SailGP chief umpire Craig Mitchell has given his penalty rundown of the racing action from Taranto, which saw a total of 12 penalties dished out across the two days of racing.
High winds on practice day produced 33 protests, resulting in 17 boundary penalties, 5 Part 2 (boat on boat) penalties and 1 early start penalty.
But when racing got underway, the number of protests and penalties reduced - with 25 protests recorded across the two days of racing, resulting in 4 boundary, two Part 2 and 6 OCS penalties.
This was in part, Mitchell said, due to the high winds of Race Day 1, which saw teams ‘reduce their risk taking’ and ‘focus on protecting the asset’ instead.
Nevertheless, two Part 2 penalties were dished out - one to the United States for a port/starboard incident on an upwind leg and one to Switzerland for a port/ starboard incident on a downwind leg. The Swiss, who picked up the most penalties over the weekend, also earned themselves an additional penalty for not taking the first quick enough.
Flawless performances in the first two fleet races saw Australia pick up two race wins. But in the third fleet race, the Aussies were handed an OCS penalty for crossing the line just 0.05 seconds early. From there, the team struggled to regain their lead, finishing in 5th. “They’d had two good races and that knocked them into second,” Mitchell said.
The remaining five OCS penalties were all recorded in the fourth fleet race - dished out to France, Canada, ROCKWOOL Denmark, Switzerland and Germany which struggled amid light winds to hit the line on time. “We’ve seen before in light winds that if you’re not on the money, then it’s hard to get back,” Mitchell said. “It just takes one team to spook the others”.
Elsewhere, the French asked for a scoring review when the termination of Fleet Race 5 saw them lose their place in the Final to the Americans. The French argued that they had rounded the previous gate ahead of the Germans, which would have meant they would have proceeded into the Final.
But, as Mitchell explained, the ‘finish line’ of a rounding is drawn between the mark’s signal masts and meant Germany just finished ahead of Fence by a margin of 0.3 seconds.
The F50 fleet will next meet at the Spain Sail Grand Prix | Andalucía-Cadiz on October 14-15.