When it's a 50 When it's NOT a 50
"Pre-Touch"  
A touch starts negotiation, and once a paddler "starts negotiation" of a gate, all previous gates are "dead". If any previous gate has not yet been negotiated a 50-second penalty applies - even if the paddler afterwards negotiates it.

Here the boat touches the outside of the right pole of Gate 2 before negotiating Gate 1. Although the paddler goes on to negotiate Gate 1 it is already "dead".

Here the nose of the boat enters Gate 3 and, in turning away, touches the tip of the pole with the foredeck.

If the front of the boat had passed under the Gate 3 pole without touching, there would be no penalty on either gate.

Here the paddler touches Gate 3. Gate 2 is now "dead", so the outside touch doesn't matter. There is no additional penalty for the touch on Gate 2, or for not negotiating it. But it's a 50 on Gate 2.

Cannot be undone.

Don't overlook the touch penalty from the first approach to Gate 2!

Wrong Way

"Half Head"

"Split Gate" (C2)

"No Boat"

Capsized in Gate

Pretouch

Prenegotiation

Repeating a Gate