Sunday, May 28, 2006

A dilema

OK so this is the scenario that I was faced with. I was the pathfinder and thus the OOD for our second race. The course was a simple triangle (A beat and two reaches, all bouys to port) two laps, thus we finish on the last reach at the leeward mark.
Its windy, about force 4 gusting 5, so we are a little overpowered at times and pretty soon Steve overtakes us up the first beat and then covers us so we drop back further. However on the reaches we catch up and all around the course we are close on him except he pulls a away a bit further up the second beat. We close on the second from last reach towards the bouy nearest the club.
Here, Steve, instead of gybing and heading off on the last leg sails into the beach and lands. I don't know why he has done that so I gybe and finish the race 1st and everyone else (there were three other boats behind me) follows me to the last mark.

When I get ashore I discover that Steve thought he would shorten the course because he believed the positions wouldn't change (most likely true) and thus we could save ourselves a beat back up to the club after finishing.

So what do you think? is he a DNF or should he be allowed his 1st place? If the first place stand then he is leading the May points with 5 points to my 7. If he is DNF then I lead by 6 points to his 10 (although his DNF may well become a discard in the end)
If I make a choice (as OOD for the race) that he is DNF then it looks a bit suspect doesn't it? The others aren't really bothered about the result as none of them are in contention. The thing is that if Steve had continued to finish the course then he would almost certainly have won the race. I am inclined to let him have it on that basis. What do you think? He was getting a fair bit of ribbing from the others and I think he was a bit embarrased whenhe saw everyone complete the course. Maybe that is 'punishment enough?

Just a small point that may or may not have a bearing on the situation, Steve is the commodor of the club (and a nice guy as well) I think he ows me a pint.


Tillerman said...

I'm not sure I understand this concept of pathfinder and a sailor in the race being the OOD. Have you written before about how this system works? If not then it would be a interesting subject for a post in its own right. I've sailed at several clubs in the UK and USA and never come across it.

Tim said...

Will do as soon as I have a moment.

EVK4 said...

I don't think anybody gets to make up their own rules as they go along. He should end up DNF.

Who knows what would have happened on that last leg, he could have blown a sail, flipped over, done the worst gybe of all time, or extended his lead. if he wanted to save everyone time and effort, just draw straws at the bar to see who would have won that day.

From a practical standpoint, I'd give him the race but add just enough grief and ribbing that he (or anyone else) doesn't do that again.

Lorna said...

I'd concede and enjoy the pint. As you say his embarrasment was punishment enough...