Where is the picture from?
That's from the 2000 Hobie 18 / 17 Continentals in East Islip, Long Island, NY (Great South Bay).
The worst part about that was - the mark wasn't even part of his course! That was the 17's gate. The 18's gate was downwind of the signal boat (where the photo was taken from). Technically, he didn't have to do any penalty turns since it wasn't a mark of his course. He did take a pretty hefty penalty for not watching where he was going, though.
Hey, Matt, what's the rule of drifting into a mark, or in my case, committee boat in low to no wind races? I had to fend off the committee boat while literally drifting across the finish line.
You touch a mark, no matter what causes you to do it (other than another boat committing a foul), you've broken the rule. If you're going to fend off a mark, grab the anchor line, not the mark. The anchor line is not considered part of the mark.
What if a situation arose where you were able to round the mark by passing a hull OVER the mark without touching it?
Would this be Legal?
You mean like this?:
I asked Dick Rose that question and he hasn't gotten back to me, nor do I expect him to. I think I pestered him enough for one evening with silly catamaran questions.
In reality, this never really happens. Even in the photo above, the lens makes it look like the mark is closer than it actually is. They came very close to it, but didn't actually fly a hull over it. You'd have to see the whole sequence to know that, though. (That's skipper Eric Raybon and Danny Rodriguez at the 2011 Hobie 16 Youth North Americans.)