World Sailing Q&A – Penalty on a hitch leg

World Sailing has posted an interesting Q&A regarding taking a penalty between the windward mark and the hitch mark. The SSCBC Sailing Committee has taken the opposite approach to the scenario described for our 2019-2020 Season NOR & SIs see SI 19.4.

This Q&A[25607].pdf   has a boat touching mark 1, proceeding to the hitch mark and then taking her turn penalty. Because she did not do the turn at the first reasonable opportunity, she later realises she has not taken the appropriate penalty properly and retires.

We are taking a different approach this season. SI 19.4 prohibits a boat from taking a penalty on the hitch leg – (that’s how we had two collisions last season) and prohibits a penalty in the zone of a mark (we want the boat to get really really clear of other boats and then do her part turn).

The other interesting issue in this Q&A is the time a boat has to start taking a penalty after the incident. It’s pretty short. Our fleet seems to be a little more tolerant and don’t tend to enforce the retirement if there is a bit of a delay in taking the penalty. We seem to be happy that the boat worked out they made a misjudgement that broke a rule and then took the part turn penalty.