Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Farr 40 Worlds Protest UPDATE

After the audio commentary in this post about the Farr 40 Worlds Protest, Sailkarma has a video of the final day. In the first quarter of the footage I think this incident was partly caught on film.

You can see JF tack in front of BM, completing her tack inside the zone. We can't see what happened before or that any hails were made. I think BM completed her tack and then luffed to avoid JF, which means that JF broke rule 18.3.

That is however not what the Jury decided. Here is their decision.

Do we need cameras at the windward mark?


  1. It's certainly hard to match the protest report with the video.

    From repeated viewings it's quite clear that Barking Mad completes her tack and then luffs to avoid Joe Fly's starboard rear quarter.

  2. Marty, we can't see what has happened before these tacks. Perhaps in the room the stories were more focused on that part of the incident...

  3. Always easier in hindsight.

    Of course the F40's class rules do not allow video or photographic evidence in the room which can make it more difficult for the IJ.

    What concerns me more is the statement made by Joefly which for me is a clear breach of rule 69.

    What do others think?

  4. To Anonymous:
    You state: "Of course the F40's class rules do not allow video or photographic evidence in the room ...."

    I've looked it up and you're partly right: The class rules state that this has to be included in the SI:

    "Sailing Instructions for Farr 40 regattas shall contain the following instruction: 'Video taken from any source shall not be used as evidence at protest hearings. This alters RRS 63.6'. The penalty for infringing this Rule shall be assessed at the discretion of the Event Jury or Protest Committee.

    Something I didn't know, thanks!

    As for Joe Fly's statement, I think this whole issue about conflict of interest will be subject of discussion - and policy within the ISAF - for a long time to come.

    For a rule 69 breach you have to establish clear evidence. This will never be clear cut, because it's based on perception, rather then proof.

  5. I'm still a little puzzled by the decision. Joe Fly is disqualified for breaking 19.1 by not responding to a hail from Barking Mad for room to tack for Mascalzone. Barking Mad is perfectly entitled to hail (see Case 3), but at the same time Case 54 makes rule 19 a difficult "weapon" to use when approaching a starboard layline. As I read it, Case 54 tells the hailing boat to hail so early that it can make a second hail if the first hail is not heard. Moreover, it explicitly says: "the leeward boat must not sail into a position, before hailing, where she cannot allow sufficient time for a response." It seams to me that this case should make Barking Mad's position extremely risky. But I guess we'll never know why the jury decide as they did...

  6. Reading the written decision from the Jury it is indeed hard to establish that JF was given enough time to respond to the hail from BM.

    But like you said, we weren't in the room when the evidence was presented. Perhaps JF stated they already heard and acknowledged the first hail, but decided not to respond...

    Your assessment of case 54 is correct in my opinion, but I'm not sure it's applicable, since JF & BM were not approaching a shore.
    JF as windward inside boat, if BM decided to pass behind Mal, could reasonably have expected that this would happen...

    In Case 54 the only option for the leeward boat was to luff, in this incident BM could also bear away...

  7. Jos,
    I don't think it matters that the boats were not approaching a shore. Mascalzone as an ROW racing boat is an obstruction, and 19.1 gives Barking Mad the choice between tacking and bearing away - a choice that Joe Fly cannot dispute. Cf. 19.1: "When approaching an obstruction, a boat sailing close-hauled or above may hail for room to tack and avoid another boat on the same tack."
    The hailing boat makes the choice.

    I also suspect that Joe Fly had not prepared their defense well before going before the jury...

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  9. Having watched the video several times I have to disagree. Although JF altered course it did not appear she sailed above close hauled which is required for a 18.3 violation. Also it appeared to me that no alteration of helm occurred until after the tack was complete by JF, so no rule 13 violation. Since by her actions BM was able to keep clear I do not see a basis for a rule 15 violation. The only possible protest here is by a third party that was fouled by BM as a result of JF’s failure to respond to the hail for room to tack by BM, which was what was found by the protest committee. Since the video does not have sound nor does it show the third party, we should trust that these facts were established in the hearing. This is why video only can tell part of the story and should not be relied upon as the end all be all for finding fact.

    Nice website by the way

  10. I see in my comment after it was posted that I incorrectly said JF didn't sail above close hauled, I meant to say BM didn't sail above close hauled making it not a violation of rule 18.3 when JF tacked inside 2 bl.

  11. to understand the decision it helps to know that Barking Mad didn't protest Joe Fly (although probably could have). Mascalzone Latino was the protesting boat.


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