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@Gordon Davies wrote:
The Race Committee does not have the right, under the Racing Rules, to disqualify a boat for not sailing the course corrrectly( see RRS A5). The boat is entitled to a hearing, the race committee must protest, and if the protest committee establishes as a fact that the boat did not sail the course then she shall be disqualified.
But if a boat doesn’t cross the finish line, it is surely impossible to give it a finish time or position? So far as the RO was concerned, the offending boats did not cross the finish line. Unless he actually saw them miss the gate on previous laps and credited them with a lap completed, he could only assume they were finishing an earlier lap when they finally crossed the line – to do more would surely be an unwarranted presumption – they may have gone ashore and spent 20 minutes in a cafe for all he knew.