a proper course to get to the finish? The trailing boat would then be breaking rule 18.2(b), and if Yankee'd by Yellow (in our case) get a penalty. That would cancel the Yellow boat's penalty and the match would be decided by whoever crossed the finish line first.
The question the sailor wanted answered was: If in that situation the trailing boat crossed the line first, and won the match, would that constitute an infringement according to C8.3 (a)? That is, gained an advantage by breaking a rule after allowing a penalty.
My first instinct was to answer no. Because of the outstanding penalty the trailing boat already had the advantage. But the more I think about it, the more I'm in doubt.
What do you think?
I've arrived in Hamburg for Alster Acts 16 & 17 at the Hamburger Sailing Club during Easter. Hope to post nevertheless.