Per the Racing Rules of Sailing 2009 - 2012, the following rules would apply to touching the finish mark...
31 TOUCHING A MARK
While racing, a boat shall not touch a starting mark before starting, a
mark that begins, bounds or ends the leg of the course on which she
is sailing, or a finishing mark after finishing.
44.1 Taking a Penalty
A boat may take a Two-Turns Penalty when she may have broken a
rule of Part 2 while racing or a One-Turn Penalty when she may
have broken rule 31. Sailing instructions may specify the use of the
Scoring Penalty or some other penalty. However,
(a) when a boat may have broken a rule of Part 2 and rule 31 in the
same incident she need not take the penalty for breaking rule
(b) if the boat caused injury or serious damage or gained a significant
advantage in the race or series by her breach her penalty
shall be to retire.
44.2 One-Turn and Two-Turns Penalties
After getting well clear of other boats as soon after the incident as
possible, a boat takes a One-Turn or Two-Turns Penalty by promptly
making the required number of turns in the same direction, each turn
including one tack and one gybe. When a boat takes the penalty at or
near the finishing line, she shall sail completely to the course side of
the line before finishing.
In short, if you touch the finish pin, you have to sail clear of all other nearby boats and completely to the course side of the finish line, complete one 360 degree turn (one tack & one gybe), and then finish properly.
You do not have to sail completely through the finish line in order to finish, you just need to break the plane of the line with your bow. However, if you hit the finish pin (or RC boat) then you have violated rule 31 and must complete your penalty turn and re-finish.
Yes, the 3-boat length circle applies to all of the marks of the course except for a starting mark surrounded by navigable water (i.e., there is no "room" at a starting mark).
So I didn't finish properly because I touched the pin.. and needed to do a penalty circle before finishing properly and without penalty.
By not doing the penalty I should have been DSQ.
Got it.. Jeff win's.....
But I also had rights to be at the pin meaning Jeff needed to keep clear allowing me room to properly navigate around and away from the pin? Meaning if I had not touched the pin I would have been within my rights to use my room at the pin back away from the pin creating no more of an obstruction that required to sail my 'proper course' finishing the race without penalty... unless of course I was intentionally blocking the line for that reason alone... I understand I don't have the right to block the line.. But that was never my intent (not that I didn't possibly break a rule simply because I didn't mean to) He had more than enough time to avoid me instead of pinching for the pin also... But it would have put in him the same position with as I was with him with the boat behind him...
Also if a tack to port would have been required by me so close to the pin to make the line......(well inside the three boat circle) Then I would I have forfeited my rights at the mark? Or am I allowed to tack so long as I never take more than my fair share of space at the mark within the three boat circle?
Tacking solo in those conditions would have most certainly put me in his way no matter what within a minute of the line... My tacks are generally pretty good.. but on that day.. It was "Y" turning for sure... Would he at any point been required to allow me to tack to port to make the line? Or could I have tacked to port, most certainly creating an obstruction without penalty?
Thanks for entertaining my silly questions!!!!