Tuesday, 24 June 2008


22/06/08 23:15 hours;
Just a quick update from Kiel. We are halfway trough the international part. Two days on the water doing rule 42 and hearings afterwards and in the evening. Yesterday we did four in the panel I was assigned to. Most of them about rules of part two. A couple of 29ers for barging at the start, Four OC yachts for a rule 18 issue, we declared invalid for not getting the flag out soon enough. Then another mark rounding protest with a couple of 420’s. Normal stuff.

Finally a request for redress from two ORC yachts. In short they claimed that another yacht was put into the wrong group by the Race Committee. After sorting out what was involved, who the parties where and how to get them to attend, it was 21:15 before we started.

ORC yachts in Kiel are scored using a GPH number, calculated to reflect all the factors which make a boat go fast. On this particular yacht, a carbon mast was fitted which made the GPH number 0,4 lower than the cut-off between group 1 and 2.

That 0,4 means – on paper – that a yacht is half a second (0,4 sec) faster on each nautical mile, racing offshore.

The German Sailing Federation recommends where this cut-off border between groups is suppose to be. Unfortunately it is only a recommendation. If we go back to the rule book, it needs to be a document governing the event before it becomes a rule.

The RC are actually free to assign boats into one or the other group. Claiming that a boat which is put into the wrong group has made a boat’s score significantly worse, is a stretch, to say the least. On top of that it isn’t even a omission or improper action by the RC in the first place.

What made things complicated, emotional and frustrating is that for national events this cut-off s strictly adhered to. So sailors expect it. But for it to be a valid rule at any (international or national) event, it needs to be made a rule. Which it was not. No other recourse for us then: request for redress denied. There was also a side issue because the scorer made an error and scored the boat in group 1, but it sailed in group 2. That was a mistake the Race Officer will correct.

I’m pretty sure the German yachtsmen will talk about this some more…. I think we will even receive a request for reopening.

24/06/08 08:59 hours:
I wrote the post above two days ago. Yesterday we had a stormy wind and eventually only the off-shore went sailing. More later.


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