Why do you say that Bill? If SS started cleanly and sailed a good race, why should she be penalized by an action of the RC that is questionable?
Fact is Q obscured the RC's ability to fairly judge the line. Fact is that the orange flag marking the boat end of the line is at the windscreen on the RC boat and those charged with sighting the line were several feet behind the flag. If SS was OCS, so where the boats who she was looking at transoms of, like Deviation and Sundari.
SS will be given a hearing next Thursday. She won fair and square and should be scored that way.
You are getting a hearing as to whether Shooting Star actually started? See 63.1, A5 and Definition of Start.
63.1 Requirement for a Hearing
A boat or competitor shall not be penalized without a protest hearing, except as provided in rules 30.2, 30.3, 67, 69, A5 and P2. A decision on redress shall not be made without a hearing. The protest committee shall hear all protests and requests for redress that have been delivered to the race office unless it allows a protest or request to be withdrawn.
A5 SCORES DETERMINED BY THE RACE COMMITTEE
A boat that did not start, comply with rule 30.2 or 30.3, or finish, or that takes a penalty under rule 44.3(a) or retires after finishing, shall be scored accordingly by the race committee without a hearing. Only the protest committee may take other scoring actions that worsen a boat's score.
Start A boat starts when, having been entirely on the pre-start side of the starting line at or after her starting signal, and having complied with rule 30.1 if it applies, any part of her hull, crew or equipment crosses the starting line in the direction of the first mark.
Sailing Instructions: To preserve the informal nature of the racing, protests are discouraged except in the event of serious violations of the rules or in the event of contact and/or damage to yachts.
Fact: RC determined that SS did not start correctly.
Fact: SS did not exonerate themselves by returning to the pre-start side.
Seems more like you are questioning the ability of the RC to call the starting line properly. See request for redress 62.1 (a)
Many of the rare situations you note have been or are being addressed. I am sure Bill P. commanding C1's own RC boat will go a long way to fixing line issues . . . BP also took it upon himself to do some USSA PRO courses, which we all applaud him for. It is hard to find a person who actually races to be PRO and we are very lucky to have Bill P. onboard. . . .
Hmm, perhaps John Drake and The Shadow should sit down over a couple of beers and work this out amongst themself.