SailGP’s chief umpire Craig Mitchell has unpacked all the penalty drama from Halifax, which saw close quarter racing and plenty of near misses amid high wind conditions.

A total of 48 incidents were recorded across the two days of racing - more than an average weekend of racing, according to Mitchell.

The incidents resulted in 9 boundary penalties, 8 Part 2 penalties (for boat on boat situations) and 2 OCS penalties, which punish teams for crossing the start line early.

The increased number of Part 2 penalties was due to ‘multiple misjudgments’ made by teams, Mitchell said, resulting in some ‘scary moments’ between boats crossing on upwind and downwind legs.

Memorable incidents included a close call between Canada and ROCKWOOL DEN in the 5th fleet race, and Emirates GBR and Canada in the 3rd fleet race, both of which saw Phil Robertson’s home team pick up penalties. Elsewhere, the Swiss crew was punished for taking room to which they weren’t entitled from France at the finish of the 2nd fleet race.

A key moment however unfolded in the Final itself when France and ROCKWOOL DEN came together at the final windward gate. France was the keep clear boat on port tack required to give room to ROCKWOOL DEN approaching the left turn on starboard.

The French turned up to sneak around the bow of ROCKWOOL DEN, but the Danes responded by turning up to block them, tacking in the process.

Season 4 // ROCKWOOL DEN, France and Emirates GBR go head to head in Halifax Final

The Danes protested, however, no penalty was given, with Mitchell highlighting Rule 16. This requires the right of way boat to give room to the other boat to move out of the way when altering course.

“France looked like they were crossing ahead. When they started turning, ROCKWOOL DEN had to give them room to keep clear,” Mitchell said. "By turning into a tack, ROCKWOOL DEN did exactly that, so we gave the incident a green flag.”


2024/25
Season
Starts November

Season 4 Grand Final