The Protest and How to Lose One
Andrew Campbell shares this incident from Key West, where he was the mainsail trimmer on the Melges 32 Ninkasi.
After a fantastic week of sailing in Key West, I’m left wanting for more great Melges 32 racing, but with a decidedly bitter taste in my mouth about an incident for which our team was thrown out on the last race Thursday. Sailing Anarchy may prove to vindicate us from a tough protest at the finish line of a race this past weekend thanks to some video shot from their on-the-water studio. In the spirit of sailboat racing, we’ll have you take a look at the video and then have you keep reading to see what happened in the room (I’d recommend turning down the volume for any innocent ears). We were on board Ninkasi, the incident occurs about 30 seconds into the video.
After crossing the fiasco of boats that included Red, (the leeward of the two starboard tackers, tactician Morgan Reeser), and Bitipi (the windward boat), we all turned our heads and waited to see if there was going to be any reaction in terms of protests or hailing. Confident that we had crossed closely but cleanly, and without any hail or flag after 20 seconds or so, we sailed away from the finish and towards the dock. About 15 minutes closer to the beach, Red came blasting up with their engine on, and informed us that they would be protesting. Read on.