Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Definitions | 11

(a) The rules in this book, including the Definitions, Race Signals, Introduction, preambles and the rules of relevant appendices, but not titles;
(b) ISAF Regulation 19, Eligibility Code; Regulation 20, Advertising Code; and Regulation 21, Anti-Doping Code;
(c) the prescriptions of the national authority, unless they are changed by the sailing instructions in compliance with the national authority’s prescription, if any, to rule 87;
(d) the class rules (for a boat racing under a handicap or rating system, the rules of that system are ‘class rules’);
(e) the notice of race;
(f) the sailing instructions; and
(g) any other documents that govern the event.

The fact that rules entail much more than the ones printed in the rulebook, is something we tend to forget. If you see the above list, the one who gives me headaches is the last one: (g) any other documents that govern the event. Up until now most sailors also forget that one, but I dread the moment that I have to disqualify someone for not parking his boat in the designated space or eating at the wrong table.

The one thing you can do, as a judge going to an event, is to make sure you read all of the above and specifically check them for biased or unreasonable rules. Most events on international level have a sailing instruction where the penalty for breaking none-racing related rules, is reduced and at the discretion of the jury. At least that means that you can avoid throwing someone out of a race when that is not warranted. If you find something that is clearly not intended, discuss it at the first jury meeting or with the chairman. There's always the notice board.

How are your experiences with this? Have you ever felt uncomfortable with a rule you had to enforce in "any other document that govern the event?"


  1. Fortunately I was not a member of the protest committee that had to decide on the following situation:
    Optimist event in the open sea, boats were launched inside a marina, from a ramp a few tens metres away from the parking lot. The fleet was divided in two fleets, only one would race at a time, each fleet should remain ashore until being called by the race committee. The sailing instructions said something like “no boats shall be afloat until the respective fleet is called by the race committee”.
    Almost all the boats of the fleet not racing were at the ramp, waiting their turn to go on the water. Then the tide started rising up (amplitude about 3 metres). The way out was narrow, so the lower boats could not be taken out because of others before them. Also their time to go was close, so many kids, standing at the ramp, just hold their boats, which started floating.
    The race committee, very proud of being strict about rule compliance, protested the boats that were afloat.

  2. When I was an IJ, our motto was: we are here to serve the competitors, to give them a good time and fair races. Unless the sailors were unanswerable wrong, in this case our chairman should have said: I do not like the action by the RC but we have to do the protest. This was his way of saying: I want to keep the sailors in, the same we had in mind. So our (not said) job was, when it was not possible to absolve the sailors, to blame the RC.
    In this case I think we could have found an improper action by the RC for no good instructions what to do when the sailors have to stay ashore, relating to the tide.
    Maybe it was theoretical not in the rules. But we saved the race/regatta. And when it was a jury, the RC should have to deal with it. When an appeal was possible, we should have said: we will welcome your appeal, thinking: blame yourself for the second time and now for a bigger audience. But still, at that moment, the race was saved.

  3. for luislf,
    Very strict indeed. To get out of this, I would have DSQ the boats.
    But also started a redress hearing because the RC failed to provide a wide enough ramp for the boats to get out of the water in time. The redress would have been the reinstatement of the DSQ-boats.

    Cab you tell us what happened in this case?

    for Adriaan,
    I can understand you way of thinking. But there's a limit to how far I would go. In this case I agree (see above) but not at all costs. There's a moment when the integrity or credibility of the RC is compromised, I would rule in favor of the RC.

  4. The boats afloat were disqualified.
    If I were in the Race Committee, I certainly would not protest the boats, but I don't think that that I can say that there was an improper action (at least according to the rules) or omition by the RC. The sailing instructions were clear enough: no boats should be afloat before being called out. And I don't know other meaning for the word afloat. I know the place, the tide does not rise so fast and if, when the water started going up, the upper boats started going out of the ramp, there would never be any problem, just the inconvenience to move the boats out and later bringing them back again. What happened was that the kids (and certainly their coaches) thought it was ok to stay there - after all, the main objective (preventing the boats to go out sailing, boath in the open sea and inside the marina, was guaranteed.
    Just nobody ever imagined that the RC would be that strict.
    Common sense is certainly something very different from one person to another.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...