The protest committee sometimes has the obligation to look beyond a DSQ. During this year’s edition of the SNEEKWEEK we encountered some examples. It is sometimes not easy to decide nor think about this issue, during the hearing.
Here is what happened:
Someone sailing at the back of the fleet decides to skip not one, not two, but four marks in order to get just behind the front of the fleet. The PC decided - in absence of the party, who did not come to the hearing - that this must have been deliberate and goes to rule 2. The DSQ becomes a DNE.
An eight meter keel-boat sails above the layline to the mark and approaches on Port-tack the mark to be left to port. There are more the a few boats already approaching on Starboard and more then a few already rounded and on a reaching course to the next mark. While some see the port boat approaching they start to avoid her and keep a little higher other still follow the ‘train’ downwind.
The port boat (red) sails into the triangle in the hope she can find a space in between:
And this was what happened after that :http://sneekweekjournaal.klikenco.nl/
The committee found in the subsequent protest that indeed the port boat did not keep clear, but no penalty could be given, because the boat retired from the race (due to the extensive serious damage).
They did not consider going beyond that.
But should they have?
Is this reckless behaviour with serious damage and not a small change off personal injury, not something that should be at least or even more penalized then someone who skips a couple of marks?
The first argument that presents itself is about intent. Was the infringement deliberate? In case of the marks it was – according to the PC, but couldn’t the same be argued about sailing into such a impossible situation?
Is there a rule in the book that can do this?
The PC is still discussing it…..