Team Isigungu Toughs it Out

It’s Day 5 in the Yngling Open World Championships at Medemblik, the Netherlands, and Team Isigungu is toughing it out in the stiff headwinds, as team Skipper Dominique Provoyeur reports in their latest newsletter: 

After waiting around all day for the wind to drop, the race committee eventually sent us out at 18h15 for a race that started at about 19h30.
The breeze had settled down from 25knots gusting 33knots, to an average of 20knots but stills gusts of 25knots, but the wind was expected to drop in the evening even more.
According to a few locals, the wind was expected to be even more the following day, so the race committee really wanted a 10th race (which gave us our second discard) in case we could race on Saturday.
It took some getting used the fact that we were racing at this hour, but if we had to go, we may as well go for a bullet!
It was a pin-end favoured line, and at about 1m10s we noticed that we could get the pin as the pack was quite high up the line and all the boats at the pin had already tacked to meet them.
At about 30 seconds to go, we tacked under the bunch. We had to waste 20secs by hovering, but managed to have full speed up again right on the pin. We had a few moments hesitation about whether we were over the line, but the general consensus was that we were safe.
We headed out left with a few of the top boats just to weather of us, but we had good speed. It was a one tack beat and we didn’t realise how big the left shift would be further up the course, so we over stood the mark by what seemed miles at the time.
It was still going to be close whether we were going to round second or fifth, depending on the last 30 meters at the mark. Lucky for us the starboard boats had also overstood their layline and had left a gap around the mark for us to tack into.
On the tack, we touch the mark with our mainsail, and it has taken me all night to come to some conclusion as to how this happened.
I can only believe that it was the fact that we were reaching to the mark on the port layline and the mainsheet was more eased than usual, and when we tacked I didn’t pull it in as I assumed we were past the mark already and the mainsail hit the mark.
We could’ve also slowed down too, during the tack, which might have made us go into the mark easier. Anyway, we touched the mark.
Talked about the incident for a few seconds as Kim and Penny didn’t see that we had hit the mark, and we knew that we needed to get clear and do our penalty ASAP.
We had a boat to weather of us, and a few boats on Port still beating up. In a split second decision Dom decided to do the penalty (360 degree turn) after the offset mark and therefore avoiding any collisions with beating boats.
One boat behind us believed that we took to long to do our penalty turns. Anyway after we settled in to the leg we were still in good shape and in close 6th position.
Towards the bottom mark, a huge puff came from behind and a big bunch caught right up to us. We got round the bottom all very close together.
After a good beat we caught back into our 4th place and held it there (despite some close moments) until the end. We never heard a hooter at the finish so our minds were playing ticks on us all the way home (45min beat), where we over the line or not?
When we got in at 21h00, Kim went to find out, and while there, a NED boat told her that he was protesting us for not doing our penalty immediately after the incident.
We had caught up to 7th overall with this result and if we were disqualified we would drop back to 14th. Long story short we got DSQ…. another lesson in life.
Three races scheduled for today, the last day of the regatta, so we are on a mission.
Catch up with you all later,
Dom, Pen and Kim 
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