A boat loses her Y-flag during the pre-start. The umpires recover the floating flag. What now? :)
1/ Are they supposed to return it to the racing boat?
2/ Can the boat still protest without a flag?
My opinions are:
1/ No, the umpires must not interfere with the boats racing.
2/ The umpires should regard other actions of the crew to consider it as a valid protest against the other boats actions, such as hailing "protest" or flying a different flag, when the boats interact closely.
Competing in a match race and not be able to protest seems somewhat useless to me. Also, losing the Y-flag in the sea is not really "unseamanlike" handling of the boat, maybe it wasn't a fault on your own to lose the flag...
What do you suggest? Thank you for your time!
I mailed Andraz back. We agreed on putting it on the blog for all to consider.
Some of our first thoughts on the issue:
- Is handing back the flag outside help? (RRS 41)
- The possession of a Yankee - flag has no influence on the speed of the boat, so why not?
- What if it wasn't a flag, but a spinnaker pole or a winch handle, would you then give it back?
- The umpire manual says, the umpires should be of minimum disturbance to the competitors, also taking into regard the sound of the engine. Giving it back can have an disruptive influence.
- Would you accept a call without a Yankee flag? I.e. shouting protest and waiving another flag?
- Should the competitor avoid interaction with the other boat, if she is unable to protest?