Thursday, 3 January 2008

Q&A 07-008 about rule 2

On the very last day of 2007 the Race Officials Q&A Service has published a new Q&A 07-008. It is about rule 2 and a further explanation of Case 78 which states that a boat does not break rule 2 by slowing another boat’s progress in a race, provided that this tactic is intended to benefit her own series result, that the boats are on the same leg and lap of the course, and that in using it she does not intentionally break a rule. According to this new Q&A, if a boat does this for any other reason, she breaks rule 2.
The snag however is that this is valid for competitors in a regatta or series of regattas. If this is done by an "outsider", i.e. a boat who's not a competitor, than the racing rules of sailing cannot touch that boat or crew. I've had one such a case in the past, were a competitor who didn't enter on time, disagreed with our rejection, still sailed in the races. My club organizes an annual regatta for national classes and with 14 classes and 250+ competitors, we can't check every boat all the time.
Of course this boat was not included in the results, but my protest (as the RC) was not accepted by the protest committee, since the boat wasn't a competitor. After a unsuccessful attempt to get the protest heard by our National Authority, we only succeeded in getting our disapproval across by going to the club where the sailor was a member, and asked them to speak to him about his behavior. In addition we wrote a letter to his class association and he was banned from participating in our annual regatta for 3 years.
I would be interested if anybody else had a similar incident with a non-competitor and how that was dealt with?


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