Well, it wasn’t the day we were envisioning but it came out better than it could have.
At noon, with just 4 knots of wind from the southeast, the race committee began the starting sequence for race 1. The fleet was very concentrated at the right hand end of the line. The first two attempts to get race #1 going were postponed seconds before their start due to too many boats over early all at the right hand end. Start three was run on the same line, but with the Black Flag up. On the third and final start, 7 boats were disqualified under the black flag rule. We were one of the 7.
Even though I strongly disagreed with the call, we promptly withdrew and sailed back to the dock.
Once ashore, I filed a request for redress which is the only action I could take. There was no option to complete the race.
The international Jury conducted a hearing in which I was allowed to present my case including photos and a witness. I was allowed to question the Race Committee representative who called out. The race committee official was very honest and unbiased in his testimony.
The facts found were that person calling the line from the left side had lost sight of the starting line for at least the last three seconds prior to the start. Some boats were over the line at the right hand end, obscuring the line from the left hand end. (see the photo) According to the tape recording of the communications onboard the race committee boat, our boat was identified less than a second before the start. We were near the middle of the line.
Without being able to see the starting line, there was reasonable doubt as to weather or not we were over the line and the jury decided than the benefit of doubt should go to the competitor and redress should be given.
We will have average of our next three races as our score for todays race. Nothing changes for any other competitor.
Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl won the race today and are on good form from the Masters Regatta two weeks ago.
Tomorrow’s forecast is south east winds, 5-8 knots again.
For complete scores go to www.bacardiraceweek.com