The auto-umpire does not consider a boat to be taking a penalty turn until she has passed head to wind on a tack or stern to wind on a gybe. Furthermore, the penalty turn is considered complete once she has passed stern to wind on a subsequent gybe or head to wind on a subsequent tack, respectively. Therefore the window of time that the auto-umpire considers a boat to be taking a penalty turn is really the time taken to complete about 180 degrees of that turn.
Whether for the above reason or not the author has never seen a rule 23.2 penalty given in VSK5.
The loop-hole words "except when sailing her proper course" seem ripe for exploitation when considering a skipper's options for interfering with a boat on another leg. Normally a boat has nothing to gain from causing a boat on another leg to receive a penalty however, in team racing there may be a significant gain to be had for the team.
A skipper who has experience with this rule in VSK or in real life is welcome to rewrite these comments based on that experience.
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