Even in the protest room, and legally there probbably would not have been much that you could have done. Unless you had allot of wittness's that claimed the other skipper saw you, and had ample time to avoid a collision the repsonsibillity of you being the give way boat. 1) Being on port tack, 2) You where the one who changed course by gybing to go to Starboard.
Being dead in the water, either being slow to come through a gybe, or getting into irons (Unless you have a mechanical failure or are capsized, you have NO rights until your sail in filled and you are on propper course on starboard tack.
At best both of your would have been disqualified, You for causing a foul, and him for not avoiding the collion. That still does not change the at fault party however. From what I have heard in the case of there being a protest the courts will lean heavilly to the side of the protest committee.
Outside the protest, and who is at fault, before the incidient even happened, regardless of if the right of way vessel hailed or not (And from what I have read the right of way vessel is under NO obligation to hail you to begin with). Anyone on a race course or even when fun sailing, needs to be aware of what is going on around their boats to begin with, especially when they are going to change course, and I myself have been caught in a few situations where I just didn't look (I got caught up in the moment, and another boat snuck in my danger zone). I might be more aware of everything that is going on with the boat, Main and Jib, and the boats around me because 80% of my time on a 16 is single handed.
The advice to make sure others see you and know your intentions is as valid when your the give away vessel as it is the right of way vessel. If you get into a situation wher eyou can not get out of someones way. HAIL THEM. (Even if it is to tell them to change course, And I'll do my circles!) Visibility below you isn't that good, even with windows in your sail There is a hudge blind spot right off the leward forward cross bar allmost all the way o the bow ( and it sounds like about where you got caught on his boat).
The other thing I make sure I do, regardless of if I am sailing with experianced or new crew, is that I make sure they are aware that we are going onto port tack, and to watch out for any boat coming up on starboard, and if we are going downwind, to let them know that anybody coming up wind on starboard, regardless of our tack we also have to watch out for. Crew resource management at it's finest
Please don't take this personally, I am just calling it as I see it, so maybe we can all (Especially the newbies in racing) can learn from it.
Does anyone on here, how has ever served on a race committee or protest committee care to comment?