New team Germany picked up a devastating penalty after hitting Switzerland on the start line of the fourth fleet race.

A congested start line and tricky light wind conditions saw the F50 fleet jostling for position at the beginning of the race.

Still new to the circuit, Erik Heil’s Germany was attempting to dip behind Switzerland when it clipped the stern of the Swiss F50.

Updated penalty rules published at the beginning of Season 3 issued harsher punishments for teams causing collisions and meant that Germany picked up a four-point penalty and two season point deduction for the contact.

Season 4 // Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix // Germany F50 in practice

Reflecting on the incident, chief umpire Craig Mitchell said the Germans were attempting ‘to accelerate themselves to a better start’ but ‘just clipped the Swiss as they turned down’.

Without this error, the Germans would have been level on points with the Swiss, but are now positioned firmly at the bottom of the leaderboard with 0 points.

Season 4 // Switzerland F50 underway in Port of Los Angeles

Despite finishing the fourth fleet race at the bottom of the fleet, Germany bounced back in the fifth and final fleet race, picking up its best result so far with a fifth place finish.