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Taking a Penalty


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In recent posts it is being implied that a boat may take a penalty turn for a breach of a Rule but may lodge a Protest claiming that he did NOT breach a rule and be given redress for taking a Penalty Turn.

So why did he take a Penalty Turn.

That makes absolutely no sense unless he is lodging a Protest for a breach of another rule by another boat.

You cannot store penalty turns i.e. do two penalty turns after the start of the race then allocate them to breaches of a Rule as the race progresses can you!. ( Not even in Canada)

In taking a Penalty you have accepted breaching a Rule just as if you paid a fine for speeding i.e. it is an admission of guilt

Similarly a Port-tack boat collides with a Starboard-tack boat.

The Starboard Tack boat takes a penalty turn. Does the observer report that the incorrect boat has taken the Penalty and the Race Organisation call a Protest Hearing ?

That would be a first in my experience in RC sailing.

Why not extend the sublime to the ridiculous and the boat in front take the penalty turn admitting he cause the two to beach the rule.

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Correct, Redress can only be given under the conditions of RRS 62.1, or as amended by appendix E (entanglement). Redress for taking a penalty turn is not one of these.

However, what you can do, is take a penalty turn if you consider that you were the ROW boat, but the other competitor does not acknowledge or accept this. By taking a penalty turn you are adding a little "insurance" should it go to a hearing and subsequent evidence or the hearing decision go against you.

With regard to the "wrong" boat doing a turn, the observer may report to the race committee that the penalty was taken by the wrong boat- in their opinion- and then the race committee may decide to protest either or both competitors if they consider it appropriate.

Haven't seen it happen, but it could happen...

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  • 1 month later...

Under RRS 44.1 A boat MAY take a penalty when she MAY have broken a rule. The penalty is voluntary and does not imply that the does has broken a rule. Taking a penalty may be an insurance policy. Another point is that both boats may have broken a rule. So, a boat may take a penalty and then protest. However there are no grounds for redress if a boat takes a penalty but is later found not to have broken a rule.

The situation is somewhat different under IRSA Add. Q. Once a boat has taken a penalty the umpires cannot penalise either boat. However, if no decision is hailed by an umpire then a boat is entitled to a hearing.


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