Black Flag Means Business

After a shameful episode on Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay,_ SW_ associate editor Michael Lovett finds himself on the receiving end of Rule 30.3.

With the daylight fading and three general recalls already on the books, the race committee for Jamestown YC's Tuesday-night PHRF series had good reason to hoist the black flag. Aboard the J/22 Conundrum, had we not been dead set on perfecting the pin-end start that we'd already botched three times, we might've noticed that dreadful color flying on the mast of the committee boat.

But we didn't, and even if we had, it probably wouldn't have prevented us from botching the start for the fourth straight time, our bow nuzzling over the line with one second remaining. When the voice on the VHF announced our disqualification, I felt like I'd been summoned to the principal's office. We turned toward the mooring while the well-behaved members of our fleet—teacher's pets, every last one of them!—rode a freshening breeze toward the weather mark.

Getting black flagged is always a bummer, but you have to admit: there's something kind of cool about getting sent to detention. Just ask the Breakfast Club.