Taking a Penalty

All of us that race eventually find ourselves in the situation of breaking one of the Rules of Racing. We all know we can absolve ourselves by performing a 720º. Here are the details as found in the new rulebook.

Taking a penalty for breaking rules of part 2. (When Boats Meet)

44.1 Taking a Penalty

A boat that may have broken a rule of Part 2 while racing may take a penalty at the time of the incident. Her penalty shall be a Two-Turns Penalty unless the sailing instructions specify the use of the Scoring Penalty or some other penalty. However, if she caused injury or serious damage or gained a significant advantage in the race or series by her breach her penalty shall be to retire.

44.2 Two-Turns Penalty

After getting well clear of other boats as soon after the incident as possible, a boat takes a Two-Turns Penalty by promptly making two turns in the same direction, including two tacks and two gybes. When a boat takes the penalty at or near the finishing line, she shall sail completely to the course side of the line before finishing.

As you know you have no rights while performing your penalty turns as below:

Excerpt from rule 20 - A boat making a penalty turn shall keep clear of one that is not.

However, an aggressive competitor may not intentionally take advantage of this according to rule 22.2.

22.2 A boat shall not change course if her only purpose is to interfere with a boat making a penalty turn or one on another leg or lap of the course.

If the interfering boat was not sailing her proper course then she has broken rule 22.2.

If you have touched a mark in the same incident you have broken a rule in part 2, rule 44.4(a) applies.

44.4 Limits on Penalties

(a) When a boat intends to take a penalty as provided in rule 44.1 and in the same incident has touched a mark, she need not take the penalty provided in rule 31.2.

The penalty for touching a mark is covered in rule 31.2.

31.2 A boat that has broken rule 31.1 may, after getting well clear of other boats as soon as possible, take a penalty by promptly making one turn including one tack and one gybe. When a boat takes the penalty after touching a finishing mark, she shall sail completely to the course side of the line before finishing. However, if a boat has gained a significant advantage in the race or series by touching the mark her penalty shall be to retire.

There is another category of penalties, the starting penalty. There are three types, the Round-an-End Rule, the 20% Rule and the Black Flag Rule. Of these only the Round-an-End Rule is used at CLSA

30.1 Round-an-End Rule

If flag I has been displayed, and any part of a boat’s hull, crew or equipment is on the course side of the starting line or its extensions during the minute before her starting signal, she shall thereafter sail from the course side across an extension to the pre-start side before starting.

It isn't likely you will encounter the I flag at club races but it is common at regattas when the starting fleet gets too aggressive and general recalls result. This has been commonly referred to as the "One Minute Rule". Failure to take this penalty results in being scored OCS.

  The I flag